Ozone Mag Memorial Day 2007 special edition

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moerekiaenld + MayeW D n special editio


benisour // DUNK RYDERS // dirtbag RICK ROSS // DEUCE POPPI // PICCALO dirtered // ZO // RALPHIGE // TEDDY T DJ ASPEKT // DJ SUICIDE // & more



moeerkeiandl MayeW D

n special editio





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ial editio **miami spec

GUEST EDITOR: Ms Rivercity ART DIRECTOR: Tene Gooden CONTRIBUTORS: Eric Perrin J Lash Mercedes Terrence Tyson PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR: Malik Abdul STREET TEAMS: Big Mouth Marketing & Promotions (Big Teach) On Point Marketing & Promotions (Buggah D. Govanah) Lex Promotions (Lex) Strictly Streets (Mercedes) SUBSCRIPTIONS: To subscribe, send check or money order for $11 to: Ozone Magazine 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318 Phone: 404-350-3887 Fax: 404-350-2497 Web: www.ozonemag.com COVER CREDITS: T-Pain & DJ Khaled, Zo, Benisour, & Rick Ross photos by Julia Beverly. DISCLAIMER:

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 2007 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.

Section A

Section b



24-25 T-PAIN 26-27 DJ KHALED



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Miami lub Listing

Amika 1532 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 534-1499 Angel Ultra Lounge 247 23rd Street, Miami Beach, FL Area 51 950 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132 Phone: (305) 358-5655 At the Boulevard 7770 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138 Bab Entertainment Inc 1000 West Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 532-2526 Bash Nightclub 655 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 538-2274 Bermuda’s 3509 NE 163rd Street Phone: (305) 945-0196 Blue 222 Espanola Way, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 534-1109 Bricks 66 SW 6th St, Miami, FL 33130 Phone: (305) 371-6950 Cameo 1400 West Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 695-0517 Club Ache 3425 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140 Phone: (305) 604-8688

Club Madonna 1527 Washington Ave, Miami Beach Phone: (305) 534-2000 Club O’Zone 6600 SW 57TH AVE, South Miami, FL 33143 Phone: (305) 667-2888 Club Warehouse 90 NE 11th St, Miami, FL 33132 Phone: (786) 425-3545 Coco’s Lounge Living On The Edge 1430 NW 119th St, Miami, FL 33167 Phone: (305) 688-5005 Cristal Nightclub 1045 5th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 531-0141 Crobar 1445 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 531-8225 Expose 766 E 25th St, Hialeah, FL Phone: (305) 691-8980 Fat Tuesday 3015 Grand Ave, Miami, FL 33133 Phone: (305) 441-2992 Fifth (The) 1045 5th St., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 538-9898 Funkshion 1116 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 673-0554 GEM Nightclub & Restaurant 671 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (305) 674-0977 Ginger Bay Cafe 1908 Hollywood Blvd Hollywood FL | Phone: (954) 923-1230

Club 112 1439 Washington Avenue

Glass 432 41st St., Miami Beach, FL 33140 Phone: (305) 604-9798

Club 45 4545 NW 7th St, Miami, FL 33126 Phone: (305) 442-6369

Harrison’s 411 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 672-4600

Club Deep 621 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 532-1509

Ire Night Club 833 SW 29th Ave, Miami, FL 33135 Phone: (305) 643-3870

Club Ebony 12953 NW 7th Ave, North Miami 33182 Phone: (305) 685-5305

Ivy Room 1233 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 532-1525

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Jazid 1342 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 673-9372 Krave 1203 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL Phone: (305) 673-5950 Lady Luck 1610 NW 119th St, Miami, FL 33167 Phone: (305) 688-1151 Level Nightclub 1233 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 532-1525 Madonna Night Club 1527 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 534-2000 Mansion 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 531-5535 Miami Velvet 3901 NW 77th Ave, Miami, FL 33166 Phone: (305) 406-1604 Mynt 1921 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (786) 276-6132 Nikki Beach Club 1 Ocean Drive Phone: (305) 673-1575 Nocturnal 50 NE 11th St., Maimi, FL 33132 Phone: (305) 576-6996 Onda 1248 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 674-4464

Rumi 330 Lincoln Road | Phone: (305) 672-4353 Santo 430 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 532-2882 Sax on the Beach 1756 N Bayshore Dr, Miami, FL 33132 Phone: (786) 924-5535 Scores Miami 17450 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami Beach, FL Phone: (305) 945-6030 Seven 685 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 538-0820 Shelborne Beach Resort 1801 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 531-8416 Skybar 1901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 695-3100 SIN 1532 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 532-4786 Sobe Live 1203 Washington Avenue • Miami, FL 33193 • Phone: (305) 695-2820 Sofi Lounge 423 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 532-4444 Space 34 NE 11th St., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 375-0001

Opium Garden & Prive 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach FL 33139 Phone: (305) 531-5535

State 320 Lincoln Rd.

Penthouse Inc 1434 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 538-4010

Suite 1437 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 604-3664

Platinum Plus 7565 W 20th Ave, Hialeah, FL 33014 Phone: (305) 558-2221

Tantra 1445 Pennsylvania Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 672-4765

Rain 323 23rd St, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 674-7447

Twist 1057 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 538-9478

Rokbar 1805 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: (305) 535-7171

VINO Miami 1601 Washington Place, Suite 110, Miami Beach FL 33139 | Phone: (786) 207-8466

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Wednesday, May 23th

Sobe Live Welcome to Miami party Music by 99 Jamz DJ Entice and DJ Surge Fist 100 ladies free Ladies drink free till 12 AM, free with college ID before 12 AM

Thursday, May 24th

The CoreMorial Day Weekend pt. 3 The Core DJs/Remy Martin @ The Marlin Suites (1200 W. Collins Ave, Miami-South Beach) Core DJ’s Lounge opens 12 NOON until 5am ThurMon (5 Days) of Memorial Day Weekend. (Schedule and arrangements subject to change w/ additions 24hourhiphop.com & Papa Smirf presents Memorial Day Weekend Kickoff Club Allure (Part of Metropolis) Downtown Miami Performances from: Brisco, Flo Rida, Triple C, Cool N Dre, Joe Hound, C Ride, P.M. and many more Memorial Weekend Blast-Off Party Ladies Free Before 1AM Featuring Steelie Bashment, Massive B., Big Kap, Supa Sound w/Supa Twitch, Smokey Fire, DJ Khaled, Innocent Sound, Street League, and more At Opium Uncensored @ Cameo (formerly Crobar) Headliner Market Group, Angel, and Phil The Mayor present Uncensored: The Welcome to Miami Celebrity Affair hosted by Uncle Luke Mingle with NBA and NFL players along with 50 Exotic dancers. Ladies are free before 12:30am Music by Stevie J and DJ Surge Club Deep 621 Washington Ave South Beach DJ Tarique Smoke from Field Mob, Piccalo, & Co De-Fendants along with Eastcoast Ryders & Dub Magazine doors open @ 10pm MTV Memorial takeover with live taping of MTV Sucker Free with Cipha

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Live performance by Stack$ and special celebrity guest Special confirmed invited guest Swiss Beats, Slim Thug and DJ Drama Music by BET’s own Mad Linx and DJ Element Doors open at 10pm, first 100 ladies free, ladies drink free till 11pm, dress code strictly enforced Allen Iverson, Premiering DJ Khaled’s new single from his 2nd CD “We The Best”, The Official Release of Smitty’s new single “Died In Your Arms”, The Core DJ’s new single from the forthcoming CD, DJ Rip, T. Neal, Bigg Lipp & Supa Cindy, DJ Kool G, and the rest of The Core DJ Family!

Friday, May 25th

OZONE Magazine presents LIL BOOSIE live in concert Hosted by the Trill Entertainment Family, Webbie Foxx, Lil Boosie Special guest DJs BET’s Rap City DJ Q45 and DJ Element Doors open at 10 PM, first 100 ladies free Welcome To The Bottom Jacki-O and Busta Rhymes @ Cameo (formerly Crobar) 1445 Washington Ave. South Beach. 305.532.2667 Birdman and Lil Wayne Cash Money’s 10th Anniversary DJ Khaled, Big Kap, Cipha Sounds, DJ Entice, Hosted by K-Foxx Opium Garden

Saturday, May 26th

New York invades Miami Beach Hosted by NY’s hottest DJ’s Hot 97 Jabba, Steelie Bashment, Innocent, Foota Hype and Super Twitch Special celebrity DJ and artist Tony Matterhorn (Dutty Whine and Mi Back) Special celebrity guest list Bounty Killer, Jr. Reid, Baby Cham, Movado, Fast and Flex Doors open at 10pm Saturday Night, @ INK “NFL Celebrity Draft Party part 2”

DJ TARIQUE All the NFL Players along with Smoke from Field Mob, Pleasure of Pretty Ricky & Trey Songz Doors open @ 10pm Ladies, Can We Buy You A Drink? Featuring T-Pain & Akon Opium Garden “Day Time” @ Hotel Victor 1144 Ocean Drive South Beach “NFL Celebrity Draft Party” 1 PM - 8 PM DJ Khaled, DJ Tarique, DJ Sam Sneak, DJ Suicide NFL Superstars Dwayne Bowe, Fred Taylor, Clinton Portis, Willis Magahee, Javon Jearse, Edgerin James, Plaxico Burress, & many many more Young, Rich, & Muthafuckin’ Gangsta @ Cameo (formerly Crobar) 1445 Washington Ave. South Beach 305.532.2667 Hosted by Allen Iverson, Lil Wayne, Fabolous, DJ Drama & more Music by DJ Drama, Stevie J, Suicide (99 Jamz)

