Ozone Mag #79 - Jul 2009

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I ain’t saying that I’m requesting anyone that’s perfect but I just need a woman that’ll make it all worth it











4 t h annual DJ ISSUE





I T T O G YO > E D I R -











4 t h annual DJ ISSUE













47-58 4th annual dj issue

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 // Devon Buckner, Jee’Van Brown, Krystal Moody, Memory Martin, Ms Ja, Shanice Jarmon, Torrey Holmes CONTRIBUTORS // Anthony Roberts, Bogan, Camilo Smith, Charlamagne the God, Chuck T, Cierra Middlebrooks, David Rosario, Diwang Valdez, DJ BackSide, Edward Hall, E-Z Cutt, Gary Archer, Hannibal Matthews, 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 // All cover photos (Yo Gotti, Pitbull, Hurricane Chris, and C-Ride) by Wuz Good. 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.


cover stories 70-72 66-68 74-76 62-65

C-Ride Hurricane Chris Pitbull Yo Gotti

monthly sections



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

JB, I was reading your 2 Cents editorial in your seven year anniversary issue and found it moving. When you said that you struggle to be inspired to a rotation of the same ish, I think I can relate to how you feel. But when you said that you wake up in the morning and never know what the day might bring, I sense that uncertainty keeps you going. I can relate to that too. I’m a junior at Morehouse College and I will soon be going back to begin my fall semester. I sometimes sense that same rotation of the same ish; go to college, graduate, and get that great Wall Street or banking job. That stigma circulates around the business majors at Morehouse. What keeps me going is knowing that I will learn something new that will eventually help me reach my true career goal. Congratulations on your seventh year anniversary, and stay motivated. - James Small, via email (Atlanta, GA) I like your JB’s 2 Cents; that’s a good article. I feel where you’re coming from. You look good with the dress on in Miami. That’s a good look. I’ve done four albums and I’m getting ready to do my fifth one. I’ve been repping West Texas for a long time. It’s an undiscovered region. - Prez D, via email (West Texas) JB, your 2 Cents in the 7 Year Anniversary issue of OZONE was sooooo on point. I’ve been doing this since 2002 and it’s been a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but I still love it. Much love and respect, and happy birthday! – Adam Murphy, via email (St. Louis, MO) Just wanted to let you know that I appreciate all that OZONE does to further the image of Hip Hop in the South. I wish more people used their talents, efforts, and influence to support the culture. – Handsome Ken, via myspace Julia, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your piece last month about your struggle getting your company off the ground during the early days. The determination you showed was quite commendable, and it’s refreshing to hear someone else’s struggle. Good luck and keep doing you. – Jared Holzman, via email Hey D-Ray, I just read your Editor’s Note in the 7th Anniversary Issue and it truly inspired me this morning. The crazy thing is that for the past week, every time I picked up the magazine and started reading it, I’d have to put it down. This morning after I said my morning daily prayers I was laying in the bed mentally preparing for my day when I glanced at the magazine and picked it up and it flipped open to your article. I say all of that just to say that I believe God works in mysterious ways and he knew I needed to read your article at that time. I struggle from time to time with personal sacrifices that I have to make and mask them when working. I had a death in my family recently and I can’t grieve with my family because of work obligations that have to be fulfilled. I’ve learned that in this industry, there


is no sympathy. Just like you said, there’s the stress of dealing with promoters, managers, artists, and publicists. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it, but then I remember that I’m the first person from my family doing things they never thought would be possible. I feel like I’m the bridge God is building for my family and friends to make a better way. I have to be strong in my sacrifices and struggles. Your article and strength reminded me why I do this, and why I shouldn’t quit. - Makisha Johnson, via email (Miami, FL) Hey D-Ray, I’m new to the photography game and I’ve kinda been going through it lately with a Bay artist whose head got a little too big and let his fiancé come too far into his career. I just read your column in OZONE, I’m Just Sayin’ Tho, and first of all I’m sorry for the loss of your grandfather. I’m sure he’s proud of you. After reading your article, I feel a lot better. It makes me not want to quit, and reassures me that the ups and downs are to be expected. I lost a close friend in March from Richmond, Smacka, and I was doing a shoot with him an hour before he was killed. That’s the hardest thing I’ve been through, but it keeps me going because I know he believed in me. I just wanted you to know that I support you and I really appreciate what you’re doing as a woman. I strive to be like you, D-Ray. Real shit. – Brittany, via email (Bay Area, CA) Your 2 Cents this month was very well written, JB. You and Tony Neal are on the same page right about now. I’m sure you’ve seen his email about “situations.” Hip Hop has to be more responsible for its actions. People do fail to realize that this is a business, period. I personally think there are some entities that are trying to eliminate the Hip Hip genre on the basis of the problems you talked about: radio stations, record labels, television channels, and nightclubs. I encourage everyone to try to make a difference in Hip Hop. I love Hip Hop. Do you? - Christina Clark, via ozonemag.com (Orlando, FL) JB, the second paragraph of your 2 Cents this month is definitely something that everyone in this business needs to take heed of. For those who love Hip Hop and the Hip Hop culture, we need to do everything we can to help people start respecting it. All the egos cause the beefs. The beefs cause the drama. The drama causes the negative perceptions, and those perceptions are causing corporate America to stop investing in our efforts (ie., Award Shows and similar events). Some people don’t understand the bigger picture. This not only affects OZONE, but everyone in the Hip Hop culture. Hopefully your words will inspire people to humble themselves and allow you to put on the show and feel good about it. - Bels, via ozonemag.com Correction: The starting quarterback for the Raiders, Jamarcus Russell, appeared in the photo galleries in the last issue of OZONE but his name was spelled incorrectly. Our apologies.



JB’s 2cents T

he Very Well Written JB! You and Tony Neal are on the same page right about now. Im sure you seen his email on “situations”. Hip Hop has to be more responsible for its actions. People do fail to realize that this is a business period. I personally think that there are some things in place that are trying to eliminate the Hip Hop genre all together on all basis as you said. Radio, Labels, Television, Clubs etc. I encourage everyone to try to make a difference in HIP HOP. I love HIP HOP do you?


- Julia Beverly, jb@ozonemag.com

2. Ray J Okay, Ray J’s got the bitches. I’m not hating on that. But get a show that displays true pimp skills. Make the bitches go get some cheesecake. Make them walk from Hollywood to Long Beach and back.

Me & the crew at my ATL bday party


1. PEOPLE HATING ON AUTO TUNE I’m not hating on auto tune, I’m hating on the hating of it. I know everybody that’s been to a club in the past year has danced, drank, and fucked to digitalized singing. Bring back beatboxing if you’re fed up with auto tune. Matter of fact, auto tune beat-boxin’.


by porn star Mr. Marcus

Rockin’ Q45’s Gucci @ my Jacksonville bday party

3. Celebrity Sex Tapes Celebrity chick makes 1 sex tape; gets more money, gets a reality show. Porn chick makes 151 sex tapes; still broke and no reality show. 4. Single Ladies Y’all know you ain’t really single, so put your hand down in the club. 5. Skinny Jeans What the fuck? Why are brothas running around lookin’ like white boys in grade school. Actually, they ain’t running. They can’t even walk cause the jeans are too TIGHT. And I’m really hating on big dudes wearing skinny jeans (ie., Randy Jackson on American Idol).

Cutting OZONE’s 7th Anniversary cake in Jackson, MS

6. “No Homo” Who started this and why? Does it really need to be said? 7. Twitter If you’re trying to avoid someone or not picking up your phone, don’t be on Twitter telling people what you’re really doing. You will get caught in your deceitful ways.

9. Medical Marijuana I love to shop at my local marijuana dispensary, but every week there is a new brand of weed. Whatever story is popular this week on CNN, expect a to find a way to smoke it. Right now I’m smoking some Sarah Palin and when I’m done with that I might have a toke of some Wacko Jacko. 10. Camera Phones Can people STOP taking pictures with their camera phone in the dark with no flash? You’d be better off going back to a Polaroid.


8. Karrine “Supahead” Steffans We all know she can suck a dick. There’s a tape to prove it, but the chick has selective memory. She wrote a book on how to get a man, fuck him good and keep him at home. But she forgot to mention her video that shows in 3 minutes how to make an impression and keep him close by.

Me & Keak da Sneak @ OZONE’s Get Famous showcase in San Francisco, CA

Flo Rida & I

State House f/ Lil Ru & Juney Boomdata “Crank Dat Roy (Remix)” Fabolous f/ Drake “Throw It In The Bag (Remix)” Jet Audio f/ Curt@!ns, Mickey Factz & Danny! “Stand Alone” Bobby Valentino f/ Bun B “Hands On Me (Remix)” R. Kelly f/ Keri Hilson “Number One” B.o.B. “Do You Have The Stamina” Paper Route Gangstaz “Keyshia Cole” Fly Union f/ Big Sean “Poed Up”


randy.roper@ozonemag.com Drake “The Winner” Jah Bless “Hello Kitty” Pleasure P “Under” Pill “Trap Going Ham”


CINCINNATI, OH: Heavy Wrist Entertainment features the artist O.P. who is blowing up in the Nati with his new hit “Scale” featuring Gucci Mane. G5 Jett (above) is making a lot of noise in the burbs with his song “Cool Swag (Oh My).” Roselawn Park has become the newest hang spot on Sunday, where you can see the hottest cars cruising and ladies cooling in their daisy dukes. The “So You Think You Got Talent” Showcase was held last month at the University of Cincinnati and was hosted by Bootsy Collins. The winner was Diamond Starr, who sang a Jennifer Hudson song acapella that gave everybody the chills. - Judy Jones (Judy@JJonesent.com)


Bizzy Bone and B Real were in town for a show at The Mohawk. 2 Live Crew also performed there the following week. Chalie Boy and the Dirty Third Camp came through town to shoot his “I Look Good” music video. Austin MC Pimpin’ Pen shot his “Lil Homie” music video. Talib Kweli and the Strong Arm Steady Gang came through for performances at Emo’s. Trey Songz performed at The Monarch Event Center. Dorrough hit the stage at Club 8Ball. - O.G. of Luxury Mindz (www.luxurymindz.com)


City Stages brought Young Jeezy to town. Monica and Case came to Platinum. 95.7 Jamz Car & Bike show took place as well. B-Money, local radio VJ/Promoter, presented several events around town. K.D. of Hollow Ent. dropped his new mixtape/album called Untouchable. Lil Boosie, Webbie, and OJ da Juiceman hit the town and performed at Club Continental. T Rose put on The 1st Annual Eat the Streetz Music Conference which turned out well. Upcoming female artist Elee continues to work hard, she shot a new video from her mixtape. Also Murc Camp dropped their new mixtape which features the hit single “Hats Low.” The song has been getting moderate radio spins. Fred P also dropped his new mixtape. Be sure to check www.bhammusicblog.blogspot for Birmingham related music news. - K. Bibbs (AllOrNothingPromo@hotmail.com)



Foxie 105’s Family Day in the Park went relatively smooth. It featured Twista, Maino, Pleasure P, The GS Boys, and everyone else whose songs you know, but can’t remember their names. There were two events put on in honor of Michael Jackson on the same day. At first I thought that was kind of suspect but both events had good turnout, with many attending both. Uptown Columbus Business District and Clear Channel hosted a nice outdoor tribute downtown. Foxie 105 did an indoor tribute, but took it outside for a candle light vigil. Both events featured performances, music, and dedications. Foxie’s event continued into the night, turning into a party. - David Britt (DavidBritt2nd@yahoo.com)


The Summer Jam went down with performances from Wallabe, Fly Union, The 3rd, Kim Joyce (great voice), Danielle, Lee Debonair, and a host of talent from the CO. Drake made his way to the city and the girls went mad. Speaking of mad, if 107.5 goes any more mainstream it’s going to be time for another Hip Hop station. Maxwell and Jamie Foxx also visited the city. Fly Paper was named as people to watch in 2009 by Columbus Alive. - Yohannan Terrell (www.FlyPaperBlog.com)


Inertia is working with Tony Neal of the CORE DJs, Texas UMS II was a success, and the RKN Internet Radio Network is official. DJ Du2ce and the Paperchaserz have the metroplex saying “Franky.” YG Ray Paul and Gorilla Zoe shut down Crystal’s live with “Tudilu” produced by Feddi. Big Daddy and Virdiko.com are doing online distribution while Throwdown Sam and DallasSight.com are putting artists on stage. DJs Snake and Doo Rite are spinning at Onyx strip club until 6am. Ca$h’s single “Walk wit a Dip” entered billboard. Viz and Fatz are keeping it Hip Hop with

Final Fridays. “Mr Hit Dat Hoe” is in club rotation and C-Dog (Streetdog Ent.) is the truth. - Edward “Pookie” Hall (urbansouth@gmail. com)


Gainesville is swaggin’ and surfin’ with Def Jam’s F.L.Y. (Fast Life Yungstas) as they promote their new single. Pretty Ricky stopped by as well and Alexandra Marie of 101.3 grilled Spec on his controversial video. The Commissioner’s new mixtape Mr. Gainesville is in the streets with a major buzz, while J Road is in the studio working with The Runners’ first signed artist Bali. Gainesville Police Department and Alachua’s Mike Peterson of the Falcons put it down major for kids in the community with “Operation Respect Yourself.” They also held two huge cook outs, a sports camp, and pool party, all for charity. - Jett Jackson (g5jett@gmail.com)


Twista was at Focus. R.I.P. to the young lady that was killed that night (Deangelia Bell). 6 Tre G celebrated great success with his mixtape Boss Muzik hosted by Bigga Rankin. PT from the group Untamed has been cooking up some heaters lately. He produced the “Alabama Dodgers” track for Jackie Chain. D-County just dropped their new CD. Newcomer Nate B has been in the lab grinding. Alternative group Sound of Silence has been recording with a lot of Huntsville Hip Hop groups. Mookie dropped his mix CD with DJ Holiday. Chrome 32 has been holding down Decatur. Greg Street and 103.1 are throwing a celebrity car show. For the fellas, check out www.lakenleshe.com and www.meshamodel.com. - Codie G (huntsvillegotstarz@gmail.com)

TAMPA, FL: The 6th Annual Tampa Music Conference included memorable performances from Dynasty, Prophit, and Lord Drak, and unfortunately ended with Young Joe involved in a scuffle with two other men. The economy continued to take its toll with the closing of multiple recording studios, including Music Matrix. Aych and many others celebrated the 3-year anniversary of Tampa’s premier Open-Mic and weekly performance forum “Da Cypher.” CBS announced this season’s cast for their hit reality show Big Brother which will include Street Laced DJ and Shut-it-Down Squad member DJ Mingle Mixx (above at right, with 3LG). - Slick Worthington (Myspace.com/SlickWorthington)


It’s been reported that Spark Dawg recently knocked out local rapper Mic Wrecka at Greencity’s mixtape release party for Strength in Numbers. San Antonio rapper Kyle Lee was also in attendance. Rumor has it the entire ordeal was caught on film. Killeen Texas R&B Artist Tylenol has a new single with Maxx Calzz ft. Big Bee, Jessie James, iTut, Kinfolk Corleone, and Young Ced that has is creating a buzz. New local Hip Hop club, Club Inferno, brought artists such as Dorrough Music, Lil O, and Z-Ro. Even with the top local radio station B106 running ads for these shows, they all had a small turnout. - Chris OA (jupzchris@gmail.com)


Lil D, a.k.a. D. Wash, launched Gracie Urban, a label that serves as an outlet for Louisville’s up and coming artists. It was a good month for the University of Louisville Cardinals’ Terrance Williams, he was drafted by The Nets, and Earl Clark was taken by The Suns. Speaking of E5, he had an NBA draft party that was on swoll. Ellis Myles brought in DJ Envy on the 1s & 2s, and Young Dro gave the crowd what they wanted. Keenan Burton of the St. Louis Rams had an All Star Celebrity bash that was also nice. - Divine Da Liaison (OuttaDaShopEnt@hotmail.com)


Up and coming Memphis R&B artist K. Michelle got some shine by having Gucci Mane featured on her new song “Self Made” off her upcoming album Pain Medicine. Juicy J reached out to Memphisrap.com to speak about supporting change and unity in Memphis amongst artists. Gospel rap artist Mr. Del released his new label DMG and album Thrilla. He hosted a release party/listening party and his spiritual message is reaching out quickly. You may see Gangsta Boo jookin’ real soon since she hooked up with BET award winning Memphis jooker, Ladia Yates. Playa Fly introduced his video channel “Fly TV” with cameos from Memphis rappers Crunchy Black and Yung Kee. - Deanna Brown (Deanna.Brown@MemphisRap.com)


Tone Trump digitally released his album Trump Life through online music promotion company Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes. The Roots held its 2nd annual Roots Picnic at the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing. The event featured Public Enemy, TV on the Radio, The Black Keys, Antibalas, Santigold, Asher Roth, Writtenhouse, Back 2 Basics - King Britt and Dozia, and Kid Cudi. 100.3 FM has a new morning show featuring Charlamagne. Pleasure P and Power 99FM held a concert at Plush Nightclub. Switch It Up Sundays at Shampoo Night Club features DJ Sojo, DJ Touchtone, Jay-Ski, and Gregg Nyce on the turntables. Streettalkin.com is a video magazine featuring Philadelphia Nightlife. Young Chris’ released a new song featuring Freeway called “The Last Two” produced by 9th Wonder. - Infamous6ixx (infamous6ixx@gmail.com)


Audra the Rapper is currently working on her 2nd mixtape Miseducation of Audra, inspired by Lauryn Hill’s first solo LP. Audra is working with Timbaland and his latest protégé WizzDumb. Quick Flip Ent. CEO/Artist Ron Flip Da JumpMan is promoting his new single “JumpMan” from his upcoming album AWESOME!. He’s also pushing a song with Nappy Boy artist Young Cash that’s available on Twitter. ChiChi The Kid released two hot singles digitally: “Wear It on the Right Side” and “She’s Da Only Reason.” Noah-O of Charged Up Entertainment is hitting radio hard with the new single/VA anthem “I Got It” ft. Streetz Deep & J-Nero, produced by Big Boyz. - Atiyyah Wali (atiyyahwali@hotmail.com)


In one month alone, Beyonce, Bobbi Valentino, David Banner, Yung LA, E-40 and The Dream all slid through the City of Trees. Sacramento artist JGib released his new single “Sidekick” feat. Raw Smoove to rave reviews. Sac heavyweight Bueno shot the video for his single “6AM” and hosted a huge boat party on the Sacramento River. Former NFL linebacker Adrian Ross hosted his Maddbacker Celebrity Weekend and provided several high profile parties. - Lavega “Kream” Sims (Lavegais@yahoo.com)


Hot 104.1fm did it big with Summer Jam 2 which had over 15,000 fans in attendance. Yung Ro not only sold out at his in store signing for his CD The Rising Sun, but he also charted #7 on Billboards singles chart with “Donk Dat.” Unladylike dropped their debut album Certified. DerrtyBoi Montana’s album DerrtyBoi Muzik also dropped recently. Kenny Knox released his album called Pop’n That Metal and Family Affair released The Family Blessing. St. Lunatics are circulating their single “Get Low 2 da Flo.” Stevie Stone dropped his debut album The New Kid Comin under Ruthless Records. His single “Wait a Minute” is getting love coast to coast. Hot 104.1fm’s Tony J. does a live broadcast from Club Casino every Saturday night from 1-3am and 100.3fm The Beat’s Kiki da 1st Lady does a live broadcast 10pm-1am at STL Nites every Friday. - Jesse James (JesseJames314@aol.com)


The highly anticipated $1000 rap battle between King Swagg and Pro’Verb fizzled when Pro’Verb pulled out over a financial dispute with the promoter. XO has just released the Monumental mixtape which contains the blazing single “F.R.N.O. (Crown Vic Music).” Southeast Slim has finally dropped his latest CD The Medium. And Wale’s new mixtape Back to the Feature was produced by 9th Wonder. K-Beta is currently holding down first place in the Rap Leagues, a freestyle competition organized by Tyrone (Mental Stamina) Norris. - Sid “DCSuperSid” Thomas (dcsupersid@aol.com)




haven’t written much about the digital or online marketplace. It’s not because I don’t think it has value, it’s that because it’s such a cheap means of promotion that I don’t want artists to think they can just promote on the internet and that’s it. Many people choose to promote themselves online because they can do it from the comfort of their own home, it’s easy, and it’s cheap (almost free). Because of that, I am going to remind urban artists that the internet is only 15 to 25% of your sales base (less if your music is very gutter and street-oriented), so if you are ONLY available digitally, or only promoting digitally, you are leaving money on the table. You’re missing a large part of your fan base that still buys CDs and still puts value in the traditional methods of finding out about an artist: street buzz. Both traditional promotion and online promotion are important. You, the artist, are a brand. You need to spread the word about your brand into a movement. As your movement grows, you want more and more people involved in it and talking about it to others. This is the goal of any product, person, artist, or idea that is looking to be spread. It is important to reach people in their environment, on their time, whether they read publications, read blogs, surf the web, play video games, watch videos or TV/cable shows, hang out in clubs, go to the mall—whatever they do, and wherever they go, your brand/logo/mention needs to be in their face. The more they see “you,” the more they will wonder who you are, and investigate if you are worthy of their time and money. In a perfect world, you want them dancing to your song in the club, hearing your song on mix CDs, singing along to your song on the radio, noticing your song playing in other vehicles as they drive by, paying to see you perform in the club, buying your mix CDs and buying your music (and who gives a fuck if it’s a CD or the download of your album, as long as they are paying for it and not bootlegging it!). Social networking consists of exactly that—interacting with people in a social environment, in an arena where they come to interact with you. Some great resources are MySpace (they can hear your music and learn who you are), Facebook (they can see who you interact with and who you do business with, plus they see what others are saying about you), and Twitter (they can interact with you directly and read what you say and how you respond to others). One thing about social networking sites is that the genuine y-o-u usually comes out, and hopefully that’s a positive thing! If you are totally missing the boat, you can use these social networking sites as opportunities to sell stuff and over-hype and over-promote yourself, but people will tune you out pretty quickly. Or you can be smart and use these sites as little inner glimpses of who you are and what you believe to allow your fans to understand and gravitate towards you (or push you away if you are a tremendous asshole). Twitter is ideal for this because you interact with people in less than 140 characters—it’s short bursts. In addition to interacting directly with your fans and the industry on Twitter, you can build a blog. It’s another great way to humanize your brand and share opinions and thoughts with your fanbase. You can talk about your life, who you are, where you’re from. You can discuss opinions on current events and places. You can offer a running commentary on how you spend your days, if it’s interesting enough. You can post photos and blogs along the way. Blogspot, Blogger, and WordPress are the free ones I know about without


googling for more. You also have the option to build your own blog on your MySpace page. For those who want to spread their image as well (which is important), photos, YouTube, or UStream can be tied into all of your social networking efforts. Remember if you “go live” on UStream, having something to say is important. Not everyone is meant to have their own live reality show. I’ve seen many that are as exciting as watching paint dry. I do enjoy the ones in the studio sessions where I can watch artists and producers record. Drumma Boy and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League offer some exciting ones! Also, TI’s studio, Echo, has a UStream feed that offers technical tips and do’s and don’ts from their head engineer, Dirt! Your live feeds also give you something to talk about , on your Twitter page, blogs, etc, before, during, and after the broadcast. When I was out on promo tour with BloodRaw we set up his own YouTube TV page and downloaded video footage at the end of every day so fans could tour along with us. We also had a blog page where we uploaded photos along the way so fans could see what we were doing and where we were. By the end of his 40 day promo tour, we had over 12,000 people riding along with us. And that was 18 months ago, before Twitter was popular. I think we’d have more than 4 times the following now since it’s far more popular today and since we could have been instantly interactive (like Twitter). Podcasts are also a wonderful way to share your brand, and voice, with fans. It’s a quick way to record your voice and share a story or experience in your own words. The podcasts can then be downloaded from your sites or blog, attached to tweets, or uploaded to iTunes if your demand is big enough. Vocals and visuals can often times make a story more exciting than just text. I’ve heard some awesome podcasts by B Real discussing border crossings with weed in his pockets, back when he was touring with Cypress Hill. His amusing antidotes are funny, and are great experiences to hear. Facebook is a great place to interact with fans as well. A savvy artist can also set it up so that tweets post there as well as on their website, so it gives people multiple ways to reach you directly (or a staff member working for you). Ron Artest’s fake Twitter page (who’s on payroll) is far more fun and interesting than his real page. I’m not even going tell you which is which. Facebook allows you to post photos, join groups, interact with fans directly, blast information and posts, and keep up with other artists that you’ve befriended or who have similar fan bases as you. It’s a great way to increase your reach and seen as more professional than MySpace (which seems to now skew younger)! As an artist, you need pages at both sites. You can also offer contests, discounts for shows, schedules of events, etc. Most newer artists haven’t navigated the world of iPhone and Blackberry applications, but if you have a strong enough following, they are definitely a source of income and promotion. Also, FriendFeed is a newer network that could become a player in the social networking mix for artists soon. It is a social media content aggregator that offers a community of people who conversate around content. And after all, you want people talking about you. Although it’s important to use traditional methods to spread your awareness and promote yourself, the internet is a great and inexpensive (but VERY time consuming) way to get your name and message out there. The trick is to find the right balance that works for you and best reaches your core fans and new potential fans. //

(above L-R): Yung LA & Dorrough @ Hot 103 Summer Jam in Kansas City, MO (Photo: Ms Rivercity); Kanye West & Amber Rose on the red carpet @ the BET Awards in Los Angeles, CA (Photo: D-Ray); Shawty Lo & Rick Ross @ Phillips Arena for Birthday Bash in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly)

01 // Chuck Creekmur & Steve Raze @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 02 // Omeezy, E-40, Droop-E, & J Diggs @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 03 // Blake Griffin, Bu, & Chubbie Baby @ Phillips Arena for Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Rapid Ric & Famous @ Dub Car Show (Dallas, TX) 05 // Rich Kids @ Tupac’s Birthday Celebration (Atlanta, GA) 06 // Glasses Malone, T-Pain, Baby, & Rick Ross on the set of Glasses Malone’s “Sun Come Up” video shoot (Miami, FL) 07 // JT Money & Piccalo @ Take One Lounge (Miami, FL) 08 // The Jacka @ The Jacka’s “Tear Gas” album release party (San Francisco, CA) 09 // DJ Kaos & Slick Rick @ Body Tap II (Kansas City, MO) 10 // Dru Down, Julia Beverly, & Kuzzo Fly @ Poetry for JB’s Vegas Bday party (Las Vegas, NV) 11 // Guest, 40 Glocc, & Sun @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 12 // Shawty Lo & Clay Evans @ Phillips Arena for Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 13 // DJ Tito Bell & Deltrice @ The Jacka’s “Tear Gas” album release party (San Francisco, CA) 14 // Kenny Diamondz & Black Walt @ Body Tap II (Kansas City, MO) 15 // Steel Will, Dame Fame, & Kafani @ The Room Ultra Lounge for OZONE Get Famous showcase (San Francisco, CA) 16 // Miami Mike & Soulja Boy @ Club Bash for JB’s Denver Bday Bash (Denver, CO) 17 // Bavgate & Dame Fame @ The Room Ultra Lounge for OZONE Get Famous showcase (San Francisco, CA) 18 // BOB & Cory Mo @ Foot Locker (Atlanta, GA) 19 // Too Short & ladies @ Area for BET Awards afterparty (Hollywood, CA) Photo Credits: D-Ray (02,08,10,13,16); J Lash (06,07); Julia Beverly (01,03,05,11,12,15,17,19); Ms Rivercity (04,09,14,18)



Are you a brother or sister who used to live like the Evans family but now have moved on up like the Jeffersons? You never want people to say that you’re acting brand new, or that you’ve gone Hollywood, or that you’ve changed. To ensure that you’ll never change, Charlamagne Tha God and Free have provided seven simple but effective tips to keep you in tune with the essence from which you came.

1) You Are What You Eat

Okay, your money grew up and you’re living lavish, so I’m sure now you want to eat some steak and lobster, wild Alaskan salmon, rare tropical fruits, chesapeake crabcakes, and all that other bougie shit. That’s cool every now and then, but when you want to put the hood into your digestive system, here are four meals that can get you right back in touch with your roots: 1) a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (store brand peanut butter and store brand jelly on White Wonder bread) 2) a mayonnaise sandwich (wash it down with sugar water) 3) Chef Boyardee ravioli, or 4) if you’re really, really trying to keep the hood in you, Ramen Noodles.

