ISSUE #50: YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
LUDA! GETS PERSONAL
OZONE AWARDS &TJ’S DJ’s RECAP:
with UGK / LIL WAYNE TRINA / DAVID BANNER LUDACRIS / SHAWNNA 8BALL & MJG / PITBULL YUNG JOC / RICK ROSS WEBBIE / CRIME MOB TRAE / TRICK DADDY YOUNG JEEZY / PLIES T-PAIN / PAUL WALL JACKI-O / LIL BOOSIE COOL & DRE / KHIA YOUNG DRO / B.G.
SWISHAHOUSE: PAUL WALL MICHAEL WATTS LIL KEKE & MORE
& MANY MORE
PLUS: CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD’S
“WHY IT SUCKS TO BE DIDDY”
50 ISSUE #
4TH ANNUAL PATIENTLY WAITING SPECIAL EDITION
PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Julia Beverly
MUSIC EDITOR: Maurice G. Garland ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Matt Sonzala ADVERTISING SALES: Che’ Johnson (Gotta Boogie) Greg G PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR: Malik “Copafeel” Abdul
Ludacris pg 52-54 SwishaHouse pg 46-50
MARKETING DIRECTOR: David Muhammad LEGAL CONSULTANT: Kyle P. King, P.A. (King Law Firm) SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER: Destine Cajuste ADMINISTRATIVE: Cordice Gardner Nikki Kancey Tana Hergenraeder CONTRIBUTORS: ADG, Amanda Diva, Bogan, Carlton Wade, Charlamagne the God, Charles Parsons, Chuck T, E-Feezy, Edward Hall, Felita Knight, Iisha Hillmon, Jacinta Howard, Jaro Vacek, Jessica Koslow, J Lash, Jason Cordes, Jo Jo, Johnny Louis, Kamikaze, Keadron Smith, Keith Kennedy, K.G. Mosley, Killer Mike, King Yella, Lamar Lawshe, Lisa Coleman, Marcus DeWayne, Mercedes (Strictly Streets), Ms. Rivercity, Natalia Gomez, Ray Tamarra, Rico Da Crook, Robert Gabriel, Rohit Loomba, Shannon McCollum, Spiff, Swift, Wally Sparks, Wendy Day STREET REPS: Al-My-T, B-Lord, Big Teach (Big Mouth), Bigg C, Bigg V, Black, Brian Franklin, Buggah D. Govanah (On Point), Bull, C Rola, Cedric Walker, Chill, Chilly C, Chuck T, Controller, DJ Dap, David Muhammad, Delight, Derrick the Franchise, Dolla Bill, Dwayne Barnum, Dr. Doom, Ed the World Famous, Episode, General, Haziq Ali, H-Vidal, Hollywood, J Fresh, Jammin’ Jay, Janky, Joe Anthony, Judah, Kamikaze, KC, Kenneth Clark; Klarc Shepard, Kuzzo, Kydd Joe, Lex, Lil D, Lump, Marco Mall, Miguel, Mr. Lee, Music & More, Nick@Nite, Nikki Kancey, Pat Pat, PhattLipp, Pimp G, Quest, Raj Smoove, Rippy, Rob-Lo, Stax, TJ’s DJ’s, TJ Bless, Trina Edwards, Vicious, Victor Walker, Voodoo, Wild Billo, Young Harlem DISTRIBUTION: Curtis Circulation, LLC To subscribe, send check or money order for $11 to Ozone Magazine, Inc. 1310 W. Colonial Dr. Suite 10 Orlando, FL 32804 Phone: 407-447-6063 Fax: 407-447-6064 Web: www.ozonemag.com Cover credits: Ludacris photo (cover and this page) by Eric Johnson; Swishahouse photo by Mike Frost; Lil Scrappy photo by Julia Beverly; D.G. Yola photo by Ray Tamarra. OZONE Magazine is published monthly by OZONE Magazine, Inc. OZONE does not take responsibility for unsolicited materials, misinformation, typographical errors, or misprints. The views contained herein do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or its advertisers. Ads appearing in this magazine are not an endorsement or validation by OZONE Magazine for products or services offered. All photos and illustrations are copyrighted by their respective artists. All other content is copyright 2006 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.
FEATURES UGK Live pg 114 Smart Ass pg 22 Chin Check pg 20 JB’s 2 Cents pg 17 Feedback pg 12-14 Mathematics pg 18 Lil Scrappy pg 42-44 Roland Powell pg 17 CD Reviews pg 108-110 Photo Galleries pg 19-39 Patiently Waiting pg 57-101 OZONE Awards Recap pg 40-41 11
feedback knowledge from Wendy Day) were as bustin’ as always. The pics were also thick and creamy! So besides the first sex issue and my personal favorite – the DJ issue – issue #49 is one of the best yet. As for Charlamagne da God – the clown that does all that hatin’ without a purpose – remember that hatin’ can only get you so far. Look what happened to that dude who used that have that magazine that everybody used to read. By the way, pay attention, all Southern female hip-hop artists: Mia X is still the Queen of the South! No disrespect to Khia – I’m feelin’ them light brown eyes and some mo’ thangs. – DJ Big BRD, email@example.com (Hattiesburg, MS)
I love OZONE! You have the absolute hardest magazine in the universe! As a complete hip-hp fan and enthusiast, I was ecstatic when I picked up OZONE mag at my job one day (I work at a 7-11). Then when I found out it was run by a woman, I was completely and utterly amazed. You definitely have the best rap magazine out there, even though it took an accident for me to find you. Keep doing your thing and keep putting whacks like Benzino outta business! I’m your biggest fan, holding down the West coast for OZONE mag. – LaViola Ward, firstname.lastname@example.org (California) I just picked up the new issue of OZONE with Rick Ross on the front. I read the Khia interview and I must say that she ain’t beautiful like she thinks! Why is she talking all that shit about Jacki-O and Trina to make herself look better? Jacki-O got skills. Yeah, Jacki-O went bankrupt; I don’t know why she put that out there so a bitch like Khia can throw it in her face. I read in another mag that Jacki-O didn’t have too much to say about Khia. I haven’t read anywhere where Trina has even responded. Trina, if you are reading this, please don’t respond. It looks better when people don’t respond to stupid shit like Khia. Khia, what are you so insecure about? If you are doing so well, why are you so mad? Why don’t you just have your little success and enjoy it? Make music, sell music, and shut the fuck up. It is so much fucking negativity in hip-hop as it is. Then she says people say she is difficult because she is a strong woman? When will you black chicks get it: being a bitch with a bad attitude is not attractive. You can have a nice face, nice ass, whatever, but if you’re a nasty woman, niggas ain’t gonna fuck with you. To all the DJs that don’t play Khia’s music: Please don’t start! I’m not a Trina fan. Jacki-O is okay. Khia is a bitch – not a strong woman, but a bitch! Khia, your new album only sold 593 copies in its first three weeks. You’re the queen of the South? Really? Karma stinks like a muthafucker. Print this shit! – Shaka Abdul, email@example.com I’m not the type of person to write back to mags like this all the time, but I had to compliment you on your excellent articles. I often find myself asking the question: What is good writing? After I read things like your 2 Cents editorials, I was quite relieved to know that someone can actually document hip-hop (my first love) in such a profound way. I just read one issue and that was it; I’m hooked now to the point that I’ll be getting some back issues too. I know that there are a lot of rap mags, but yours has really good content and great celeb photos. I gave up on The Source years ago when I found out Benzino was the man behind it. I mean, just look at him. And you’re right, JB, Elliott Wilson is a hater and an asshole. I met him once and told him I was trying to become a journalist with a focus in the hip-hop industry and he told me, “Think about a more stable profession.” Anyway, I was just hittin’ you up to let you know you’ve got the dopest mag on the streets. Holla! – Matthew LeSure, firstname.lastname@example.org (Chicago, IL)
Editor responds: Thanks! I think Elliott was trying to be funny. JB and the crew have done it again. First off, I understand that TJ’s DJ’s and the OZONE Awards was quite a weekend. Issue #49 is tighter than a 37-yearold female virgin! I’m loving how y’all let the artists speak their part on some hot topics. It’s the first time I’ve seen a mag that was completely devoted to the artists’ opinions. Plus, y’all got so many artists. I know it’s at least twenty artists I listen to on a regular basis featured in this month’s mag (shout to Magno – I was feelin’ you when you and Mike Jones was “hangin’ like two titties” and I’m still feelin’ you now). I’m love the way you dropped the one line of flow at the bottom of each page – creative! You can never go wrong with an interview with da Snowman, and the usual sections (2 Cents, my nigga Roland, 12
What up JB, I remember when I first met you many years ago I was thinking you were going to have it hard. Then I watched you grind and hustle, calling me at 2 AM saying you were leaving Atlanta ‘bout to bounce through Duval to drop off some mags, and realized that not only was this your passion but your objective. Your goal seems to be not just to report history in the making but to become a part of the history itself. I feel proud to know you as a friend and acquaintance for so many years and to see you reach this landmark in your short career. The OZONE Awards is the epitome of everything you have accomplished and I was glad to see it go as good as it did. Keep it up and I can’t wait for next year. Thanks to you and TJ for so many years of shining the light on not just Florida but the whole South. – Derek Washington, email@example.com (Jacksonville, FL) I’ve been a subscriber for almost a year now, which means two things: one, it’s about time to renew, and two, me and you have history. I know what you’re thinking; you’ve got people that have been down since day one. But with me, it’s how I grew to love OZONE mag. For the record, I’ve never even been to Florida. I was at the mall looking for Chamillionaire and Paul Wall’s first CD and I decided to see what mags they had. Of course, being a man, the first one I saw was KING, but what caught my eye was the thinnest one of them all. My first OZONE was your third anniversary edition. I’m the biggest Houston rap fan who’s never even set foot in the state of Texas, and to see Pimp C on the cover, I swear I heard chuch bells. Now, many man mags and mini-mags of events I can’t go to later, and