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PUBLISHERS: Julia Beverly (JB) Chino EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Julia Beverly (JB) MUSIC REVIEWS: ADG, Wally Sparks CONTRIBUTORS: Bobby Novoa, Bogan, Brian O’Hare, Chris Imani, Cynthia Coutard, Dain Burroughs, Darnella Dunham, Earl Randolph, Felisha Foxx, Felita Knight, Iisha Hillmon, Jaro Vacek, Jeska Manrique, Jessica Koslow, J Lash, Katerina Perez, Keith Kennedy, K.G. Mosley, King Yella, Lisa Coleman, Malik “Copafeel” Abdul, Marcus Jethro, Matt Sonzala, Maurice G. Garland, Natalia Gomez, Nikki Kancey, Noel Malcolm, Ray Tamarra, Rayfield Warren, Rohit Loomba, Sophia Jones, Spiff, Swift SALES CONSULTANT: Che’ Johnson (Gotta Boogie) LEGAL AFFAIRS: Kyle P. King, P.A. (King Law Firm) STREET REPS: Al-My-T, B-Lord, Bill Rickett, Black, Bull, Chill, Chilly C, Controller, Dap, Dereck Washington, Derek Jurand, Dwayne Barnum, Dr. Doom, Ed the World Famous, Episode, General, H-Vidal, Hollywood, Janky, Jason Brown, Judah, Kamikaze, Klarc Shepard, Kydd Joe, Lex, Lump, Marco Mall, Mr. Lee, Music & More, N’Ron, Nick@Nite, Pat Pat, PhattLipp, Pimp G, Quest, Red Dawn, Rob-Lo, Statik, TJ’s DJ’s, Victor Walker, Voodoo CIRCULATION: Mercedes (Strictly Streets) Buggah D. Govanah (On Point) Big Teach (Big Mouth) Efren Mauricio (Direct Promo) To subscribe, send check or money order for $11 (1 yr) 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 Cover credits: Mike Jones photo by Julia Beverly; The Game photo by J Lash; Nivea photo by Jonathan Mannion. 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 2005 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.
I’m a first-time reader of OZONE. I’m glad the South has a true magazine now. Y’all magazine is based in Orlando and I stay in Tampa. Why haven’t I heard of this? I’ve had the chance to read a couple of your issues and it’s the bomb. I’m an up and coming artist. I hope we have a chance to be featured I this magazine. I’m currently on lock down but the streets are calling, so I’ll be home soon. Keep up the good work, I love this magazine. I’m a dirty South lover, so I’m just sending y’all props. - Bean from da 4-Tre Rydas (Tampa, FL)
has yet to gain a distribution deal. Whenever Trick is involved in something, I support it. His new album is the type of album you can listen to without skipping any tracks. While many Miami natives claim he’s getting soft, I think his album reflects him maturing in age and in the rap industry. You can’t be crunk your entire career. You have to tone it down at some point, and Trick picked the right album. - Ms Chyna, firstname.lastname@example.org (Miami, FL) Please print this in your next issue of OZONE! I am 14 and a big fan of OZONE mag. Please do an issue on the whole Swishahouse. PaulWall is so fine and Mike Jones is sexy. I’m from New Orleans and I like everybody who you feature in your mag. Please do a tribute to Soulja Slim! – Mia, mizhottstarbuxxxs email@example.com (New Orleans, LA)
Julia, I must say that you’ve inspired me. Since being introduced to OZONE by DJ Chill, I have paid close attention to your magazine. After reading your story on your struggles in getting into the magazine industry, I felt you and said Fuck it. I’m tired of these other mags I work for bullshit, so I decided to put out my own rap magazine. It’s called What it Dew! and it highlights everything great about Houston rap music. Much success in the future, and keep breaking down barriers for Southern rap and hip white girls! – JC, despradoworld2004@yahoo. com (Houston, TX)
I love your magazine. I started reading a couple months ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’m definitely enjoying the newest addition to your magazine, the “groupie confessions.” It’s some of the greatest shit I’ve ever read in my life. I’m wondering when we’re going to hear some stories about some female stars like Beyonce, Lil Kim, or Trina. I know these male stars aren’t the only ones out there getting their freak on with these groupies. – Clifton Lyerly, firstname.lastname@example.org
I picked up your magazine for the first time today, and I just wanted to say that I enjoyed the article featuring the chase down of Trick Daddy. Keep up the good work. – Alysse Stewart, email@example.com (Charlotte, NC) Julia, I have to say that you’re the luckiest woman in the world. You interviewed Trick and Lil Wayne – actually got to talk to them, whether over the phone or face to face. You go girl! In fact, just because JB is the coolest writer ever, I put in my subscription today. I won’t miss another issue of OZONE, especially since y’all stay interviewing my future baby daddies! I’m definitely feeling Trick’s article 150%. I love this dude so much and I love the way he represents Miami – 305 – Dade County. He is the reason we’re on the map, next to Luke and Disco Rick. I just wanted to tell Trick that I am proud of him for kicking that dirty joint habit. He looks so healthy now, and his face is so fat. I am honestly his biggest fan and so proud of him. I think he made some valid points on the legalization of drugs in the future, the 2004 presidential election, and the beef with Benzino and Em. Trick could have been like the regular everday flawass dude by inputting his two cents, but he didn’t. He point-blank said he’s not speaking on something he has nothing to do with, and I respect that. I support Dunk Ryders 100% even though it
Your stories are getting hotter by the minute. I personally thought the “groupie confessions” were an eye-catcher and definitely has credibility to it. Those things go on every day. Maybe you guys should do a big end of the year issue ever year. – Al Tho, firstname.lastname@example.org I was reading your 2 cents in the mag with Trick on the cover. That shit was ridiculous. You’ve got a lot of patience. – N’Ron, email@example.com (Orlando, FL) I think OZONE mag is the illest magazine, even better than XXL and The Source. It should be in stores everywhere. It deserves it. Everyone should know about it. Y’all need to make the magazine longer, though. – Mafiadaking@aol.com I really like your magazine. I just found out about it. The best part is the sex issue. It’s really interesting and good information to have. I’m just asking if you can have some more groupie confessions, maybe with Usher, Chingy, Sean Paul from the YoungBloodz, and Lil Zane? – Sydnee, firstname.lastname@example.org
had a whole “Paris Hilton is smart as fuck. Don’t let that TV shit fool you. I sat down and backstage Jon, Lil fuck.” as smart She’s . swoman busines a conversation with her, and she’s at The Fillmore (Denver, CO) the city and a “I just came back from Africa! And I know they don’t have a clue. I’m back in understand.” don’t just They e? freestyl nigga’s another about me tell to nigga wants ry 2005) (Februa e Magazin - 50 Cent, XXL “The only thing more difficult than putting out a magazine is doing it again.”
- Aurelio Mitjans, Da Seen Magazine
years. All it took was to throw a camera on “You’ve gotta understand, I’ve been seeing the same Flavor [Flav] show for 25 him, and boom!” - Chuck D, Vibe Magazine (March 2005)
A blonde-haired blue-eyed kid named Paul put me onto Tupac in the eleventh grade. I couldn’t stop listening to “Hail Mary.” I’d almost forgotten the feeling until I interviewed the Outlawz this month and Noble asked me, “Are you a Pac fan? You know that feeling you get when you listen to a Pac album?” Hell yeah. Makaveli is one of those rare albums you can listen to over and over and over again and hear something new each time. My parents are missionaries. For 17 years I was basically on lockdown. No TV, no movies, no dating, no “secular” music. Definitely no black friends or boyfriends, and definitely no rap music. I was locked in the house for like a month in 8th grade after they found a Nirvana album (the one with the song “Rape Me” – I tried explaining that it was symbolic, but they didn’t get it) buried in my sock drawer. Once high school rolled around, I’d learned my lesson; I was super careful with that dubbed cassette of Makaveli. After “Hail Mary,” it was “Me & My Girlfriend” that caught my attention. I thought it was a love song at first. I probably listened to it about a hundred times before I caught the actual meaning. I met a cute Haitian boy at the DMV right after I got my driver’s license. His favorite song was “Krazy.” We both loved that fucking album. Sometimes while we rode around listening to it, I felt a twinge of guilt. He had a right to love it; he was black, from the hood, and had been through many of the same experiences as ‘Pac. I’m white. Comparatively speaking, I’d had it easy. I’d had opportunities they’d never had. But still, it was cuts like “White Manz World” that really touched me. Shit, “Staring at the walls in silence / Inside this cage where they’ve captured all my rage and violence”? “Get my weight up with my hate and pay ‘em back when I’m bigger”? That’s how I felt at home; at school; at work. That was my whole life. I felt trapped, too. Different circumstances, same anger and frustration. Most people don’t really know shit about me, so throughout my career it’s inevitable that race is going to be an issue. Actually, I went off on a tangent. I wasn’t even trying to get into a racial discussion. What I’m trying to say is this: Pac’s music touched people for a reason. He cared. See, I had a little epiphany this month. This whole music industry is so cutthroat and competitive that it’s easy to forget why I’m here in the first place. It’s never been about money. At first it was for the love; now it’s about winning. Lately, it’s been a mental and emotional battle. I’m being attacked from all angles. I’m uptight; defensive. Protecting my position. “It’s a dirty game, y’all, you got to be careful who you fuck with and who you don’t fuck with.” True statement. So I’m standing on stage watching the YoungBloodz perform “85,” another one of my favorite songs from back in the day, and it hit me: I’m here cause I love this shit. It’s supposed to be fun. I realized the absurdity of it all. On a large scale, you’ve got the 50 Cents and The Games who probably started rapping because they felt Pac or some other artist, and they loved the shit. Today, they’re so focused on winning that it’s not even fun anymore. Every once in a while, I’ve gotta just sit back and laugh because I am so blessed to be able to wake up in the morning (that is, if I have the time to sleep) and LOVE what I do for a living. Don’t get it twisted, though. Even though it’s fun, I’ll still fight anyone who tries to take mine. I’ve got only two words for anyone trying to start a magazine “like OZONE”: Fuck you. Oh yeah, we won the Bum Squad DJ Award this month for Best Hip-Hop Magazine, which marks the second time this year we’ve beaten XXL. And we don’t even have fuckin’ distribution. I was kinda waiting on Elliott to diss OZONE and give us a little free publicity, but I don’t see it happening now that he’s gotten married and gone soft in his editorials. Picture paragraphs unloaded, wise words being quoted Peeped the weakness in the rap game and sewed it - Julia Beverly, email@example.com
Guilty pleasures: Omarion “O” & Jay-Z f/ Linkin Park “Encore (remix)” Twista f/ Faith Evans “Hope” Bonecrusher f/ Field Mob “Deep Tonight” Alfamega f/ Lil Flip & Trina “Southern Boyz” YoungBloodz f/ Young Buck “Datz Me” T.I. f/ Pharrell “Freak Though” Adept f/ Pitbull “Let Them Thangs Go”
Amerie “One Thing” Killer Mike “112 Freestyle” 2Pac “Role Model” Geto Boys “G-Code” Brisco “Might be the Police” Lil Weavah “Gangsta”
The time is 1:12 in the ATL I exit 112 with this bitch Michelle In the V-12 headed to the hotel Hydro lit up, weed in the air She feenin’ to get bent, legs in the air She want her hair pulled, spank her derriere We interrupted by a phone call from Joe the player That boy tell me he got big bricks for sale Since it’s money over bitch, yeah, that’s my shit That hoe got dropped quick like pigeon shit Dat boy said he just hit a big-ass lick And he’s sittin’ on top of 112 bricks And he’ll let the boy get it twelve a brick And drive a hundred miles per hour, get there quick I’m callin’ the clique, tryin’ to scrounge the cash Got at least a quarter million buried in the stash Gotta give me twenty-five if I bring him cash That nigga lick for the shit, he gotta get off it fast I’m at my grandmomma’s house, flashlight and shovel Diggin’ up the iron box, gettin’ dirt on the bezel So now I’m headed to the meeting spot with the cash Got two lil’ niggas with me with ski masks They snort powder, snow, and shoot real fast So if Joe fuck up, that’s Joe black ass If he tries some funny shit like Dave Chapelle We gon’ put a few bullets in his lapel We gon’ leave a whole clip in that nigga head Told Zach and Jackpot, “Follow me in the building” If this nigga get cute we ain’t talkin’, we killing That’s anybody: man, woman, pets, and chil’en Or anybody tryin’ to separate me from the cash Gon’ find they ass right next to God real fast I arrive at Joe’s room, it was suite 112 Immediately I asked him, “Who got the yayo?” He responds back, “Who got the cash?” I told him, “Me, muthafucker, now let’s do this fast” That’s when I noticed this tall nigga lookin’ like a fag And three dread niggas in the back smokin’ hash Four white hoes just giggling, laughing I’m telling Joe, I don’t do business like that Put them hoes out the room and tell ya man Go sit in the back with Bob Marley’s band Nigga busts out the bathroom, pistol in hand He was yellin’, screamin’, shooting and missing It was like that first scene in the movie Pulp Fiction Before I could duck Big Zach was spittin’ Left that boy laid out holy as a Christian The white girls spazzin’ out, cryin’, flippin’ The tall-ass nigga caught one to the head And Jackpot made sure the Baha Men were dead Joe’s hidin’ behind the wet bar shakin’ and scared And I’m screamin’, “Mu’fucka, I got one for ya head” By now my two lil’ shooters came in somethin’ vicious They killed niggas twice, even merked the white bitches I’m lookin’ at Joe, all shakin’ and scared While I got the 44 to the middle of his head I’m tellin’ him, “Holmes, look at yourself.” All balled up in the corner, you done shit on yourself You was Joe my main player, my ace, in fact I can’t kill ya, homeboy, I’ll leave that to Zach - Killer Mike, “112 Freestyle” (Aphilliates’ “Got That Purp” mixtape)
America can be armed with nuclear warheads But when another country has ‘em, they say it’s a threat Y’all wanna be the power supreme So then y’all find a fucked-up reason to go to war with Saddam’s regime And then y’all suffered repercussions Falsely accusing Iraq of possessing weapons of mass destruction Y’all found nothing so why y’all buggin’ Y”all need to leave ‘em alone, y’all need to get the fuck on And go and mind y’all own business Y’all gon’ get clobbered Always butting in other countries’ problems Tryin’ to act like it’s for the better, but y’all tryin’ to rob ‘em Of they rights and freedom It’s all about the money, nigga, please believe it Will a minority be president? Nope But they’ll gladly elect a muthafuckin’ white man who admits to using dope When a white man needs assistance right away the cops are on it When a black man needs assistance first they gotta finish their donut - Arabic Assassin, firstname.lastname@example.org I’m one of the best spittin’ this year, think not prove me wrong Ya game is outdated like Atari and Pong Please, y’all just ride for the thrill But sooner or later that bullshit gon’ crash like J Wills Just call me rap’s Hitler Cause I snatch jewels and have ya cornrows resembling Twizzler’s What you know about Benjamins? Be lucky I’m rappin’, cause I could be slangin’ rocks like Palestinians Or doing something else, who knows Cause my dick is like water, it goes straight through hoes Remember this, I’m first you last While I chew rappers by mistake like fat people eating too fast Man, I get mad cheers when I go on tour While you get more boos than an ABC store If you thinkin’ bout doing it, forget you did Cause I”m in a class by myself like retarded kids - Jae Cash, email@example.com Sevyn syphony like Mozart or Chopin I’m an artist, deaf to those critics like Beethoven I also bait hoes to come to the van Give me some knowledge then leav with their man Holdin’ his hand like, DAMNNNN.... That’s how we do it in the Bayou City Little bit of Nyquil on the Philly have you chilly, but really I just wanna get some lesbies on the pill, see If they’ll lick each other up and down with no clothes on like, DAMNNNN... Yeah, man, rappin’ Latin you can’t handle These verbals I got runnin’ through your dome like Earl Campbell Add the numbers up on the jersey he just dismantled You should see it equals up to Sevyn just like Randall Similar to Philly’s running-man Cunningham-Scramble On you haters light up, you just like a candle This is the type of static you can’t descramble Come through, blow up the spot and leave you all in shambles - Sevyn Rowdy Rican, Beloved Family Organization (BFO), firstname.lastname@example.org
Email your 16 bars to JB@OZONEMAG.COM for consideration.
REP YO CITY
Flip Game’s favorite sign upside down and you’ve also got “M” for “Miami” or “Mississippi” “T” = Tampa
Since we’ve been receiving a lot of letters like the one above, we decided to do the Department of Corrections a favor and translate some of the “gang signs” that often appear in our photo galleries. Consider it our public service for the month.
“V” = Virginia
Pharrell and Fam-Lay rep both VA and their label, Star Trak, with one easy gesture
Crooked Lettaz’ David Banner and Kamikaze Tampa Tony and Tom G Slim Thug and his brother Ray Face
The traditional “Fuck You”
“H” = Houston
Grandaddy Souf’s trademark
“M” = Mississippi “A” = Atlanta “305” = Miami
JT Money and Trick Daddy throw up the 305
Lil Scrappy reminds A-Town to stay down, while Lil Jon displays the timeless “Peace” sign OZONE MAR 2005
01: Dreesy Baby and Ed the World Famous remember DJ Skip-A-Chuck @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 02: Tattoo artist Mister Cartoon shows off his work on David Banner’s back (Las Vegas, NV) 03: X-Tract and Slim Thug @ Connections (Houston, TX) 04: Ali of the St. Lunatics and Big Gipp of Goodie Mob @ the Magic Convention (Las Vegas, NV) 05: Big Cee Jay, Khia, and Charles Wakely @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 06: Shot Out and Don P performing @ Kartouche for the Upstart Record Pool (Jacksonville, FL) 07: Willie, Cubo, and Space reppin’ Crunk Juice @ Pitbull’s “Toma” video shoot (Miami, FL) 08: J-Shin and PhattLipp @ Club Troy (Miami, FL) 09: Floyd Mayweather and Roy Jones Jr. @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 10: T-Mo Goodie brings the family out to a celeb basketball game (Atlanta, GA) 11: Can’t we all just get along? T.I.’s DJ Drama and Lil Flip’s DJ Demp show the love @ Skate Station (Gainesville, FL) 12: Pretty Rickie and the Maverix and their glitter are back in OZONE with a vengeance (Miami, FL) 13: Suave Smooth and Brian Sealey @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 14: Trick Daddy reppin’ his OZONE cover @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 15: DJ Stylez, KoolAid, and Mixmaster Lucky C @ Kartouche (Jacksonville, FL) 16: Lil Flip and Al Capone @ the Magic Convention (Las Vegas, NV) 17: Carmelo Anthony, LaLa, and Ludacris @ the Paladium (Denver, CO) 18: Lil Jon and Lil Scrappy reppin’ OZONE (Las Vegas, NV) 19: Eddie “Gigs”, Chingo Bling, Eddie Deville, Garcia, and DJ EFN @ The Tudor for The CORE DJs convention (Miami, FL) 20: Ladies drinking Crunk on the set of Pitbull’s “Toma” video (Miami, FL) 21: DJ Drama, DJ Fahrenheit, DJ Mars, and DJ Trauma @ Club Five (Jacksonville, FL) Photo Credits: Bogan: #12 Earl Randolph: #09 J Lash: #10 Julia Beverly: #01,02,03,04,05, 06,07,08,11,13,14,15,16,17,18, 19,20,21
OZONE MAR 2005
Disclaimer: These interviews are anonymous, so we cannot verify if they are true or not. All details (cities, club names, hotel names) have been removed. These stories do not necessarily represent the opinions of OZONE Magazine. These stories did not necessarily occur recently, so if you are currently seeing one of these fine gentlemen, no need to curse him out. If you have a celebrity confession, send an email to email@example.com and we will reply with a phone number where you can call anonymously to be interviewed.
ing, rolling weed, and drinking straight Hennessy and ice. When you’re that thirsty, anything tastes good. He was telling us to kiss. That was the first time I’ve ever done that with a chick. We started kissing on him and everybody was laughing, buggin’ out. Then she was sexin’ him and I was watching and kissing him, then he was sexin’ me until the morning. I don’t remember the rest, I passed out. Did you always use protection? We didn’t the first night, but usually he does.
