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PUBLISHERS: Julia Beverly (JB) Chino EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Julia Beverly (JB) ASSISTANT EDITOR: Noel Malcolm MUSIC EDITORS: ADG & CL Mecca CONTRIBUTORS: AJ Woodson, Big Earl, Bogan, Brian O’Hare, Charlie Braxton, Chris Imani, Cynthia Coutard, Dain Burroughs, Darnella Dunham, Dave Goodson, Felita Knight, Hasan Brown, Iisha Hillmon, Jeska Manrique, Jesse Jazz, Jessica Koslow, J Lash, Katerina Perez, Keith Kennedy, K.G. Mosley, Malik “Copafeel” Abdul, Mercedes, Mikhale Richards, Natalia Gomez, Raandu Avion, Rayfield Warren, Rohit Loomba, Swift, Wally Sparks SALES CONSULTANT: Che’ Johnson LEGAL AFFAIRS: Kyle P. King, P.A. ACCOUNTING: Nikki Kancey CIRCULATION: Mercedes (Strictly S.T.reets) Buggah D. Govanah (On Point) Efren Mauricio (Direct Promo) STREET REPS / DISTRIBUTORS: Quest, H Vidal, B-Lord, Kamikaze, Arty Gray, Jason Brown, Controller, Lex, Mad Linx, Music & More, N’Ron, Red Dawn, Dereck Washington, Pimp G, Dr. Doom, Big Teach, TJ’s DJ’s To subscribe, send a check or money order for $11 to: Main office: 1516 E. Colonial Dr. Suite 205 Orlando, FL 32803 Phone: 407-447-6063 Fax: 407-447-6064 Web: www.ozonemag.com Miami office: 555 NE 15th St. Suite 7731 Miami, FL 33132 Atlanta office: 131 Walker St. Suite B Atlanta, GA 30313 Cover credits: Question photo by Cheda; Lil’ Jon photo by Julia Beverly. OZONE Magazine is published eleven times annually 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 2003 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.
OZONE MAGAZINE MARCH 2004
I’m from Minnesota and I bumped into OZONE Mag online, even though we don’t have the mag up here. OZONE is the hottest shit, I check this site out every month. Keep doin’ ya thing and let XXL and The Source fight like hoes for nothing. As long as you rep the music you’ll always be ahead of publicist beef. Too many dumb ass rappers are still broke thinking that beef sells. All beef does is sell more guns at the local gun store to shoot our favorite rappers. Now print that! Oh yeah, get this mag up to Minnesota, shit, we got black folks here too! 160,000 strong! – DC, Rocksolid Productionz, firstname.lastname@example.org I totally disagree with your article on Lil’ Kim. Female rappers need to change up to still be in this industry. Whether or not she altered her appearance is her business. If I had money, I would probably alter some shit too. Most stars have had some type of surgery, and she still looks good no matter what they say. She is the Queen of rap, and will always be. And if she looked a shitty mess, how come she has graced the covers of hundreds of magazines? People are so quick to talk about her surgery, but she put female rappers on the map and into the mainstream. She’s a pioneer and a trendsetter. So fuck the haters! Lil’ Kim isn’t a worldwide icon for nothing. - Liladge I agree with Noel’s article on Lil’ Kim, “From a Dime to a Nickel,” but she really did need the nose job and her tits done! Damn, come on, she’s got the money – unlike most female rappers! Look at Salt & Pepa or Roxanne, all them old chicks don’t have the money or the time to even come back with an album. Kim’s doing a lot of shit they wish they could do right now! The only chick that’s on top of her game and money besides Kim is Queen Latifah. Even if she get a nose job, an ass job, whatever, hey, I’m still her fan. - Four Five I liked the “sex issue.” Some of that shit had me laughing my ass off. As always, I also liked JB’s 2 Cents – the part about being broke building character. Always nice to be reminded that somewhere, someone out there feels the way I do. I also agree with the thing about many publicists trying to push those no-name artists on us. – David Himes, Connections Magazine, connectionsmag@bellsouth .net Your article, “The Future of Slip-N-Slide,” is the best article so far on the whole Slip-N-Slide situation. Props to OZONE Magazine for puttin’ another tight one together for the South. I pray to God that Ted Lucas gets his label together, because at the end of the day he can only help the 305 movement and the Miami hip-hop community a little bit more. Also, Ted’s asking C.O., Money Mark, and Rick Ross for hits? I suggest he tune into 99 Jamz and listen closely, because Rick Ross has a radio banger, “Rap Star,” which is produced by Cool & Dre and features them singing on the hook as well. It’s definitely a great record, and it has the potential to be a huge success if only somebody gets behind it and puts the proper push as far as marketing and promotions. A dope video, some regional airplay (ATL, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Pensacola, Tallahasee, Alabama, New Orleans, etc.), and some vinyl pressed up for DJ’s to play at clubs and on the air. Come on, Ted knows what he has to do. It’s just whether he wants to or not. Hopefully he will. Props on the article, though. Personally, I’m extremely grateful for OZONE Magazine and all the work y’all have put in for the South and hip-hop in general. Respect due. – UB, email@example.com I used to do promotions for 102 Jamz a few years ago. I was just back in Orlando and saw one of your new issues and it was nice to see you are still going strong. Your magazine is still hot, and I guess I’m just writing to give my support! I know it’s hard with this grimy industry and the haters, but keep it up. I want to see you around in the future! It’s amazing how you manage to cover other regions but still stay faithful to Orlando. I love how I can find out what’s poppin’ here but also what’s poppin’ in Miami or ATL. I know it must be hard trying to stay down with Orlando but also trying to spread your wings, but I bet you
OZONE MAGAZINE MARCH 2004
can make it happen! – Dominique Jackson, firstname.lastname@example.org I just saw Anthony B perform in Los Angeles. He was very inspirational, so I searched Google for more info and came across your cover story. Very cool, positive vibes. – Triniti, email@example.com I agree fully with Noel’s article on Lil’ Kim. I share the same feelings, and I’m really sad that Kim fucked up her life the way she has. I’ll keep supporting her and wish her the best in her life and her career, though, because I’m not anyone to judge her. Everybody’s got their own issues. – Lboogie I must agree with the Lil’ Kim “Dime to a Nickel” article completely. Every time I look at pictures of Kim in her “Hardcore” days, I want to cry because she was such a cute and pretty girl, with small tits, rabbit teeth, wide nose and all. God made her that way for a reason, and she didn’t appreciate it and fell into the Michael and LaToya Jackson trap: Money can buy me beauty. And now, seeing pictures of her from the Grammy’s, I just cringe because she looks nothing like the rough-andtumble Brooklyn queen I once knew. Instead, an insecure plastic Barbie doll has emerged and completely took over who and what Kim was. I can’t relate to her anymore because she doesn’t represent Brooklyn girls or the streets anymore. I seriously hope that if Kim has at least one real friend left instead of just “yes men” and “yes women,” they can pull her aside, put a mirror in front of her face, and break it down to her that she doesn’t have to do this to achieve the white man’s standard of beauty. She is a beautiful African Nubian queen, and should respect herself as such. The white women she wants to resemble are the ones that are envious of her and her beauty. I really hope that she wakes up soon. She puts out great music and videos and is always exciting to watch, but my question is, is Kim really, truly happy? Did all that money she made for herself truly bring her happiness, or destruction? - Peaches I was just checking out the new OZONE like always, and I noticed you put our picture in the magazine! I just wanted to take the time to thank you for the support. I also read your 2 Cents. I deal with a lot of MCs and DJs wanting to hate, but someone told me once, “If they ain’t hatin’ ya, you ain’t doin’ it!” Keep doin’ ya thing. I see y’all workin’ hard, and it shows. Much love and respect. – Butch, Tyger Hill, firstname.lastname@example.org I read your article on Lil’ Kim, “From a Dime to a Nickel.” I agree with some of it, but not all. Kim is and was a beautiful person. Even back then, she was fucking cute. She had the look and the body, but no tits. Sex rap was her profession. That’s her 9-5, so mama needed to come to work prepared. You need the proper tools to do the job, so she went and got a boob job. I understand that. But fucking with her nose was uncalled for. And what made it worse was the horrible clothes, the blonde/clown wigs, and makeup selection. It made her look awkward. She needs to stop now and live with what she has, or she really will look like Michael Jackson. It’s a shame that Kim doesn’t know how beautiful she really is. To me, when Kim messed with her nose, she messed with perfection. However, I do understand the insecure feeling. Although I think Kim went a little too far, I understand where she is coming from. When you have money, you just find things to do with it. And I think for most people, who have a little hint of insecurity or low self-esteem, if you were given a lot of money you’d change at least one thing. We can’t judge someone for doing something if it makes them feel better about themselves. I just pray that all the surgery is making Kim feel good, and not insecure and empty like she probably felt before the surgery. - Devin Correction: Last month’s Patiently Waiting to Blow section featured Piccalo, who are signed to Trunk Funk Records (incorrectly listed as Towners 4 Life).
This issue is coming to you courtesy of BME Records, who gave me a case of Crunk Juice last time I was in Atlanta. I would be passed out on the keyboard otherwise. Who else do you know that can produce an entire magazine in one sitting? I was flipping through a rack of t-shirts on Broadway and came across one that said “Fucking Genius.” It’s so me. Coming soon: JB’s Guide to Fashion. Ballin’ on a budget, you know? And I’m still cute, TJ. If this is your first time reading OZONE, let me warn you that if you’re looking for a magazine with editorials relevant to hip-hop, this is not the magazine for you. My editorials are sort of just random thoughts. Actually, I can’t come up with a good theme. I’m stuck. Lil’ Jon’s publicist suggested that I write about my travel exploits. He knows that I have this tendency to change travel plans on a whim and fly to random cities without figuring out where I’m gonna go after that. And flying one way is a pain in the ass ‘cause I always have to go through the Super Super Security line where they practically strip search you. Joe, it was a great suggestion, but it would destroy my mystique. Haven’t you ever read the “48 Laws of Power”? People are always asking how I manage to be in fourteen places at once. It’s called time management, but you have a lot more power when you make it look easy. Besides, I know there’s a few haters out there reading my editorials faithfully and plotting my demise. Call me crazy, but I have a war mentality and the worst thing you can do is give your enemy too much information. I hope y’all enjoyed the sex edition, because my mother didn’t. She must have read it online, because I started getting bizarre email sermons implying that I’m some sort of cheap sex fiend who’s promoting pornography. Hey, I only wish my life was that exciting (that’s called “sarcasm,” mother). But it’s always more fun to keep people guessing, isn’t it? Anyway, I just observe and let other people voice their opinions. The “sex edition” wasn’t intended to promote cheap sex any more than the upcoming “hustler’s edition” is intended to promote drug dealing. In a few months, I’m also going undercover to bring you an exclusive inside look at a real life game of pimps & hoes. Why? ‘Cause I can’t understand why any woman would put herself in that position. I just like to figure people out, get to their “true essence.”