here we are. Now let me say what I have to say without sounding lame: JB, you truly inspire me, for real. The fact that you’ve been able to turn your dream into respect means a lot. I’ve been trying to do the same with my dreams. Everybody tells me, “Follow your dreams, don’t stop.” Well, I’m coming up on ten years now, so that’s pretty much out the door. The only thing that keeps me doing this is the fact that I’m not doing it for me, I’m doing it for the family that has put up with me trying since December 17th, 1995. I don’t sugarcoat anything and I know you don’t either. I know I might not ever be interviewed in your magazine, but the simple fact that I could is enough motivation alone. You have to be signed to get interviewed in some of the other mags. Plus, your 600 words gives me power. I’ve read every one of your 2 Cents and even quoted you in the past. I’m so many generations removed from famous that I’ll probably never see Emil in your mag, but as long as it’s there I’ll forever read. - Emil Poe, firstname.lastname@example.org (Memphis, TN) I’m no hater, I just wanna bring the truth out a lil’. DJ Chuck T ain’t no DJ, he’s a fake nigga. I’m from Charleston, SC. Many niggas are looking for this fake nigga. He said in the magazine that rappers down here are whack and all of them are drug dealers. He’s a snitch. Before he started doing this fake DJ shit, he was rapping. He had a group called PCP, and their album is the #1 most whack album of all time. Chuck T’s fake ass downs a lot of niggas; the same for Charlamagne. They ain’t nothin’ but some fake-ass 50 Cent wannabe ass niggas, and peeps down here don’t respect ‘em. Again, I’m no hater. Contact me back if you are interested in checking out DJ Chuck T’s whack album. – Baby Gar Figuer, email@example.com (Charleston, SC) I’d like to congratulate TJ’s DJ’s and OZONE on a successful weekend. Me and the crew had a great time. The panels were unbelievable, and very insightful. Hopefully you guys will keep it in Orlando for a little while. You are helping the Southern movement and I’m happy to be a part of it. I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to network with some people I would probably have never got a chance to meet otherwise. – DJ Mil, firstname.lastname@example.org (Orlando, FL) I had an amazing time at TJ’s DJ’s conference and the OZONE Awards. I think this will become the best annual event for Soutehrn artists, DJs, media and music businessmen and women in general. I can’t wait til next year and I will make sure to spread the word. I can’t stop telling the people that didn’t’ make it how much they missed. – Lady Dolla, email@example.com (New Orleans, LA)
feedback Congrats on the OZONE Award Show and TJ’s DJ’s weekend. Me and my folks drove all the way from Birmingham to witness history, and it was everything we expected and more. Not to be a dick rider, but I went to The Source Awards about three years ago and it was long and boring. I left early and we got in the damn thing free. Keep it up, OZONE, ‘Bama is with you all the way. – DJ Stikuhbush, firstname.lastname@example.org (Birmingham, AL) Thanks to TJ’s DJ’s and OZONE for giving indies such as myself a weekend full of education for our artists. In this business, info is key. We took advantage of every panel and our Saturday performance was great. The OZONE Award Show was fully loaded – Luda, Jeezy, Ross – like I said, fully loaded! – Tracey Smith, email@example.com (New Orleans, LA) The TJ’s DJ’s/OZONE Awards weekend was a huge success! From the education to the entertainment, people walked away with more knowledge than they came to Orlando with. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference and Award Show. – Big Al, firstname.lastname@example.org (Atlanta, GA) What is going on with rappers these days? I don’t understand some of the things they say. I am a huge fan of rap/hip-hop music and have been listening to it for years. The first album I ever bought was 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me and I have loved the culture ever since. I don’t understand why publications like The Source Magazine, now 100% Benzino Free, will blast and try to ruin Eminem’s career and credibility over what some believed to be racist comments he made fifteen years ago, yet Black and Latino rappers can make comments about “crackers”, and “white bitches” and it seems to be overlooked. I was very agitated when I heard the new song by Clipse and Pharrell entitled “Mr. Me Too,” in which the rapper makes a reference to “crackers” while two white gentlemen are depicted in the video with targets around their heads. What the hell is going on? I think any level of racism is wrong and definitely has a negative effect on rap music. It causes tensions between races that both support and enjoy these guys’ music. I am just waiting on someone to step up and say that if it is going to be wrong for one rapper to do it, it should be wrong for them all. OZONE should take a stand and comment on these recent atrocities. – Blake Winchester, email@example.com (Jacksonville, FL) Just showing some love because I have respect for OZONE. Keep doing what you do and always acknowledge the artists who rep their state and/or city right. I just wanted to say to the artist out there: you have to take this one step at a time and not give up. Success doesn’t come overnight, and grinding does take work. Sorry to the lazy rappers, but you’re gonna get passed up and left. - Cutta C, firstname.lastname@example.org You got me doing something my junior high teachers could never do: sparked my interest in reading again! Yo’ mag is so gutta cause you ask all the right questions. Me being an artist myself, it’s giving me tips and contact info. If I ever see Benzino on the street, I’ll handle that for ya! - Kalikold, email@example.com (Jacksonville, FL) Next time Khia tells y’all some bullshit about how she produced her new album by herself, could you please show her this production contract (attached) and remind her of when she was talking about bad business and treating people wrong in her last article with y’all? I wish her much success but I gotta eat too, and them lies she’s spraying around ain’t gonna help. So I must do what I have to do and get this shit straight. I love your magazine, though. I hope one day I can tell my story. John Aymos, firstname.lastname@example.org (Atlanta, GA) I wanted to congratulate you on the extraordinary success of OZONE Magazine! You’ve definitely taken over the South and the rest of the world by storm with such a wonderful and extremely honest publication for all readers to enjoy. As a CEO, artist, dedicated reader, and 14
fan myself, I’d definitely like to thank you for your hard work and dedication in creating such a huge voice and outlet for Southern artists and businessmen such as myself. - Troy Jackson, email@example.com (Tampa, FL) I read JB’s 2 Cents in OZONE’s August issue and I respect your grind at a young age. Females in the industry don’t get enough respect, and you’re changing that. Keep hustling! - Jean, firstname.lastname@example.org (Herndon, VA)
IN STORES NOW 16
jb’s 2 cents I
’m very superstitious, or spiritual, or whatever you wanna call it. I don’t think things happen randomly. I believe in dreams, and signs, and karma. I believe God speaks to us, and I also believe the devil speaks to us. But it’s not always clear who’s speaking. When bad things happen to you, is it punishment or a blessing in disguise? When you do some shit that might be wrong but feels good as fuck, is it a blessing or something evil you’re gonna be punished for later? Bear with me here, I’ll get to the point...
10 Things I’m Hatin’ On By Roland “Lil Duval” Powell
Disclaimer: This is really what everybody else is sayin’. I know I’m dead wrong, but I’m hating anyway.
1. Up And Coming Rappers Y’all wasted a lot of money passing out CDs at the OZONE Awards cause I saw more CDs on the ground than anything else. Stop giving CDs to people that don’t ask for them. Build your demand first. 2. Paying To Open Up For Big Rappers There are niggas paying promoters to open up for big rappers. Kill yo’ self! Dummy, you supposed to get paid to perform. The rapper you’re trying to impress ain’t thinkin’ about your ass, and nine times out of ten he ain’t gonna see your ass perform. 3. Flavor Of Love Season 2 Makes me think that the first season of hoes might have really liked Flavor Flav.
Pimp C & I
Roy, me, & Sweetz
4. Myspace (again) A lot of you hoes take great pictures, cause y’all don’t look shit like y’all myspace pictures. This one girl looked fine as fuck in her pictures but when I went to see her I swear that bitch looked like Young Jeezy. 5. New Rappers Swearing They’re Rich I’m tired of hearing this shit. If you’re rich what the fuck are you rapping for? 6. Princess & Diamond of Crime Mob I don’t know who did their hair for the OZONE Awards, but they need to drink some antifreeze. They looked like they went to the hairdresser and said, “Can you make me look like a damn fool?” 7. Janet Jackson After all these years, I just realized that she can’t sing. I feel used. 8. Strippers That Don’t Know When It’s Over If you and your daughter strip at the same club - QUIT! 9. Women Thinking They Gon’ Catch A Nigga Wit’ Bread A nigga sees you a mile away. It don’t matter how hard you try to make yourself believe that you ain’t like that – it shows. You’re gonna always get fucked in the end if you ain’t bringing shit to the table besides pussy and head. Go for that nigga that’s got less than you - he’ll kill for you. 10. Niggas Sleeping On Me I’m the funniest comedian alive. Ain’t no other comedian speaking about what goes on in the streets like I do. Richard Pryor’s gone, so that makes me the funniest comic alive since the funniest comic died. Now feel free to whoop my ass.