Was your experience with Noreaga a onenight stand or a relationship? It was a relationship. I’ve known him for years. It started as a one-night stand, though. I met him at the club and I left with him that night. How did you meet him? He was doing a show at [a club]. Actually, his partner Capone grabbed me. I had on shorts, and he just grabbed my pussy. [Capone] was like, “Nore, this is the one. She got a fat pussy.” I was like, “Hell no!” I took his arm and shoved it away. I mean, I felt disrespected that he would grab my pussy like that, but I didn’t wanna wild out either in VIP. I just rolled my eyes and kept walking. Nore started talking to me, like, “I’m doing much better now that you’re here,” stuff like that. He was like, “I wanna taste your pussy.” I was smiling, laughing, whatever. We were just talking. Eventually he was like, “You’re coming with me.” I wanted to go home. I wanted to think about it first, maybe change into something comfortable. I didn’t wanna go straight from the club. But I ended up leaving with them. The whole night was just crazy. There was a big fight at the club so they were all racing out to the bus. I was in the middle of everybody running, crazy, so I ended up leaving my car at the club and riding with them to the hotel.
ain’t lyin’ when he talks about getting head and all that in his songs, he likes that better than having sex. He likes to just sit there and get head. Unless he’s really on E, he’ll fuck you all night until it’s too much. I can’t really remember, but that first night, I don’t think I gave him head. We just had sex. Was it awkward in the morning? I didn’t stay. I left after a couple hours. He wanted me to stay, but I didn’t really feel comfortable. I got home probably around 6 or 7 AM; we broke night. He was like, “Hold on, ma, let me give you my numbers,” and that caught me off guard. I was thinking, I guess that’s it, let me feel stupid now. He gave me his 2way and
Was there anything unusual he liked in bed? He likes getting his ass licked. I was like, “Oh, hell no.” He’s fat. He’s got a big ol’ stomach. He was bending over and I was on x, so I was gonna do it. I was like, “I really can’t get in there.” He’s too fat. But yeah, he must like that. He was bent over. I was thinking, Why the fuck is this gangsta rapper bent over trying to get me to suck his ass? (laughing) But that was just one time, he never asked me again. Was he into phone sex? Oh, yeah, but mostly on the 2way or on the computer. He would write real nasty shit. He loves that back-and-forth shit. He used to write some real funny shit. I used to ask my sister what to write back, cause I’m not really into that shit. “You miss this dick?” “What you gonna do with this dick when you get it?” That type of thing. Isn’t he married now? Did you ever talk about his girlfriend or family? He talked about his kids. He never really talked about his girl. I was like, “Why do you mess with Spanish chicks? Ain’t your girl black?” I had seen a picture of her somewhere. He was like, “That’s the only one. I don’t like too much drama so I don’t fuck with black girls.”
“I was thinking, Why the fuck is this gangsta rapper [Noreaga] bent over trying to get me to suck his ass?”
Were you attracted to Nore? Not physically, no. Just his personality. As a rapper I was attracted to his music. I was a fan of his music, but physically, no. What happened once you got to the room? We were just chillin’, he was asking me questions. Capone kept calling the room. Nore was like, “Capone wanna know whassup?” I was like, “I wanna be with you.” [Nore] said he just wanted to ask to make sure. I guess it’s understandable, maybe they thought I wanted both of them (laughing). He asked if I had kids, what do I do, do I have a man, how old am I, where am I from, stuff like that. When you had sex, did it feel weird, like being with a stranger? No, it was cool. It wasn’t cold like that. It was alright. He was on x. He was trying to get me to take some, and I was like, “No way.” I did it with him later on, though, but not the first time. Eventually he got me to do that shit and that was the night we had a threesome. But that night, I didn’t want to, I was like, “No, you buggin’.” He was like, “Just try a piece, break it off.” I heard too much craziness about x. He started kissing on me and eventually we had sex. What’s Nore like in bed? He has a nice-sized dick, but he’s kinda lazy. He likes you to do all the work. He
cell numbers and I was thinking, He’s just trying to be nice or whatever. He called me after that, though. Any time he was near [my city] he’d call me and we’d hook up. Did it develop into a friendship? Yeah, he’s cool. He’s got a good heart. He’s given me money before without me asking him, if he knew I needed something. He could be an asshole, though. I drove [to another city] to meet him once and my car got towed. He had an early flight out and I had stayed in the hotel to sleep in, so I ended up getting stuck out of town with no money. I was blowing up his phone and he never called me back, which was foul. Besides that, he’s cool. He flew me to New York once to see him, and he’d drop me some money once in a while. One time he knew my phone had been disconnected and he was like, “Ma, what up with your phone, I’ve been trying to call you,” and before the night was over he left me some money by my purse. That was nice, but no real money. Did you get attached to him emotionally? Not at all. I would find other girls for him, actually. One time I brought one of my friends. She kinda liked him, she thought he was cute or whatever. But, once we got to the room, she wasn’t really feelin’ him. He’s chubby. He had the x, though, and he was like, “Take this.” She was scared. I decided to try it; I convinced her to take it too. I took one, she took one, and everybody was happy (laughing). Describe the threesome. He ordered a big bowl of whipped cream from room service, and mad liquor. We were smok-
Did he tell you he was getting married? No, I heard about it. I read it in a magazine. I called him but I didn’t really mention nothing about it. I really didn’t wanna fuck with him after that. I felt funny, like, that nigga’s married now. I didn’t think he would fuck with me after that, but he did. He’s the married one, so if he doesn’t care, why should I? Is he different now that he’s married? Not at all. He’s more calm, though. I think it’s the x. He’s always so spaced out. He just wants to chill in the room and be by ourselves. He seems like he’s tired of all the club shit. Did you get attracted to him after sleeping with him for so long? I like his personality. He does a lot of funny shit, but I’m still not really attracted to him. What’s the appeal? Is it that he’s famous? Yeah, definitely, cause the sex is not all that. He’s a fat boy and he’s kinda lazy. I just like being around him, his character and his personality is real funny. It’s a friendship, maybe. I think if I needed something he would look out. I never really asked him for anything. He calls me on the regular to say Happy New Year’s, Merry Christmas, stuff like that. He knows my family, he gets me into the clubs or whatever. We’re real cool. I consider him a friend. I got a man, so yeah, I don’t see him as my man or anything like that. My man knows of Nore from the past, but of course he doesn’t know that I still see him. OZONE MAR 2005
01: J-Noise and E-Neezy reppin’ OZONE and Crunk USA Clothing @ Hot 97.5 (Las Vegas, NV) 02: Biggs and Dame Dash show off their watches @ the Magic convention (Las Vegas, NV) 03: Chingo Bling, DJ Al Money, and Dirty the Mixtape Bully on the set of Pitbull’s “Toma” (Miami, FL) 04: B.P., Big C, Kwasi Kwa, DJ Doc, Scrap Dirty, and Aqua Black reppin’ OZONE @ Upper Level (Jackson, MS) 05: TJ Chapman, Mr. Magic, David Banner, and Roy Jones @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 06: Laila Ali’s husband Yahya and Streetwize CEO Big T (Atlanta, GA) 07: Rock Steady Crew @ Club Ra for an LRG party (Las Vegas, NV) 08: Rasheeda and Trina @ Lil Scrappy’s birthday party (Atlanta, GA) 09: Juvenile reppin’ OZONE @ The Palace (Jacksonville, FL) 10: Tony Hall and Ozzie Oz reppin’ OZONE @ Skate Station (Gainesville, FL) 11: Kream and Infarel reppin’ OZONE (Tampa, FL) 12: Roy Jones and Pimpin’ Ken @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 13: Joie Manda and Bun B @ Studio 7303 (Houston, TX) 14: Stay Fresh is IN OZONE! (Jacksonville, FL) 15: T.I. and Killer Mike @ Club Five (Jacksonville, FL) 16: Lil Don, Anon, Raw from No Luv, and Swordz @ Kartouche (Jacksonville, FL) 17: Lil Jon and Pitbull enjoying themselves on the set of “Toma” @ Opium (Miami, FL) 18: Don Magic Juan and Lil Jon @ the Magic convention (Las Vegas, NV) 19: Ladies reppin’ Crunk Juice @ the Paladium (Denver, CO) 20: Grandaddy Souf, DJ Dirty, and the Nawd Squad @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 21: Bart, Black P, Lil Mickey the Afroman mascot, and Kadife @ Union Station (Denver, CO) Photo Credits: Earl Randolph: #12 J Lash: #06 Joie Manda: #13 Julia Beverly: #01,02,03,04, 05,07,09,10,14,15,16,17,18, 19,20,21 KG Mosley: #11 Kirk: #08 16
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“Neva Eva” was the song that got you signed, right? L.A. (a.k.a. Lil Atlanta): Yeah, we had already recorded it without [Lil] Jon on it and we were pressin’ it in the high school clubs and throwing parties. We used to perform that song, and the crowd would always remember “Neva Eva.” It just kept growing in the high schools and Jon heard about it through word of mouth. Dirty Mouf: We had 3,500 kids at the party, and Lil Jon saw how we got it crunk. He was like, “We need to sign these boys to BME. They’re just like me when I was their age.” Don P (a.k.a. Corleone): It was super crunk. I had been talking to Vince Phillips, one of the CEOs of BME anyway, so when Jon saw how we repped the crowd he knew it was on. How would you categorize yourselves within the group? What role do you each play? L.A.: I’m kinda known as the laid-back type, but at the same time, when I do say something everybody listens. I also could be known as the nigga who gets the females. I’m the ladies man and the businessman. I didn’t say I was quiet, though. I’m laid-back, but I’ve got that crunk side to me too when I get into my zone. Dirty: I’m the gutta type. I don’t take no shit. I’m the one that tells it like it is; gets straight to the point. If you don’t like it, then there’s gonna be consequences. Don P: Trillville actually started as my label. We were all solo artists on the label, and when we got to BME we turned it into a group. I’m a producer, so I do tracks and I make sure everybody gets into the studio. I’m the one that makes sure business stays straight and the money stays flowing. I’m the super CEO, the super producer. That’s why they call me Corleone, cause I’m the godfather. I produced “Neva Eva” along with Lil Jon the King and another track on their called “Bitch Nigga.” I did all the skits on our album, of course, cause I’m just a fool like that. I got six crazy tracks on the new album, and I just had a track accepted for a soundtrack. I’m a producer but a lot of people don’t know that I be making hits on the low. I just creep up and bite them on the ass. I’m on the grind, but when they hear my shit they think I came out of nowhere. I love my indies, they buy beats from me all the time. I just did something with E-40, and I’m gonna be working with Killer Mike, hopefully. I’m also working with my artist Montae C right now as we speak. I’m in the studio bangin’ out the chords, yeah. I heard that you didn’t really wanna put out “Some Cut” as a single. L.A.: That never came out of my mouth, but I can’t speak for the other members of the group. That’s definitely one of our biggest songs. It was the people’s choice, so you can’t go wrong with that. Don P: It wasn’t really that I didn’t wanna put it out, but I was just into getting crunk. But, once you get crunk and leave the club, you definitely gonna leave with some cut. I’m a crunk man, you know? I stay crunk. My idol is Lil Jon, so I’m following his footsteps. Even Jon came out with “Lovers & Friends” and other slow songs. I just wanted to make sure we came out with “Crunk in Your System” first, because that was the best decision. It’s all about timing. “Some Cut” came out when it got cold. Everybody wanna cuddle up with they girls when it’s wintertime. Are you working on a new album? L.A.: The new album is called Trillville Reloaded, and that’s just Trillville.
(l to r): L.A., Dirty Mouf, and Don P
Scrappy’s working on his solo album too. Even though you released a joint album with Lil Scrappy, it seemed like Trillville and Scrappy don’t get along too well. L.A.: That was basically just a misunderstanding between Lil Scrappy and Don P. I was kinda stuck in the middle of that situation. When we see each other, we speak. I don’t have no hard feelings towards Scrappy and from what I hear on the street, he don’t have no hard feelings either. Dirty: BME wanted to put out the two hottest Atlanta groups on one EP. Two for one. We’re almost platinum, so go get the album if you don’t have it already. But, Scrappy is Scrappy. Trillville is Trillville. He’s a solo artist, we’re a group. He does his thing and we do ours. Don P: It’s like a family thing, you know, brothers fight sometimes. When Trillville and Scrappy came out, people were confused. Some people thought we were the same thing. You can try to tell people all day long, but for some reason, people don’t listen until there’s beef. As soon as they heard we didn’t get along, everybody knew exactly who Scrappy was and exactly who Trillville was. All the confusion is gone now. Everybody knows who we are and who he is. People don’t need to be worried about the beef, they just need to be worried about when we get back together and go platinum on their ass. Only time will tell. Who is featured on the album? L.A.: Three 6 Mafia, the singer Lloyd, Jazze Pha, and Pimpin Ken, just to name a few. Don P: Mya’s on the first single, it’s called “Usually.” Of course, Lil Jon is on there, doin’ it real big. Since “Some Cut” came out, have the females been coming at you more? Dirty: Our shows are basically nothing but girls now. You have some fellas out there, but really, all the girls come to our shows wanting to hear that song. L.A.: Yeah, man, it’s crazy. Everybody wanna get some cut or give some cut. They be like,
“What it is?” They go off the hook. They say what we say in the lyrics; they want that to be done to them. “Some Cut” can bring out the freak in anybody. How often do you take advantage of those offers? L.A.: That’s off the record (laughing). Don P: Everybody in the world loves having sex. Now, people definitely know that we make good music, whether it gets the club crunk or the bedroom crunk. The shows have been packed with female fans ever since that song came out. The fellas loved “Neva Eva” too, but every female wanted to tell another female to get on their level. It was always a girl fight. Our ladies definitely know that we make music for them too. We still keepin’ it treal for all my niggas with hits like “DBoy Stance” on the new album, and “Crunk in Your System.” A lot of people thought it was made for Crunk Energy Drink, but really you could get crunk off all types of shit – weed, liquor, whatever. Yeah, that “Neva Eva” definitely sparked a few club fights. What was the craziest thing you witnessed at one of your shows? Don P: Man, I’m gonna tell you the craziest shit. We were in Savannah, and you could tell these two girls were friends because they were kickin’ it before the show backstage, laughin’ and talking to each other. As soon as “Neva Eva” came on, they were whuppin’ each other’s asses all over the club. I had thrown my t-shirt into the crowd and they were fighting over my t-shirt. Anything else you want to say? Don P: I definitely appreciate OZONE for putting us in y’all magazine, and I gotta plug all the artists on Trilltown Entertainment: Montae C, Big Mel, T3, and Legacy. Dirty: Once again, if y’all ain’t got that Trillville and Lil Scrappy album, you need to go get it. Trillville Reloaded is coming in early April. Look out for the new label, Trilltown Entertainment. You can get all our mix CDs and check us out online at www.trillville.com and www.trilltown.com. We’ve got the new crunk line, too. Call us on the crunk line at 678-438-3138. OZONE MAR 2005
01: T.I. and Young Jeezy @ Club Five (Jacksonville, FL) 02: Lil Jon reveals his secret day job (Miami, FL) 03: Antman, Andre and friends @ Club Troy for The CORE DJs convention (Miami, FL) 04: Big Boi being interviewed by Sister 2 Sister @ his birthday party (Atlanta, GA) 05: Juan and friends on the set of Pitbull’s “Toma” video @ Opium (Miami, FL) 06: The Diaz Brothers and Dirty Red reppin’ OZONE on the set of Pitbull’s “Toma” video (Miami, FL) 07: FLX and Scott join the OZONE street team @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 08: Slim Thug and DJ Chill reppin’ OZONE @ Connections (Houston, TX) 09: Sunny and Supa Cindy @ Pitbull’s “Toma” video shoot (Miami, FL) 10: Meoshe’s Slim Pickens and Vokal’s Nick Loftis reppin’ OZONE @ the Magic convention (Las Vegas, NV) 11: Free and Bigga Rankin @ The Palace (Jacksonville, FL) 12: Cordell and Tony reppin OZONE @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 13: Young Cash and Kashus Deniro @ Upstart Record Pool meeting (Jacksonville, FL) 14: The Sofla Kings reppin’ OZONE on the set of Pitbull’s “Toma” video at Opium (Miami, FL) 15: Jonathan Vilma, Greg Charles, and Radue Watson @ the Magic convention (Las Vegas, NV) 16: Pitbull and Chingo Bling reppin’ OZONE on the set of “Toma” (Miami, FL) 17: Nelly, Murphy Lee, and Big Gipp @ the Paladium (Denver, CO) 18: Olivia, 50 Cent, and Trelli Trelle @ Hot 104.5 (New Orleans, LA) 19: Alan, Payne, Wyze, and DJ Killatone @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 20: Sir Knight Train, DJ Infinite, Knice, and Jesse Jazz @ Caribbean Beach Club (Orlando, FL) 21: DJ Trauma and Mad Linx @ Union Station (Denver, CO) Photo Credits: Bogan: #05 Sophia Jones: #11 Julia Beverly: #01,02,03,06, 07,08,09,10,12,13,14,15,16,17, 19,20,21 ShannonMCC.com: #04 Marcus Jethro: #18 18
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Everyone likes a good awards show, so allow me to present the first annual edition of Teemoney’s Dirty South Awards. Commercial free, no bullshit, fuck the red carpet, and Joan Rivers is most definitely not invited. BEST SIDE HUSTLE Winner: Chingo Bling The Houston Press honored its hometown hero Chingo Bling with four of their Music Awards in 2004: Local Musician of the Year, Best Latin Rap, Best Local Label (for his Big Chile Enterprises) and Best New Act. We want to add Best Side Hustle to that list of accolades. The rapper has a business degree and a champion cock — his pimp cup toting, prizefighting rooster Cleto, which is probably not what you were thinking — and is known for shedding light on the oppression of the Latino community with a gift of humor. There are artists who began as drug dealers (or still maybe even moonlight as one), but Chingo Bling has instead made a lot of his money with a skillful blending of masa, pork shoulder and cumin, as he tells Murder Dog. “All the piece and chains, the toe wear, the ostriches, the custom Versaces with the Virgin Mary,” says Bling, also known as the Tamale Kingpin. “You can’t make all that off of CDs alone, you gotta have something else going on. Tamales is big business. I got that million dollar recipe...If you look at rap music, that’s all people talk about is slanging crack. They talk about cookin’ this and that up, and that started in the ‘80s in New York and then it spread around, and all these conspiracy theories about Ronald Reagan, but Chingo was cooking up something else.” All that, and Chingo Bling also has a kind heart for those who might not be quite as talented as he when it comes to the music. He has even put out an open offer on his Web site. “Rap isn’t for everybody,” he writes, “so put the mic down and come be one of my tamale wrappers.” RAWEST GROUPIE SCANDAL EVER Winner: Big Boi of OutKast Mixtapes are the place to go to when you want to hear rappers feeling a degree less censored and offering material that will not make it to their album, whether it’s lyrical beef being passed around by quarreling rappers or an exceptionally uncut story about life on the road. But there’s still usually a limit to what is talked about. Not on Atlanta DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz X mixtape, though. OutKast’s Big Boi, who hosts the whole set, talks about a scandalous evening many moons ago in a Chicago hotel room after a show. Amidst a session of large-scale sexual sharing, someone’s valuable ring ended up disappearing. No one would admit to taking it, until...“Somebody came clean, went in her puss and pulled out a ring,” says Big Boi. “That was the most gangster shit ever. I mean, Gangsta Grillz! Don’t get no mo’ gangster than that. That’s the first time I ever seen a bitch put some gold and diamonds in her pussy, trying to walk out a hotel room with a nigga ring.” MAN OF THE PEOPLE AWARD Winner: Mike Jones Who? Mike Jones! The successful independent rapper on the rise from Houston has been signed to the record label Swisha House since 2002, where he’s sold hundreds of thousands of units, mainly in the South alone. As of this writing