> Dave Chappelle > Crunk Juice
If Trick Daddy is worried about a product’s ingredients, you probably should be too
> Pitbull vs. Mr. Vegas
I hate it when I overhear conversations that are “off the record”
> Janet & Jermaine Beauty & the Beast
> Music industry layoffs R.I.P. Elektra, Arista, Geffen
> Ma$e making a comeback? Say it ain’t so
> Usher vs. Chilli
Celeb exes battle it out on Atlanta radio
> Super Friends DJ clique > Cryme Mobb > Blood Raw > Trina vs. Atlantic Records
Label execs not amused by “Big Ole Dick”
It’s so funny how people think this music game is for real. They’re always like, “Wow! You’re so much nicer than you are in your articles.” It’s just a magazine. It’s artistic expression, it’s venting. It’s not reality. Lil’ Jon doesn’t just bounce around all day flashing his grill, watching strippers and screaming “I don’t give a fuck!” He’s usually more tired than crunk. David Banner isn’t drenched in Hennessy 24/7. The Ying Yang Twins don’t just run around erratically screaming “HANH?” all the time, they also - oh wait. Uh, that’s a bad example. Anyway, the point is, Trick Daddy might be a thug, but he still buys ice cream for all the kiddies when the ice cream man comes around. Rappers are just people, not superheroes. Most of them don’t deserve to be placed on pedestals. Neither do I. So stop kissing my ass, it’s irritating. I almost died last week. Headed to Tampa in heavy rain, I had to slam on the brakes coming around a curve on the freeway and the brakes locked. So my truck goes spinning backwards in circles into oncoming traffic. My life flashes before my eyes and all I can think is “pump the brakes, pump the brakes” and I land safely on the right shoulder of the road. Lately I’ve also developed this habit of waking up in my truck in really odd locations without any recollection of how I got there. For example, when I drove from Miami to Jacksonville to Atlanta overnight after two days without sleep for the Ying Yang Twins’ video shoot (see how much I love y’all?), I woke up at a random Chevron. Then there was the marathon Tampa > Gainesville > Orlando > Miami > Belle Glade > Orlando trip. And the Orlando > Jacksonville > Tampa > Tallahassee trip. I don’t remember either one of those very clearly. But, there’s still room for improvement. I haven’t been hospitalized yet like certain people, so I must not be working hard enough. I need to step my game up. There won’t be any publicist bashing in this issue. I said my piece last month. I promised Wendy I would be nice, so... I love publicists! Publicists are my friends. But what’s up with all these artists refusing to do interviews unless they get the cover? Kanye West, Cassidy, etc? Negro please. Are white people allowed to say that? Speaking of “Negro Please,” OZONE got quoted in XXL this month. We’re an official magazine now. That makes me very, very dangerous. I’m a problem. - Julia Beverly, email@example.com Guilty pleasures: Cassidy f/ R Kelly “Hotel” & G-Unit f/ Joe “Wanna Get to Know You” Pitbull “Freek-A-Leek” freestyle Blood Raw f/ Pastor Troy & Grandaddy Souf “Block Burn” Lil’ Rock Dogs f/ Coco & Moses “Thug Life After All” Question f/ David Banner, Mad Preacher “Streets All Mine” R Kelly f/ Wyclef “Ghetto Religion” Kanye West f/ Syleena Johnson “All Falls Down”
Outkast “Roses” Eamon “Fuck It” Usher “Let it Burn” Lil’ Flip “Game Over” Pitbull “Hustler’s Withdrawal” Alicia Keys “Your Secrets”
This month’s bullshitter award goes to aspiring rapper Platinum Boy FCJ (AOL: DreamerVisionRds). His “HOT” single features Lil’ Jon - well, actually, it features Lil’ Jon vocals jacked straight from “Yeah.” As if that wasn’t bad enough, he promotes the track online by IMing random DJs, claiming that he is a DJ from Orlando’s WJHM with a “hot exclusive.” When all else fails, he begs, “Platinum Boy, he’s a kid. He’s homeless. Now what if this kid kills himself [because you won’t play his record]?” LOL. OZONE MAGAZINE MARCH 2004
Man, you 21 now, and I still can’t believe it Been living on your own, just hard to conceive it That you on the right track, out pursuing that knowledge But a few years back I couldn’t see you in college You was all out perpin’, brought a gun in the house My first thought was to take it, give you one to the mouth But never that, we’ve been through way too much I always try to give advice but not say too much Try to lead by example, getting high I had some nerve telling you stay out the street while I was slangin’ But I always preferred you do what’s smarter than me You didn’t have to prove nothing being harder than me You helped mom at the cleaners Stayed away from misdemeanors I was proud of you then, please believe I still am Don’t let the world get you down, throw you off your program Life is hard, even harder for the young black man If it gets rough, roll a blunt and puff some old slow jams I know every man with a badge is probably a punk But don’t ever risk your freedom just to throw one punch Let a coward be a coward, he has to deal with his past I know these pigs deserve it, but give ‘em a pass I know you wanna keep it gangsta, just do it with class Above all remember this, no matter how big you get I’m still your big brother and I can whup your ass - Murs, “Brotherly Love” (DJ Southpaw “Bottoms Up Vol. 1”) I don’t believe y’all some killers, I need some proof Y’all just some Baby Boys like Tyrese and Snoop Studio killers, I’ll swiss cheese you in the booth Have Al Sharpton in there, like, “We need the truth” Stop fuckin’ with me – that’s what y’all need to do Call your mama house, I need to speak with my boo I need to choose, my girl or alcohol Man, that pussy wasn’t all that after all Alcohol, sex, and violence stay on my mind You a swordfish, I’m a walking Playboy mind Like y’all rappers in the club, I’m thuggin’ out another section While y’all are still in the no-fucking section These women love me ‘cause I’m far from fake Make ‘em bust two or three and do the Harlem shake - Beezel, “The Keyword is Durty” I stay packin’ like Green Bay, or a nigga travellin’ And all that yappin’ get caskets filled like Easter baskets I do ball, move weight like U-Hauls In the trap servin’ white circles like Q-balls I’m a grown man, posted up like Yao Min Now that I’m ballin’ niggas trying to get on my team I love bread with a bunch of red chicks And I like long money so you can call me breadstick So don’t fuck with me, my cannon is loose I’ll pop a nigga and show up at his funeral like Bishop in Juice I’m comin’ down with cell phones big as Nino Brown’s But I ain’t taking over the Carter, I want your town I went from serving nicks and dimes to movin’ big tons I got more bricks in the basement than ten Big Puns I rep Duval til a nigga blow my brains out Til then, bitch, I’mma let my nuts hang out - Joey Cash of the 904 Click, firstname.lastname@example.org
He went from a kid doin’ regular street things Straight to a street king Takin’ over the city block by block Breakin’ down bricks servin’ em rock by rock He’s everything a young gun wanna grow up to be But if only those young gunz could see That murder, money, and lust is slowly murdering us ‘Cause the drug game ain’t what it used to be So look deeper when they paint you a picture and try to sell you a dream ‘Cause a lot of these drug lords turn to the Feds or turn into fiends The crack game ain’t everything its cracked up to be Now that same cat that was a neighborhood celebrity Is coppin’ rocks off the new kids on the block At the same time tryna school ‘em But these hoodlum’s heads is harder than the rocks he’s doing Hustlin’s like a drug, it got withdrawal symptoms And if you know this you won’t skip pain But you will gain wisdom, and wisdom gains power Don’t let your life go sour over powder Not only did my father used to deal dope He used to do the dope he used to deal I’m just keepin’ it real Now my father doesn’t have shit, I don’t have shit We don’t have shit ‘cause he didn’t stack shit With all the money he made, he didn’t think for one second to put money away That’s ‘cause his mind was tattered with white thoughts He’s lucky he didn’t end up outlined in white chalk The only thing I gained from my father is knowledge of the street game And I hope that y’all follow this I can’t say that I haven’t sold weed or cocaine, but I can say this: Money that comes quick leaves quick, and y’all better believe this ‘Cause this I’ve lived and witnessed Catch a couple of charges, now you’re on the law’s shit list Now you’re forced to do business until this business does you, of course “Cause you can die from doing dope or dealing dope, either or You choose the road that you follow And you choose the people that you look up to as role models I know a lotta hustlers, but I won’t mention no names ‘Cause they’ve still got cases pending Some are even appealing life in the cage At least they made it past the first stage, they passed a certain age Hustlin’s like AIDS, at first you’re infected with HIV and then it’s full-blown Only difference is, instead of havin’ no immune system You become immune to the system of having dough by dealin’ blow It’s a fast life, and even if you survive your mind will die slow Dirty money attracts dirty things And if you’re ready to deal dope I hope you’re ready for the murder game, ‘cause that’s what it brings I’m not a preacher, I’m not tryna preach, no I’m not a teacher, I’m not tryna teach But yet like a faucet I’m tryna leak info to these youngin’s and their kinfolk And let ‘em know there’s more to life than a key of coke If you used to push weight than you can relate ‘Cause you already had a taste of hustler’s withdrawal - Pitbull, “Hustler’s Withdrawal” (“Pitbull Unleashed Vol. 3” mixtape)
Email your 16 bars to JB@OZONEMAG.COM for consideration.
01 - Christina Milian and Lil’ Jon @ Hit Factory (Miami, FL) 02 - Mad Linx and Element @ Wild Splash (Tampa, FL) 03 - Piccalo reppin’ OZONE @ Calle Ocho (Miami, FL) 04 - Cubo, Pitbull, and Lil’ Jon @ “Culo” video shoot (Miami, FL) 05 - Disco Rick and the ladies (Miami, FL) 06 - Bow Wow reppin’ OZONE @ celebrity car show (Atlanta, GA) 07 - Pitbull invites some video models to his trailer for a Hennessy break (Miami, FL) 08 - Cool putting in overtime @ Hit Factory (Miami, FL) 09 - Tom G shooting the video for “City Boy” (Clearwater, FL) 10 - Orlando gets his groove on @ Wild Splash (Clearwater, FL) 11 - Black Profit, Mad Preacher, David Banner, Question, and Scar @ IMG Studios (Orlando, FL) 12 - Kelis and DJ Silver Knight @ Shadows (Atlanta, GA) 13 - DJ Dynamite, Young Beezy, Petey Pablo, Kid $ KG, and JD Hawg reppin’ OZONE @ Fuel (Tampa, FL) 14 - Freeway reppin’ OZONE (Philadephia, PA) 15 - MTV chats with Kanye West and the Young Gunz @ Electric Factory (Philadelphia, PA) 16 - B.P. and Sweetz reppin’ OZONE (Philadelphia, PA) 17 - Space and Ideal hustlin’ @ “Culo” video shoot (Miami, FL) 18 - Iisha and Pastor Troy reppin’ OZONE @ NASCAR celeb car show (Atlanta, GA) 19 - Lil’ Jon gets crunk (Miami, FL) 20 - Choppa and Ozzie Oz reppin’ OZONE @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) #1,2,3,4,7,8,9,10,11,17,19,20 Julia Beverly; #14,15,16 Felita Knight; #6,18 Iisha Hillmon #5 Disco Rick; #12 DJ Silver Knight; #13 KG Mosley
01 - David Banner admiring himself @ Spring Jam (Philadelphia, PA) 02 - Pitbull with director Coodie and the video crew on the set of “Culo” (Miami, FL) 03 - Lil Jon signs an autograph for a young fan @ Calle Ocho (Miami, FL) 04 - Singers Takia and Khaliyah checkin’ out OZONE @ the Co-Op (Philadelphia, PA) 05 - Big Teach reppin’ for Pitbull @ Calle Ocho (Miami, FL) 06 - Petey Pablo reppin’ OZONE @ Club Fuel (Tampa, FL) 07 - Buju Banton performing @ Wild Splash (Clearwater, FL) 08 - Pitbull advertising for Crunk energy drink (MIami, FL) 09 - Jermaine Dupri reppin’ OZONE @ celebrity car show (Atlanta, GA) 10 - Pitbull and Lil’ Jon in the limo (MIami, FL) 11 - DJ Quest’s birthday party (Ft. Myers, FL) 12 - Ab Liva and Ms. Jade reppin’ OZONE @ the Co-Op (Philadelphia, PA) 13 - DJ Jus, Da Brat, and Iisha Hillmon reppin’ OZONE (Atlanta, GA) 14 - Reppin’ OZONE @ Wild Splash (Clearwater, FL) 15 - DJ Quest’s birthday party (Ft. Myers, FL) 16 - Power 99’s Poochman @ Club Transit (Philadelphia, PA) 17 - Hot 107’s Rashan Ali reppin’ OZONE @ NASCAR celebrity car show (Atlanta, GA) 18 - DJ Dynamite reppin’ OZONE @ Club Fuel (Tampa, FL) 19 - DJ 007 wishing Quest a happy birthday (Ft. Myers, FL) 20 - Wild 98.7’s Orlando reppin’ for the “O” @ Wild Splash (Clearwater, FL)
#2,5,7,8,10,14,20 Julia Beverly; #1,4,12,16 Felita Knight; #9,13,17 Iisha Hillmon; #11,15,19 DJ Quest; #6,18 KG Mosley