Lil Wayne & I
In case you’ve been living under a rock, we teamed up with TJ’s DJ’s for a 3 day event. The fact that it even happened is a miracle. I love when people mention that they didn’t see me much during the event, as if I was lounging somewhere just counting cash, lol. They don’t know that our host hotel, where we’d prepaid for all the rooms, bulldozed their entire lobby, entrance, registration desk, bar, and restaurant two weeks before our event with no notice. Yes, bulldozed. If you’d seen how the hotel looked 48 hours before our guests started arriving you would’ve cried and flipped the fuck out like I did, and you would understand why I say it’s a miracle that we pulled it off. They don’t know that 4 days before the event we had a surprise meeting with damn near the entire Orlando Police Department. They don’t know that the person handling our insurance dropped the ball - trust me when I say that general liability insurance for a rap concert is not exactly something you can run to Wal-Mart and pick up on a Thursday afternoon, so I had to handle that. They don’t know all the drama we went through getting sponsors to even make the event possible (but we do love them all dearly, especially BME/Warner Bros. & Interscope :). They don’t know that I personally booked flights, hotel rooms, and ground transportation for hundreds of the busiest people in the music industry - plus 20+ artists and their entourages, which, I’m sure any promoter will tell you, is a nightmare in itself. They don’t know that Pimp C missed his first three flights (but thank you for catching the 4th - or was it 5th?). They don’t know that Trina’s - who was one of our hosts - dresses were stolen from the wardrobe room two nights before the show. They don’t know that as the other host - David Banner - was introducing the first presenter, Camron, Cam and his security guard were are the back entrance arguing with the police. They don’t know that T.I. and Too $hort cancelled 3 days before the show because of unavoidable West coast commitments (but both apologized, so I can’t stay mad). They don’t know that Bun B and Young Jeezy’s performances were unexpected (thank you). They don’t know that the fire marshall shut down our party the night before, and was about to shut down the award show for being over capacity and I had to beg them to allow Ludacris in. They don’t know that I didn’t sleep at all for 3 nights before the show, and my phone never stopped ringing. They don’t know that I actually did have a dress to wear and didn’t even have time to change out of my uniform white tee. They don’t know that 3 hours before the show, our video production guy - who had supposedly prepared all the video screens showing the award nominees - totally fucked us and we had nothing. They don’t know that I almost walked out at showtime and one of my best friends had to lock me in a bathroom for a very serious pep talk to remind me that I’m a fighter and I don’t quit, ever. And that’s just the short list. During the weeks leading up to the event, we went through so much shit I was really questioning if it was supposed to happen at all. When there are so many obstacles in your path - is it God trying to send you a message that you’re moving in the wrong direction, or the devil trying to discourage you and prevent you from accomplishing something great? How can you tell the difference? In the case of the OZONE Awards (coming soon on MTV Jams and DVD), the fact that we pulled it off tells me that God was clearly on our side. So here’s my new dilemma:
This is the hardest issue of the mag I’ve ever had to put together because I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE. I’m starting to really, really, really hate my job, for all the same reasons I loved it in the first place. I’m bored and apathetic. I keep telling myself it’s a phase and I’ll wake up the next morning with 8Ball & MJG feeling motivated and energized and ambitious again, but it’s been a month now and it’s not happening. No matter what anybody else says, I know I’m the shit and the award show was symbolic of something I’ve accomplished. I did what I, almost subconsciously, set out to do. Look at me. Do I look like someone you’d expect to represent the Southern rap community; the streets? And yet I do. No one thought I could do it but I did. I win. So if the game is over, what next? Is God trying to tell me to move on to something else, or is the devil trying to stop me from doing something even greater? I don’t know, but I do know one thing for sure: you won’t see me go out like Dave & Zino. Whenever it is my time to go, I’ll make that decision and go gracefully. Please pardon this editorial for sounding so pessimistic - there are dozens of people who contributed in many different ways to make the weekend a success, and despite my negativity I do appreciate every one of you. From the outside looking in, the TJ’s DJ’s/OZONE Awards weekend was a huge success, and it will be for years to come. And you know what’s really funny? Writing this editorial almost made me love doing this magazine thing again...
- Julia Beverly, email@example.com
Lil Scrappy f/ Young Buck “Money In The Bank” Ludacris f/ Young Jeezy “Grew Up A Screw Up” Trae f/ Z-Ro “No Help” The Game f/ Junior Reid “One Blood (It’s Okay)” Too $hort f/ Snoop Dogg & Will.I.Am “Keep Bouncin’” Ice Cube f/ Snoop Dogg & Lil Jon “Go To Church” The Federation “18 Dummy” Rihanna “Unfaithful (reggae remix)”
jb’splaylist Lyfe Jennings “S.E.X.” Trae “Quit Callin’ Me” Pimp C “I Miss U” Rick Ross “Push It” 17
HOW TO GET RADIO PLAY by Rap Coalition’s Wendy Day www.WendyDay.com
have been consulting independent urban record labels and artists for many years now, and the most misunderstood aspect of this industry is radio. So few understand how radio really works, and an even smaller amount of indie labels and artists understand how to get their records played at radio. Because of the lack of information and knowledge, radio promotion remains an area where one can lose a large amount of money very quickly. And most do. I have a friend in Detroit who paid $25,000 to a radio promoter on the recommendation of popular radio host at a local station there. My friend did not receive one spin anywhere in the country. He was eventually told the single did not research well and that it was not a radio single. It was too late in the project to hire anyone else. Could he have been told that prior to spending the $25,000? Provided it was true, yes. My guess is that he was taken for a ride and that the radio promoter (whose name I never even heard before), and the guy who had referred the scam “promoter,” made a quick come up on $25,000 for no work. Just last month, I got a call from a doctor in Texas who has invested in a project, but is totally clueless about the music industry. He name dropped some people in the industry who are excellent at what they do at radio, but not for people like him. When I tried to explain how it all worked, my answer did not fit his vision of how he wanted it to work and he disappeared quickly off the phone. I imagine he will soon be parted from even more of his money by folks who pick up on what he wants to hear, and tell it to him. What is it about this industry that makes folks act like idiots? As I pull up the BDS to see what spins his artist is getting, I see he still hasn’t figured it out. Sadly, the artist has placed his career in this guy’s hands. Who really loses? The artist. There are quite a few legitimate radio promotion people and companies out there in urban music. I do not understand how the other bullshit names keep coming up over and over again, attached to horrific stories of fools and their money soon parted. Don’t people check references? Are they so new to the industry that they lack any resources to call and ask for opinions? Perhaps there are just that many con-artists out there to make a quick buck, I don’t know. Radio is a format that reaches hundreds of thousands of people, all day and night. Most markets have at least one urban radio station, and some key markets even have two or three competing stations for listeners and ad dollars. Please understand that radio exists to sell commercials. It doesn’t exist to contribute positively to the culture, it doesn’t exist to inform the community, and it doesn’t exist to break new and innovative music. In fact, it’s anything but. A grip of research has been done by all of these huge wealthy radio conglomerates, and the research shows that when a listener hears a song where they can’t happily sing along, they change the station to hear a song where they CAN sing along. When the listeners change the channel, they miss commercials, and the station’s ad price drops because the amount of listeners drops. Simple economics. Think about it logically for a minute. I have two words to say: “Laffy Taffy.” No one has enough money to have paid for that song to play as much as it did. Yet the song was a hit record. Radio played it because kids requested it, it researched well, and ad sales went up. Downloads occurred by the millions. So how do you get your song played on the radio? This isn’t an easy answer, because the truth is just that many will never get radio play. If an artist does not make music that fits the format of the radio station and is of competitive commercial quality, their music won’t get played on most radio stations. Without a real budget, they won’t get radio play.
Without a “hit record” today, they won’t get radio play. There are just too many other folks with bigger budgets, deeper pockets, and better connections to fill the few slots available at radio today. It’s more competitive than ever. The main thing is stop looking at radio for what you WANT it to be, and see it for what it really is - learn the game before stepping on the playing field! Back in the day, rap music wasn’t accepted on commercial radio formats, so no one worried about getting on the radio. Word of mouth was key for spreading rap music, and for a few hours a week, college radio played some. It was easier to get onto college radio back then, than commercial radio today. Somehow, artists felt they were missing something if they could not get added to radio. This increased need for radio play has gotten out of hand today. Now a radio station might have only 4 or 5 available slots to fill with new songs, but there are 50 new records vying for those few spots - with budgets, with well-connected radio promoters pushing them, and with established artists and wellknown producers. How will you compete? The best way to attract radio attention is NOT to head up to the station to drop off a CD of your newest song. You need to blow it up in the clubs and at the street level first. Back the record up with other promotion and marketing efforts. Let the radio DJs come looking for you because your song gets so hot on the streets and in the clubs. If you have a truly hot record, it will end up at radio. That is the definition of a hit record. David Banner’s “Like a Pimp,” Webbie’s “Gimme That,” Webbie’s “Bad Chick,” Magic’s “I Drank, I Smoke,” Acafool’s “Hatablockas,” etc, all started out as songs that hit the clubs and streets hard (mostly because there were no budgets available for radio play initially). But the songs started to grow legs on their own, and radio embraced them. You can’t buy that kind of authenticity (and many have tried). But there is no way around the fact that if the radio powers-that-be do not think your song fits their format, sound, or necessary quality, you will NOT be getting any radio play. Period. So, when you hear the more commercial artists getting spins, and you want the same push for your music, you may have to go back and rethink your sound, your production, and/or your style so you fit the format. Also, it’s important to have a good reason why you are going after radio play. Many stations are interested in knowing that you have a complete plan for your project rather than just wanting to hear your song on the radio. Learn the correct language and use it to communicate your intentions. Are you planning on dropping a CD with legitimate independent distribution? If so, what is your release date? When are you going for adds at radio? Are you backing up your promotional efforts with a complete campaign? Or are you trying to secure radio spins to capture the attention of bigger record labels? [In my opinion, this is a half-assed way to try to get a deal. If it was this easy, anyone with money could secure a deal for a $50,000 radio budget. In my thirteen years of experience, I have yet to see someone become successful from getting a deal solely from radio spins - in fact, I have seen many, many, many fail. Because of this, I do not normally shop deals based on radio play. If you look at the SoundScan chart for any given year, not one of the top thirty or forty rap artists got their deal from getting radio play, yet most did get good deals from selling CDs regionally.] Is it possible for a regional artist or indie label to gain acceptance at radio? Yes. But it all depends on the song, the timing, and the reasons behind it. And most importantly, it depends on your connections and whether or not you have done the proper research on radio. Every city or town with an urban radio station has people who understand how it works. Find the LEGITIMATE people who can inform you. Do research on the internet. Ask people who have done this SUCCESSFULLY before you. It is my hope that this article serves as a good starting point.