Sunday May, 27th

Sunday Night Live at Sobe Live Hosted by Rich Boy. Gloria Velez and India Fashion show presented by Meezan, Apple Bottom, Azzure & LRG Special guests include Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Mims, Tony Sunshine, Aaron Rouse (Green Bay Packers) Music by NYC’s own soundproof international, XL and Silky and Cali’s own Jam-X Doors open at 10 PM, dress code enforced Soul Kitchen Sundays @ The Forge 432 41st Street . Miami Beach. 305.538.8533 T-Pain performing live The Fifth night Club DJ Entice, DJ Tarique, DJ Cox, Touch Tone Doors open @ 10pm

Kelly Rowland, Ciara, & More! Twista’s 2nd Annual Bottles & Models Part Featuring Hoopz, Gloria Velez, and Buffie the Body Marlin Hotel 1200 Collins St. Miami, FL Sunday Skool - Class Is in Session! Legends on Sunday (CoreMorial Eve) w/ Grandmaster Dee and Whodini, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, more TBA. At Core DJ’s Lounge - Marlin Hotel

Monday May 28th, 2007

6th Annual Jadakiss Birthday Extravaganza @ Cameo (formerly Crobar) 1445 Washington Ave. South Beach 305.532.2667 Allen Iverson & Friends Allen Iverson, DJ Envy, DJ Khaled, Big Kap, and Bulletproof @ Club Mansion Coremorial Day Finale’ w/ The Shop Boyz, Smitty, The Core DJ’s & You don’t wanna miss the line-up at this one Marlin Hotel

memorial weekend

event listing

Best Of The Best 2007- Buju Banton, Akon, Lady Saw, Shaggy, Bounty Killer, Wyclef Jean, & more Bicentennial Park Carmelo Anthony Birthday Celebration at Opium Garden Featuring La La Vasquez, DJ Khaled, Fat Joe,

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dj Aspekt Words by Ms Rivercity


J Aspekt is a forerunner in the Miami mixtape community. When he isn’t hustling to put out the newest, exclusive tracks, Aspekt is occupied with developing his All Out label and DJ Crew. What projects are you focusing on right now? Right now I’m just building my label All Out Records. I’m also building my DJ Crew All Out Allstar DJs. I’ve got around 75 DJs on my team. We just started the international chapter with ten DJs; DJ Red Devil from Germany is running that. Our first artist off the label All Out Records is Frank Black from Little Haiti, Miami. At the same time, I’m doing my mixtapes. My next one is the Memorial Day Weekend mixtape hosted by Frank Black and Xplict. After that, I got another mixtape hosted by Jim Jones, Remy Ma and 334 MOBB. Your mixtapes do pretty well. Are you worried that the RIAA crackdown will affect your business? I don’t think it’ll hurt my business at all. I’m a hustla, you feel me? At the end of the day, nobody’s gonna bring me down. If I wanna do something with mixtapes, I’m gonna do it. I know that the whole situation going down with Drama is crazy. I wouldn’t want to get locked up for my mixtapes, but it won’t stop me. Your slogan is “Never Trust a Skinny DJ.” Why do you say that? There’s nothing against skinny DJs. More than half the DJs on my team are skinny themselves. My partner S1 is a skinny DJ. There’s two meanings to it; it’s about hungry people. I’m hungry in this rap game; I’m hungry for money and I’m hungry to be successful in what I’m doing. It means I love to eat. Don’t take it personal; I don’t have anything against skinny DJs. What I mean about skinny DJs is, they don’t like to eat, bust their ass and hustle like I do. At the same time, I am fat. Besides Frank Black, who are some other hot artists in Miami? 20 | OZONE

Xplict. Rick Ross and Pitbull are putting Miami on the map. Billie Jean is a female artist from Little Haiti. She’s hot; she’s coming with it even though she hasn’t pushed it out yet. Trust me. She ain’t even my artist but I’m cosigning her. Shonie is going to be the next big R&B artist out of Miami. Definitely Frank Black. We’re running the streets out here; we’re doing shows every week. Little Haiti got our back. The crowd is loving us. The single produced by Midus is also getting played. How else are you helping those artists? I’m helping Frank Black get a lot of underground radio exposure. He’s only 18 years old. He’s still got a lot to learn. I help get him shows. He’s done college radio shows. It’s the same situation with Billie Jean. Frank actually did a track with Shonie. The single’s crazy. What can people expect to hear on your mixtapes? I try to play the most exclusive stuff. As far artists, I gotta throw Jim Jones on there. I gotta play Rick Ross and Frank Black of course. G-Unit and 50 Cent is always hot in the mixtape game. T.I. is always coming out with bangers. As a DJ and music lover, when was the best era for Hip Hop? ’90-’95. That’s when all the kings came out – Nas, Biggie, Jay-Z. That’s when the top five artists right now came out. That was a time when music was beautiful. It wasn’t all about money. It was all about the love of Hip Hop. Do you want to give out any booking or contact info? You can reach me at www.myspace.com/djaspektmixtapes. Also, shout out to All Out Records, Science, Xplict, Shonie, Billy Jean, CP Hollywood, Midus, Frank Blank and the whole 305. //

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dj SUICIDE Words by Ms Rivercity


J Suicide has been part of the 99 Jamz team in Miami for almost 15 years. With a lifetime of experience in the music business, Suicide has some useful advice for aspiring artists. What times are you on the air? I’m on the air Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12 PM - 1 PM and Sunday from 7 PM - 9 PM. Are you at any clubs as well? I do a couple of clubs. On Friday nights I pretty much bounce around and on Saturday I’m at Club Cinema. I’m starting a new club on Sundays. How long have you been in the radio business? I started underground radio back in 1990 and I’ve been with 99 Jamz for about fourteen or fifteen years. What is your opinion on the Hip Hop scene in Miami? It’s a wonderful thing but I feel like everybody needs to help each other and put each other on. Don’t keep it clicked up. It shouldn’t be like that. When you’re not DJing, what are some things you enjoy doing? I do myself. If I’m not working, I’m at home chilling and spending time with my fiancé. Right now my fiancé is in South Carolina and my daughter’s in South Carolina. When they’re here, I spend time with them when I go home. Does your career make it difficult to spend time with your family and have a personal life? It definitely makes it difficult. My wife understands. She pushes me very hard and she’s a go-getter herself. She’s always wanted me to do good. She has my back and she’s very understanding. I do get to go home and spend quality time with my family. It’s a wonderful thing, though. Growing up, did you picture yourself doing anything other than working for a radio station? I’ve always loved music. I was always involved in the music situation because of my dad. My dad is a real popular musician in Haiti. He was in the music industry so I was always into the 22 | OZONE

music scene. I started DJing in high school, probably even before that. My mom bought me my first two turntables. I’ve been in the game for a long time and it’s in my blood. Which albums in your music collection do you consider to be classics? Young Jeezy’s first album is a classic. T.I.’s Urban Legend is a classic. Jay-Z’s Black Album is classic. Any album from J.T. Money is classic. Lil Wayne’s The Carter is classic. How difficult is it to break a new record? It’s not really difficult; you just gotta know what you’re doing in the whole situation. The labels gotta know what they’re doing. You should go after it. Don’t just say, “I’m going to do a record, go to the DJ and have them break it.” Then all of sudden you don’t go after it anymore. Most labels get real lazy about the whole situation and say if it ain’t happening right now for them, then it’s not happening. So you feel like people give up too easily? Yeah. It’s not hard to break a record. It’s easy to break a record. If you’re an artist and you feel confident about a certain record, stay with it. Are you working with any of the up-and-coming artists from Miami? Yeah, I’m working with a young artist named OZ. I’m working with Redd Eyezz and Strictly Business Records – I’m part of SBR’s family. I’m working with Big Dawgz out of Ft. Lauderdale. What other projects are you working on? I’m going to be hosting a couple of mixtapes with a couple of artists. I’m going to be working on a DJ Suicide album coming soon. I’m also going to start working with Akinyele and J.T. Money also. Do you have a website? You can always check me at www.Myspace. com/djsuicidewedr. //


Words & Photo by Julia Beverly

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re you happy with the response to your debut album? How many copies did you sell? We’re up to around 800,000 [sold] right now.

Were you hoping for a million? Shit, I was hoping for two. Two copies, shit. I was just hoping someone wanted to listen to it and someone would buy it. I didn’t give a fuck. (laughs) So I’m happy as hell.

How do you think your image has affected your record sales? Oh, it’s affected it a lot. People didn’t understand it at first. They just thought I was the weed man. You know, the weed man done got his own studio and shit. I guess I can’t hate on that, you know, people got to get used to some different shit. So were you the weed man before you started rapping and singing? Not at all. I wasn’t shit. I was one of the least cool niggas in my whole neighborhood. I was the only person that always stayed in the house. I didn’t ever do nothing. I ain’t egg nobody’s house on Halloween. I didn’t do none of that shit. I was always chillin’. I ain’t going to act like I was the gangster of the year. My family owned two restaurants, so I was a little rich kid at first. Then when they lost the restaurants, shit got crazy. That’s when things started getting hard. People always say it was hard in their childhood, but for me, it was hard in my adult hood. It was just getting worse and worse as I got older, but it’s all good right now. You started out as a songwriter, right? What are some other songs you’ve done that people might not know about? I just wrote a song for Britney Spears that’ll be her first single when she gets out of rehab or when her hair grows back. I wrote one for Joe, and one for Mario. People are just starting to get wind of T-Pain as a writer. That just started happening as my second album has been progressing.

home, and I don’t need all those [sound effects] to do it. With Charlamagne’s show, I know what that’s about. I mean, I was hoarse from the [performance] and they brought me in right after the show and asked me to sing. If I hadn’t done it, they would’ve been like, “This nigga really can’t sing.” The average person probably doesn’t understand the demand on your voice that’s required when you’re performing every night. Shit, all the time. My voice is fucked up right now. I’m trying to recoup and I’ve gotta get right back in the studio. Your features are all over the radio right now. Yeah, I got a whole lot of things coming. I just did something for Twista today. In the last few weeks, thirty something people have called me to do hooks and be on their songs. And this isn’t even underground, I’m talking about all major artists. I’m getting calls from A&Rs and getting song deals left and right. Atlantic wants five songs from T-Pain. I got 12 songs for Jive, 10 songs for Interscope. Basically, they just want that T-Pain flavor. I’m doing way better than the first go-around. When does your new album come out? May 22nd as it stands right now, but [the release date] for Epiphany might move back or forward. The first single is “Buy You A Drink,” with Yung Joc...