nual Atlantis Music Conference. Besides learning that she’s got both talent and charisma to take her far in this game, I also learned — and thankfully, not from personal experience — that she is not one to disrespect. “I don’t fight, I don’t argue. I just hit that bitch with a bottle,” she raps on the chorus of “Bottle Action.” “Got problems? I’ll solve ‘em. I just hit that bitch with a bottle.” Might sound a little rough translated on paper, but Miss B managed to craft a perfect tune for any woman who needs an anthem to safely express some anger and bust some heads open, metaphorically of course. Jermaine Dupri must’ve agreed, picking up the track for a crunk compilation on So So Def. I know I can only sit here in anticipation that she might get to record a video for “Bottle Action.” he’s readying the release of two more albums which, paired with the video exposure he’s gotten from BET’s UnCut program for his “Still Tippin” single and Swisha House’s new major label distribution deal, should spell far more sales and national acclaim to come. Just about every artist has a Web site; that isn’t anything too remarkable in itself. Mike Jones happens to have a very cool site (www.whomikejones.com). But no other artist, especially one of his stature, wants you to have his phone number. Mike Jones does. He even plasters it all over his T-shirts and mentions it often on records. Talk about a true man of the people. Don’t believe it? Call (281) 330-8004. And, uh, ask for Mike. THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR KEEPING IT TOO REAL Winner: Bushwick Bill Bushwick Bill set an impossibly high standard for keeping it too real back in 1991 when he flipped a traumatic incident into a memorable album cover for the Geto Boys’ We Can’t Be Stopped. After demanding that his girlfriend shoot him and put him out of his misery, Bill was indeed shot, though not fatally—in his face. Who can forget that ultimate photo of him being rolled down the hospital corridor on the gurney with Willie D and Scarface, bloody bandage dangling off his eye? We’re not exactly encouraging people to try to top Bill’s achievements, you understand. But in this age when everyone’s trying to separate the authentic from the fake more than ever, just keep We Can’t Be Stopped in mind. That’s the original source of what Southerners now call trill – that’s triple real for everyone else. Bushwick Bill got that. He’s one of America’s first original reality stars. Competition is already heating up for next year’s Lifetime Achievement Award For Keeping It Too Real. Word is that the committee wants to lighten up the festivities a bit next time around, though. So it might end up going to another one of Houston’s finest, Devin The Dude, for using a picture of himself smoking and reading the newspaper on the toilet for his 1998debut album The Dude. WHO YOU CALLIN’ A BITCH AWARD Winner: Miss B One of the highlights of my recent trip to Atlanta was learning about Miss B through her live performance at a showcase for the an-
BEST GANGSTER INFILTRATION INTO THE MAINSTREAM Winner: Baby for the Birdman Shoe You have to respect the marketing sensibility of Cash Money’s Baby (aka The Birdman). He’s one of several Southern moguls to parlay business knowledge originally honed from the wrong side of the law into solid legal money, but Baby may be one of the most brazen about it. Take The Birdman, a “signature shoe” he designed in partnership with Lugz. For those unfamiliar with drug terminology, a “bird” is a word for cocaine. Thus, what we essentially have is the coke shoe. Available at a mall near you! Lugz is an urban company savvy to its market. They’re not afraid to be less than subtle about this kind of theme, and we have to salute their balls for doing it. “The sneaker features a clean-cut design,” touts the corporate press release, “and each pair will include a special ‘bling-bling’ Cash Money Stack Clip (key chain for girls).” Good thing, for a blinging clip is certainly a lot more sophisticated than a rubber band. Initially priced at $70, The Birdman shoe is a lot more long lasting than, well, other things that someone could buy with that money. WILDEST VIDEO SHOOT Winner: T.I. for Birthday Bash promo In the summer of 2004, self-proclaimed “King of the South” T.I. was on a work release program from Georgia’s Cobb County (stemming from a violation of parole from a 1998 drug conviction). He had been serving time at nearby Fulton County Jail since April. In June, T.I. arranged to have a film crew come into Fulton County Jail to make a short video to preface his appearance at the annual Birthday Bash for Atlanta radio station Hot 107.9 (the same show that would ignite a beef between the rapper and Houston’s Lil Flip). During the filming, inmate Cara Williams escaped from a processing area. Although Williams was found and back in custody by the middle of that same night and, as Associated Press reports, she was the “10th escape or accidental release from the jail during the last 16 months,” the incident must not have helped T.I.’s situation with Atlanta officials. It did, however, give the rapper the Wildest Video Shoot, and established a new meaning to “Girls Gone Wild” in the process. Excerpt from Tamara Palmer’s new book, Country Fried Soul: Adventures in Dirty South Hip-Hop OZONE MAR 2005
01: Laila Ali, Ms Cherry, and Laila’s mother Veronica Ali after her fight (Atlanta, GA) 02: Block Wear’s Stax on his hustle outside of Upper Level (Jackson, MS) 03: Nero, Pat Pat, and friends reppin’ OZONE on the set of Pitbull’s “Toma” (Miami, FL) 04: DJ Hollywood and the YoungBloodz @ Club Tabu (Huntsville, AL) 05: Pitbull, Jessy Terrero, and Lil Jon @ Opium (Miami, FL) 06: Mad Linx, Kevin Liles, and Chaka Zulu @ the Paladium (Denver, CO) 07: Fabolous and Mitchell & Ness VP Big Rube @ Union Station (Denver, CO) 08: Gotti and Rasheeda @ celeb bball game (Atlanta, GA) 09: Mimi and Pitbull on the set of “Toma” (Miami, FL) 10: Tech Nine reppin’ OZONE @ the Magic convention (Las Vegas, NV) 11: DJ Laz and Larry Dogg reppin’ OZONE on the set of Pitbull’s “Toma” video (Miami, FL) 12: Devyne Stephens and Iisha Hillmon (Atlanta, GA) 13: Lil Scrappy and Rasheeda @ his birthday party (Atlanta, GA) 14: Yo Gotti reppin’ OZONE @ Upper Level (Jackson, MS) 15: Garfield, the CD Man, Treal, Clay D, and Bedo @ Caribbean Beach Club (Orlando, FL) 16: Webbie and PaulWall @ Studio 7303 (Houston, TX) 17: Young Jeezy and BloodRaw @ Club Five (Jacksonville, FL) 18: David Banner and Pastor Troy reppin’ OZONE @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 19: P Diddy and Jazze Pha @ Big Boi’s birthday party (Atlanta, GA) 20: Gucci Mane and Ms Cherry @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 21: Antman, Teddy T, and Luc-Duc reppin’ OZONE on the set of Pitbull’s “Toma” video @ Opium (Miami, FL) Photo Credits: Bogan: #03,11,21 DJ Hollywood: #04 Iisha Hillmon: #12 J Lash: #01,08 Joie Manda: #16 Julia Beverly: #02,05,06,07,09, 10,14,15,17,18,20 Kirk: #13 ShannonMCC.com: #19
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01: Gotti, Khujo Goodie, Yahya, and T-Mo Goodie @ celeb bball game (Atlanta, GA) 02: Charlie Chan, Big Sam, and Stan da Man @ the Paladium (Denver, CO) 03: Floyd Mayweather and Damon Dash @ the Magic convention (Las Vegas, NV) 04: D-Rocc and DJ Quote @ The Tudor for The CORE DJs convention (Miami, FL) 05: Six Two, Comp, and Attitude @ The CORE DJs convention (Miami, FL) 06: Pat Nix, J-Dogg, and Willie Fischer @ Kartouche (Jacksonville, FL) 07: Stax, Reggie Newell, Boo Rossini, and Benz @ Upper Level (Jackson, MS) 08: Lebron James and Kevin Liles @ the Paladium (Denver, CO) 09: Antonio Tarver and Floyd Mayweather @ the Staples Center (Los Angeles, CA) 10: Spoil’d Rotten reppin’ OZONE @ the Tudor for The CORE DJs convention (Miami, FL) 11: Pupp and Keith Kennedy @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 12: The Babalu Bad Boys Rich and Ray @ Opium (Miami, FL) 13: Killa Kyleon reppin’ Boss Hogg Outlawz @ the Magic convention (Las Vegas, NV) 14: Cory and Tambra reppin’ Admission Granted TV @ Upper Level (Jackson, MS) 15: Rasheeda, Bonecrusher, Ciara, and Cottin Mouf @ Vibefest (NYC) 16: Gucci Mane, Khujo Goodie, Yahya, and Frank Ski (Atlanta, GA) 17: David Banner and Ed the World Famous reppin’ OZONE’s Superbowl edition @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 18: Roy Jones, Mr. Magic, and the Body Head crew @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 19: DirtBag and Jacki-O @ The CORE DJs convention (Miami, FL) 20: Fox, Zay, TJ Chapman, Clay-D, and Angel Benton @ Bay Area Music Conference (St. Petersburg, FL) 21: Khujo Goodie, Rico Wade, Big Boi, DJ Toomp, T-Mo Goodie, and Konkrete @ Big Boi’s birthday party (Atlanta, GA) Photo Credits: Earl Randolph: #18 J Lash: #01,09,16 Julia Beverly: #02,03,04,05,06, 07,08,10,11,12,13,14,17,19,20 Kirk: #15 ShannonMCC.com: #21 22
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What’s your actual title at Atlantic Records? I’m the Senior Director of Urban Promotions for Atlantic, but I also have a dual role. Along with the Chairman of Atlantic, Craig Kallman, I’m going to be running Atlantic Latino, which will cater to Latin hip-hop and reggaetone. What was your career path to get into the music industry? I went to college originally because I wanted to be a film director, but then I realized there aren’t a lot of Puerto Rican film directors who are into hip-hop. I figured it was something that would take me a long time to achieve, and I was eager to get to work. I opted to get involved with music instead. I got a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, and while I was in college I started working at a warehouse for a company called Imported Records. They were the ones that funded Relativity Records, so that was my first exposure to an independent hip-hop label. That’s where I first met Fat Joe, believe it or not. This was probably like, 1991. From there, I ended up meeting a lot of the people who did urban promotions at Relativity. I made a lot of friends, and I got into that circle before I knew it and landed a job at Tommy Boy. My first job there was retail marketing, and that’s what got me involved in promotions. Who were some of the acts you worked with at Tommy Boy? Coolio, Naughty by Nature, Everlast and House of Pain, Coo Coo Cal, and Above the Law. Tommy Boy had a deal with Warner Bros, but they got bought out and eventually they folded. I had made so many relationships that Rob Love from Def Jam called me the week Tommy Boy folded. I didn’t skip a beat. I put in my three years at Def Jam, I worked with everybody from Jay-Z and Memphis Bleek to Capone and Noreaga. I was also one of the people that was real instrumental in breaking Joe Buddens on a national level. At Def Jam, were you basically the liaison between the label and the DJs? That’s basically why they brought me in, cause I already knew a few DJs from my days at Tommy Boy. I’d never really done full-on radio promotions, but I knew the key players. My last gig at Tommy Boy was lifestyle marketing, which is another way of saying I ran the street teams nationally. Through that, I started meeting DJs across the country, so that’s what really put me on Def Jam’s radar. When I hooked up with Rob Love, he realized that I knew a lot of the people he needed to pop off his records. I met with Rob and Kevin Liles and they hired me on the spot. What’s the key to building relationships and networking with DJs? It’s real simple. You’ve gotta make a lasting impression; a good impression. I never take any DJ for granted, whether it’s a club DJ, a mixtape DJ, or a radio DJ. I try to be really careful not to favor one over the other, because they’re all instrumental in breaking records in different forms. When I talk to people I try to remember their names and I try to make sure they have all my contact info. I’m a promoter, so I’m always supposed to be accessible. It’s a formula that’s worked for me. A lot of people will pass my number around and say, “Sam will help you get that Redman record,” or, “Sam will help you get that Ludacris record.” I just caught a reputation for being accessible. It sounds really simple, but it works for me. I ended up building a lot of good relationships and that’s what
people shouldn’t be insecure. If you’re good at what you do, you shouldn’t be worried if your ass is on the line. If they don’t embrace me, somebody else will. That’s my attitude. When Lyor offered me the job [at Atlantic], Def Jam did make attempts to keep me and convince me to stay. I still love the company, though. My attitude is good. I wish them much success. Def Jam is such a strong brand. If they win, if Lyor wins, it’s all good for hip-hop. I’m really happy with the decision I made, though. I love Atlantic and I love the artists. Who are some of the artists you’re working with at Atlantic? T.I., Trick Daddy, and Fat Joe, who happens to be a personal friend of mine. There’s a lot of new artists too, like Bump J. I have no ill feelings towards Def Jam, though. They’ve still got a good squad.
Sam Crespo Atlantic Records got me the job over at Atlantic. At Atlantic, are you also the liaison between the label and the DJs? Even though I have a higher position at Atlantic than I did at Def Jam, I think that’s one thing Atlantic definitely needed as a company; that link to the DJs, now that they’ve become so aggressive on the urban side. Even though there’s two people under me handling mixshow – Rick Betemit and Damon Gales – you’ll still see me at the DJ conferences. I’m taking them under my wing, so a couple years from now they could take my spot. I think that’s what keeps this business alive; people like myself who want to train others to eventually fill my shoes. I don’t wanna be doing this forever. It’s all about growth. Were you shocked when Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles left Def Jam? Yes and no. It was always my dream to work at Def Jam. It was always my dream to know Lyor Cohen and work with Kevin Liles, so when it happened, I was ecstatic. I didn’t know that my impression on them was that strong that they’d say, “Hey, we gotta have that guy back.” When they made that call [to hire me at Atlantic] I realized that I see myself in that executive circle. They’re my mentors, basically, so when they came calling it was easy to say yes. That’s my crew and I gotta roll with them wherever they go. After they left Def Jam and people started getting laid off, was there tension within the company? Yeah, I felt that. There were comments about the company being called “Deflantic.” But,
“That’s what keeps this business alive; people like myself who want to train others to eventually fill my shoes. I don’t wanna do this forever. It’s all about growth.”
The other day when we spoke, you said that Lil Wayne was signed with Atlantic, but I just heard that he renewed his contract with Cash Money/Universal today. What’s going on with that situation? I thought he was signing with us, so I have no idea. They were pumping it over here [at Atlantic] like he was already signed to us, so I’m just as confused as everybody else. How long have you been at Atlantic? I’ve been working at Atlantic since the end of December 2004, so it’s been about two months now. With your position on the Latin/reggaetone side, what do you plan to do? The same way that Craig [Kallman] helped to take reggae and dancehall to the next level at Atlantic, I wanna take reggaetone to the next level. Who are some of the reggae and dancehall artists on Atlantic? Kevin Lyttle, Sean Paul. VP Records is under Atlantic. Who are some Latin and reggaetone artists you’d like to sign? Daddy Yankee and Tego Calderon. I think those two would be incredible additions to our roster. What makes you qualified to lead the reggaetone movement at Atlantic? It’s something that I personally love, and I’ve been watching it for a couple years. I have love and respect for the music, and I’ve already been working with people in the movment. Plus, the fact that I’m Puerto Rican and I love hip-hop. I understand how to combine reggaetone and hip-hop without it sounding corny. You mentioned Fat Joe; are there any other artists you’ve developed personal friendships with? Me and Nore are tight, and me and Joe Buddens are still tight. I’m also friends with a lot of other record promoters at other labels. You would think we’re competitors, but we’re actually good friends. We all respect each other, and we all hang out. Do you have any advice for up-and-coming executives in the music business? People who wanna make it in this business have got to know how to network. You’ve got to keep your word and build relationships, because it all comes back around. Photo and interview by Julia Beverly, email@example.com OZONE MAR 2005
Fat Joe on KaySlay’s Drama Hour> I gave  ample time to change the diss record [“Piggy Bank”], so I guess the dude wants rap battle beef. His number one record is called “In Da Club,” and we ain’t never seen this dude in the club in our life. He ain’t grow up with the 20 white boys that he be with every day. People gotta understand that this dude is CB4. Man, he a gimmick. All that, “I’ll kill Ja, I’ll catch you when I catch you, I won’t back down,” and it’s been four years and he ain’t even slap-box with Ja yet. This dude be throwing mad darts, but he a hermit. He be staying home all day and he just diss people. He don’t be in Queens. Queens ain’t never seen this dude, man. This dude is a great entertainer and makes great music, but ain’t nobody losing sleep over him.  is trying to win some credibility by disrespecting me cause the fans know they see me in Harlem, they see me in Brooklyn, they see me in the Bronx. They see me with no bodyguard. I’ve never had a bodyguard in my life. He feels like if he disrespects me, he’ll get points off it. He’s a coward, man. This dude is scared of his own shadow. Them steroids is getting to him. This is real talk. I’m gonna address him on the album one time, man. I’m not no battle rapper. You see this is all on the radio, see, it’s like I’m falling for his plan. He knows Chris Lighty, Chris knows me very well. Tell me where to meet you. I’ll walk down there one deep and I’ll knock you out. It’s simple. It’s so simple, cause he ain’t built like that...I’m only addressing the issue because it’s just so out of proportion. I hear rumors, like, “Yo, he got people under pressure.” Under pressure? Dog, I’m Debo. I just rode up on a bike. Are you crazy? I will cripple his whole organization if I want to. I’m being a nice guy about this. It’s impossible to hurt  with twenty cops on him all day. That’s why he’s talking all reckless. I’m trying to do positive things, I ain’t worried ‘bout this dude. In fact Cool & Dre, Terror Squad producers, produced “Hate it or Love it.” The “Candy Shop” record was my beat; Scott Storch produced that for me. I took it to the crib and thought it sounded too much like “Lean Back.” Scott calls me telling me 50 wanna use it. I’m like, “Do what you gotta do.” I ain’t no hater.
OZONE MAR 2005
50 Cent on Funkmaster Flex’s show on Hot 97 [Game] was being dropped from Aftermath. Why else would they let me be a partner on a record they had for two years? Creatively they got stuck in the mud with it and I came through and helped it move. I’ve worked on every record that this guy has out commercially. He went overseas and heard people screaming “Game,” and he came back and bugged out on us. It was too much for him. Game was in the “In Da Club” video. He had been down there two years before they came to me with the project. He was signed right after my album [Get Rich or Die Tryin’] came out and he sat for another two years. Banks’ album went on sale, Buck’s album went on sale, Beg For Mercy went on sale, and he sat there in the studio and still couldn’t complete the record. They asked if I would work with him. If you look at [Game’s album The Documentary], there’s six records on the album that I wrote. The first three singles he put out, I’m on ‘em: “Westside Story,” “How We Do,” and “Hate it or Love it.” Every record he’s selling is based on me being on the record with him. His album is like my EP before my LP. [His ungratefulness] bugged me out, cause I overextended myself to him. He’s actually been to my house. I brought him there and sat there and made the records he has. A lot of those records, I muted the vocals. I had already wrote those records. So for him to turn around and say [he’ll do songs with Nas and I just dissed Nas] that’s disrespectful. [Game]’s not established yet. He still has to make records on his own. He hasn’t made anything by himself yet. They bought that record based on material that they heard with me and him on it. I don’t know where Dre stands on the situation. I haven’t even talked to him. [Aftermath and Interscope] been calling like crazy. They figure the things that I say in the general public at this point, just telling the facts, the truth will destroy the perception of Game as an artist. [Aftermath staff] even overlooked records that I wrote on the credits to make it look like I didn’t write the records. They wanted to make it look like he wrote songs like “Special” and “Church for Thugs.” I think Game has a problem with my position. I think he’d like to be 50 Cent, the head of the situation. He’s trying to create his own circle with the Black Wall Street, and he has my blessings. I didn’t say anything bad about that. I want them to grow as fast as they can, because who looks bigger when that happens? To be technical, I make more money off his record than he does. That’s the honest-to-God truth, on the publishing. Cause I’m at a full rate and he’s still at a 3/4 rate. He’s still on a brand new artist deal. He has to adjust it in order to get into the space that I’m in right now. He might as well go ahead and do his record with Nas, Jadakiss, anybody else that’s gonna stand next to him at this point.
<Game w/ DJ Wreck 50 basically tried to air out all our dirty laundry on [Hot 97 with Funkmaster Flex]. There was no need to be talking about internal issues, but he did what he did and decided to air me out like that. He doesn’t really know me, and now he will pay the price for what he has done. I put that on God. I knew 50 had problems at the time, but it wasn’t that all the problems were with me per say. I knew he had issues with Dre, Aftermath, and all the people you hear him calling out on his records. The dude is a joke, man. Blaming Game for everything is just a front. He got bigger problems. He wants to fill Pac’s shoes but he’s wearing Ja’s shoes. 50 is a singing nigga trying to benefit off Eminem and getting shot nine times and living off other people’s legacies and accomplishments. His career is on a downward spiral. You will see. After this album, he ain’t gonna be the same rapper you see now. He is still affiliated with Jimmy, Eminem, and Dre. Sooner or later he is the one that will have to stand alone, and you will see he won’t. And Banks, he’s a lil’ pansy. I’m sorry, but the dude is so feminine it ain’t even funny. I can see why he’s 50’s little girl. He was always intimidated to roll with a nigga from Compton and someone who would bring 300 bloods with him to a venue or to NYC. Buck and me were cool on a musical level and I had love for him til he aired me out. He chose his side, so I gotta smash him like I gotta smash the rest of them clowns. I believe that 50 was right about the jealousy factor. It was him who was jealous of me. He wanted to be the 2005 Game but what he really saw was Game was the 2003 version of 50 Cent. He couldn’t handle that and then the division got worse. I talked to Dre last night for two hours and he can speak for himself. I’m on Aftermath, and ain’t going anywhere. Me and Dre are from Compton and he backs and supports me all the way. Dre will release a statement on this when the time is ready. 50 Cent, this isn’t Ja Rule. I ain’t Jada or Nas either. You done crossed a Compton G, and wherever you go you will see red rags and Cedar and we will be on you. I got soldiers out there willing to put in work. You have to see me at some point. No apologies, no retreat, and no surrender.