01 - Doug E. Fresh, Fat Joe, and Slick Rick @ Nikki Beach (Miami, FL) 02 - Kanye West and Freeway @ Club Bermuda’s (Miami, FL) 03 - Teddy T @ Rain for Jay-Z’s party (Miami, FL) 04 - Bone Thugs N Harmony with DJ Tom LaRock @ Opium Garden (Miami, FL) 05 - Butterfly co-owner Peter Thomas with Slick Salt’s James Jackson and Cognito (Miami, FL) 06 - Jacki-O and Wyclef on the set of “Take Me As I Am” (Miami, FL) 07 - Michael Madd’s OZONE debut @ Club Bed (Miami, FL) 08 - DJ Khaled reppin’ Bacardi @ Opium (Miami, FL) 09 - Hasan and Wyclef’s cousin rockin’ Haitian gear on the set of Wyclef’s video shoot (Miami, FL) 10 - Supa Cindy and JB @ Level (Miami, FL) 11 - Sabai and models @ Akademiks fitting room during WMC (Miami, FL) 12 - Rick Ross and Duece Poppi @ Krave (Miami, FL) 13 - Field Mob and DTP @ the Rolexx (Miami, FL) 14 - The Game and Daed Jeweler on the set of “Wanna Get to Know You” 15 - Sean Paul and Max Pierre @ Opium Gardens (Miami, FL) 16 - Lil’ Jon and comedian Larry Dogg @ the AA Arena (Miami, FL) 17 - Pitbull, Funkmaster Olly, and Teach @ ZNo’s (Miami, FL) 18 - Pitbull and Buggah reppin’ On Point @ Wyclef’s video shoot 19 - Gorilla Tek reppin’ 305 (Miami, FL) 20 - Young Buck gets a handful of Taneshia on the set of “Wanna Get to Know You” Photos by J Lash, 954-733-3613 or JLash@tmail.com
01 - Jonny Bravo and Sonny Chulo performing a tribute to Big Wil @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 02 - Teddy T and Jacki-O @ Bermuda’s (Miami, FL) 03 - Spliff Star, Busta Rhymes, and Lloyd Banks (Miami, FL) 04 - Trick Daddy runs in for a touchdown (Atlanta, GA) 05 - George Dukes, Andre Rison, Cedric Hollywood, James Jackson, and Lorenzo Ice-T @ Nikki Beach (Miami, FL) 06 - Baby reppin’ OZONE @ Bermuda’s (MIami, FL) 07 - Trick Daddy and Greg Street on the set of “What’s Happenin’” (Atlanta, GA) 08 - Legacy and Phoetix @ AKA Lounge (Orlando, FL) 09 - DJs reppin’ OZONE @ Sneaker Villa (Philadelphia, PA) 10 - E-Class, Supa Cindy, and Cognito (Miami, FL) 11 - Erick Sermon performing @ Club OHM (NYC) 12 - Soet performing @ AKA Lounge (Orlando, FL) 13 - Hasan Brown, Supa Cindy, Sabai Burnett, Max Pierre, and Big Teach @ Akademiks’ Fitting Room (Miami, FL) 14 - T.O.K. performing on The Roof (Miami, FL) 15 - Don Legend and D-Lite @ AKA Lounge (Orlando, FL) 16 - Knocturnal reppin’ OZONE @ Electric Factory (Philadelphia, PA) 17 - Hustlers @ Nikki Beach (Miami, FL) 18 - X-my-Lip of TDP shows how to promote @ AKA Lounge (Orlando, FL) 19 - Lloyd Banks does his best rabbit impression on the G-Unit video set (Miami, FL) 20 - Bacardi party @ Opium Garden (Miami, FL)
#1,4,6,7,8,11,12,15,18 Julia Beverly; #2,3,5,10,13,17,19,20 J Lash; #9,16 Felita Knight; #14 Mighty Samson
01 - Fiend and Yung Wun on the set of “Tear it Up” (Atlanta, GA) 02 - Big Wil tribute @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 03 - Southpaw, Marcus., and Sweetz with a “z” (Atlanta, GA) 04 - DJ Demp pimpin’ (Atlanta, GA) 05 - Trick Daddy and the ice cream man (Atlanta, GA) 06 - Oscar, Adept, and Noel @ La Messa Studios (Orlando, FL) 07 - Yung Wun, David Banner, and Lil’ Flip on the set of “Tear it Up” (Atlanta, GA) 08 - Big Oomp and DJ Jelly (Atlanta, GA) 09 - Big Mel and TJ reppin’ Headgear (Atlanta, GA) 10 - See? OZONE loves the Ying Yang Twins and their management (Atlanta, GA) 11 - Kaspa the Don, Greg Street, and the Legion of Doom DJs on the set of “What’s Happenin’” (Atlanta, GA) 12 - 8Ball & MJG @ Daddy’s House studios (NYC) 13 - Trillville and the Superfriends on the set of “Tear it Up” (Atlanta, GA) 14 - Fat Joe checkin’ out the newest OZONE @ Universal Records (NYC) 15 - Huddycombs and Ump reppin’ OZONE @ Bermuda’s (Miami, FL) 16 - Carlito and Arty @ Daddy’s House studios (NYC) 17 - Greg Street and Bubby Love reppin’ OZONE (Atlanta, GA) 18 - Lil’ Flip and Gil Green (Atlanta, GA) 19 - 8Ball & MJG reppin’ OZONE @ Daddy’s House (NYC) 20 - Trick Daddy and Rasheeda (Atlanta, GA) 21 - Disco Rick @ Bermuda’s (Miami, FL) 22 - DTP’s I-20 reppin’ OZONE (Philadelphia, PA) #1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21 Julia Beverly; #6 Rayfield Warren; #22 Felita Knight
01 - Roc-A-Fella VP Kenny Burns with Rell (NYC) 02 - Jagged Edge 03 - Black Child @ the Murder Inc studios (NYC) 04 - Chris & Neef @ their album release party with Young Steph (NYC) 05 - Chris & Neef @ their album release party with Memphis Bleek, Freeway, and Rell (NYC) 06 - Wendy Williams gives Lisa Raye some helpful eyeliner tips (NYC) 07 - Neef eyes a titty while Chris signs autographs (NYC) 08 - Chingy performing @ Hammerstein Ballroom (NYC) 09 - Aladdin and DJ Clue (NYC) 10 - Raandu Avion and Rell @ Chris & Neef’s album release party (NYC) 11 - Chris & Neef with The Source’s Boo & Gotti and publicist Gabe (NYC) 12 - DJ Red Alert and Benny Boom (NYC) 13 - LA Reid, Joe Budden, and Kevin Liles @ the Chicken & Beer concert (NYC) 14 - Memphis Bleek, Rell, & Freeway (NYC) 15 - Lenny Kravitz & Raandu Avion on the set of “Show Me Your Soul” (NYC) 16 - Ludacris backstage (NYC) 17 - Glenn Lewis signing autographs (NYC) 18 Kay Slay and La La (NYC) 19 - David Banner loves his mommy (Jackson, MS) 20 - Rell goes bowling (NYC)
Photos by Raandu Avion, 973-373-1653 or www.imagetv.tv
01 - Greg Street and Roy Jones on the set of “What’s Happenin’” (Atlanta, GA) 02 - OZONE readers (Panama City, FL) 03 - Stat Quo, DJ Demp, and Chaka Zulu (Atlanta, GA) 04 - Kedar Massenburg reppin’ OZONE (NYC) 05 - T.O.K. @ Wildsplash (Clearwater, FL) 06 - T-Roy, Cynnamix, and Q45 reppin’ OZONE @ Avenues Mall (Jacksonville, FL) 07 - Erick Sermon reppin’ OZONE (NYC) 08 - Yung Wun and Swizz Beatz on the set of “Tear it Up” (Atlanta, GA) 09 - Dr Doom and Ron Love (Jacksonville, FL) 10 - Detre Val and Conrad Dimanche @ Daddy’s House (NYC) 11 - David Banner and Dylan from Da Band (Atlanta, GA) 12 - Carl Thomas and Mario Winans @ Daddy’s House (NYC) 13 - Ying Yang Twins, Trick Daddy, and Roy Jones on the set of “What’s Happenin’” (Atlanta, GA) 14 - Sean Prez, Green Lantern, and Loon @ Daddy’s House (NYC) 15 - Lil’ Flip, Greg Street, and Yung Wun on the set of “Tear it Up” (Atlanta, GA) 16 - Baby shows off his Big Tymers plaque @ Universal Records (NYC) 17 - Ying Yang Twins and friends on the set of “What’s Happenin’” (Atlanta, GA) 18 - Trick loves the ladies (Atlanta, GA) 19 - Lil’ Flip gets crunk (Atlanta, GA) 20 - TJ, DJ Smurf, and Kane (Atlanta, GA) 21 - Comedian Dirty South reppin’ OZONE (Atlanta, GA) 22 - CJ and Cameron reppin’ Konsole Kingz (Atlanta, GA) #1,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20 Julia Beverly; #2 Rayfield Warren; #5 Mighty Samson; #21 Iisha Hillmon
01 - Loon with Bad Boy’s Harve Pierre and Conrad Dimanche @ Daddy’s House (NYC) 02 - Slim and Baby @ Universal Records with publicists Wendy Washington and Vickie Charles (NYC) 03 - Reppin’ OZONE @ Choppa’s “Hot Piece” video shoot (Pensacola, FL) 04 - R.L. Williams, Yung Wun, and Gil Green on the set of “Tear it Up” (Atlanta, GA) 05 - Roy Jones on the set of “Hot Piece” (Pensacola, FL) 06 - Tigger reppin’ OZONE on the set of “Hot Piece” (Pensacola, FL) 07 - David Banner, Swizz Beatz, and Lil’ Flip on the set of “Tear it Up” (Atlanta, GA) 08 - A Fat Cat with Killer Mike (Atlanta, GA) 09 - Sky pimpin’ (Atlanta, GA) 10 - Video director Phenomenon on the set of Choppa’s “Hot Piece” (Pensacoola, FL) 11 - TVT’s Bryan Leach thinks this is a multi-million dollar photo (Atlanta, GA) 12 - DMX, Yung Wun, David Banner, and Lil’ Flip on the set of “Tear it Up” (Atlanta, GA) 13 - Tigger and Choppa between takes on the set of “Hot Piece” (Pensacola, FL) 14 - Erick Sermon @ Unique Auto (NYC) 15 - Denise and Wynter reppin’ OZONE (Pensacola, FL) 16 - Reppin’ OZONE (Pensacola, FL) 17 - Bruce Bruce and D-Roc (Atlanta, GA) 18 - Kaboom reppin’ OZONE (Philadelphia, PA) 19 - Scotty J’s OZONE debut (Atlanta, GA) 20 - DJ Scorpio (Atlanta, GA) 21 - Marcus gets a whiff (NYC)
#1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,11,12,14,16,17,18 Julia Beverly; #9,15 Image Records; #10 Swift; #13 KG Mosley; #20 William Majors
Central Florida is betting on a new star to be born from Orlando. Hom e of Mickey Mouse and Smilez & Sout this rap act seems like less of an act than the aforementioned and hstar, more like rap in action. One of the found lyricists to come from Orla most prondo so far, Adept, represents the La Messa camp. Most likely you’ from his work on various mixtapes ll know him in the O, or maybe you even hear d him spitting fire on “Bang” off compilation album last summer. the DOA Wherever you’ve heard him, you shou ld have figured out by now that his aren’t typical for most new rapp ers. You won’t hear the same regu lyrics rgitated lines about ice trays arou and bitches in abundance like catt nd necks le. Adept takes the road less trav eled, he comes at you with stories, of the pain that’s tormented his real tales own soul. Adept has been busy preparing for his album release, scheduled for summer 2004. Even tentatively though it may seem a bit early to call anything on his new album a singl doesn’t stop the fact that right now his catalogue is over fifty song e, that s deep. After hearing some samp it’s safe to say that with the help les myself, of Orlando’s own multi-platinum production team, Nasty Beatmak has a nice beat selection to work ers, Adept with, taking his music to another level. At the end of the day, how his rhymes that separate him from ever, it’s the pack. Somewhat reminiscent of Nas and Biggie, Adept is one of rappers who actually has a mess the few age to deliver. His rhymes stay rawe r than fish markets. Never holding own emotions, you would think he’s back his throwing chairs in the booth. Adep t is one of Orlando’s most promising picks in a long time. Next time you draft plan your Disney vacation, make sure you ask your travel agent for La Messa studios. – Noel Malcolm, a tour of email@example.com (Photo: Rayfi eld Warren)
a ghetto boy and ghetto girl.” Out of these “I was born in this ghetto world – a product of a ghetto fuck between – was born in Atlanta, GA. He spent his adoseemingly dismal circumstances, James – later crowned “Yung Wun” Vietnam.” Early on, Yung Wun’s poetic gifts lescent years training for battle in housing projects known as “little d in the streets and landed in the juvenile immerse became He ent. environm ruthless were overshadowed by his expression and began rhyming as a form lyrical through relief found justice system. Throughout this time, he grandmother, Vera, continually pleaded His awards. of escape, winning several oratorical contests and writing In the single most pivotal moment of talents. n God-give his on ate concentr and streets the off get with him to he was determined to focus on death, her by lmed Overwhe arms. his in died ther his life, Yung Wun’s grandmo by 2Pac, Biggie, and DMX, he Inspired form. art his to life his the good his grandmother saw in him and devoted music executives. Many several of n attentio the g began showcasing his talent all over metro Atlanta, attractin in to exploit him. Despite his disaphim lured only dream his achieve him help to promised that of the people there would be “consequences and repercuspointments, Yung Wun pressed on with a vengeance, vowing that in 1998 when he signed with Atlanta-based turn upward an took sions” if anyone tried to stop him. His career platinum-selling super producer, Swizz Beatz. production company Dark Society, who presented his project to Since then, Yung Wun has been featured on Swizz offered them a production deal with Full Surface/J Records. , Snoop Dogg, Jadakiss, and Scarface. His Drag-On of likes the e alongsid rapping several platinum rap albums, creating a heavy buzz. (Photo: JB) is Banner, David and Flip, current single, “Tear It Up,” with DMX, Lil’
Triple J has a gift for making bad shit sound real good. From Riviera Beach, Florida, otherwise known as “The Raw,” Triple J dropped out of school with a vision to come up. “I paint a picture with words. It’s real – you feel it or you don’t,” he explains. Dedicated to the hip-hop game, he left school to pursue his passion for rhyming, incorporating nothing but life experience. Hustlin’ his way though several local projects, including the most recent “Gladiator,” he independently moved over 12,000 units. In 1996, Triple J lined with producer Tone Capone of Da Luniz fame, fusing Oakland pimp style into the track “Nationa l Players” for a complilation CD, “Dollars & Spence Family Tree,” which enjoyed solid distribution througho ut the South, Midwest, and California. While working with Triple J, Tone Capone was also deep into Scarface ’s “Untouchable” (“Mary Jane” and “Smile”). Scarface took note of Triple J’s distinctive flow, plugging him to Def Jam South as “Bumpy Johnson.” He was on his way – or so it seemed. After signing with Def Jam South in July 2002, Triple J’s project was shelved. He returned to hometown love, releasing his fifth project, “My Addictio ns,” under Black Market (not to be confused with Lil’ Jon’s BME) in March 2004. “I’m at my peak now,” he says confidently. “My Addictions” is a distinctive blend of influences and collaborations. He teams up with produce r Jim Jonsin (Trick Daddy, Trina, Pitbull) on “Point ‘Em Out” and links with South Florida’s Suave Smooth on “Ridin’ Wit’ Us.” Triple J has enjoyed play on mainstream radio such as West Palm Beach’s WMBX and has various tracks on steady rotation on the underground stations. But making local noise is just a springboard for bigger and better thing. “I’m the most lyrical rapper comin’ up. If you think otherwise, I’m ready to see you!” – Katerina Perez for Fresh Entertainment
“OneWorld is an enduring brand with a solid future and broad appeal in the media and entertainment space. We remain committed to the brand, and we plan to relaunch OneWorld in the near future. Stay tuned for the next act.”