The rest of this interview is featured in the May issue of OZONE Magazine. Visit us online at www.ozonemag.com

“Sprung” and some of the other songs on your last album were initially for Akon, right? Yeah, but he wasn’t doing that type of stuff at the time. [The sound effect] was just something I always wanted to do, even as a young producer. So when I got it I went crazy on it. Charlamagne The God kinda clowned you on his radio show in South Carolina. How do you feel when people say you can’t sing? I don’t really care. I’ve got songs I don’t use at OZONE | 25

Words & Photo by Julia Beverly

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hat’s it been like working with T-Pain? I ain’t gon’ lie, they need to make more people like him. He’s the funniest dude in the world. He makes you smile and laugh all the time. We did a record with him, Plies, Rick Ross, and Trick Daddy called “I’m So Hood.” He had like thirty people in the studio with him [when we did that record]. He had all these girls and dudes with golds in their mouth, and he was on that Patron heavy. I gave him the beat, The Runners did the beat, and I had him do the hook on the record. When he played it for me, the shit was so fucking crazy, I lost my mind. He’s just dope. T-Pain is talented, man. What parties do you have going down Memorial Day weekend? Memorial Day weekend we’re at Opium and Mansion, Thursday through Sunday. We’re throwing parties at both clubs. Saturday at Mansion I’m doing my pre-album release party. We’ll have a bunch of artists in there having a great time. My album is coming out June 12th, and we’re going to have a great time then too. We’re going to do a party with Lil Wayne and Birdman, a party with T-Pain, a party with Fat Joe, all types of shit. And then we’ve got the Best of the Best reggae show at the park. That’s going to be huge. Let’s go back to the beginning, for the few people who don’t know how DJ Khaled came to be “The Best.” Aren’t you originally from New Orleans? I was born in New Orleans. I moved to Orlando, FL, and then I moved to Miami. I’ve been in Miami for about fifteen years, so you know, I’m Dade County for life. I got love for everybody.

Rick Ross, my brother Pitbull, shout out to The Runners for making the beat. R.I.P. to Uncle Al, I repped for my brother on that record too. For the people who aren’t from Miami, who is Uncle Al and what did he mean to the city? Uncle Al was a legendary DJ out here, and an artist. He was a legend in the hood. He started out on underground radio, the same way I started out. He was just that dude out here that people loved. He brought people together and supported everybody, and he was a personal friend of mine. He always showed me love. And I don’t know the reason [he got killed] but I just know that it was wrong. He was about peace in the hood. Uncle Al is going to live on forever, throughout my career and the whole Miami, feel me? Underground radio has always been huge in Miami, but the FCC comes through and shuts them down sometimes. What’s the underground radio scene like in Miami these days? Underground radio can never leave Miami. But the FCC is always going to be attacking the underground radio stations because they’re going to keep coming out. They’re not doing nothing negative, but that’s just the rules. I guess you’re not supposed to have them. But at the end of the day, Miami ain’t never gonna stop. Without underground radio, it’s just impossible...

An extended version of this interview is featured in the June issue of OZONE Magazine. Visit us online at www.ozonemag.com

You did the record “Born & Raised” and there was a little controversy here and there, some hate from people saying, “Khaled isn’t even from Dade County.” Do you feel like you can still represent for the city even though you’re not from there? I am from Miami. I’ve been here for fifteen years. If you’ve been in a city more than ten years, that’s your city. But that’s just life. People like to talk, but I don’t really bump into many of those types of people because I surround myself with great people that just got love. I don’t keep myself around negative people. I appreciate all the love. That record was real big for me, and it was big for Miami. I made the first, biggest Miami classic record and it’s going to be in the history books forever. Shout out to Trick Daddy,

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des loc of piccalo Words by Ms Rivercity


ike many other independent artists, Piccalo has traveled down a long road in search of fame. They’ve established a following of fans, collaborated with some of the hottest artists in the game and learned many lessons along the way. With the new single “Stick N Roll” gaining momentum, one member of Piccalo (Des-Loc) hopes his big break is near. Who have you been working with lately? I’m dealing with some local artists. I’ve worked with everybody in Miami, from Pitbull to 3 The Hard Way, JT Money, Jacki-O, Luke, Cool & Dre, 30 | OZONE

C-Ride, Joe Hound, Field Mob, DTP and Co-D Fendents. Out of everyone you’ve worked with, who’s been your favorite and why? I like working with everybody ‘cause they all have their different things going on. We’re really easy to work with, so working with anyone is really no problem. It don’t matter who you put us in there with, we’re going to make some real good music. If someone came to you and said they want to

be a musician, what’s the first piece of advice you’d give them? I hope they’re ready for a long ride. Stay real to yourself and know what you’re going to do about you before you rap for somebody else. Stay humble; stay devoted to it and don’t give up. You gotta have patience. You gotta cut a lot of pride issues out. Did you have to learn those lessons the hard way? It was a learning experience. It was a powerful experience to go through. Where does your inspiration come from when you write your lyrics? From my heartbeat and what I see around me in my hood. It comes from what goes on in my life and what goes on with the people in my circle. Do you make music to teach people or do you make music for parties? Both. I make something you can party to and something you can learn from. I make something you can get away in your own zone too. I make a lil’ something for everyone. What can people expect from one of your performances? It’s out of control. You never know what to expect ‘cause we don’t even know what we’re going to do sometimes. I’ll have you on your toes. Expect the unexpected. When you’re not on stage or recording music, where can people find you when you’re chilling out? I’m in the real gutter spots of any hood. I’m off in the cut with somebody’s daughter. Are you planning to release an album in the future? My first album was called Everyday Reality. I had two mixtapes. I’m also on two different projects; one is called Co-D Fendents and one is called Des-Loc. How do you feel about album sales declining in general? Does that discourage you from releasing another album? Record sales done went down and the bootleg man’s taking over so we gotta get down with the program and make the situation better than what it is. I don’t think people knew that the

internet was going to affect sales like it did. Now they’re feeling the wrath of what they gave the people access to. What does your label situation and distribution look like right now? We’re still free agents. We’re making money. We got a meeting [with a record label] coming up on Monday, as a matter of fact. I don’t wanna say which label, but we’re talking with people [about a deal]. What outlets are good for an independent artist to make money in the music business? It depends on the team you’re playing on. You gotta be a team player. When the home team plays, you win a lot of games. If I’m the quarterback and the receiver ain’t catching, we can’t make no touchdowns. If everybody on the team plays their position, I can make more things happen and more money can be generated. It doesn’t just depend on one man who does everything and thinks for all of us. Once we know what routes to go and what plays to make, everybody does what they’re supposed to do. Are you planning to get into any other aspects of the entertainment business? We got the clothing line popping off. We’re working on a line called Don’t Touch. It’s for the ladies. I got a couple of feature spots in a couple of movies. I have a guest appearance in the movie Bloodline and we shot a few scenes for another little movie the other day. If you could experience anything in the world that you haven’t done yet, what would that be? Cashing a million dollar check. What are some trends in the music game that you would never follow, no matter what? I ain’t about following no trends. If everybody else is doing it, I’m the kind of person that’s not going to do it ‘cause that’s your thing. I’m here to make my own footprints. While you’re over there doing your thing, I’m over here doing mine. Everybody makes their own different art. We don’t draw the same pictures. What’s next for you? Be looking out for that “Stick N Roll” and Co-D Fendents. We got that “Riding Big” on the EastCoast Ryders Volume 5. You can hit me up on the website www.eastcoastryders.com. //

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Words by Ms Rivercity // Photo by Julia Beverly

ceburg, Fella and Soup (pictured above with affiliates GoldRu$h, left, and Trick Daddy, center) are collectively known as the Dunk Ryders. Born in raised in the County of Dade, the trio came together under the guidance of Trick Daddy and it’s been on and poppin’ ever since. True to the streets and dedicated to their music, each member is committed to each other as much as they are to making hits. Which single are you pushing right now? 32 | OZONE

Fella: “My Dawg’s Birthday.” Soup: It’s a song that ain’t nobody doing no more. If you play that song in the club, you know it’s somebody’s birthday in that club. Iceburg: I like it ‘cause every day is somebody’s birthday, and even if it ain’t, people gonna party like it’s they birthday. What does each member bring to the group as a whole? Fella: Soup brings more of that real street, grimy feeling. The college students and high school

kids will feel Iceburg. As for me, I speak on the behalf of the hoods and real niggas. Soup: Iceburg is the youngest. He brings the freshness. He keeps everybody thinking and up to date. Fella brings that roughness. He keeps the streets in check. I bring that edge that niggas in jail or street cats that are living it right then and there wanna hear. Everybody brings their own different style and when you hear it on a track, it’s amazing. Iceburg: Everybody’s from the hood but we all represent something different. I represent the young nigga that’s into the girls and cars and wildin’. Fellas from the projects in Opalocka. Soup’s from Liberty City in Miami; everybody knows what that represents. How do you bring your different ideas together as one concept? Fella: We feel each other’s vibe. This person might not like it, or he might not like it, but when we get the vocals on a beat, he may end up liking it. Sometimes we all just vibe on the same beat or song. Soup: We just try to make something for the people when we come up with our songs. Do you ever disagree when it comes to choosing a beat or song to push? Fella: There’s been plenty of times we’ve disagreed with each other. Soup: Yeah, all the time. It usually goes my way. I got an ear. At first, nobody wanted to trust my ear. They were coming up with ideas that I wasn’t feeling so I would bring up my ideas and see what they had to say. When we started coming out with hot songs, they respected it. We had our disagreements in the beginning, but now it’s coming together. Iceburg: We got different styles but it’s like gumbo that comes together and sets it off. All real friends have they differences, but we go