2) Stay Paranoid

Even though you now live in a gated community that has police patrolling the block every five minutes, always remain paranoid! Make sure you’re inside the house by the time the street lights come on. Even though your car is locked in the garage, put the club on the steering wheel anyway. If you’re in your private study smoking a joint and you hear a knock at the door, run to flush the rest of your stash down the toilet. When you’re driving in your neighborhood and one of those cops that patrols the neighborhood every five minutes happens to drive behind you, whisper “oh shit” to yourself, just because, and throw on your seatbelt! 3) Petty Theft Every now and then walk into a store and take (notice I said take) a pack of gum, a candy bar, or a magazine. Nothing more than $4, because that’s stealing. Anything under $4 is just taking. 4) Still Down Decorations Still Down Decorations is exactly that. You decorate your mansion or luxury condo to show that you’re still down. Instead of curtains you hang up sheets, you have at least one flea market painting (the dogs playing pool is the best one). Put up


pictures of your family on the wall with no frame, just a thumbtack through their head. Most importantly, have a floor model television with another television on top of it because the floor model doesn’t work. 5) Table Manners So you’re out with a rich, classy new associate. You’re talking big business in a five star restaurant and utilizing all the table manners and dining etiquette you have been taught. Suddenly, you have a vision of your cousin Jamal in your head saying, “Look at this old bougie negro. Who you think you is, Barack Obama?” In order to get Jamal’s approval in your head, you can do one of three things: a) take the gum you have been chewing out of your mouth and stick it under the table, b) ask the waiter for a hot glass of water and stick your silverware in it to kill the germs that are not even there, or c) ask the waiter for water and sugar, pull out a pack of red kool aid, and make it right there at the table. 6) Check your footwork Every now and then, buy a pair of Air Forces out of the back of someone’s trunk. When you’re done with the Air Forces, throw them over a power line in your new neighborhood just to remind you of home. Your rich white Republican neighbors should really appreciate that sight in the morning. 7) Give Back On a more serious note, the most important way to stay in touch with the hood is to give back to the hood from which you came. Invest your money into building community centers in your old hood, sponsor the little league teams, be a mentor to some of the youth in your community. The bottom line is that you only become disconnected from your hood when you disconnect yourself from the hood. Always remember that

you didn’t go away to stay away, you went away to make away to make it easier for others to come behind you. These are the easiest and most simple ways to keep it hood (when you really don’t have to). Now you dumb ass rappers and athletes can stop getting caught with guns, stop fighting dogs, and stop getting arrested for possession of marijuana. Your hood pass will always be good if you follow these 7 simple steps. PEACE. From The Minds Of Charlamagne Tha God & Free Follow Them On Twitter www.twitter.com/cthagod www.twitter.com/missfree

1. Shitake Monkey

www.myspace.com/shitakemonkey We’re pretty sure that the name isn’t pronounced how it looks, or is it? This NYC-based crew is known largely for their contribution to 88-Key’s song “The Friend Zone.” Their music is unique, but you can’t help but imagine what the studio smells like when these guys are around.

2. Gutter

Couldn’t find much on this guy other than his music video for “Right Hand Cookin” featuring OJ Da Juiceman produced by Zaytoven. Apparently he didn’t get the memo from Ace Hood that having “gutter” in your name is not a good look. We’re assuming he has a “can’t go nowhere but up” mentality. Well, we may be giving him too much credit.

3. Poke Chop

www.myspace.com/thahoodhomie Not sure if his name is referencing the food or some painful karate move, either way…yeah.

(above L-R): FloRida & Brisco @ Best of the Best in Miami, FL; Shawnna & T-Pain @ K 107 Summer Jam in Denver, CO (Photos: Julia Beverly); Young Jeezy & Trae on South Beach during Memorial Day weekend in Miami, FL (Photo: Thaddaeus McAdams)

01 // J-Diggs & the Dirty Girls @ Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles (Los Angeles, CA) 02 // Spark Dawg, Chamillionaire, & Mike Clarke @ Dub Car Show (Dallas, TX) 03 // Gil Green & Papa Duck on South Beach during Memorial Day weekend (Miami, FL) 04 // Billy Blue & James Jackson @ Cameo for Brisco’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 05 // Memphitz & Enew @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 06 // KC & Ciara @ Area for BET Awards afterparty (Hollywood, CA) 07 // Willy Northpole, I-20, & Ludacris @ K 107 Summer Jam (Denver, CO) 08 // Bow Wow, Julia Beverly, Soulja Boy, Sean Kingston @ K 107 Summer Jam (Denver, CO) 09 // DJ Franzen & J Diggs @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 10 // Guest & Edgerrin James @ his pool party (Miami, FL) 11 // Chris J & guests @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 12 // Teleoso & Hezeleo @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 13 // Biggbody of OG Entertainment & guest @ Club Elixir (Anchorage, AK) 14 // Presidential Traphouse @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 15 // Dread & TV Johnny @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 16 // Guest & Kuzzo Fly @ Poetry for JB’s Vegas Bday party (Las Vegas, NV) 17 // B Wash, Rob Gold, & guests @ Mardi Gras for OZONE 7 Year Anniversary party (Jackson, MS) 18 // Redd Eyezz & Black Dada @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island (Miami, FL) 19 // DJ Quote & Willy Northpole @ K 107 Summer Jam (Denver, CO) Photo Credits: D-Ray (01,08,09,16,19); Edward Hall (12,14); J Lash (04,10); Julia Beverly (05,06,07,13,15,17,18); Ms Rivercity (02,03,11)


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




got this brand new chain and put [pictures of it] it on the internet, and right away it created all kinds of controversy. But really I just think everybody’s on my dick so hard that they had no choice but to give me backlash because of the chain.

Ain’t nobody ever built a muthafuckin’ remote control Lamborghini chain with black diamonds! What the fuck? This chain has got so many people on my dick coming up to me like, “Oh my God, that’s the most creative shit I’ve ever seen!” So I was only expecting certain niggas to talk bad about me for it. But I’m not thinkin’ about none of that shit. I look at all of the attention as a compliment. The chain was a gift to me. I just turned 19 on the 28th [of July], and my jeweler was just looking out for me. It would’ve cost about 250 racks, but it doesn’t matter if I paid for it or not. Bugs Bunny ain’t got this many karats. I don’t know exactly how many karats are in it, but


can give you my jeweler’s number if you want to call him up and ask. He kept trying to take his time with it, but I told him to hurry the fuck up, so he ended up finishing it in about 3 weeks. I don’t care what nobody says. This chain is fresh and I just love to be a trendsetter. Fuck the haters. I love all my fans who have been supporting me since day one, and I want everybody who hits me up on Twitter to know that I appreciate all the love. At the end of day, I don’t stress over none of the haters. Make sure to check out Soulja Boy’s next CD, The DeAndre Way, coming soon. As told to Eric Perrin Photo by FLX

(above L-R): Killer Mike & Bow Wow @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island in Miami, FL; Yukmouth & his fiance @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty in Los Angeles, CA; Shawty Lo & Trey Songz @ Phillips Arena for Birthday Bash in Atlanta, GA (Photos: Julia Beverly)

01 // Julia Beverly, Malik Abdul, & Lori Harm @ Skye Nightclub for JB’s Tampa Bday Bash (Tampa, FL) 02 // Big Rich & K-Loc @ The Jacka’s “Tear Gas” album release party (San Francisco, CA) 03 // J Rich & guest @ Area for BET Awards afterparty (Hollywood, CA) 04 // Kuzzo Fly, Haji Springer, & Lil Dre @ Rasputin’s for The Jacka’s “Tear Gas” in store (Berkeley, CA) 05 // Day 26 backstage @ the BET Awards (Los Angeles, CA) 06 // Outkast @ Phillips Arena for Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Trae, Soulja Boy, & Gravy @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 08 // Ray J, Shorty Mack, Julia Beverly, Ras Kass, & 40 Glocc @ Poetry for JB’s Vegas Bday Bash (Las Vegas, NV) 09 // Rapid Ric, Chamillionaire, & Tum Tum @ Dub Car Show (Dallas, TX) 10 // DJ Princess Cut & Tina T @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 11 // Brittney & Will Hustle @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 12 // D’Lyte, Sara, Steve Raze, & Ebony @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 13 // Sean Kennedy & Lisa Raye on the red carpet @ the BET Awards (Los Angeles, CA) 14 // Fiya & Inertia @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 15 // Mitchelle’l & Mac Boney @ Echo Studios (Atlanta, GA) 16 // Reggie Ward & Gorilla Zoe @ KNBA (Anchorage, AK) 17 // DJ Cap, guest, Nick da Next Wun, & JuJu of Fam Life @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 18 // Lil Duval & Lil C @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island (Miami, FL) 19 // Guest & Miami Mike @ Studio 72 for OZONE’s Birthday Bash afterparty (Atlanta, GA) Photo Credits: D-Ray (02,04,05,08,13); Edward Hall (11,12,14,17); Julia Beverly (03,06,07,16,18,19); Ms Rivercity (09,10,15); Ralph Smith (01)


Are You a G? 7 Questions to FIND OUT if R&B STAR JEREMIH is the 7th letter of the alphabet. We put Mr. Birthday Sex to the test to see if the 21-year-old Def Jam signee is in fact the 7th letter of the alphabet, or just another typical crooner. A. Your birthday was last week. How many girls did you celebrate with? (laughs) It was only right that I kick it off the right way. I was actually out in Cali with my lil’ buddy from Chicago and she definitely took care of me for my birthday! But I had to get my paper up, so I did two shows on my birthday. Come on, Jeremih, you were in the land of milk and honey on your birthday and chose to import a chick from back home? No points for this one, homie. B. If you were in the boxing ring, what song would you come out to? That’d probably be the song I’m featured on with Fabolous called “It’s My Time.”That’s probably what I’d come out to; it’s something new and I’m on the hook. It’s one of those anthems that’s real triumphant. It’ll get you ready to take on anything. Jeremih could’ve picked a classic like Tupac’s “Ambitions As A Rider,” Twista’s “Adrenaline Rush,” or even Lil’ Scrappy’s “No Problems,” but instead went with a more personal track and plugged he and Loso’s new record along the way. That’s pretty gangsta C. Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met since becoming “a star”? Probably Rihanna. We actually went to dinner. It wasn’t a one-on-one type of dinner, but a lot of artists on Def Jam went 24 // OZONE MAG

out one night and I sat right between her and another labelmate of mine, Kristinia DeBarge. I was like “Damn, I’m sitting next to Rihanna!” She was too close for me not to try something, but it was one of those situations I wish I could re-live and say a little bit more than I did. It was kinda hard sitting between her and another beautiful girl like Kristinia DeBarge, but it was cool. I had a good time. Even though he didn’t pull Chris Brown’s ex, we’ll still award him points for trying. D. Have any of your ex-girlfriends tried to get back with you now that you’ve “made it”? The first time I actually heard my [“Birthday Sex”] record on the radio, I was in downtown Chicago on Michigan Ave, riding around with one of my exes. When it came on we both just looked at each other and smiled. It was crazy because I didn’t even know [the song] was gonna come on. Obviously she wants to hook back up now, but at this point, I just told her to move on. I’m not trying to go back in time. The only way Jeremih could’ve been more of a G’ in this situation is if he had pulled over as soon as the song went off and told his ex to “Beat it.” E. If you had to choose between a 1979 Caprice Classic or a 2010 BMW 760, which would you go with? I’d go with the Caprice. I actually just got a 1976 Pontiac Grandville, antique style. I’m thinking about starting a collection of old-schools and revamping ‘em. I don’t know


man, that 455 engine, there’s nothing like it. Most R&B singers probably don’t even know what a 455 is, so Jeremih gets credit for this response. F. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever stolen? Probably a mink coat, I ain’t gon’ lie. I was in Chicago on 95th and Western at Marshalls, and I gotta admit, I got caught. It was one of those dumb mistakes you make as a shorty; I ain’t perfect. I was young and thought I would get away with it. He’s definitely a G’ for stealing a mink coat, but from Marshalls? That had to be the most expensive item in the whole damn store; they probably put extra sensors on it and dedicated an entire security guard just to catch fools like Jeremih trying to run off with it. But regardless, we’ll give Young J a point, even if it was a fake mink. G. Would you rather eat filet mignon at a five-star restaurant or a t-bone at the strip club? (laughs) Open up her legs, then filet mignon that… but I’d probably go with the strip club, dawg. You gotta be a G’ to eat anything at the strip club. Score 6/7 Jeremih may look like a typical R&B singer, but surprisingly the Chicago native scores higher on the “Are You A G’” Chart than most would expect. His admission to mink thief, getting back at his ex, and dinner with Rihanna all solidify his G’ status. - Words by Eric Perrin

Hood Deeds WORDS By Eric Perrin // PHOTO BY TERRENCE TYSON Boston Celtics small forward Marquis Daniels carries the state of Florida on his back, literally. But even the immense and extremely detailed map of Florida tattooed across his entire back can’t compare to the charity work he’s done to benefit the children of his home state. Daniels, who was born in Orlando and played ball at local Edgewater High School, has been giving back to his community and donating his time and resources for years. Unlike many philanthropists, most of what he does hasn’t received heavy media attention. From sponsoring AAU basketball teams to organizing scholarship fundraisers for high school athletes, Marquis Daniels contributes much to the hood. “I’ve been doing things for the community for a minute now. I just never really did anything in the public eye,” says Marquis. “When I was growing up I didn’t get to see guys from the NBA or NFL come back and contribute to their communities. I’m in a good position now and I just want to help out as much as possible.” In one of his first organized events, Daniels was able to help out over 350 children. His “Marquis Daniels Charity for Children Weekend,” which lasted from July 17th-19th, consisted of 6 events, including a basketball tournament and a back-to-school drive co-sponsored by Wal-Mart. The weekend was organized through Daniels’ Q6 Foundation and was a massive success. Event Planner Christina Clark has been working with Daniels’ foundation since 2006 and has witnessed his generous spirit. “[Marquis] is one of the rare athletes that really gives back,” she stresses. “All the kids really gravitate to him, and he’s so special because he’s very touchable and real. He really cares about the city of Orlando. We didn’t have many sponsors for this event [this year], so he ended up paying for most of it out of his own pocket. That’s how much he cares.”

(above L-R): Young Jeezy & DJ Khaled @ Best of the Best in Miami, FL (Photo: Thaddaeus McAdams); Shawnna & Willy Northpole @ K 107 Summer Jam in Denver, CO; Keri Hilson & her mom @ the BET Awards in Los Angeles, CA (Photos: D-Ray)

01 // DJ Nasty, Ricky P, & Jimmie Rockstar @ Dragon Room (Orlando, FL) 02 // Memphitz & Mike Kyser @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island (Miami, FL) 03 // Gorilla Zoe, Willie of Y&W Limo, & Baydilla @ KNBA (Anchorage, AK) 04 // Julia Beverly & DJ Christion @ Skye Nightclub for JB’s Tampa Bday Bash (Tampa, FL) 05 // Dame Fame & Honest Bob @ The Room Ultra Lounge for OZONE Get Famous showcase (San Francisco, CA) 06 // Drumma Boy, Mistah FAB, & Rob G @ the Avalon (Los Angeles, CA) 07 // Inertia, Big Hood Boss, & Roccett @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 08 // Traxamillion & his son @ Rasputin’s for The Jacka’s “Tear Gas” in store (Berkeley, CA) 09 // Glasses Malone, T-Pain, & Baby on the set of Glasses Malone’s “Sun Come Up” video shoot (Miami, FL) 10 // Stevie J & crew @ Cameo for Headliner Marketing party (Miami, FL) 11 // Tonio & Cino @ Poetry for JB’s Vegas Bday party (Las Vegas, NV) 12 // Big Karl & Will Hustle @ Tupac’s Birthday Celebration (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Lady C, Aleshia Steele, & Sway @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 14 // Scoot of Dem HoodStarz & his sons @ Rasputin’s for The Jacka’s “Tear Gas” in store (Berkeley, CA) 15 // Krizz Kaliko, JT Quik, & Tech N9ne @ Hot 103 Summer Jam (Kansas City, MO) 16 // Nooch, Tavia, & Dame Fame @ The Room Ultra Lounge for OZONE Get Famous showcase (San Francisco, CA) 17 // Slick Rick & DJ Fresh @ Body Tap II (Kansas City, MO) 18 // Ric Ross & James Lopez @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island (Miami, FL) 19 // Roscoe Parrish & Ump @ EJ’s pool party (Miami, FL) Photo Credits: D-Ray (06,08,11,14); Edward Hall (07,13); J Lash (09,10,19); Julia Beverly (01,02,03,05,12,16,18); Luis Santana (04); Ms Rivercity (15,17)


YOUNG DRO & TINY Tiny: Hey Dro, what you doing? Dro: I’m in da studio wit LA. I got this fresh salamander polo on, wit the hat to match and a neon alligator belt with the stripes down the side. Boy, you should these sandals I got on, they straight black boy/white boy. Tiny: Oh, okay. What u doin’ at the studio? I’m at the club with Toya and I was thinkin about u… Dro: You thinkin about me? Well shit I don’t blame you. I’d be thinkin about me too if I wasn’t me. I’m the best thang smoking.’I got on all this damn polo. P.O.L.O. spell Young Dro. Polo to da Flo!!! Polo Dro!! I walk by niggas and make em tuck they shirt in. Tiny: Dro, you so silly. Dro: Ain’t I? Lol! Tiny: I was thinkin bout getting dropped off at the studio when we leave the club. How long you gon’ be there? Dro: This nigga Young Leland Austin, wit’ his bitch ass can’t get his damn verse right, so we probably gon’ be here all night. Tiny: Okay, well call me when he leaves. I’m gonna have Toya drop me off over there. Dro: I think this nigga Leland got on a flea market polo shirt.. He can’t be doing that shit representing Grand Hustle the wrong way. He ain’t really horsing around like POLO DRO. We on different EARTHES. Tiny: Dro, I’ve been so lonely without Tip and I’ve been thinkin bout you so much. I’m really feelin’ yo swag.

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

Dro: This here black boy swag, white boy tags. Me and Ralph Lauren and is tight like you and Toya. Toya got a fat ass. She single? Tiny: Toya still in love wit Wayne. But I know a friend of hers that might be available, her man’s in jail for a year and day. Dro: Aw shit, what’s her name? Tiny: Her real name is Tameka, you might know her. Dro: Tameka? I don’t know no bitch named Tameka. What she look like? Tiny: She real cute. She light skinneded, got long hair, angel eyes and a baby face. But she a freak though. And I think she used to be in a R&B group. U know who I’m talkin about yet? Dro: Naw, hell naw. But I’m still fuckin wit Fantasia and she don’t play that shit. We should hook yo friend Tameka up wit Yung Leland. That boy need a girl. Tiny: Whatever Dro! Don’t nobody want no Yung La. Call me when you decide to stop bullshitting! From the minds of Eric Perrin & Randy Roper Photos by Julia Beverly


(above L-R): Ron Artest & Mistah FAB @ the Avalon in Los Angeles, CA (Photo: D-Ray); Vince Young, Young Jeezy, & Fabolous @ Gansevoort Pool Party in Miami, FL (Photo: Thaddaeus McAdams); Julia Beverly @ Mardi Gras for OZONE 7 Year Anniversary party in Jackson, MS (Photo: Julia Beverly)

01 // John Costen, Tuma Basa, & Dr Teeth @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 02 // Nooch & Bueno @ The Room Ultra Lounge for OZONE Get Famous showcase (San Francisco, CA) 03 // Sam Sneak & DJ Nasty @ Take One Lounge (Miami, FL) 04 // Young Jeezy & Tracy Morgan @ Hot 97 Summer Jam (New York, NY) 05 // Gangsta Brown, Chu, & Too Short @ the Palms for Too Short & DJ Franzen’s private TV show launch party (Las Vegas, NV) 06 // Tyrese, TI, & Tiny @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island (Miami, FL) 07 // Big Von, Julia Beverly, & Drew Hef @ KMEL (San Francisco, CA) 08 // Bullets for Peace models @ the Eden Roc for Santana Moss’s 30th birthday party (Miami, FL) 09 // Gorilla Zoe, Big Hood Boss, & Tum Tum @ Dub Car Show (Dallas, TX) 10 // DJ Merk & Blockboi @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 11 // Charlie Brown, Sam Sneak, & DJ Freddy Fred on South Beach during Memorial Day weekend (Miami, FL) 12 // Young Capone & Justice League @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 13 // Guest & Bigface Mike @ Mardi Gras for OZONE 7 Year Anniversary party (Jackson, MS) 14 // DJ Troyboy & guest @ Club Elixir (Anchorage, AK) 15 // Malik Abdul, Julia Beverly, & Bigga Rankin @ Rain for JB’s Jacksonville Bday Bash (Jacksonville, FL) 16 // The Jacka & fan @ Rasputin’s for The Jacka’s “Tear Gas” in store (Berkeley, CA) 17 // D Woods, Malachi, & Mika Means @ Tupac’s Birthday Celebration (Atlanta, GA) 18 // Dru Down & Shorty Mack @ Poetry for JB’s Vegas Bday party (Las Vegas, NV) 19 // Klarc Shepard & Bigga Rankin (Gainesville, FL) Photo Credits: D-Ray (05,16,18); J Lash (03,08); Julia Beverly (01,02,06,07,13,14,17); Ms Rivercity (09,10,11,12); Terrence Tyson (15,19); Thaddaeus McAdams (04)


New Orleans Native Diva was forced to leave her hometown because of Hurricane Katrina, but three years later she’s still getting rained on. The 21-year-old dancer with the devastating figure first escaped to Houston, where she commenced her strip club career, but recently relocated to Atlanta where she admits the money is better and the experiences are more exciting. Before her dancing days, the Crescent City cutie was raised by a strict mother who didn’t let her get out much. She later worked at the airport and in various retail jobs as a cashier, but all that changed after the storm. After moving to Houston, there weren’t many jobs available, so Diva did what she had to do. “Everybody tries to put all dancers in the same category, as whores, and it’s really not like that at all,” she says. “I don’t like to be looked down upon, so that’s the worst thing about this job. But overall, I like being a dancer.” Although her name sounds somewhat cliché, Diva claims she chose her alias long before it was defined as the “female version of a hustler.” “I had the name since 2006, before Beyonce came out with the song, and I think it really describes how I carry myself,” says Diva, in a Nawlins accent thicker than her 34-24-38 measurements. “I have a lot of confidence.” She’s also confident in her bisexuality, which she is claims is real and not made-for-TV. “’I’ve been single for two years now, and that’s because I can’t pick between guys and girls,” she says. “I like men that are cocky, but not too cocky, and know how to treat a lady, but I love sexy and fine ass girls as long as they aren’t loud or ghetto.” But if Diva sticks to her plan, she’ll have to conceal her bisexual statements for a while. She plans on enlisting in the military concluding her pole profession and either join the Army or the Navy. “The Air Force wouldn’t take me because of my tattoos,” she says, “and the Marines is just not an option.” Either way, Diva will certainly be using her uniform as a recruitment tool, luring unsuspecting men and women to the desert. Words by Eric Perrin Website: Strokersclub.com Booking: myspace.com/strokersatl Photography: DC The Brain Supreme dcphotoimaging.com Make up and Hair Styling by Mike Mike 678-732-5285


(above L-R): Dame Fame, Keak da Sneak, & John Costen @ The Room Ultra Lounge for OZONE Get Famous showcase in San Francisco, CA; Reggie Bush & Ciara @ Area for BET Awards afterparty in Hollywood, CA; Trae & Sean Kingston @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty in Los Angeles, CA (Photos: Julia Beverly)

01 // Nick Ngo & The Jacka @ Rasputin’s for The Jacka’s “Tear Gas” in store (Berkeley, CA) 02 // Young Dro, Jason Geter, & Amir Boyd @ Tupac’s Birthday Celebration (Atlanta, GA) 03 // Slim Thug, Gotti, & guest @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 04 // Lucci & Mr Pookie @ K104 (Dallas, TX) 05 // Dorrough & Dee Sonoram on the red carpet @ the BET Awards (Los Angeles, CA) 06 // Keak da Sneak & Kafani @ The Room Ultra Lounge for OZONE Get Famous showcase (San Francisco, CA) 07 // Guest, Mistah FAB, & Philly @ the Avalon (Los Angeles, CA) 08 // JW & Trae on South Beach during Memorial Day weekend (Miami, FL) 09 // Huey giving JB a foot massage @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 10 // Ray J, Kuzzo Fly, & Dru Down @ Poetry for JB’s Vegas Bday party (Las Vegas, NV) 11 // Aziatikk Blakk & Bigg V @ Mardi Gras for OZONE 7 Year Anniversary party (Jackson, MS) 12 // Shamrock & Elle @ Foot Locker (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Steve Raze & Troublesum @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 14 // DJ Backside, DJ Nik Bean, & DJ Mike Smoove @ AllHipHop Mansion Party (Los Angeles, CA) 15 // The Jacka, Gary Archer, & DJ Tito Bell @ The Jacka’s “Tear Gas” album release party (San Francisco, CA) 16 // GS Boyz @ Phillips Arena for Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 17 // Unladylike @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 18 // DJ Fahrenheit & Swizz Beatz @ Hot 97 Summer Jam (New York, NY) 19 // Bigg V & B Wash @ Mardi Gras for OZONE 7 Year Anniversary party (Jackson, MS) 20 // DJ Princess Cut, DJ Ben, & Tex @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) Photo Credits: D-Ray (01,05,07,10,14,15); Edward Hall (04,20); Julia Beverly (02,03,06,09,11,16,17,19); Ms Rivercity (12,13); Thaddaeus McAdams (08,18)


DJ BOOTH DJ Whoo Kid Interview by Ms. Rivercity

While some people consider “going Hollywood” to be negative, DJ Whoo Kid has capitalized on the realm of bright lights and super celebrities and turned it into a lucrative living. Not a conventional DJ, Whoo Kid took his mixtape entrepreneurship to a whole new level by enlisting A-list hosts, branching into television and films, and bridging the gap between Hip Hop and Hollywood. In the midst of marketing his entertainment website RadioPlanet.tv, DJ Whoo Kid explains how went from being virtually nameless to sharing marquees with top ranked musicians, sports players, and movie stars. Tell me about the latest projects you’ve been working on. I’ve been working on my site RadioPlanet.tv. I’ve been doing a lot of creative interviews, projects, events. All the interviews on the site are hilarious. I just got tired of going to other people’s sites and it being the same stuff from everybody else’s sites. I wanted to create my own fan base. The site’s only been up for a few months and it gets a lot of hits a month. How did you get the site poppin’ so fast? Well you know, Em is my boy, and 50 is my boy, and I have my radio show Hollywood Saturdays. All these Hollywood stars call my show anyway, and some of them are so cool I can get personal with them. They allow me to fly to L.A. and go to their homes and do stupid, funny shit. I learned from being creative back in the day with mixtapes. Back in those days, in the East coast, nobody gave a fuck about the South, but I wanted my mixtapes to be bootlegged down there so I would fly down there

and get music from Juvenile, T.I., Trick Daddy. I’d come back and I’d have a mixtape with mixed content. It’s like the mixtape I just did with Shaq and Scream, it’s all mixed content. I’ve been having a lot of different hosting from Hollywood people. I already got with Lamar Odom and Lebron James. I wouldn’t mind doing something with Kobe. Has the recession affected your business at all? Of course. The days of trying to get it in the streets are over, but it balances out. I’d rather have 200,000 free downloads than sell a few thousand CDs, because now there’s an awareness of what I do and now I’m booked relentlessly, everywhere. Every country is downloading me. They don’t give a fuck about bootlegging in those places. So you think the internet downloading of music has been a positive thing? It’s a negative thing for the ignorant DJ that just wants to make a certain amount of money a month and think he’s rich. It’s positive if you wanna be known all over the planet and build other situations to make money off of. It’s hard to get in a position like that, but it works for me. You’ve seen experienced a lot of the game over the years. What’s the experience been like? It’s been 15 years or something like that. The experience has been overwhelming. You’d never think a mixtape DJ would go so far. It not only led me to going almost everywhere on this planet, it led me to working with incredible people like Eminem and Dre. I’ve met everyone from Snoop Dogg to Bill Cosby to Nelson Mandela. It got me on radio and TV; it got me in movies. I’ve done voiceovers for cartoons and video games. I’ve produced songs and done historical shit. I’ve hung out with princes and DJed for terrorists. I DJed for Khadafi’s birthday party, I mean, c’mon man. They had balloons and everything. (laughs) The only place I haven’t been on this planet is Egypt, only because they don’t give a fuck about Hip Hop. All they care about is

techno. I’m gonna have to act like I’m a techno DJ to sneak up in there. But I’ve kinda done it all. How do you feel about being skilled in the actual art of DJing? You’re more of a mixtape DJ and personality than a technical DJ. I’m not a traditional DJ, I don’t cut and scratch and all that. I’d rather just cut the checks. I did my research on the area of cutting and scratching and it’s just a bunch of fucking weirdos that like that shit. It’s a male society. If you go to those events it’s just a bunch of dudes. I’d rather do a party for Kim Kardashian or Shaq’s birthday party. That’s where you’ll see me. Not only do those DJs get paid more, but they get more popularity. I mean, what am I gonna win? A fuckin’ trophy or a ribbon? I have respect for those people, but that’s not who I wanna be. Is there anything else that you want to accomplish after all you’ve done? Or any artists you’d want to tour with? Nah, I ain’t DJing for nobody else after 50. I’ve toured 300 countries with him. We’ve done like every club in America. A lot of people don’t know that I DJed for Juvenile. He was the first artist I ever DJed for and he’s the first one to show me what a tour is. That was back when he had “Back that Ass Up.” That was like 10 years ago, so I met everybody before they blew up. I have video of T.I. before he was anybody. I DJed for Lil Wayne when he was 15 or 16. The lil muthafucka came to an adult club with a bunch of little kids. What did you learn going on your first tour? Juvenile introduced me to the replay. He didn’t have a DJ at the time, he had a big fat uncle in the back pushing a button on the replay. A lot of people didn’t know what a replay was. That’s what I use today when I do concerts. 50 Cent is a gangsta rapper, so why would I be cuttin’ and scratchin’ [during his show]? He’s not Talib Kweli. Prior to DJing for Juvenile which led to the 50 Cent situation, you were just trying to get the mixtapes off the ground? What was your goal? Yeah, I was stealing people’s music. They called me Whoo Kid ‘cause they didn’t know who this kid was that was robbing people for exclusives. I had everybody trying to kill me. Even Nore wanted to kill me and I ended up being his DJ. But if you had music that was unfinished and you put it out, that was the hit back in the days. How were you able to get the exclusive music back then, especially when nobody knew who you were at that time? The A&Rs. You gotta understand, A&Rs and interns were not getting paid at labels back then. I’d pay A&Rs – shout out to beautiful magazines like this one, who’d get the snippet album before it came out. One verse is good enough for me to sell a mixtape. So I’d go to Source Magazine and a couple other magazines and pay the reviewers. What else do you have in the works? Another thing I’m doing is free QuikVids for established artists. I did “I Got Mojo” for Soulja Boy. We did Gucci Mane’s “Bitch I’m Back.” They’re like one-verse videos I do with Dan the Man. They’ve got a lot of replay value ‘cause they’re so short, and they’re hot. You can check out all the QuikVids on RadioPlanet.tv. What’s the best way for people to reach out to you if they want to work? If you want marketing, or to send me music, or hire my services, you can reach me at djwhookidmp3@gmail.com. //