Images of the lighted signs on a few downtown clubs, which I will respectfully not name, flashed across the TV screen. Hell! Brimstone! The signs of Satan! I saw the face of the Devil himself in one of those nightclub signs! Thank our fuckin’ lucky stars we have the “Problem Solvers,” who sent an underage girl into those fiery pits to see which ones would serve her.
ussell Simmons’ OneWorld Magazine has shut its doors. Although it was not widely read, it had been around for almost ten years. Things weren’t looking good: the former editor-in-chief quit when Russell wanted to force her to put his wife on the cover of the magazine, and ad sales were drying up. But even worse, it had become known as a gay-friendly look at hip-hop, which is funny because Russell had put the brakes on investing in VIBE Magazine when it first launced because its first editor was an openly gay man. This is an excerpt of the email Russell sent to everyone in the industry regarding the future of OneWorld:
The editor-in-chief’s email, however, didn’t hide behind lawyer-type bullshit and told the real story: “I would like to thank you all for your help, hard work, and professionalism in the recent weeks since I’ve been senior editor at Russell Simmons’ OneWorld Magazine. But due to financial burdens that could not be overcome, OneWorld Magazine will cease operations effective immediately. For all writers who would like to know when and how much you will be paid for submitted work, please direct all inquiries to our publisher. For all publicists, please accept my apologies, but the decision to fold was beyond my control.”
he Source Magazine has slowly been falling off. It’s hard to believe the former number one hip-hop magazine has so much trouble when hip-hop music is bigger than ever. The Source has lost both their TV shows. Even though their awards show is now aired on BET, we all know that BET doesn’t pay shit. The Source has also been firing people left and right. They even fired their online department. Who is running their website now? It hasn’t been updated since January, and the message boards are overrun with the KKK, gay rappers, and ads for unsigned artists. They better act quickly before someone eats their food.
rykah Badu has got another bun in the oven. The Grammy superstar of the neo-soul set is trading in her Afro wigs for a maternity smock. It appears she is trying to drop a baby by a different rapper for each album she puts out. But that’s not all she puts out. After kicking rapper Common to the curb for being too nice and failing to spawn a new progeny, she turned to virile Death Row gangsta rapper D.O.C. to knock her up. The D.O.C. used to be down with Dr. Dre, but he hasn’t put out a record since last century. Erykah’s first baby daddy, Andre 3000, has gone onto international multi-platinum fame with his group Outkast. He snubbed her at the Grammys by thanking everyone on earth except her as she was sitting in the front row. Now, I admit, this girl must have some magnetic shit going, but she really dug deep in the barrel for this one. I wonder who will be the next rapper to run up in this piece, Kwame?
h my God, someone do something! “Are the bars downtown letting the taps flow for our children?” That was the question posed by a local anchor on the late night news a few weeks ago. The “Problem Solvers” are at it again. This week found our heroes investigating the downtown bars and clubs. It seems a “concerned father” complained because his 19-year-old daughter, one of “our children,” got popped for under-age drinking at a downtown nightclub. And so the “Problem Solvers” sprang into action.
As I fought to restrain myself from putting my size 10 through the TV screen, I watched an interview of our “concerned father,” a faceless citizen who didn’t want to be identified. Of course, the public had to hear about how wholesome and academic the 19-year-old daughter in question was. One would think the evil club owner pointed a gun at her innocent head and forced a mixed drink down her throat. Give me a fuckin’ break! Daddy’s little angel is probably flashing her tits, er, uh, excuse me, having a “wardrobe malfunction” at the beach during spring break as I type this. Our children! It never ceases to amaze me how the general public falls for those two magic words—hook, line and sinker—time and time again. I’m sorry, but a 19-year-old is hardly a child. An 18, 19 or 20-year-old is an adult who is old enough to come home from a war in a body bag, missing limbs, and/or mentally scarred for life, but not old enough to have a drink. By the time “our children” reach their teenage years, if they don’t know what’s right or wrong and have some concept of the idea that there are consequences to be suffered for making bad choices, some parents clearly haven’t done their job. Back to our undercover, underage girl. She got served in one bar, probably because she smiled at a male bartender or had a “wardrobe malfunction.” “Our children” are in danger! Somebody close those evil places down! We have to protect “our children!” Of course, our underage heroine didn’t consume the witches’ brew, but dumped it instead. Whatever. Ever notice how the “Problem Solvers” never investigate any businesses that buy advertising from the station? It seems the “Problem Solvers” always “investigate” the smaller businesses that don’t have the money to sue the station. Let’s see the “Problem Solvers” send someone posing as a buyer to one of those new car dealerships that advertise on the station, and report on how people get ass-raped on new car deals. Let’s see the “Problem Solvers” send someone posing as an accident victim to one of those law firms, and report on how those attorneys take onethird of the victim’s settlement for their services. Will this ever happen? What do YOU think? Better yet, why don’t the “Problem Solvers” investigate what ever happened to those “highway funds” that the federal government used to pressure the states into raising the legal drinking age to 21? Funny how not too long ago, there was a half-cent tax on the [Orange County] ballot to solve our traffic problems, as if we aren’t being taxed enough already. In these days of state “budget deficits,” why don’t the “Problem Solvers” investigate how the state could lower the legal drinking age back down to 18 (at least for beer and wine) to generate more state tax revenues and greatly reduce the bureaucracy needed to enforce the current senseless law? Oh, we have to protect “our children” by putting them in jail for something they’re going to do anyway, regardless of the drinking age law? And how do we keep our bureaucrats employed? There’s plenty of trash to be picked up on the highways. Hey club, bar and venue owners! You’re under attack once again! You should rally together to bring the legal drinking age back down, which would solve the problem in the first place. Local and regional bands and artists should play benefits to gather enough signatures to get such a proposal on the ballot. The only thing “our children” need protection from is the politicians and bureaucrats. – David Himes
OZONE MAGAZINE MARCH 2004
f you’re an avid hip-hop fan, surely you’re familar with Jin, the Asian rapper who’s single “Speak Chinese” proudly advertises his heritage. And of course you know about Eminem, who’s skin color has been both his biggest hindrance and help when it comes to breaking into the rap game. Then, there’s a handful of Latino rappers who have made their mark on the hip-hop game, including the late, great Big Pun, Fat Joe, N.O.R.E., and the up-and-coming Pitbull. But, in the wake of 9/11, is the world ready for the first Arabic rapper? Question, an Orlando-based rapper of Arabic descent, aims to be the first. Who is Question? Question is a young Arab-American who was born in Egypt and grew up in Jersey City. I grew up North til I was eleven and I moved down in Orlando. What was your upbringing like? Unlike the way most Americans think about Arabs and other immigrants, they think we’ve got a little gas station on the corner, but my family never hand that. We didn’t come to America and strike gold like most people think. Coming from where we’re from, we see the Arabs that got stores like they getting paid. But my pop drove buses, blue collar. My mother don’t speak or read or write English, til this day. How did people react to you as an Arab when you moved down to Florida? Being of a different nationality, I was totally just ridiculed. When did you start getting into music? What made me want to become a DJ was the movie “Juice,” back in the early 90’s when my father had died. In 1995, that’s when I got my first set of turntables. How did you get your first turntables? We broke into this guy’s house that lived like three doors down from me. I knew his schedule, and he had this stashbox of cash. We got like $3,500, that was real big for a thirteen, fourteen year old. It was kinda fucked up, cause he was a cool dude. I actually went over there after he got robbed, and I was like, “Man, that’s fucked up.” And then I bought some Technic 1200’s, but he never put two and two together. I hooked up with a DJ crew called Heavy Sounds, which was DJ Heavy, DJ Dewey, and Captain Celsius. I met them at a party in Kissimmee. At the time, there was a couple other local DJ crews. DJ Prostyle and Garfield were with Ill Foundation, and DJ Khaled, DJ Nasty, DJ Caesar and them were the Hitmen. I started rolling with the Heavy Sounds clique, and I actually learned how to DJ while I was rolling with them. I was DJ Question before I knew how to DJ. I’d just go to parties with them and people thought I was a DJ. Where did you come up with the name Question? The name Question was given to me by some people that I met in the street. They thought I was Spanish and I was telling them I was Egyptian, so they were like, “You’re like a question.” I go through different phases, different changes, when I had my dreads people thought I was a yellow nigga from Jamaica. I’m like a chameleon how I
“[AS AN ARAB], I WAS ALWAYS DISCRIMINATED AGAINST, BUT WHEN 9/11 HAPPENED IT TURNED INTO SOME REAL CRAZY SHIT.”
blend in, I can be everywhere. People are always like, “I don’t know what the hell you are.” This is when I was real young, like fourteen, so the name kinda stuck to me. We were the number one crew back then for a while that was throwing house parties and stuff. Heavy became a Jehovah’s Witness, so the crew broke up. I kept on, I continued by myself. I started to get into producing a little bit, making tracks for rappers around me. I also started throwing parties with Jungle Lion. I put together my own thing, started Staff Entertainment. We were putting out mixtapes, yellow and red mixtapes. People could tell the difference because the red mixtapes were hip-hop and the yellow mixtapes were reggae. I also met Big Wil (R.I.P.) from Max-A-Million Records back then when I was doing stuff with Heavy Sounds. I ended up founding Brimstone Records with Cesar, Red Dread, and Black Profit. How did you get involved with pirate radio? I started DJing on the underground station 95Live back in 2000. I was asked to do my own show, and all of a sudden I was the program director. There was beef between the two owners of the station, so I used to be the mediator for everybody. So are you representing Arabs as a whole? I’m not a rich Arab, I’m broke. I’m a ghetto-ass Arab nigga. But I’m not just reppin’ Arabs, I’m representing everybody. But people that come from other countries, like Jamaica, they know how hard it is to become an immigrant and get your visa, they know what I go through. Now, the whole project came about after 9/11 because it turned into a whole situation. Before, I was always discriminated against in America. Arabs don’t have our own set of music. I was already being discrimi-
nated against in the hip-hop game, but when 9/11 hit it turned into some real crazy shit. People wanted to kill us and hang us from the back of their pickup trucks. These people need to know what the hell I’m feeling right now. I’m trying to tell my life story. I’m the new nigga. What do you mean by that? We are the new slaves of America. Arab people, brown-skinned people from Africa. We are the new slaves in America, and right now I’m telling my life through the “Sand Nigga.” That’s what they labeled me. I don’t know if the FBI is gonna lock me down because I’m Arab and they think I’m spreading the message of terrorism. I’m just basically showing what I go through. Like Eminem, he shows how it is to be a white boy rapping. He teaches you, even through that movie about him back in the day, that just showed you his life through different eyes. With Jin, you’re seeing through the eyes of an Asian kid. With me, you’re experiencing life as an Arab. I love America, it’s the land of opportunity, but it’s also a place that gives you pain. It’s a great place to be, but it’s not always great. My album is full of good times and bad times. So if you make money, what do you plan to do with it? I’m telling you, no Maybachs for me, dawg. All that $350k need to go back to those people that are starving. I’d take it back to Tangelo Park, I’d probably start up a fund for kids in school that are less fortunate to get scholarships. I might open up a community center. I might take a certain area and beautify it, like Carver Shores where all the houses are broke down. I want to add more lighting to the streets, rejuvenate it, and all those things take money. You can’t be broke and do it. This industry gives you the opportunity to make money and come back to the streets, but a
lot of people get so stuck on the flashy shit they’re too busy to give back. We all like nice things, but I’m never gonna forget having to work all night and sleep all day and not be ablet o eat during the day. I represent the struggle, and I will give back to what made me. I’ll make myself into something. Everybody needs help sometimes. When I get my first deal, I’m gonna come back to Orlando and run around picking up some bums off the street and help them. I’ll get them fed, cleaned up, help them medically, buy some homes so they can have a roof over their heads and get a job. You can’t do all that without dough. I’mma do good with my money. No Bentleys or Maybachs for me. And you could quote that. I’m going back to my homeland – there’s a lot of people there that need help. If anybody wants to donate, they can go to arapmusic.com, we’re gonna have food drives and help their community. All money, all proceeds, nothing goes to my company. IT all goes towards helping those people, and you will see where it’s being used.
“I REPRESENT THE STRUGGLE, AND I WILL GIVE BACK TO WHAT MADE ME.”
What’s your plan for the album release? The album, “Sand Nigga,” will be coming out in the summer 2004. We’ve got two singles: “Streets is all Mine” featuring David Banner and Mad Preacher and “Da Brimstone Riddim” featuring Joe Grind. Right now we’re just in the streets. I can’t even lie, we ain’t got distribution. Straight out the trunk. Or they can purchase it on the website, arapmusic.com. OZONE MAGAZINE MARCH 2004
ou probably envision Lil’ Jon as a caricature, a cartoon figure who pops up all over the Top 10 list sporting sunglasses, a platinum grill, and an ever-present pimp cup. Even if some hip-hop purists don’t fully appreciate the crunk revolution Jon has spearheaded, you really can’t hate on a man who pulls in five figures to scream patented phrases like “Okaaaay!” and “Yeaaaah!” Now, that’s a pimp! But who would’ve guessed that Jonathan actually scours the health food stores for quality multi-vitamins, loves to cook, and spends his days off curled up on the couch with his family?
top. “We’ve stepped up the production for this new album, ‘Kings of Crunk’,” he assured me back then, “I think we just put so much energy into the music that you can’t deny the record.”