through more good than bad. When it comes to beats, if everybody’s feeling it, we gonna hop on it and kill it. Most songs we write together; sometimes we each bring our own songs to the table. Would you say the Dunk Ryders are influenced by Trick Daddy’s music? Or are you going a whole different route? Iceburg: We talk about the same stuff. We coming from the same point of view, but we got our own style. At the end of the day, it’s that gutta Miami sound that’s going to bring everything together. Soup: Of course there’s an influence but we’re the new era. It’s a good thing. We’re doing our own thing. I’m Trick’s brother, by the way. We got the same mother and grew up in the same house in Miami. If you could live anywhere else in the world, even if it were just temporary, where would that be? Fella: Spain. I also like Jacksonville. Soup: I’d say West Virginia. Iceburg: I told Soup and Fella we gotta go to New Orleans. That’s one of the few places I’ve seen where them boys get down how niggas from Miami do. They really hold it down. I’d also say L.A. and Amsterdam, they got them trees over there. Out of all the songs you’ve done, which ones do you like the best? Fella: We got a whole bunch of songs. I like “Stagg.” We have another single we’re doing called “Thuggin On the Dancefloor.” Soup: I’ve got a solo song called “Girlfriend.” It’s about girls that are pushing to be your girlfriend but you want ‘em to be your friend. It’s a true story song. I got a female artist on there named Diesel that we’re thinking about singing to the label. Iceburg: I just did this song called “I’m Yo Pimp.” We got a stuntin’ song about the front of my car lifts up and I can do a 360. We got them Lambo doors. We got a song that talks about, “I might stagger, but I won’t fall.” We’ve got songs that people can relate to, not songs where people are gonna be like, “What is he talkin’ about?” One of the biggest songs in the street right now is “You Damn Right” on Trick’s album. It’s about people locked up. Everybody’s got somebody that’s locked up and they’re waiting on ‘em to come home. // OZONE | 33

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Words by Ms Rivercity // Photo by J Lash

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aving just inked a new deal with Slip N Slide Records, the “Don of Dade” is gearing up for a serious comeback. His new song with Monica is predicted to be the next big MIA record – it even comes complete with a DJ Khaled cosign. What’s popping for you right now? I’m working on a new single called “Ain’t Trying To Hear It.” It’s doing real good on all the underground stations. I got all the main DJs on it. I’ve been taking it to the radio and trying to get ads and get a good buzz. It’s got a lil’ old school flavor on it. I got Monica on the hook. A girl named Shonie wrote the hook and she did her thing. That’s the main thing I’m putting in the streets right now. I’m going to be hitting up the streets Memorial Day weekend with my mixtape Bag Full of Dirt. Cool & Dre helped me throw some tracks on there. My dawg CP Hollywood got some tracks on there. I’m just going to be promoting and having my place in the face. If I’m not performing, I’ll be promoting. What spots in Miami do you personally like to chill at? You gotta understand, I’m a street nigga, so you can always find me in the street. I do my booty club thing – I ain’t gonna say which particular one I be at. I’m more of the after-hours type of fella though. I go across the bridge every now and then but most of the time I’m in the hood, at the after-hours spots or in the booty club. You’ve been doing your thing for a while. What would you say to someone who thinks it’s easy to make a quick dollar in the music business? I mean, it could happen. Some people do come in and make a quick dollar; some people just take longer than others. All I can say is when you get your money, do good with what you get. When you make your cheese and do good with your bread, just take advantage of your opportunities and keep it moving. But some people do blow up overnight; that’s a possibility. Mine’s been more of a long road. Has it been difficult for you to come up in the rap game? It’s been hard as hell but it’s been good. Everything’s a working process, just like playing for the NFL. You play some games and tear your ACL, now you gotta get back in shape and come back. It’s been a tough terrain for me but I got some good things coming ahead.

Do you think this business is as shady as people make it out to be? How do you know if someone is real or not? Hell yeah, people are very shady in this business. Anything that deals with a lot of money is going to have shady people. If somebody says they’re going to do something and they don’t do it, they’re fake. Some people say they’re going to do something and when you call ‘em they don’t pick up. Then you see ‘em in the club and they say, “Why you ain’t call me?” They know I called ‘em; they just don’t be picking up ‘cause they flaw. The difference between real and flaw is, real people do what they say they’re going to do. How do you maintain a connection with your fans, as far as knowing what they want to hear from you? There’s a million muthafuckas like me. I ain’t the only one living day by day, beat to beat, check to check and making things happen. I’m an underdog nigga and it’s a lot of underdogs. I make music for people that’s in my situation and going through what I go through. That’s what keeps me having my fanbase. I do me and if they can relate to it, they’re gonna buy my CD. If they can’t relate, they’re gonna buy Puff Daddy. I keep my fans happy by doing Dirt. What’s something one of your fans has done that you’ll always remember? (laughs) I can’t even say what it is, but I had a fan do something real good for me with ice cream. I’m just going to leave it at that. Describe your personality outside of music. There is no personality outside of music. I is what I is. When I wake up, I’m Dirtbag; when I’m shitting on the toilet, I’m Dirtbag; when I’m asking the judge to do me a favor, I’m Dirtbag; when Daddy gotta pay the bills and get new clothes and shoes, I’m still Dirtbag. I’m still the same ol’ G. What would you like for your fans to be looking out for in the near future? The new single’s coming together. I’ve been talking with Ted Lucas from Slip N Slide, Cool & Dre, E-Class from Poe Boy and DJ Khaled. The bosses are coming together to help me out in my situation with this new album called Blanket of Trust. It’s going to be real big. Gator Boy Records will be in full effect. It’s still an Epidemic. //

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Words & Photo by Julia Beverly

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ou’re affiliated with Zoe Pound. Can you explain what that is? Zoe Pound is a record label and film company that is organized by a group of young Haitians from Little Haiti. The word “Zoe” is meaningful for every Haitian. “Zoe” means “bone,” as in, “I’m Haitian to the bone.” We named ourselves Zoe back in the day because we’re Haitians and our features show it; it’s a sign of togetherness, like a Black Panther thing, a movement. I was born in Haiti, but I’ve been living in Miami since I was eleven. So Zoe Pound transitioned from being a street organization to an actual record label? It was people in the projects needing a way to represent themselves and become known as black entrepreneurs. We wanted ownership. We tried to manifest it as a business to do things in movies, but we’ve always been robbed because of it. In Bad Boys 2 they used Zoe Pound; they called me and paid me for it, but they never got our opinion from our eyesight. They put it together themselves and they never represented us properly, at all. A lot of rappers have mentioned Zoe Pound in their records. Are you affiliated with them? I’m affiliated with all of them. Jim Jones is a guy that I taught how to dress. I dressed real European at the time and I told him to change his look. I’m like a consultant from the hood. What happened between you and Lil Wayne? Those Cash Money guys have nowhere to live right now. It’s sad what happened in New Orleans, but when people come out to a place like Miami they tend to forget to reach out to the urban community. He comes to Miami and films his videos and screams Zoe Pound and all that, so you know, it’s like a favor for a favor. When it came time for me to ask a favor, they start acting like superstars, like they don’t hear you or don’t have time. I felt like they owed something to Miami. They don’t reach out to nobody, so it’s like, damn, how do I get to you to do business with you? I wanted to pay [Lil Wayne] to be on a song with my artist Toro. And when I approached him, I already had a record with Game, Mario Winans, and Wyclef. I let him hear it and asked if he could fuck with it and he was like, “Nah, I ain’t got no time.” But we’ve made peace with that situation. Slim called me and we made peace, so we’re cool. What’s your relationship with Foxy Brown? That was just a chick I was bangin’ for a couple days. She came to Miami and I was trying to get a consultant job at Def Jam. I really wanted Jay-Z to have a reason to call me, so I could do

some business with him. We was fuckin’ around and everything, kickin’ it, doing what grown people do. But, you know, she has a real bad Brooklyn girl kind of attitude. I know how to handle that type of thing, but not everybody knows how to handle it. Anyways, somebody called me and told me to bring [Foxy Brown] to the studio and do something with that kid Gravy. And this is when the infamous Foxy Brown and Jacki-O fight went down at Circle House? Yeah, Gravy was there with Jacki-O. If I had known he was gonna be there with Jacki-O, I wouldn’t have taken her there. He was trying to do the unbelievable. He wanted a record with him, Jacki-O, and Foxy Brown on it, and if I had known that I wouldn’t have ever gone there. So what happened when you and Foxy got to the studio? I went to talk to Jacki-O and she went to talk to those New York niggas. Foxy came over there and said, “What’s up?” and Jacki kinda nodded her head. Foxy went to cussing her out, like, damn. They started arguing back and forth. I tried to tell Foxy to just chill, out of respect, but I knew she wouldn’t listen. So everybody got out of the studio and just left those two girls in there. Jacki whooped her ass bad. I was like, “Jacki, why you whooping that bitch’s ass?” She tried to take the girl’s purse and all that crazy shit. I was like, “Aight, Jacki, none of that Dade County shit.” Man, it was ridiculous. I don’t know. Those girls are crazy. Foxy was really frustrated when Jacki hit her and kicked her. Then they kinda broke it up, and then they got back together catfighting. There was so much frustration. Foxy just went crazy. She broke almost everything in the studio. So are you still with Foxy Brown? Hell naw. I can’t deal with her, man. She’s crazy. If we walk in a store together she might just pick something up and steal it. She just don’t give a fuck. That’s that Brooklyn shit. She is what she was before she made it. She can’t change. That shit is embedded in her. She’s a crazy bitch. We tried to consult the girl but she is crazy. She’s hard to handle. You gotta beat her up every other day or else she won’t fuck with you. But she can’t fight, though. (laughs) I heard you hooked up with some other female celebrities. I don’t think you should quote me on that because I wouldn’t be able to get no more pussy in the industry. I can’t do that. I love to fuck with these industry bitches though, I can’t even lie to you. I love it. // OZONE | 39