(above L-R): Paul Wall & his wife on the red carpet @ the BET Awards in Los Angeles, CA; Clyde Carson, Julia Beverly, & Ray J @ Poetry for JB’s Vegas Bday party in Las Vegas, NV (Photos: D-Ray); Tigger & Shawne Merriman @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty in Los Angeles, CA (Photo: Julia Beverly)

01 // Gaby Acevedo & Shawn ‘Peckas’ Costner @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 02 // Man @ Large, Gorilla Zoe, & Baydilla @ KFAT (Anchorage, AK) 03 // Soulja Boy & Kerisha Smith @ Studio 72 for OZONE’s Birthday Bash afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 04 // The Jacka signing autographs @ Rasputin’s for The Jacka’s “Tear Gas” in store (Berkeley, CA) 05 // Kuzzo Fly & Cellski @ Poetry for JB’s Vegas Bday party (Las Vegas, NV) 06 // Rick Ross with Tech N9ne & his son @ Hot 103 Summer Jam (Kansas City, MO) 07 // Lil Fate & T-Pain @ K 107 Summer Jam (Denver, CO) 08 // Too Short & ladies @ the Palms for Too Short & DJ Franzen’s private TV show launch party (Las Vegas, NV) 09 // Ray J, Julia Beverly, Dre Dae, & DJ Franzen @ Poetry for JB’s Vegas Bday Bash (Las Vegas, NV) 10 // BH & Gangsta Brown @ the Palms for Too Short & DJ Franzen’s private TV show launch party (Las Vegas, NV) 11 // V12, DJ Drama, & Drumma Boy @ DJ Drama’s album listening session (Atlanta, GA) 12 // Tonya Terelle & Skyy @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 13 // Bow Wow & Lil C @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island (Miami, FL) 14 // Mob Boss & Papa Duck @ Rain for JB’s Jacksonville Bday Bash (Jacksonville, FL) 15 // DJ Princess Cut & Tony Neal @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 16 // Julia Beverly & Miami Mike @ Club Bash for JB’s Denver Bday Bash (Denver, CO) 17 // Chris J & Supastar J Kwik @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 18 // Shawn Peckas & Tru Life @ Cameo for Headliner Marketing party (Miami, FL) 19 // Haitian Fresh & ladies @ the Bayfront Ampitheatre for Haitian Festival (Miami, FL) Photo Credits: D-Ray (04,05,08,09,10,16); Edward Hall (12,15); J Lash (18,19)Julia Beverly (01,03,07,13); Ms Rivercity (06,11,17); Terrence Tyson (14)


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


he DJ issue always tends to show us that DJs have some of the BIGGEST EGOS. Why should have to chase a DJ to do an interview? Wouldn’t you think they would want the free promotion? I tend to dislike some DJs a little during the time it takes to put this issue together. That’s an odd feeling for me, cause I am usually a believer in the DJs. I lived with one of the best DJs, one of the few Big Dawg Pitbull DJs, my brother Jazzy Jim! He always made time for an interview. He knew that taking the time to do interviews would make him that much more popular. He knew how to turn the popularity and skills into MONEY. DJs play the biggest role in the industry, hands down. The most important piece to breaking music is the DJ. The DJ relies on his reputation and respect. So, depending on the popularity and respect each DJ gets, they can help make or break music all day, every day! Being a DJ is a very tough job. I always wanted to be a DJ, you know, the life of the party. I’m glad I chose another career. Instead of starting the parties, I capture them for everyone’s memories. I feel like I have to deal with a lot of nonsense, being a photographer and the editor of OZONE’s West Coast coverage. But as a DJ, it gets worse. You’ve got every level of artist that has no kind of business savvy running their mouth about being the BEST or the HOTTEST! Haven’t you been told, “If your music speaks for itself, don’t interrupt!” If you feel like a DJ isn’t supporting you the way they should, reflect on your interaction with them. I know I said DJs have EGOs, but their egos are nothing compared to that cocky artist who is claiming to be the greatest in the world without any evidence. No fans, no hits, no sales, and no money! So check your ego before you wreck yourself with some very important relationships that are needed to make you into that artist you already claim to be. Good music is good music, period! It’s undeniable. In the same way, you need to make your movement undeniable. If you’re really the hottest thing in the streets and everyone loves your song, you wouldn’t have to talk about it as much. The people would demand it. Shouts out to D-Lo from Oakland with the song “No Hoe!” It’s a smash that started in his bedroom, neighborhood, and high school, and now it’s on radio stations across the country. If DJs are sleeping on you, guess what? It’s your job to wake them up! The great DJs act on hits, but the sad thing is that most DJs only react to the same hits. Who is breaking the records? I often go to clubs and events and am blown away by how much the club sounds just like the radio. I

Roccett & me at the Avalon in L.A.

Me & T-Pain’s Big Ass Chain in Denver

Mack 10 f/ Rick Ross & Lil Wayne “So Sharp” Mistah FAB “Hit Me On Twitter” Damani f/ Musiq Soulchild “I’m Ballin’” Traxamillion f/ Jayrock & Laroo “Lights Go Down” The Jacka f/ Andre Nickatina “Glamorous Lifestyle” Balance f/ Jimmie Reign, Big Rich, & The Jacka “Can’t Go” Bishop Lamont f/ Sugafree, Butch Cassidy, Bokey, & Chevy Jones “Nothing Could Be Better”


thought it was supposed to be the other way around? I thought the club DJ was supposed to break the record and build the buzz so the artist could take it to radio. Now DJs at clubs act like they can’t play anything that isn’t already a radio hit. Well, you’ll never know if you don’t play it. Because of my career, I spend a lot of time in the club, so I hear a lot of DJs spin. Some know how to build that crowd up to where they just can’t take any more, while others mess up the mood or vibe by clearing the floor with the wrong record at the wrong time. There’s a right way and a wrong way to play a new song in the club. Can they see what I see? It makes me wonder if they need glasses, cause I need earplugs! Attention all DJs: we need you to keep breaking records. Be the leaders and the trendsetters. There’s a lot of good music coming from the West Coast, ready to bring us back. We have some great talent out here, like Mistah FAB, Roccett, Jay Rock, Problem, Glasses Malone, Bad Lucc, Husalah, Tha Jacka, Crooked I, Nipsey Hussle, Damani, Nio Tha Gift, J Diggs, D Lo, Dem Hoodstarz, and so many more. I could go on and on listing the new breed, not to mention the OGs that have been holding down the West Coast forever! Special shout out to DJ Quik & Kurupt for dropping a banging new album, Blaq Out. I see you hipsters! FIRE! Yes, the West is on FIRE! DJs, please take the time to listen to and break some new music. I know how hard it is to listen sometimes, but we as an industry depend on you to do just that; otherwise, no one is breaking records. You chose this career for yourself, so please get the passion back and love your job. You set the party mode through your speakers; we rely on you for that. Don’t be afraid to test new music in the club, especially if the artist is in the building. This is the perfect chance for an artist to show you when they have a hit record. It’s now visual no longer speculation. Then it’s not personal when you don’t play it or do play it. Words aren’t always heard, but the visual is undeniable! If all else fails, if you put that new song on and the dance floor clears, play a Michael Jackson record and that’s guaranteed to bring the life back to your party! Everyone is an artist today. There are no fans anymore. Let’s be honest with ourselves. If this is your passion, run with it. But if it’s a hobby, keep it in your hood! You’re stopping real passion and talent from being heard. Believe that! Artists, do your part, and DJs, do yours. No need to stress if an artist stays in your face telling you, “YO, PLAY MY SONG! I’M NEXT TO BLOW!” If you don’t have a fan base, save the GAS! Keep it movin’! - D-Ray, OZONE West Editor-At-Large dray@ozonemag.com

Rico Tha Kid & me in East Oakland

Husalah is free!



Kurupt f/ Problem “I’m Burnt” Husalah “Pray 4 U” U-N-I “Land of the Kings”

(above L-R): Mario & Hurricane Chris @ Phillips Arena for Birthday Bash in Atlanta, GA; TI, Tiny, & Killer Mike @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island in Miami, FL; Bun B & Moby Dick @ Tupac’s Birthday Celebration in Atlanta, GA (Photos: Julia Beverly)

01 // Gorilla Zoe & Scoe @ Club Elixir (Anchorage, AK) 02 // Roccett, Chamillionaire, & Rick Edwards @ the Avalon (Los Angeles, CA) 03 // Dorrough & Ms Rivercity @ Hot 103 Summer Jam (Kansas City, MO) 04 // Willy Northpole & Mr Hit that Hoe @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 05 // DJ Quik, Kurupt, & kids on the set of DJ Quik & Kurupt’s “Bees To The Flowers” video shoot (Los Angeles, CA) 06 // T-Pain gets ready to play ball @ K 107 Summer Jam (Denver, CO) 07 // Ivory Orr & Idris Elba @ Bourbon St (Jacksonville, FL) 08 // Shorty Mack & Ray J @ Poetry for JB’s Vegas Bday party (Las Vegas, NV) 09 // Bow Wow, Soulja Boy, & Sean Kingston @ K 107 Summer Jam (Denver, CO) 10 // Julia Beverly, Ludacris, & D-Ray @ K 107 Summer Jam (Denver, CO) 11 // Kwasi Kwa, Slim Thug, Benz, guest, & Kool Aid @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 12 // DJ Pizo & DJ B-Easy @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 13 // Cole & Papa Duck @ Rain for JB’s Jacksonville Bday Bash (Jacksonville, FL) 14 // Doughski G, Willy Northpole, & DJ Drop @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 15 // Pimp G & DJ Fubu @ Studio 72 for OZONE’s Birthday Bash afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 16 // Gabriel Hart, Janee Bolden, & guest @ Tupac’s Birthday Celebration (Atlanta, GA) 17 // Showcase winner Tavia & friends @ The Room Ultra Lounge for OZONE Get Famous showcase (San Francisco, CA) 18 // Young Jeezy & Tru Life @ Gansevoort Pool Party (Miami, FL) 19 // OJ da Juiceman & Cash @ Club Flow (Dallas, TX) 20 // Stephen Hill & James Cruz @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) Photo Credits: D-Ray (02,05,06,08,10,12); Julia Beverly (01,09,11,16,17,20); Keith the Beast (15); Ms Rivercity (03,04,14,19); Terrence Tyson (07,13); Thaddaeus McAdams (18)


Texas rapper Twisted Black was hyped by his label TV T Records as the originator of “cocaine rap,� but according to the Feds, he was doing more than just rapping about the drug. Charged with conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, Twisted Black emphatically proclaimed his innocent but was still sentenced to 30 years. Now appealing the sentence, he describes the alleged set-up: For Prison Diary submissions contact RapCoalition@aol.com


(above L-R): Bigga Rankin & Lil Boosie in Gainesville, FL (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Soulja Boy remembering Michael Jackson on the red carpet @ the BET Awards in Los Angeles, CA; MC Hammer & Mistah FAB @ Mistah FAB’s “Hit Me On Twitter” video shoot in East Oakland, CA (Photos: D-Ray)

01 // DJ KTone, DJ Jus, DJ Kelo, & DJ Fubu @ K 107 Summer Jam (Denver, CO) 02 // Ron Stewart & Jimmy Henchmen @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island (Miami, FL) 03 // Chris J & BallGreezy @ Club Dolce (Miami, FL) 04 // Mike Kyser & Ted Lucas @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island (Miami, FL) 05 // Enew, Huey, & Ron Stewart @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 06 // Slick Rick & Black Walt @ Body Tap II (Kansas City, MO) 07 // Willy Northpole & Ludacris @ K 107 Summer Jam (Denver, CO) 08 // Julia Beverly, Tom G, Buckwheat, & Pretty Ricky @ Wild 98.7 (Tampa, FL) 09 // Vee & Too Short @ Area for BET Awards afterparty (Hollywood, CA) 10 // Pimp G & Keith the Beast @ Studio 72 for OZONE’s Birthday Bash afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Big Teach & Yo Gotti on the set of Birdman & Lil Wayne’s “Stay Strapped” video shoot @ Karu & Y (Miami, FL) 12 // 8Ball, Mike Epps, & MJG @ Tupac’s Birthday Celebration (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Bigg V & Southpaw @ Mardi Gras for OZONE 7 Year Anniversary party (Jackson, MS) 14 // Benz & Wild Wayne @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 15 // J Diggs, Julia Beverly, & Kilo @ Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles (Los Angeles, CA) 16 // T-Pain & Johnny Kage @ K 107 Summer Jam (Denver, CO) 17 // Out da Cutt ladies @ Club Elixir (Anchorage, AK) 18 // Osiris & Roccett @ the Avalon (Los Angeles, CA) 19 // Guest & Big Kuntry @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island (Miami, FL) Photo Credits: D-Ray (01,07,15,16,18); J Lash (11); Julia Beverly (02,04,05,08,09,10,12,13,14,17,19); Ms Rivercity (06); Terrence Tyson (03)


Patiently Waiting


any have had big city dreams of moving to the Big Apple and becoming a star. But more often than not, chasing a dream in NYC turns into driving taxis for a living. Fortunately for rapper/producer J. Cole, the first artist signed to Jay-Z’s new record label Roc Nation, taxicab confessions won’t be his fate. Born Jermaine Cole and raised by his mother in a single-parent home in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the future MC was introduced to rhyming at the age of 12 by his cousin who was visiting from Louisiana for the summer. “[My cousin] used to freestyle, and I’d try to rap too, like ‘Yo, how you do that?’” he recalls. “When I first started, I was doing No Limit raps. It didn’t take me long after he left to get into other shit. I got real heavy into Canibus, and then Eminem came along. I went from Master P to Eminem. I just kept molding my style based on [the artists] I was into.” He soon convinced his mother to purchase a beat machine, and learned the skill of producing. “I begged my mom to get me a beat machine, and she finally got it for me after months and months of begging,” he says. “That’s how I started out making beats. Since I was 15, I’ve been producing for myself.” After graduating from high school, he accepted a full academic scholarship to St. Johns University, mainly to pursue his rap career within the city that never sleeps. “I went to a school I never visited before,” he says. “I just applied and showed up.” Cole never planned to finish college, believing his musical abilities would lead to a record deal in no time, but the aspiring MC quickly learned that pipe dreams don’t happen overnight. He went on to spend four years at St. Johns, graduating magna cum laude, while continuing to develop his music. Soon after graduation, in 2007, he released his debut mixtape The Come Up with DJ On Point. Although it didn’t set the streets ablaze, he received positive feedback from many listeners. While in the process of completing his follow-up mixtape The Warm Up, J. Cole’s music wound up in the hands of Jay-Z, who heard the song “Lights Please” and signed Cole to Roc Nation in 2008. Cole’s signing with a rap legend, rave reviews that followed the release of The Warm Up (which was released online on June 14th, 2009), and a vital internet presence has many anticipating the release of J. Cole’s yet-to-be-titled debut album and mentioning his name amongst the game’s hottest newcomers. “My goal is to put out a classic album on the level with some of the greatest first albums that ever came [out],” he says. “Having a very long career of quality albums and consistent hits; those are my goals.” Words by Randy Roper Photo by Rahan Cotterel


(above L-R): Nipsey Hussle & Chamillionaire on the red carpet @ the BET Awards in Los Angeles, CA; Three 6 Mafia on the red carpet @ the BET Awards in Los Angeles, CA (Photos: D-Ray); Cassie & Diddy @ Justin’s for The CORE DJs Bad Boy event in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly)

01 // T-Pain & his jeweler Mo of Icebox @ K 107 Summer Jam (Denver, CO) 02 // Girl, Rick Ross, & Shawn Costner @ Cameo for Headliner Marketing party (Miami, FL) 03 // Willy Northpole, Soulja Boy, & Arab @ K 107 Summer Jam (Denver, CO) 04 // Roccett & Octavia Bostick @ AllHipHop Mansion Party (Los Angeles, CA) 05 // Papa Duck & Spark Dawg on South Beach during Memorial Day weekend (Miami, FL) 06 // Mitchelle’l, JR Get Money, Young Dro, Lil C, Killer Mike, & Bow Wow @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island (Miami, FL) 07 // Spark Dawg & Dorrough @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 08 // Brisco & Billy Blue @ Cameo for Brisco’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 09 // Young Jeezy, Boo da Boss Playa, JW, DJ Khaled, & Rick Ross @ Club Cinema for JW’s CTE signing party (Pompano Beach, FL) 10 // Furious & DJ Impereal @ The Jacka’s “Tear Gas” album release party (San Francisco, CA) 11 // Que P, DJ Lil E, & Sway @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 12 // Cole, Terrence Tyson, & Julia Beverly @ Rain for JB’s Jacksonville Bday Bash (Jacksonville, FL) 13 // Lil Chuckee & Kadife @ Phillips Arena for Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 14 // DJ Nasty, Uncle Luke, DJ Epps, & DJ Ice T @ Cameo for Headliner Marketing party (Miami, FL) 15 // Danja & Kenneth Crear @ Area for BET Awards afterparty (Hollywood, CA) 16 // Janky John, guest, Boo da Boss Playa, & CTE crew @ Gansevoort Pool Party (Miami, FL) 17 // Spark Dawg, Fat Pimp, & OJ da Juiceman @ Club Flow (Dallas, TX) 18 // Shonie & Ted Lucas @ Cameo for Brisco’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 19 // Kevin Liles & Young Jeezy @ Hot 97 Summer Jam (New York, NY) Photo Credits: D-Ray (03,04,10); Edward Hall (11); J Lash (02,08,14,18); Julia Beverly (01,06,13,15); Ms Rivercity (05,07,17); Terrence Tyson (09,12); Thaddaeus McAdams (16,19)


Patiently Waiting


n today’s music industry, it’s virtually unheard of to sign a major deal without a song already in rotation on the radio. But for Alley Boy, a well-respected rapper in East Atlanta, a bidding war between labels didn’t impress him, even with no single in rotation.

“I had [an offer] from Def Jam and I flew to New York,” Alley explains. “But what they were tryin’ to give us for the [deal], we already got that in jewelry. And then they wanted parts of my publishing. All in all, it wasn’t right.” Alley came back to Atlanta without finalizing paperwork with Def Jam, only to fly right back the next day after receiving a call from Atlantic. “They put up more [money]. They wanted it more, and ended up giving us a 50/50 joint venture.” Because Atlantic didn’t sign Alley’s entire label, Duct Tape Entertainment, Alley and the label’s CEO Big Bank Black are still able to brand their independent business venture. Big Bank Black, known for his popular hit “Try It Out,” is responsible for keeping Alley Boy’s name relevant in the streets, even when Alley was serving prison time. Due to his high demand, Alley inked a deal less than a month after his release from jail. “We were mashin’ hard. I had dropped the song ‘Look at My Charm,’ and right before Gucci got locked up he dropped a verse on it,” Alley says. “We were holding the song, and I got locked up a month after him, so we just put it out. Then my brother dropped ‘Try It Out’ and shit took flight. They were reppin’ me hard.”


Through hard work and some well-timed collabos with his affiliate Gucci Mane, Alley was introduced to a lot of listeners that took to his sharp lyricism. “Niggas know that I can spit,” he says. “I ain’t no dummy. I ain’t tryin’ to swag my way in. People feel better about dealing with some authentic shit.” When it comes to gimmicks and one-hits, Alley Boy has strong opinions and it’s obvious he doesn’t plan to take that route. “Everything I got, we fought for. This ain’t a fad, I ain’t on no futuristic shit. I’m just here to stand for real niggas.” In telling his story, one that involves growing up with parents addicted to drugs and fighting to stay out of jail, Alley Boy found an angle that people could relate to. While doing so, he also caught the attention of the powers that be with his natural gift. “People respect the flow. A lot of these dudes get a quick deal when they got a little song on the radio, I ain’t got no shit like that. They just fuckin’ with me.” At this point, Alley Boy is focused on putting in work for Atlantic Records, and coming up with new music for future projects. He recently recorded “I’ma Smash It” with Gucci Mane, produced by Drumma Boy. Whether or not “I’ma Smash It” makes it to Billboard is yet to be determined, but there’s no doubt that Alley Boy will have plenty more smashes on deck. “This ain’t just trendy and catchy what I’m doing,” he asserts. “I’m tryin’ to push all these trendy niggas out of the way. I know this shit I’m doing ain’t gon’ never play out ‘cause it’s real.” Words by Ms Rivercity // Photo by Ms Ja

(above L-R): Redd Eyezz & Plies @ Club Dolce in Miami, FL (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Diddy & Young Jeezy @ Best of the Best in Miami, FL (Photo: Thaddaeus McAdams); Big Hood Boss & Dorrough @ Texas Urban Music Summit in Dallas, TX (Photo: Ms Rivercity)

01 // TayDizm, Young Cash, T-Pain, guest, & Glasses Malone on the set of Glasses Malone’s “Sun Come Up” video shoot (Miami, FL) 02 // Guest, Nipsey Hussle, Roccett, & guests on the set of Roccett’s “Bang” video shoot (Los Angeles, CA) 03 // Lil Bankhead & Soulja Boy @ Studio 72 for OZONE’s Birthday Bash afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Young Jeezy & Janky John @ Gansevoort Pool Party (Miami, FL) 05 // Guest, JW, & Young Jeezy @ Gansevoort Pool Party (Miami, FL) 06 // Roccett & Big Hood Boss @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 07 // T-Pain & Ludacris @ K 107 Summer Jam (Denver, CO) 08 // DJ Khaled & Rick Ross @ Take One Lounge (Miami, FL) 09 // E-40, Cousin Fik, & Droop-E @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 10 // Rated R & Lenny @ Dragon Room (Orlando, FL) 11 // Averi Minor, guest, & DJ Commando @ the W Hotel for the CORE DJs Retreat’s Def Jam Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 12 // Paco, guest, & Mr Boomtown @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 13 // Shonie & Sam Sneak @ Take One Lounge (Miami, FL) 14 // Ace Hood & Kiko @ Cameo for Headliner Marketing party (Miami, FL) 15 // Kenny Diamondz & Dorrough @ Hot 103 Summer Jam (Kansas City, MO) 16 // C Bone & Big Boi @ Phillips Arena for Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 17 // Lil Shawn & guest @ UCF Arena for DJ Prostyle’s birthday bash (Orlando, FL) 18 // Big Hood Boss, Soulja Boy, & DJ Fubu @ Studio 72 for OZONE’s Birthday Bash afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 19 // Models Brittney & Alondus @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) Photo Credits: D-Ray (02,07,09); Edward Hall (19); J Lash (01,08,13,14); Julia Beverly (03,10,11,16,18); Malik Abdul (17); Ms Rivercity (06,12,15); Thaddaeus McAdams (04,05)


Patiently Waiting

a mixtape entitled The Bailout, which incited the group’s outcry. And later, their breakout single “Boi,” a Lil Wayne “A Milli” influenced song (that would later feature Gucci Mane and Mike Jones), sparked these problem kids’ movement throughout Texas. “I was listening to the ‘A Milli’ a cappella, and I heard Lil Wayne say, ‘boy, I got so many bitches, like I’m Mike Lowery,’” says Chyco, who produced the single. “I did a remake of it, and we did a Southside H-Town flow on it, kind of to pay homage to the O.G.’s. But we got so much love off the song, we gave it to the DJs and it started picking up.”


ouston, we have a problem. And this problem has nothing to do with Yao Ming’s bad foot or Trae Tha Truth sucker punching Mike Jones at last year’s OZONE Awards. Rather, this issue comes in the form of a rap new group from H-Town—DatBoyChyco, J-Yung, Star Struck JM and Just-O—collectively known as Young Problemz. “We’ll do pop, we’ll do rock, there’s no limit to what we do,” DatBoyChyco explains. “We’re real young, and we’re problems.” Long before this quintet assembled, the young rappers were members of separate Southside Houston groups, buzzing in their own rights. However, following numerous collaborations amongst the various groups, DatBoyChyco, J-Yung, Star Struck JM and Just-O felt the chemistry in their joint efforts should be permanent. And in 2007, the accompanying groups dissolved and Young Problemz was born. “Everybody was doing their own thing, and we came together and created a super-group,” JM expounds. “Everybody had talent, and everybody could stand on their own, so we picked everybody from different groups that were the grinders, and we made one group.” YP proceeded to release a single called “Whatcha Talking Bout,” and debut


Couple the street success of “Boi” with the internet buzz of their song “Fuck Yo Myspace Page,” a humorous ditty based on the popular social networking site, and Young Problemz solidified a deal with Asylum Records/Warner Bros. and Unauthorized Entertainment. The group’s debut album Howz My Rappin’ will be released on August 25th, and these Houston new bloods hope to shake off any doubts of one-hit wonderisms while adding a new style to the Houston’s Hip Hop lineage. “We catch a lot of hell off ‘Boi,’” Just-O says. “They think we’re some one hit wonders, and we’re making dance songs. We can make those songs, but that’s not what Young Problemz is about.” “You’ve never heard nothing like this come out of Houston before,” JM adds. “[You] might hear a song and say that sounds like something Kanye would do, or you might hear another song and say that sounds like something Drake or KiD CuDi would do. Or we might do something alternative and they’ll say that sounds like something Nickelback would do. It’s not the same thing that you’ve been hearing. It’s younger. It’s different, and it’s fresher.” Words by Randy Roper // Photo by Ron of NVision Studios

(above L-R): Bavgate & Keak da Sneak @ The Room Ultra Lounge for OZONE Get Famous showcase in San Francisco, CA (Photo: Julia Beverly); T-Pain, Willy Northpole, & Shawnna @ K 107 Summer Jam in Denver, CO (Photo: D-Ray); DJ Toomp & Memphitz @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island in Miami, FL (Photo: Julia Beverly)