TJ’S DJ’S TASTEMAKERS & OZONE AWARDS PHOTO GALLERY: 01: Slim Thug, Webbie, Lil Boosie, and Slim Thug on the Artist Panel @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 02: T-Pain and Plies backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 03: DJ Nasty, The Runners, and Cool & Dre backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 04: Felli Fel, DJ Chela, 1st Lady El, and Brandi Garcia @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 05: Swirl, Tampa Tony, and Carlos @ Firestone for TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers afterparty (Orlanod, FL) 06: Haitian Fresh and Smilez @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 07: DJ Chuck T and his date(s) on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 08: Miss Info and Supa Cindy @ the Women’s Panel during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 09: Fiend and Dre @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 10: Kinfolk Nakia Shine and Grafh @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 11: Blak Jak and Michael Watts on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 12: Shawt and Jody Breeze @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 13: Julia Beverly and Trae @ Cairo for Interscope Records party (Orlando, FL) 14: Tarvoria and Ray Cash @ Firestone for TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers afterparty (Orlando, FL) 15: Young Jeezy, Lil Keke, Paul Wall, and Pitbull backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 16: Karate Mac, Plies, and Coach on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 17: J-Kwik and Young Capone @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 18: Big Bank Hank, guest, Trae, and RawLT @ Cairo for Interscope Records party (Orlando, FL) 19: Lex, DJ Quest, J-Shin, and TJ Chapman on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 20: DJ Nasty, Green Lantern, and DJ Chino @ Firestone for Atlantic Records official OZONE Awards afterparty (Orlando, FL) 21: DJ Serious, Mannish Man, Chad Brown & CJ Tha Sticman @ TJ’s DJ’s/OZONE Award Show weekend (Orlando, FL) Photo Credits: Chad Brown (21); DJ Chino (20); Edward Hall (04); J Lash (05,07,08,11,13,14,16,18, 19); Marcus DeWayne (12); Ray Tamarra (01,02,03,09,10,15,17); Terrence Tyson (06)
IT SUCKS TO BE DIDDY by Charlamagne Tha God www.CThaGod.com
t sucks to be P Diddy. I know you don’t think so because you see he’s worth an estimated 400 million dollars. You see the jewels, the Sean John clothing line, the cologne, and the big-ass billboard in the middle of Times Square, but believe me, it sucks to be P Diddy. Never mind the fact that he has to pay the average working-class American’s annual salary in child support to his two baby mothers every month. That’s chump change to Diddy; he makes that kind of money in an hour. The reason it sucks to be P Diddy is because even with all that money and fame he’s failing at the one thing he loves the most (other than himself). He’s failing at the one thing that laid the foundation for all things Diddy: music. See, Diddy lost his ear as far as the music game is concerned. Music was the soul of that man and sometimes I wonder if he sold his soul to the hip-hop devils in order to be successful in all his other ventures. Can you imagine waking up in the morning richer than Richie, able to purchase anything you want except for the one thing that has brought you all your success and that’s your ear for music? See, once upon a time Diddy introduced us to fresh new sounds by the likes of Mary J Blige and Jodeci. Before he sold his soul, his ear was incredible! When he started Bad Boy he introduced us to Craig Mack (a great lyricist who made solid records), Total (a bunch of hoodrats who Diddy made sure got all the right singles), Faith Evans (who’s still in the game), 112 (still in the game), Mase (confused but still in the game), The LOX (still in the game), Black Rob (if it wasn’t for this thing called prison he’d still be in the game), G Dep (not in the game, but was dope and very slept on), and who could forget the man some call the greatest emcee of all time, Christopher Wallace a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G. a.k.a. Biggie Smalls. How do you go from Making Hits like “Can’t You See” by Total, Making Hits like “I Remember” by Faith, Making Hits like “One More Chance (Remix)” by Biggie to Making the Fucking Band? All the great R&B groups you have delivered over the years and Aundrea, Audrea, Dawn, Shannon, and Wanita - five no-talent, nonsinging, making-themselves-throw-up-in-the-bathroom-afterevery-meal, probably-blew-all-their-advance-money-in-thelocal-mall-at-a-Charlotte-Russe is the best you can come up with? Like I said, it sucks to be P. Diddy, and don’t even start talking about hip-hop! Diddy should praise god for Block and Bad Boy South, because without that Bad Boy wouldn’t exist right now as far as rap is concerned. The last hip-hop group I remember Puffy putting together was that whack ass Da Band: Fred, Chopper, Sara Stokes, Babs, Ness and Dylan. First of all the only hip-hop band I ever knew was the Roots. Second, “bands” play instruments. The only thing Da Band ever played was themselves by walking to Brooklyn for cheesecake on TV. Third – Puffy, the man who discovered B.I.G. - actually thought some of those dudes were dope! See what happens when you lose your ear and sell your soul to the hip hop devils? I told you it sucks to be Diddy and not to mention the Curse of Bad Boy that has haunted the label for years. The curse got Biggie murdered and made Mase leave to find God, only to return even more confused. Shyne is in prison for 10 years, Black Rob is in prison for 7 years, the LOX had to leave and are just getting they business right, 112 wanted out, Faith 20
wanted out, Loon wanted out, even New Edition! The curse of Bad Boy is real and has affected all these artists in some way shape or form. So I repeat, it sucks to be Diddy. Why, after all these years, can’t the man who discovered such greats comb the streets of New York and find that next dude? He has a crib in Atlanta; why can’t he go out on his own merit and find that next Jeezy or T.I.? The answer: because his ears are gone! Diddy also has the audacity, the unmitigated gall, to release another album. For what? To take credit for a bunch of beats he really didn’t produce and spit a bunch of bars he really didn’t write. The name of the album is Press Play he says because at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about he wants people to just Press Play and listen to his music. Well, Diddy being that it sucks to be you right now and considering your track record as of late, just Pressing Play would require people to actually take transportation to a record store or sit down in front of a computer to download then get the music and actually put it in something to play. That’s a lot to ask of people when they are really not anticipating your music on that level; and more than likely Pressing Play would result in skip to the next song, that’s whack, skip to the next record, and in less than 10 minutes the average hip-hop consumer has gone through your latest weed plate and dismissed your record as whack because it sucks to be Diddy. I know it hurts not to have your ear anymore, Diddy, but look at the bright side: you still have your clothing line, your cologne, your restaurants and more money than most people will see in two lifetimes. The dark side is that a man with no soul is a man who does not exist, so the next time you feel like you’re not relevant in the music game, you know the reason why. Maybe the hip-hop devils will let you buy your soul back cheap? Naw, I doubt it. Karma is real. The hip-hop devils are going to make it hard for you to get back your soul the way you make it hard for people to get back their publishing. Hold your head, Diddy. It sucks to be you. Sincerely, Cold Fingaz a.k.a. Charlamagne Tha God
TJ’S DJ’S TASTEMAKERS & OZONE AWARDS PHOTO GALLERY: 01: David Banner, Trina, Julia Beverly, and DJ Khaled backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 02: Chill the Million Dollar Man, Pastor Troy, and Grandaddy Souf apparently have the same hairstylist (Orlando, FL) 03: Smitty, Trae, and Killer Mike backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 04: Carol City Cartel, TJ Chapman, and Rick Ross on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 05: Lil Boosie, Webbie, and David Banner on the Artist Panel @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 06: The Runners on the Producer Panel @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 07: CRUNK!!! models with Young Jeezy, Chyna Whyte, and Stay Fresh @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 08: Jody Breeze and Khao backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 09: K-Foxx gives Young Jeezy a lil love backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 10: Cory Mo and DJ Wally Sparks on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 11: Fentz, Mercedes, and Tarvoria @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 12: Hen-Roc and Leo Getz @ the Intaprize/GTT Pool Party during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers (Orlando, FL) 13: Deepside @ Firestone for TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers afterparty (Orlando, FL) 14: Plies and Chill the Million Dollar Man backstage @ the OZONE 15: Crime Mob’s Diamond and Princess backstage @ the OZONE Awards with Trina (Orlando, FL) 16: DJ Nasty, Rated R, DJ Khaled, DJ Ideal, and DJ Drama @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 17: Bigga Rankin and Roland Powell @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 18: Fiend and KLC @ the Producer Panel during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 19: Killer Mike helping Webbie accept his award for Slept-On Artist @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 20: Tony Neal and Dirtbag @ the DJ Crews Panel during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 21: Disco and Webbie @ Firestone for Atlantic Records’ official OZONE Awards afterparty (Orlando, FL) Photo Credits: J Lash (02,04,05,07,11,13,20); Malik Abdul (14,16); Ray Tamarra (01,03,06,09,10,12,15,18,19); Sophia Jones (21); Terrence Tyson (08,17)
smart ass HOW TO
PROMOTE LIKE A PRO by Ms. Rivercity
o you got a million dollar idea ha? You wanna be a business man ha? You wanna drive a big Benz ha? Well guess what, your million dollar idea ain’t worth shit without the right promotional plan. Without knowledge of the game and funds to invest, your futile attempts will fail. But what if you’re not equipped with dope boy money or eight marketing degrees? How can you compete when everyone else has it made? Stop being a cry baby cause I’ve got some fool-proof tips for all you wannabe P. Diddy’s. A warning though, the capitalistic bastards of our society do not want you to have this info. But I say screw that “game is to be sold, not to be told” motto. Some of us spend days and weeks researching and investing thousands of dollars in seminars, conferences, and workshops so that we can pass the info on to poor unfortunate souls like yourself. Pay attention bitches, this is the ultimate breakdown in promoting like a pro.