eing an original member of Zoe Pound, how do you feel about other rappers calling it out in their rhymes, like 50 and Cam? People ask me that all the time, who’s side am I on and I like to say this. First of all, I’m not eating on either side. So there is no side. There’s no preference, because to me I know it’s no beef for real. From my understanding it’s not beef for real. If it was beef for real it would be a shooting. These guys are trying to cash checks man. That’s all it’s about: cashin’ a check and I’m all for that. So if it came down to it, you’re not partial to either side. I’m not gettin’ a piece of it so I’m not takin’ no sides, but if drama was to pop off I’m rockin’ with Buck. If that was the case where I had to make a decision? If it ever came down to where I had to make a decision, I’m rockin’ wit Buck. It’s about who feeds who. If it was a situation where I was eatin’ with 50, you wouldn’t be askin’ me this. But me and Buck relationship is bigger than just music, so of course I’m a rock wit’ my nigga Buck. If I see some niggas fuckin’ wit’ Buck, come on man. We gon’ get it down and dirty, my nigga, real quick like. But this is music. This industry is entertainment. That’s all it is to me with that G-Unit and that Cam shit. It’s a good look for me comin’ from the hood, a lil nigga like I am and I speak for my niggas from the Pound, knowin’ where this shit came from… the dream that we had and where it came from? It’s a good ass look. Who woulda thought that the biggest muthafuckin’ rapper in the game would be sayin’ the shit that he’s sayin’? It’s just emotion and it’s a good look. It’s nothin’ more than that. Has either camp reached for you on the business end? I heard people sayin’, “Fif wanna sign you,” “Fif wanna do this…” Hey homie, if Fif wanted to sign me I’d be over in LA somewhere with my attorney and he’d have his and we’d be gettin’ down on some numbers. I heard it was the same thing with Dipset. And if it’s the same thing, I know Jimmy. I got a record with Jim Jones – a fire one!! So it’s like, I fuck with both clicks. But Buck is my nigga. I fucked with Buck when he ain’t have shit. That’s the whole thing, my nigga. I knew Buck when he was supposed to be signing with Cash Money and Baby was fuckin’ with the man. That’s why Buck be takin’ shots at the nigga. Me and Buck been down like seven years – G-Unit, way before he got with 50, all that shit. So if that shit was to pop off, I’ma rock wit’ my nigga. It’s just that simple.

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A lot of people look at Zoe Pound as a Haitian BMF. I’ve heard that term (laughing). I’ve heard that too. Even though we was out here before BMF, I’ve heard that term. But for the record, I didn’t create it. I was just a maaajor part of the whole movement. But us and BMF is totally fuckin’ different. There are some similarities, true, but totally fuckin’ different. What I know BMF for is they was like sellin’ drugs, niggas was d-boys, blah, blah, blah. That’s a similarity. Yeah, we sold dope. But that wasn’t the only thing we did. We bust niggas’ ass on these streets, but the thing about us was we was young – very young with a lot of money. It was like, “You can’t tell us we can’t do this!” Cause we had money. We was young and we didn’t give a fuck. So whatever we wanted to do, you couldn’t tell us we couldn’t do it. It didn’t matter if you was older than us, if you was bigger than us, if you was mafia. If you not with us, we rollin’ over you. It didn’t matter. We was not intimidated by anyone or anything, per se. That was the difference with us. And another thing about us, if I got in trouble, we did everything we could to get me out of trouble. We put our money together and held each other down under any circumstances. I didn’t know the history of BMF. I know they balled. We balled too. But us, it was more like, “We Haitians. We gotta stick together. Nobody don’t like us. So fuck it. We gon’ get our own money. We young and we don’t give a fuck.” So I don’t really know how they situation was. I met some of them gangstas, real niggas on that side too. But I couldn’t really compare. The only comparison was they sold drugs and we sold drugs. But we was just young and out there and we was Haitian. So we really became the voice for that community. So you had muthafuckas who would beat muthafuckas ass, shoot muthafuckas up and say, “ZOE Pound! We ZOE Pound!!” And we wasn’t doin’ that shit. We in the studio. We wit’ family. Niggas got girls. We wasn’t out there breakin’ in peoples houses doin’ all that shit. But you had little kids doin’ all that shit, screamin’, “ZOE Pound.” That shit was crazy. Everybody was doin’ it. So basically, people were so infatuated with what you all were doing that they wanted that for themselves. Exactly, because it became such a movement - power and numbers. When they see ten, fifteen, twenty Haitians movin’, fresh, got money, nice cars, it led muthafuckas to believe a lot of things and a lot of muthafuckas wanted to be a part of it. Everybody wanna be a part of something, especially the young men, ‘cause there’s no guidance. Ain’t no father in the house to tell these young niggas what to do and what not to

“We was just young and out there and Haitian. We really became the voice for that community.”

REDD EYEZZ Words by N. Ali Early

do. So most young niggas nowadays wanna be a part of something. We went from lil niggas in the hood to local celebrities and now the shit’s worldwide. Historically speaking, there are organized gangs that show resistance when a member leaves. What was the process like for you when you decided to push forward with your career? It’s different, man. I wasn’t never no follower. I was a man. I didn’t really have no father figure in my house, so I learned from being on the street and as I got older the more confident I became in myself and what I knew and what I believed in. It may have been a time where me and one of the homies didn’t see eye to eye, but that didn’t have anything to do with my decision. My decision to go solo was in the making while our album was being pushed out. It wasn’t a problem. I would have been cheating myself to not at least try this. So I did that and it ended up being a real nice thing. I just made a decision and stuck to it. //

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RALPHIGE Words by Ms Rivercity


o one is safe from the distorted mind of Ralphige – a notorious Hip Hop crank caller from Miami. He’s “phone’kd” everyone from Lil Kim to Young Jeezy and he’s giving OZONE the scoop on who’s next. Who all have you cranked called? Michael Jackson, Busta Rhymes, Akon, Pharrell, DJ Khaled, Scott Torch, Hulk Hogan, Patty LaBelle, David Banner, Immortal Technique, Paris Hilton, Pimp C, Bun B, DJ Clue, Mike Epps, Rick Ross, Method Man, Nelly and a bunch of other Hip Hop dudes. I’ve done over 60 calls. Where do you get their phone numbers? A lot of times I get them from reporters such as yourself. They like what I do so they’ll send it to me. Most of the time I get them from people in their entourage or their homeboys. What’s the funniest call you’ve done? Ted Lucas, the owner of Slip N Slide. I called him pretending that [TVT Records] had sent me to off him. He started praying on the phone, “Oh, you don’t got to do this. Jesus loves you!” He said like 8 different prayers for me and was screaming Hallelujah at the top of his lungs. He almost started crying. It was hilarious. Where do you come up with your ideas? I don’t think about it or anything. As soon as I call them, ideas pop into my head and it starts coming out of my mouth. I don’t plan anything before I call. Did you ever go too far with a call? Oh yeah. There’s one I did recently to Pharrell which I kind of regret. I don’t know if he can ever find it in his heart to forgive me but I’d appreciate it. His aunt recently died and I called him pretending to be some kind of psychic. I told him there was a lady in front of me that asked me to call and tell him everything was okay and she’s with Jesus. He cried on the phone and everything. It was pretty messed up. | OZONE

Have you ever run into any of the people you’ve called and wanted to tell them who you are? I’ve been to plenty of parties where Scott Storch, Khaled, a lot of people have been there. I’ve always wanted to tell them it’s me, but I didn’t know how it would turn out so I just say what’s up and tell them I like their work. Has anyone gotten mad and threatened you? I called Jay-Z in December pretending to be Doug Morris, the owner of Universal. I offered him a job at Universal if he left Def Jam. He was really interested and at the end of the call I started clowning about Beyonce. I ended up telling him it was a prank call and asked for permission to use it. He’s the only person that’s said no. He actually put me on hold for 20 seconds and came back on the phone with my home address. I was like, “Oh, shit.” So he kind of made a small threat there. I know you don’t give out your true identity, but can you give us a hint? My real name is Ralph. I’m 24 years old. I’m from Miami. I’m just a fat little white dude. Where can people hear your work? www.Ralphige.com and www.Myspace.com/Ralphige. Most Hip Hop websites have them on there. The calls are for sale on www.Ralphige. com. I have the first Phone’kd CD out now which is regular crank calls. The second CD will be all celebrities, mainly Hip Hop artists. That will be out this week. Who might be receiving a call next? I got Robin Thicke and Kanye West’s numbers right here. Hopefully I’ll be able to get them before this interview gets published. //



Words by Ms Rivercity // Photo by Julia Beverly


adman Teddy T is a former on-air personality for Power 96. After six years with the station, and a long track record of breaking new songs, he decided it was time to have a more hands-on approach with the artists. He’s currently managing several artists in Florida. Why are you not with Power 96 anymore? I recently quit. I was there for 6 years. I was #1 for four years. The radio station was #1 and I was kinda like Floyd Mayweather – I was bored. I never really asked to be on radio. I got the opportunity to blow up Pretty Ricky and a lot of other artists I was working with. I was on the road with them so I took it upon myself to switch over and get into management. Which artists are you managing and what are your responsibilities? Jacki-O, Haitian Fresh, Marcy Malone and Carl Lovett. I represent them if anyone wants to talk business or book shows. With me being in the Hittmenn and CORE DJs, I build relationships with artists, DJs, and radio stations. I advise them on business opportunities. With Jacki-O, she was signed to TVT and Poe Boy; when she went bankrupt, we created Jack Move. I explained to her that being an artist, it’s better for her to control all her masters and publishing so if she does get a deal, it’s more money. How have you personally influenced the Florida movement? From the beginning, I helped Trick Daddy get his record played. I helped Luke when he made his comeback. I took “Raise the Roof” to the #1 single in the country. I developed Pitbull. I got his first record “Oye” on Power 96. I also got on “Welcome to Miami” and “Culo.” I told him to make “Culo” ‘cause Mr. Vegas had come in with a record called “Pull Up” and all the Cuban people thought he was saying “Culo” and would call up