01 // Guest, Micah, & Herb Dorsey @ Skye Nightclub for JB’s Tampa Bday Bash (Tampa, FL) 02 // Smurf, Roccett, & Drumma Boy @ the Avalon (Los Angeles, CA) 03 // Cory Mo & Spark Dawg @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 04 // Antonio Bryant, Ump, & Edgerrin James @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island (Miami, FL) 05 // Devi Dev & Erk da Jerk @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 06 // Danja & KC @ Area for BET Awards afterparty (Hollywood, CA) 07 // JBar & Soulja Boy @ Studio 72 for OZONE’s Birthday Bash afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Young Jeezy & CTE crew @ Gansevoort Pool Party (Miami, FL) 09 // Piccalo & Rick Ross @ Take One Lounge (Miami, FL) 10 // T-Pain & Shawnna playing with autotune @ K 107 Summer Jam (Denver, CO) 11 // Too Short & ladies @ the Palms for Too Short & DJ Franzen’s private TV show launch party (Las Vegas, NV) 12 // Guest & JBar @ Studio 72 for OZONE’s Birthday Bash afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Jason Wiley & Tigger @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 14 // DJ Teknikz & Randy Roper @ DJ Drama’s album listening session (Atlanta, GA) 15 // Krizz Kaliko, Ms Rivercity, Tech N9ne, & Kutt Kalhoun @ Hot 103 Summer Jam (Kansas City, MO) 16 // Brisco & Spectacular & Slick ‘Em of Pretty Ricky @ Cameo for Headliner Marketing party (Miami, FL) 17 // Play, guest, Dr Teeth, & Turro @ Union Station for BET Awards afterparty (Los Angeles, CA) 18 // Mistah FAB & Roscoe @ the Avalon (Los Angeles, CA) 19 // BallGreezy & Brisco @ Cameo for Brisco’s birthday party (Miami, FL) Photo Credits: D-Ray (02,10,11,18); J Lash (09,16,19); Julia Beverly (04,05,06,07,12,13,17); Luis Santana (01); Ms Rivercity (03,14,15); Thaddaeus McAdams (08)


Patiently Waiting


hen you have the luxury of being backed by the best production money can buy courtesy of the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, it has to be easy to just relax on a track, right? Really, what motivation do you really need other than simply not messing up the beat? “Life is my motivation,” says Brazil-born, Tampa-raised rapper Laws deadpans. “I’m trying to escape my daily life and never go back.” Don’t get it twisted, though, Laws’ “daily life” isn’t of the “pushing rock on the block toting a glock” variety. It’s actually more akin to the common working man in America. Even though it didn’t quite start that way. Born in Natal, Laws’ mother opted to put him up for adoption rather than raise him in a hostile and impoverished environment. He was adopted and raised by a Puerto Rican family in New York before they relocated to Florida. “Around the time I left, there was a lot going on,” reveals Laws, who never met his biological mother. “When I get my situation right I want to go back and look for her.” But for now, Laws is focusing on his new approach to making music. Admittedly jaded by the industry at the start of his career, Laws has adopted (no pun intended) a new attitude that is already having a positive impact. “Looking back I can only blame myself, but I came to conclusion that I have to stop blaming others for my music not being successful and just try something different,” he admits. “I was ignorant and trying to make music for other people instead of just myself. I had to stop making excuses and start making music.” Since he’s made that decision, he’s managed to craft the increasingly popular mixtape Your Future Favorite Rapper hosted by DJ Smallz and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. While many are quick to compare the Latin rapper to the closest frame of reference, Big Pun, Laws promises that when it’s all said and done, people will know him for him. “[The comparison] used to bother me when I was younger, but I learned to understand that people tend to label something that makes them uncomfortable so they can then become comfortable with it,” he says. “People think they know me, but they haven’t heard the best of me yet. I hope whoever makes any comparisons takes the time to listen and realize that I’m different.” Words by Maurice G. Garland


(above L-R): Trina @ Club Flow for Trina concert in Dallas, TX (Photo: Edward Hall); Toya & Tiny @ Phillips Arena for TI’s Going Away Concert in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Ms Ja); Rick Ross @ Club Cinema for JW’s CTE signing party in Pompano Beach, FL (Photo: Terrence Tyson)

01 // Yung Envy & Juney Boomdata @ Tupac’s Birthday Celebration (Atlanta, GA) 02 // Trae @ Best of the Best (Miami, FL) 03 // ET & the Durrty girls @ Club Miami (Atlanta, GA) 04 // DJ Hella Yella & Block Boi @ 97.9 The Beat (Dallas, TX) 05 // Greg Street @ Phillips Arena for TI’s Farewell Concert (Atlanta, GA) 06 // Killer Mike @ Phillips Arena for TI’s Going Away Concert (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Chris J @ Dolce (Miami, FL) 08 // Slick Em of Pretty Ricky @ Skye Nightclub for JB’s Tampa Bday Bash (Tampa, FL) 09 // NBA Entertainment @ Phillips Arena for TI’s Going Away Concert (Atlanta, GA) 10 // Kiki J @ Tini Bar for Dorrough’s signing party (Dallas, TX) 11 // Lil Ronnie & Damm D @ Crystal’s (Arlington, TX) 12 // DJ Fubu @ Studio 72 for OZONE’s Birthday Bash afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Stax & Nino @ Mardi Gras for OZONE 7 Year Anniversary party (Jackson, MS) 14 // BallGreezy @ Club Dolce (Miami, FL) 15 // Spark Dawg & BBU @ Crystal’s (Arlington, TX) 16 // Money Hog of Yea Yea Man Records & Carol O’Connor @ Mardi Gras for OZONE 7 Year Anniversary party (Jackson, MS) 17 // Rob Gold & ladies @ Mardi Gras for OZONE 7 Year Anniversary party (Jackson, MS) 18 // CJ of Konsole Kingz @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island (Miami, FL) 19 // Guest & DJ Lazy Boy @ Ear to Da Street music conference (Birmingham, AL) 20 // B Giles (Virginia) 21 // D Lyte & DJ Lil Lex @ Crystals (Aggtown, TX) 22 // Sara of Underground Modeling & Corey Cleghorn @ Dallas Convention Center (Dallas, TX) 23 // Papa Duck & Julia Beverly @ Rain for JB’s Jacksonville Bday Bash (Jacksonville, FL) 24 // Will Hustle @ Tupac’s Birthday Celebration (Atlanta, GA) 25 // Butch & Big Clint @ Stiletto’s (Euless, TX) 26 // Vet, Stay Fresh, & T da Barber @ Tupac’s Birthday Celebration (Atlanta, GA) 27 // Tina & Kel from Richmind @ Tini Bar for Dorrough’s signing party (Dallas, TX) 28 // Big Hood Boss & Lil Wil @ Studio 72 for OZONE’s Birthday Bash afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 29 // Dirt Diggla @ Bourbon St (Jacksonville, FL) 30 // J Rich @ TI’s Going Away party on Star Island (Miami, FL) 31 // Jeevan Brown & Mz Skittles @ Studio 72 for OZONE’s Birthday Bash afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 32 // Supastarr & Skillz on the set of Hurricane Chris’s “Halle Berry” video shoot (Dallas, TX) 33 // Supa K, Veda Loca, Ms Rivercity, & Spark Dawg @ 97.9 The Beat (Dallas, TX) 34 // Amir Boyd, Jason Geter, guest, Maino, Yancey Richardson, & guest @ Phillips Arena for Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 35 // Stax & Rob Gold @ Mardi Gras for OZONE 7 Year Anniversary party (Jackson, MS) Photo Credits: Cream Shah (20); Edward Hall (04,10,11,15,21,22,25,27,32,33); Julia Beverly (01,02,12,13,16,17,18,24,26,28,30,31,34,35); Luis Santana (08); Malik Abdul (19); Ms Ja (03,05,06,09); Terrence Tyson (07,14,23,29)


Patiently Waiting

“I’m rockin’ with everybody in Dallas,” he explains, of the importance of supporting his market. “I’m just trying to get on the level of people before me and take it further.”


he new era of Dallas Hip Hop is ushering in a movement of jiggin’ and boogying artists – but Big HoodBoss adamantly stands outside of the dance craze. “I’m one of the street artists that stands out,” he says.

In 2002, he listened to the advice of his close friend Tum Tum (formerly of the group DSR) and took a more active role in pursuing a rap career. During this time he introduced his first mixtape HoodBoss to the DFW area. Over the next several years, HoodBoss continued developing his solo career and involved himself heavily in the local rap community. Alongside Tum, HoodBoss became an integral member of the Dallas group T.B.G.’z., who recently combined forces with Play-N-Skillz to create TBG4 – an entity HoodBoss describes as a super-group. While he’s always been focused on his own music, HoodBoss saw the long term value in putting on for his city as well. In 2007, his company, V.I.P. Management, propelled the career of Lil Wil and increased the mainstream visibility of his hometown. It was a business move that helped open the floodgates for D-town, whose music scene has burgeoned with new talent over the last year. It also put HoodBoss in a prime position himself.


Though helping others essentially paid off for the Dallas advocate, it also came with a hefty sacrifice. In September 2008, Big HoodBoss was shot five times, allegedly by fellow D-town rappers. Doctors said he wouldn’t be able to walk for at least six months, but after a month and a half the resilient rapper was back in the clubs as determined as ever. “I got shot over Dallas music,” he recalls, of the unfortunate scenario which gave him a new direction. “I got shot by some people I put on. This time around I’m focused on me.” With his own sound and a proven track record, HoodBoss hit the streets heavy, releasing his most recent project VIP BIG with DJ Scream. The mixtape features “I’m from Dallas,” a long-running hit in local clubs, in addition to new songs like “How I Rock” featuring Rocko, which was produced by Drumma Boy. Along with his mixtape buzz, HoodBoss doubled his stock with a Mr. Boomtown-directed video for his current single “I Got It,” featuring Tum Tum and Lil Wil. Listening to his present collection of music, it’s obvious HoodBoss isn’t riding in on the Dallas novelty dance wave. He’d rather stick to the triedand-true method of building a true audience. “I’ve been consistent with my music,” he emphasizes. “I might not be on the radio as much as other people, but the fan base is still the same.” Words by Ms Rivercity Photo by Chics With Pics

(above L-R): Rob Gold @ Mississippi Delta Music Fest in Leland, MS; Lil Wil @ K104 in Dallas, TX (Photos: Edward Hall); Plies @ Dolce in Miami, FL (Photo: Terrence Tyson)

01 // Pastor Troy @ Tupac’s Birthday Celebration (Atlanta, GA) 02 // Murs @ Hot 103 Summer Jam (Kansas City, MO) 03 // Strizzy & Nard @ Phillips Arena for TI’s Going Away Concert (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Shorty Mack @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 05 // Video models on the set of Hurricane Chris’s “Halle Berry” video shoot (Dallas, TX) 06 // Lil C & Rich Kids @ Phillips Arena for TI’s Going Away Concert (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Spodee & Mac Boney @ Phillips Arena for TI’s Going Away Concert (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Johnson Boy & Bigga Rankin @ Mississippi Delta Music Fest (Leland, MS) 09 // Doo Dez, Hurricane Chris, SHO, & JuJu of Fam Life on the set of Hurricane Chris’s “Halle Berry” video shoot (Dallas, TX) 10 // Brisco @ Club Cinema for JW’s CTE signing party (Pompano Beach, FL) 11 // DJ Duece & DJ Cap @ Paperchaserz video shoot (Dallas, TX) 12 // George Dukes @ Club Cinema for JW’s CTE signing party (Pompano Beach, FL) 13 // Trap Squad Cartel (Ft Worth, TX) 14 // Tekaboo @ Tupac’s Birthday Celebration (Atlanta, GA) 15 // Xtaci & Wild Child @ Phillips Arena for TI’s Going Away Concert (Atlanta, GA) 16 // Tom G & Slick Em of Pretty Ricky @ Wild 98.7 (Tampa, FL) 17 // Guest & KD @ Club Flow for Trina concert (Dallas, TX) 18 // DJ Nasty, Tony Khuu, & Ricky P @ Dragon Room (Orlando, FL) 19 // DJ Infamous @ Foot Locker (Atlanta, GA) 20 // Cap-One & Tity Boy of Playaz Circle @ Tupac’s Birthday Celebration (Atlanta, GA) 21 // BOB @ Foot Locker (Atlanta, GA) 22 // Drumma Boy & guest @ Red Carpet Lanes for their Dream Land event (Atlanta, GA) 23 // FLY @ Stonecrest Mall for 95.5 The Beat concert (Atlanta, GA) 24 // G Wiz, Dorrough, & Eazy E @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 25 // Guest & Benny @ Primal (Atlanta, GA) 26 // Lil Hen @ Silver Fox for Bigga Rankin’s Bday Bash (Jacksonville, FL) 27 // A1 Divas @ Mariachi (Atlanta, GA) 28 // Carbon @ Silk for Kinky B’s birthday party (Atlanta, GA) 29 // DJ Holiday & Nelly @ Primal (Atlanta, GA) 30 // Clay Evans, Vawn, & Jazze Pha @ Primal (Atlanta, GA) 31 // Young Dose @ Upstart Record Pool meeting (Jacksonville, FL) 32 // Roger @ Primal (Atlanta, GA) 33 // Ms Dynasty & Mike Epps @ Silver Fox for Bigga Rankin’s Bday Bash (Jacksonville, FL) 34 // Carlos Cartel & guest @ The Coop for South Carolina Music Awards (Columbia, SC) 35 // Boo da Boss Playa @ Silk for Kinky B’s birthday party (Atlanta, GA) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (05,08,09,11,13,17); Julia Beverly (01,04,14,16,18,20); Malik Abdul (28,35); Ms Ja (03,06,07,15,23,25,29,30,32,34); Ms Rivercity (02,19,21,24,27,31); Terrence Tyson (10,12,26,33)


Patiently Waiting

a 24, 30 bar verse. It was just dope. I loved hearing myself on a record. [That’s when I knew] this is what I want to do.”


s superstitions go, it’s bad luck to walk under a ladder. Also, if you break a mirror, they say it will bring you seven years of bad luck. And everyone knows it’s bad luck if a black cat crosses your path. In the West, there’s another path that rappers don’t want to cross, and as the superstition says, he goes by the name Bad Lucc. “I got the name on some corny shit in high school,” he says. “I was heavy into the battling, so it was a thing where it was bad luck to battle me, cause you were going to lose.” Born in Inglewood, California, and raised in Watts, a Los Angeles neighborhood known for historic riots in 1965 and 1992 and prevalent gang violence, Lucc never partook in gang or drug activity. He grew up writing poetry, and later, followed the footsteps of his older sister, who was in a local rap group. At age 10, Lucc’s sister wrote his first rap that he later performed at a family get-together. That small taste of rap stardom would become Lucc’s catalyst. He spent the rest of his school years writing raps, battling and recording. “One of my guys used to rap all the time,” he says. “He took me to the studio with him one day. It was my first time ever in the studio, and I wrote about


Lucc’s music started hitting the streets and helped him meet artists like Swizz Beatz, Jadakiss and West Coast veteran Damani. Damani helped him connect with Snoop Dogg, Daz & Kurupt, and Soopafly. Bad Lucc, Damani and Soopafly eventually formed a rap group called Dubb Union (formerly Westurn Union), and made their debut on “Like This” from Snoop Dogg’s 2006 album, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment. In 2008, the trio released their first album, Snoop Dogg Presents: Dubb Union on Doggstyle/Koch Records. Now, the L.A. rapper has set his sights on solo aspirations. Dubb Union is still a group and has plans to release another album in the future, but for now, Lucc has been working extensively with L.A. rapper/producer Terrace Martin. He signed a deal with We The West Media to release a solo album called Dear Speakers. And on the side, he’s one of the most used ghostwriters in Cali (but keeps mum about who his pen works for). Even though this L.A. emcee carries the name Bad Lucc, his fortunes seem to be anything but poor, and in the end, he just wants reverence. “I never really cared about who was the best out,” he says. “I am one of the few that cares about the rhymes. At the end of the day, all I want is to be respected.” Words by Randy Roper // Photo by D-Ray

This is our yearly tribute to the folks spinning your favorite club classics, street anthems, and radio hits. This year we surveyed some of the nation’s most influential Hip Hop and R&B record breakers, asking them about everything from payola and shady promoters to their most embarrassing moments on the job. Next time you’re in the club, salute the DJ – they work hard so you can party hard.


DJ 03

(Columbus, GA) Now a personality, mixer, and mixshow coordinator for 98.3 The Beat WBFA, DJ 03 started off doing college parties and interning with the station. Since his humble beginnings, 03 has come a long way by doing mixtapes, promoting his artist D.K., and linking up with the Hustle Squad DJs and Firm Grip Music Group. mixshowmonster03@ gmail.com, Twitter. com/DJ03, Myspace. com/DJ03MixtapeKing

DJ 360

(Miami, FL) DJ 360 can be found playing for some of the hottest club parties in Miami. A

close associate of DJ Irie, DJ 360 learned the game by studying some of the city’s top DJs. He now spins for Mixx 96.1 and recently released The Grind: Poe Boy Edition mixtape. Twitter.com/DJ360, Myspace.com/DJ360Music (Photo by James P. Photography)

DJ Ace

(Atlanta, GA) After throwing numerous concerts in the A, DJ Ace expanded into mixtapes. Ace’s takeoff project, Gucci Mane’s Mr. Perfect, put “The South’s Top Dawg DJ” on the map. Also the co-owner of The Gate lounge on the southside of Atlanta, DJ Ace helped promote the careers of Gucci Mane, OJ Da Juiceman, Yung Ralph, and more. djace_06@yahoo.com, 678-851-0565

DJ Amen

(North Bay Area, CA) For the last three years DJ Amen has been a part of the 106 KMEL team in San Francisco. In addition to his position with the radio station, he’s also an integral part of the BumSquad DJs, NoizeMakers, and The Imperial Guard. Amen@DJAmen.com, DJAmen.com, Twitter. com/DJAmen3000, Myspace.com/DJAmen

U.S. artists including Flipmode Squad, Grand Hustle/P$C, Aphilliates Music Group, and most recently Roccett. DJ Ames belongs to the Fleet DJs, Coast2Coast DJs, and Above All DJs. This year Ames became the first UK DJ to win a Southern Ent. Award for Best Host on a Mixtape. Djamesmp3@gmail. com, Twitter.com/ DJAmesUK, Myspace. com/DJAmesUK

DJ Big Severe

DJ Ames

(United Kingdom) Alongside his mixtape work with international artists, Ames has also worked with several well-known

(West Palm Beach, FL via NYC) Originally from New York City, DJ Big Severe now resides in West Palm Beach where he keeps the airwaves live on WMBX x102.3. bigsevere@gmail.com, Twitter.com/BigSevere, Myspace.com/BigSevere

Lantern, Doo Wop, Whoo Kid, Dirty Harry, and DJ Khaled.” – Bionicman “I used to hang out in the clubs with other DJs just trying to get on and observing what they did. One night a DJ was really tired. He looked back and flagged me over and said, “You said you’re ready right? Show me what you got.” I got was nervous as shit, I remember my hand shaking when I picked the needle up. I rocked for the last 20 minutes the club was open, but I think after that night I earned my DJ title.” – 360 “I started throwing concerts in Atlanta with artists like T.I., Lil Jon, Pastor Troy, Ying Yang Twins, Rocko, and Gorilla Zoe. Gucci Mane, who I went to elementary and high school with, wanted me to manage him and be his DJ. Then I started pushing OJ da Juiceman. I dropped the Juice World mixtape and then Gucci’s Mr. Perfect. It’s been nothing but gwop ever since.” – Ace “I solidified myself in my hometown, then in and around the Bay Area scene. What really got me in the big leagues was when Big Von, the MD at 106 KMEL, asked me to join the squad 3 years ago.” – Amen “Opening up for a lot of DJs like Kid Capri, Green 48 // OZONE MAG

“I Was DJing at Golden Glide skating rink and DJ Q-Tip noticed how good I was and asked me if I was interested in doing Club Fuel with him. I was only 16 but I rocked it anyway.” – Blak “DJ Prince Ice gave me my first break as a mixshow DJ at WWDM on Saturday nights. Then after that I was doing the 5 O’clock Drive and went to WXBT where I do Friday nights with Frankie B.” – D-Tec “When I came to Miami I started working at Static Nightclub in South Beach as a busboy. DJing was a hobby of mine since I was 13 years old back in Argentina, so before the night started at the club, I would go to the booth and start playing with the light system and the turntables before the DJs got there. One day the opening DJ was gonna be late so the GM asked me if a wanted to play, I said ‘Yeah.’ The rest is history.” – Element “Jack Brewer from the Minnesota Vikings hooked me up with DJing in Mazltan for 10 days during spring break.” – Enferno “I never intended to be a DJ. I just always had a

Big Von

(Bay Area, California) As the music director for 106 KMEL in San Francisco, Big Von has a big say in Bay Area Hip Hop. You can catch him on the air Mon-Thurs 3pm10pm, Fri 3pm-1am, and Sat 6pm-midnight. Big Von is also a part-time comedian (not professionally though, just on Twitter). BigVon.com, Twitter. com/BigVon

Bigg V

(Cleveland, MS) Born and raised in Leland, MS, Bigg V now serves as the Asst. Director of Sales

and Promotions Director at WCLD, WAID, WMJW, WKDJ for Radio Cleveland Inc. He’s also the Mixshow Director at Jammin 104 and Power 106.5, a member of the Hittmenn DJs, and runs a successful promotions company. vradio@gmail.com, 662-347-4136, Twitter. com/BiggV, Myspace. com/BiggV2

DJ Bionicman

(Dayton, OH) DJ Bionicman got his big break by opening up for DJs like Kid Capri, Green Lantern, and Whoo Kid. An associate of the CORE DJs and Gods of Steel, Bionicman makes mixtapes, plays at clubs across the country, and mixes for internet radio on Faceland. com/TrillTalkRadio. Djbionicman@gmail. com, Myspace.com/ DJBionicman

love for music, electronics and sound. One night a friend of mine needed a DJ for her church retreat and my best friend at the time told her that I had a lot of music and I could do it. So we split the $350, and I’ve been DJing ever since. I was in the 10th grade.” – Frosty “My brother is in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and kept giving me DJ jobs. I started out DJing with a dual tape deck, then moved up to Technic 1200s and Serato. I DJed for Kid Sensation, Sir Mix-aLot, Too $hort, Young Buck, E-40, Livio, Cool Nutz and some other people.” – Funkdaddy “My first big break was spinning in the Mega Mix on Hot 107.9. I got a call from DJ King Arthur who was organizing the mixers at the time. He said, ‘Here is your chance.’ I ended up doing the primetime slots in Atlanta on the Durrty Boyz Show with E.T. & J-Nicks.” – Ill Will “In a nutshell, someone stole a mixtape that I did, and almost got on the radio with it. They found out I was the real DJ behind it and that’s how it happened.” - J. Espinosa “Completely by accident. I was hanging with a friend at a college radio station and the next jock didn’t show up for her shift. My boy pushed the mic towards me and said, “You’re on.” That next hour was painful, my boys sat in the adjacent studio and laughed their asses off. Apparently I didn’t suck that bad, because I got offered a job.” – JT Quick

“I got my first big break DJing in college with my older brother. I started doing a lot of shows and homecomings in ATL. That’s how everybody started to know who I was and that I could DJ.” – Kno It All “I’ve been mixing since my 8th grade year. My big break came from mixing college parties at Prairie View A&M University, where I attended college. The music scene is huge down there. If your music doesn’t break at PV, it probably won’t work anywhere in Texas.” – Merk

“My Southern Smoke mixtape series, which originally started out as a demo CD to get me nightclub gigs while I was in high school.” – Smallz “I was called by John Monopoly, Kanye West’s former manager, to spin at XXL Magazine’s Late Registration party for Kanye’s sophomore album. At the party I was asked by Def Jam’s execs to premiere ‘Diamonds’ in front of Jay-Z, Beyonce, Jermaine Dupri, Amerie, and John Legend.” – Treats

CC Cruz

DJ Blak

(Atlanta, GA) Starting off as a skating rink DJ, Blak has since traveled all over the world as a tour DJ for artists like Yung Joc, Gorilla Zoe, and Pleasure P. Blak also puts out mixtapes, owns Blak Boi Publishing LLC, and is working on his debut album titled I Am. Dj.blak@gmail.com, Twitter.com/WhoIsDJBlak, Myspace.com/ DJBlakFae

(Central, TX – Killeen, Temple, Ft. Hood, Waco) CC Cruz holds the title of Program Director for B106 The Hip Hop Station, 106.3 KQXB. A significant contributor in the Central Texas music scene, CC has broken records on-air, on mixtapes, and in clubs like Enferno where he currently plays. Myspace.com/CCCruz Mailing Address: B106 The Hip Hop Station KQXB, 608 Moody Lane, Temple, Texas 76504

DJ Element DJ Class

(Baltimore, MD) This Baltimore native is not only a DJ, but also an artist and member of Kanye West’s production team and Unruly Productions. Dubbed the Club King in B-More, Class’ current single “I’m the Ish” is highly ranked on iTunes Hip Hop sales chart and his album is slated for release this year. imdjclass@classheat. com, Twitter.com/ DJClass, Myspace.com/ DJClass

(Miami, FL) This Argentina native started out as a busboy before becoming a resident DJ at SOBE Live, one of the hottest clubs on South Beach. He also spins at Club Dream and is a representative of the CORE DJs, Salute South, and Loudshell Ent. DJElementMiami@ hotmail.com, Myspace. com/DJElement

“By breaking snap music in Atlanta.’ – T-Roc “Hot Rod of G-Unit made me his official DJ and we toured the world, which gave me a stronger name. I was a Shadyville DJ rep all day, which is a co-family of G-Unit Records. I got to know people and met a booking agent that booked me throughout Germany, the Middle East, a lot of countries. Things changed after that.” – Woogie

DJ Freddy Fred

(Miami, FL) Under the guidance of his mentors DJs Khaled, Wrek, and Black Spliff, Freddy Fred worked hard to learn the business of DJing. Now his resume includes club spots at Opium, Prive, Voyage, Mansion and SOBE; show DJing for Pitbull, Charles Sweeting, and Willy Northpole; and radio spots on Mixx 96 and Shade 45’s CORE DJ Radio. Djfreddyfredmp3@ gmail.com, Twitter. com/DJFreddyFred, Myspace.com/DJFreddyFredMusic

DJ Enferno CJ tha Sticman DJ Blurray

(Austin, TX) Otherwise known as “The Mixtape Slayer,” DJ Blurray’s claim to fame came with the success of his Southern Comfort series in 2005. Since then his mixtape series have expanded and he’s become a show DJ for the Central Texas rap group Green City. Blurray also spins at Troubador’s and Bayou Lounge, and mixes on www.907jamz.com. Djblurraymp3@gmail. com, Myspace.com/ DJBlurray

(Birmingham, AL) A staple in the Birmingham DJ arena, CJ mixes on WBHJ 95.7 Jamz, WBHK 98.7 Kiss, and WGFX GoodfellasRadio.net. Belonging to the CORE DJs, Bumsquad DJs, and the Go DJs, CJ tha Sticman has broken numerous artists in his market and holds the TJs DJs Platinum Needle Award, The Dirty 30s Favorite DJ Award, and The Madskillz Best DJ Award. cjthasticman@ gmail.com, Twitter. com/CJthaSticman, Myspace.com/CJthaSticman

DJ D-Tec

(Columbia, SC) Following his position on WWDM on Saturday nights, DJ D-Tec relocated to WXBT 100.1 the Beat where he currently mixes on Friday nights. The Columbia DJ has also toured with Pastor Troy and recently won the CORE DJs Jam Master Jay award. Boutwhat2@gmail. com, Myspace.com/ scdjdtec

Minneapolis, MN via Milwaukee, WI) DJ Enferno got his big shot at DJing when Jack Brewer from the MN Vikings set up a gig for him in Mazltan during spring break. Everything took off from there. Now the official Hood Nerd DJ/VJ can be found spinning in numerous clubs in Minneapolis like Auggies, Visage, Karma, Aqua, Epic, and Myth. djenferno@gmail.com, Twitter.com/DJEnferno33, Myspace.com/ EnfernoVision Mailing address: 15429 Radium St. NW, Ramsey, MN 55303

DJ Fubu

(Eatonton, GA) DJ Fubu is currently the tour DJ for Soulja Boy Tell’em and rocks clubs, arenas, and other venues across the country. The Eatonton, GA resident also represents the Hittmenn DJs. djfubu@gmail.com, Twitter.com/DJFubu, Myspace.com/DJFubu

DJ Funkdaddy DJ Frosty

(Columbia, SC) DJ Frosty spins for WXBT, 100.1 the Beat in Columbia and represents Stupid Dope Moves and Streetsweepers. When he’s not dropping mixtapes, at the radio station, or DJing at Club Level, Club Ice, Club Moon, or Club Cream, Frosty is winning accolades like Club DJ of the Year, Mixshow DJ of the Year, Best Mixtape, and the Jam Master Jay Award. djfrosty@djfrosty.com, Twitter.com/DJFrosty, Myspace.com/DJFrostyDotCom