Fat Joe photo: Julia Beverly; Game photo: J Lash
First off, we’re not even gonna front like this is some exclusive shit. We didn’t even try to get an interview with 50. I’m sure he’s too busy shooting the next XXL cover to talk to lil’ ol’ OZONE for a few minutes. But you’ve all heard the story by now a million times: 50 kicked The Game out of G-Unit and basically claimed responsibility for his whole album. 50 also dissed Nas, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Cassidy, Shyne, and damn near every other rapper you can think of, and a few of them had some choice words in response. Just in time to promote his new album! OZONE, of course, is a Southern mag, so for those of us who don’t have access to listen to hip-hop’s newest shoot-em-up spot Hot 97, we downloaded a bunch of audio clips and typed ‘em up so our readers in the country can hear what y’all are talkin’ about up in New Yawk. Anyone who doesn’t believe 50 planned this from the beginning is a damn fool. You heard the song: The money goes into his piggybank...cha-ching...
Is this gonna be Mike Jones’ year? If the Lord say the same, it’s my year. In addition to the Lord looking out for you, you’ve put in a lot of work to get to this point. Yeah, I put in a lot of work, man. And now it’s goin’ down. Tell me a little about the 90% grind you talk about. It’s definitely 90% grind, 10% sleep. I mean, I stay in the studio til 5 AM. I go to sleep, wake right back up at 7 AM and do it all over again. I make a lot of money, but I don’t even hardly get a chance to spend it cause I’m gone so much. What does a rapper do at 7 AM? I’m back up, at the computer, writing songs. Constantly writing tracks. I stay on it, man. I’m curious about your songwriting process. Where do the concepts come from? Some come from experience, and some come from my homeboys. They’ll tell me the experiences they’ve been through and I’ll just write it based on that. There’s a lot of people that can relate. Sometimes I’ll just be in a crunk mood and I’ll freestyle some stuff. Are any of your songs all freestyle? Some of them, but not all of them. Some songs got meanings. Me, I mainly rap for the ladies, and I write for the streets. They just know. Mike Jones is just a person. I’m a hustler, I do whatever it takes. I’m not hating on nobody else. I heard you performed in Alaska. Yeah I had a show in Alaska, (whistles) it was cold. I’m talking about cold as I don’t know what. It was extremely cold, man. I was like, I didn’t know it was gonna get that cold down there, you know? They showed love to me. I got down there and they was lovin’ it, which shocked me, cause I’m like, “C’mon man, what y’all know about this man?” But they knew it. I was like, “Whaaaaaat??” I was in Detroit. I went everywhere, man. Nebraska, all over
Mike Jones and his Ice Age Entertainment family
Florida, New York, Connecticut, Jersey, Oklahoma, Alaska, Denver, Detroit, Alabama, Mississippi, Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City, Kansas, there’s a lot of ‘em. California, all up in California, I mean I gotta go to Kentucky coming up and Long Island somewhere. Oh, and Pittsburgh too, man. I been everywhere. Where have you seen your strongest response? Cleveland, I forgot about them, too. Cleveland, Ohio shows a lot of love. The whole Midwest is like that. What do you think is the connection between Texas and the Midwest, or you and the Midwest? I don’t know. I just put my music out there and whoever like it, like it. I went to New York because a lot of people were showing love out there. I met 50 in LA and he was real, real cool, gave me a lot of game, and then I seen 50 again in New York and he was at the same show where I was performing. I performed for DJ Enuff’s party in New York. I met all the big DJs down there and got on Hot 97. I was on the radio for a while, so it was love, man. Tell me a little bit about the album you’ve got coming out, Who is Mike Jones? Who are you working with on production and who have you got featured? Right now I’ve got Kanye on the album, and Mannie Fresh. I got some stuff from Swizz Beats, I’m checkin’ him out. It’s mainly me on the album and my Ice Age crew. I got my own label, Ice Age Entertainment, and that’s about to blow real, real big. I’m working to get Anthony Hamilton on a track, and I was trying to get Nelly on a track too. Who all is with Ice Age Entertainment? I got Lil Brann, he’s the one that sing R&B, and my boy Bright Eye from Miami. Mello’s from Chicago but he been down in H-Town, and I got my boy CJ straight from Carverdale. I heard some rumors that your former rap
partner Magno was kicked out of Swishahouse for doing his own underground CDs. Does Swishahouse have any problem with you doing your own thing with Ice Age? Well, honestly, I don’t really know what happened with them, but it’s a good relationship with us. G. Dash, the CEO of Swisha House, is talking with [Warner Bros] to get my company a deal. So, we work as a team over here. Ice Age is blowing up too and me and Dash are straightforward with each other. He ain’t trippin’ like that. I’m with Swishahouse, I represent Swishahouse, but Ice Age is my company. I’m just use that to open doors for my people. You had Ice Age before you even signed with Swishahouse, right? Yeah, that’s how I got hot. When I got with Swishahouse, I put Ice Age on hold. My name got bigger and I got a deal. Now, I’m still representing Swishahouse. People be thinking that I’m not but I still am, so please get that out your head. Like 50, he represents Shady/Aftermath, but he got G-Unit. And if you go to my website I express it, put it in bold letters. www.whomikejones.com, you‘ll see it on the cover. Ice Age Volume 2: The Takeover, will be out soon. I’m talkin’ about jammin’! We got Lil Wayne on there, Xzibit, Jacki-O, my boy Slim Thug, Lil Keke, and Killa Kyleon on the CD. We got some crazy people on the CD, so it gonna be insane. And I just did something with TQ, so Ice Age Volume 2 finna be real, real big. You got all those people and this is an underground CD? Yeah I got Xzibit, TQ, Jackie O, Lil Wayne on here, and it’s beautiful man. It’s an underground. I can let you hear snippets, it ain’t no thang. Do you think people might think you say “Who? Mike Jones” too much? Yeah, but what’s crazy is, if they was able to, they would do the same thing. I don’t even say it a lot on the album. I say it on a lot of singles, and that’s what blew me up. Here’s what I don’t understand, though. Some people say that I’m sayin’ my name too much, but if I stop it completely,
then some people are gonna be like, “I like the old Mike Jones. I like it when he used to say ‘Who? OZONE MAR 2005
With Houston rappers like Mike Jones, PaulWall, and Slim Thug arriving on the national scene, ot
Log onto www.ozonemag.com or houstonsoreal.blogspot.com to read the complete interview
What part of Houston are you from? I’m from the South side, Dead End, MLK, but right now I’m living on the North side. I got the best of both worlds as far as this H-Town sound. So you came up around DJ Screw and some of the biggest names to come out of Houston. Oh yeah, man, I lived right around the corner from Fat Pat and Hawk when they was starting DEA and everything. My Uncle Ron, Kojak, was pretty much like CEO of the Dead End thing. I was around the Screwed Up Click right at the beginning of it. It was the original SUC with Fat Pat, Hawk, and Keke. When I began rapping, I really got noticed by Big Pokey and I hooked up with his crew Mob Style. I was around Pokey a lot right when he got his deal. I pretty much grew up under that umbrella. I was around everything that was going on at the time, but it just wasn’t my time. Now, it’s 2005, and you’re working with Slim Thug, one of the hottest artists in the South. Are you signed to Slim’s label, under Interscope? Yeah, it’s sort of like how 50 Cent did G-Unit. I’m coming in the same way 50 did Lloyd Banks. I’m on Boss Hawg/Geffen/Interscope. I’m not under Star Trak, though. I’m signed to Interscope through Boss Hawg. It’s all under the same umbrella. I’m sure you’re concentrating on Slim’s album right now, but are you working on a solo album also? Yeah, man, I’m already forty songs deep. I’m constantly working on my album. When he work, I work. I’m not waiting on it. I don’t want to be all the way dependent, cause we never really worked like that. While he’s making noise in the industry, I’m still gonna be making noise in the underground. What are some mixtapes we might have heard you on recently? I’m on Southern Smoke 15, the Boss Hawg Outlawz’ Southern Smoke. I’ve done work with Whoo Kid, Kay Slay, Swishahouse, SLAB, Trae, Mike Jones, PaulWall, Pusha T from the Clipse, Young Jeezy out of Atlanta, and of course Slim and the whole Boss Hawg camp. I’m gonna get some production from Jazze Pha, too, he’s a real close friend of ours.
Log onto www.ozonemag.com or houstonsoreal.blogspot.com to read the complete interview You first came out as a part of HSE, which was a group with Lil Flip. Who else was in HSE? HSE was the first album we put out in ‘99. I was still in high school. The group was me, Lil Flip, A.P., and Hump. Hump didn’t rap but he was on the cover. To date, that record sold 100,000. That was the first release on Sucka Free before anything. I was the second artist signed to Sucka Free. Flip was the first. How did you get signed to Sucka Free? I was in a talent show. Me and Flip went to the same school - Worthing High School - and Flip came backstage and was like, “What was that song you did?” I told him it was “As the World Turns,” and that ended up being one of the first songs on the HSE album. At this time, Poppy from the G.R.i.T. Boys was in HSE, too. By this time, my partner Jason died, and after he died I took his place and that’s how I got into HSE. What are you working on right now? Is this a new HSE record or a solo album? It’s the final HSE record. It’s called The Paper Route. Who all is in HSE now? It’s me and Lil Ron. Last niggas standing. This is the last one before I do my solo. This one is better than the first one, to be honest. We got a lot of big names on there, like Three 6 Mafia, David Banner, Killer Mike, YoungBloodz, Scarface, Trae, T.I., and PaulWall. How did HSE go from being you, Flip, and A.P. to you and Lil Ron? Once A.P. came out the group it was me and Flip, and then Lil Ron came in after he left the Swishahouse. He paid his dues. He helped us go platinum wiht the nationwide success we was having. And Flip just recently stepped. He’s still signed to Sucka Free, but he’s not affiliated. So that just left me and Ron. Did you have any problem with Flip leaving? Naw, I didn’t have no problem with Flip leaving. I just told him he really must keep it real, holla at me. We was gonna still do projects together even though he was gone. 30
OZONE MAR 2005
ther H-Town representers await their chance at the limelight. // Photos and words by Matt Sonzala Log onto www.ozonemag.com or houstonsoreal.blogspot.com to read the complete interview
Your name stands for Ghetto Reality in Texas. What exactly is your reality these days? Scooby: Well, the G.R.i.T. Boys reality is the things we go through in life. My struggles, Unique’s struggles, Poppy’s struggles, and we just present it to the world as a whole. It’s what we go through, and if you can relate to it then, get ahold of our music. It’ll probably help you get through a day. It’s really grindin’ music. A lot of people that hustle that we known in the hood be like, “Man, I need some CDs to grind with.” It’s reality rap. Do you hear much other reality rap out there these days? I hear it. It’s a lot of talent that ain’t been heard that I feel been on the same caliber as us. But there’s legends before us that’s been reality rap. Hawk, Z-Ro, and the Geto Boys fa sho set that example. It’s reality out there, but as a whole the music game is just at a different point right now. There’s a lot of shining going on right now, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Cause we down here ridin’ swangers and fo’s. But doesn’t that shit kinda get old at times? As much as I love some of these artists, I don’t want to hear any more about “paint drippin’.” It’s just recycled Screw freestyles over and over and over. Yeah, it is, but some people are late on the style of it and they take a liking to it just like I took a liking to it ten years ago. I don’t fault them, but myself personally and the rest of the G.R.i.T. Boys, we’re on a whole other level. We about bringin’ the real, what’s goin’ on. I ain’t ridin’ swangers, but you know, I got potnas that’s ridin’ swangas. So if I made a record about that, it’d be for them. But you’ve got a point, though. Do you have to do that in Houston? Do you have to? Well, a lot of people wanna hear about swangers and drank. If you’ve got that right beat and that catchy hook, it’s gonna go. The Geto Boys made it through all that, but the candy paint and the syrup kind of came after that era. But, I don’t think it’s hard. I feel like we gon’ shine regardless because you can’t deny good talent. I don’t feel like our records can be denied just by the content.
Log onto www.ozonemag.com or houstonsoreal.blogspot.com to read the complete interview When did you first start out doing music? Man, I started out doing music when I was twelve. My first time being heard on wax was in 1997 with ZRo’s “Look What You Did to Me” and G-Rapp the General. That’s Lil Flea’s brother from Street Military. How old were you when the Z-Ro record came out? I was sixteen or seventeen, somewhere around there. So it wasn’t too long after that you started doing the Guerilla Maab project, right? Yeah, Rise came out in 1999, right when I got out of jail. That was 1999. How long were you in jail? Not really long, man. I had caught an aggravated robbery case by being young and crazy. I was on the streets. It was a blessing. I didn’t do nothing but probably some weeks in jail, but I was on paper for like two years for aggravated robbery. They tried to give me close to forty years. But it was a blessing, man, the D.A. knew my lawyer and they felt that they could give me another chance to not mess my life up. I had been doing music, so I was already known for that. They ended up doing it where I only got two years deferred, but if I had messed up on that deferred probation then I’d have done the max that I could do on that case.
How do y’all stay so consistent with the projects? How do you guys get to put out so much music? I don’t know, man, that’s what we do. People always wonder why we be so serious, and I just sit back and let ‘em know that we keep a lot of shit we go through inside our chests. We ain’t the type to go talk about our problems to nobody, so that’s what makes us good at what we do in this music shit. We go through shit on a day-to-day basis. I hate that it be how we go through it, but it’s good that we do go through it because without that, shit, what would we have? We go through so much shit, dog, it’s like retarded. If one of us ain’t in jail or one of us ain’t in a shootout or one of us ain’t fighting, I mean, it just be so much shit and there’s always something negative. Half the tiem we don’t even want to answer our phone because we don’t know what it is on the other line telling us.
OZONE MAR 2005
01: DJ Fresh, TJ Chapman, and DJ Demp reppin’ OZONE @ the Tudor for The CORE DJs convention (Miami, FL) 02: Squiggy, Swordz, and Hood Life Records reppin’ OZONE @ Kartouche for Upstart Record Pool meeting (Jacksonville, FL) 03: Do or Die @ The CORE DJs convention (Miami, FL) 04: Big C, La Chat, and Gangsta Pat reppin’ OZONE @ Upper Level (Jackson, MS) 05: Ludacris and LaLa reading OZONE @ the Paladium (Denver, CO) 06: BP and friends reppin’ OZONE @ Upper Level (Jackson, MS) 07: Vellie Boyz reppin’ OZONE @ The CORE DJs conference (Miami, FL) 08: George and Teach reppin’ OZONE @ Magic convention (Las Vegas, NV) 09: Yusuf and Phlava @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s Record Pool Meeting (Tallahassee, FL) 10: Pat Parlay and P Diddy @ Plush during Super Bowl weekend (Jacksonville, FL) 11: J Lash and Bobby Brown @ Compound (Atlanta, GA) 12: Sonny and Ja Rule @ Club Troy (Miami, FL) 13: Jimmy Chocolate and Arthur Papillon reppin’ OZONE @ Opium (Miami, FL) 14: DJ E-Feezy and Jacki-O reppin’ OZONE @ the Tudor for The CORE DJs conference (Miami, FL) 15: Al Lindstrom, Big Tigger, and DJ Epps reppin’ OZONE @ The CORE DJs conference 16: Big Boi and P Diddy @ Big Boi’s birthday party (Atlanta, GA) 17: Victor Walker, Homebwoi, and Big Money Ced @ GTP’s Bay Area Music Conference (St. Petersburg, FL) 18: Kool Herc and David Banner @ the Magic convention (Las Vegas, NV) 19: Troll, Kwasi Kwa, and Slim of Trackstar Records reppin’ OZONE @ Upper Level (Jackson, MS) 20: Turk, Joie Manda, and Mannie Fresh @ Studio 7303 (Houston, TX) 21: Gutta Boyz @ Caribbean Beach Club for Central FL Networking meeting (Orlando, FL) Photo Credits: Earl Randolph: #10 Joie Manda: #20 J Lash: #11,12 Julia Beverly: #01,02,03,04, 05,06,07,08,09,13,14,15,17, 18,19,21 ShannonMCC.com: #16 6
OZONE MAR 2005
How did you get started rapping? I’m from Philly, but I moved to Tampa when I was 12. When I was 15, I started doing rap contests with Rated R. He used to DJ a lot of the spots in Tampa. We kinda grew up together and rapped together. I met [Dirty Down Records’] Taz in 2000 and we put out the Thug Misses album. I never actually signed to Dirty Down, but Taz did some of the production. I ended up signing with Artemis Records. The single that blew up, “My Neck, My Back,” was originally recorded by a male artist? Oue Jive had a song out called “My Neck, My Back” first, but it was like a dance track. Don Juan is the one who produced the beat. We redid the beat and came out with a female sexual version. The first single that I had was actually “Fuck Them Other Hoes,” that was getting radio play before “My Neck, My Back” took off. It did kinda surprise me; the crossover status of that song. The song was working first at the clubs and in the hip-hop community, but it shocked me when it went worldwide and overseas. That’s basically where I’ve been the past two years. I went to Japan and Brazil and Greece and London. I’ve sold 400,000 copies overseas, so the record was just as big overseas as it was in the States. It’s a blessing to be able to travel and see so many different nationalities appreciate my music. It seemed like you disappeared for a while. Yeah, people were like, “Where you been?” I got to go to Africa and a lot of different third-world countries. That song reached so far. That was a real, real blessing. A lot of artists don’t get a chance to travel overseas. A lot of the countries I went to were real, real poor. We take a lot of things for granted here in the States. It was a learning process for me; I needed that. You’re living in Atlanta now? Yeah, I moved to Atlanta not too long after the Thug Misses album. I really didn’t feel like Tampa was a big enough market music-wise for me to really go as far as I was trying to go. I had already conquered Tampa locally, and I was trying to go farther with my career. Some people in Tampa were offended when you moved because they felt like you weren’t representing the city. Yeah, but I’m not originally from Tampa. I still rep where I’m from, so I rep the whole South. I moved to Tampa when I was twelve. I earned my hood stripes in the South, not just in Tampa but in all of the South. I felt like it was my time to go. You’ve gotta know when it’s time to leave and do what you’ve gotta do for you. It wasn’t like I abandoned Tampa. I didn’t get a lot of love from them in the beginning. It was St. Pete, Jacksonville, Clearwater, Plant City, and a lot of other places surrounding Tampa that showed me love. You always gotta get in the car and ride in Florida; that’s how Florida is. It’s not just Tampa that showed me love. I feel like I’m reppin’ for the whole South. Tampa didn’t do nothing to help me get where I am. They didn’t contribute to it, so why do they feel like I owe them something? I brought light to Tampa. If you want to make it point-blank, period, it’s like, the artists there gotta get out and make things happen for themselves. Nobody’s gonna reach back and pull you up. You’ve gotta go get it, or you’re gonna be sitting back like they doing looking sick. Tampa had Krazy, Tampa Tony, Rated R, they done been around for some years and I’ve watched them and their careers.