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and request it. Him and Lil Jon heard it and went to the studio that night and made “Culo”. That was the record that got Pitbull signed. I’ve been working with Pretty Ricky since their first record in ’93. When Pleasure got with the group, I broke “Grind On Me.” They got a deal with Atlantic. Even before the deal, I got them 3,500 spins. So do you still DJ or just manage now? I was always more of an on-air personality. I was the person that talked shit from 6 PM - 10 PM. I DJ but I don’t really scratch. DJ Def was the actual DJ. Just being on Power 96, there were so many mainstream records that I broke. That’s one of the reasons why I’m not on the radio – I broke a lot of rules. I would play a lot of songs that weren’t on the playlist. I began getting suspended; I was suspended for the last 6 months of my contract. I also got into a real bad accident on I-95 and was out for a period of time. I went through a window and broke both my femurs and crushed my hip. They didn’t want to renew my contract. I think they just couldn’t control me. Out of everything you’ve done in your career, what’s the one thing you want to be remembered for? I help people. Everybody that’s on the air in Miami, I had something to do with their career – from DJ Khaled to Supa Cindy to everybody. When DJ Khaled came to Miami, he played on my underground show first. With DJ Irie, DJ Epps had to go out of town and I had Irie fill in. He was an intern on our show. I had heard him DJ and he was hot. He played two days in row and they wanted to keep him. He’s been doing his thing ever since. I feel like I’ve always helped people. I want them to grow. //

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Words by Ms Rivercity // Photo by Julia Beverly


ormer member of ‘80s rap trio The Fat Boys, Prince Markie Dee relocated to Miami four years ago and joined 103.5 The Beat. The transition from artist/producer to radio personality has afforded him plenty of opportunities to help his new community. How is your career different now from when you were with the Fat Boys? I’m still in the music business but being on the other side of the mic affords me the luxury of having a personal life. When you’re an artist, it’s a 24-7 grind. I enjoy my job a lot. It’s a lot less stressful. I started in the business when I was 14 years old. I never had the childhood that everybody else had. Now I have more time for my family and myself. What do you think you’d be doing today if you hadn’t taken the music route? I’m a big football fan and I played football in high school. It would probably be something dealing with sports. My mom always wanted me to go to law school. Maybe I would be doing something with sports law or entertainment, something behind the scenes. Have you seen an increase in Hip Hop talent over the years? Oh, yeah. Nas released his album Hip Hop Is Dead, but I don’t think he meant that it’s the end of Hip Hop; it’s the end of what it originally was. There’s more and more talent that comes out every day. You don’t have to go to a major label now; you can put out your own records if you know what you’re doing. Artists are dropping left and right. It’s a good thing because it’s gonna keep Hip Hop alive. I remember a statement my friend Fat Dub from New York said back in ‘90, “Ten years ago they didn’t want to give the seed any water, but now they hanging off our branches.” Everything is marketed through Hip Hop now. I love it. Do you ever get overwhelmed with all the new 12 | OZONE

artists wanting you to listen to their music? I don’t get overwhelmed at all. I have a stack of CDs that I go through when I’m at home chilling on Sunday. You never know who you’re going to find. I’ve known a lot of people in the business. People that used to carry bags for me back in the day are now executives in the game. I think one of the most important things in your career is building relationships. I’ve always made myself approachable to everyone. I try to be the middle person between the struggling artist and the people that make decisions. I encourage people to ask me for advice. I’m not trying to be cocky and say I know it all, but I’ve experienced so much and feel I’m a valuable tool. Are you still producing? No, because in a sense, I’ve lost the passion for it and I’m so consumed with radio. I started a foundation called the Prince Markie Dee Labor of Love Foundation. Our main goal is to empower youth on sex education and finances. What can we expect from Prince Markie Dee in the future? I’m working on TV show called What’s Cooking with Markie Dee. I go around and interview different artists I know. We’re also spotlighting different cities. A good friend of mine, Mr. Mauricio, is doing a segment called the Heavy Hitter Video Mix. The show and my foundation are the most important things I’m doing. There’s an 11 year old girl named Ricky Joyner from Miramar, FL. She was born HIV positive and they gave her medicine that messed up her kidneys. She needed a transplant but the doctors in Florida wouldn’t operate because she was HIV positive. We raised some money and sent her to Maryland where she’s having the operation. Now she has an opportunity to live a beautiful life. If I have the ability to help, I’m going to do my best. //

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Ashlee Ford and Paris Jontae Photo by Terrance Tyson

rick ross

Words by Ms Rivercity // Photo by Julia Beverly


ith a second album on the horizon, it’s hard to imagine how Rick Ross has time for much else. However, along with his sophomore effort, he’s also banging out a group project with Triple C, doing some film work, dropping mixtapes and giving back to the community. That’s why they call him The Boss.

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What have you been working on since our last interview a couple of months ago? I’m working on my new album Trilla. It’s scheduled for release in August. Who will be featured on Trilla? I’m working with Pharrell, Cool & Dre, David Banner, Kanye West, Akon, DJ Khaled.

How is the Triple C album coming? That’s coming along real good. We’re going to drop that on top of the new year after my album comes out. That’s titled Black Flag. It’s a lot of anticipation for that album. We’re getting a lot of calls about the mixtape we just recently released with Bigga Rankin. After the Black Flag album comes out, would you encourage Torch & Gun Play to pursue solo projects? Yeah, yeah. Timing is everything. As long as the time is right, I’m ready. I’m supporting them 110% on whatever moves they’re ready to make. Besides the RNR mixtape with Bigga Rankin, do you have any other ones coming out? Yeah, look for the slew of mixtapes I have coming out. I got a barrage of mixtapes that’s finna come out. Y’all look out for it. They’re all being promoted. They’re all coming out with a high level of anticipation for my album Trilla. Which DJs are putting together your mixtapes? I’m working with DJ Khaled, DJ Drama, Papa Smirf, all those dudes. Covering all the bases. Are you shooting another video anytime soon? I’m going to shoot a video for my first single. I just haven’t decided if it’s going to be for the new record I did with Usher or another record I have. I still have another week or two to sleep on it. How do you feel about a lot of people in Miami coming together as far as music goes? Would you say Miami is unified? Yeah, I feel Miami has a lot of other people doing their thing. I see a lot more networking. That’s a wonderful thing. It’s good to see everybody on the same page and mashing down. It’s good to see everyone getting paper. Is there any tension between some of the older vets in the Miami scene and the new cats that are coming up? It’s a movement right now. Everybody is on the same page. That’s what it looks like to me. Ricky Ross, I’m doing everything I can to put everybody else in position. Who do you predict will come out of Miami next? Who’s hot right now? Most definitely Triple C, Brisco, Flo-Rida, Piccalo, Co-D Fedents. I see a lot of people that should

have longevity in this industry. How do you plan to have longevity in the music business? I’m just going to continue making exciting music on the most anticipated album of the year Trilla. They wanna see the sophomore effort from the Big Boss. It’s coming together. It’s so incredible. I can’t wait for it to come out. We got the film department – M-I-Yayo the documentary is coming also. I’m just keeping busy. What’s the worst thing about having fame? I can’t think of anything right off the bat. No matter what you do, you’re going to have your pluses. When you work for something, it’s all good. I don’t have no issues with it. How have you been able to use your fame and success for the benefit of your friends and family around you? I formed a Rick Ross charity. I got a team that’s just working on giving back whatever I can. We do things for the kids. It’s some spots where I come in and say some words of encouragement. I do what I can with my charity. I do what a boss would do. You mentioned the documentary film. Do you have plans to do some acting? I just did my first real film in L.A. I just left two weeks ago from filming it. Lawrence Fishburne and Faizon Love are in the movie. It was fun. We got out there and it was real natural for me. What character did you play? G Dog was my name. I was like an urban hood dude. Would you ever consider doing a reality show? What would it be about? I don’t know. It’d probably have to be about my city. I wouldn’t want no camera just following me around. They’d get tired of just watching me roll up blunt after blunt. After you’ve accomplished all your goals in the music business, where do you see yourself? I’d just want a big fat belly, on the beach somewhere, in a nice $25 million dollar pad. What else would you like to speak on? Trilla coming. M-I-Yayo coming. Carol City Cartel’s Black Flag coming. Rick Ross. Y’all keep it gangsta. //

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Words by Ms. Rivercity

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s part of Pitbull’s entourage, Cubo is steadily emerging with his own identity as a performer and entertainer. Known for his high level of energy on stage, Cubo brings the same fire and enthusiasm to his lyrics. His appearances with Pitbull have been just the first step in demonstrating his qualities as a solo artist. With a new single titled “Candela” heating up the streets, Cubo is gaining the loyalty of fans worldwide. What have you been working on lately? I don’t want to sound like everybody else and say I’m working on an album. Basically, I’m working on records right now. What’s the latest record you have in the streets? I’ve got a record on the radio right now called “Candela” featuring Pitbull. That’s Spanish for “Fire.” I’m just working and building a buzz, doing what comes natural. Other than your features with Pitbull, who else have you collaborated with? I’ve done tracks with Brisco, Piccalo, T-Pain, Bun B and Mistah FAB out of the Bay Area. Do you think being located in Miami is an advantage or disadvantage for an artist? It used to be a disadvantage. I think it depends on the artist. It’s really an advantage if you’re a hustler and you can go out and make stuff happen. In Miami, sometimes things can pass right by you. You might sit around and it’s so many things going on, you can’t focus on what you’ve really got to do. That can be disadvantage. But for that person that’s really making stuff happen, it’s an advantage. There’s so much going on in Miami. Who are some people from Miami that have helped your career? Pretty much, the primary thing is working with Pitbull. How exactly has working with Pitbull helped you? I’m on the road with him so I get to see everything – from the radio to the clubs to what’s popular. If something’s about to pop off, I know before most people do ‘cause I’m around it. Besides music, what are some of your interests? When I’m not in the studio or on the road, it’s my family. I spend time with them. That’s what I’m about. Is it hard to spend as much time with them as you’d like? Definitely. It’s very hard when you’re on the