(Seattle, WA) Seattle residents may recognize Funkdaddy as a guest DJ at Hot Jamz KMIH-FM. He has also rocked shows for artists like E-40, Sir Mix-a-lot, Too $hort, Young Buck, Cool Nutz and more. Funkdaddy recently celebrated his 100th mixtape release. Current mixtapes out now include new volumes of Ear Candy, King of the Blends, and Soft Funk. funkdaddyofficial@ gmail.com, Twitter. com/DJFunkdaddy, Myspace.com/FunkdaddyOfficial


Desperate artists will do anything to be heard. From pennies to panties, these DJs have been offered some unusual things in exchange for spinning a record. “A post-dated check.” – 360 “Sex from a female artist.” – Ace “This rapper/entertainer sent his little bopper to the stage and she put a Corona bottle down her mouth then said, ‘Play #5 on this CD.’” – Bigg V “One night in the club I had one artist offer me a bag of dro, and another guy offer me a $50 Chili’s gift card.” – Blurray “Panties.” – CC Cruz “A book of coupons and a pink and blue t-shirt.” – CJ tha Sticman

“Cheesesteak. It was delicious.” – Class

DJ Greg G

(Orlando, FL) When he’s not mixing on 102 Jamz, Greg G can be found DJing in a variety of popular Orlando nightclubs like Icon, Antigua, Envy, or Ember. He belongs to The CORE DJ and Desert Storm movements and is known for his Street Heat mixtape brand. djgregg@gmail.com, Twitter.com/GregG, Myspace.com/BigLifeProductions

“A gun. Yes, a gun.” – Enferno “Some head.” – Freddy Fred “$500. I guess it’s not strange, but it’s a lot of money for a record to be played in the club.” – Frosty “A five dollar bill.” – Greg G “The strangest thing would probably be change. I don’t know what the dude was thinking, but he actually gave me some quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies. I have to admit, he went hard so I had to work with him.” – Ill Will “A lap dance.” – J1 “A night with they gal.” – J. Boss “Someone offered to wash my car for a month if I played their song.” – Jay-Fields “A gift card to Best Buy.” – Kno It All “A date with his girlfriend. I laughed, and got her number anyway.” – Nasty Naz

DJ Ike G

(Fayetteville, NC) Also referred to as “The Carolina Trendsetter,” DJ Ike G keeps Fayetteville partying on WCCG 104.5. He also takes his skills to the club when he’s spinning at Club Toxic, Bentley’s, and Club Exceptions. Ike G is a recipient of the CORE DJs’ Jam Master Jay Award and also belongs to the Nitram Knarf DJs. Djikegda.wccg@gmail. com, Twitter.com/ DJIkeGDA, Myspace. com/DJIkeGDA910

“A kidney (left side).” – Reconn “A $20 Applebee’s gift card. I flashed $40 and told him to get lost.” – Shawty Slim “A jump drive.” – T-Roc “I’ve never told anyone this, but the strangest thing anyone ever offered me to play their song was a bag of Oreo’s.” – Whut It Dew “I was offered a chain off a guy’s neck to play a load of Dipset music in the club, and I was offered a Cadillac Escalade to mix, host, and promote a West coast artist.” – Woogie


DJ Ill Will

(Atlanta, GA via Bronx, NY) After relocating to Atlanta to attend Clark Atlanta University, DJ Ill Will was given

a shot to mix at Hot 107.9 on the Durrty Boyz Show. Since then he has gained a name in Atlanta, DJing at top clubs around the city like Motions, Miami, Verve, and Tongue and Groove, to list a few. Ill Will also puts out mixtapes and works with Atlanta artists like Sean Teazy, Joe Stu, and Young Snead. djillwill@tmo.blackberry.net, 404-5795866, Twitter.com/ IllWilltheDJ, Myspace. com/IllWilltheDon


(Atlanta, GA via Harlem, NY) J1 started his music career at the Harlem School of Arts where he played the piano before taking in interest in DJing at the age of 14. He would later become a successful party promoter in Atlanta and move on to DJing for Hot 107.9 at clubs like Velvet Room, Motions, 10 Pin Alley, Pure, and Pearl Bistro where he can be currently heard. Posterchildj1@ gmail.com, Twitter. com/PosterChildJ1, Myspace.com/DJJ1UL

Go DJ J. Boss (Houston, TX) Repping the Go DJ crew, J. Boss is a tour DJ for Trae and Z-Ro. He has many outlets for breaking new records including a long list of club connections at Club Glo, The Office, Zula, Shadow Bar, Harlem Knights, and Club One. His skills can also be heard on his latest mixtape installment Grind City Volume 3. Gojboss@gmail.com,

Twitter.com/GoDJJBoss, Myspace.com/ GoDJJBoss

J-Flex J. Espinosa

(Bay Area, CA) With a #1 rated mixshow in the San Francisco Bay Area on Wild 94.9, J. Espinosa is a go-to guy in his market. J. is also a producer and his remixes can be heard throughout the Bay Area, including the clubs he spins at like Infusion Lounge, B4 Twelve, Wet, Tabu, Fluid, and Element. You can catch J. Espinosa’s nightly mixshow Monday through Friday. Twitter.com/J_Espinosa, Myspace.com/ DJJEspinosa

(Greensboro, NC) After one of his mixtapes landed in the hands of a radio program director, J-Flex was asked to mix for college radio station 90.1 WNAA at NC A&T State. J-Flex graduated from college radio and now spins at 102 JAMZ in Greensboro. Jflex102jamz@gmail. com, Twitter.com/ DJJFlex, Myspace.com/ JFlex336 Mailing address: 4411 Rehobeth Ch Rd., Greensboro, NC 27406

JT Quick


(Seattle, WA via Springfield, OH) Jay-Fields established himself after moving to Seattle in 1997 and landing a job with X104.5 FM where he worked for 5 years. Radio gave Jay-Fields the opportunity to open for big names like Snoop Dogg, E-40, Spice 1, Devon the Dude, B-legit, Dru Down, and many more. Currently the Seattle DJ spins at Club Sno, JR’s, and MC Cabes, and regularly puts out mixtape projects. djjayfields@gmail.com, Twitter.com/DJJayFields, Myspace.com/ DJJayFields

(Kansas City, MO) JT Quick got his start in radio when a college radio jock didn’t show up for her job. JT swooped in and took over. Now he’s moved on to Hot 103 Jamz KPRS where he’s been nominated top on-air personality 2 years in a row. jtquick@kprs.com, Twitter.com/JTQuick, Myspace.com/ DJJTQuick Mailing Address: KPRS / JT Quick, 11131 Colorado Ave., Kansas City, MO 64137

DJ Kno-It-All

(Atlanta, GA) Repping The Untouchables crew, DJ Kno-It-All got his start in the business while DJing college parties and homecomings. He now DJs at Club Miami and Geisha House, prime party spots in ATL. He also mixes on internet radio for

Flavor450.com. djknoitall@gmail. com, Twitter.com/ DJKnoItAll, Myspace. com/DJKnoItAll

DJ KTone

(Denver, CO) Associated with the CORE DJs and Derrty DJs, DJ Ktone is a mixtape champ in his area. The Turf DJ is also a chief DJ at clubs in and outside of his city, and he also mixes for WeTheWest.com and Shade 45 CORE DJ Radio. ktonetv@gmail.com, Twitter.com/DJKTone, Myspace.com/DJKTonedotcom

DJ Merk

(Dallas, TX via Houston, TX) Now a tour DJ and manager for Dorrough Music, DJ Merk made his mark DJing college parties at Prairie View A&M University. Merk belongs to the CORE DJs Streetz, Hustle Squad DJs, and represents NGenius Entertainment. Look for DJ Merk’s popular Outbreak Radio series which can be found numerous mixtape websites. ngeniusptcblast@ gmail.com, Twitter. com/DJMerkMusic, Myspace.com/DJMerkMusic

DJ Mic Tee

(Memphis, TN) Before Mic Tee got a permanent on-air position with WHRK K97.1, he did every-

thing from driving the company van to working the boards. His hard work eventually paid off and now Mic Tee also has residencies at The Rumba Room on Tuesday, Level 2 on Saturday, and Cactus Jacks on Sunday. Micteek97@ gmail.com, Myspace. com/FranchiseDJMicTee “The ability to travel and network, but most importantly, you work for yourself.” – 03

Mike Smoove

(Santa Ana, CA) Mike Smoove’s present mixtape projects include Best of the West with DJ KTone, Who the Fuck is DJ Mike Smoove and the newest title United We Stand. The Santa Ana DJ tours with 211 when he’s not playing at local clubs like Falcon, Cinespace, Lax, and The Avalon. djmikesmoove@ gmail.com, Twitter. com/DJMikeSmoove, Myspace.com/ImSmooveBitch

DJ Nasty Naz

(Canada) Nasty Naz is more than a DJ. He also holds the titles of hypeman, entertainment reporter for Rogers Television, emcee, concert promoter, and radio personality for Z103 and KOS. Alongside all of those responsibilities, the international turntablist also plays at shows for Akon and Sean Paul and owns the awardwinning restaurant Caribbean Flavas. Twitter.com/DJNastyNaz, Myspace.com/ DJNastyNaz Mailing Address: DJ Nasty Naz c/o Caribbean Flavas, 123 York Street, Fredericton, NB, E3B 3N6 Canada

“For one, you get to drink on the job. You get to hear music before anyone else, and your opinion actually makes a difference whether the song gets pushed or not.” – 360

“Meeting new people in our industry who have the same goals, passion, and drive that I possess of being a trendsetter and record breaker. And of course the girls.” – Mic Tee “Free alcohol, easy pay, meeting interesting people.” – Pretty Boy Tank

“Being in the forefront of popular culture, from events, to the freshest gear and kicks. Working with the real tastemakers and big factors in the game is always a good time. And traveling to new places is always fun.” – Amen

“T-shirts from labels, and I can walk into any club [free]. But the biggest perk to me is making people enjoy themselves.” – Shawty Slim

“Just to see a muthafucka lose they mind to a record is enough. If a cat walks across the room to give you dap for a song, that means something.” – Big Von

“Getting special privileges at the club like not waiting in line or having a dress code.” – Spinatik

“The power, traveling and living in unusual and far away places like Guam, and meeting people you might never had met otherwise in normal settings.” – CC Cruz

“It’s easy to get music and you can build your own brand.” – Slytay

“Traveling for free, building an iron stomach to all the filth you take like food, criticism, and requests. Practicing condescending lines, and believe it or not, insomnia – imagine what you can do when you barely sleep.” – Treats

“Working ON your own schedule, GETTING sponsorships, being able to work alongside celebs, and of course the groupies. But those aren’t always a good thing.” – J. Espinosa “Getting new music early is always good. Groupies are cool. Not having to punch a clock is great. Free food and drinks is always a plus. There are many more.” – CJ tha Sticman

“Really, you’re damn near an artist. It takes creativity, hard work, networking, and technical skill. And if you do those things well, you’ll have all of the things a good artist has in return.” – T-Roc

“Free drinks, and I would say ‘women,’ but I’m married now.” – Fubu

“Getting in all the spots with your entourage for free.” – Truly Odd

“Cash, sex, alcohol, the satisfaction of making thousands of people dance and enjoy themselves every week. Meeting new people every night is cool. Watching artists go from nothing to everything is amazing when you see it from a DJ’s perspective.” – Greg G

“You get all access at shows. You get exclusive music first from labels or artists that you know. It comes to a point where the label or artists demand a certain DJ to do their project because they were the host for the streets.” – Woogie

“Money, clothes, trips, women, living good.” – J. Boss “Getting to hear new talent before anyone else, and being able to break new artists to the public. Also, being in parties and seeing all the beautiful women. ATL has some of the sexiest women.” – Kno It All

“Being able to travel and stay in nice hotels and eat well without having to pay for it. Meeting people from all around the world and networking with them. Not having to work a 9 to 5, plus DJing pays very well. Opportunities to be on television/radio and become well known. Free gear, clothes, and sneakers. You’re constantly around beautiful women and pretty much get paid to party. Basically just being able to make a living doing something you enjoy.” - Wreckineyez


“One night I spilled my drink in my mixer during prime time and the club had to close down.” – J. Boss

Not everything is sweet in the world of DJing. Sometimes jackedup equipment, lack of restroom breaks, and too many free drinks can lead to some pretty embarrassing incidents. “I was trying to learn Serato on the fly at a packed-out event. There weren’t any major problems, but sometimes it’s just better to read the instructions first.” – 03 “The Serato froze up for 5 minutes. I had to verbally rock the crowd with old school songs.” – Bionicman “I was DJing at Clark Atlanta University’s Homecoming for Yung Joc and my instant replay machine almost fell off of the table. As I went to catch it, my hand slipped and hit the button for another song right as he was rapping the hook to “It’s Going Down.” – Blak

stopped and everybody started booing all at once.” – CJ tha Sticman “I had a burrito before the club. One thing led to another and you know the rest. Thank God for iPods.” – Class “I got so drunk that I couldn’t even DJ. I was knocked out cold. I don’t even know who was DJing for me.” – D-Tec “The first event I DJed was a Michael Blackson comedy show. He asked me to do something and I fucked it all up so he clowned me the rest of the night. I was DJ Luke Warm all night!” – Enferno “I don’t have an embarrassing moment, but I’m generally embarrassed when I’m doing a show for an artist and they’re too drunk to perform their own lyrics.” – Freddy Fred “I was DJing a New Year’s Eve party and had to run to the bathroom for a #2 right before the countdown.” – Fubu

“That would probably be my very first live gig. I was given a 45 minute slot and they told me all I had to bring was the vinyl I needed to do my set. Long story short, the DJ hosting the party forgot his headphones. I couldn’t cue up any of my records, find my markers or anything. It was ugly.” – Blurray

“DJing at an empty club would be at the top of my list. It makes you look bad because people relate the club being dead to you, even though you’re not even the promoter. Psycho girls stalking at the club would be next, and doing the “pee” dance is up there too.” – Funkdaddy

“The club was packed at the peak hour and this guy was hassling me about playing his song. So to get this dude off my nerves, I played it without listening to the song first. The party immediately

“My first time mixing live on air I accidently played “Pop Dat Pussy” instead of “Pop Dat Coochie” with the station owners and GM right there watching. Thank God I had a good mic man behind the boards.” – Ike G

“I was DJing at this local rapper’s CD release party, and all his people were in the building. I was trying to pump up the performance on the mic, and right before he [went] on I totally said his name wrong. The whole crowd boo’ed me.” – J. Espinosa “The first time I opened for E-40 I was real nervous so I tried to throw back a shot of 151. I missed my mouth and threw it right into my eyes.” – Jay-Fields “I was spinning at a packed club, and I’ve been eating a lot so I had started getting a little belly. I was mixing and my stomach moved the crossfader to the other side and dead air hit. It took me about 20 seconds to figure out that my stomach had moved the fader over.” – KTone “I was DJing a BBQ for the Ques (a fraternity) at my university and they asked me to play ‘Atomic Dog.’ I accidentally started playing ‘Flashlight,’ which is the Kappas’ song. One of the old alumni Ques ran up and put his hand on my table to stop it and said, “That’s not funny, bro!” – Merk “I had a DJ buddy who played a trick on me. I was in the middle of a killer Hip Hop set, and when I turned around to get a record from my crate, he switched my Ludacris [vinyl] with a country [record]. I scratched the track, and then played it, and was shocked outta my mind. He laughed, I yelled, and had to get on the mic fast to cover it up.” – Nasty Naz “I was live on the air and my headphones got caught on the tonearm of the turntable and scratched the record extremely loud as it skid.” – QuickMixx Rick “I played the dirty version of Khia’s “My Neck & Back” on-air [on the radio] and didn’t realize it because I had turned the volume down to answer my cell. By the time I caught it, 2 and a half minutes had rolled by.” – Shawty Slim

Pretty Boy Tank

(Stone Mountain, GA) A member of Hoodrich Ent., Pretty Boy Tank DJs Wednesday nights at Club Libra and recently dropped three volumes of Space Invaders mixtapes with DJ Spinz. Pretty Boy Tank is currently on the road with F.L.Y. (“Swag Surfin”), a group he helped develop in his market. djprettyboytank@ gmail.com, Twitter. com/DJPrettyBoyTank, Myspace.com/DJPrettyBoyTank


QuickMixx Rick

(Dallas, TX) QuickMixx Rick has been with 97.9 the Beat in Dallas since 2002 and has been rated the #1 radio mixer in the area by Arbitron for the last four years. Rick is also a part of the roster at Sirius XM 67 Hip Hop Nation and belongs to the Violator AllStar DJs and Turntable Assassins. quickmixx@gmail.com, Twitter.com/QuickMixxRick, Myspace. com/QuickMixxRick

DJ Reconn

(Orlando, FL) Reconn began his career while working part-time at 107.1 RYTHYM FM, an underground station in Ft. Lauderdale. After moving to Orlando he earned a name in street promotions before landing a permanent gig with 102 Jamz. Alongside his radio and club duties, Reconn works with local artists Young Trama and Stick. Djreconn1@gmail.com, Twitter.com/DJReconn, Myspace.com/DJReconn

Scrap Dirty

(Ridgeland, MS) Founder of the Violator Allstar DJs, Scrap Dirty can be heard on Violator Radio on Sirius/XM as well as WRBJ 97.7 FM. He also has a long running mixtape series called DirtySoul and tours with Slum Village. Twitter.com/ScrapDirty, Myspace.com/DJScrapDirty

“I almost electrocuting myself while connecting a speaker. Dying before a gig would not have been good.” – Treats “I was DJing at the club and when I turned around to go through my record crate, my boys Niko and Jay One taped the turntable platter so that it wouldn’t spin. I kept trying to turn to power on and off, and even unplugged the turntable, but the platter still wouldn’t move. The song ran out, and I had to drop the needle back to the beginning of the song. I was pissed and started flipping out on the promoter, and told him that his turntable was busted. Then, all of a sudden, my boys showed me the tape. Hopefully I can pull that same prank on another DJ one day.” – Wreckineyez

“I was so drunk while I was mixing that the speaker went out and the music was only coming out of my headphones. But I still thought I was jammin’.” – Big Von

Shawty Slim

(Macon, Savannah, Albany, GA) Shawty Slim has accomplished quite a lot since his days of spinning in the cafeteria at Fort Valley State University. He now has a mixshow at not one, but three radio stations: 97.9 WIBB in Macon, 96.3 WJIZ in Albany, and WQBT 94.1 The Beat in Savannah. He also recently dropped the 17th volume of his Sucker Free R&B mixtape series. shawtyslim@gmail. com, Twitter.com/ ShawtySlim, Myspace. com/ShawtySlim

DJ Slytay

(Augusta, GA) A Hittmenn and Fleet DJ, Slytay began his radio career over 10 years ago at WCKX in Columbus, OH. The Ohio native now spins for WFXA 103 Jamz in Augusta, as well as Club 3000, and also produces mixtapes. djslytay@gmail.com, Myspace.com/SlyTay Mailing Address: 2217 Pepperidge Drive, Augusta, GA 30906

DJ Smallz

(Tampa, FL) DJ Smallz began his mixtape takeover with his Southern Smoke phenomenon and has now successfully

branded his Fear Factor series. The Tampa DJ tours globally and assists many upcoming artists build a buzz via his marketing company. DJSmallz.com, Twitter.com/DJSmallz, Myspace.com/SouthernSmoke

Everybody knows the music business can be a dirty game. We asked the panel of DJs their opinion on the best way to handle a promoter that won’t pay up. “I don’t. I send my lawyer after them.” – 360 “Thanks to my partner Mike, I have my own club on the Southside of Atlanta so I am my own promoter. I don’t really have problems with other clubs. I make sure my business is up front if I deal with someone else.” – Ace “Blacklist them bitches. Ring the alarm! Let the people know and air their asses out.” – Amen “I smack the shit outta them.” – Big Severe

DJ Spinatik

(Tampa, FL) Spinatik holds club residencies at Mirage and Skye, as well as a weekly mixshow called “Friday Night Lockdown” on 95.7 The Beat from 9pm12am. His newest mixtapes include Yo Gotti: Pyrex King, Jadakiss: Kiss the King, and Street Runnaz: Vol. 34-36. Mp3@djspinatik.com, Twitter.com/DJSpinatik, Myspace.com/ DJSpinatik

DJ Treats

(New York) Treats tours with Mickey Factz and spins at Sway Lounge, The Studio at Webster Hall, The Delancy, Sutra, Bob’s, and Ella. Treats has a strong appreciation for creativity which is displayed on his latest projects Michael Cera vs. Scott Pilgrim, DJ Treats Presents: The Sneaktip All Stars, and Deconstructing Mickey Factz. iamdjtreats@gmail. com, Twitter.com/ IAmDJTreats, Myspace. com/IamDJTreats

“Drag the promo nigga’s name through the mud, do whatever to bury the fuckers, ‘cause they know they don’t have them celebs coming to the party. Please stop the flyer fuckery.” – Big Von “Cut the music off right in the middle of your set and walk out of the booth. But you have to make sure that there isn’t another DJ there that can replace you.” – Blak “I deal with them only once.” – CC Cruz “I avoid them. They will try to beat you every chance they get. Just remember to avoid the unlucky and unhappy, these people cause their own misfortune and they will draw it on you too.” – CJ tha Sticman “I hang ‘em, then I cut ‘em, then I shoot ‘em, then I kill ‘em. Just joking. No dough, no show.” – Class “Get your money up front. Promoters need to understand that the DJ is a pre-existing expense and we should be paid our full fee regardless of the outcome of their event. All DJs need to start making clubs and promoters sign contracts. Other than that, keep your goons with you at all times.” – Enferno “Dog bites you once, shame on the dog – twice, shame on you.” – Fubu “Never negotiate. They always hire you for an amount and if it’s dead, they wait until the end of the night to tell you they have no money. Your fee should be your fee whether the club is packed or not. You still showed up to work and did your job.” – Funkdaddy

“Promoting is a tough gig so I’ll give a promoter a few chances to tighten up.” – Greg G “Promoters get one chance with me. I’m a street ninja before I’m a DJ so I will bust your ass.” – Ike G “Don’t show up to the gig the next week.” – J1 “I try to resolve the issue. If there is no way we can work it out then I make sure to warn other artists and DJs so they can learn from what I’m dealing with, and I won’t work with that promoter anymore.” – Jay-Fields “I don’t. I’ve been at it long enough to just not care.” – JT Quick “Make ‘em sign contracts, and stay on they ass ‘til they get me my money. I got money to collect right now. I promote myself too so if they won’t pay me I’ll pay myself.” – Mike Smoove “That’s what contracts are for.” – Pretty Boy Tank “I let AB Butler at Violator Management/Back in the Game Ent. deal with that stuff.” – Scrap Dirty “I always ask around before dealing with most people.” – Shawty Slim “I’ve put them on blast on the internet before. I’d give out their names and their info on my website DJSmallz.com and all my social networking sites like Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter, and I let other artists and DJs know about them.” – Smallz “I respond with some ignorant records like The L.O.X. ‘Fuck You’, Young Jeezy ‘Who Dat’, The Diplomats ‘I Really Mean It’, ‘Keep It Thoro’ by Prodigy, and ‘Breakfast’ by LeLe.” – Treats “With violence...I’m just kidding. I just won’t work with them any more after that.” – Truly Odd “Depending on how I feel, I’ll either air them out to my other DJ friends, or I’ll just let it roll off like water on a duck’s back.” – Whut It Dew “Don’t ever work with him or her again, or if you do, sign a contract and get money up front. I still have promoters/club owners who owe me money. Eventually you have to take them to court, or put them on blast.” – Wreckineyez

“I have a best friend/brother named Hulk. He’s 305 pounds of muscle, all natural. He handles that. Look him up on Youtube.com/quickmixx. He makes it like Christmas time.” – QuickMixx Rick


With the popularity of internet downloading and blog sites leaking music, the DJ game has changed tremendously – sometimes for the better, and sometimes not. “On the good side, you don’t have to search and dig as hard for music as much as you used to, but on a bad note, the music isn’t exclusive to the elite DJs anymore. Everyone gets it damn near at the same time now.” – 03 “I started DJing when there was nothing but records. There was no internet so you had to mail the songs or drive them to whereever you were trying get your music heard. The internet makes it easier to promote your music to other cities and states. You can cover a wide map area in a short amount of time. The negative side is music that’s not supposed to be heard is getting leaked out before it’s supposed to.” – Ace

“As a DJ, you can find just about any record you’re looking for in about 2 minutes on the internet. I think that also goes in the negative category, because there’s no such thing as exclusive anymore. It’s really about how you play your records more than ever. Everyone has the same tools, but not everyone can build a house.” – J. Espinosa “The internet helps artists get their music out to way more people than CDs and radio alone. It’s also a good way to get back info on how your music is doing. The bad part of that is it takes away some of the hustle, grind, and struggle that gives artists their hunger of trying to make it.” – Jay-Fields “Man, I love blogs. There’s great independent music everywhere. Even the majors can pre-release tunes that just weren’t right at the time. The negative is there’s a huge amount of crap out there. Digging for music is a full-time hustle.” – JT Quick

“The music gets around faster and with Serato you can “I think it’s great that people are able to share and suphave the new music playing the same night. It’s probport what they are feeling, but all these dudes are just ably bad for artists because there’s not a lot of money jacking songs from other people’s websites and blogs, made off the music anymore. Artists gotta change with and not giving the times.” – Mike Smoove the credit for their “The good thing is I get easy access to work. They’re “Artists can get feedback music. Back in the day I had to beg laalso letting out fix any problems before unfinished and bel reps to send me music. Let me take and committing the music to the reference tracks this opportunity to say fuck you to album. It also increases the before the artist artists’ fan base. Users see if all the reps that never sent me shit. really gets to do they like the album before And the bad thing is I get easy access their thing, which buying, because it’s disapto music. There is just way too much kills the actual pointing to buy an entire alsong for me and garbage to sift through and labels bum for just one good song. the fans.” – Amen will send out anything these days. The negative effects would be artists may lose sales, Back in the day they would press a “The music goes and of course there is the record with an A and B side and prostraight to the issue of piracy and copyright people, and you mote the record. now they mail out infringements.” – Nasty Naz can find out if 100 mp3s and see which ones stick.” you’re hot or “The positive is getting the – Greg G wack in minutes. exclusive music. The negative The bad thing is is that everybody wants to be some records only last a couple weeks, ‘cause everyone a rapper.” – Pretty Boy Tank wants what’s new, not what’s good. And lastly, any bum can call themselves a DJ.” – Big Von “Having Slum Village on our label, I see a lot of people who show love on the net, but also it becomes a real “It’s free promotion. The internet is the best way to curse because my fam doesn’t see revenue.” – Scrap potentially get millions of people to see and hear your Dirty music. Without the internet there are a lot of artists we would have never heard of, like Soulja Boy. But now “The positive is getting to break the new songs first and everyone is flooding the internet with their music and fast, and you get instant feedback. The negative about at some point it’s going to get regulated.” – Enferno the internet is that the anticipation of an album dropping no longer exists.” – Shawty Slim “It helps the artists get their name and music out there. But if that’s their only hot record, chances are “If you’ve ever spent over $100 bucks at a time on vinyl, no one is going to go to the store to purchase their you know the relief of downloading an mp3 for free. album. Back in the day if you had a hot record people On the negative side, an internet hit is not necessarily a would run to the store to buy it. Now, you actually radio hit.” – Treats have to have a hot album to sell records.” – Frosty “It gives artists a wider audience to get their music heard, but damn, don’t post the whole album. Let the artist live a little.” – Ike G


DJ T-Roc

(Atlanta, GA) If you’re in Atlanta, make sure you check out DJ T-Roc at the famous Club Crucial. T-Roc is responsible for breaking a majority of the new music in the area, including snap music which put him in the game. T-Roc is a member of the Hittmenn DJs, RocHarder DJs, and also promotes his brand in RocHarder Magazine. Rocharder1@gmail. com, Myspace.com/ DJTRocEnt

Truly Odd

(Los Angeles, CA) Truly Odd is the director of the Heavyweight DJs Record Pool and a member of the Bumsquad DJs and Shadyville DJs. When he’s not on-air on Sirius satellite radio, he’s touring with artists like Strong Arm Steady, Warchurch, and Brandoe the Younger. Twitter.com/DJTrulyOdd, Myspace.com/ DJTrulyOdd Mailing Address: 14731 Manecita Dr., LaMirada, CA 90648