The music industry is a hoax; a façade; an image. It’s all about perception, and Jon knows this well. Your favorite rapper isn’t ballin’ as hard as you think he is, and in the same way, Lil’ Jon, contrary to popular belief, isn’t crunk all the time. After years of watching and learning the game, first as a DJ and later as an A&R for Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def, Jon successfully created himself as a brand. The recent Dave Chappelle skits, “A Day in the Life of Lil’ Jon,” are further proof that Jon has secured his place in pop culture. He’s recognized by mainstream America on a level that few rappers besides Snoop Dogg have reached. But it didn’t happen overnight.
Several years and two million records later, Lil’ Jon is one of the most sought-after producers in the game. Poor concert attendance is no longer a problem. Strolling through the streets of Little Havana for Miami’s Calle Ocho festival amongst a posse of bodyguards, he attracts fans of all ages and races begging for autographs or photos. After a few hours of screaming “Yeahhh!” underneath the Miami sun with Pitbull, Jon slides into a limo waiting on the back streets. He fields a few calls from celeb friends like Usher (“What up, my nigga?!?”) en route to the Hit Factory, where he perfects a “sexy” beat for Christina Milian before heading back to his South Beach mansion to continue work on Lil’ Jon & the East Side Boyz’ third album. Later that night, Jon rolls through Club Deep to finish filming for Pitbull’s “Culo” video. All in a day’s work. Like a true workaholic, even at the peak of his career, he’s still focused and driven. We dragged Jon out of a recording session in Atlanta’s Stankonia Studios to figure out what makes this workaholic tick.
What do your parents do for a living? My dad is deceased, and my mom is in the Army. She works at a hospital also as a supervisor in the operating room. Right now she’s been called into active duty, so she’s away with the Army.
nce upon a time, the Palladium had earned its reputation as the grimiest club in Central Florida. Every time someone got shot, the club changed its name and reopened. Backstage activities were always off-the-record, and cameras were strictly prohibited. Name any rapper and they’d probably performed there at least once. A bizarre group which most assumed was a one-hit fluke, the Ying Yang Twins, came through and performed their take on a Disney classic, “Whistle While you Twerk.” At that time, Lil’ Jon and the East Side Boyz (Lil’ Bo and Big Sam) were just names without a face. Their show was canceled when about fifteen people showed up. I reluctantly pulled up to their tour bus parked at a nearby hotel for our scheduled interview. Based on their singles, “Bia Bia” and “Who You Wit,” I was prepared for the worst, envisioning a mass of gold-grilled thugs hovering around my tape recorder in clouds of weed smoke, mumbling something unintelligible. Inside the tour bus, however, I was shocked to meet three polite grownass men who spoke clearly, didn’t smell, and even remembered me at their video shoot a month later. Most rappers would be discouraged if their concert only drew fifteen people, but Jon didn’t seem phased. During the interview, it was clear that Jon and the Boyz understood the game inside and out and knew what they’d have to do to get to the
What other side gigs do you have besides being an artist and producer? We’ve got BME the label through Warner Bros with Trillville, Lil’ Scrappy, and Bohagon, and we got the label through TVT with Lil’ Jon, Chyna Whyte, and Oobie. Then we’ve got the Crunk energy drink, and we got the porn, Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz “American Sex Series.” Are you starring in the porno? Nah, I’m just wildin’ out, talkin’ shit. Hypin’ shit up, so to speak. What’s the function of the East Side Boyz? (laughing) What’s the function? Well, we all write the stuff together. We do everything together. I’m like the Quincy Jones of the group, I produce and coordinate everything. I’m the one that ties everything together. What’s a typical day like in the life of Lil’ Jon? Well, today I got up around 2 or 3, ate breakfast, came straight to the studio, and I’ll probably be here til 6am. I’m in the studio finishing up Trillville & Scrappy’s album, so I’m mixing as well as doing new tracks. Then, I’m also on the phone handling other things at the same time. When I’m on the road, I’m usually doing shows, doing TV, hosting parties, networking, stuff like that. When you’re at a club do you feel like you’re working? I’m always working when I to a club, period. A club is
OZONE MAGAZINE MARCH 2004
“CRUNK MUSIC WILL NEVER DIE OUT CAUSE THIS IS HOW WE LIVE IN THE SOUTH.”
where you make contacts for future deals, and people – your fans – get to see you, talk to you, take pictures. It’s really a networking thing. But as long as I’m drinking, I’m having a good time. What’s the worst and best parts about your job? The worst part, of course, is that you don’t get to see your family that much. The best part is the money and the traveling, and the free shit.
What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep? Maybe about 24 hours straight. But I’ll go like two or three weeks of just two or three hours of sleep on the plane. Three weeks of that shit is just torture on your body. I might be in the office, then I might go do TV or press shit, then I might go to the club that night or the studio and then the club. Do that every day for a week and it starts to wear your body down. How do you deal with that? Really, it’s just naps. Naps get me by. You gotta take naps on the plane. If you on the tour bus, whenever we get on the bus I get on my bunk and I don’t get outta my bunk til we get to our destination. I learned that you’ve gotta get rest whenever you can. Same thing with the plane. As soon as we get on that plane I’m going to sleep, cause I don’t know when I’ll be able to rest again. Crunk juice keeps me up too. And a lot of straight-up crunk, cause crunk gives you energy! And you’ve gotta take vitamins. I’ve been taking like, real multi-vitamins from the health food store. Specialty health food stores make their own shit, some other shit, and it gives me a lot of energy. What time of day is most productive for you? I’m a night owl, so as far as making beats, we usually get into our little zone around 6pm and that lasts til around 9 or 11pm. That’s the best time for me to make tracks. But I don’t get up early, cause I’ve usually been up all night. As far as business, I don’t really make phone calls and start handling business until after noon. I’m really a night person, so I can stay up til 5, 6 in the morning and still be productive. What do you think is the key to success? I think you have to listen and learn from everything. You’ve gotta take it all in, and that’s how you learn to deal with other situations. And you’ve got to be able to stay focused and you can’t get distracted. You gotta really have blinders on. If you come in the studio, you’ve gotta come to work. Usually when I come to the studio I don’t have a whole bunch of people with me. It’s just me, the musicians who are playing on the shit. It’s just us and the engineer. We just go in there and stay focused. When you’ve got thirty niggas in your crew in the studio laughing, gigglin’, and playin’ around, you lose focus real easy. I just don’t like a whole lot of people in the studio. If I’m in there trying to mix, mixing is basically just listening over and over to the song, critiquing every aspect of the track. If you’ve got thirty people in the studio talking, laughing, and smoking weed, you can’t concentrate on what you’re doing. You can’t be productive. But for some people, that’s how they vibe, they need a lot of people around them to feed off that energy. But for me, it’s just the muthafuckers that’s working. And reporters harassing you? (Laughing) Yeah, tryin’ to get interviews and shit. What type of goals do you set for yourself? I set a whole bunch of little goals to get to that big goal. If you set a whole bunch of little goals, it’s easier to get over those little humps than it is to get over a big hump sometimes. See, I work so hard that I really don’t look at stuff as success. I just look at it like, I got past that so now I can move onto the next project. Instead of trying to finish a whole album, the first goal is to go to the studio and get the beats done. The next goal is to get some good hooks for the beats. I always do the beats first. Then, the next goal is to get the verses. I just take everything one step at a time so I can keep focused, ‘cause I’m already doing so many different things, setting goals is a distraction to me. I’ve got small goals that help me accomplish the big goals. Did you have any formal training? Nah, I used to be kinda sorry when I was younger, just real lazy and shit. Then my homeboy Rob got on me one good time and I think it really stuck. Then, being an A&R at So So Def, I was responsible for putting
together a project from beginning to end, so that helped me out a lot. Basically, I just pay attention and learn from every situation I’ve been in. Out of all the things you’ve accomplished in your career, which one is most significant to
you? I think the biggest thing to me was getting an American Music Award. That’s fuckin’ mainstream America, it’s all about the fans, and I got to meet Dick Clark. The second biggest thing was doing Dick Clark’s Rockin Eve on ABC. That was big because I’ve watched Dick Clark for years. I remember watching American Bandstand, I remember watching Dick Clark’s Rockin Eve before I was old enough to even stay up late. So to do that show, that was a major accomplishment. I remember congratulating you for being 2x platinum and you said, “We’re almost there.” What did you mean by that, what level are you hoping to reach? Well, we’ve actually sold 1.7 million scanned. Most of the time, when muthafuckers get certified platinum, they really ain’t sold a million yet. They might have shipped two million, but they might not have sold two million. We’ve sold 1.7 million, we just sold 70,000 last week, so we should be double platinum by the time people read this – really. That’s an accomplishment. Because I remember when we were just starting the album, going to Miami and starting with the beats. I remember when we were struggling with “I Don’t Give a Fuck,” tryin’ to make people feel the record. And we got past that to “Play No Games” and “Get Low.” “Get Low” was obviously the runaway hit from the “Kings of Crunk” album, so why was it the third single and not the first? Because a hit is always gonna be a hit. You’ve got to open your audience up first. We used “Play No Games” and held “Get Low” back because we always knew it was a hit. With my music, I understand that everything comes from the clubs. You’ve got to let records build up first before you go to radio and all that shit, cause it’ll last longer. The longer you let it simmer in the streets and the clubs, the more it’s gonna be real to people, and the longer the record lasts. So “Get Low” was in the clubs a long time, building, building, building. We dropped “Play No Games” to open up our audience a little more, like in Miami ‘cause we had Trick Daddy on it. Then it opened up the East Coast audience a little more because Fat Joe was on it. So that opened the doors a little more for “Get Low.” Some of the radio stations that didn’t give a fuck about Lil’ Jon & the East Side Boyz paid us a little more attention after that. They played “Get Low” more ‘cause they liked “Play No Games.” So we just let it build. We knew it wasn’t going nowhere, ‘cause it was constantly building. But with “Play No Games,” that opened more doors so the timing was better for “Get Low,” and it turned out to be a bigger hit. Some people say that crunk music is gonna die out. Do you feel like your days are limited, or you’ll have to change your style up to stay relevant? Nah. I look at it like this: we ain’t changed at all. We’ve been doing the same ol’ shit, it’s just getting national attention now. I don’t think the music will ever die out cause this is how we live our life. Atlanta, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, the South, the Midwest, we live our lives on getting crunk. It’s all about getting crunk, that’s a part of our life. So it’s definitely not gonna go nowhere, cause people always wanna get crunk. I don’t even pay attention to what people say about the music, we just make our records. I think that’s why we’re successful: we ain’t tryin’ to please nobody but our fans. We just want to please the people that support us, so we don’t give a fuck about what anybody else says. The music is getting bigger and bigger. Nas, one of the greatest lyricists ever, wanted to get on one of my beats. He hollered at me to do some shit, and we went to the studio and knocked that shit out in one day. And Usher, “Yeah,” with me and Usher and Ludacris, is about to be one of the biggest records of the year. Isn’t that the same beat you did for Petey Pablo’s “Freek-A-Leek”? What happened was that I did a whole bunch of beats for Mystikal, who’s on Jive Records. Mystikal never used it, so I just had the beats laying around. The record company had a copy of the tracks, so I didn’t even know they gave the beat to Petey. Me and Petey saw each other, and he’s like, “Yo, I used your beat.” The record company took the beat, put Petey on it, mixed it, mastered it, put it on a 12”, and I didn’t know nothing about it. At the same time, Usher’s people had the record too. They had did a song to the shit, so we ended up working it out where I did a new beat. The beats are similar, cause of course it’s derived from the same shit. But, you know, it’s actually helping Petey out a lot too ‘cause now his record can get mixed with something. It helped both sides, it hyped both re-
“I WORK SO HARD THAT I REALLY DON’T LOOK AT STUFF AS SUCCESS. I JUST TAKE EVERYTHING ONE STEP AT A TIME SO I CAN STAY FOCUSED.”
OZONE MAGAZINE MARCH 2004
workaholics anonymous cords up, so it’s amazing how everything happens for a reason.
“I’M JUST GETTING STARTED. I AIN’T EVEN TAPPED INTO MY FULL POTENTIAL YET AS A PRODUCER.”