You never want to be seen promoting your own product, doing your own networking, or making your own phone calls. Your job is to be a superstar, not a workhorse. Get together a group of friends and supporters you can easily persuade to do your dirty work. It’s best to find some “interns” you don’t have to pay. Promise them you’ll help them up the ladder and put in a good word for them. Once they’ve successfully built your brand, take over the empire. Get rid of anyone that can take credit for the work. Credit belongs to you, you, you. It’s okay to step on those that help you along the way. That’s why they’re called “little people.” Chances are they’ll never reach your level and you’ll never need them again.
This is the most common form of promotion and the most effective in my opinion. The best thing about flyers is they cost next to nothing. For less than a penny a piece you can have the same promo item as everyone else on the face of the planet. Call up that efficient student designer of yours and in about five minutes you’ll have the cleanest looking graphics the world has ever seen. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you can just copy some standard clip art onto white paper at Kinkos. As for circulating the flyers, just send your street team to the most saturated parking lots in town, usually near the nightclub district. Most likely someone else has already covered the area, but you can just pile your material on top of theirs. Personally, I can’t wait to stumble out of the club after five shots of Patron and un-wallpaper the most expensive thing I own. I’ll be honest though, no way in hell am I’m gonna read a flyer at 4 a.m., but they do make great street decorations.
The newest craze in promotion is of course the infamous, fun-filled world of Myspace. If you created a profile, congratulations, you’re now an official member of civilization. There’s no special formula to creating a Myspace buzz. Just make up a cut-and-paste message, approximately 2,000 words long, and send it to everyone who’s still alive. If that doesn’t get you enough attention, show off a bunch of half naked pictures you’ve cropped and angled to perfection. If you run into your Myspace friends and for some ridiculous reason they don’t recognize you, feel free to get offended. These assholes should know who you are by now.
You never want to be seen promoting your own product, doing your own networking, or making your own phone calls. Your job is to be a superstar, not a workhorse. Get together a group of friends and supporters you can easily persuade to do your dirty work.
It’s been said that a website is the first and most important tool for entrepreneurs to establish their image and get exposure. Actually, I’m not sure if anyone really said that, but it sounds good. Anyway, most people will tell you to include a bio and contact info on your website. But nobody really gives a shit about your life story and you damn sure don’t want people having any real access to you. Feel free to leave off the above information to save yourself the hassle; everyone else does. As for the actual design of your site, professionalism is cool but costly. Find a college student willing to throw together a web page for the low. Sure, half the links won’t work, the words “coming soon” will be plastered everywhere, and it’ll be hard as hell to update it in the future, but at least you won’t get ripped off.
If you don’t have an email address, don’t sweat it. People have only been using email for the past ten years so the concept is still kinda new. No one expects you to be up on all this nerdy technology crap anyway. Email accounts are free, but it takes too much effort to get on a computer and type in www. yahoo.com. So if you can’t get one of your handy interns to set up your email, just skip this section all together. If you do have an email address, you’re way ahead of the game already. All you need now is ten email addresses from your tight circle of friends. Don’t worry about branching out just yet; remember you want your friends to do all the work. Okay, an effective chain email will look something like this: From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: URGENT!!!!! Message: WUT IT DEW!!!!!!!! CHECK OUT MY [insert whatever the hell you’re selling here] IM THE SHIT STRAIGHT UP KNOBODY IS FUCKIN WIT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SEND THIS TO TEWNTY OF YOUR FREINDS AND FAMLY!!!!!!!!!! 22
Actually, the whole concept of advertising is overrated so this will be brief. You could spend your whole budget on advertising alone but nobody ever benefits from thousands of people seeing their product or service in vibrant, eye-catching print. Radio, television commercials and billboards are also pointless as they only serve to fatten the pockets of big corporations. As a matter of fact, you should make some picket signs and post up outside of your local broadcasting stations. Shit, they might even give you some free press for having the balls to stand up to them. Or they might have you arrested, which takes us to the next topic.
There’s no quicker way to get your name out there than doing something completely off the wall and very controversial. For example: Stage a fake arrest. Rob a bank. Attack a police officer. Shoot up a church. Start beef with someone more important than you. No matter which route you choose, just be sure to do it big. The old saying is true, bad publicity is better than no publicity. So, that pretty much covers all the basics of branding. These helpful hints were gathered from real life cases of pure marketing geniuses. Just follow their simple formula and your million dollar dreams will become a reality. For more tricks of the trade, you can email me at… oh, wait nobody uses email. Well, visit my website at www.promotingforretardeddumbasses.com or send me a vulgar message at three in the morning to me at www.myspace. com/msrivercity
TJ’S DJ’S TASTEMAKERS & OZONE AWARDS PHOTO GALLERY: 01: The Aphilliates’ DJ Drama, DJ Jaycee, Willie Da Kid, DJ Don Cannon, Jeanise, and Lil Larry backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 02: DJ Toomp and Khao @ the Producer Panel during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 03: Trick Daddy and crew @ Firestone for Atlantic Records official OZONE Awards afterparty (Orlando, FL) 04: DJ Chill, DJ Chuck T, and DJ Jelly @ the DJ Panel during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 05: Guest, Marvyn Mack, JC CRUNK!!!, TJ Chapman, and DJ Nasty @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 06: Carol City Cartel, Rick Ross, and Pitbull backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 07: Big Teach, B.A.N.G., and DJ Ideal @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 08: Big Tuck and Trina @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 09: Ernest Clemons of Get ‘Em Magazine and Money Waters backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 10: Jibbs and Egypt @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 11: Supa Cindy and Big Teach @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 12: Acafool and Kid MOney KG on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 13: Guest, Yo Gotti, and All Star on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 14: Slim Goodye @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 15: Trae and David Banner on the Artist Panel @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 16: Big Tuck, Kinfolk Nakia Shine, and Ray Cash backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 17: Lil Ru, Collard Greens, and Fatboy backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 18: Cool, DJ Nasty, Dre, Bianca Mendez, DJ Khaled, and DJ Chino @ WJHM during TJ’s DJ’s/OZONE Awards weekend (Orlando, FL) 19: Smilez, Alex, and Southstar backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 20: Lil Boosie, Gangsta Boo, Julia Beverly, Killer Mike, David Banner, and TJ Chapman on the Artist Panel @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 21: Alex, Fentz, Suthun Boy and guest @ Cairo for Interscope Records party (Orlando, FL) Photo Credits: DJ Chino (18); DJ Pat Pat (19); Edward Hall (09,20); J Lash (03,08,10,12,13,21); Malik Abdul (14); Ray Tamarra (01,02,04,05,0 6,07.11,15,16); Sophia Jones (17)
TJ’S DJ’S TASTEMAKERS & OZONE AWARDS PHOTO GALLERY: 01: Yung Joc, Trina, and David Banner backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 02: Obie Trice promoting his new album @ Cairo for the Interscope Records party 03: Guest, B.A.N.G., Carol City Cartel, Rick Ross, Pitbull, Cubo, and guest backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 04: DJ Demp, Mr. Collipark, Calvin, Jim Jonsin, and KLC @ the Producer Panel during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 05: Southbeat Records @ Firestone for TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers afterparty (Orlando, FL) 06: Bryan Leach, Vince Phillips, and Stay Fresh @ the Indie CEO Panel during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 07: DJ Quest, Wally Sparks, and OG Ron C @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 08: Grandaddy Souf and Rasheeda @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL0 09: TJ Chapman and Keith Kennedy @ Firestone for Atlantic Records official OZONE Awards afterparty (Orlando, FL) 10: Tampa Tony and Jim Jonsin @ Firestone for TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers afterparty (Orlando, FL) 11: Crime Mob and Mr. Collipark on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 12: DJ Nasty and Cool @ WJHM during TJ’s DJ’s/OZONE Award Show weekend (Orlando, FL) 13: Dub and Plies @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 14: Kaspa and DJ Chuck T @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 15: Sidekick and T-Pain @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 16: Image Salon stylists @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 17: DJ Khaled, Trina, and Cool & Dre backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 18: Yola and Big Tuck backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 19: Scorpio, JC CRUNK!!!, 4-Ize, Big Al, and the rest of the CRUNK!!! crew @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 20: Tiffani Diamonds models @ Cairo for Interscope Records party (Orlando, FL) 21: Troy Hudson, Tony Neal, Lil D, Statik Major, and Pill on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) Photo Credits: DJ Chino (12); DJ Quote (07); Edward Hall (13); J Lash (02,05,08,10,11,1 5,16,17,20,21); Ray Tamarra (01,03,04,06,18,19); Sophia Jones (09); Terrence Tyson (14)