DJ Whut It Dew

Our country’s economic setbacks have everyone feeling the effects of the recession. Some of these DJs had to adjust their game plan, WHILE others say the recession has actually helped their business. “I don’t think it has affected the streets as much as it has the industry. It seems like the labels are reluctant to spend sponsorship money for major DJ events and conferences, but it’s all good now ‘cause we’ve got Obama.” – 03 “Clubs aren’t making as much money as they used to, so a lot of new DJs are starting to undercut just to get their foot in. I’m talking about 60% under average rate.” – 360 “I don’t feel that it has had an effect at all. If you’re a true hustler and good at your craft, then getting money shouldn’t be a problem for any DJ.” – Ames

(Bunkie, LA) Winner of the 2009 Southern Ent. Awards Best Mixtape Duo with DJ Scrill, Whut It Dew is a respected mixtape DJ in the Lousiana/Texas area and beyond. He was a 2008 Justo Nominee for Best Chopped and Screwed DJ and received several other award nominations recently. Be on the lookout for his new podcast coming soon. djwhutitdew@ gmail.com, Twitter. com/DJWhutItDew, Myspace.com/DJWhutItDew Mailing Address: 40071 Branca Dr., Frederick, MD 21702

DJ Woogie

(Scranton, PA) A representative of the Shadyville DJs and an official mixtape DJ for Soulja Boy and SOD Money Gang, DJ Woogie puts in noticeable work. In 2008 he won the Justo Mixtape Award for Rookie of the Year and Best Canadian DJ. Woogie spins part-time at 97 BHT and can also be found at The Colloseum Nightclub and Club Evolution. Twitter.com/DJWoogie, Myspace.com/ DJWoogie Mailing Address: 1840 N. Main Ave. Ste. 204, Scranton, PA 18508

DJ Wreckineyez

(Atlanta, GA via Ludlow, MA) Wreckineyez is a tour DJ for Asher Roth and holds club residencies at Utopia, Sutra, Via, Sabor, and Django in Atlanta. An all-around DJ, Wreckineyez also spins on Sirius XM Radio Hip Hop Nation during DJ Jamad’s Afromentals Show. wreckineyez@gmail. com, Twitter.com/ Wreckineyez, Myspace. com/DJWreckineyez

“Hopefully it has made the DJ take on a debt-free attitude. The recession should have also made DJs take their craft more seriously.” – Bigg V “We are business men and women too, so when people cut back or don’t want to pay you what you deserve, that’s a blow to the pockets. On a lighter note, it can be positive as far as people resorting back to music as a means to escape and be entertained when things too much for them and they need a break.” – Class

“The recession has made people want to drink more and forget their troubles. It hasn’t necessarily hurt my DJ gigs. The last big event that hurt DJ gigs was 9/11. No one was going out, period. Even Vegas was empty. It was sad.” - Funkdaddy

“The recession is all propaganda. If you feel like “In my case, not much has changed. I have the there’s a recession, stop being lazy and push honor of working in a nightclub that’s been harder. It’s gonna take more than a word to stop doing well. But now more people want your job. me from eating.” – Ike G There’s way more competiwould say tion and sud“Being primarily a mixtape DJ, I’ve seen “I[the recession denly you got a major decline in how many artists has caused] these wannabe or labels contact me to mix and host promoters to DJs that have hire $50 DJs, their tape. Last year, I had probably never touched but they were 4 or 5 projects lined up at any given vinyl before doing that that will work time. So far this year, I’ve only been before the for almost free.” hired to do a small handful of projrecession, so it – Element hasn’t affected ects.” – Blurray me.” – J-Flex “Club owners and promoters aren’t paying DJs as much, but “It’s given the new kids an opportunity to unthey’re also not spending money for radio prodercut big dogs. To be honest, a lot of big dudes motions either, which opens up the door for DJs had it coming. There are a lot of lazy crappy DJs who are connected with promotional companies that get gigs based off their name. It’s made who can promote for a fraction of the cost of me stronger. I found new revenue opportuniradio ads. In the end there’s more money for the ties. For example, I spin at a lesbian club on the DJs.” – Enferno weekends and they love it. You gotta put that personal BS aside and get money.” – JT Quick “The DJ game is recession-proof. People are gonna party whether they’re happy or sad.” – J1

“It’s hard for a real DJ to get the pay he orshe deserves because either somebody will do it cheaper, or they just use iPods, mixtapes, or some other bootleg way to do a party.” – KTone “I haven’t felt any effects of the recession. Shit, I was broke before the recession. (laughs) In corporate America you have to learn how to multi-task. They wanna know if you can see the bigger picture. In the streets they wanna see if you getting money.” – Mic Tee “Well, I’m allergic to the recession, so I wouldn’t know.” – Scrap Dirty “Big radio companies are cutting budgets for mixshows. People still [go to the] club though.” – Shawty Slim “I think Young Jeezy said it best on his album, ‘It’s a recession, everybody broke!’ We’re not getting paid to do as many things and the prices [we’re paid] are going down, but equipment and what not is going up.” – Whut It Dew “This is a promotional-use-only game and people aren’t buying [albums with] artwork like they used to. They tend to just download off the net and aren’t spending a lot of money. Mom and pop stores are closing due to rent not being paid, you know.” – Woogie


If given the chance to battle an experienced veteran, most of these DJs would gladly accept it, but not because they think they’d win. Most of them just want to see their favorite DJ live in action. “I’m not too big on the whole battling idea. I’ve pretty much rocked with every DJ I ever looked up to except Grandmaster Flash or Red Alert.” – 360 “Kid Capri, because I’m a crowd rocker and so is he. I DJ like I’m performing and that’s what he always did.” – Ace “Jazzy Jeff would be big for the highlight reel. He’s pretty high up there on my list of living legends, but he has kept up with the times and I already know he would give me a run for my money. Rev ain’t human either.” – Amen “Kid Capri. I would probably lose, but I wouldn’t look bad because it was expected. (laughs)” – Big Severe “DJ Craze is one of my favorite DJs.” – Element

instantly people would hear about me. Also, he’s not the most technical DJ, if you know what I’m saying. And when the battle is over he could probably give me some cool tips on what type of 39-inch rims I should buy.” – J. Espinosa “Jazzy Jeff. I really wouldn’t battle, I’d just watch.” – J1 “I looked up to and respected DJ Jazzy Jeff the whole time I learned and perfected my craft. He’s always been a true DJ with the skills that range from party rocking to shows and battling. Also DJ Scratch for the same reason.” – J-Flex “Kid Capri because his status is so damn high. If I beat him it’s a wrap, I’ve secured a spot in DJ history.” – KTone “I would probably want to battle Michael ‘5000’ Watts because he is one of the main inspirations that got me into DJing. All I used to listen to, besides my rock music, was Swisha House mixtapes back in middle and high school.” – Merk “Jam Master Jay. Not only was he a very talented and amazing DJ, but he played an influential part in defining the whole Hip Hop game.” – Nasty Naz

“Jazzy Jeff or Roc Raida so they could kick my ass and then teach me how to be better.” – Fubu

“I would battle Bad Boy Bill because I used to listen to him as a kid. I learned a lot of my scratches and techniques from watching him. That’ll be dope.” – QuickMixx Rick

“The legendary Kid Capri. He is definitely one of the innovators that changed the art form.” – Ill Will

“David Roddigan, even though I know I would die 6 million deaths. I still would be honored.” – Reconn

“Funkmaster Flex. He’s really famous, so if I won,

“I wanna battle DJ Clark Kent because we always talk shit to each other and I think that would be great for DJs to see real body tricks and juggles.” – Scrap Dirty

“DJ Clue and Biz Markie ‘cause I feel like they’re overrated.” – J. Boss

How many DJ crew affiliations are too many? Is it a matter of loyalty, or networking? We asked these guys their opinion on having more than one association. “Well, loyalty is everything and you can’t be loyal to all the crews at the same time. I don’t understand why DJs belong to more than one crew, but if they make it work, I can only let them do them.” – 03 “That’s their prerogative, but I’d rather do my own thing and deal with my own DJ crew. Artists


“Funkmaster Flex. When I was younger I would go to Cincinnati on the Greyhound to get the Funkmaster Flex mix CDs of him off of Hot 97. I would try and imitate his every cut and blend.” – Bionicman “I would like to battle DJ Jazzy Jeff because he’s my favorite DJ. If I win, I would throw him out of the club like they did to him on Fresh Prince. I’m just kidding, he’s my hero.” – Shawty Slim “DJ Mix Master Ice. I worked under him at WFXA in Columbus at one point.” – Slytay “DJ Whoo Kid. We’re both marketing geniuses in the mixtape game.” – Smallz “I don’t really battle but I would say DJ Jazzy Jeff. He’s amazing and he’s still on tour. But I love Cool DJ Red Alert and respect all the legendary DJs like Kay Slay, Ron G, Kid Capri, Funk Flex, and many others.” – Woogie

“I’m in two crews so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. We all support each other anyway.” – Blak “I can’t knock their hustle, but for me I was chosen by the best crew: The World Famous SuperFriends. I try to be on the best team instead of a bunch of teams.” – D-Tec “A lot of DJs think being in a crew is going to help their career somehow, but it doesn’t. You have to work your way to the top.” – Frosty “It depends. I think it’s okay to be down with a large network of DJs like The CORE and a smaller, more exclusive crew like the Heavy Hitters.” – Greg G

and labels are paying the head of these DJ crews thousands of dollars to play their music and the DJs in the crews aren’t all getting paid. Why blow up this company you are so-called with if you’re not getting any of the funds? If you are one of the DJs getting some of the cut then do your thang.” – Ace “It’s good to be a part of DJ crews, and I myself am a part of multiple crews. In a way it’s very beneficial because you can all work together and open doors for fellow DJs.” – Ames “I think it’s whack. Rep your crew to the fullest, then put other DJs down [with the crew], but most of all rep yourself.” – Big Severe “If the goal is to have access to breaking more music and help independent artists at the same time, then cool. But just to say I’m a ‘this’ DJ, I’m a ‘that’ DJ is some bullshit.” – Bigg V

“If you run with a national crew and a local crew I can see that, but damn, if you send me a message to my blackberry and your list of crew [affiliations] is longer than the message, something is wrong.” – Ike G “It’s not worth it to me ‘cause you have no loyalty. Who are you gone ride with at the end of the day?” – J. Boss

“That shit is wack. It’s like being in hella gangs. You never heard of someone being an L.A. Crip, NY Blood, and a Latin King. Do you go to college and join 5 frats? No. Until they start sending out monthly checks or some health care, I’m cool.” – Big Von

“If you’re down with one crew that should be it. You can be affiliated and cool with another crew, but you can’t be a part of every damn DJ crew. Some of these crews aren’t really crews, they’re just record pools or DJ networks. There’s a difference.” – Kno It All “I belong to two crews, The Core DJs and Hustle Squad DJs, and both are national. I personally feel like once you hit 3 crews, you should probably chill on it. It’s not cool to be in 40 different crews.” – Merk “It’s a marketing tactic to get more money from different promoters who may be interested in different crews. However, it doesn’t really bother me.” – Nasty Naz “I think it’s a great idea. You’re not selling either out, you’re trying to do you. One crew might be real strong in one part of the nation, whereas the other isn’t. If you’re part of two or more you can get exposure and relationships in many ways, not just one.” – QuickMixx Rick “That’s whack. I don’t belong to no crew but the company I co-own with DJ D-Strong. I don’t rep no marketing companies that front like DJ crews. Those DJs just become another piece of the puzzle, but I’m trying to be the dude that designs and boxes the puzzle up.” – Reconn

“I don’t see any problem with reppin’ multiple crews, that’s why I do it myself. This is a hustler’s game, and it all begins with networking. Belonging to multiple crews allows a DJ to network and collab with more DJ’s, artists and producers.” – Blurray “To quote J Dilla, ‘It’s all bullshit.’” – Scrap Dirty “To each his own. I personally choose to stay solo and promote my own brand and movement.” – Smallz “There is nothing wrong with spreading your wings. I see it as a win/win [situation] for both parties.” – T-Roc “I don’t really care. Do what the hell you want to do.” – Truly Odd “I don’t see it as being loyal. How can you give 100% to all crews? All crews have different standards. Not all can play certain rapper’s music so you could be looked at funny from the crew leaders. Just rep one crew and stay loyal.” – Woogie “It’s cool. Working with different people can bring many opportunities. I tried the crew thing, but it wasn’t for me. I’d rather have a tight circle with a couple of DJs that are on the same page as me, and are trying to look out for one another.” – Wreckineyez


Who are the most respected performers? Your favorite DJs explain who they’d be honored to tour with and what makes those artists so revered. “Probably Plies. I saw him perform in Orlando, when he was only getting like $5,000 in Florida, and ever since then I always want to do business with him.” - Ace “Man, if Detox ever comes out, Dre I got you. I saw Jay-Z’s rider too. It must be nice rollin’ with Hov.” - Amen “I’ve been an Ice Cube fan since I was a kid. It would be an honor to tour with him.” - Ames “Jay-Z. To see where he came from to where he is today is amazing. You could learn so much about the game from him as an artist/ promoter/CEO/businessman.” - Bionicman “It would have been Michael Jackson because you just can get no bigger than that. He sold out stadiums. I would have loved to experience that once in my career.” - Blak “Devin the Dude can go overseas and sell out a venue of 20,000+, then come back to Texas and do a hole-in-wall venue with a capacity of 150. Nothing is too small or petty for him. He stays humble and I respect that.” - Blurray “Kanye West because he is the best.” - CC Cruz “I may be touring with Kanye soon, and I would like to set something up with Jay-Z. Jay has had an impact on Hip Hop and has been one of my inspirations from the start. I’m also looking forward to my tour with LMFAO this summer.” - Class “Redman, Common, Gangstarr, Q-Tip, Snoop Dogg, and Nas. No need to explain why.” - Element “Pitbull. His shows are always live and there are always packed crowds.” - Freddy Fred “Keri Hilson, so I can propose.” - Greg G “Scarface. He’s on a whole other level as an artist. Just look at his longevity.” - Ike G “T-Pain, ‘cause he has great showmanship and that’s what I have too.” - J. Boss “I would like to go on tour with LL Cool J because his shows are crazy hype but he still makes time to stay in shape. I would love to

learn how to be that disciplined on the road.” - Jay-Fields “Busta Rhymes. He’s a vet and he knows how to put on a show. A lot of artists just rap and get off the stage, but Busta gives you your money’s worth.” - Kno It All “Probably Mistah FAB because he makes it easy for the DJ. He’s great with the fans and other DJs. If something needs to be done, he does it. It’s easy to promote him because he promotes himself already.” - Ktone “Soulja Boy goes hard, and his shows are hype. I like the crowd to be rockin’.” - Mike Smoove “50 Cent. He’s just so powerful – controversial yes, but that’s why people respect him because he can back his talk up. He’s a real dude. I’m a huge fan.” - QuickMixx Rick “I would love to go on tour with Jay-Z, B.o.B, and/ or T-Pain. They don’t just get up there and do songs, they put on a show.” - Shawty Slim “Travis Porter. I like their energy.” - Slytay “I would like to tour with Gucci Mane. He has become an icon in southern Hip Hop and I personally like all of his music.” - Spinatik “The Roots. I’d want to be the Glengarry Glen Ross of their shows – always be closing.” - Treats “It would probably be an artist that is versatile like Keri Hilson; someone that is making good music for the people; and someone that can make a difference with their music and put on a show.” - T-Roc “My own artists: 2k tha Murdaman and T. Gunz. Established artists already have DJs and I’m not about trying to gain a little fame from those that already have it. I want to help my artists get to where these others have already made it.” - Whut It Dew “S.O.D. Money Gang Ent. because they made me family and gave me a chance to rep a major crew. I’ll do it until I’m discharged of my title.” - Woogie “Honestly, I don’t think I could be DJing for a better artist than Asher Roth. If I did have to choose an artist I’ve never been on the road with, it would be Phonte of Little Brother or Elzhi from Slum Village. They’re my favorite MCs. I know Phonte, and dude is hilarious. Being on the road with him must be entertaining as hell.” – Wreckineyez

Have you ever taken money to play a song?

Who is the next big artist?

Is it OK for DJs to belong to multiple crews?

Yes – 64% No – 29% Too Scared to Answer - 7%

28% of DJs polled say Drake is the next big artist

Yes – 46% No – 26% Don’t care either way – 28%

Best Mixer? Rane 57SL – 42% Rane ttm56 w/ Serato –16% Pioneer DJM800 –13 % pioneer DMJ400 – 6.5%

Collectively, our DJ panel has collaborated with every major player in the music industry. Here they give props to the artists that they’d love to work with again. “From my experience I’d say Ron Browz. That dude is down to do whatever it takes – perform, drops, whatever. Him and his manager, Rick Broomfield, do everything it takes with no hesitation.” – 360 “Gucci Mane. He goes in, gets the work done, and it’s on to the next mission. There’s no playing games.” – Ace “50 Cent and David Banner. Interviews, speaking, dealing with the people; they get it. When they speak it makes your ass listen.” – Big Von “Working with Kanye West is a real experience. That guy is really gifted and creative. I’ve been in this business since the 90s but I can say that every time we get in the studio it’s a fresh experience. That’s something to appreciate as a producer and an artist myself.” – Class “Murphy Lee, Yung Ralph, Yo Gotti, Young Jeezy, F.L.Y., Ace Hood, Gorilla Zoe, and Plies, just to name a few. If I need a drop or even host a mix CD, they have no problem showing love.” – D-Tec “Trina was just down to earth and did good business.” – Greg G

“Ricky Ross. He knows what he’s doing. He always comes correct and he’s always smoking that OG kush.” – Freddy Fred

We gave the DJs a chance to call out the artists that are hard to deal with. Unfortunately, only five of them had enough balls to speak up. Everyone basically said unprofessional artists are the worst to work with, but that’s a given. Here’s the scoop on who’s just a pain in the ass. “Tango Redd. He was young and didn’t have no hustle at all.” – Blak “Lil Wayne. I’m still waiting for him to show up for a show date.” – Ike G 58 58////OZONE OZONEMAG MAG

“I had the opportunity to DJ for Snoop Dogg. He had the utmost respect for DJs and made me feel comfortable, like I had [DJed] for him before. Also, Lloyd is cool.” – Element “Young Jeezy. He comes on stage and interacts with me and the crowd, and his songs aren’t too long.” – Enferno “E-40 is down to earth. Litefoot, Livio, Dough, Too $hort, Mistah FAB, Mac Dre, The Reallionaires, and the Turf Grindaz are all down to earth.” – Funkdaddy “Gorilla Zoe is so talented and humble. It makes it very easy to work with him.” – Ike G “Tech N9ne is a true professional and a really good friend. We’ve had some great times together.” – JT Quick

“The best artist I’ve worked with so far would have to be Yung Joc. He’s about his business, but he’s not Hollywood at all.” – Kno It All “Innerstate Ike from Denve. He drops music every other week and when you need something done, it’s done quickly.” – Ktone “The best artist to work with is my artist/business partner Dorrough Music. We’ve been working together since 2005 and now we are finally where we planned to be. He keeps bringing me hits and I keep breaking them.” – Merk “Glasses Malone always shows love. Whatever I need from him he makes it happen. David Banner, Crooked I, Steph Jones, Damani, Roccett, Mistah Fab, Bangloose, and 211 are good too.” – Mike Smoove

“Maybe Lil Wil. He did some punk-ass shit when he came to my city. He doesn’t sell enough records to be acting like that and turning down shit to help his career. I broke both of his records in [Denver] and he tried to play me like a square.” – Ktone

“Dorrough Music (RIGHT) is also the worst artist to work with as well as the best. (LAUGHS) When we’re out on the road, it’s hell to wake this guy up.” – Merk “I have yet to encounter an artist that was difficult to work with. There was one time at the 95.7 The Beat Family Reunion that Mike Jones wouldn’t take a picture with me, but we cleared all that up.” – Spinatik

“Akon, Sean Paul and Wyclef Jean. They treat me like part of the family, and not just a tour DJ or hypeman, or a tour chef. They treat me fairly and with utmost respect.” – Nasty Naz “Slum Village, because we break bread together and have a great working relationship.” – Scrap Dirty “From a mixtape DJ’s perspective, it’s Gucci Mane, Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Yo Gotti, and Rick Ross. A lot of artists still don’t see the value in mixtapes, but these artists continue to make them and embrace the mixtape culture. It’s helped pave their way for a successful career in the music industry.” – Smallz “I would have to say the best artist I’ve worked with so far is Jadakiss. He is really easy to work with and hilarious.” – Spinatik “Mickey Factz. There’s no limit to what he’ll rap over.” – Treats “Krondon is just an all-around professional artist.” – Truly Odd “Soulja Boy Tellem. He gave me a huge chance by allowing me to do all of his official mixtapes.” – Woogie “Asher Roth. He’s extremely talented and has given me the greatest opportunity so far in my career as a DJ. Plus, he’s extremely humble and is a great person. Ash is real easy to work with, very laid back, and is all about enjoying life and having fun.” – Wreckineyez

bor, maybe my grandma.” – Element “Charles Sweeting, Papa Duck, Brisco, and Billy Blue. The next big producer is definitely CP Hollywood.” – Freddy Fred

Every year, new artists emerge to take the place of last year’s favored players. Here are the DJs’ draft picks for the upcoming season of “Who Wants to Be a Rapper.”

“Drake. That dude is not only talented, but he has the right people backing him. OJ Da Juiceman is everywhere right now. There’s something about Billy Blue’s music that catches my attention every time I hear it, and he also has the right people backing him.” – 360 “J. Money‘s got the streets gone on the whole futuristic swag situation. He works hard. He would call me to play his music while he practiced in the club with no one there but me and him. That’s work and now it’s paying off for him.” – Ace “Being in the UK it’s kinda hard for me to predict these things because big artists in the U.S. are not always known overseas. But I’d have to say Roccett. He always has hot joints and his work [ethic] is on point. I can see him doing big things worldwide.” – Ames “Papa Duck, Yo Gotti, Lo Fat, Show, Lil Buck, Money Carlo, and G-Mack. Mississippi is coming, it’s so many to name. These names jump out because this is what you hear in the clubs and on the streets, and they are requested.” – Bigg V “I have to go with Spark Dawg and Yung Texxus. When you work as hard as they do, and rap as good as they do, you can’t help but be the next big thing.” – Blurray “The next big artist will be the one that comes up with the next new fad, whether it be a dance, a walk, or a trip and fall.” – CJ tha Sticman “DJ Class is one of the next big artists. My single ‘I’m the Ish’ is doing very well, and the follow up single is gaining ground too. I plan on putting B-More clubs on for my city.” – Class “Boss G, Lil Brod, Marley Mar, Team IRAQ, Jah Bless, Snook, Mista Taylor, Grand Flip, Billy Blue in Miami, Rich Kids in Atlanta, Bettie Grind in North Carolina, Nipsey Hussle in L.A., Unladylike in St. Louis, K Michelle in Tennessee, Damm D from Dallas, and Attitude from Alabama.” – D-Tec “Nowadays who knows? Maybe my neigh-

“Kevin Cossom, because he can sing, dance, and write, plus he has an incredible work ethic. And he’s from Orlando.” – Greg G “The streets are talking real big about J. Money. [His record] ‘First Name Last Name’ is real crazy in the hood right now. He is consistent, he has a good following, and he’s organized.” – Ill Will “Ami Miller, C. Stone and Fat Pimp. They are very talented and hungry for this rap game. They want it too bad.” – J. Boss

“Seems like Drake is that guy. He’s been puttin’ it down on the blogs, his mixtapes are legit. His resume is good, with the acting, TV, modeling. Yeah, I got a man crush on him, so what.” – J. Espinosa (editor’s note: We’re taking the liberty of adding a “PAUSE” to the above statement on behalf of J. Espinosa.)

“Vaughn Anthony because he’s not only a talented singer, but a writer as well. It also helps that his big brother is John Legend.” – Jay-Fields “Drake, because his buzz is crazy and his material is good. Next would be Ricco Barrino. He’s written hooks and songs for a lot of major artists. It’s only a matter of time [until] the world takes notice of his talent.” – J-Flex “The next big artist in the industry would have to be Drake, that’s obvious. In ATL it would have to be Young Snead and Stuey Rock. They’ve got a lot of hot songs playing in the clubs and on the radio without the help of a label.” – Kno It All “From my city I would have to say Rockie, Young Doe, and Hawkman. Drake is making hella noise without any albums out. Nipsey Hussle from L.A. has a big buzz and his was the only mixtape I got on the streets when I was in NY.” – Ktone “Drake and Yo Gotti are the people’s champs right now. They have the industry buzzing over their future, and their whole cities are behind ‘em.” – Mic Tee “Band Geakz, Travis Porter, Young Capone, and J. Money (Futuristic) because they know how to keep it with the streets and know the politics of the music business.” – Pretty Boy Tank “All the Dallas artists are making a lot of noise, but if I had to pick I’d say Treal Lee and Prince Rick. They have a greatest hits collection already. (laughs) And Drake is gonna be big. I have all his mixtapes and he spits real talk.” – QuickMixx Rick

“The next one is a cat named Young Trama from Seattle and this artist named Stick from Orlando.” – Reconn “The era of next big artists is over.” – Scrap Dirty “B.o.B., Playboy Tre, Young-R, Wes Fif, and P.P.C. They all have hunger, great energy, quality music, and they stay true to themselves.” – Shawty Slim “Travis Porter, because their style is crazy. They have a huge fan base already and don’t even have a deal yet.” – Slytay “Clete from West Palm Beach. His street experiences are real and he writes dope hooks. A lot of people rap what they seen and lived vicariously through their own lyrics, Clete doesn’t. Also, Laws from Spring Hill, Florida is an incredible lyricist. Fear the future.” – Smallz “Yo Gotti has gained a tremendous buzz and been on almost every mixtape I’ve dropped in the last few months.” – Spinatik “Mickey Factz, Supreeme, and Jade. Like myself, these artists are willing to take chances creatively, ultimately raising the bar for how far musicians push themselves.” – Treats

“Just do a song with TPain. He’ll give you a hit, then boom, you’ll be a big artist.” – Truly Odd “Hakeem tha Dream, Chalie Boy, SparkDawg, 2k tha Murda Man, T. Gunz, Grafh, Roccett, and a lot of others. These artists are bringing something to the game besides dance music. I’m all danced out, it’s time for a new era.” – Whut It Dew “Y’all gotta look out for this artist I’m working with by the name of All Starr da Great, mark my words.” – Woogie

“There’s a lot of new artists that I’m a fan of, but I think Asher Roth, Drake, Kid Cudi, and B.O.B. are the next big artists. They’re all making great music, are extremely talented and creative, and have a serious buzz. I’m also a big fan of Mickey Factz.” – Wreckineyez DJs, if you would like to be considered for coverage in the next DJ Issue of OZONE, please contact jen@ozonemag.com






done hands on. Me signing with TVT was like they weren’t really there. Them muthafuckers ain’t assist me to get to the next level . They just benefited off what I did in the streets and they got what they could get out of the situation. That’s all I know, is to do it myself and be hands on with it in the street.