They chose to stay in Tampa and try to conquer something they don’t need to conquer. They’re worried about the opinion of people in Tampa they grew up with, but those are gonna be the last people to accept you and appreciate you. You gotta go out and get the torch and bring it back home so they’ll appreciate you. You gotta show and prove too hard at home. It ain’t really all about home. I don’t owe Tampa shit. It’s just like you. I mean, I don’t really know you personally, but I hear about your magazine everywhere I go. Of course people are gonna hate, but they hear about the mag and your face is out there because you ain’t just tryin’ to stay in Orlando. Are you working on any side projects? I’m really trying to act. I’ve been looking at some scripts; some real gangsta hood stuff. There’s a lot of indie producers and DVDs here in Atlanta. I’ve got my own business too, it’s kinda like a sports boutique. We do live performances and we have a game room. You’ve sort of earned a reputation for being difficult to work with, because you always speak your mind to radio PDs and promoters. Yeah, I handle a lot of my own marketing and booking because there’s a lot of crooks out here. You gotta be hands-on with your business. I’ve been out here doing shows for four years and you deal with a lot of bullshit. I like to be in control. I like managing myself so I can really say “yes” or “no.” I have a fan base already. I sold 800,000 records, so I can always do shows. My fan base is there. I’m blessed to have both a male and female fan base, so I’ll always be able to perform. As long as you know how to handle yourself and get out there and hustle, you’ll always be able to eat. That’s why a lot of artists are broke, because they’re waiting on somebody else to do it for them. When you parted ways with Taz and Dirty Down Records, there were a lot of rumors. I heard they’d beat you down in New York. They’re just not good businesspeople, as far as I’m concerned. They crossed me and I chose not to deal with them anymore. As far as the situation in New York, I don’t understand how six guys could jump on one girl. I was in New York by myself, but that story just escalated. When two people part ways you’re always gonna hear different stories. I just didn’t trust them, so I chose not to do business with them. What do you think separates you from other female artists? I don’t know any other female rap artist that has both male and female fans. I’m not talking about “sex sells,” I’m talking about being a talented lyricist who can handle your crowd. I don’t need a bunch of guys on stage with me. Guys and girls both respect my music. I write my own music, and a lot of female rappers don’t and you can hear that coming across in their music. Most of my songs are factual because it’s situations I’ve lived through. A lot of guys and girls can relate to that more than if you’re just rapping about sex and money. My music is truth, and that’s why people relate to me. With some female rappers, they’re just saying stuff a guy wants them to say so it doesn’t sound real. I heard you have some issues with Jacki-O. I don’t really know her as a person and I don’t really listen to her music, but being out here on the road a lot of people question me about her. I say I’m the Queen of the South, and she says she’s the Queen of the South, so people try to
stir things up. The fact is, I’m the Queen of the South. I’ve sold more records and I have a bigger fan base, and I write my own music. I don’t feel like she’s better than me, so how can she say she’s the Queen of the South? No disrespect to her, it’s just the truth. My fan base and the amount of records I’ve sold speaks for itself. She just came out and didn’t sell too many records, and she hasn’t had as many singles as I have, so I don’t feel like she can question me. It ain’t really no beef, that’s just my opinion. A lot of people were surprised to hear you on Trick Daddy’s “J.O.D.D.” instead of Trina. I don’t really know Trina, so I can’t say anything good or bad about her. I respect all female artists that’s doing they thing. Trick called me and asked me to do the song. I don’t feel like it’s beef or anything with Jacki-O or Trina. Your new single is “Snatch the Cat Back”? Oh, yes. It’s really my personal experience. It’s talking about a situation where you’ve been with a guy and you wish you’d never been fucked up with him from the beginning. A lot of women can relate to that; after you get to know him, you wish you never woulda dealt with him cause it wasn’t how you expected it to be. You wish you’d never met him or dealt with him or slept with him or talked to him. What’s the name of your album? Gangstress is gonna be dropping in June. I’m ready to do it independently, but I’m willing to try a major deal. I know if Thug Misses had a major behind it, it woulda sold a lot more. I sold 800,000, that’s platinum with the bootlegs. If I had a machine behind me like Jacki-O or Trina, I know where I’d be. They have stylists and street teams. I have no street teams, no marketing, no promotion. The video for “My Neck, My Back” cost $20,000. No in-stores, no wrapped vans or Winnebagos talkin’ ‘bout, “Khia: In Stores Now.” They have a machine behind them. Big-ass blimps and they ain’t sold nothing. If I had that machine behind me, who know how many records I’d have sold. - Julia Beverly, firstname.lastname@example.org OZONE MAR 2005
01: Brett Bouldin, Malverde, Chingo Bling, Toy, and Sean Bouldin @ The CORE DJs conference (Miami, FL) 02: Trillville @ BET’s Rap it Up (Atlanta, GA) 03: Mel, Joie Manda, Webbie, and Turk @ Studio 7303 (Houston, TX) 04: Bigga Rankin reppin’ OZONE @ Skate Station (Gainesville, FL) 05: Latin Prince and Chingo Bling @ the Bum Squad DJ Awards (Miami, FL) 06: Big Steve and Cap’N Jack @ Connections (Houston, TX) 07: Sean Starr, Sonny Chulo, Charlie Hustle, and the GoodFellaz crew @ Matrix (Orlando, FL) 08: Ms Cherry and Mia X @ BET’s Rap it Up (Atlanta, GA) 09: Kwasi Kwa, Raj Smoove, and Scrap Dirty @ Upper Level (Jackson, MS) 10: Buggah D. Govanah and Mercedes @ The CORE DJs conference (Miami, FL) 11: Some asshole pouring liquor all over his money (and the photographer) @ Upper Level (Jackson, MS) 12: Disco and his son reppin’ OZONE @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 13: Coo Coo Cal reppin’ OZONE @ Club Troy for The CORE DJs conference (Miami, FL) 14: Comp and Jacki-O @ The CORE DJs conference (Miami, FL) 15: Alphonso and GhostWridah @ Club Troy for The CORE DJs conference (Miami, FL) 16: Big Al, DJ Dirty, Zay, and Grandaddy Souf @ GTP’s Bay Area Music Conference (St. Petersburg, FL) 17: Kevin Black, Tigger, Keith Kennedy, and Theo Brown @ the Tudor for The CORE DJs conference (Miami, FL) 18: Lil Jon and Lebron James @ the Paladium during All-Star weekend (Denver, CO) 19: Slim Thug and Pimp G reppin’ OZONE @ Club Christopher’s during Super Bowl weekend (Jacksonville, FL) 20: The All-Stars @ the Tudor for The CORE DJs conference (Miami, FL) 21: Webbie and Mannie Fresh @ Studio 7303 (Houston, TX) Photo Credits: GoodFellaz: #07 J Lash: #02,08 Joie Manda: #03,21 Julia Beverly: #01,04,05,06,09,10, 11,13,14,15,16,17,18,20 Malik Abdul: #12 Pimp G: #19 8
OZONE MAR 2005
We wanted to get at you because we did our research, and everyone who messes with reggae tone said DJ Buddah is the man. The Caribbean Connection series you dropped seems to be pretty hot. Yeah, it’s doing real well for me. I’m messing with people’s heads, though, I just dropped volume 2.5 instead of 3 for no reason at all. I just decided not to do it. People were like, Why is he just doing 2.5? I just didn’t want to drop bomb three yet. But it’s doing real well, though. I got a big, big response from the CD. I got such a big response from markets that I didn’t even know would like reggaetone. When I was in Trinidad, people knew about my CD. I don’t know if it’s my style, or what. Kinda messes your head up, huh? Yeah, it’s just not their culture. I’ve been DJing since I was nine. I been doing clubs since I was eleven. It’s in my blood, I can’t get away from it. I was doing a Spanish radio station when I was nine, just playing the music. From there I started doing Spanish clubs and English clubs, and putting out little mixtapes to get a buzz. I had local crews and I started working at regular clubs. I was doing mixshow on and off on the biggest radio station in Boston. I was with the rival station before Clinton [Sparks] for about two years. I wasn’t on all the time though. There were only two mixshows, and they were rotating. I kinda fell off with them, and that’s when I started doing my mixtapes nationally: Tropical Heat, my dancehall CD, and then I started DJing for TOK. I bet that was live. I went to Jamaica for the first time a year ago, and when I got down there TOK and Vybz Kartel were like Jay-Z and Biggie. It kinda blew me away. It was fucking crazy. If you like that type of shit, yeah. As far as TOK, we know we have fans, but I didn’t realize
the impact it had until we stayed in Jamaica. The respect they get is amazing. I’m thinking, Damn, we don’t even look at it like that. And Vybz Kartel, as well. How often are you on the road with TOK? I’m on the road with them all the time. I’m their official DJ. I’m with them so much, people have started to recognize me as their DJ. Reggaetone reminds me of hip-hop back in the early 80s, when everybody thought it would just be a passing phase. Maybe commercially it’ll be a phase, just like dancehall. It rotates. It comes and goes. It’s inevitable, because every phase of music comes and goes. Right now, everything down South is hot. Anything Lil Jon or T.I. does is hot. There was that phase two years ago where everybody was playing “In Da Club.” “Get Low” came and went, then everything was 50 Cent, then Sean Paul, and now reggaetone. Especially up North, whatever the phase is that’s what they play. I’m not saying reggaetone is gonna fade out, though. I don’t think it will ever fade out completely, because Spanish people are like the second largest population in the States. Do you see it blowing up commercially? As far as commercially, I don’t see white kids in Wyoming singing it. I don’t know if that’s gonna happen. As far as reggaetone having a #1 album, naw. I don’t think it’s gonna happen until people start to embrace it. It’s not like hip-hop. But with so many Spanish people it’s always gonna be around, especially with artists like Pitbull. We do reggaetone records once a week. Outside of the mix CDs and traveling, do you have mixshows or anything else going on? I kinda shied away from the mixshows. Radio isn’t the thing for me. I’m making more noise
not being on the radio. I’m sure the pay is better. Oh, hell yeah. The only thing is, labels don’t care about a DJ who isn’t on the radio. That’s one thing I’m trying to change. People in the streets aren’t listening to the radio anymore. Are there any records you’re working on? I did the “Gasolina” remix with Lil Jon, and I guess it was like the number one record in Orlando. It was on my Caribbean Connection CD. “Gasolina” is the only reggaetone record I can play in the clubs up here in Tennessee, except maybe that Mario reggaetone remix. “Tempted to Touch,” well, it’s the same beat. Pit is gonna do a verse on that one. I have my own artists that I’m working with too. I’m the ghetto A&R; that’s what mixtape DJs are. With this reggaetone thing, I’m trying to push it to the limit. If it wasn’t for Lil Jon, people wouldn’t be paying attention. It’s working for me. At this point, it looks like reggaetone is becoming a cultural phenomenon. Yeah, definitely. The majors are signing people, so yeah. What’s your heritage? I’m Dominican. Anything else you want to say? Shoutouts? I have family in Orlando. I hate shouting out names cause if I miss anyone, they’ll be mad. Shouts to Nasty and Prostyle, Pitbull, Daddy Yankee, Teach, Rob-N, Ideal, www.wideya.com, and my TOK family. You can get all my mixes at this website: www.lafadela.com. - Wally Sparks, email@example.com (Photo: Julia Beverly)
OZONE MAR 2005
01: Comp and Jump Street reppin’ OZONE @ the Tudor for The CORE DJs conference (Miami, FL) 02: Jazze Pha enjoying himself @ Big Boi’s birthday party (Atlanta, GA) 03: DJ Greo, TJ Chapman, Keeley, and Freestyle Steve @ Club Five during Super Bowl weekend (Jacksonville, FL) 04: OHB opening for Trick Daddy @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 05: VIBE’s Rondell Conway, the elusive Benjamin MeadowsIngram, and Damien Lemon @ the Paladium during All-Star Weekend (Denver, CO) 06: Pitbull, Teach, Juanki, and Rudy @ Opium Gardens on the set of Pitbull’s “Toma” video (Miami, FL) 07: Reese and Scrap Dirty @ Upper Level (Jackson, MS) 08: Frank Harris and Kid Capri reppin’ OZONE @ the Paladium (Denver, CO) 09: Lil Flip showing off his new Diadora shoe line @ the Magic convention (Las Vegas, NV) 10: Ms Cherry reppin’ her OZONE cover @ Club Troy for The CORE DJs conference (Miami, FL) 11: T.I. and his girl Tiny @ Club Five during Super Bowl weekend (Jacksonville, FL) 12: Zay and Rated R @ GTP’s Bay Area Music Conference (St. Petersburg, FL) 13: DJ Franzen and DJ Exodus @ Beach Club (Las Vegas, NV) 14: Echo Hattix and Mad Linx @ Union Station (Denver, CO) 15: LaLa and Lil Jon @ the Paladium during AllStar weekend (Denver, CO) 16: Ladies reading the always-popular groupie confessions (Jacksonville, FL) 17: Fiend, KLC, and DJ Spin (Baton Rouge, LA) 18: Slim Thug, LeToya Luckett, and PaulWall @ the V Theatre (Las Vegas, NV) 19: P$C’s AK, Big Kuntry, and Mac Boney @ Club Five during Super Bowl weekend (Jacksonville, FL) 20: Orain Reddick and Kashus Deniro @ Club Troy for The CORE DJs conference (Miami, FL) 21: De La Soul @ Club Ra for the LRG Magic party (Las Vegas, NV) Photo Credits: Julia Beverly: #01,03,04, 05,06,07,08,09,10,11,12, 13,14,15,18,19,20,21 King Yella: #17 Pimp G: #16 ShannonMCC.com: #02
OZONE MAR 2005
Born and raised in Miami, Sunny founded Alumni nearly three years ago. Their “Put Yo Hood Up” jersey collection and “Hustler” t-shirt collection are wardrobe staples for every street hustler in Miami and beyond. Why did you decide to start a clothing line? Well, I’ve always been fashionable, as you can tell (laughing). I got “Best Dressed” in high school and all that. I never really thought about going into fashion as a career. I took a fashion class in high school cause all the girls was in there, that was the only reason. After high school I went into the military, and that’s how I started selling clothes. I had a homeboy overseas that I met while I was in the military, and he could get all the brand name clothes cheap. For about two years I was just hustling brand name clothes in the street. While I was hustling, I started making my own clothes to sell along with the stuff I was getting from overseas. I started a company called Treason, which was me and another dude named Cory. He made a couple bad business moves, and I didn’t like how he was handling things so I basically told him he could have it and started my own line. Why did you choose the name Alumni? I always liked the name Alumni because so many people in the ‘hood don’t feel like they graduated from anything. But if you can graduate out the hood, you’re an alumni yourself. That’s why I called it Alumni. I started producing the clothes at a company in Hialeah called Draft Pick. I was making the clothes there and they saw it was hot, so we ended up doing a partnership. It was screen-printed designs all centered around the “steady hustling” theme. When I partnered up with Draft Pick as far as manufacturing, the doors really opened. I didn’t have any real knowledge of making clothes, I just knew how I wanted them to look. What sets Alumni apart from all the other upand-coming clothing designers? I think they’re not really designing clothes. Of course the big names are real designers, like Akademiks and Rocawear, but a lot of the indies aren’t actually designing clothes. Gully opened the doors for a lot of iron-on heat transfer shirts, and now everybody’s trying to do that. I actually design clothes from scratch. I create the images on the computer and screen print ‘em on. It’s all centered around the hustling theme, because that’s a big part of America. Everyone can imagine themselves as a hustler. Even if you’re working at McDonald’s with a nametag on or going to school, whatever you
do, you’re just hustlin’ and trying to make it. What’s your most popular design? The real popular ones are the American way shirts with Scarface on the $100 bill, and of course the “do the math” shirts with the scales on it breaking down the pounds and grams. People can get the knowledge on how to do this hustling thing right. When you put out shirts with scales and measurements, do you think you’re glamorizing drug use or drug dealing? I’m not glamorizing it. Whatever you do in life, you could be an optimist, a pessimist, or a realist. I’m always a realist. The reality is that drugs are a part of everyday life, and it will never go away. As long as there’s poverty and despair and people feel like they need it, there’s gonna be people who offer drugs, especially when there’s profit involved. The government allows it to happen. If they really ain’t want no drugs in the country, there wouldn’t be no drugs. It helps the whole capitalism thing move the way it’s supposed to move. I’m just being a realist. There’s people who don’t sell drugs who wear the “do the math” shirts. A lot of people don’t really know the standard weight system, converting English to Metrics. Don’t get out there and get fooled. What if you’re driving or something and you get pulled over with that shirt on? (laughing) I don’t think you would really wanna wear it while you’re out hustling, that’s not really a good look. It’s for whenever you’re dressed down for the night, just hanging out with your boys. You put your shirt on and hold your head up high and say, “Yeah, I am a hustler.” These are the options I’m left with, so this is what I do, this is who I am. Pitbull is one of the biggest supporters of your “hustler” gear. How did you hook up with him? We do Pitbull and Trick’s merchandising, and we just started doing Pretty Rickie & the Maverix too. Back when we first started, Pitbull had that song “Welcome to Miami” which was real big. We were doing the “put yo’ hood up” 305 jerseys. They were frequent in your mag’s photo galleries. Pit’s song was all over the radio, so called Ump and asked him to holla at Pit for us. We do the jerseys for Ump’s celebrity basketball game every Memorial Day. Pit came through our office like an hour later and picked up some jerseys for him and his homeboys. After a while, we started doing
merchandising for his tours. They’ll wear our shirts on stage, too. Standard merchandising is usually bullshit t-shirts from overseas with some simple design. They’ll put “Toma” or “Culo” on it, but they don’t really try to make it look like an actual shirt you’d wanna wear. It’s more like a souvenir t-shirt. We want you to come to the concert and buy a hot shirt that you can wear after the concert; it’s not just a momento from the show. Alumni gear has been in a lot of Pitbull, Trick Daddy, and Lil Jon videos. Sometimes you might see it and not know it’s Alumni, cause we do a lot of custom gear. Sam Madison is a silent partner too, he plays for the Dolphins. Is Alumni available in stores too? We got stores that carry our product pretty nationwide except the West coast. We’re in stores from Miami to Texas, all the way up to New York. You might not see ‘em cause they sell out quicker than we can keep up. They’re in all the big stores from Miami up to New York and Philly. You can also buy shirts on our website, www.alumniathletic.com. We’ve got jerseys, t-shirts, service station gear, and of course we’ve got the wifey collection too. What’s the next step for the company? We’ve really got a high demand, so it’s a blessing. We’re really trying to get overseas so we can produce this thing majorly. We do all the production in-house. We’re trying to do steady hustling jeans, hats, jackets, and even kid’s clothes. Hustling is a subculture we’re trying to bring to the forefront in America. It’s a dog-eat-dog world. What’s your advice for other entrepreneurs? Your goal should be success, not money. You can’t just be in it for the money, cause once you start to taste a lil’ bit of money you’ll lose focus. You’ve gotta keep on your grind. If you’re going out of town, do what you’re really supposed to be doing: hustling. Don’t be bullshitting and talking to girls, spending money and shit. Stay on your grind and make your money. Fuck them hoes. - Photo and words by Julia Beverly, firstname.lastname@example.org
Samples of the Alumni “Put Your Hood Up” and “Hustler” collections
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01: Killer Mike reading OZONE @ Club Five (Jacksonville, FL) 02: DJ Moodswing and Lord Swift reppin’ OZONE @ Kartouche for Upstart Record Pool meeting (Jacksonville, FL) 03: Joker, Junay, and Little Man of ESP Productions on the set of Pitbull’s “Toma” video shoot (Miami, FL) 04: So So Def’s Mel Testamark and DJ J-Nice @ Union Station (Denver, CO) 05: Boo and friends @ Upper Level (Jackson, MS) 06: Ric Ross, Mr. Smith, B. Paiz, Ed the World Famous, and Renee Simone @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 07: Big Cee Jay hosting the Bay Area Music Conference (St. Petersburg, FL) 08: The Wild Bunch reppin’ OZONE (Tampa, FL) 09: An angel @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 10: Ms Cherry performing @ the Laila Ali fight (Atlanta, GA) 11: B.G. and T.I. @ House of Blues (New Orleans, LA) 12: Tweet and H Vidal reppin’ OZONE (Tampa, FL) 13: DJ Royce and 411 TV reppin’ OZONE (Tampa, FL) 14: DJ Nasty reppin’ OZONE and Skip-A-Chuck @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s Record Pool meeting (Tallahassee, FL) 15: DJ Jelly and Johnny Nunez @ the Paladium (Denver, CO) 16: Pimp G and Mike Jones reppin’ OZONE @ The Palace during Super Bowl weekend (Jacksonville, FL) 17: Raekwon and LRG’s Woodie White @ Club Ra for the LRG Magic party (Las Vegas, NV) 18: Smoke D and friends @ Upper Level (Jackson, MS) 19: Pitbull and Bryan Leach @ Opium Gardens (Miami, FL) 20: DJ Don Juan and Sir Swift accepting their award for Best Mixtape Duo @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Nashville, TN) 21: Phantom and DJ Quest reppin’ OZONE @ the Tudor for The CORE DJs conference (Miami, FL) Photo Credits: Earl Randolph: #09 H Vidal: #12 J Lash: #10 Jaro Vacek: #05,18,20 Julia Beverly: #01,02,03,04,06, 07,13,14,15,17,19,21 KG Mosley: #08,13 Marcus Jethro: #11 Pimp G: #16 12