Where do you get your work ethic from? Is it money or success that motivates you? I just look at it like a job. I’ve got a job to do and I’m really focused on what I’ve got to do. Even though I’m tired, I just suck it up and don’t complain and get the job done. I don’t really know where I get it from. Like I said, Rob had got on me one time. I really can’t remember the details but I know that’s one thing that stuck out in my mind. Rob had just got on me cause I was really just a lazy ass muthafucker. And then, I don’t know, I guess whatever he said kinda kicked in and helped me get on point. I ended up training myself how to work. Did you ever have a real job before you got into music? Nah, I never really had a real job. I used to work at this little skateboard shop renting out roller skates, and after that I started DJing. Before that I was throwing newspapers with my daddy. When was the last time you took a day off? Whenever I come off the road I try to take a day off and turn the phone off. Over the Christmas holidays I didn’t work, I was chillin’ at the house cookin’ and shit. Usually I cook, or my girl and my son will sit on the couch with me and watch DVDs all day and night. Or me and my son play video games. Do you ever feel like your work causes you to miss out on anything as far as your personal life? Yeah, because anybody who has a workaholic spouse will tell you that it’s gonna put some stress on your relationship. I was watching this special on Bob Marley, and one of his girlfriends was like, “If he had to go
to the studio, oh yeah, I was gonna suffer.” Like, he put his work first. That’s what workaholics do: they put work before anything. Of course you put your family up there as a priority, but you know you’re not gonna see ‘em much. Since I’ve made it a little better now, I can afford to take off for my son’s birthday or my girl’s birthday, but sometimes I would have to sacrifice doing a club date for some of those things. You’ve just gotta give your family time. If I’m gone for three or four months, I gotta take off a couple days or weeks. I just have to make time once in a while, cause if you’ve got a good person in your corner they’re gonna understand that you’re doing what you have to do, and you gotta do it while you’re hot. Otherwise you’re gonna miss out on a lot of opportunities. And you’re definitely hot right now. I’m just getting started. That’s how I look at it. ‘Cause I ain’t even tapped into my full potential as a producer ‘cause I’m doing so much shit. I’m not like a normal producer that sits in the house and makes beats. I do shows, I gotta run a company, we’ve got the energy drink, so I can’t just focus on beats. Do you plan on ever focusing solely on production instead of being an artist yourself? Yeah, I basically want to just produce because the artist thing is hard. It’s hard to constantly make a hit. It’s easier to produce a hit than it is to come up with a concept and write the shit. It’s easier to just do a beat for somebody than for you yourself to be the artist. So that’s why you’ve started to focus more on artists like Lil’ Scrappy and Trillville? Yeah, I’m tryin’ to spread it out.
OZONE MAGAZINE MARCH 2004
Are you looking for artists? Nah, we not really looking for new artists right now cause we’ve got a lot on our plate. I’ve gotta do about four or five albums this y e a r
You can call him Atlanta’s Best DJ - he’s got the awards to prove it. After a serious accident that shattered every bone in his face, Searcy is back to work, back on the grind, with a fresh perspective on life. I hear you’ve been out of commission for a few months? Yeah, it’s been three months since my accident. It was January 17th, Lil’ Jon’s birthday, and I was leaving the club around 4am. I was just going home as always, like two blocks from my house somebody ran me off the road and I ended up having reconstructive surgery. I broke almost every bone in my face. My nose is part of my hip-bone. They did a great job. I’ve always been a good-looking dude (laughing). The guy that actually did my facial reconstruction has done more than any other doctor in Georgia, so I was pretty happy about that. I think that I’m back because of a lot of the prayers. I’m healthy. I didn’t hurt anything else in my body, but the doctors were pretty amazed that I’m up and walking around after only a month and a half. Most people, after that type of surgery, it takes four or five months for them to recover. How did the accident affect you mentally? It made me value life a lot more, cause you just never realize. You leave home and kiss your babies, and you might never come back home. It just makes me think I’ve gotta work harder, we gotta come in here and make this money, do whatever we’ve got to do to make it happen. We’ve gotta keep moving and be as big as we can be, make sure we tap into everything that we can. Are you back to work 100% at this point? I’ll be going back to work at Radio One in April, and I’ll still be doing the afternoon drive from 2 to 6 here in Atlanta. I’m part owner of BME, of course, and I own a marketing company, Southern Advantage Marketing. We basically market new artists. I also do a mix CD, which is kinda different from most DJs. I find all the underground artists and promote them. I like to break artists, that’s my whole concept. How did you get started as DJ? Lil’ Jon and I started off DJing a lot of parties back in the day. I started DJing for a promoter named Alex, who owns Club Visions now. He wasn’t big like he is now, but he used to do all the big parties with Puffy and JD, it was crazy. I’ve been on the scene a long time. I basically taught Lil’ Jon how to DJ, and then I went to the Navy. I came back on the scene in ’93 and Jon was the man. Phoenix was the hottest club at the time, and Jon was the head DJ so he brought me on as the backup DJ. Then the BME Clique, [me, Lil’ Jon, Vince Phillips, and Rob Mac], started doing promotions. The biggest thing we were involved with was the Big Mack Tour, which was Craig Mack and Biggie Smalls. We brought that tour to ATL, we also did Mary J’s first tour. We started doing production too, of course Jon was doing his thing, and I did a remix for 112 and tracks for Genuwine and the Youngbloodz. Me, Rob, Vince and Jon were always BME, we’ve known each other since seventh grade. We’re all from the ATL. How did you make the transition from the clubs to the radio? Lil’ Jon and I started doing a community radio show called The World Party on 89.3, the community radio station here. That was before the commercial stations would even play hip-hop. When major artists came to town, they would always come to our station, to Lil’ Jon and Searcy’s show. We had artists like Biggie coming by our community radio station, which is kinda crazy if you think about it now. What was your next move after that? The program director for 97.5, which is now Hot 107.9, used to always come and listen to me play. He told me when the new hip-hop station came to Atlanta, he would put me on. Chaka Zulu, who is Ludacris’ manager now, was the radio personality. It was his show, 10 to 2 at night, so I started doing a mixshow on Chaka’s show. That was basically the first urban radio station in Atlanta. I DJed on Chaka’s show for about 2 ½ years. It’s actually crazy, cause Hot 107 is kinda a
breeding ground for talent cause a lot of big names have started there. LaLa, who’s on MTV now, was doing a morning show on the station at the time and she decided to move back to DC, so when she left I was asked to host the show. I did that for about three months until the night show because available, because Chaka ended up leaving. I did that for a few months, so in a six-month time span, I went from having a morning show to the afternoon drive, my own show, which is kinda crazy for radio. Do you enjoy mixing or hosting more? Oh, of course mixing. I’ve done it for so long I’ve always been a club DJ five days a week, for the past twelve years, so that’s basically how I got my name. They used to have a concert calendar, and they’d say, “DJing on Monday… Searcy. DJing on Tuesday… Searcy.” A host named Talib Shabazz had gone through like, four days of Searcy parties, and he said, “You know what? Searcy, you are indeed the Emperor of hip-hop.” I heard it, and I was like, damn, that’s pretty cool. So I kept the Emperor title. I basically built a relationship with Mary Katherine, she’s the COO of Radio One, and she knows my background so she gave me an opportunity after working at Hot 107 for 2 ½ years. She basically created a job for me, which is the National Mixshow Coordinator for Radio One. What are your job responsibilities? Basically, I determine which records are in the mix. I have consultants, also. We’ve got stations in Houston, Dallas, Cali, all over. We are kinda open, though. I’m a DJ myself, so I don’t like to limit DJs too much. As long as they don’t go too far out of set, just playing new music isn’t a bad thing. We have a conference call where we go over records and basically decide which ones are hot. A perfect example of that is the Lil’ Jon situation. I remember pushing Lil’ Jon when people weren’t feeling it. TVT really wanted to push “Play No Games,” and we had a big argument between BME and TVT where they decided they wanted to kinda, uh, just not listen to us. So I decided I would push “Get Low.” I pushed “Get Low” up to 800 spins with no wax, no promo CDs. Just straight MP3s and talking to DJs. That was basically the big breaking record for Jon’s career. If an artist has a hot new record, what’s the process it would have to go through before it would get added to your rotation? It depends if it’s something that me and my DJs can agree on. Atlanta is a market that breaks new artists, and I’ve been a very intricate part of breaking a lot of new artists like T.I. and Bonecrusher. They all show me love cause I’m one of those few people who don’t have a problem taking a chance on those records as long as they’re hot. You can’t stop a hot record. Usually, I’ll mp3 the records out to certain DJs in the appropriate market, and if they like it I’ll send it out to other DJs in the country. If everybody likes it, it’s a go. We roll on that record. I’m part of the SuperFriends DJ Clique, and I’m also a Big Dawg with Funkmaster Flex. But SuperFriends is a crew in Atlanta, Mars, Trauma, and myself started it a while back but it’s actually grown to be a pretty big clique of DJs. We do all the hottest parties in Atlanta, and we just added Frank Ski. What’s the benefit of belonging to a DJ clique? The main purpose of SuperFriends was to make sure the labels don’t forget about us DJs. We had to bring that respect level back. When you go to certain markets, if you don’t mess with the right DJs your record won’t get played. We had a situation with a major label who basically had no respect for Atlanta. I ain’t gonna say their name, but it’s the biggest plaque on my wall (laughing). They came to a point where they felt like we didn’t support their records, but they know that’s a lie. We had to form a clique and let them know they can’t come down to Atlanta and disrespect DJs. With a clique, it makes the DJs more accessible to these labels. It’s hard to track down a hundred DJs, so if you get a clique of DJs and have your meetings every week it just gives you a better system to break records, kind of like a record pool. Photo and interview by Julia Beverly, firstname.lastname@example.org
OZONE MAGAZINE MARCH 2004
“[PITBULL] IS USING MY MELODY, MY IDEA, MY BEAT. IT’S JUST MUSIC, BUT I DON’T APPRECIATE PEOPLE BITING SHIT.”
r. Vegas wasn’t too happy to run into Pitbull and his entourage backstage at a show in Orlando. Security had to be called in to make sure their discussion didn’t get out of hand. Pitbull’s single, “Culo,” which features Lil’ Jon, is derived from the same Jamaican riddim as Mr. Vegas’ single, “Pull Up.” After things had calmed down a bit, OZONE spoke with Mr. Vegas, who accused Pitbull of being a “biter.” Pitbull’s version of events contradicts Vegas’, but Pit declined to comment for this article due to a pending lawsuit.
You wanna explain what just happened? I mean, obviously you’ve got a song that sounds a lot like Pitbull’s song – No, Pitbull got a song that sounds a lot like mine. Basically, I been on the road grindin’ for like six months, trying to break my record, you know? And for someone to just come out of the blue and do something just like it with the same melody and the same idea and the same beat, sounding just like my master, that’s not even cool to me. It’s like, here we are doing the same show for a radio station and we’re both doing actually the same fuckin’ song. It’s not even cool to me. So your song came out first? Yeah, my song been out, since six months ago. I been on the road promoting my song, and I asked that dude to get on my song. Him and Lil’ Jon. I hollered at them like, “Yo, man, my song is getting spins. I want Lil’ Jon to do some shit on it.” When I was down in Puerto Rico, Lil’ Jon was in the room with me, vibin’ and shit, so I thought everything was cool. I hollered at him a few times to do something on my song. Then I saw Pitbull and he was like, “Yeah, man, this song’s like crack, I need to jump on this shit.” Next thing I know, they did it by themselves. And they’re trying to tell me that it’s not my song ‘cause everyone says “pull up.” Fuck that shit. They’re using my melody, my idea, my beat. I’m the one who paid for the beat when I bought it off the producer. And they used the same thing. But I ain’t stressing that, it’s just music. I just don’t appreciate people biting shit. I did nothing to them, you know?
As a Jamaican artist, is it hard trying to break into the American market? It’s very hard. It’s so hard to even get on the radio. So when an artist really, really works hard and gets on the radio, he wants his minute to shine. Because it’s very hard to get on crossover radio. Not every artist has that potential. It takes a formula. So it’s like, I come up with a formula, and he steals my formula to make a hit. And then goes and says he came up with the formula. Feel what I’m saying? And it wasn’t supposed to get to this point. This could have been squashed a long fuckin’ time ago. So now that the lawyers are involved… Yeah, it’s not up to me no more. It got out of my hands. My manager was in here tryin’ to get them to do a remix on Vegas’ song, which would have benefited all of us. What’s the next step for you? The album is done, and we just did the video for “Pull Up.” I ain’t even stressin’ that stuff, though. I don’t control destiny, so whatever happens, happens. What’s the concept of the “Pull Up” video? It’s like a party. A beach party with some nice girls and stuff, just hangin’ out and vibing like a beach party. Do you have a second single? “Tamali,” produced by Vader. What’s the vibe like in Jamaica right now musically? I haven’t actually been to Jamaica to hang out for the past year. I’ve been here in Orlando working on my album, and then I’ve been on the road. I’ve went there like two times.
But it’s a Jamaican riddim – aren’t there other dancehall artists who did songs on the same beat? Yes, but not with the same Vegas idea and melody. On the radio, a lot of people can’t even tell the difference. I’m saying “pull up” on the hook and he’s saying “culo.”
So you recorded most of the album in Orlando because Vader is here? Yeah, when I work with Vader it’s cool. I heard the energy and the ideas he had. I needed a camp. I needed professional people around me. As an artist, sometimes it’s hard to produce yourself because you’re your own critic. I hooked up with certain people like him because more than one head is better.
Can you explain what exactly is a riddim? A riddim is basically a beat that’s built in Jamaica. When it’s hot, a lot of artists try to get on the same beat. But it’s the most outstanding song, the best idea, the best melody, the best hook that really crosses over. Like “Heads High.” There were other songs on that beat.
I saw you do a number of songs over hip-hop beats at your show. Is there anything like that on the album? Well, I’ve got a joint with Foxy Brown. But nah, that’s really just for the show, to give the crowd that hip-hop flavor. The album is dancehall.
Are you planning on suing Pitbull? I’m not doing shit about it. It’s the label, and their lawyers. It’s not me. I tried to kick this before it happened. I was like, “Yeah, man, you know we’re artists, we need to kick this shit before it happens.” I hollered at them. But I told them, the only way this is gonna be done is on my track. It has to benefit me and benefit him. What’s happening now is that some radio stations are adding his record, and when my record pops up they’re like, “No, we’ve got that.” That’s not cool.