TJ’S DJ’S TASTEMAKERS & OZONE AWARDS PHOTO GALLERY: 01: Felli Fel and Jibbs @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 02: Yola, DJ Drama, Lil C, DJ Don Cannon, and Emperor Searcy @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 03: DJ Wally Sparks, David Banner, and Kaye Dunaway @ the Artist Panel during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 04: TJ Chapman, Mr. Collipark, Bigga Rankin, J-Baby, and Derek Jurand on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 05: Bun B and Fiend @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 06: Bigga Rankin, Ed the World Famous, and Elora Mason @ Cairo for Interscope Records party (Orlando, FL) 07: James Jackson, Jim Jonsin, and J Lash @ Firestone for TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers afterparty (Orlando, FL) 08: Gangsta Boo with Princess and Diamond of Crime Mob @ Intaprize/GTT’s pool party (Orlando, FL) 09: DJ Chino and Obie Trice @ Cairo for Interscope Records party (Orlando, FL) 10: Tampa Tony and Stay Fresh @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 11: Jae Millz and J-Shin @ Firestone for TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers afterparty (Orlando, FL) 12: DJ Toomp and Vince Phillips @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 13: Big D and Jim Jonsin of the Unusual Suspects @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 14: Keith Kennedy and Ashley @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 15: Pimp C and David Banner @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 16: TJ Chapman and the Ackright Models @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 17: 8Ball & MJG with TV Johnny backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 18: Model, Yola, and Trina @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 19: Mobile Mike, Stax, and J-Shin @ Cairo for Interscope Records party (Orlando, FL) 20: Jibbs, TJ Chapman, RawLT, Troy Marshall, Deuce Poppi and friends @ Cairo for Interscope Records party (Orlando, FL) 21: Magno and DJ K-Tone @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) Photo Credits: DJ Chino (09); DJ K-Tone (21); J Lash (04,06, 07,11.13,18,19,20); Malik Abdul (02); Marcus DeWayne (15,16); Ray Tamarra (01,03,05,08,10, 12,14,17)
TJ’S DJ’S TASTEMAKERS & OZONE AWARDS PHOTO GALLERY: 01: Young Dro and T-Pain backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 02: Smitty, Webbie, and Lil Boosie backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 03: Southstar, Arica Adams, and Smilez @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 04: Deuce Poppi and DJ Jelly @ Cairo for Interscope Records party (Orlando, FL) 05: DJ Green Lantern, TJ Chapman, and KLC @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 06: Jibbs and Yung Joc backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 07: DJ Quote, Cory Mo, Tony Neal, TJ Chapman, DJ Wally Sparks, Mr. Collipark, Pill, Lil Weavah, and friends on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 08: Jacki-O and Trae @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 09: DJ Toomp and Pookie backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL0 10: Greg Frankel and Tampa Tony @ Firestone for TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers afterparty (Orlando, FL) 11: Rick Ross and Jim Jonsin on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 12: DJ Marquis and Kawan Prather @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 13: Smilez and Bigga Rankin @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 14: James Eichelberger and Marvyn Mack @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 15: 8Ball & MJG with Webbie @ Firestone for Atlantic Records official OZONE Awards afterparty (Orlando, FL) 16: Big Tuck, Trae, and Slim Thug representing Texas @ the Artist Panel during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 17: Bun B and Killer Mike @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 18: B.G. and Rasheeda backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 19: Cadillac Don, Joie Manda, and J Money @ the A&R Panel during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 20: TJ Chapman with Rohaun’s body painted models @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 21: Alex, Julia Beverly, Suthun Boy, Tarvoria, and guests @ Cairo for Interscope Records party (Orlando, FL) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (09,18); J Lash (02,04,07,08,10, 16,17,21); Ray Tamarra (01,03,05,06,11,12,13,14,19,20); Sophia Jones (15)
TJ’S DJ’S TASTEMAKERS & OZONE AWARDS PHOTO GALLERY: 01: Ludacris and 4-Ize backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 02: Young Jeezy and Paul Wall backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 03: DJ Demp, Mr. Collipark, guest, Calvin, Jim Jonsin, guest, and KLC @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 04: Rick Ross and Smitty presenting the Hustler’s Award @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 05: DJ Chill, Malik Abdul, and Tampa Tony @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 06: Deuce Poppi and Ted Lucas @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 07: Stack$, Mike Clarke, and Troy Marshall @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 08: Roland “Lil Duval” Powell and Plies on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL0 09: All Star, La Chat, and Yo Gotti backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 10: Haitian Fresh and Pupp @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 11: Greg Frankel and Cool @ Firestone for Atlantic Records official OZONE Awards afterparty (Orlando, FL) 12: The Runners on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 13: TJ Chapman and Zay on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 14: DJ K-Tone and Lil Peedy @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 15: Webbie, Pimp C, and Julia Beverly @ Firestone for Atlantic Records official OZONE Awards afterparty (Orlando, FL) 16: Guest, Trick Daddy, and TJ Chapman @ Firestone for Atlantic Records official OZONE Awards afterparty (Orlando, FL) 17: Admission Granted TV with Cadillac Don & J Money and crew @ Cairo for Interscope Records party (Orlando, FL) 18: White Boi Pizal, David Banner, and OG Ron C @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 19: Midget Mac and Young Cash @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 20: Mr Kaila and Ryno @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 21: Guest, J Lash, and Supa Cindy @ Firestone for TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers afterparty (Orlando, FL) Photo Credits: DJ K-Tone (14); 4-Ize (01); J Lash (02,06,07, 08,10,11,17,19,21); Ray Tamarra (04,05,09,12,13,18); Sophia Jones (15,16); Terrence Tyson (03); Wes Sanders (20)
TJ’S DJ’S TASTEMAKERS & OZONE AWARDS PHOTO GALLERY: 01: MJG, Gangsta Boo, and 8Ball backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 02: Lil Boosie and Webbie speaking on the Artist Panel @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 03: Plies signing autographs on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 04: T-Pain and J-Shin backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 05: Jim Jonsin, Tampa Tony, Calvin, and guest on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 06: Treal reppin’ Orange County on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 07: Lee Cherry, Yancey Richardson, Cadillac Don, DJ Quest, J Money and guests @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 08: Trick Daddy and Chyna Whyte @ Firestone for the Atlantic Records official OZONE Awards afterparty (Orlando, FL) 09: Smitty and Rich Boy @ Firestone for the Atlantic Records official OZONE Awards afterparty (Orlando, FL) 10: DJ Ideal and Jody Breeze @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 11: Dirtbag and DJ K-Tone @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 12: Kinfolk Nakia Shine @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 13: White Boi Pizal and Fiend @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 14: Rahman Dukes and Gotti Bonanno @ Firestone for the Atlantic Records official OZONE Awards afterparty (Orlando, FL) 15: Crime Mob’s Diamond and Princess with Shawnna backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 16: Felli Fel, TJ Chapman, Kaspa, Jibbs, and Sal Mac @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 17: Young Jeezy and B.A.N.G. backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 18: Guest, Jae Millz, and Ray Cash @ Firestone for TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers afterparty (Orlando, FL) 19: Eli, guest, Jibbs, TJ Chapman, Troy Marshall, and Deuce Poppi @ Cairo for Interscope Records party (Orlando, FL) 20: Shawnna and Rick Ross backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 21: Polow, Emperor Searcy, Rich Boy, TJ Chapman, Vince Phillips, and guests on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) Photo Credits: DJ K-Tone (11); J Lash (03,04,06,08,09,14,18,19, 21); Julia Beverly (10); Ray Tamarra (01,02,05,07,12,13,15,16,17); Sophia Jones (20)
TJ’S DJ’S TASTEMAKERS & OZONE AWARDS PHOTO GALLERY: 01: DJ Khaled and DJ Drama @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 02: Young Buck and Lloyd Banks @ Cairo for Interscope Records TJ’s DJ’s/OZONE Awards kickoff party (Orlando, FL) 03: Mr. Collipark, DJ Toomp, and Jim Jonsin on the Producer Panel @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 04: Killer Mike and Pookie backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 05: Guest and DJ Ideal @ Cairo for Interscope Records party (Orlando, FL) 06: Jim Jonsin and Fiend @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 07: Ray Cash and Paul Wall backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 08: Whatever Chingo Bling is running for, make sure you vote for him (Orlando, FL) 09: DJ Pat Pat and Plies backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 10: Khao with his lotto tickets @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 11: James Eichelberger and Chyna Whyte @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 12: The ladies of Crime Mob @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 13: Patiently Waiting: Carolinas nominee J-Khrist on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 14: David Banner and Chyna Whyte @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 15: Young Dro and Kinfolk Nakia Shine on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 16: David Banner adn T-Pain on the Artist Panel @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 17: B.A.N.G., Pitbull, Cubo, and Jim Jonsin on the OZONE Awards red carpet (Orlando, FL) 18: K-Foxx and Lyfe Jennings @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 19: OG Ron C and Trae @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 20: Yo Gotti and Yung Joc @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 21: Obie Trice and Stay Fresh @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) Photo Credits: DJ Pat Pat (09); Edward Hall (04); J Lash (02,05,12,15,20); Malik Abdul (14); Ray Tamarra (01,03,06,07, 08,10,11,13,16,17,18,19,21)