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01: Coodie and Chike @ Club Ra for the LRG Magic party (Las Vegas, NV) 02: Dapa and Apollo Kreed @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s Record Pool Meeting (Tallahassee, FL) 03: Big Boi and Tiphanie Watson @ Big Boi’s birthday party (Atlanta, GA) 04: H Vidal and Fantasia @ Faze 2 (Tampa, FL) 05: Big Bud reppin’ OZONE @ Kartouche for Upstart Record Pool Meeting (Jacksonville, FL) 06: Vanessa and Teach @ Opium for Pitbull’s “Toma” video shoot (Miami, FL) 07: Miss KeKe and Kwasi Kwa @ Upper Level (Jackson, MS) 08: Keith Kennedy and Killer Mike @ Club Five (Jacksonville, FL) 09: Elvis reppin’ OZONE @ the Magic convention (Las Vegas, NV) 10: Rasheeda and Gucci Mane @ celeb bball game (Atlanta, GA) 11: Cool Runnings’ Shane reppin’ OZONE @ Skate Station (Gainesville, FL) 12: Carmelo Anthony and his sister Chyna @ the Paladium during All-Star Weekend (Denver, CO) 13: Young Jeezy reppin’ OZONE @ Club Five during Super Bowl week (Jacksonville, FL) 14: Sambo reppin’ OZONE @ Connections (Houston, TX) 15: Sophia Stewart and Clay D @ Caribbean Beach Club (Orlando, FL) 16: 3LW and a friend @ the Paladium (Denver, CO) 17: RaSheeda, DJ Hollywood, Amanda, and April @ Club Tabu (Huntsville, AL) 18: Pastor Troy and Clinton Portis with their manager @ Club Ra for the LRG Magic party (Las Vegas, NV) 19: Westside Al Kapone and friends @ Upper Level for Scrap Dirty and Kwasi Kwa’s birthday party (Jackson, MS) 20: Young Cash, Vic, and the M.O.E. clique @ Kartouche for the Upstart Record Pool Meeting (Jacksonville, FL) 21: John Legend and Jigga JT @ Hot 104.5 (New Orleans, LA) Photo Credits: David/Exclusive: #03 DJ Hollywood: #17 H Vidal: #04 J Lash: #10 Julia Beverly: #01,02,03, 06,07,08,09,11,12,13,14, 15,16,18,19,20 Marcus Jethro: #21 Pimp G: #05
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Growing up in the hood in Kissimme e, just south of Orlando, Bedo bega n writing lyrics as a hobby in high It wasn’t until he served time in school. prison that he began to take it serio usly. “I used to rhyme while I was up, and people were like, ‘Man, locked you should do something with that !’ I kept it in the back of my head never pursued it until 2004,” says , but I Bedo. His longtime friend, Orlando club and radio DJ Prostyle, didn know he rapped. “We was friends ’t even for years and I never even mentione d that I could rap,” he laughs. “Wh first heard me, he was like, ‘Dam en he n, nigga!’” Several months later, Prostyle founded All-Pro Records Bedo to his label. Since then, Bedo and signed ’s buzz has been steadily building. With the help of Pro’s influence clubs and radio, Bedo’s single, at local the simple-but-catchy “Go Head ,” has been buzzing around Cent All-Pro has been fielding calls from ral Florida. major labels and a distribution deal is in place, although Bedo declines to discuss the specifics. For now, All-Pro plans to release his album independently in mid-April, just in time for Dayt ona’s annual Black College Reun ion. Dirty World Dirty Game features Pitbull and Pastor Troy, as well as fellow All-Pro artis ts Traffic, Nicotene, and Jonny Bravo. With a deep Sout hern accent and a grimy flow, Bedo ’s unique rap style stands out. “Pro’s a smart business man,” says Bedo. “He’s been in the game a long time. Anybody that’s tried to do some thing out here locally, he’s lent them a hand.” With the combination of Pro’s industry conn ections and Bedo’s raw talents, he figures they can’t lose. – Photo and words by Julia Beverly, email@example.com
for its consistency in developing artists, you’d When you’re the hottest-selling underground act in a city known That isn’t the case with Lil Weavah, though. . pipeline Alaska think the pressure would be enough to bust the on longevity and quality music rather Here, we have a young man with a clear perspective, sharply focused Lil Weavah move crazy units of his helped has attitude positive His fortune. and fame of fix than the quick is that he handled the entire project this about things ve impressi most the of debut disc Home Team Vol.1. One with my own money,” says ng everythi did I me, about much project himself. “For the people that don’t know the CDs, marketing, setting up studio time, Weavah. “I never had a manager, so I was in charge of pressing up that’s the blessing I’m the most crunk about: booking shows, putting out flyers, posters, everything. I think hustle, Weavah was able to secure some highown his of strength the On ” knowing I don’t owe nobody nothing. AK of the P$C and T-Rock. They all respected and ey Mac-Bon profile guest apperances for his album, including “crunk” climate. Lil Weavah acknowledges Weavah’s lyrical abiltiies, which is a rarity in the current Atlanta the lyrics. “In the underground, before about all he’s that clear it makes but trend, crunk the power of the basically carried the underground in who T-Rock and P$C the and T.I. was it me, you had the Oomp Camp, then talkin’ about true lyricists. I view you T-Rock, and T.I. like folks Atlanta,” says Weavah. “When you talk about ng well to Lil Weavah and appreciate his myself as that type of artist.” Fans of ATL music seem to be respondi “Lil Weavah ain’t no gangsta / I just keep artistry. He sums up his philosophy on the hook of his newest joint: g.com zonema wally@o it real, shawty.” - Wally Sparks,
As one of the most well-known record labels in the relatively small community of Jacksonville, Florida, Longterm Records South had their reign at the top for quite some time. Led by CEO Psycster, the company released several mixtapes and albums and ventured into side projects like underground radio, show promotions, and community activities. Boasting a complete production studio and CD manufacturing equipment, the label seemed to have it all. As Psycster’s right-hand man, Kashus DeNiro helped oversee the day-to-day activities. That all changed in 2004. “Psycster is having some legal troubles ,” says Kashus. “But, everything’s looking good. We put God first and try not to dwell on all that. We’re doing a lot of planning. It’s not ‘regrouping,’ it’s just business as usual.” With Psycster’s noticeable absense, Kash stepped his game up to fill the role of both CEO and lead artist for the label. After recording songs with artists like Lil Boosie and Murphy Lee, Kash was hit with another blow. “We’ve been putting it down so hard the last couple years that as soon as they though we were at our lowest point, evil came around lurking,” says Kash. “They broke into our studio and stole all our equipment, songs, everything. That’s a fresh wound right now.” Still, despite the setbacks, Kash was able to salvage most of his music from backups to create his debut album: Heir 2 Da Throne. With a tentative release date in May, Kashus is hoping his partner will be home to celebrat e with him. “Psych is just too brilliant to be in prison,” he says, explaining why his wardrobe lately consists of nothing but “Free Psycster” t-shirts. Reflecting on the past year, Kash quotes, “Remember, what don’t kill you can only make you stronger. We just addicted to this music shit.” - Julia Beverly, firstname.lastname@example.org (Photo: Aaron Mervin)
fellas, ty can not only freestyle with the MCs coming out of Palm Beach Coun with the rawness of Lil d bine com One of the youngest and hottest Hill yn Laur of nt s. With a voice reminisce old rapshe can also sing with the ladie industry. Meet Danger, the 20-yearand is ready to shut down the music real, “I’m . table the to s bring Kim, this lyrically gifted female she ” she replies when asked what t real, talen “I’m . her s, sings teen and es her In writ ten. also per who er age of ed singing and rhyming at the tend her mentor, and soon me beca He e. I’m fully committed.” Danger start cliqu Blue and k ding member of the Blac while she was recognized by Dutch, a foun importance of being dedicated the group. He also taught her the to genered start and out put was brought her in as a member of as the B&B clique’s first mixtape just , to guide ately rtun one no Unfo . had er craft her Dang mastered ed rhyming, For the first time since she’d start on various mixtapes, ared appe s She’ ate a buzz, Dutch got caught up. . odds the ing more focused on beat c. She her. Since then, she’s become even ess is evident throughout her musi recent OZONE mixtape. Her realn le do. peop some it, like not may le including a standout single on a peop gles of being openly gay. “Some flow strug her the to and ns liste hood who child ne her Anyo on speaks respect it.” I am. Once they accept it, they’ll d. With a few labels signe gets she The point is - accept it. It’s who until time of er ted, and it’s just a matt er. For more can’t deny that this female is talen patiently waiting too much long confident delivery, she won’t be Nay Fresh, . .com uma ue.i knbl blac already paying attention to her clique, check out their website at Blue and k Blac the and er Dang info on freshentertainment.net
If you live anywhere in the Tennessee Valley, there’s no doubt that by now you’ve heard the latest club anthem from Cashville’s prince. Allstar’s single, “Grey Goose,” also features Young Jeezy and Yo Gotti. After a few years steadily assaulting the mixtape circuit, Allstar caught the attentio n of Memphis hometown giant Yo Gotti, who picked up the young gunner and put him down with his imprint Inevitable Entertainment. Allstar’s buzz picked up the pace with the help of heavily circulated mixtapes like the Block Burnaz’ Getting Money Like a Muthafucker and his own Hatin’ Ain’t Healthy. “We were in every hood and at every event with mixtapes,” says Allstar. “My music got so hot in the streets that it forced its way into the clubs, and then it got so hot in the clubs that it forced its way onto the radio.” That’s an understa tement, at best. Radio stations all throughout Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama have been responding with heavy airplay. Although the success of “Grey Goose” helped him catch Cash Money’s attention, Allstar is quick to point out that he’s prepared to become more than a regional one-hit wonder. “‘Grey Goose’ was a catalyst, but honestly, it wasn’t really the song that got me my solo deal,” he says. “Cash Money was more sold on my street buzz and work ethic than anything else.” While most newcomers would be busy basking in the limelight, Allstar is quick to plug his fellow Block Burnaz. “Even though we have multiple [deals], everybody sees the common goal,” he says. Armed with a hit record and heavy street cred, plan to see and hear a lot more of Allstar in 2005. – Wally Sparks, wally@ozonema g.com
teens, practicing his skills at local skating Tango Redd earned his nickname as a hip-hop dancer in his early I knew what I wanted to do,” he says. “I’ve rinks. He’d always had a goal in mind. “Since the age of eight, love to rap.” Listing names like LL Cool J been in the studio recording basically my whole life. I love to write, to want to be something.” Referring push that me gave just “They recalls, Tango and 2Pac as his inspirations, from the crowd. He linked up with out stand him help dreads to himself as “the Golden Child,” Tango’s blonde ,” a club joint collaboration with David BanAtlanta production company Vintage Sound and recorded “Wobble d interest in the mixtape and club circuit, ner and Bonecrusher. The song picked up spins at radio and generate for the song, which Tango feels is a video a filmed recently They Records. Virgin leading to Tango’s deal with got a chance to see the person people The up. picked really big breakthrough. “Once the video hit TV, things g tour with Lil Jon, Tango is quick to point behind the music,” he says. Although he’s preparing for an upcomin tracks on my out that his music is difficult to categorize. “I got a lot of real-life people go that struggles the about talk I nded. album,” he says. “It’s very well-rou wives and husbands through every day. I talk about relationships; all the things that Bonecrusher colgo through on a day-to-day basis.” In addition to the Banner and and production Mafia, 6 Three Brown, Sleepy Lloyd, features debut labo, Tango’s - Julia summer. this drop to n Campaig The for Look from Mr. DJ and Bangladesh. Beverly, email@example.com
How did you meet 2Pac? How did the Outlawz come together? Edi: Our parents go way back, from before we was even born, so that connection was just always there. Kastro: Pac was my first cousin. He was about six years older than me. I actually started rapping separately from him. He was already doing his thing; it was right around the time he started fuckin’ with Digital Underground. I started rappin’ with Edi and we started kickin’ it from there. Initially, it was a group: the Outlaw Immortals. It was me, Noble, Edi, Yaki Kadafi – God bless the dead, Napoleon, and Fatal Hussein. ‘Pac was tryin’ to establish himself as a businessman and an entrepreneur as well as a producer and an actor, so he was fuckin’ with people that he could trust. Noble: I came into the group through Kadafi – rest in peace. I grew up with him in Jersey. He brought me, Fatal, and Napoleon to the group. I moved to Cali and I’d been hearing about Pac through Kadafi. When Pac got out of jail, them niggas called me just on some soldier shit. I was fuckin’ with them for a minute and I was writing the whole time. I finally kicked some shit and Pac was lovin’ it, he made me the last Outlaw. He respected me a lot. I was gonna be the first Outlaw to do a solo album. His girl, Quincy Jones’ daughter, had a label back then. I was gonna be the first solo Outlaw. When he asked me to be in the group, I was like, “Shit, hell yeah.” What’s your most memorable verse? Noble: Probably the Makaveli album. I was on “Bomb First,” “Hail Mary,” “Life of an Outlaw,” and “Just Like Daddy.” Edi: A lot of people probably remember me from “Hit Em Up” and “Bomb First.” With “Hit Em Up,” did you ever feel like you were trapped in the middle of that beef? Edi: Nah, I never felt like that. In my situation, my loyalty was with my nigga that I grew up with from dirt. I knew he would do the same thing for me, so it was never a second guess. That Makaveli album sounded so intense. Noble: Yeah, that shit was done in less than a week. We did twenty songs in about five days. It was just a lot of shit going on in the streets at that time. This was after All Eyez on Me came out, after “Hit Em Up.” Pac was doing movies at the time. He had big plans, so the energy was just crazy, man. That whole album was recorded in less than a week. That energy just came from Pac, man. It was a lot of shit going on, and the worse it got, the more focused he got. The energy, the motivation, that shit was just there. That shit went by so fast. What was your relationship like with Pac? Brother, friend? Noble: It was all that. He was a big brother at times, a father figure at times. A cousin, a friend, a coworker, everything. Yo, he took care of us, man. We owe everything to him. He was everything to us. That’s basically the bottom line. We lived with him and shit. We was like his damn kids. He took care of us. Where were you when you heard that he’d been shot? Noble: I was at his house. We’d just come back from New York from the MTV Awards a few days before. Me and Napoleon stayed at the crib when we got back from New York, and Pac went to Vegas with Kastro, Kadafi, and Edi. I 22
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(l to r): Noble, Kastro, Edi, and Stormey
was at the house and I received a call. Somebody came and got us and we drove right out to Vegas. I just didn’t wanna believe it cause I had just talked to him a few hours earlier. After the whole fight shit happened [with Orlando Anderson], he called back home to let us know about the drama. His spirits was up, though, he was ‘bout to go out and have a good time. That’s the last thing I told him: “Be safe.” He said, “You already know,” and I never spoke to him again. Probably the last call he made. Kastro: I was shocked, especially after he got shot. I didn’t think he would die. I really didn’t grasp the seriousness of it. How did Tupac’s death affect you as a group? Kastro: It somewhat slowed down our momentum. At a certain point we took a step back, too. This was something we always wanted to do, but to a certain extent we probably wasn’t ready for that type of success back then. We were still just learning how to make music. Noble: It was a whole chain of shit that happened, but I look at everything as God’s will. I feel like mentally we wasn’t really ready to make it pop off until now. When Pac passed, that shit kinda traumatized us a lil bit cause right after Pac passed, Kadafi passed. We was real fucked up; kinda retarded, basically. After Pac passed we had all these songs at Death Row, thinking that’s the place for us to be. Suge was locked up, so basically it didn’t work out. We decided to just go indie. We put out our last album in 2001, and since then we’ve been shopping for a good situation. We coulda dropped indie shit, but we wasn’t really hurting for no money. Labels don’t really get us, though. I think our shit might be too real or something. I don’t know what it is. Now we’re like, Fuck it. We’re trying to sell a million records independently on our own label, One Nation. Do you think it’s hard for you to be taken seriously as artists and not just Pac’s homeboys? Kastro: Yeah, but it’s something that we can’t shake. We can’t just wake up one day and say “fuck Pac” to separate ourselves, because he put us in the position we’re in. If people don’t
take us seriously we just gotta take the time to prove them wrong. Noble: Pac was the fuckin’ greatest rapper of all time, so with us it’s like a double edge. To come from under him, it’s extra hard. We don’t mind the challenge, though. Pac taught us a lot. We put in mad work in the game. We’re the only group in history to be featured on over 40 million records sold, and we’ve never been signed to a major label. That shit should be in the Guinness Book of World Records. We probably the hardest workin’, humblest niggas in the damn game. Edi: Oh, I definitely feel underestimated. Pac was a star that shone so bright that everything else around him kinda got lost in the limelight. If that’s my fate, I don’t have no problem with it. I’ll accept whatever God gives me. In spite of all that, we’re still very talented. If you took away everything that precedes us and compared us to ninety percent of the crews that’s out there, we could stand up with any of ‘em. Pac set the bar so high that everything coming after him is gonna fall short in people’s minds. At the same time, even though our music is associated with Pac, it’s not the same. It comes from the same place, it’s rooted in the same thing, but Pac made more accessible records. He had that gift to do those radio-type records like “How Do You Want It.” Outlawz really don’t do those type of records. We’re more gritty and hardcore. We tend to deal with issues. We come from the side of Pac that put out “Lord Knows” and “Me Against the World.” You aren’t recognized as much because you don’t have those commercial records. Edi: That’s exactly right. We don’t put out the radio records, so we don’t get that popular. We’re kind of like Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and MC Eiht. They make more hardcore songs. They don’t get a lot of radio play, so a lot of fans don’t see em. We’ve been lucky enough to have a hardcore following, so we could survive indie. That’s not to say that we won’t have a major hit, though. If you roll the dice long enough, you’re bound to hit your point. Tell me about your upcoming album. Kastro: Outlawz for Life comes out April
19th. It’s actually our third indie album. We’ve got TQ, Khujo Goodie, and an up-and-coming artist named Malachi on there. We’re dropping three singles: “Celebrate,” “Real Talk,” and “Big Ballin’,” featuring Stormey and Bun B. We grew up on Bun B, so that was big. Stormey is a part of the Outlawz family now. Stormey: I’m on “These Are The Times,” “Sacred Vows,” and a few other songs. What does it take to become an Outlaw? Kastro: Understanding the codes and ethics. If you have honor and loyalty, everything else will fall into place. Do you think the album sounds similar to the music you put out with Pac? Noble: I think the music is definitely similar. It’s that ghetto gospel. That’s a label that Pac came up with for our music. You know that feeling you get when you listen to Pac that you don’t get from nobody else? When you play our shit a couple times, you gonna get that same feeling. Edi: Our last album, Novocain, was slower. This album is really a lot more aggressive; it’s a lot of hardcore messages. Our whole thing is for the underdogs and the downtrodden and the have-nots anyway. We rap for the dudes on the come-up, cause that’s what we are too. You ain’t never gonna hear dudes on our album talkin’ about the keys comin’ in and out like it’s all gravy. We ain’t tellin’ that story. That ain’t what we’re living. We got songs like “Listen to Me,” where we’re talking about drug abuse. We talk the young dudes that’s comin’ up sniffing. Stormey: We wanted to step away from the hype and bring it from a different perspective. I think the times demand some kind of responsibility and consciousness, so we decided to drop an album for the people who need that guidance in their life. We need that guidance too. So you’re sorta the conscience of hip-hop. Edi: Definitely, and Pac was too. Pac never really bigged up the drug dealing aspect more than he did the other side. He kinda had a balance in his music. I think artists need to do that more often. I know this is rap and everybody’s gotta be confident and be that nigga, but still, everybody’s got a crackhead or a dope fiend in their family too. If you see somebody tryin’ to kick the habit, tell their story too. I’m not one of them people that’s gonna say, “Niggas need to stop glorifying violence,” cause I think that shit needs to be out there too for the whole world to see. I don’t think it should be a secret, but somebody’s gotta talk about what happens afterwards. If you love real uncut raw hip-hop without a lot of fluff, buy the Outlawz album. A lot of people would think the Outlawz are a West coast group, but you’re actually recording in Atlanta, right? Kastro: We’ve been based in Atlanta for a few years. Atlanta is more family-oriented, it’s a great place to raise a family. We’ve got roots in every region of the country, so I don’t think you could put it in a regional category. Noble: Our album is just us. I think because Pac was on the West coast, muthafuckers labeled us a West coast group, but we’re actually from the East coast. If you hear me spit on “Hail Mary,” you’ll know I’m an East coast nigga. We’ve got something for everybody: East, West, Midwest, and down South. Our music is a product of us.