Do you plan on working with any other hip-hop artists besides Foxy Brown? Well, just on remixes when the chance comes around. But for now it’s basically just Mr. Vegas and my artist Wayne Anthony, ‘cause I’m always trying to break younger artists. He’s independent, but he’s talented. I’m trying to help him make a name for himself. That’s important to me. He’s one of those artists that could be around in ten, twenty years. I’m trying to show him how to
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survive in this business, how to last.
What’s the name of the album? Do you have a release date? The name of the album is “Pull Up.” It’s up to Interscope when it will be released. It’s very difficult because you only get a small chance, and you really have to make use of that opportunity, ‘cause if you don’t sell no records, you’re done. Why choose a label like Interscope without much dancehall experience? “Cause I still need a power force behind me. Someone like VP Records has Atlantic pushing them to another level, it’s not just VP alone. Basically, it’s good because we’re going into markets I only dreamt about when I had “Heads High.” If I had been in those markets then, you can never tell what might have happened if it wasn’t for those mistakes that were made. Is your goal to be at that Sean Paul level, to have that mainstream audience? Well, not to be like him, but yes, that’s the dream, to go into bigger markets and have a wider audience, more people appreciating your music. Just like Bob Marley, he took it all the way around the world. I’m just basically promoting my record. If it doesn’t happen I’m not gonna die or cry, because that’s not how music is. I just gotta do what I know how to do. Not everybody is gonna crossover on that level like a Sean Paul or Shaggy, but I know that I’ve already created a fan base. If there’s 500 people in the world who know Mr. Vegas, that’s good enough for me. I was nothing before. - Interview & photo by Julia Beverly, email@example.com
he setting fits the music perfectly – a large rehearsal room in New York’s Right Track Studios serves as the stage for Mario Winans’ intimate performance to a small group of reporters and Bad Boy affiliates late one evening. Candles surround the piano where Mario plays and sings the songs he’s best known for, including “I Need a Girl” and his smash single, “I Don’t Wanna Know.” The latter is obviously based on a personal experience, because the emotion in his voice is evident. After years of working behind-the-scenes, doing production and lending vocals to many major artists, Mario Winans is ready to step out on his own as an artist. After his performance, I had the chance to talk with the good-natured singer in the studio. He even gave me a cookie. Did you produce your current single? Yeah, “I Don’t Wanna Know.” Where did you come up with idea to use that sample? I mean, the first time I heard it of course I recognized it from The Fugees’ “Ready or Not.” Honestly, just listening to it over and over and loving that Enya sample. I was working in the studio one day and I just came up with it. Since you’ve been on Bad Boy, do you feel like working with Puffy has influenced your sound significantly? We build off each other a lot. We bounce ideas off each other. One thing about him is that he keeps pushing me to that next level, you know,
“ME AND [CARL THOMAS] ARE GONNA TEAM UP AND GO GET OUR COMPETITION. THERE AIN’T GONNA BE NOBODY ELSE AFTER US. AFTER ME AND MY MAN COME OUT, IT’S A WRAP.” so it’s a good thing. Having been behind the scenes for so long, what made you decide to put yourself out there as an artist? Was that always the goal for you? Actually, I stepped out there a while ago on Motown as an artist. Even though I left the company, everybody kinda liked my record. I wanted to be an artist again. Well, actually, I did but then I didn’t. Are you the type of person that likes to have that attention on you, the spotlight? Nah, I like attention, but I don’t necessarily need everyone’s attention. I was one of those dudes, you know, if I get the right attention I’m cool with it. Being on the road, you’ve definitely got attention on you all the time. Do you think you’ll be able to handle that well? Yeah, I’m a people person. See? I like to share cookies (laughing). After seeing your performance, I have to ask, most of the songs that you talk about dealing with relationships, is that really things that you went through in your life or is more of an act? Nah, it’s not an act at all. Those are really things that I went through, a lot of that stuff is just real-life experience. Everything you write about is based directly on your life? Yeah, but it could be something from last year, or it could be from three, four years ago. It’s something that I’ve experienced, and sometimes I generalize situations when it comes to songs. I might write about it a different way, but you really get the feeling of what I’m talking about. So, for example, in “I Don’t Wanna Know,” you were in a relationship with somebody and you really didn’t want to know if she was cheating on you? Yeah. I mean, to a certain extent, I just don’t need to know the details. I don’t wanna know. Wherever I go after that, I mean, any similarities I see I just don’t want to bring all that baggage into my new relationship. No baggage. Knowledge is baggage sometimes, so that’s why I said, “I don’t wanna know.” As far as the production you did behind the scenes, can you give a few examples of things people might be surprised to know that
you did? I’ve done some stuff, as far as singing on tracks, with Mr. Cheeks, Carl Thomas, Lil’ Kim, and 112. And I’ve produced for a lot of people too.
Has working with Puffy helped you develop more of an artist mentality, as far as knowing how to work the media and act in front of cameras and things like that? Yeah, definitely. You know, when I started to learn that part of it, it was from beign on tour and watching him, just how he was and how he worked so freakin’ hard. I kinda picked up on that. I could see how I’ve gotta act to get to where I gotta be at. You developed sort of a workaholic mentality by watching Puffy? I was a workaholic before I came here to Bad Boy, but when I got around Puffy, I just became an extra extra workaholic. What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without sleep? About four days. Did you start to hallucinate at that point? Nah, I was hallucinating the first day (laughing) Nah, I’m just joking. I was cool for the first couple days. How do you stay awake that long? Red Bull, caffeine? Sugar. Candy. Bad Boy was really known mostly for rap acts, so it’s a little odd that they’re coming out with two R&B acts back to back with you and Carl Thomas. Is there any friendly competition between you and Carl? I mean, what is your relationship like with him? Me and Carl – first of all, there’s no competition. We gonna team up and go get our competition. There ain’t gonna be nobody else after us. Shit, that’s how I’m lookin’ at it. After me and my man come out, it’s a wrap. But, as far as, how do I differ from Carl? You know what it is? I’m like the setup person. I like to get everybody ready. And carl is the closer. I’m gonna set you up and then I go, and carl rips it down regardless. He just rips it. So we pretty much fit together. So should we expect to see a huge Mario Winans featuring Carl Thomas collabo in the near future? Oh yeah! It’s a one plus one equals ten type of thing. When I first heard “I Don’t Wanna Know,” the radio announcer said it was a song by Mario and I was thinking of the other singer named Mario. Do you think you’ll have any difficulty branding your name? Nah, I know there’s another singer named Mario, but I was cool with that. It actually just brought light to my first name, I like that. It helps. I didn’t have no problems with it. I’m assuming you’re part of the famous Winans family? How many of you are there? Yeah. Thirty thousand (laughing). Nah, it’s a lot of us, though. Aight, I guess that’s all the questions I had. Already? (laughing) You didn’t even finish your cookie! - Interview & photo by Julia Beverly, firstname.lastname@example.org OZONE MAGAZINE MARCH 2004
FRESH “TELL ME SOMETHING FRESH VOL. 1” Infallible Records From the jump-off, I figured this CD would be gutta. When you have T.I. doing your album’s intro, you best be on some next-level shit. Something Fresh! With samples of audio from Hype Williams’ “Belly” interwoven throughout the album, Fresh gives us enough bangas to satisfy our hunger. The Clipse come through to add that Virginia hustler flavor on “Sweet Like Lick-erish,” and David Banner and Bonecrusher are also featured on this album. Doesn’t it seem like these two have their hand in every Southern album lately? Actually, Bonecrusher has a lot more than his hand in this project, appearing on four tracks with solid performances. I had to laugh near the end of the album. The hook on “Trying to Tell You” is just plain funny, inciting a fellow clubgoer to “Hit em with a bottle!” The album isn’t just stereotypical Southern music, however, on “Y’all Don’t Want No Honor” we see Fresh getting introspective on a level seldom heard in the South. Infallible Records seems to have the support and talent needed to make some major noise in the game. – ADG, email@example.com CASSIDY “SPLIT PERSONALITY” Full Surface Records “I got a large house, a doghouse in my backyard / And even my doghouse got a backyard / Big cars, cigars, and big biscuits / The kid is doing it big, it’s big business / The new kid on the block, admit that it’s hot / ‘Cause I’m great like the late Pun, Biggie, and Pac.” With those words, most of us were introduced to Barry Reese, better known to hip-hoppers as Cassidy Da Problem. For the past two years, Cassidy has been a mixtape staple. He’s now gotten the exposure he needs to drop his debut: a fourteen-track album split into three distinct personalities. The first is Cassidy, a cocky, arrogant playa that has nothing on his mind besides the ladies. With this Cassidy persona in control, the bravado and sexual innunendo is through the roof! Cassidy’s current hit, “Hotel,” with R Kelly, has been bangin’ for a minute now, and the other songs from this personality have similar subject matter. It’s no surprise that “Get No Better” is the second single, simply because most of the other songs on this album wouldn’t get radio airplay simply because of the content, although the Snoop Dogg collabo “Scream” could have worked. After Cassidy, we are introduced to Da Problem, his hip-hop persona which touches on his feelings towards the industry, other artists, and himself. Pulling no punches, Da Problem enlists Styles P and Jadakiss for two of the most arrogant songs ever recorded. Styles instructs us to “Pop That Cannon” ‘cause they ain’t scared, and on “Can I Talk to You,” Jadakiss informs us that “New York is mine, Philly is Cass’.” With the bars Da Problem spits, we can’t take this notion lightly! With the bass-
heavy “Blood Pressure” rising, we see a good song spoiled by a weak hook from Swizz. After Da Problem, we transition to Barry Reese, overhearing a conversation between father and son. His father points out the positive and negative messages within the CD, and of course he gets the last word. Barry Reese, like other artists, is a human being first, and he stresses this on “Real Talk.” Swizz Beatz’ contagious production is consistent throughout most of the labum, and if you haven’t been infected yet, “Hustlin’” will do the job. The beat and hook are crazy. It’s a shame that I can’t say the same about “I’m Hungry,” where Barry drops the album’s most notable bars but the hook needs help. The album closes out with an “All Around the World” shoutout. As a bonus, we get a visit from Trina on the remix of “Hotel.” Because of delays, a third of “Split Personality” has been bubbling for some months now, so the album’s release will have less impact on the average hip-hop head. Nonetheless, it’s a solid album. – ADG, firstname.lastname@example.org THER.I.P.Y “STRICTLY 4 DA STREETZ” Jangalang Ent. With Southern music emerging as popular music, we see more and more independent releases coming from the South. Paul D and Ken Jo hit us in the head with a mixtape, “Strictly 4 Da Streetz.” As I see it, the title is all fucked up. We all know the “streetz” are “gangsta,” but honestly, this isn’t a gangsta album. This album can be appreciated by any individual that likes good Southern rap. “2Pac and Biggie died, but they got Paul now,” is a big statement to live up to, but Paul and Ken are up to the challenge. The chemistry between the two individuals can be compared to the Ying Yang Twins, displayed best on “Puff-N-Pass,” which is a real freestyle session. Creativity isn’t a problem for these two, using Missy’s “Work It” as a template for the smoker’s anthem, “Fi Fi.” Both members of Field Mob lend numerous verses to this disc, but T.H.E.R.IPY doesn’t need any guests to hold up the album. The album isn’t lyrically mind-blowing, but if you just like drawl-drenched rap, then this CD is strictly for you! – ADG, email@example.com COLOR CHANGIN’ CLICK “THE ARMY” Yung-Ro, Chamillionaire, Rasaq, and 50/50 Twin combine forces to give us “The Army,” a doubledisc project. Each artist is given equal opportunity to shine throughout the album. But even though you can bring a horse to water, you can’t make him drink, and Yung-Ro seems to be the heart of this monster. He makes the most of his allotted time on each track. With the album pretty much split between original and “jacked” beats, “The Army” has the chance to out-do an artist as well as letting their flavor bleed through. Halfway through the album, we seem to be lost, but then it takes a 180-degree