road 4 or 5 times a week. How do you prepare for a performance? Do you have a ritual or something you like to do to get ready? I do most of my shows with Pit and we basically crack open a bottle of Vodka or something. We just try to be normal and joke around, have a good time before the show. What is one of the most memorable performances you’ve ever done? It was during the Fourth of July at Bayfront Park in Miami. We had Lil Jon there with us and Lil Scrappy. Before working as an entertainer, did you ever have any regular jobs? What was the worst place you worked at? I used to work at Winn Dixie when I was in high school. That was one of the jobs I had. It was probably one of the worst jobs. So did you quit or get fired? (laughs) I got fired. In your opinion, what’s the hottest verse you ever wrote and what was it about? In my opinion, it would be a record called “On My Knees.” The public doesn’t know much about it yet ‘cause I’m saving it for the album. To me, that’s the hottest verse I’ve written ‘cause it’s true. It’s me talking to God. But from a fan’s point of view, I did a verse on “We Takin Over” and that’s what I get the most feedback from. What’s the message you want people to get when they listen to your music? For me, I use music as a stepping stone to teach people about religion and life. I’m not trying to do many party records, but I know I have to do ‘em to gain the audience so that later on they’ll listen to me when I have a message to send out to them. What do you have planned for Memorial Day weekend? Are you on tour or will you be in Miami? We’re in Puerto Rico and Chicago. I’m not sure if we’re going to have any stops in Miami. Is there anything else you want to talk about before we go? I want to give a shout out to DJ Def, DJ RPS, DJ Obscene, DJ Ideal and all the other DJs around the world. And I definitely gotta say what’s up to the whole IRS click – that’s the label I got. Where can the people catch you on the internet? Go to www.cubomusic.com. // OZONE | 19

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Words: Ms. Rivercity

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-Pluck has been working the freestyle circuit for several years. His most notable championship occurred during this year’s BET Spring Bling Freestyle Battle. After taking home yet another win, PPluck is finally being recognized as an artist and true competitor.

up meeting a lot of the Program Directors for Rap City and a lot of the BET staff. A couple of judges from the battle took my demo. Their main question was, “You can freestyle real well, but can you make songs?” Once I gave ‘em my demo, you know, good things should come about real soon.

You moved to Tallahassee for a while. Was it to go to college? I went to Tallahassee in 2002 and graduated from FAMU. I got a degree in electrical engineering.

I heard some record labels have been hollering at you. Yeah, we got a few people here and there. You never like to jinx yourself and talk before your situations come about but I’m just going to say that some pretty prominent people are interested in me. They’re really thinking about doing something. I just stay humble. I figure if God has it planned for me, it’ll happen.

Has your college education helped your music career? I actually started rapping seriously during my sophomore year in college. The knowledge from things I studied gives me a better insight on lyrical content. Who are some lyricists that you respect? Artists like Jay-Z, Eminem, Big Daddy Kane, Nas, Biggie, Tupac – people that can convey a message and leave you with something. It ain’t all about the beat and the dancing. Does a song keep me from killing a nigga or keep me from killing myself? That’s the type of message I like to put forth. Has it been harder to break into the music industry than you expected? In a sense, yeah, ‘cause I’m different. I’m from the suburbs. I graduated from college, lived with both of my parents and I get money the legal way. I don’t really fall into the “dope boy” or “killer” category. Niggas don’t really care to hear lyrical content. It’s all about shining or creating a lifestyle and I’m just me. Tell me about the BET Spring Bling freestyle competition. I did Spring Bling two years ago and lost in the championship round. It always stuck with me because even though I had won numerous freestyle titles, people would always bring that up. They would say I was good but I couldn’t do it on BET. I met DJ Q45 a long time ago and we built a real cool relationship, and it just so happened that he ended up working for BET. When this Spring Bling came around, he talked to some people for me. He called me the day before the show and said he needed me there at 8:00 AM for the preliminary rounds. We jumped on the road at 3:00 in the morning and headed down to West Palm. The rest is history. How has winning the freestyle battle changed your situation? It gave me some serious contacts. I ended

Are you working on an album? I’m recording the album now. It’s called The King of the Burbs. It’s a concept I came out with a year and a half ago. One day I got a call that it was a white rapper named King of the Burbs. I’m still calling my album that ‘cause if you see where I grew up at, it’s in the suburbs. It’s all legitimate. I’m probably 80 songs deep into the album. I’m looking to have 120 songs in my catalog before I pick the final 15. What are some of your personal favorites you think will make the final cut? Of course, the lead single “I’m the Shit.” It’s produced by No Name The Great from Atlanta. I feel like I’m the shit – lyrically, mentally, physically. I feel like I’m the guy that could do something in Hip Hop. I have another single called “King of the Burbs” but I’m not sure if it’s going to make the cut ‘cause we used a sample from Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual.” That’s the song Carlton Banks from the Fresh Prince of BelAir used to dance to. Paperwork and publishing has been really hard to clear for that song. The follow up single is “They Know.” It’s produced by M Geezy from Jacksonville. If there’s one thing you could change or improve about yourself, what would that be? I would work even harder to better myself lyrically and mentally. I’m looking for longevity. I’m not looking to be here for 15 minutes, have a hot song and disappear. I want to be able to make my mark in Hip Hop. Where people can hear your music? www.myspace.com/ppluck or you can go to www.YouTube.com and type in P-Pluck to see my freestyles. You can check on me at www. rawkusrecords.com and www.loud.com. I’m pretty much everywhere. My personal email is p.pluck@hotmail.com. // OZONE | 23

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Words by Ms Rivercity // Photo by Julia Beverly

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obody understands the meaning of the expression “crawl before you walk” better than Deuce Poppi. After several attempts to break into the mainstream, Deuce has learned that handling your business is the only way to succeed. Armed with some pretty impressive business ventures and a single produced by Nitti, Deuce Poppi now stands on solid ground. You have a new song with Nitti called “Do It.” How’s that taking off for you? It’s a real good look. I’m going in some new directions with different producers. I had met Nitti on a TV show and we chopped it up back then. That beat came through for me. I like it. We’re doing a remix with Lil Webbie right now. Do you think you have the best of both worlds, having been born in Atlanta and living in Miami? Yeah, it’s real cool. I was born in Atlanta, raised in Miami and now I’m back in Atlanta. It’s like being well traveled. I got my Atlanta connections and my M-I-A connections. Miami’s really where it took off. That’s where I went to high school. But it’s all love as far as my allegiance to Atlanta. My daddy’s from Atlanta and my momma’s from Florida. Who are some people in the game you’d like to be compared to one day? I wouldn’t like to be compared to nobody but if I had to be compared to somebody, I’d want to be compared to a rapper/producer. A lot of people don’t know that I write and I produce. I’m a rapper/producer/writer. I’m like the Kanye of the South. How do you plan to leave your mark in Hip Hop when there are so many other artists trying to make it? I want to be the total package. I’m putting my work in; I’m learning. I came from the ground up. I want to be known as somebody who came in with nothing and left with everything. A lot of artists live for this to meet people and be known, but I just want to make music and take it to the next level. I’m handling my business. Is it challenging to keep your material fresh? That’s my problem. Every day that passes I feel different. I’m not one-dimensional; I’m a real person. Nobody feels the same way everyday. The challenge for me is, that’s what the industry wants. Hip Hop is so watered down; it’s so predictable. They want you to be the same

way everyday. I’m a very creative person; I’m creative with everything, not just music. I want to approach everything fresh but in rap, they want you show growth but still be the same. That’s a problem ‘cause I’m going to talk about everything. I don’t go at everything the same way. Some days you’re humorous; you do it for the ladies; you’re conscious; sometimes you’re serious; sometimes you’re balling out of control; sometimes you’re intoxicated; sometimes you’re thinking about the future – I’m a real person. People don’t even know it’s me on some of my records. Every time I wake up, I feel like I’ve grown. I soak up game. That’s why I respect other genres of music ‘cause they can do what they want to do. How’s everything going with your label? I have my own label called Rebel Music. I have a group called N.W.M. – Niggas With Money. I was blessed to have a super good management team – Real Breed Management and Josh Burke. Rick Ross, one of my close friends, has a management company called Muscle Management. He’s helping me with N.W.M. I’m shopping that around right now. I also have an artist in the A named Angel; he does gangster soul music. What projects are you working on right now? The name of the album is Arrogance. I’m almost finished with it. I got a lot of producers on it. I have a tennis shoe line coming out with the same name. It’s done by Kashi Kicks. You can see it online at www.KashiKicks.com. We’ll have that out in September. It’s already some prototypes in Walter’s in the A. The clothing line is coming out right after the shoes. I’m on that new Carol City Cartel Real Nigga Radio mixtape with Bigga Rankin. I have my Real Nigga Radio out called God, Guns and Pussy. Tell me about the endorsement campaign you’re working on. I’m on a summer campaign with Remy Martin, the liquor. It’s eight artists from all over the nation including Jadakiss, me, Unk, Cashous, DJ Clue. It’s going to be real big. We have billboards and print and everything. You can go to www.RemyMartin.com to hear all my new music. That’s one of the biggest things that’s happened to me. I’m just diversifying really strong right now with this endorsement thing. I’ve been going hard since 2000 and I finally got my distribution last year so I’m finna take off in a major way. It was a long journey and now I’m here. //

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Words by Ms Rivercity // Photo by Julia Beverly


orn in Carver Ranch in Hollywood, FL, DIRTeRED was always focused on improving his life while empowering others to do the same. After several years and numerous attempts to break into the mainstream, DIRTeRED is back with a few new bangers – and a new label.