How do you feel about the Tupac albums that have been released since his death, like the recent album that Eminem produced? Kastro: I’m all for it. A lot of people disagree with the fact that Eminem executive-produced it, and I kinda understand why, but at the same time Eminem really put his heart and soul into it. Em is a huge fan of Pac. Pac influenced his life, so why shouldn’t he get the chance to put his hands on it and touch it? Everybody else has. The music is serving a greater purpose, in multiple ways. One, it’s keeping him alive. If his music wasn’t coming out, people would want it to come out because people still buy it. It’s also establishing a foundation for a center for the performing arts that’s going to be built in Stone Mountain, GA. That’s not gonna be cheap. Noble: Pac wouldn’t have it no other way than for his moms to put it out. We’re big supporters of his moms, so whatever she wants, we’re riding with her. That’s her son, she gave birth to him. Everything as far as Pac’s music is up to her. We really couldn’t be mad at her. But, the streets don’t be feeling that shit. The streets would probably rather hear people that they know Pac was cool with on his songs. But who are people to judge? As far as Eminem, he’s probably Pac’s number one fan, just like everybody else. For him to be a part of the project, hell yeah. But yeah, the streets don’t really be feeling that shit. We go everywhere and hear that shit. We don’t control that, though. It would drive us crazy if we got mad at everything. We’re just trying to step it up, man. We’re the legacy, it’s up to us to continue the shit. He’s been gone for damn near ten years, and I think we’re better than we’ve ever been. We’re trying to bring something new to the table. That nigga did enough. Some of Pac’s vocals have been used on collaborations with artists that he dissed while he was alive. Do you think that’s disrespectful? Kastro: I don’t see why anybody should feel disrespected because it ain’t have nothing to do with them. To each his own. It’s fuckin’ music. People don’t know how much he got along with people when he was alive, they just know that he rapped about it. Nobody knows what direction it was going. Just enjoy the music and relax. Edi: Some of the collaborations are good. Some are whack. I ain’t gonna say that I like everything, cause I really don’t. Pac’s not here to make and produce his own music, so if he was here shit would be sounding much better. You’re dealing with tracks that are almost ten years old, so it’s hard to recapture that magic. Most producers do their best and put in their all, but for some cats it’s just about a check. They know that if they get their name on a Pac project, that’s gonna lead to other work. People have different motives. Was your family involved with the Black Panthers? Kastro: My aunt was a part of that organization. I might be a byproduct of that somewhat. Edi: My family was more into the hustler side of things; drug addiction and drug selling. A lot of the things that plague the black community also plagued the Black Panthers: drug abuse, sex abuse, stuff like that. The streets and the Panthers were always closely related, both positively and negatively. When my family came in, it was a friendship type of thing, but my family was more into the street side of things. A lot of my family and Pac’s family are so closely relat-
ed on both sides. We was a product of the positives and the negatives of the Panther movement, and that’s what we talk about our music. Instead of biggin’ up the drug dealing, we talk about the repercussions. Do you think racism has gotten better or worse in America? Kastro: Racism ain’t go nowhere, it’s just camoflauged. The same people that controlled the country back then are controlling it now. Maybe they’re allowing people to get more money, but I don’t really see the difference. It’s more hidden and indirect. Instead of saying, “You stupid nigger,” they’re more tricky about it. How would you describe each member of the group? How do you all fit together? Noble: We’re just like a puzzle. If I do a song and them niggas ain’t here, I lay a verse or a hook and I know they’re gonna come behind me and say exactly what I wanted to say. Edi’s the OG nigga. I’m the youngest Outlaw. Kastro is like, fuckin’ extra smart, man. He’s like a damn mad scientist. It’s unusual to see a group last ten years and still be together. What’s your secret? Noble: Number one, niggas love each other. We’ve all got good hearts. Niggas ain’t liars, niggas are honest. We just basically all live by the same muthafuckin’ code. All three of us, we’re really good dudes, takin’ care of our kids and shit. We all humble niggas. I think Pac just instilled something in us. Pac was around a lot of dudes, and he put something into everybody. Edi and Kastro, they basically grew up with Pac since they were little kids. Pac changed my life. That nigga came in and really looked out and embraced me and showed me the game, so I’m forever loyal. He wanted us to stick together, no matter what. There was seven Outlawz, and now there’s three of us left. To me, our music is the best it’s ever been, and that’s no bullshit. What happened to the other four members? Noble: Fatal basically left the group after Pac passed. He really just didn’t wanna come back to Cali. Then when Yaki [Kadafi] passed, he was basically done. He ain’t even wanna rap for a minute so he just bounced. Fatal is still my nigga, though. Napoleon left maybe a year and a half ago because of a lil situation, but we got love for him too. Me, Edi, and K, we gon’ hold this shit down. We really ‘bout to step this shit up. How did Kadafi pass? Kastro: He was shot and killed in Jersey a month after Pac got killed. It was just a jealous nigga. Stormey, you’re the newest Outlaw? Stormey: I’m the newest Outlaw. I’m from Chicago. We’ve been messin’ around for years. We started doing music real heavy a few years ago, and prior to that I was in New York recording with Smif and Wesson from the Boot Camp clique. It was destiny for me to get down with the Outlawz. Everything played out the way it was supposed to. We always messed around with the music thing because it was just something we had in common. Outside of that, we’re brothers. We’re like family. If the music went away today, we’d still have each other. I’m real focused, and I think they saw that in me. Real talk, I probably leave the studio only 24 hours out of a week. No exaggeration. They saw my determination, my talent, my will, and my drive. It was just a perfect match; heaven-sent. They say things that I can’t say, and I was just what they needed for this next mission. It’s chapter two of this thug life revolution.
OZONE MAR 2005
When you were younger, did you always think you’d want to grow up and be a singer? Not at all. I just kinda decided one day I would try it; I was probably like 14. In high school I spent a lot of time in Atlanta in and out of studios, building my demo. I went to New York to shop for a deal and signed with Jive Records. Wow, you make it sound like it was easy. With so many artists out there looking for deals, what do you think appealed to the labels about you? Well, when I got signed there was a lot of competition. There’s always a lot of artists trying to get on. I honestly don’t know what stood out about me. I think I just had a rawness; untapped, unpolished talent. I was real regular. I wasn’t a refined, polished mannequin. I wasn’t a programmed artist. I kinda had my own thing, and that was interesting to [the labels], I guess. Plus, on my demo, I had worked with Organized Noize and a lot of other producers, so I guess they were impressed with the people I’d worked with. I had so many different sounds and could go in so many different directions. How were you able to work with producers like Organized Noize? Just being in the right place at the right time; spending days in and out of the studio. Since you were still in high school while you were recording your demo, did you feel like it prevented you from doing other things that most teenagers would be doing? Actually, it didn’t really get hectic like that until near the end of my high school days. I did most of the things I wanted to do; I’d just find a way to fit it in. It definitely prevented me from doing some other extracurricular activities, though, like running track. I wanted to run track, but you have to spend days practicing after school and I just didn’t have time for stuff like that. When you were in school, did people treat you differently because you were a singer and working with known producers? I tried to keep it a secret. A lot of my peers didn’t even know I could sing. I was in chorus, though, and the teacher would always find some kinda way to make me sing. I had done something locally on a CD that came out and it kinda got around to the school. [My classmates] were like, “For real, for real?” I moved to Savannah for two years, too. I was there for 10th and 11th grade. I just kinda avoided the attention. I was real quiet and kept to myself. I didn’t like the news to spread around cause people treat you differently. I didn’t want that attention, at all. Personally, I really just enjoyed school.
like, “Don’t Mess With My Man?” Have you ever got in a fight over a guy? (laughing) In school, in the 8th grade, I got in a fight over a guy, but I guess that doesn’t really count. But yeah, my lil’ attitude is horrible. I’m married now, and when we go places the girls see my ring and still be lookin’ at me and trying to flirt with him. I get a lil’ attitude. I’m also pregnant, so I’m walkin’ around with my belly still ready to fight, like, “What you said?!?” That song is definitely me. “Don’t Mess With My Man,” all day. You’ve worked with Mystikal and R Kelly, who both have been accused of sexual criminal charges. Did you ever see that coming? Oh God, no. I think everybody was shocked about Mystikal. When I first came out I did the hook on [his song] “Danger,” and that’s what helped me blow up. The R Kelly songs I did came together a few years ago. There’s been a few female artists coming out lately with the “crunk & B” label. Do you think your single “Okay,” with Lil Jon, falls into that category? Actually no, the main thing we liked about that song was that it didn’t really sound like Jon’s other records. [My husband] Dream actually wrote the song, and when he sang it to me on the phone I loved it. We recorded it and sent it back to Jon, so that’s how it happened. It sounds so different. I don’t think it’s “crunk & B,” it’s more laid back. It’s a club record, of course, but ladies love it. The second single is “Okay Pt. 2,” but it’s not a traditional remix. It’s a whole new song I did with Dream. Who else is featured on the album besides Dream? Rasheeda, and of course Lil Jon and the Young Bloodz. R Kelly is on one song too. What’s the name of your upcoming album? It’s called Complicated. The songs on the album are definitely talking about different types of women. Some of the songs are not necessarily coming from me personally, but it’s just me writing from a different perspective. Some songs talk about how vulnerable a woman is; some songs talk about a woman cheating on her man, going through drama. I think women are complicated. Is the album geared more towards women? It is. It’s coming from a female voice, but it’s not male-bashing either. Man will love it too.
“Don’t Mess With My Man” was the song that really put you on the map, right? Yeah, my first single was actually “Don’t Mess With the Radio,” but the urban audience didn’t really catch onto it. “Don’t Mess With My Man” kinda spread to both the pop and the urban audiences. It was actually nominated for a Grammy. It was crazy to get that type of recognition, especially after I heard the process of how they vote.
When you say not all the songs are coming from you personally, what do you mean? Were they written by other songwriters, or it’s just you speaking from a different perspective? I wrote most of the songs on the album, but not everything on there is something I agree with or have personally experienced. There are a few songs where I’m definitely talking about me, like “Complicated,” that’s talking about where I am now. A few other songs, like “It’s All Good” and “No More” are talking about a lot of drama I’ve been through in this business. You can tell which ones are personal. Then, I have some songs which are basically the voice of other women. For example, I have a song with Jermaine Dupri called “Parking Lot,” which is a girl talking about cheating on her man. I don’t condone it at all, but a lot of women feel like that. There’s gangsta girl songs, party girl songs, all that.
Do you really have that attitude,
You were dating Lil Wayne for a while,
Do you still avoid the limelight? The attention is cool, but I’m real humble. People are cool, though, they approach me like a regular person.
weren’t you? A lot of people think that’s who I’m with, but it’s actually been like two years since we broke up. You know, a lot of women like Lil Wayne. What’s he like just as a regular dude, not a rapper? Really? Oh, that’s funny (laughing). He’s cool, I don’t know. Was it a bad breakup? Nah, we’re not on bad terms. We just don’t talk anymore. Was it difficult to date someone who’s also in the industry? No, not really. Actually, my husband now is a producer and a songwriter, and it actually makes it a little less stressful. He basically took over my project, and he’s managing me and doing production for me. He’s doing everything with and for me, so I can learn a lot from him. He’s somebody who can help me and guide me, and I know he’s got my best interest in mind. I’m blessed to have him. What if you’ve got personal drama at home and then you’ve gotta go into the studio together and act professional? Oh, we do that all the time (laughing). He executive-produced this album, so halfway through, we were going through our lil’ drama. We still got it done, though. He knows what to do. He’s so talented. I get frustrated cause I don’t get it as quickly as it comes to him. When we work together, we’re a great team. It’s good; I’m actually learning a lot from him. With a lot of female artists, it seems like they disappear if they get pregnant. In hip-hop it’s something that’s really not discussed very much. I know certain female artists try to hide their pregnancies or decide not to have a baby, but for me, I’m the happiest I could ever be in my life right now. I’m happy, I’m in love, I got a little girl on the way, so those are the two biggest blessings in my life right now. That means more to me than anything. God gave me the gift to be able to sing, and I’m glad I have a label that supports my decision. I’m happy talking about my pregnancy. I’m a grown woman, I have nothing to be ashamed of. I guess my situation is a little different. Was the label worried about how you would be able to promote an album and have a baby at the same time? I came to them and expressed how happy I was, and how much I still wanted to pursue my career. I definitely still wanna sing, and I’m gonna be doing this regardless. They couldn’t do anything but respect it. I’m ready for her to be here. I’ve even been performing all the way up to this point; I’m seven months pregnant now. So your baby and your album will be dropping at the same time. (laughing) Yeah. The album is slated for April 19th, and my due date is the end of April. Her name is Navy. Navy Nash. It’s different, huh? It seems like artists always name their children something different. Yeah, I guess it’s the creative minds. Is it going to be difficult to promote the album with a newborn baby? She’s definitely gonna be with me on tour. It won’t be difficult, though, we’re already setting up the tour dates. OZONE MAR 2005
BENJI BROWN IN TOUCH WITH REALITY www.streetlifefilmsinc.com
SEX AND THE STUDIO VOLUME 2 www.sexandthestudio.com
STREET DOGG ADVENTURES OF STREET DOGG VOLUME 1 www.streetlifefilmsinc.com
Dave Chapelle better be on the lookout, because actor and standup comedian Benji Brown - a.k.a. KiKi - is on his heels, turning heads with his new comedic DVD, In Touch with Reality.
As one of the world’s premiere adult video magazines, Sex and the Studio is back with volume two, proving again that music and sex is always a good combination. This is the formula you need to “bang” out good music.
This DVD is mistitled. It should be called Hood Tales, or A Tale of Two Cities. Comedian Larry Dogg, otherwise known as Street Dogg, takes you on a wild and hilarious journey from the thuggedout streets of Liberty City to the glitz and glamour of South Beach.
Brown appears regularly on BET’s Comic View and is a star on one of Miami’s hottest radio morning shows. Anybody who who watches this DVD is gonna be laughing their ass off. Brown’s DVD, In Touch With Reality, deals with some skits about reality TV shows as well as everyday things that happen in the hood. The jokes and skits are hilarious. A few standout moments on the DVD include Brown’s spoof of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video: “Crackheads.” TV shows like The Dating Game and Elimidate are spoofed with new names like “ElimAHo.” Fear Factor becomes Queer Factor, and Nick and Jessica’s MTV Newlyweds show isn’t exempt either. His comedic genius really shines through when Brown changes his vocals into the high-pitched lady voice and persona of KiKi. If you’d never seen Benji Brown perform on BET or at your local comedy club, make sure you check for him. You’ll definitely leave laughing.
Money B, Digital Underground’s Cleetis Mack, and porn star Obsession host this DVD magazine. Money B and his crew take you on a journey to many American cities, interviewing some of the biggest hip-hop stars like Ludacris and Bonecrusher as well as superstar athletes. When we arrive in the beautiful city of Rio de Janiero in Brazil, that’s where the action really heats up. Money B starts with a tour of the city and ends with a hot sex scene featuring three beautiful Brazilian actresses and one male Brazilian porn star. Porn star Mr. Marcus also makes an appearance, doing a threesome with two Asian actresses. All in all, the DVD features four hot sex scenes. However, it isn’t all about sex. Featured interviews include industry heavy hitters like DJ Premiere. Money B’s interview with Randy Jackson of the Jackson Five is hilarious. We also meet an Asian chick who says she bedded Michael Jordan. Coolo teaches a new sexual position, and admits that he pays for sex!
Benji’s got a promising future. You can look for him in P Diddy’s upcoming Bad Boys of Comedy. If you can’t wait to see him live, go ahead and purchase this DVD.
The bonus soundtrack has seventeen tracks, featuring new songs from Digital Underground, Xzibit, Yukmouth, Bun B, Money B, and more. It’s a must for fans of West coast music.
- Malik Abdul, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Malik Abdul, email@example.com
OZONE MAR 2005
Liberty City is filled with pimps, hoes, crackheads, drug dealers, boosters, and gangstas busting their guns in parking lots. Street Dogg shows us this side of life in Miami, complete with good ol’ fashioned beat-downs. On the flip side, Street Dogg takes us away from the hood and shows us the weekend vacation getaways across the bridge. If you interview residents from either side of the bridge in Miami, you’re bound to get a story. When a certified comedian interviews residents, you’re bound to get a funny hood tale. All throughout this DVD, Street Dogg takes you through the thick drama of South Beach. In addition to the street fistfights and parking lot shootouts, there’s live concert footage from the likes of 50 Cent, Petey Pablo, Mystikal, and B.G. The DVD also features Interviews with hip-hop stars like Lil Wayne, Loon and Lil Jon. Even though it’s a low budget comedy, Street Dogg still gives you something to think about. For example, he discusses the fact that high-priced clothier Von Dutch was an active racist, and yet hip-hop stars like Missy Elliott and Jay-Z still support his clothing. It’s interesting to see that even after the Tommy Hilfiger incident, blacks will still unknowingly support a racist in their drive to set trends. As Kanye West says, “Nigga, you ain’t up on this.” Overall, this is a good and funny DVD. Street Dogg’s performance stands out, and there’s plenty of funny skits about reggae artists and Haitians. There’s two Miamis: the one mainstream America visits on vacation, and the one where there’s families trying to survive. This is the Miami that everyone should visit. - Malik Abdul, firstname.lastname@example.org
01: DJ Ideal (hosted by Slim Thug) “Da Bottom Vol. 3” 786-326-1 289 or 305-491-7333 Miami, FL 02: DJ Rob-Lo “The Undisputed” www.Rob-Lo.com Brooklyn, NY 03: DJ Kool Kid (hosted by Stat Quo) “M.O.B. Part 2” www.DJKoolKid.co m NYC
04: DJ Hollywood “Dirty South Radio Vol. 422” www.DirtySouthRadio.com West Palm Beach, FL 05: DJ Rondevu ”Dangerous Minded Vol. 2” www.DJRondevu.com NYC 06: J.A. & L.S. (hosted by Lil Weavah) “On the Grind: ATL to H-Town” 917-375-4057 www.24HrGrind.com 07: OG Ron C (hosted by David Banner) “Grind Mode” OGRonC@tmail.com Houston, TX
08: DJ Quest “Gasolina” www.DeeJayQuest.com 407-716-3178 Ft. Myers, FL 09: Manny Faces “Manny’s New Fashioned Remixes Vol. 1” www.Man nyFaces.com 516-557-3375 NY 10: DJ Smallz and Tapemasters (hosted by Ludacris & Ghostface) “Road Trip: NYC to Miami” www.DJSmallz.com 11: DJ Chuck T “Dirty South Hitz Vol. 1” www.DJChuckT.com 843-345-9 763 Charleston, SC 12: DJ Hotsauce “Time to Get Spicy” www.RPS-Fam.com Germany
DJ Nasty (hosted by Ludacris) “Nasty Behind the Wheels” www.DJNasty.net includes #04 - Ashanti f/ Camron, Juelz Santana, Ja Rule, & Blackchild “Only U (remix)” #16 - Bedo “Go Head” #25 - Adept f/ Pitbull “Let Them Thangs Go”
13: DJ Folk “Bankhead Ambassador: The Best of T.I.” 216-798-2 480
14: Clinton Sparks “Smashtime Blends Vol. 8” www.ClintonSparks.com Boston, MA 15: Murdaone Sound “The Good, The Bad, and The Wicked” www.M1S ound.com 954-727-5764 Orlando, FL 16: DJ Dutty Laundry “Black Folk Inc.: Hood Classics Vol. 1” 423-838-0225 or 423-316-1059 Chattanooga, TN 17: DJ Chill “Take it Off Vol. 4” www.mix2cold.com 713-232-0818 Houston, TX 18: White Boi Pizal “Trap Muzik Vol. 3” www.WhiteBoiPizal.net 407-227-1631 Orlando, FL 19: Eddie Deville (hosted by PaulWall) “Kingz of Spring Break” EddieDev email@example.com 713-643-5437 Houston, TX 20: DJ Scream (hosted by Trillville) “Only the Crunk Survive Vol. 8” 770-875-3544 or 404-540-5000 Atlanta, GA
OZONE MAR 2005
50 CENT THE MASSACRE G-Unit/Aftermath/Interscope
GETO BOYS FOUNDATION Rap-A-Lot/Asylum/Warner Bros
CHINGO BLING THE TAMALE KINGPIN Big Chile Enterprises (Houston, TX)
So I’m fresh off listening to Fat Joe roast 50 Cent during Kay Slay’s Drama Hour show on Hot 97 in NYC. I’m sitting here thinking that this nigga 50 is a fuckin’ marketing phenom. The man knows how to create a blistering buzz for any project that he’s involved with.
This album is appropriately titled. The Geto Boys are most certainly the true foundation of this Southern rap shit. You gotta love it. I sure do. I had to wait seven long years for a new studio effort from the familiar lineup of Scarface, Bushwick Bill, and Willie D.
After all the backlash I got from our readers about my positive review of The Mind of Mannie Fresh for its entertainment quality, I’ll tell you straight-up: If you don’t have an open mind and don’t appreciate humor and creativity, don’t even bother listening to this album. It has a crock-pot full of both, and a lot of fuckin’ tamales!