01: Plies @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 02: Young Dro (Atlanta, GA) 03: Ludacris on the set of “Money Maker” (Miami, FL) 04: Chilli @ Whispers (Orlando, FL) 05: Bubba Sparxxx and a guest @ Club Skye for DJ Christion’s Birthday Party (Tampa, FL) 06: Haitian Fresh and video director Rick Young on the set of “Put Ya Leg Up” (Daytona Beach, FL) 07: DJ Quote and Roland “Lil Duval” Powell @ fashion show (Denver, CO) 08: Slim Thug @ Cairo for Interscope afterparty during TJ’s DJ’s/OZONE Award Show weekend (Orlando, FL) 09: Shawnna @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 10: Tambra and Corey from Admission Granted TV @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 11: Michael Watts @ TJ’s DJ’s/OZONE Award Show weekend (Orlando, FL) 12: Guest, Too $hort and Mel the Mack @ K104’s Summer Jam (Dallas, TX) 13: DJ K-Tone, DJ Q, and DJ Quote @ Blue Ice Nightclub (Denver, CO) 14: Jose Lopez and Young Capone @ Global Mixx DJ Retreat (Chicago, IL) 15: Dre @ Club Skye for DJ Christion’s Birthday Party (Tampa, FL) 16: King Yella and Cat Daddy @ Play & Skillz’ Birthday Party (Dallas, TX) 17: Webbie and Goddess @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 18: Corey Llewellen and Shawn Prez @ Global Mixx DJ Retreat (Chicago, IL) 19: Aja and Block @ K104’s Summer Jam (Dallas, TX) 20: Fab Fam @ K104’s Summer Jam (Dallas, TX) 21: Majick and friends @ Club Skye for DJ Christion’s Birthday Party (Tampa, FL) 22: Jacki-O @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 23: Kamikaze, Wendy Day, and Money Waters @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers/ OZONE Awards weekend (Orlando, FL) 24: Stay Fresh and Chyna Whyte @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 25: Magno and Ryno @ KPFT’s Damage Control Radio (Houston, TX) 26: Willie Da Kid @ Ridin’ Dirty car show (Atlanta, GA) 27: Play & Skillz with Baby Boy @ MaxiMedia Studios (Dallas, TX) 28: DSR @ Play & Skillz’ Birthday Party (Dallas, TX) 29: White Chocolate @ the And-1 Basketball Tournament (Portsmouth, VA) 30: KottonMouth and Stub @ Rhythm City for Clout party (Dallas, TX) 31: DJ Drama, Lil Larry, and Willie Da Kid @ OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 32: DJ Whiz T @ Final Fridays (Dallas, TX) 33: Harold “Dolla Bill” and his son, the world’s youngest OZONE reader @ K104’s Hood Hoops 4 Charity (Dallas, TX) 34: Big Tuck @ TJ’s DJ’s/OZONE Award Show weekend (Orlando, FL) 35: DJ Knuckles and friends @ Club Skye (Tampa, FL) 36: DJ Don Cannon @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 37: GZA (NYC) 38: Rick Ross @ Club Broadway (Norfolk, VA) Photo Credits: Bogan (03,27); Coco Renea (29,38); D’Lyte (33); DJ Quote (07,13); Edward Hall (01,09,10,11,16, 17,22,23,28,30,31,32,34,36); Haziq Ali (02); J Lash (08); Julia Beverly (14,18); LeJaurean Hailey (25); Luis Santana (05,15,21,35); Malik Abdul (04,06,26); Promotivation (12,19,20); Swift (37)
01: Lil Boosie backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 02: Juvenile (Atlanta, GA) 03: 8Ball & MJG @ K104’s Summer Jam (Dallas, TX) 04: DJ Sense backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 05: Smooth and the ladies of Azzure @ Club Broadway (Norfolk, VA) 06: OJ Wedlaw, guest, Melvin Foley, and Baby Boy @ Club Skye for DJ Christion’s Birthday Party (Tampa, FL) 07: Kandi from Xscape with Chilli from TLC @ Club Whispers (Orlando, FL) 08: Fam-Lay @ Club Broadway (Norfolk, VA) 09: Remy Ma @ Cleo’s (Orlando, FL) 10: George Lopez and Marquis Daniels @ Play & Skillz birthday party (Dallas, TX) 11: Slick Pulla and Lil C backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 12: Rick Ross and Rasheeda backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 13: Play & Skillz at their birthday party (Dallas, TX) 14: Maal da Pimp and Lady Dolla backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 15: Dow Jones @ Final Fridays (Dallas, TX) 16: Smitty and Rasheeda backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 17: Money Waters, Buffie the Body, and Play @ Club Crystals (Dallas, TX) 18: DJ Khaled and Tony Neal @ the OZONE Awards (Orlando, FL) 19: Sleepy and Big Chief @ Rhythm City (Dallas, TX) 20: Pete Rock (NYC) 21: DJ Jelly and Money Waters @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 22: Roland “Lil Duval” Powell @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 23: Supa Cindy @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 24: Chris Brown (NYC) 25: DJ Drop @ Rhythm City (Dallas, TX) 26: Kandi from Xscape, Devyne Stephens, and Chilli from TLC @ Club Whispers (Orlando, FL) 27: Tropik and Logic @ Glo (Orlando, FL) 28: DJ K-Tone and Roland “Lil Duval” Powell (Denver, CO) 29: Guest and Yung Joc @ K104’s Summer Jam (Dallas, TX) 30: Baby Boy @ MaxiMedia Studios (Dallas, TX) 31: DJ Wiz-T @ K104’s Summer Jam (Dallas, TX) 32: Gina Harris and friends @ Global Mixx DJ Retreat (Chicago, IL) 33: Model on the set of Ludacris’ new video (Miami, FL) 34: Tarvoria @ Club Whispers (Orlando, FL) 35: DJ Magic, Nina Chantele, and Reyez @ Play & Skillz Birthday Party (Dallas, TX) 36: Malice @ Ocean Breeze Waterpark (Virginia Beach, VA) 37: Money Waters and Greg Gate$ @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Orlando, FL) 38: Pee Wee Kirkland (NYC) Photo Credits: Bogan (33); Coco Renea (05,07,36); Edward Hall (01,04,10,11, 12,14,15,16,17,18,19,21,22,23,25,35, 37); Haziq Ali (02); Julia Beverly (32); King Yella (13); Luis Santana (06); Malik Abdul (07,26,27,34); Mercedes (09); Promotivation (03,29,30,31); Squirrel (28); Swift (20,24,38)
RENCE MUSIC CONFEND S R E K A M E ST TJ’S DJ’S TA AWARD SHOW WEEKE & OZONE
P A C E R L A I OFFIC
dy by Keith Kenne
The event was sparked on Friday, August 4 with a set of informative panels that covered topics from Producers, DJs, Technology, and the Indie Executives. The panelists represented entertainment’s best and brightest that included Grammy nominated producers such as Cool & Dre (Christina Milian, Fat Joe) and Mr. Collipark (Ying Yang, B.G., Bubba Sparxxx) along with producers of certified hood classics like Nitti (“It’s Goin’ Down”), Jim Jonsin (Trick Daddy, Pretty Ricky), and The Runners (“Hustlin’”). The panels were also blessed with gold & platinum album award winners such as former No Limit producer KLC (40 million units sold) and the people who helped put artists in a winning position such as Bryan Leach (who signed Ying Yang Twins), Vince Phillips (CEO, BME Records), Mike Clarke (VP, SwishaHouse), and most importantly the DJs. Brandi Garcia, DJ Wally Sparks, Green Lantern, DJ Nasty, Chuck T, Greg Street, DJ Jelly, and Clinton Sparks banded together to get the conference members familiar with the mindset of a good DJ. Plus, anyone who had a question about utilizing today’s technology to achieve a greater market share could directly ask AOL Radio, MySpace.com, and DigiWaxx. After the business, Koch Records hosted a suite listening party to highlight their upcoming releases including DJ Unk’s “Walk It Out” and DJ Khaled’s album. Soon after, the Tastemakers migrated towards the pool deck to be thoroughly entertained during the Welcome To Florida Pool Party & Tastemakers Tasties Fashion Show hosted by Khao & Stay Fresh. While viewing the latest fashions from lines including LRG, Struggle Wear, CakeMixx, and body paint by Rohaun’s Designs worn by a legion of beautiful models, the Tastemakers were treated to an explosive musical line-up that included Chyna Whyte, Khao, Crime Mob, Young Capone, Daz, and T-Hud. Next, it was Interscope Records’ time to shine as the Tastemakers eagerly entered Club Cairo. Interscope took full advantage of the Tastemakers
On Saturday, August 5, the Tastemakers started the day well informed with another round of panels. The afternoon’s panels included information in the fields of A&R, Women In The Industry, DJ Crews, Media, and the highly anticipated Artist panel where they told their rise to stardom story. The panelists included A&Rs who have the power to sign including James Eichelberger (Dir of A&R, TVT), Joie Manda (Dir of A&R, Asylum), Kawan Prather (Exec A&R, Sony Urban) and many more. Plus women such as Elora Mason (CEO, E. Mason & Associates) and Wendy Day (orchestrater of No Limit, Cash Money, David Banner, & Eminem deals) spoke about life in the game from a different perspective while the Media featuring Don Diva’s Editor-In-Chief, Cavario Hodges, MTV’s Mixtape Monday’s Rahman Dukes, and N. Ali Early, Grip Magazine’s Editor-In-Chief among other publications taught the proper ways to get ink from the press. Meanwhile, the DJ Crews with Tony Neal (founder, The Core DJs), 1st Lady El (founder, The Murda Mamis), and Kaspa (founder, Hittmenn DJs) among other organizations demonstrated how powerful a unit can be. But the Artist panel commanded the most attention as it overfilled two ballrooms with Tastemakers. Killer Mike, David Banner, Webbie, and T-Pain were a few of the artists whose tales inspired a new generation of hungry Tastemakers. Following the panels, Jive, Atlantic, and Asylum Records each hosted suite parties that brought the house down. Plus, it provided momentum into the Tastemaker Showcase at Firestone. Upcoming sensations such as B.H.I., Tampa Tony, Blak Jak, Raw LT, Randy B., Haitian Fresh, Treal, The Coalition, Lil Ru, Cadillac Don & Jay Money set the stage ablaze with their skills. But, J-Shin stole the show with a surprise live verse by T-Pain on their shared track, “Sent Me An Email.” Plus, Lil Wayne stopped by to say hello and pop a bottle for the next day’s event, the OZONE Awards. Sunday, August 6 began with a scrumptious brunch for the Tastemakers provided by Sony Urban with Lyfe Jennings making an appearance for flavor. Then folks went to get extra clean for the OZONE Awards. Those who arrived at the Bob Carr Auditorium early were fortunate to catch their favorite stars walk the OZONE Red Carpet as they entered the sold out venue... < Lloyd Banks and Young Buck performing at Cairo for the Interscope Records kickoff party
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icture it. Orlando, Florida. August 4-6, 2006. 5,000 Tastemakers or members of the entertainment industry who have the power to dictate trends, gathered for the purpose of networking, learning, acknowledging the best in their field, and to have a good time in peace. What event could harness such power and simultaneously make history? The answer is the 2006 TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference & 1st Annual OZONE Awards.
attention by dazzling them with a strong line-up that included Rich Boy, Young Buck, Slim Thug, Lloyd Banks, Obie Trice, Jibbs, Hot Rod, & Stat Quo. Meanwhile in between sets, the Tastemakers were treated to a little bit of Duval magic as Bigga Rankins & The Cool Runnings DJ Crew set up shop in the back room. And just when the Tastemakers’ energy began to wane, CRUNK!!! Energy Drink popped up on the set and re-invigorated the conference members enough to attend the BME After After Suite Party which, to put it simply, was off the chain!