Are you promoting a single right now? I’m pushing my single “Bop Yo Head.” It’s produced by the Blackout Movement. You’ve been doing your thing for a while now. Who all have you worked with over the past few years? I’ve worked with Rick Ross, Brisco, Trick Daddy, 50 Cent, Mr. Vegas, the list goes on and on. How long do you think an artist should work a record before they move on to something else? I’d say give it a couple of months and see what the feedback is like. 28 | OZONE

Did you ever have a song that you personally were feeling but it just never caught on? Yeah, my song “Gangsta” produced by Scott Storch. I feel like people really slept on that song. That song could have been a big hit. I worked it for about six months.

shows during Memorial Day Weekend? I’m performing at the Marlin on Saturday. My mixtape is coming out Memorial Day Weekend too.

Who else has produced tracks for you? The Diaz Brothers, Bad News from We Do Beats. There’s so many but that’s all I can think of right now.

What’s your strongest quality as a musician? My strongest quality is that I talk about real subjects and I bring real music to the table. It’s not always so playful. It’s real serious on the average.

What’s the most important reason why you make music? I make music where the American public can understand the frame of mind of young black males that’s in the same struggle where I come from. I want them to learn that whatever you put your mind to in life, you can do it as long as you believe in yourself first. It doesn’t matter what situation you come from. Have you ever felt like giving up on the music industry and if so, how did you overcome it? In the music business, there’s ups and downs when you’re on the road to riches. My support system and my team around me always uplifts me during my down times. My fans definitely keep me going. They approach me on a daily basis and tell me how much they love my music. Speaking of your fans, how did you feel the first time someone asked for your autograph? I had never signed DIRTeRED so I was wondering how the hell to write it. (laughs) That’s what I was thinking. Was there a defining moment in your career when you realized you had a buzz as a rapper? I went to a radio station with my cousin to do promo for a club I was hanging at. When I walked into the radio station, the DJ automatically acknowledged me. I didn’t even know who he was. I was like, “Whoa, people know who I am.” Are you going to be promoting or doing any

For all the people coming to your city for Memorial Day Weekend, what’s a spot that you recommend they check out? The one spot I’d say is Diamonds Cabaret.

When you sit down to write a song, how long does it take you to finish it? Does it depend on the topic? It depends on the vibe. I’m the type of artist that vibes. If my vibe is real good, it might take me 30 minutes. I might have times where it takes me a whole day. It depends on the vibe and how many other distractions are around me at the time. Besides being an artist, are you involved in any other business ventures? I’m part owners of a stucco company. It’s called Perfection Plastering. I have a new record company I’m starting called The Muscle Movement. I’ve got my own artists that I’m pushing out of Dade and Broward counties. Their names are Young Hound and Kilo. Why did you decide to start your own record company? I just watched the paths of artists that have been successful in the past. Once you get a big name, it’s smart to capitalize on your own name and also open doors for other artists. Once I get on, I want to be able to come back and help other people. What’s next for you? We’re just going to continue pushing this single and see what happens. If it doesn’t happen with this record, I’ve got another banger. I didn’t really want to release it until after “Bop Yo Head.” It’s called “Death.” What happens with “Bop Yo Head” will determine when we’ll drop that. I’m pretty sure that’s going to change the sound of Hip Hop. Do you have any contact info? You can reach me online at www.myspace. com/dirteredtracks. I also want to give shout outs to the Blackout Movement, Cut the Check Management, Weedoo Entertainment and Marco Mancini. // OZONE | 29

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Words by Ms Rivercity

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art of the SouthBeat Records roster, singer-songwriter Shonie is a voice to listen for. Although she struggled with self-doubts in the beginning, her dominance and charisma as an artist could not be denied. Now that’s she’s found her niche in the Miami market, Shonie is finally fulfilling her destiny. I hear you’ve been working with a lot of people in Florida. Who all have you collaborated with? I did a song with an artist named Greezy. I did a joint with Brisco. Right now, I’ve been focusing on the writing side. I’m trying to get that going. I wrote a hook for Monica which is going on Dirtbag’s album. Have you written anything for anyone else? Hopefully there’s a joint that Keyshia Cole will get on. If that happens, that’ll be big. How are things with SouthBeat going? Pretty decent. They’ve been handling things on their part and I’m handling some things of mine. Things are going good. You’re from the Bronx originally. When and why did you move to Miami? My mom likes to move all over the place. She can never keep still. I was back and forth at different schools. She finally decided to move to Miami for good when I was about ten years old, so I was raised down here. I went to Carol City Middle and High School. You started singing in church. Did you always know you wanted to be an entertainer? Nah, I was shy. I never thought I’d open up and want to be an entertainer. I never wanted to sing for people but once I started writing music, I opened up. I wrote my first song when I was 9 years old. Eventually it started sparking. I did performances and people noticed the talent. I just kept going with it and I’m here now. Are you still a little bit shy when you perform or does it come naturally? I’m not even going to lie; I do get nervous. But when I get up there, I receive that love from the crowd and it keeps me going. When I’m on stage and I feel that connection with the crowd, it’s over from there. What’s a topic you love writing music about? I like writing about everything. Everything inspires me. I can sit in one place and think about something and make a whole song out of it. I look at other people and stuff they’ve been through, things that I’ve been through, and I put it down on paper and it becomes a beautiful song.

You have an interesting name. Is that your real name? Yes, Shonie is my birth name. Where does it originate from? Well, my peoples are from the Bahamas so I guess you could say it’s kind of an island name. My aunt’s name is Shonie. Who are some people that have encouraged or inspired you to keep singing? My team, especially my mom. She’s very supportive and always kept me going when I wanted to quit. She’s my main inspiration. Even though I had problems and didn’t want to go forward with it, she was always there to keep me going and tell me that I have talent. Sometimes I would want to fade away. When things weren’t going right, I wouldn’t want to do it anymore, but she was always there for me. Are you still pushing your mixtape with DJ Khaled? We are. You can go on Myspace and download it www.myspace.com/shoniemusic. Are you working on your album? Right now we still have a few more tracks to go. We’re trying to figure out which one is going to be the single. Are there any songs you might be leaning towards for a single? We’re back and forth. We’re not really sure. We’re trying to get a big feature on one called “Control.” That’s probably going to be the first single but we’re not quite sure yet. Will you try to come out with a dance record first? We’re definitely leaning towards a club joint because we want everybody to party. But with me personally, I feel like if it’s hot, it’s hot. If it’s a slow joint, if it’s a banger, then let’s push it. It doesn’t really matter to me, as long it’s fire and the people love it. How have you been able to connect with your fans and build a following? Definitely Myspace. Myspace is the biggest thing right now. You don’t have to give out phone numbers now; you just go to Myspace. You mentioned your team keeps you going. Who all is on your team? I want to give it to my team ‘cause they’ve been there from the gate – Slick Salt Entertainment, all my stylists, my producer Midus, Kane – another producer that’s coming up. We’ve been sticking together. We’re doing it for ‘07. // OZONE | 33

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Words & Photo by Julia Beverly

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hat made you decide to keep your real name for rap? It’s just me. It’s different. You know a lot of names kind of sound parallel to someone else. I just wanted something else to define myself, so I thought my name would be the best name to go with. Where are you from? My family is from the West Indies, but I’m Puerto Rican. I was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Miami. What made you decide rap was something you wanted to do? What really made me decide to rap is a lot of dudes I grew with. I started seeing them do their thing and getting successful and I thought it could be a way for me to pursue that career coming from down here. That’s basically it. How would you describe your style? Are you on some grimy, street type shit? Naw, just club songs. Some street records, but every street record talks about different aspects of the street. [I do] a lot of club female tracks to keep you going and moving. How did you originally hook up with your label NMusic? Me and my partner Brian came together and decided to go hard with it. We’ve just been working for a couple of years and finally got it together. What made you confident that this is the right place for you to be, as an independent label? Because the sky is the limit. There’s no “can’t do this, can’t do that,” we just going out there; not really trial and error, just working hard pushing trying to get that major push. A lot of artists come in the game with a street buzz, and others go straight to radio. What angle are you coming with? Where basically going with everything. We’re hitting the streets with a lot of mixtapes, doing shows, and plus we got songs spinning on the radio. Which songs are getting radio play? “I Shot Em,” featuring Junior Reid produced by Black Out Movement. The next one will probably be “Catch Me in the Hood.” You have a relationship with DJ EFN; how’s that work? Crazy Hood is real cool. They showed a lot of

love, really guiding us. EFN is just helping us, basically being there, kind of like a big brother helping us in music making and building a good foundation. That’s our dude keeping it really hood. You’ve also got a mixtape coming out with DJ Smallz? Yea that should be done next week; should be coming out next month. I also got one with Q45 and the one with Khaled that we’re still promoting. We’re also putting one together in Orlando with DJ D-Strong. You’re a big dude; should we expect you to come with a Rick Ross type image? Are you gonna be smoking cigars and all that, or what look are you going for? Just being myself; it’s not always about putting out that image. Really, there’s a lot of different faces when it comes to being a person. Sometimes I may dress like that. Some days in a regular button-up Polo, relaxed; just chilled, being myself. It all comes [down to] me being me. Even though the music is business, it shows good character just to be yourself. Where do you think you fit into the whole Miami movement? Miami is [full] of thugged out street records. With me you get that element and a good variety of music. At the same time you get the club and the female tracks. You also get songs that are real. You get a good variety. That’s where I think I fit into; not just one facet of music. You don’t get just one variety. What other producers did you work with besides Blackout? Basically Blackout, Jake One, Knoxx, and I worked with Street Runner and a couple of other dudes. It’s hard to remember, but you got a good variety people I worked with to get it together. I noticed your ads are set up like a magazine cover. Is there more to your story? Really just grew up overlooking the Miami area going back and forth. Besides knowing who I am I just listen to my music. You get a glimpse of who I am. I mean, I grew up in a tough area. It’s cool, but you see a lot of things, and you see the differences of always talking about the pros. The negative side of it for me I talk about, but I try to shy away from it because of what it is. I think there’s a lot more things to talking about than stuff like that. //

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