You’ve heard about the Memphis rap scene. “No unity” and “crabs in a barrel” are the phrases often used to describe it. Just about every crew that has come from the city has either seen their numbers dwindle over the years or simply dissipate completely. Though he came in the game with an affiliation to local legend Kingpin Skinny Pimp, Yo Gotti has pretty much been an one-man show his entire run in the rap game. Right now, that’s looking like a good thing. He has no one to blame when things go wrong and he can enjoy all the spoils when things go right. He doesn’t get dragged into anyone else’s business, so he has all the time he needs to focus on his. After toiling through a less-than-productive run with the now bankrupt and defunct TVT Records, Gotti is inching his way back onto the national scene with a new deal at Polo Grounds/J Records. Backed by the momentum of his Cocaine Muzik mixtape series and some key features on the Gucci Mane hits “Bricks” and “Ridiculous,” Yo Gotti is poised to redefine Memphis rap as we know it. Catch everybody up with what you’re doing. Cocaine Muzik 3 is in the streets right now and I’m working on my album Live From The Kitchen for my new situation with J Records/Polo Grounds. TVT went bankrupt and I was able to get myself out of the contract. As far as the label stuff, what attracted you to take advantage of that opportunity? You have independent and underground roots and a lot of people say major labels are not what they used to be. I went from doing my thing in my neighborhood, to signing a deal with TVT a couple years back so, still to this day I never experienced the work of a J Records or a Universal, what you would call a big machine. This shit is something new to me. Everything that I have done up to this point I’ve


With Cocaine Music 3, what should people be expecting that they didn’t get on the first and second one? Is it like a continuation of what you’ve been talking about? First of all, Cocaine Music is a brand. Like, Drama has Gangsta Grillz and other DJs have their brands, like Smallz’ Southern Smoke. So, I said I was gonna form Cocaine Muzik to where when you hear this shit you already know its that real street trap shit, the shit that you got to have. I started off just doing me. So, I got Cocaine Muzik 3 coming then I’m going to skip 4 and go to 4 1/2. I’m going to try to put that out right before the album drops. If you heard Cocaine 1 and 2, you’d know that on Cocaine 1 we rapped on other people’s beats and we had movie clips in there that related to the whole shit and made it a movie. But we couldn’t do that on Cocaine 2 because we went in the stores and that was a part of the situation of me getting out of the deal with the people that bought TVT. So, on 3 we’re going to go back to this shit like we did on 1 and make this shit a whole movie. Why did you choose to use Cocaine Muzik as a brand? Obviously, when people hear the word cocaine, it has controversial connotations. I’m from North Memphis. When I get to Pittsburgh and Richmond, Virginia and Baltimore and Portland, Oregon where we’re doing these shows and I’ve never had a video on TV, when I get into their city and it’s 1,000 – 1,500 people there in the club and they’re paying me just as much as they’re paying the nigga on TV. When I drop the music they know every word. I mean, what else spreads like that [besides cocaine]? The addiction of the music, that shit is natural. How do these people this far away from where I’m at know this shit like this? To me it ain’t too much shit that spread like that. That’s the whole concept behind the Cocaine Muzik and if you put Yo Gotti CD in your CD player, you’re bound not to take it out, you’re bound to be addicted to it. If you take one hit of cocaine, some people are strong enough [to resist addiction] but the majority ain’t. They’re [hooked]. Since you’re able to go to these different cities, obviously the people are hearing something that they like or relate to. How much do you get to experience and interact with these people that aren’t from Memphis but seem to relate to everything in your music? I get to interact with fans at every show. I take pictures with the women, holla at the niggas, whatever they want to do. You don’t really see me come in the door and walk straight to the

stage and when the music goes off I’m back out to the tour bus. We kick it in the club after the show so we actually get to rap with niggas and we be in the malls before the show. We’re around the city getting something to eat at the soul food spots or we in the malls, so we get to interact with people all the time. Street life is a culture and the shit is the same to a certain degree everywhere. If I’m hustling in Memphis and you’re hustling in your city, we’re damn near hustling for the same reason. Some people are hustling to get their family out of the hood to a better place. You got [some] niggas just hustling, what I like to call, “just bullshitting around.” [Some] niggas don’t know what’s real; they’re hustling just to get some tennis shoes and shit, playing with your life. You’ve got those types of niggas everywhere. So, I think it’s the same. I got a song on my new album called “Looking in the Mirror.” When I approach another nigga, that’s what you’re doing. If you a real nigga and I’m looking at you and you a real nigga and you looking at me, we looking in the mirror. No matter what city, what state we from. Do you experience a lot of them in your travels? Do you seem to have fans that are reflections of you or do you have fans that are probably nothing like you, they just happen to like that music. We see both kinds. I think I got a good way of looking at a nigga and sensing if it’s a real nigga or not or if this a nigga trying to put his front on because he in front of you for fifteen minutes. At the same time that’s a hard determination to make within fifteen to twenty minutes. All I can do is I be real with everybody. As an artist and listener do you see a difference in the “street music” and the “commercial music” these days? Most radio stations are playing street shit. It really ain’t a difference. If I’ve got a big radio record, they’ll say that’s a commercial record. To me that record is the production, the sound of the beats sound big. I just talk about my life, I only know one way. So no matter how big that beat sounds or [if ] we got a R&B singer on the hook or what not, I’m still going to be talking from a street nigga perspective because that’s all I know. So, I don’t know how to make that commercial hit. So if the beat sounds commercial and it’s a big beat and it’s a record that’s very successful, that ain’t commercial to me. You listen to the verses and you a street nigga, you hear what I’m saying. If you really come from that shit like I do, you know the consequences behind that shit [we were doing] in the hood. Nigga, are you trying to get out? I’m not saying you’re trying to leave the hood or not fuck with your niggas from the hood, but you’re trying to get to a better life. It kills me to hear niggas say, “Aw, man, I’m staying in the hood.” In that case you shouldn’t be rapping. Go re-up. With so many street records coming out from rappers who may or may not have really lived that life, why do you say you continue to make that kind of music? You’ve got some success, so why do you decide to still cater to that street type music even though you may or may not have to endure those struggles anymore? For one, that’s what got me here. Two, this is what I’ve been living for twenty-something years, so this is what I can tell you about the best. I know this, I done this, I seen this. I can tell you this exactly how it went. If I try to tell you some shit I don’t know about, I don’t know if the song is going to be that good. I’m not trying to make

no big records, I got keep this shit street. I am getting with bigger producers to take my shit to the next level. But I’m still going to keep the same subject matter. How has it been so far trying to balance the two and learn along the way as far as getting with bigger producers and making more quality products, so to speak? I’ve been doing this shit professionally for a minute so, I think I got it under control. As far as working with different people, I don’t think I’ve ever been on some starstruck shit because a producer was big. I go in that motherfucker and whether this is your first beat and I’m about to use it on my album or you had ten number ones, I kind of approach this shit the same way. But I respect the nigga that had the number ones, so when I’m in the studio with him, if he says we probably should go in this direction, I’m listening to the nigga to consider his opinion. When I was coming up I was around some of the biggest street niggas; niggas that been had money. They was superstars to me, so I figure I’ve already been around stars before I got in the rap game. Tell us about your experience growing up in Memphis, if it was different or the same as some of the artists that we hear come from there. We’ve heard a lot of stories of pain and struggle. For me it was like, a young nigga trying to get on and just hustling with my homeboys. I was just doing me. There’s most definitely pain and struggle, but that shit [exists] in every city. You’ve got artists like 8Ball & MJG coming out talking about pimping and shit and they’re from Memphis, but I’m from Memphis and I ain’t no motherfucking pimp. I’m a hustler, but at the same time, that just shows you two different lifestyles in that same city. Was it hard trying to come from that angle? You know, Ball and G came out on that pimp shit. Three 6 Mafia was doing what they were doing. Then you had the Playa Flys and Tommy Wright IIIs. At one time, other than Criminal Manne, you were probably one of the few other Memphis rappers coming from that “street hustler” side of things, content wise. It’s kinda crazy because my situation is a little different from a lot of niggas. My shit didn’t have a blueprint when we started. When you start, you’ve got plans on making it big, so you can’t remember if it was hard or not. When my shit started, we was just doing it, hustling, young niggas with money. We paid for the studio and flyers and we’d be in these cars riding around shining and rapping for fun. We were doing shit just for the neighborhood. I wasn’t even focusing on running after DJs to get my shit played. I was just doing it for the hood. DJs started calling me. I ain’t know nothing about that shit. So in a way, it was a long time getting here, but I can’t say it was hard because I wasn’t focused on it. I was just doing the shit and it popped off. That’s interesting. You come from the “I’m not a rapper, I’m a hustler” mold, but what you just said is actually quite “Hip Hop,” when you think about it. When I’m in the booth, to me, it’s a feeling I get out of talking to a million niggas like me. I know when I’m in the booth and say what I got to say I ain’t just saying it for me, I’m saying it for a million niggas like me. I’m speaking for me and them, and I get enjoyment out of that. So that makes me feel good just to say that. So I guess it is like I’m doing it for the love at the same time.

But as a hustler you’ve got to feed your family. You can’t act like the money doesn’t matter. The money most definitely matters. If I can’t feed my kids and take care of my mama and little sister and make sure my brother stay out of the pen, I gotta go back to doing what I was doing [before rapping], no question. If you had it to do all over again, what would you want to do other than hustle? Man, listen. My daddy was a hustler. He’s 58 years old and he’s in jail right now as we speak for a dope charge. My mama was a hustler. My aunties [have] done Fed time. I wouldn’t change nothing. I come from a life of hustler and I figured that the shit the streets teach you, a school can’t. If I didn’t see what I saw, I wouldn’t be ready for the world. Only other thing I had in mind as a child was, I used to tell my family I wanted to be a lawyer so I could get my family out of jail. That’s the only other thing I ever wanted to be. I never wanted to be hustler, I didn’t plan to be hustling, but the shit just happened like this. We haven’t hardly said anything about your album yet. Take a moment to talk about it. It’s called Live From The Kitchen. I’m at Cool & Dre’s studios right now. I worked with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. I worked with Hot Rod, he did “5-Star Bitch,” I just signed him. I work with so many producers that I can’t even remember. I’m trying to create a classic. We’ve got 63 songs right now so by the time I pick the 13-14 we use, I’ll probably have 100 songs. I just want this shit to be a classic album that niggas remember. We want to show that we can take this shit to the next level. To you, what are the ingredients of a classic? A classic has to have at least five or six singles. Niggas nowadays have one [hit record] and you throw the CD out. We need to have five or six singles, even if it’s three on radio and three in the streets. Then the CD has to be be well thought out. How often do you record? I record every day so I don’t have to open up my budget to get in the studio. I’m already in the studio anyway, fucking with different niggas. I’m on the road every weekend doing shows and shit. That’s my break from the studio, so it’s like I’m working still. You’ve got to be dedicated to this shit. People look at the NBA players, talking about his $100 million dollar contract. But that nigga practices. He’s always away from his family; he only gets to go home twice a month. That’s what niggas don’t see when they’re counting another nigga’s money. I’ve spoken with artists who talk of needing inspiration, or looking for it. What inspires you? It sounds like you don’t have much time to actually be inspired. My inspiration is freedom and making sure my family lives how they want to be living. Every day when I wake up, I’m getting phone calls from my homeboys in the Feds and sending out money orders and pictures. That’s my inspiration, because I could easily be where they are. My mama got the house and car that she wanted. Right now I’ve got seven or eight homeboys in the Feds. Of course they want to get out, but they’re men so they’re gonna hold their head up. Niggas gotta stay strong; they ain’t gonna tell you when they’re fucked up. They just want to hear that you’re doing good. You don’t know how good that makes them feel and how easier it makes it for them to do their time. In exchange, they tell me about different books I need to read. // OZONE MAG // 65


Admit it, when you first heard his 2007 hit “Ay Bay Bay,” you probably thought Hurricane Chris was just going to be another one-hit wonder bound for eventual oblivion. He certainly had all the SIGNS of a one-and-done phenom: he came out of nowhere and ascended to the top fast and without first building a core following. He was young and known for making dance records, and blamed by many hardcore rap fans for the death of Hip Hop. But two years later Shreveport’s very own has successfully proven you and the rest of his detractors wrong. In the last month, the Ratchet City representative preformed during a session of the Louisiana State Legislature at the Capitol building in Baton Rouge, had his video top BET’s 106th & Park countdown, and toured the country promoting in next album Unleashed. Hurricane Chris can no longer be looked at simply as a radio rapper. He has gotten to the point where his lyrical prowess, uncanny freestyling ability, and knack for creating club bangers is undeniable—even his biggest critics can’t argue with the fact that HC has talent. But of course success is always followed by controversy, and this remains true in the case of “Hurricane” Chris Dooley, Jr., who is facing an onslaught of hate from allegedly “stealing” his current hit, “Halle Berry (She’s Fine)” from a local artist in Dallas—a claim Chris maintains is unfounded. He feels he committed no wrongdoing and that the track, which is rapidly rising up the charts, is rightfully his. Chris has also faced


backlash in his hometown of Shreveport, which was spurred by his apparent falling out with the DJ whose name Chris chanted to celebrity status two years ago. Yet, regardless of whatever drama he has encountered, the 20-year-old has triumphantly weathered the storm. He is still signed to Polo Grounds, he is still relevant in the clubs and on the radio, and he is still poised to prove his claim of being “the hottest thang holdin’ a microphone.” First of all, congratulations on the success of “She’s Fine (Halle Berry).” It’s undeniably one of the summer’s biggest hits, but it’s drawn a little controversy too. First of all, why did you change the hook from “Halle Berry” to “Ms. Berry?” Actually, the legal department at J Records wanted to change it to “Ms. Berry” because they were scared that Halle Berry was gonna have a problem with it, or that her people would. But once they [saw] her endorse it and knew that she didn’t have a problem with it, it was cool and we switched it back to “Halle Berry,” like I had it at first. How gratifying was it to actually see Halle Berry dancing to your song on Ellen DeGeneres’ show? Man, shout out to Halle Berry; I appreciate her for endorsing the song. Anything she need I got her—I’m gon’ dance at her wedding if she have a wedding, and I’m gon’ dance at the next one if she have another one. I appreciate Halle Berry and Ellen for supporting the movement. Initially the song belonged to Superstarr, right? How did that whole situation come about? Actually, I went down to Dallas, and Play-N-Skillz had the beat and hook already laid down with an artist named Superstarr J on it. They asked me to hop on it, so I hopped on it and put a verse on there. The verse so fire I was like, “Lemme put another verse on there.” So we put another verse on there and then shot it out on YouTube. Superstarr J had the middle verse, and when it hit YouTube people got to dancing to it, so we told them we wanted to make it my new single. That’s when I bought the beat and we did it. Obviously you have a good situation with your label. That’s something to be thankful about, because of artists aren’t able to have so much creative freedom over their projects. We runnin’ it right now. We all the way on the ground; we all the way in the sky. Polo Grounds, we got a lot going on right now, and as you can see we moving. We ain’t stoppin’, ever since we came in the game we haven’t sat still, you feel me? We getting real live on the cover of OZONE. We got Gotti, Pitbull, you gon’ see me live in the flesh, Hurricane. You know I’ma get ratchet wit’ it. But we’ve just been grinding, it’s been a long road, a long time coming but we’re here and we ain’t going nowhere. Are you excited about your new labelmates Yo Gotti and Pitbull, and have you worked with them at all yet? I’m always excited to have some new energy come around. The music game always needs so new twists and something that’s gon’ keep it jumpin’. I’m a musician, so I’m ready to work with whoever. When they [Pitbull and Yo Gotti] came it was already love, you feel me? Much love. How does the dynamic of your label change when new artists are brought on board? It actually just helps us reach farther. You know 68 // OZONE MAG

Pitbull has a different fan base that touches a whole different audience, and he’ll be jumping into this ratchet stuff I got going on and just gon’ mix it up. We ain’t gon act saditty wit’ it at all, we gon’ give it to ‘em and let them figure it out. Speaking of the ratchet movement, I went to Shreveport for the first time earlier this year and got to see your city. I checked out all the famous spots like Club Koko’s and Brothers Seafood. Do you still live out there, or have you moved on to a bigger city? Yeah, yeah. I just left the city. You went to Koko’s? Yeah, we had a good time. We went out there for Bay Bay’s birthday party. The city on fiah, the city on fiah. Before you dropped the “Ay Bay Bay” single I honestly hadn’t heard much about Shreveport, so clearly you helped put your city on the map. A lot of times in small towns there’s a lot of backlash when a hometown hero becomes mainstream. Are you a victim of that at all. How do the locals in Shreveport respond to you now? Man, the city loves me. They ain’t never turned they back on me. When I come through the city they respect it, you know, we pull the cards out. We give the city a good time, and they love us. The streets, they respect me to the fullest, they already know what it is, we’re 51/50, 101% real. Are you still cool with Bay Bay? I know when you first came out you said he was your “ace boon coon.” Is that still the case? He be down there in Louisiana [still], but I think he’s in Dallas. I ain’t heard from him since I did “Ay Bay Bay,” but he’s down there in Dallas. They say he got a radio show, so he supposed to be doing his thang on the radio. How did you guys lose communication? What happened? Man, you know. People get that fame, and they get to working and doing different stuff. But I don’t know, man. I’ve always been the same dude, I’m still down there in Ratchet City chillin’. I can’t really change too much, and I can’t really speak too much for nobody else but I just be me and stay 51/50, 101% real at all times. In what ways have you, as an artist, changed since two years ago when you first came out? The only way I changed is that I’ve matured a lot more on the business side. I learned a lot, and I’ve matured financially. I’m the same dude, but I learned that the business of the game is real important; you gotta stay focused on that. If you don’t focus on that you gon’ get left behind. It doesn’t matter how cold you are on the mic. You’ve gotta get that paperwork right. That’s interesting, because you were only 17 when you first came out, right? Being so young, do you feel people tried to take advantage of your finances? Yeah, I had a bunch of people around me trying to take advantage of me. I had to fire a whole management team and get myself structured right. As I matured and found out what everything was supposed to be, I started looking at my situation and had to fix it. There’s a bunch of people that are just around for the lights and cameras, faking like they’re there for a reason, but really they ain’t got no purpose. I know you’re on Polo Grounds, but you were originally discovered by Smurf. What’s the situa-

tion with you and Collipark Music? Man, I ain’t heard from Smurf. I ain’t heard nothing from Collipark since Collipark signed me. We dropped and we worked a little bit, and then Smurf disappeared. I’m lookin’ for him. If you see Smurf, let me know, ‘cause I ain’t seen him. On your new project, Unleashed, who all are you working with? I got two tracks wit’ Bobby V ‘bout to drop, that boy been working, so shout outs to Bobby. He came through and we got it in. I also got something with Beenie Man, and you know I had to get Busta Rhymes and my pa’tna from Lousiana, Lil’ Boosie, on there. Speaking of Louisiana, how is the relationship between rappers in your state? Are Shreveport artists cool with New Orleans and Baton Rouge artists, or is there occasional tension between parts of the State? The whole Louisiana is rocking right now. We’re just focused on being together and taking over. We’re real strong and confident in what we’re doing; we’re ready to bring it to the world because we know they want it and they’re hungry for it. If you come to Louisiana, you gon’ see us rocking together. Ain’t nobody siditty, we ain’t hatin’ or fakin on nobdy, and we ain’t on no rap beef, ‘cause it’s real where we roam. Louisiana artists are real humble. When you come down to Louisiana, before you even get into the music, my city and my state be ‘bout respect, feel me? You’ve always been known for your freestyling abilities. If you could battle any rapper to prove your dominance, who would it be? Hurricane Chris, I’m the hottest thang holdin’ a microphone right now at the present time. If you put anybody on the mic wit’ me I’m gon eat they ass up—inside out. That’s from A-Z, your favorite rapper, go get ‘em. I freestyle, I do this. They talk about it, but you can turn on YouTube and see my being about it. When I freestyle I’m gonna give it to you real raw, I ain’t gon’ fake wit it, I ain’t gon give you no freestyle and then you turn around and find out that was something I wrote. I’m gon’ give it to you real every time I give it to you. Straight outta my head, real talent; I’m raw with this, I play with this. I’m gon super say it, if you get on the mic wit me I’m gon’ make tears come out your eyes. //


Fresh from his OZONE cover shoot – rockin’ a customized Miami Dolphins ‘Gunshine State’ tee with the Miami skyline framed behind him in the background – C-Ride is in a hurry. “I’m glad it’s over,” he says by phone. “For real. I’ve got to go to the strip club. Man. I’m rushing to get to the strip club. Remember the strip club conversation we had?”

Less than a month earlier, while on set of the video shoot for fellow Floridian 2 Pistols record “Lights Down Low,” C-Ride was overheard urging a special someone back home to immediately wire him $500 via Western Union so he could hit the local Tampa strip clubs after the shoot. What followed was a discussion in which the editor/owner/ad salesperson of OZONE Mag (yours truly) debated with him the expected returns of investing $500 in the strip club vs. investing in a magazine ad. Well, since you brought it up, why do you think it’s more important for aspiring artists to spend their money at the strip club then on ads or something that will have a more direct affect on their career? When I see an ad in the magazine and I don’t know who that person is, I don’t even pay attention to it. So I would rather spend my money in the strip club, because if some people see you, they’re gonna be like, “Oh, yeah. I remember him. He was the one spending money in the strip club and showing love.” I think it’s better promotion. Well, it’s a much smaller number of people that may see you spending money in the strip club as opposed to the number of people that might read this magazine. But regardless, what’s the difference between tricking and “showing love”? Tricking is when you pay to have sex. “Showing love” is when you show the hard-working females how much you appreciate them dancing. It’s hard for them to dance with those high heels on, getting on stage doing tricks and stuff. I just show love. I look halfway decent so I’ve never had to trick. The only time I’ve ever paid for it was if I was [having sex] with my girlfriend and we were role playing. We’ll role play like she’s


the prostitute and I’m the customer. You’ve got to spice it up, you know? Otherwise you’re just gonna get tired of it. Are you still with Cool & Dre and Epidemic Music? Yeah, I’ve always been with them. We just had a business opportunity to hook up with Polo Grounds, and it’s a great situation. After turning down Sony, Universal, and a couple other [major labels] they linked up with Bryan Leach [at Polo Grounds]. I think the people [at those other labels] looked at me as a monkey, not a human being. We don’t want to be treated like monkeys. We went with Bryan Leach because I felt like he believed in me. He wanted to do business with me and not just make me work for him. You’re not into the shucking and jiving? Nah, I got my 40 acres and a mule a long time ago. I’m trying to get more now. So you felt like this situation was less “slavery” than the typical major label situation? I really believe that, with all my heart. I’m a mixtape artist. I got signed off mixtapes and didn’t even have a single already on the radio. I feel like you should only go with a major if you’re already huge in your region. Not even just your city, but your region. Other than that, I think you should go with somebody that sees your vision and wants to work with you from step one. There’s been a lot of different sounds and vibes that have come out of Miami. Where do you think you fit into the spectrum? Are you speaking to the females, making club records, or more like a grimy, gritty type style like Trick Daddy? The C-Ride category. It’s a new category. I rap

about life; whatever I wake up and do every day, that’s what I rap about. I got this far just by doing that alone, so whatever new shit I see I’m probably just going to rap about it. Then I’m gonna throw in a couple stories to let you know that I’m better than the average nigga from the South. What do you wake up and do every day? Give me some examples of the types of things you rap about. I ain’t had a job since I was like 16. I ain’t stayed with my [mother] since I was like 16, so I had to pay the bills. Whatever I’ve gotta do to pay the bills, whether it’s talking to a fat bitch and taking all of her money, or being the middleman on some stupid retarded illegal deal that I don’t need to be a part of. Whatever I’ve gotta do to pay the bills, I’m gonna get it done. Every day I wake up thinking of the next way to pay the bills, and have fun in the strip club. Between those two [responsibilities] I have a lot of shit on my hands. So right now rapping is paying the bills? Yeah. It didn’t at first, but for about a year now it’s been paying the bills. I ain’t gonna lie. Do you have a release date for your official album debut, Automatic Vibe, yet? I have one, but I don’t even want to say yet. It’s before the New Year, so we’ll just leave it at that. Is it a challenge to make that transition from being a mixtape artist to actually having to put out a structured album with radio-friendly records? I feel like if you’ve got a gift, you’ve got a gift. I feel like I ran rap over whatever [beat] you play. I’ve always had that confidence. I don’t know how it is for other people, but for me it was really easy. My first single sounded like a mixtape record to me because of Teddy Pinnedherass-


down or [T-Pain] or whatever he calls himself right now. (laughs) It’s so big because of that guy [on the hook] that I think it’s going to explode. I approach every record thinking that I’ve gotta slaughter the beat. I put the beat to rest; it’s a funeral for your beat and it’s a funeral for the guy that’s on the song with me. It doesn’t even matter who you are. Welcome to your funeral. What’s the name of the single? It’s called “Money Round Here.” We have really big plans to shoot a video. Speaking of videos, I just shot a video with 2 Pistols. He just signed to Cash Money. It’s a real nice baby-making song called “Lights Down Low” produced by Cool & Dre, who are kinda like my brothers. Yeah, I think I was at the video shoot. Yeah, I think I saw a Caucasian girl with a nonCaucasian body at the video shoot. After the T-Pain single that you’re about to shoot the video for, do you have the next single picked out? What direction are you planning on going with the album? It’s an Automatic Vibe. We’ve got like four singles lined up, and we’re gonna see what me and Teddy P can do on the first go-round. [The reaction] to that record is going to determine what we put out next. I wanna go with a girl record next because that young nigga Plies showed me what you should be doing on the radio. You’ve gotta talk to the ladies [to get on the radio] so I’m trying to go that route. So you’re going the female route for the radio records but still keeping the street side. Of course. Last time I saw you, you told me I needed to get in the gym. So since that day I’ve been in the gym, so I can’t wait to see you again. Did I? I must have been talking shit that day. Yeah, you were. Do you have a six pack yet? Real niggas don’t get six packs. That’s that gay shit. What’s one of the most significant songs you’ve got on the album that really came from the heart? It’s gotta be the one with T-Pain. I’m not just lying to you because that’s [the single] that’s coming out right now. “Money Round Here,” that’s from my heart, I swear to God. I love it, I pray about it, I eat dinner with it, I sleep with it and everything. I love that song. What do you think of the overall Miami rap scene right now? At a certain point it seemed like there was a lot of unity and everyone pushing forward at the same time. Recently it seems like there’s a little friction. I’m gonna be all the way honest with you, because you’re you. I think we’re still far behind. Shout out to Dallas because I keep seeing new songs with dances coming out from Dallas. In Miami we’ve been dancing since way before I was born, but somehow our dance songs can’t break nationwide. So I don’t think we’ve got our shit together yet. I think it’s going to take a young nigga that everybody knows to sell over a million records and sit the city down and tell them what they need to be doing. I don’t know who that guy is; maybe he will come out this year. I think we’re losing. We need to stick together and push each other. We don’t do that,


but we need to. We all know each other, but we need to do more [together]. Miami is not a friendly city. If you’ve ever been to Miami on the other side of the bridge, then you know we’re not a friendly city. We’re not like Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia where there’s love. Southern hospitality. Yeah, we’re not even really the South sometimes. That’s what I think, my personal opinion. If you don’t like it you ain’t got to buy it. But I think we have a lot of catching up to do, as far as being [part of ] the South. Once we get it, I don’t think nobody is going to be able to take it from us. That’s why it’s taking so long. So you think the city needs to develop some Miami hospitality? Yeah, we do. But it’s going to take something major to get us to start liking each other like that. Strip clubs are big in Miami. Do you think strip clubs can break a dance record for the city? It seems like it would go hand in hand. We play our own records here, but we don’t allow [outside] records in. And it seems like we don’t push our records out. It’s weird that you can bust down here and still make stacks on deck, but you might not go nationwide. For whatever reason, strip clubs always seem to be the home base for breaking records, especially in the hood. The hood goes to the strip club. Down here in Miami so many records break from the strip club, but it doesn’t go past Florida. We’re trying to figure that out. C to the Ride is probably going to be the one to figure that out. I’m still working on it everyday, like I’m doing my homework. Are strip clubs your weakness? It’s actually my job. I found out how to make money at the strip clubs, so all the money I spent from years past, I’m working on recouping it right now. I’ve got a [club] night at the strip club that I love going to the most, which is Coco’s. I talked to the owner and got my own night. Every Thursday is C-Ride Night. So now I make money from the strip club. They owe me from all the time and work I put in, so I felt like it was only right for them to give me a night. Are you involved with strippers or you just enjoy watching them and you date the good girls? I just show my appreciation. As far as dating goes, I’m married to the microphone. Why not show your appreciation for women who work hard with their clothes on? It seems like there’s a lot of focus on stripping as an occupation for women, but there might be better job opportunities out there for them. You’re absolutely right, but when you show your appreciation to the strippers they compensate you. If the regular hard-working ladies would start compensating us… That’s not really “showing appreciation” then. If you’re just giving them something to get something back. No, that’s just if you have a bad heart. If you’ve got a good heart you know that it’s showing love, and it’s not just giving to get something back. You’re wording it all crazy. I show you love, you show me love. We’re in this together. That’s what this is.

Right. Giving to get something back. You can take a hard-working girl and give her [the same amount of money] you give to a stripper and she probably would do way more [for you], to be honest. How much money do you spend at the strip club in an average month? They call me Mr. Five Hundred Ones. But I mean, I make the money back. Don’t get it twisted. I’m not spending my rent money or anything like that; don’t get it confused. I think if you can [spend] under $500 on every visit, you’re doing good. How many times a week do you go to the strip club? Three or four or five or seven times a week. (laughs) So at least five times a week. That’s $2,500 a week? Probably more like $1,500 a week. But it comes back though [on my night], so you can’t really count it. It basically evens out. It’s just me living the C-Ride life, the shit I rap about. I’m absolutely a regular at Coco’s. I’m shooting my video on top of Coco’s, like [Rick] Ross did [when he shot his video at] the Rollexx. Interesting. When you hit the road to promote your album, are you going to go through Coco’s withdrawal if you’re not able to go there five times a week? You know, I thought about it. I prayed about it, and God told me, “Don’t worry about Coco’s. Just go do what you’ve gotta do.” So I’m gonna go with God and leave it alone, because everything happens for a reason. Maybe I need to leave it alone. Is there an ode to the strip clubs on your album? Of course. There’s like four. One is with Lloyd, one is with Trey Songz, one is with Pleasure P, and the other one is all C-Ride. So all of those [songs] have retarded strip club references. (laughs) Did Cool & Dre produce your whole album? Cool & Dre produced 88% of the album. The rest of it is niggas I fuck with from the crib. Are there any other features you want to mention? I’ve got Game on the album, Gorilla Zoe, Yo Gotti, and [will be adding] a couple more features before it comes out. Enjoy yourself. There’s a money back guarantee. It’s the first album in rap that comes with a money back guarantee. So if I buy your album and I don’t like your album, I can come find you and you’ll give me my money back? If you look me in the eyes genuinely and say, “This is a piece of shit, whack-ass album,” I will reach in my pocket and give me back the money you paid for it. I’m gonna check out your album and if I don’t like it, I’m coming to find you. Do that. I’m gonna have a lie detector with me, so you can’t be lying. I’m gonna know if you’re lying. You’ve gotta be genuine from the heart. If you tell me how much you hate my CD, I will give you your money back. And you’ve gotta have the receipt to prove you bought it. It’s the C-Ride money back guarantee. //


After years of flying under the radar with virtually no promotion, Pitbull has a new label and a situation he calls “a fairytale with a happy ending.”