turn for the better with their rendition of Jay-Z’s “La La La.” Soon after, we’re blessed with a verse from Lil’ Flip, who simply outdoes Ro, 50, and Cham hands down. The remaining songs on the album get tremendously better, with “The Call,” “Relax,” and the horn-driven “If U Crunk,” where Yung-Ro rides the beat like a box Chevy. Midway through the album I wasn’t impressed at all, but the second half proved to be very listenable. The second disc is just a mirror of the first, chopped & screwed. – ADG, firstname.lastname@example.org LIL’ C “THUG LUV” Dollyhood Records Lately, R&B albums have been lacking in replay value. Lil’ C seems to have gotten this bug. Lately, my Alpine seems to be stuck on tracks 2,8, and 9: “Thug Luv,” “Tonight,” and “Just Be Friends,” respectively. C seems like he feels at home with his craft on these midtempo to slow tracks. This is really evident on “Gone Away,” where a simple sped-up drum pattern trips up C a bit, causing his vocals to sound forced and unnatural. Like most R&B albums, there are many relationship tracks, but C doesn’t bring any new ideas or thoughts to the game. Many artists sing about the same topics over and over, but they also have better production. Dude can sing his ass off, but he needs to come with a total package and hone in on a target audience. – ADG, email@example.com KIERAN “R U AWAKE” Black Rain Records With catchy synth melodies and 112-ish style music, Kieran sets out to do his thing, but in actuality, the material and ideas are just dull. Kieran switches up and tries his hand with some soul on “Have My Cake,” where he just sounds dead, but then he comes back strong with “Breathe,” where you might mistake him for Carl Thomas. Production on the album sounds like library material, giving it a generic feel. With very weak hooks and no signature sound for himself or his production, I’m surprised the CD cover wasn’t plain white! – ADG, firstname.lastname@example.org dead prez “REVOLUTIONARY BUT GANGSTA” “Hell yeah!” dead prez is back with their highly anticipated album, “Revolutionary but Gangsta,” a 13-track CD of substance. The title fits the album perfectly, because it’s a blend of street wisdom and political ideologies. So do as they say and “turn off the radio / turn off that bullshit… / crank up your speakers / your woofers and your tweeters / turn up your receivers” and listen to a true album that doesn’t reflect the materialism of today’s society. After a simple guitar-strumming intro, we move onto “Walk Like a Warrior,” featurOZONE MAGAZINE MARCH 2004
ing Krayzie Bone and Erykah Badu. It’s great to hear Krayzie back in action, and his verse flows well with both M1 and Stic Man. The beat is entrancing, and Badu gets the opportunity to exercise her vocal abilities. “I Have a Dream, Too” is one of the more controversial tracks on this album. M1 lays down a verse describing a drive-by targeting the cops. This sounds like one hell of an interesting dream – actually, it sounds like a low-budget hood movie. Next, we continue the lyrical adventure with “D.O.W.N.” The simple beat possesses a certain ambiguity, with a deep sound that dominates the beat, contrasting the quasi-chanting and giving the track an original feel. On this track, dp brings classic, timeless wisdom like “Can’t tell by no tattoo / can’t tell by no handshake / it starts with the heart being down, it’s an attitude / doing what you have to do for the crew’s sake.” Track five is a remix, but the original in-depth track doesn’t come until the end. The next song, “W4,” is dedicated to everyone working a 9 to 5, paying their taxes, and then having nothing left over as evidence of their work. This slower, mellower track is a nice change of pace. You’re probably thinking that this seems a little too mundane for dp, so they add their own twist to it, comparing taxes to slavery. M1 and Stic Man even offer a plan of action: “Run up to the White House and kick in the door.” Now, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that solution, but it’s nice to hear MCs speaking on real issues. The next track, “Radio Frequency,” has a nice vibe, and they assure us that they “refuse to be a stereotype,” implying that radio is restricting “propaganda.” I think most people can agree on this one. Next, you know a track is going to be rather interesting when it starts off with a toilet flushing. And no, it’s not a big shit, it’s that alkee-hal. “Fucked Up,” is, exactly as the name implies, a track about alcoholics. Most people can relate to a time when they’ve been bent over the old toilet bowl, or watched a friend hurl the unrecognizable remnants of Corona in the crapper. For dp, this is an interesting detour from their normal topics. Speaking of detours, the next track, “50 in the Clip,” is a workout track. Yes, you read correctly: this is a workout track. But the workout is not a normal workout - it’s a workout for inmates. This song clocks in at only about two minutes, after which there is a countdown for fifty pushups. Get your fat ass on the floor. As the sweat pours, track ten kicks in and the intro has you thinking you’ve heard this on an Eminem cut already. “Way of Life” is about the trials and tribulations of life. The snare kicks in with a dominating sound, as dp discusses “the fear, the focus, the aches, the pains, the trial and error, the ranks and belt, the spiritual growth,” and more. Next up is another remix to “Hell Yeah,” featuring Jay-Z, and then the original “Hell Yeah,” which is well worth the wait. They pose some vital questions after the first verse, “Ain’t you hungry my nigga? You want to get paid my nigga? Ain’t you tired of starving my nigga?” If nothing else, I’m hungry and starving for some more dead prez. This album is a strong statement to the labels that shitted on dp in the past. This album is a middle finger from all dp fans stuck up proud and firm at the haters. Let the revolution begin! - Rohit Loomba, ctpros@arcaneproductionco mpany.com
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(01) - Vlad the Butcher “Hot In Here 4” www.DJVlad.com 866-242-3631 (02) - Voice of Da Streetz “Top 5 Dead or Alive” DaMayor@Tmail.com or 407-435-4334 (03) - DJ G. Brown “The Regime Change” www.DJGBrown.com 646-9633848 (04) - DJ B-Lord (hosted by Roam) “Pure Pain Vol. 1” www.BLord.com (05) - King Ron “Getting My Hands Dirty” www.KingRon.com 904-614-8402 (06) - DJ Y-Not and DJ King “Big Truck Bangers Vol. 1” email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (07) - DJ Greg G “Street Heat 7” www.DJGregG.com (08) - DJ Sugga Black (hosted by Master P) “King of the South Vol. 7” DJSuggablack@hotmail.com or 850-212-7595 (09) - DJ Killatone (hosted by Stat Quo) “Out of Pain Comes Glory Vol. 10” www.DigitalDominanceEnt.com or 407-400-0609 (10) - Greg Street “Headed to the Super Bowl” (11) - DJ Ideal (hosted by Jae Millz) “Street Heat 3” (12) - DJ Aspekt (hosted by Stat Quo) “Neva Trust a Skinny DJ” DJAspekt@my2way.com or 305-368-0444 (13) - DJ Christion “Mixing it Up with Bacardi” www.DJChristion.com (14) - DJ June Buhg “Bigger Than Life” DJJuneBuhg1@yahoo.com or BigNick@my2way.com (15) - DJ Bobby Black “Best of Lil’ Jon” www.djbobbyblack.com or 404-589-1126 (16) - DJ Chuck T “Down South Slangin’” email@example.com or 843-345-9763 (17) - DJ Smallz (hosted by Lil’ Flip) “Houston We Have a Problem” www.djsmallz.com (18) - Emperor Searcy “NBA All-Star 2004” www.bmerecordings.com 404-367-8130 (19) - DJ Splack “Street Mix 3” DJSplack8@hotmail.com (20) - DJ Rondevu “Knights of the Round Table 2” www.DJRondevu.com
TJ’S DJ’S RECORD & CD POOL TASTEMAKER’S CD
peared, Ish deserves the title “artist.” The p-funk inspired song sounds like it could have been on a George Clinton or Parliament album. “Pimped Out Penthouse” is funkier than the garbage man’s socks; yet it’s a breath of fresh air.
For more info visit www.tjsdjs.com or call 850-877-6090
Nappy Headz f/ Total Kaos & JIT “What They Do” Shaheed @ Stargate, 850-656-1292 Rowdy, Rowdy! Talk about a Florida anthem. The Nappy Headz land another hit with this one; it’s guaranteed to get the clubs krackin’! “We take it from Leon County to Duval, headed to Dade county with the roof off and we don’t carry guns for nothin’, we shoot dog!” Uh, someone call security… they’re fightin’ in the club! Suave Smooth f/ Red Rat “Shake It” Jermaine Watson @ Headquarter Records 561.389.5525 This song will definitely get the ladies out of their seats. “Little mama, just shake, shake, shake it for me.” The hard-hitting beat almost commands your body to move without your permission. There’s a nice balance between Suave and Red Rat, not too much reggae, not too much hip hop. It’s a great song for Suave; it can work in the clubs or on the radio. Jacki-O “Slow Down” JR @ Poe Boy, 305-817-8817 With her debut album “Poe Little Rich Girl,” coming soon, Jacki-O has proved that she’s got what it takes to snatch “The Madame of Miami” title. The Timbaland-produced “Slow Down” shows the other, more lyrical side of Jacki that we didn’t get to hear on “Nookie.” Instead of using her goodies to get our attention, she uses her delivery and wordplay. Jacki-O has proved that she’s not just a girl gone wild, she’s also an MC.
Poppa Dizzom “Damn You Looking Good” Tony @ Creepnik, 954-274-2406 Big shouts out to the girls that get down on the flo, on the flo. That’s right, they don’t hardly ever get any love…at least till now. “Damn You Looking Good,” is all about letting them know that they really are special, even if only for one night. Junior Varsity f/ Jeff B “Shorty” Derrick @ Mad Hype, 770-263-2019 There’s just something about love rap songs that’s just unsettling. However, Junior Varsity pulls it off. Even though it’s a love song, it has a lil’ bounce to it; nice beat, nice lyrics and nice hook. Radio should suck this one up; it’s got the right formula.
Choppa “Hot Piece” Von @ Body Head, 850-479-2918 Choppa definitely sticks with what works, he brings us another bounce beat to follow up “Choppa Style,” that will have all the hot pieces out on the dance floor p-poppin’. Make that money, make that money, make that make that make that money! The singing on the song kind of waters it down, but nevertheless, it still has the potential to be another club banga!
Mr. Mo f/ Jim Crow “Brown Liquor Party” Rico @ Dreamworld, 770-934-1300 Tight work! Mr. Mo from the Atlanta-based group Jim Crow and Sean Paul of the Youngbloodz deliver some great versus about the variety of brown liquors that they enjoy. If you need anything to get the party jumped off, then pop this song in the CD player and your mouth will be watering as you think about some Congac, Tequila or another brown liquor.
Mr. Charlie f/ D. Capital “That’s That Shit” Byron @ Chronic, 305-512-4774 Mr. Charlie delivers an upbeat song made for the clubs, you almost can’t help but to sing along. “Turn your head to the side, shake ya booty, hands high, that’s that shit!” Whether you like it or not, the song will be stuck in your head after you listen once.
Blood Raw “Represent” Charles Wakely @ Blood Raw, 352-246-4495 Much respect to the grind. Blood Raw is the streets, biatch. The good thing about Blood Raw is he delivers his grimy rhymes with lyrical prowess and a unique, memorable voice. “You don’t stay where I stay nigga, you don’t live where I live nigga, you don’t pay my bills, nigga, you don’t feel how I feel nigga, I’m too real my nigga, you just hatin’ how I live nigga!” Blood Raw got next, you have officially been warned!
Mela f/ Kanye West “You” Neelz @ Dry Rain, 646-226-5968 This song is all about the grown and sexy. It’s the perfect song to get the ladies out of their seats. The simple, yet catchy hook almost guarantees that you’ll be singing along in just a matter of time. When Kanye drops his verse, he just adds fuel to the fire. It’s almost disgusting how ready this song is to be a hit single. Anthony B f/ Wyclef “Lighter” Buggah @ On Point, 305-372-0057 Even if you’re not a smoker, once you hear this song you’ll want to find a lighter so that you can spark anyway. Anthony B. laces the riddim right and Wyclef’s eccentric style sounds at home. This song has a great balance between reggae and hip-hop that allows for crossover success in both genres. After listening to it, you’ll want to hear more from Anthony B. Life The Great “Work Out” Antonio Starr @ Urban Acres, 770-356-6801 The theme of the song is the club, but the song is actually more mellow than crunk. It’s not a bad song, but it just won’t hold your attention very long. Life does have potential, I would like to hear some of his other songs before ruling him out the game. M.O.N.E.Y. & The Currency Click “Everyday Love (remix)” Bola @ Talking Drum, 916-455-4947 The “Everyday Love Remix” reminds me of the west coast. It’s one of those songs that you would be bumping on a Sunday as you ride out to the park, windows rolled up, with the puff, puff, pass-action going! It’s a nice rideout song and although it’s laid back, its far from boring. Ish & The Chitlin Circuit “Pimped Out Penthouse” Soulow @ 850-656-1434 In a time where most music follows the “formula” and creativity has disap48
Grand Prix “Alcoholic” Jonathan, 904-434-7234 In the trend of dedicating rap songs to various types of alcohol, these liquor lovers are no different, Grand Prix give a shout out to all their favorite drinks. “Talk about it, be about it, ain’t got no Henn, pass me Hypnotiq.” However, the song lacks the enthusiasm of other alcohol-dedicated songs like “Pass the Courvosier” and “Grey Goose.” It’s a little flat…no pun intended.
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Pacasso f/ Grill “Life That I Chose” Pacasso @ Fast Lane, 407-616-4669 This is a very introspective song. Pacasso talks about the repercussions of the choices he’s made, it’s the type of song to make you think about things you’ve done in your life. Although the song is mellow, make no mistake, it still rides out. Durtyville “Back Up” Kelvin @ Elevation, 706-689-4565 Southern anthem! ‘Nuff said. But in the essence of respect, I’ll say more. This song could prove to be very dangerous in the club. “We keep it crunk in the south, runnin’ off at the mouth, throwin’ bows in the club, whatchu know ‘bout us, so backup!” Durtyville drops a thugs-anthem song, sure to get the thugs bouncin’. Max & Stix “Like Phat” Andrew @ Big Business, 954-445-0223 If you needed any convincing to do naughty things then listen to this song. In no time you’ll be out on the dance floor grinding and rubbing. Max & Stix like it PHAT – Pretty Hot And Tempting and it won’t be long before they have you liking it that way too. A.B. Rock “G.E.T.T.O.” Daryl @ QCM, 904-234-2261 B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O and Bingo was his name-o! Never in my life did I think that the Bingo song I learned in kindergarten could be corrupted, but A.B. somehow managed. “I know this girl from ‘round my way, lil’ mama off the chain yo, G-E-T-T-O, G-E-T-T-O, G-E-T-T-O.” The crazy thing though, is that the song isn’t corny, that shit is funny as fuck. - Storm
Ozone Mag #21 - Mar 2004