Honestly, I had the bootleg as soon as it leaked, but I didn’t listen right away. Really, how different could it be from Get Rich or Die Tryin’? But when I heard Fat Joe admit that he was getting caught up in 50’s plan by even responding to the diss, I had to go listen. Setting off the album is an intro where a young lady receives a Valentine from 50 Cent. As she opens it, she gets blasted by about six AR-15 assault rifles. She should be thanking 50, because if she’s dead she won’t have to sit through the monotony that is The Massacre. There are two things that jumped out at me about this album: 50 Cent is an excellent songwriter, and Eminem is far better at smashing MCs than making beats. The album is packed with the prerequisite gangsta shit bravado mixed with 50’s sing-songy hooks. Ja Rule would be pulling his hair out, if he had any. There are a few times where 50 actually has some shit to say. For example, he spits, “Sometimes I sit and look at life from a different angle / I don’t know if I’m God’s child or Satan’s angel” on “I’m Supposed to Die Tonight.” Flashes of brilliance like that lyric are far too scarce on this album. If 50 Cent was concerned with making a creative album instead of what the sheep of the world want to hear, how great and influential could he really be? But shit, man, what do I know? He’s fuckin’ rich. He’s sold eleven million albums, and will probably sell close to that with this album. Like he says on the controversial “Piggy Bank,” “Buck’s shit sells / Banks’ shit sells / Game’s shit sells / I’m rich as hell,” so he’s obviously doing something right. 50’s cut with Eminem, “Gatman & Robin,” is whack, but I kept rewinding it because Eminem went the fuck off. Now I’m off to get some Q-tips, because my ears need cleaning. They seem to be deceiving me. How could music so simple make me listen to it over and over again? Is there some subliminal new world order shit going on over at Interscope? 50 Cent, the anomaly. - Wally Sparks, firstname.lastname@example.org 28
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This right here is some gangsta shit for grown-ups. The lead single, “Yes Yes Y’all,” is proof positive that neither of the three have lost a step. Scarface is still spittin’ the real, Willie D is as amped as ever, and Bushwick is - well, he’s still Bushwick Bill. Like any real OG’s, they have stories that are designed to give the young bucks a quick lesson on the streets. This is evident on this album with cuts like “Leaning on You” and “I Tried.” On the latter, Uncle Face gives it straight up with no chaser on the hook. One of the dopest things about this album is the fact that each of the members has a chance to get their solo shine on. They’ve each got a solo joint on here. Willie D tells tales of counterfeiting money and the desperate measures he’s taken to make sure he won’t die without a little piece of change. Next we have Bushwick Bill’s twisted love letter to his ex-wife, “Dirty Bitch.” He gives it to her raw with lines like, “Burned my car and my clothes like you was Angela Bassett / I left town, you moved out, all you left was a mattress.” Lastly, the realest of the real is Scarface’s solo effort, “G-Code,” which is basically a confirmation of the #1 rule of the streets: Don’t snitch. There are times where Scarface seems to be carrying the other two members on his shoulders, but there’s hardly any mistakes on this album. If you’re 25 years or older and you’re from the South, you need to have this album. The same goes for all you new rapper dudes and young chicks, too. I love Young Jeezy, T.I., Mike Jones, Slim Thug, and Trick Daddy just as much as you do, but you need this album. Learn the Foundation. - Wally Sparks, email@example.com
Chingo Bling is nowhere near a lyrical threat, but I’d be willing to bet that he could make a better album than almost any chart-topping rapper today. His latest effort The Tamale Kingpin is led off by a pretty damn good cover of the Scarface classic “Money & The Power.” Chingo aptly applys his twist, titling it, “Masa & Da Flour.” We all know you can’t cook up those tamales without that white powder, ya dig? The thing I can’t figure out about Chingo is if he’s trying to be funny, or if he’s just naturally entertaining? Anyway, the production on this album is Grade A. The men behind the boards on this album have given Chingo Bling a sonic landscape that almost any two-bit rapper could make a hit from. This is especially evident on the cut, “Fuck a Major Label,” featuring Max Minelli. Other standout cuts include the hilarious “Osama, Who Got the Keys to the Humma,” which is, of course, an interpolation of Beenie Man’s “Who Am I.” In Chingo’s version, a fake-ass bin Laden is hiding in a hole, dropping underground tapes, and Chingo is there to expose the real. Another notable record is “American Pie,” featuring PaulWall and Mike Jones. This song is a Texassized lovefest for all races that believe in one color: Green. All in all, The Tamale Kingpin satisfied my appetite. Now I’m off to my favorite Mexican restaurant to get another fix! - Wally Sparks, firstname.lastname@example.org
AMP PREQUEL TO... MY LAST BREATH (Jacksonville, FL)
THE SCOUNDRELS 4-EVER GULLIE Invisible Records (Columbus, GA)
BIG NOD THE COME UP MAN VOL. 2 Southern House Records (Albany, GA)
My dear brothers and sisters, what we have here is a classic case of: It looked good on paper. Before I listened to this album, I analyzed everything I knew about the Scoundrels. The three P’s are already solidly in place: Promotion, Packaging, and Production.
Right off top, this is the kinda shit I like. Big Nod is the type of rapper who will just get in the booth and attack the mic with no reservation. I don’t know why the intro is titled as such, because it’s over three minutes long. It should have just been titled, “Big Nod.”
As an added bonus, this album is chock full of highpowered guest appearances: Pastor Troy, Bonecrusher, 8Ball & MJG, B.G., Bun B, Too Short, and Jazze Pha. The album also features production from Avery Johnson (producer of “Neva Scared”) and Lil Jon’s personal guitar guru, Craig Love. With all the extra talents on board, it almost comes across as a mixtape or a compilation rather than an actual album. However, none of these big names can change the fact that the album is mediocre. There are a few bright spots, like “I-85” featuring MJG, “Sister” featuring Bun B, and the lead single, “Ghetto” featuring Pastor Troy. Unfortunately, those positive moments are few and far between. I really wanted to like this album, because I was so impressed with what I’d seen before I heard anything. It’s obvious that the Scoundrels have the blueprint and the resources to move in the right direction. They just need to spend a lil’ more time in the lab for some finetuning. Still, I’m definitely interested in hearing the follow up to 4-Ever Gullie. Hopefully the next time around, the guest appearances won’t outshine the actual artists. - Wally Sparks, email@example.com
Regardless of the title, it damn sure serves its purpose. The intro catches your attention and ensures that you won’t be forgetting Big Nod’s name anytime soon. At the end of the intro, however, he blurts out the tired phrase: “On this album, you ‘bout to hear the realest shit you ever heard.” Do these rappers realize the magnitude of these type of statements? For once, Big Nod does. Immediately after the intro comes the joint “I Ain’t Got Time,” where he rides a sick sample of the Curtis Mayfield classic “Give Me Your Life.” On this cut, Big Nod lets you know that he ain’t got time for the bullshit, and he’s trying to get that bread by any means necsesary. Big Nod has an old soul. This is especially evident on cuts like “Don’t Get Mad,” featuring No Gud, which is reminiscent of Ghetto Mafia’s classic banger “Straight From the Dec.” Another memorable track featuring one of the most underrated artists and producers in the South, Ole-E, is “$1,500 Car.” This album is a throwback to them country rap tunes that Pimp C talked about way back when. The Come Up Man Vol. 2 is a banger from start to finish. I’m giving this one a heavy co-sign, and I’m hating that I missed the boat on Volume 1. Don’t make the same mistake I made. - Wally Sparks, firstname.lastname@example.org
OL’ DIRTY BASTARD OSIRUS - THE MIXTAPE On the DJ Premier-produced “Pop Shots,” Dirty spits, “Niggas out here tryin’ to prove who’s the reaest / It’s okay to pop shit, but come a little different.” While Dirty never really popped shit about being the realest in the game, he always came a little different, from his debut on 36 Chambers until now. When Dirty signed to Roc-A-Fella, many diehard Wu fans cringed, much like fans of M.O.P. when they did the same. Would Dirty turn mainstream? The answer is NO, and the Osirus project is a firm testament that Dirty would always stay true to his fans and keep the style that brought him to his current status. With the help of many, the Osirus mixtape proves to be a good effort. DragOn drops a flaming verse on “Move Back,” and the gritty production of Chops on “Go Go Go” is impressive. There are only a few boring tracks, like “High in the Clouds” and the Cappadonna-laced “Stand Up.” K-Def, Ill Will Fulton, and Chops all make nice beats, and Royal Flush, Black Rob, Blah, and Rhymefest perform nicely. ODB’s changed his lyrics mildly, but still drops absurd punch lines like “Make a hoe look more cuter / Hennessy shots and smoke more Budda.” The sexual side of Dirty that was responsible for “Don’t You Know” and “Goin’ Down” is back in full effect on “Pussy Keep Calling.” Sadly, ODB passed on November 13th, 2004, but this project affirms that his legacy will live on. From one Brooklynite to another, Rest in Peace. - ADG, email@example.com
After a brief lame intro, we get down to the good stuff: five quality tracks from AMP. Hailing from Jacksonville, otherwise known as Duuuuuuuval, the Southern feel is evident but it’s not like the regular stuff we hear coming from the 904. AMP has something quite different; his voice is commanding but not too authoritative. “Who you know that’s lyrical as Biggie, political as ‘Pac / Physical as 50 Cent fighting 50 rounds with Ja / Spiritual as Lauryn Hill, I’m God’s Son like Nas / Country as Outkast with Eminem’s heart,” he spits. Judging by the five tracks on this EP, I can vouch for most of those lyrics. “Holla Atcha Boy” may have a lame-ass hook, but the beat is on-point and lyrics are exact. Throughout the CD, AMP maintains his composure. He speaks loudly without shouting; a slight tone change can make all the difference. The lyrics on “High” demonstrate AMP’s understanding of MCing. AMP conveys what most rappers don’t or can’t: humanity. “Cornbread” and “Hood” are an acquired taste, but once you get that taste you’ll keep going back like a buffet! “Leave” is motivated by a nice drum pattern and guitar riff, but is fueled by AMP’s fitting rhymes about staying in the hood. AMP maintains that he’s content with his upbringing and surroundings, but states that he’s not going to just leave - he’s going to move ahead to do bigger and better things. This EP is a testament to his plan. - ADG, firstname.lastname@example.org OZONE MAR 2005
Venue: Club Konnections Location: Houston, TX February 13th, 2005
he energy is palpable in the parking lot outside Konnections (1) one rainy Sunday evening. A steady stream of cars and SUVs arrives, sporting rims and candy paint.
Once inside, the show kicks off with a long introduction by promoters Big Steve and Cap’n Jack in memory of a friend who recently passed. From the procession of friends arriving on stage, wearing the standard RIP t-shirts and taking donations for her funeral (2), you realize that this is truly a hood club. Slim Thug has now entered the building, and Big Steve makes several unsuccessful attempts to call him to the stage. “I hope y’all enjoy Slim Thug,” Steve tells the crowd. “He wasn’t cheap.”
Next up is a string of opening acts. Cory Mo’s mixtape joint, “I’m from Houuu-ston,” sung to the tune of Ja Rule’s “New York, New York,” sounds unusually crisp and clear until you realize he’s lip-synching (3). The crowd isn’t fooled. Finally, Slim Thug’s fellow Boss Hogg Outlaw Killa Kyleon (4) prepares the way for the Boss himself. Slim Thug makes his grand entrance on stage (5,6), beginning with a string of underground hits that the hometown crowd knows well. As Slim announces, it’s one of his first shows back home since signing with Interscope and travelling the world in search of global domination. The crowd throws up the “H-Town” symbol enthusiastically at Slim’s request, bobbing along with the beat (7).
When a fight breaks out in the crowd midway through Slim’s underground cuts, he barely notices. Security is basically nonexistent, so the crowd sways with the fight for half a song before the troublemakers are escorted out the back. Utilizing Killa Kyleon as a hype man, Slim Thug’s intimidating size alone makes for good stage presence. His flow comes across as effortless. Careful not to exert himself too much, he brags about his jewelry and reaches into the crowd to extend a few handshakes to grateful fans. While Slim performs his newer cuts like “I Ain’t Heard of That” and “Three Kings,” the crowd still hasn’t had enough. A chick fight (8) near the stage causes a chain reaction, the crowd diving over the fallen barricades and overflowing into the pit. Fans scramble on stage as the girls continue to throw punches and pull weaves. Security finally arrives, but Slim is more worried about his image than safety. “Get these people off the stage,” he complains to security. “They’re blocking me; the crowd can’t see me.” After a relatively short set, Slim leaves the stage with his entourage in tow. A thin girl in a short skirt passes her number to one of the hype men, informing him, “Me and my girl... we’ll do anything.” As Slim exits from the rear entrance, the crowd filters out through the front - slightly beat up, but still satisfied with a solid performance from their hometown hero.
- Photos and words by Julia Beverly
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proud. It is swiftly followed by a mean ‘Bama 16 from each of the Tytewurk crew. The production gets you amped to ride the highways blowin’ one ready to blow away one. And if you don’t like the way it’s done forget you cuz it is what it its.
TJ’S DJ’S 4th QUARTER TASTEMAKERS ONLY XCLUSIVES CD Disc 1 (www.TJsDJs.com) TRICK DADDY f. KHIA & TAMPA TONY / J.O.D.D. – SLIP-N-SLIDE Contact: Byron – 305.770.0771 This track unites a new Florida coalition with the incumbent Trick Daddy along with the certified gold Khia (“My Neck, My Back”) and the joker of jukin,’ Tampa Tony (“Keep Jukin’”). The trio paints a beautiful picture full of sexploitation that would make Larry Flynt blush. The horn element in the production rounds out a song that should hasten the love heard in the clubs along Florida’s lifelines I-10, 95, and 4. BOMB SQUAD f. TAMPA TONY / LAY IT DOWN (REMIX) – ISABOMB Contact: David “Fifalow” Gay – 813.785.7903 “Everybody lay it down, c’mon and represent your town” is a chant that hypes clubs up and down the interstate. Bomb Squad jumps on this track and continues the intensity. Tampa Tony soon follows to put in his bid explaining why the Bay area is best. KAVIOUS f. PASTOR TROY & BUN B / KODAK MOMENT (REMIX) – NUCLEAR Contact: Barry Walker – 901.270.7630 It’s always a pleasure to hear the legend Bun B on the mic. He combined with the crunk champion Pastor Troy, to remix Kavious’ “Kodak Moment” to pause life for a moment so you can picture them “stay as fly as he can be.” The picture snapping in the background adds a nice creative touch to an already mesmerizing track. Hailing from Memphis, Kavious is working hard to alert the world that you need more than grace to run this land. KRAZE / FUCK WIT ME – BACU Contact: G-Money – 813.785.6647 First thing about “Fuck Wit Me” that catches your attention is the hook. It’s the definition of a hook, something that is infectious and won’t leave your mind. After playing this tune, you’ll find yourself humming it over and over. Kraze, a self-described “wild ass nigga from Tampa,” can definitely go krazy on you if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s better if you not f#@k with him. Consider yourself warned. WARRIOR / WHATEVA BUDDY – REAL!ST Contact: Damon Yates – 786.443.0019 This hood warrior has no problem letting his enemies know what time it is. If you think you got what it takes to top his cheese, dough leads, or sexy breezies, it’s “Whateva Buddy!” There is a reason why he is signed to the Real!st label. TYTEWURK f. KOSHA, BLOODRAW, DIRTY BLACK / WHAT IT IS - SUPERKALA Contact: Tre Wilson – 334.393.7922 BloodRaw kicks off this lyrical rapfest with a verse to make his hometown of Panama City
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G.M.C. / U AIN’T A HEADBUSSA – TRILLRATED Contact: Nate – 404.282.9777 After hearing this track, get set to have a Neo reaction - whoa! I don’t know what Lil Scrappy did to make these guys mad, but they are letting it all hang out. The full kit includes sporting a picture with Scrappy in a blonde hair cut “looking like Sisqo” and calling him “a hip-hop Usher.” Like Jay-Z, you’re left wondering, where’s the love? DJ BUTCH & CP HOLLYWOOD / COUNTY BOYZ – COUNTY BOYZ Contact: DJ Butch – 850.566.3302 “Whutchya hatin on cuz?” DJ Butch & CP Hollywood just wanna represent their county, everywhere the 850 touches. From the beginning, the track will get you bouncing off the wall like a mental patient. But, the brilliant note about this song is that it doubles as an ad. Much like Wu-Tang’s “Wu-Wear,” DJ Butch subliminally advertises his line of clothing County Boyz found on www.CountyBoyz.com or on the beautifully creative volunteers at the 4th Quarter TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Only DJ conference. T-HUD / BANG OUT – NUTTY BOYZ Contact: Nikki – 612.226.7816 “Bang Out” is a tune by a legitimate baller, T-Hud. Just because he hits the hardwood in the NBA for a living, don’t take Troy Hudson for a chump. He’s putting you on notice that he can hit hard as wood too. Be mindful that this Mississippi native has Nutty Boyz on the roster that “move more weight than Ruben Studdard” so be careful who you try to creep. SHIMMY & BLACK DICE / TONITE – T.U.K. Contact: Shannon Washington – 850.562.4611 In case you’re late, T.U.K. keeps their ear to the street. That’s why they can make such a fan favorite like this track, “Tonite.” The original production has a slow reverberating bass line that somehow keeps you animated. When the bomb drops just before the hook, the timing just gets you more amped until you realize you’ve got all of this energy you’ve got to release by bucking. “Tonite” has a high factor of rewindability – how often you’ll bring the track back. See, the song is so fiya a new word was just created to describe it. MERSILIS / BEAST – MERSILIS Contact: Ron – 917.561.8326 When Mersilis attacks this track, a “Beast” is the best way to describe his ferocity. He performs with such passion because he “has his whole enterprise on his back.” With this much responsibility, no wonder he is such a monster in the booth. SUTHERNFOLK / YOU SUTHERNFOLK – JANGALANG Contact: G – 404.512.2422 This unique creation is a tune designed to unite the peoples of the Dixon area, otherwise known as Suthernfolk. They give shouts to countless regions from Florida to Georgia to Alabama all the way though Texas. The good thing Suthernfolk shows is that despite
our differences, we are all one family. The music is melodic and differentiates itself from anything you have already heard. When matched with the ‘Folks’ words, the result is a tune that would make Jefferson Davis proud. GBU / MISSISSIPPI – BURN ‘EM UP Contact: Tycie Burns – 678.467.0261 GBU enters the music foray with a tribute to the impoverished state of Mississippi. It is meant to raise the spirits of the people and give them something to be proud of. In fact, according to GBU, Mississippi “is the land of the playas hustlin’ to make a dolla.” Who can’t relate to that? HELL-A-FLOW / WHAT IT IS – HELL-A-FLOW Contact: J Screw – 912.313.4035 Straight from Georgia, Hell-A-Flow hits the scene to spit lyrics worthy of their moniker. “What It Is” is a tune that gets elbows pumping as the beat pounds your nerve center. If you’re wondering where the party with these cats, they’ve “got plenty cheese looking for plenty rats.” KING SWISHA / CUT ‘EM OFF – GET BUC Contact: Travis Roberts – 912.496.6470 On “Cut ‘Em Off,” King Swisha explains that he doesn’t need anybody but himself to survive. Since he is “king of [his] house” who can argue? This theme should be the example of what needs to be done when you have dead wood in your life. If it’s dragging you down, “Cut ‘Em Off.” CITY STREETS / MY HOMIE – TRUE STAR Contact: Star Riley – 954.558.7471 City Streets pours out a heartfelt tribute to his homie and family on this sympathetic tune. As the melody plays, your thoughts begin to drift of those that have been called on before you. Sometimes it hurts reminiscing, but if you remember the good times they never die. City Streets does a good job expressing these feelings. INNER CIRCLE f. RED RAT / GIRLS WILD (REGGAETON MIX) – SOUND BWOY Contact: Kevin Mahoney – 305.769.9700 The original bad bwoys, Inner Circle, team with the newest rude bwoy in Red Rat (the “oh no” guy) to pay tribute to the sexy girls ‘round the world. This version in particular is a reggaeton mix capitalizing on the latest music rage. With this rhythm on the platter, the beautiful wines of the coke bottled bodies will be more than enough to put you into a party vibe. ACAFOOL f ZOE FACE / HELL NO – FIRST STRING Contact: Matt Daniels – 813.728.1131 For the people who have 99 problems and a bitch ain’t one, drop this track on ‘em. “Hell No” is performed by a character that lives up to his name, Acafool. This song is dedicated to the women that are always “looking for what you can get out of a man.” This alert contains music that hints of a smooth laid back West Coast party vibe. ISH / I STILL GOT LOVE – SOULOW Contact: Ish – 850.656.1434 Ish’s style is very different than what you are used to. In fact, this tune has a vibe that rides like a sexy ‘70s psycadelic trip. What’s cool about this song is it preaches forgiveness. Although she can “smell the drama and taste the shame,” of the dirt you did, Ish still has got love for you. - Keith “1st Prophet” Kennedy, email@example.com