With a resume as vast as that of Pitbull, and as extensively as he reps his city, the land he calls home could very well be known as Pit’s-Burg instead of Miami. But in the 6 years since “Culo,” his first Billboard-charting single, Mr. 305 has yet to garner the respect he deserves—and he’s fine with that. In fact, Pitbull is proud that for so long he’s been “flying under the radar.” “I like to fly under the radar,” admits Pit. “I feel that I’m stealth; I can fly under the radar but still take care of business, and my track record proves that.” His track record is definitely more impressive than most might acknowledge. Since 2002, when he first emerged alongside Lil’ Jon, Pitbull has sold over a million records independently. His 2004 debut, M.I.A.M.I-Money Is A Major Issue went gold, and the following two projects both moved around 250,000 units. In total, Pitbull has had 11 singles crack the Hot 100, including his current, “Calle Ocho (You Know You Want Me)” which is RIAA-certified Platinum. He has


appeared on soundtracks for major motion pictures, hosted his own Spanish language television show, and is famous for bringing the “sexiest women in the city” out to his performances. As the number 1 bilingual rapper in the world, Pit still feels the desire to accomplish more, and is optimistic like never before. “I’ve been in this game for years,” he says, “but I feel like now is only the beginning.” Perhaps he feels this way because after years of being under-promoted and under-appreciated by the now-defunct TVT Records, Pitbull has transcended the independent ranks. He signed a major label deal with Sony/Polo Grounds and is already seeing his decision pay dividends. Currently preparing for Rebelution, his fourth full-length album, Pit finally has the backing of that elusive machine he lacked for so long. As an artist who has been able to continually cross cultural lines and create music that appeals to so many different audiences, it seems only natural

that the Cuban-American rapper would eventually transition to a situation better suited to his needs. He calls his opportunity to work with Bryan Leach and his Polo Grounds imprint a “Fairytale with a happy ending.” Presently, his single, “Calle Ocho” is the number 3 song on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart and Pitbull is unapologetic at the potential his career is now realizing. He theorizes, “If I got the number 3 song in the country independently, just imagine what we can do with a machine.” The last time you checked in with OZONE you had just left your previous situation and were looking for a new deal. You’ve since signed to Sony/Polo Grounds Music. What made you decide to go that route and what do you think about your new roster of labelmates? Man, I love it. I’m back with Bryan Leach, who was the first cat that got me over to TVT. As far as the roster, you’ve got [Yo] Gotti killin’ the streets.


I’ve been able to learn the game through the school of hard knocks. I got a chance to create a fan base, a foundation of people who love Pitbull and know Pitbull as a person. I think I’m blessed to be versatile and to be able to tap dance through so many different cultures.”

You’ve got Hurricane who is constantly growing, learning more and more about the industry. You’ve got Nina Sky, who is an international , global-wide group who’s just one hit away, and then myself. I think I bring experience and knowledge, I’m someone who is hungry, and I’m always there to help out no matter what. I think from all aspects of the game, I just don’t corner myself in one market. What direction are you going with on your new album? It’s called Rebelution, and it’s basically a tour through Miami. I’m going to give you street records, deep records, club records, and then you’re gonna have obviously the pop records. I’m looking at a September 1st release. You have records like “Crazy” on there, and “Blanco” with Pharrell, which is The Fast and Furious single. And then you got the “Calle Ocho (I Know You Want Me)” record which is number 3 in the country right now. My next single is called “Hotel Room Service” and that’s produced by Jim Jonsin. You’ve had a lot of hits in your past, but none have been as commercially successful as your recent singles “Calle Ocho” and “Hotel Room Service.” After such a long time in the game, how does it feel to finally get to a point where you’re being recognized on a mainstream level? It just goes to show that the independent grind is definitely the way to go. I mean, I hooked up with a major label now, Sony/Polo Grounds, which is a venture deal with 305 Inc., and I also have a distribution deal with Sony Latin, but I’m a firm believer that good music goes a long way. As far as people not understanding what I do or overlooking it, I kind of fly under the radar, and I’ve enjoyed flying under the radar, but now that I’ve hooked up with a major label now and I have a machine behind me, we gon’ see where it goes from there. You definitely had a lack of promotion with your last situation at TVT, but I wouldn’t exactly say you were under the radar. You sold hundreds of thousands of albums and millions of digital downloads. Well as far as flying under the radar, a lot of artists get major promotion and the record becomes larger than them. They’ll have a big record but you won’t really know who the artist is. What I’ve been able to do is learn the game through the school of hard knocks based on what went down at TVT. I got a chance to create a fan base, a foundation of people who actually love Pitbull and know Pitbull as a person, and that gives me a chance to go out now and make a record like “Calle Ocho” and get new fans. I think I’m blessed to be versatile and to be able to tap dance through so many different cultures. That’s how I’ve been able to fly under the radar but still build a foundation; it’s been a blessing in disguise.


Being able to “tap dance through so many different cultures” is a perfect description of you as an artist, but that makes it hard to define the typical Pitbull fan. How would you describe your average listener? Honestly, I think most of my fans are women. Tupac said it best, if you ain’t got women fans listening to your records or buying your records then you ain’t doin’ nothing right. Personally, I’m more of a fan of [Notorious] B.I.G., but I respected ‘Pac’s music. So to be able to appeal to the women is important. Women, in my opinion are the fans with the best promotion—word of mouth. If they like something, they tell all their friends. As far as appealing to everyone, a lot of cats want to be street. A lot of cats tend to be afraid of losing their credibility, but to me those are the cats that don’t really know the streets, or have credibility in the first place. The people that buy their records are the ones that wanna be street and have never seen the streets in their entire life. But definitely with this new album I’m going to be able to showcase a whole lot more because I’m free now. I’m able to actually do records with other artists and do what I do best. You’ve always been a big advocate of the Cuban embargo being lifted. Has there been any progress in that fight? To be honest with you, I haven’t heard too much. What we’ve been trying to do is basically get the ability to go over to Cuba more than once every three years. Before, they had it where you could only go to Cuba once every three years—I can’t go to Cuba, personally. I would love to go, and I’ve been there before, but that was before my name got to certain point. So if I go to Cuba now, people would basically feel like I’m putting money in a Communist’s pocket. But I think we’re definitely stepping in the right direction. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, right? I dream of a free Cuba one day. You personally decided not to go to Cuba anymore, or you’re prohibited by the government? I can go over there, but if people find out that I’m over there, it’s not good. For one, if I’m in Cuba, Americans have no rights over there and I don’t know what they would do to me because I do speak out against the [Cuban] government. And two, the people in America would question me for supporting the [Cuban] regime. It’s some bullshit if you ask me, because I just want to go over there to see family and shit like that, but unfortunately that’s just the way it is. Your resume includes tracks like “Dirty” and “Melting Pot,” which are reflection records nothing like most of the pop music many people associate you with. My favorite Pit’ line is “Y’all look at these blue skies and think paradise / I look at these blue skies and think what a disguise.” It seems like a lot of people

have no clue that you can actually spit about serious topics. I love that, because it’s a surprise to many people, and that’s how you make new fans. Dudes come to my shows and they’re like, “Damn, I didn’t know Pit could spit like that.” And at the show they’re surrounded by the most beautiful women in the city, which really makes them love it even more. So instead of going to a club with a bunch of goons and wannabe thugs, you can come to the Pitbull show, be around the sexiest women in the city, and at the same time get a good show and good music. It’s the best of both worlds. How did “Shooting Star” with you, David Rush, Kevin Rudolf, and LMFAO come about? Actually, David Rush is my artist. He’s signed to my label Mr. 305 Inc., and I found him on Myspace. He’s definitely very talented and somebody to look out for. That song “Superstar” is picking on up on Top 40 stations, so look out for that. I heard you’re also working with The Backstreet Boys? Yeah, I ended up working with Backstreet Boys through Jim Jonsin, actually. He’s producing on some tracks for their album and one of them happened to be a fan of mine, so they asked Jim if he could get me on the album and Jim told them, “Pitbull is like my brother, no problem.” So Jim gave me the track, and the track sounded good. They’re definitely trying to go in a new direction and I think Jim will get ‘em there. It was a pleasure being able to work with The Backstreet Boys, as successful as they’ve been over the years. Boy band or not, they were successful. It’s hard to be successful in the music business. You’re the type of artist who can work with a group like The Backstreet Boys and just as easily sound good on a Lil’ Jon track. Do you think being so diverse musically and not really having a set genre has hindered you at all? I think it’s the new wave of the music business, and the first person to really turn people’s heads and make them say, “Oh, shit!” was T-Pain. T-Pain can out-rap most of the muthafuckas out. People think he can’t sing, but he can actually sing, he just puts autotune on his shit. He’s so talented he’s making it okay to be multi-talented; before it wasn’t like that, but like Rick Ross told you [in regards to] the whole 50 Cent [beef ], “It’s all about making good music.” Ja Rule put out a bunch of muthafuckin’ hit records, and then 50 Cent came along and talked shit about Ja for singing on records. Next thing you know, [50] goes out and starts singing on records. So it’s really all about making good music. Those who are talented and humble, and work hard and grind, will always prevail; I happen to be one of those people. But without the fans, there’s no Pitbull, so I appreciate them for always being there for me. //


Fly Life Yungstaz/Jamboree Def Jam F.L.Y. has one of the biggest rap songs in the country this year with their hit single “Swag Surfin’,” but their full-length Def Jam debut album proves that one single doesn’t always justify the need for an entire album. To be frank, in terms of rap skills, group members Myko McFly, Vee, and Mook make Soulja Boy sound like Jay-Z. Of course, F.L.Y. isn’t the type of group you can expect anything lyrical from, but saying Jamboree is cool for what it is would be a lie. Aside from their hit single, “Mr. Lenox” featuring Young Dro, “Gotta Be“ and “Across The Global” with Sammie are the only semi-decent tracks. Once fans get sick of “Swag Surfin’,” F.L.Y. will more than likely wipe out, and wash up right next to the Shop Boyz. - Randy Roper

Jeremih/Jeremih Island Def Music Group Criticism surrounding new artists can sway the judgment of anyone’s public debut. But for Jeremih, his full-length album adds up to the hype of “Birthday Sex,” despite the non-believers. Alongside his introductory hit, and his secondary offering “Imma Star,” Jeremih has other repeatable songs like “Raindrops,”“Starting All Over,” and “Hatin’ On Me”—all with different messages. Though it was effective, the exclusive composition by Mick Shultz could have been slightly varied to make it a little more interesting. Other than that, all Young Jeremih needs is time to develop. Before assuming he’s a one-hit wonder, remember that people also doubted Ne-Yo, T-Pain, and The Dream. Now they’re inescapable. - Ms. Rivercity

Diamond, DJ Smallz & Ladi Jade P.M.S. (Pardon My Swagg) Since her Bitch Music solo debut, Ms. 32 Flavaz has brought much-needed estrogen to the mixtape realm, and now she’s back with more P.M.S. Staying in her traditional lane, Diamond drops “N***as Ain’t Shit,” a male-bashing track about dudes with nothing to offer. Between Smallz’ gunshot transitions, Diamond sprinkles in a few other highlights like “Sicknan” and “Always,” as well as a few songs that may cause headache, irritation, and bloating. Because Diamond raised the bar so high previously, she has a lot to live up to, and P.M.S. somewhat misses the mark compared to past endeavors. - Ms. Rivercity


Twista/Category F5 Get Money Gang/CapitAl/ EMI After 17 years in the rap game, Twista still has the rapid-fire delivery to turn any track upside down, and on Category F5, the Chi-Town Tongue Twister rips “Misunderstood,”“Talk to Me” and “Fire” with Lil Boosie. The album’s slow jams are either hits (“Yellow Light” with R. Kelly, “Wetter” and “Yo Body” featuring Do Or Die and Johnny P) or misses (“Jump Off,”“On Top” with Akon, and “Birthday”). Category F5 has a few mishaps, but overall this album has enough for Twista fans to love. - Randy Roper

Fabolous/Loso’s Way Desert Storm/Def Jam Loso’s Way is the fifth release from the Brooklyn MC, and this time Mr. F-A-B-O decides to go the concept album route, with an LP that accompanies his film by the same name. This album is supposed to resemble the Al Pacino movie Carlito’s Way, but besides a couple lines referencing the movie, and a song called “Pachanga” (a character in Carlito’s Way), this is nothing more than a standard Fabolous album. There’s big name guest appearances like The-Dream, Keri Hilson, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Ne-Yo, and Trey Songz, and heavyweight producers like Jermaine Dupri, Ryan Leslie, The Runners, and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. Along with Fab’s precise wordplay, it all equals a collection of commercial records, contrived songs for the ladies, and some cuts to please the streets. All things considered, this is one of the best albums in Fab’s catalog. - Randy Roper

Gucci Mane & DJ Drama The Movie Part 2 This mixtape is the follow-up to Gucci Mane (starring as Mr. T) and (directed by Mr. Thanksgiving) DJ Drama, and Part 2 has just as many hood classics as its predecessor. Songs like “Pressure” featuring Woo Da Kid, “Beat It Up” with Trey Songz on the hook, and the Shawnna & Nikki Minaj assisted “Gucci” are potential club bangers, but there are songs like “Leading Lady,”“Ain’t Nothing Else To Do” and “Awesome” that will frustrate fans just from listening to Gucci’s remedial rhymes. Despite some awkward flows, both Gucci Mane and Drama continue their winning ways on this Gangsta Grillz release. - Randy Roper

Young Buck, DJ Scream & DJ Smallz/Back On My Buck Shit Young Buck always had a vicious side to some of his lyrics, but his recent tribulations have added an edge and urgency. Buck rips his way through the DJ Smallz-sponsored Back On My Buck Shit, which doesn’t offer anything out of the ordinary production-wise, but is carried by Buck’s content. Buck Shit proves that the Memphis native hasn’t lost a step. It’s a clear message to the labels: break out the checkbook and get in business with Buck. - Rohit Loomba Willie Isz/Georgiavania Lex Records Pennsylvania producer Jneiro Jarel and Khujo Goodie, collectively known as Willie Isz, take listeners on a journey to Georgiavania, a mixture of their respective homes, Georgia and Pennsylvania. While this collaborative effort is atypical by Hip Hop standards, Goodie Mob fans will be pleased to hear Khujo back on the mic. Most of Jarel’s beats are a bit out of this world, and you might need to smoke something to really appreciate them. Like Gnarls Barkley (Goodie Mob’s Cee-Lo and producer Danger Mouse), Willie Isz might be an odd couple, but their chemistry makes for some good music. -Randy Roper

Yo Gotti & DJ Scream Cocaine Muzik 3 Yo Gotti stays in everybody’s ear consistently, which is cool, as long as it’s not at the expense of making material that counts. That’s not to say Cocaine Muzik 3 isn’t worthy of a few listens, it just doesn’t contain as many addictive tracks as some of his previous projects. During memorable freestyles like “36 O’s,”“Halle Berry,” and “Night and Day,” Yo Gotti delivers the North Memphis edge that fans have rocked with since his beginnings, but he falls short of original production and concepts. “5 Star Bitch” alone makes this tape a banger, but it would have had a bigger impact if it actually featured a 5 Star Bitch. Can’t file this with the cocaine classics, but it will serve the streets for now. - Ms. Rivercity

Rich Boy & DJ Scream/KoolAid, Kush, and Convertibles I can’t deny that Kool-Aid, Kush, and Convertibles are appealing, but Rich Boy’s mixtape by this name doesn’t share the same quality. There’s quite a bit lacking on this effort and one of those things is energy. While the beats hit hard enough to get the average person crunk, they seem to have failed at doing the same for Rich in the studio. - Rohit Loomba

Industry 101


In an age where most music videOS ARE WATCHED ONLINE, you don’t have much time to catch people’s attention. SO director Gabriel Hart cherishes every frame of every video he shoots. As the man behind ultra-visuals such as B.o.B.’s “I’ll Be In the Sky,” Young Dro’s “Take Off” and Young Jeezy’s “Who Dat,” Hart is giving Hip Hop videos a much-needed face lift as artist and labels struggle to find a presentable balance between being creative and being effective. The Memphis-born director got his start creating show reels for comedians such as Mike Epps and Bruce Bruce. He even had his own aspirations of taking the stage as a comedian but as time went on, Hart saw that his work behind the camera was in more demand than his jokes. His first project, a joint DVD feature called Skitz with comedian FDSTMP, sold well throughout the Southeast thanks to Hart’s hustle and ingenuity. His work there led Southern independent music icon Big Oomp to take notice, hiring him to film for his popular late night television show, Big Oomp Live. From there, Hart hasn’t looked back. What ultimately caused you to make the transition from the comedy world into shooting music videos? Big Oomp said I was “fie with the camera” and he wanted me to make a movie with him. Those were his aspirations. We never quite had the resources to get the movie made, but he was planting the seed in my mind that I could do it. Then I shot his artist Slim J’s video. We went to Jazzy T’s on a slow night, we got all the strippers and shot it and he put it on his show. Looking back, what do you think of the video, since you’ve come so far since then? I think I overdid the graphics, but looking back, it was very ambitious. I didn’t get paid for it; it was all about proving I could do it. That’s how I got my stripes, doing that kind of work and going into all the hoods. I did stuff with Hoodz DVD magazine too, and that’s where it started clicking. Everything was low budget now. I never thought about wanting to be a real director but when I realized that, I went for it. One of the advantages of living in Atlanta is that artists like Ludacris, Jeezy and T.I. bring quality directors to Atlanta. So I could go on set and watch them work and soak all of that up. Then I approached T.I. during his “Be Easy” video once and just walked up on him on set and started recording. I remember Jason Geter giving me $40 to run up the street and get some more tapes because I was using the same one over and over, just recording over stuff. He probably doesn’t even remember that. Funny thing is he just gave me a big job with Young Dro’s “Take Off.”

As a director, how do you feel about videos being viewed on the net more than on television now? It seems like the quality of most videos is now skewed for net viewing. I’m in here slaving over a video for weeks, or even months, and it drops one day on the internet and then it’s buried under a bunch of other videos. But one good thing for me is that I have a little bit of name power, since I’ve worked with Fat Joe and Jeezy. But I try to keep my concepts different and not so typical. I be in the hood but I try to present the hood in a beautiful way instead of just some goon shit. I try to do some artwork. If you look at Jeezy’s “I Get A Lot of That,” he wanted some goon shit, but I was able to do it in a creative way. The thing about working with Jeezy is, he doesn’t trip if I don’t write a treatment. You don’t write your rhymes, you freestyle them, so I’m gonna freestyle this video. (laughs) He just tells me how he feels and I visualize it, and he shows up. We might go off an object and grow from there. If the vibe with an artist is good, we can work and it’ll come out dope. Have there been times when that vibe wasn’t there between you and a particular artist? Even if we didn’t vibe, I wouldn’t look at it like that. I’m a new jack so I don’t deserve to talk shit yet. I don’t have my stripes yet. I haven’t done a thousand videos, I’ve only done 20 and this year ain’t even over yet. One artist called my phone out of the blue and said he wanted me to do all of his videos. But I didn’t have the right treatments for it, so I couldn’t do it. I could have just taken the job like, “You’re gonna take whatever I give you,” but I want to go harder and be more creative than the next guy. Like with the B.o.B “I’ll Be In the Sky” video. Since everyone has access to cameras now, do you think that’s giving the game a black eye? I think everyone having cameras makes my work stand out. But, the guys doing the street videos will be good if they stick with it. You have to study what you’re doing and why things look a certain way. I’m not worried though. If it can make the game better, I’m all for it. The bad

thing is that so many fans are making their own versions of videos that the new fans don’t know who to take seriously. An artist comes out with a song and then a week later [a fan] has put out a video before we even film the real video. It may be detrimental to the music, but to the visual world it may be good because it creates friendly competition. You are a part of a new wave of directors. We don’t see a lot of the big name directors working as much anymore. We’re taking all those dude’s jobs, we’re just not getting the same kind of money they were. But it’s keeping the game pure. Our videos look how they used to look on Rap City. We’re still doing good work, but the music ain’t as good. We as directors are doing our job. Now it’s up to the artists to bring that nostalgic feeling back. The new artists like Kid Cudi and Drake have that raw sound, but their videos look too polished. They really need to be fucking with niggas like me and Mr. Boomtown, so people will hear the song and see the visual and have it feel like Hip Hop again. Their shit is polished. I thought the Drake “Best I Ever Had” video was brilliant, but most people hate the video because he came from the underground and the video came from a pop perspective. Your videos have been featured as MTV Jams of the Week numerous times. Do accolades like that play a role in how much you may charge an artist for your services? BET just had their Hip Hop Awards and I wasn’t nominated for shit. I did “My President Is Black” and got nothing. But I don’t work for awards. I’m not an industry cat, I’m just a street nigga who know how to do videos. People appreciate the hunger I bring to videos. I don’t charge more after winning awards, because I don’t do it for awards. I do it because I love it and that’s why people gravitate to my work. I always get people asking me why I’m the one shooting the video. But the question should be, why shouldn’t I be shooting the video? I tell stories with my videos, and the story will outweigh shine every time. // Words and photo by Maurice G. Garland OZONE MAG // 79

Before producing tracks for Drake, Toronto, Canadian producer Boi1da had a discography that already included Kardinal Offishall, the Clipse, The-Dream and G-Unit. But since hooking up with Drake and producing Drizzy’s first single “Best I Ever Had,” this 22-year-old beatmaker, like his counterpart, seems to be so far gone. Production Credits: Drake “Best I Ever Had,” Drake f/Bun B & Lil Wayne “Uptown,” Kardinal Offishall f/Dr. Dre & Pusha T “Set It Off (Remix)” My first major placement was on a record with G-Unit, “Red Light, Green Light,” which they eventually ended up using in their X-Box 360 video game Blood In The Sand. That was about two years ago. I also did “Set It Off” for Kardinal Offishall and Dr. Dre ended up jumpin’ on the remix. [But] “Best I Ever Had” by Drake was pretty much my biggest song I’ve ever done. 80 // OZONE MAG

I met Drake through my boy, [who] would always tell me about Drake. He was like, “I know this guy that raps, he used to [play] Jimmy on Degrassi.” And I was like, “Jimmy? The wheelchair dude?” I kinda questioned it. I had seen him on TV and I’m like, “This dude doesn’t even look like a rapper.” But we were instant messaging, and [Drake] sent me a few songs. He sent me this song called “Money”; that was the first one I ever heard from Drake. Ever since I heard that song I was like, “Yo, this guy is nuts.” I was blown away by the music. After we connected, I was at the studio one day, and Drake told me he was gonna come by. He came by when I was doing the beat for “Do What You Do.” We met there and he liked the beat, he came in and was like, “Yo, man, let me drop a hook on this.” While the beat was playing, he went into the next room and wrote the first verse and the hook in about twenty minutes. It was crazy. I was like, “You take this beat with you, finish this song and let’s do this.” Drake has always been that lyrical genius. Ever since I heard him, he’s always had those witty lyrics. When I first met him, he was doing more soulful music, records with Dwele and Little Brother. When he met up with me, we started getting in to the more mainstream vibe because that’s what I do. I produce stuff that everybody can relate to. He kinda switched his style up. He was like an underground rapper;

he had the whole underground aura going on around him, and he switched it up. During the Comeback Season, he put out that mainstream music that all people could relate too, not just the underground crowd. To go from that to So Far Gone, he’s just experimenting with songwriting and writing R&B and rap music. And one of the records leaked that he was referencing for another artist, and people took on to it and loved the song so much that he just ran with the whole style of the singing and rapping. So, he put something different out there. It’s something that has never been done before, but he does both very well. I produced “Best I Ever Had” and “Uptown” on So Far Gone. The whole process [for “Best I Ever Had”] came when Drake was instant messaging and [text messaging] me on his Blackberry, like “I got this idea for a song,” and he kinda rapped out the hook to me, and he asked me to make a beat for him. He gave me the whole vibe. He wanted the beat to sound very classy, but with that rock feel to it. The next day, I was going through some stuff on my computer and there was this sample in this folder. It was weird because this sample was in a folder by itself, and I listened to it. And I was like, “Yo, this could work.” The sample I used is called Frank & Joel Hamilton [“Fallin’ In Love”]. I chopped everything up and did the beat, and sent it to him. And he sent the song back in about six or seven hours. It’s an amazing feeling that people actually love the song. People are singing the song, making YouTube videos and stuff. But, I don’t let it get to my head, ‘cause I do realize that there is more to go, and there are a lot more goals to accomplish. I just keep on striving for more, although it’s a great accomplishment. I’m really proud of myself and I’m proud of Drake that we accomplished that and we are on the Billboard [charts] I don’t let that seep into my head and get me too into it. So, it’s an amazing feeling and honor, but I just think I’ve got more stuff to do. //

DJ Smallz & DJ Neptune

“Southern Smoke TV Vol. 3” Hosted by OJ Da Juiceman” 1. DJ Spinz & DJ Scream “Heart of the City 7” Myspace.com/dj_spinz Myspace.com/4045405000 2. DJ Chuck T “Down South Slangin’ 60” djchuckt.com

3. Lil Fats “Coast 2 Coast Exclusive Series Vol. 13” hosted by Rain Coast2coa


4. DJ Smoke “Smoke N Ryde Vol. 3” Myspace.com/djsmoke76 5. Lil Fats “Coast 2 Coast 86” hosted by Murphy Lee Coast2coastmixtape s.com

6. DJ D-Tec, DJ Cannon Banyon & DJ Dyce “Fuck Being Famous” myspace.com/scdjdtec Myspace.com/cannonbanyon 7. DJ Bobby Black “Crack Addiction: Gucci Mane & Yung Ralph” Myspace.c om/djbobbyblack 8. DJ Scope “Reggae Picks 22” Hosted Shifta Myspace.com/djscope 9. DJ Spinatik “Street Runnaz 8” Djspinatik.com 10. Evil Empire” Interstate Trafficking 7.0” Myspace.com/evilempire 11. DJ E-Top “Becoming a RNB Star Part 14” Myspace.com/etopent 12. DJ Leezy, The Gatekeepers and Phatsounds DJs “Tote Tha City Vol. 4” Hosted by M. Beezy myspace.com/djleezy352 13. DJ Scorpio “Warlord” Mdj cluyspace.com/djscorpio

14. DJ Clue & New Music Cartel “R&Yeezy” myspace.com/djclue Newmusiccartel.com/ 15. DJ Kamillion & DJ Charlie Hustle “Trapaganza 3” Myspace.com/djkam illionremix Myspace.com/4048386768 16. DJ Storm “4 Bricks: Birds Fly South” 17. DJ P-Cutta “Street Wars Vol. 24” Pcutta.com

Once again, Smallz and Neptune team up for a mixtape full of world premieres. This time, the third installment of Southern Smoke TV hosted by OJ da Juiceman features exclusive music by Lil Scrappy (“In Tha Hood” featuring Gucci Mane), Shawty Lo (“Bought That”), Rick Ross (“Killer Instincts”) and a host of new tracks from the best rappers in the Dirty South. Although a few songs on here could be found on the net first, Smallz and Neptune still managed to find enough new music to standout from the thousands of other mixtapes that drop every month.

DJs, send your mix CDs (with a cover) for consideration to: OZONE Magazine 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318

18. DJ Fletch & Gucci Mane “Gucci Gone Bonkers” myspace.com/djfletchdallas 19. Cookin Soul & Nah Right “1:00 A.M. And Rising” Nahright.com 20. Bank! “Twitter Mix Vol. 1” Myspace.com/bankonitmusic



Soulja Boy Event: K107’s Summer Jam City: Denver, CO Date: June 12th, 2009 Photo: D-Ray