editor’s note I’m Just Sayin’tho by D-Ray
ip Hop is not dead! I’ve seen three incredible shows lately that prove Hip Hop is alive. First, I saw my first Paid Dues concert, which was their fifth annual. Good work, Murs! I love me some underground Hip Hop, I just don’t always make it a point to cover those events. When I do go, it’s mostly to enjoy myself and the surroundings. This time I went and did what I do!
I had just seen Tech N9ne in Petaluma a few days before and he encouraged me to go to the Paid Dues show. So I headed to L.A. and linked up with my fam Strong Arm Steady and Planet Asia. It turned out to be a long day, but I was having fun so it flew by. It was more like a festival than a concert. There were indoor and outdoor stages and people everywhere. I got to see some of my all-time favorite artists, Tech N9ne, Strange Music, Freeway, The Jacka, Strong Arm Steady, and The Dogg Pound, and shutting the show down was a vet in the game, Ice Cube. There was so much excitement and energy in the building! Ice Cube addressed the OGs and the New West rumors. It’s very ugly when rumors get started. I think the uneasy feelings just got a little out of control. To me, Ice Cube lives and dies for West Coast music. All the West Coast beef needs to stop. Everyone needs to just do them, period, not add to the problems. If we all just do our jobs and not get upset over what other people are doing, we’ll all be so much better off! Let your music speak for itself. Quit interrupting! Help yourself, real talk. Don’t sit around talking about what other people aren’t doing for you. You might be blocking your blessings. I see music vets pick certain artists. Sometimes you just don’t make the cut, but keep pushin’ and don’t stop. Real music and real artists cannot be denied. It’s a show and prove game. Take a gamble on yourself before you think someone else should! I also hit the Steppin’ Laser Tour when it came to the Bay at the world famous Warfield Theatre. That was another first for me. I had never seen Lupe Fiasco’s show. He was scheduled to perform “Kick Push” back in 2006 at an independent record store called Moses Music in East Oakland. He was having a block party, and hundreds of people attended the BBQ. They were giving away free food and drinks and a chance to see Lupe perform. But, before that could happen, a young Latino boy was shot and killed right outside the store. It messed me up because the streets were packed and everyone had been enjoying the festivities. I always wondered how Lupe felt about that day, which was his first time in Oakland. He expressed his feelings from that day at the Steppin’ Laser Tour and held a moment of silence for the unknown soldier whose life was taken that day. He mentioned how emotional he was not being able to perform and do what he loves to do. I hope if Lupe ever decides to visit East Oakland again, he’ll come see our East Oakland safehaven, Youth UpRising. It’s a beautiful youth center, and they just installed a
Travis Barker & Me @ Vanguard for Snoop Dogg’s release party in Hollywood
4 // OZONE WEST
Trell & Me in L.A.
skate park. If you ever come and see the kids, it would make a huge difference in at least one of their lives. B.o.B., otherwise known as Bobby Ray, was also on the bill for the show at the Warfield. I’ve been a fan of B.o.B. since 2007. He’s a dope young’n and an all-around artist. Big ups to you and your success. The #1 single and #1 album in the country. Wow! Research his Billboard stats. You showed us how teamwork can create dreamwork! Keep living your dreams! Speaking of dreams, yet another great act hit the Bay Area. Drake performed in the Bay for the first time. Man, as I’m writing this, I just realized I got to see some good shows while I was home! I love the BAY AREA and the West Coast! Now I’m gonna rant about Drizzy real quick. I’ve known about Drake for a minute. I met him a few years back on Lil Wayne’s tour bus. Wayne says, “D, take a photo of my next superstar!” I said, “Who?” the whole YM camp was on the bus along with Jas Prince, and everyone pointed at Drake. I can spot a star pretty well, so you know I didn’t hesitate. I remember taking that first photo of him. Now look – he’s one of today’s biggest superstars! I watched him grow! I saw him on tour with Wayne and even when he sang Bobby Valentino’s part on “Miss Officer” the arena was roaring. Females were just head over heels losing their minds for him. Now, the timing is great for Drake. He’s one of the YM artists that has to lead the way while Wayne is locked up. One love Drizzy! Young Money is a machine, not a rap label. They’re an example of what it takes: patience and work ethic. They all pay attention to how Wayne stays in the studio, his work ethic, and the way he constantly strives to keep his success going. None of the artists on the YM roster wants the rep of being lazy when you have someone like Wayne just making money at all times! He doesn’t sleep, he stays grindin’! And he keeps his family close! The mind is powerful as long as you know how to use mind over matter. Mack Maine, I see you baybeeee! Keep up the good work! CMB/YM a.k.a. Oil Money! Slim and Baby deserve a lifetime achievement award, ya heard me? If y’all are looking for that new fresh talent out of the West Coast, check out Nio Tha Gift. Google his videos! My favorite is “Grateful.” Don’t sleep on him! #Loyalty #FreeWeezy #FreePSDthaDrivah #FreeZoastaDaRoasta I’m gonna do me! (in my Drake voice) - D-Ray, OZONE West Editor-At-Large firstname.lastname@example.org
Viva Las Vegas!
Guest, Me, & Vernon Davis @ Where Hip Hop Meets Couture in San Francisco