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Clockwise from above: - DJ Panel (Clinton Sparks, DJ Jelly, OG Ron C, Brandi Garcia, Grafh, Felli Fel, DJ Wally Sparks, DJ Chuck T, Michael Watts, DJ Ideal) - Womenâ€™s Panel (Tiffany Chiles, Miss Info, Kim Osorio, Wendy Day, Elora Mason, Supa Cindy, Jill Strada) - Producer Panel (Jim Jonsin, DJ Toomp, TJ Chapman, Khao, Mr. Collipark, Cool & Dre, KLC, The Runners) - A&R Panel - Media Panel (Jesus Trevino, Maurice Garland, Carl Cherry, Rahman Dukes, Cavario, Kraze, Guest, Greg Gate$, and N. Ali Early) - The Artist Panel included Killer Mike, Lil Boosie, David Banner, and T-Pain (shown) as well as Trae, Slim Thug, Webbie, Kinfolk Nakia Shine, Gangsta Boo, and Big Tuck - The Artist Panel audience spilled over into a second ballroom
RENCE MUSIC CONFEND S R E K A M E ST TJ’S DJ’S TA AWARD SHOW WEEKE & OZONE
P A C E R L A I OFFIC
dy by Keith Kenne
As the weekend concluded with performances by Young Dro, 8Ball & MJG, and others at Firestone during the OZONE Awards Afterparty, the Tastemakers could be seen rejoicing in a glow of success. The Tastemakers were able to network, learn, and enjoy themselves without the drama that hip-hop events are unfairly generalized with. Now, they look forward to returning to Tallahassee to celebrate the next Tastemakers during Florida A&M University’s Homecoming in October and to the next edition of OZONE Magazine. In the meantime, the Tastemakers will count the days until they can make history again during the 2007 TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference & 2nd Annual OZONE Awards.
OZONE AWARD WINNERS: Best Rap Album: T.I. King Best Rap Artist (Male)T.I. Best Rap Artist (Female); Shawnna Best R&B Artist (Male): Chris Brown Best R&B Artist (Female): Keyshia Cole Best Album - R&B: Ne-Yo In My Own Words Best Rap Group: Three 6 Mafia Best Lyricist: Lil Wayne Breakthrough Artist: Rick Ross Best Rap Collaboration: DJ Khaled f/ Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Fat Joe, and Pitbull “Holla At Me Baby” Best Rap/R&B Collaboration: T-Pain f/ R Kelly, Twista, Pimp C, Paul Wall, MJG & Too $hort “I’m In Luv (Wit’ A Stripper)” remix No Escape Award: Dem Franchize Boyz “Lean Wit’ It, Rock Wit’ It” Club Banger: Yung Joc “It’s Goin’ Down” Mixtape Monster Award: Young Jeezy Slept On Artist: Webbie Living Legend Award: UGK TJ’s DJ’s Hustler Award: DJ Drama TJ’s DJ’s Tastemaker Award (Music/Sound): Lil Jon TJ’s DJ’s Tastemaker Award (Style/Trendsetter): Paul Wall & TV Johnny Best Video: Chamillionaire f/ Krayzie Bone “Ridin’ Dirty” Honorary Southerner Award: Twista Best Club DJ: DJ Khaled Best Radio DJ: Greg Street Best Mixtape DJ: DJ Drama Best Producer: Mannie Fresh Patiently Waiting Florida: Plies Patiently Waiting Georgia: Young Dro Patiently Waiting Tennessee: Yo Gotti Patiently Waiting Louisiana: Lil Boosie Patiently Waiting Mississippi: Kamikaze Patiently Waiting Texas: Trae Patiently Waiting Alabama: Rich Boy Patiently Waiting Carolinas: Fatboy
Even with Khia and B.G. (left), Trina (below left with co-host David Banner), Lil Wayne (above left), and Jacki-O all in the same building, nobody “got their ass beat,” David Banner pointed out, reminding us that “an award show is not complete til somebody gets they ass whupped”; below, Young Jeezy accepting his Mixtape Monster Award presented by Boosie and Webbie
...The Tastemakers who were fortunate to have made it in were treated to a fantastic show. David Banner and Trina were the hosts for the evening that witnessed a UGK reunion show, Ludacris, Shawnna, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, BloodRaw, Slick Pulla, Young Dro, Lil Boosie, Trick Daddy, Rick Ross, B.G., Pitbull, Plies, DJ Drama, DJ Khaled, Jacki-O, Khia, Cool & Dre, Paul Wall, T-Pain, KLC, Gangsta Boo, Grandaddy Souf, J Prince Jr & Jas Prince, Jody Breeze, J-Shin, K-Foxx, Yung Joc, 8Ball & MJG, Big Kuntry, Trae, Khao, Chyna Whyte, Crime Mob, Jibbs, Fiend, Killer Mike, Lyfe Jennings, Polow, Yola, Young Cash, Rasheeda, Ray Cash, Rich Boy, Slim Goodye, Smilez & Southstar, Smitty, Tampa Tony, Treal, Webbie, Wes Fif, Yo Gotti, and so many others perform and make appearances. If you missed it, don’t worry, the OZONE Awards were recorded for posterity and rebroadcast. They will be airing on MTV Jams and available soon on DVD.
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Clockwise from below: DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Pitbull and Trick Daddy were all one big happy family onstage performing “Born & Raised” until Trick spit acapella: “There’s only one mayor in Dade, and y’all niggas are my protegés,” a statement which he was asked to, um, clarify backstage; David Banner, Cool, DJ Khaled, Julia Beverly, & Dre; Shawnna, Ludacris, & Lil Fate performing “Gettin’ Some”; Pimp C, Young Jeezy, & Bun B performing “Get Throwed”, Paul Wall & TV Johnny accepting their Tastemaker Award; K-Foxx and Lyfe Jennings; Lil Wayne stopped by Trina’s dressing room after his performance
OTOS H P & S WORD EVERLY
So you’re appearing on the new Tupac album – what is this, the 10th posthumous Tupac album? I don’t know, I just know it’s the first Tupac album that I’ma be on, and I always wanted to be on a Tupac album. I already did two songs for it and now I’m finna do another one that Sha Money produced. After that they say they’ve got one more album and that’s it; they’re closing the whole storage and just let him be.
Naw, this is a slow day for Lil Scrappy. Shit is just now finna pick up, and the days have been faster up until now. Today and yesterday have been kinda slow out here in L.A., I guess I’m ready to get out of here and go do my thing. It’s like the day before Christmas – when you wake up the next morning you’re ready to go. I’ve been out here for three months now. I’ve been out here since May, recording and getting all my stuff ready for my album.
Why have you always wanted to be on a Tupac album? Cause that’s the realest, hardest nigga that ever lived. One of ‘em.
Do you feel like you have a lot of input on your project? They’re letting me handle some of my shit. They asking me for some of my opinions. Everybody don’t get to have an opinion or choice to what they want to do, but I do. My music, my marketing, and how I want to look. They let me do my thing because they can see that I’ve been doing my own shit. They’ve seen the mixtapes and stuff like that I put out with my own money. They’re like, “Oh shit, this nigga knows how to do some things.” I can’t do it all, but I can do some of it.
Do you think it’s fair that they pair him with other rappers on records after his death? They’ve got a song with Tupac and Nas together, but he had dissed Nas. I think that if he could’ve made money without the beef, he would’ve fucked with every last one of ‘em. Mother knows best, you know what I’m sayin’? She knew her son, for real. Like my mama, she’s not an idiot. She knows who I like and who I don’t like. Your mom’s a gangsta. Yeah, she’s hardcore. She ain’t playin’. Mama gonna always be mama, and mama gonna always do her thing and act crazy. What role does she play in your career? She’s the advisor. I don’t ask for her opinion, she just gives it to me. I could just be sittin’ chillin’ and she’ll hear about some shit I ain’t tell her and she’ll be like, “This is what I think, I think you need to….” Then I’ll be like, “Mama, can you stay out of my business?” She tells me, “I’m gonna always be in your business.” Now that you’re down with G-Unit and all that, is everybody tryin’ to work with you? Even the people that didn’t wanna work with you before? Yep. Everybody wanna be working with me now. There’s only some that did records with me when I wasn’t poppin’. I know Bun B came through for me. 8Ball & MJG always told me that if I needed their help they were down. I ain’t really call on them cause they’re O.G.s. I can call Jon and say, “I want 8Ball & MJG on my album,” and they gon’ come on the strength of Jon and cause they like my music. So I know they gon’ come. But I’m talking about the new niggas, all the young folk. Young Jeezy fucked with a nigga when a nigga wasn’t poppin’. But there’s a lot of other niggas that really wouldn’t fuck with a young boy. There’s certain ones that did and certain ones that didn’t, and you know, the ones that didn’t, I can’t help them now. If I see ‘em fallin’ off, I’m just gonna be like, “Well damn, I’ll pray for ya.” If I show that it’s all good just cause I’m a fan of theirs or just cause I want to make it happen, I’ll be suckapunchin’ myself in the face, like I’m not standing up for my morals. I don’t like that shit. So I just help my artists and keep myself where I can make all my money. Who are your artists, G’s Up? Yeah, Lil Chris, Pooh Baby, Crime Mob. Crime Mob is actually signed to your label Crunk Inc., right? Yeah, it’s Crunk Inc., but I’m switching it over to G’s Up because I just don’t feel like dealing with ol’ dude [Serious]. He wants to sue everybody, but he stole all the money. We could be suing his broke ass but he ain’t got nothin’ to sue for. That was your business partner? Yeah, that was my partner altogether, you know. Do you regret being in a partnership with him? Naw, cause that dude was smart when he had it all. I don’t know what he’s doing now, but I just know that he’s not insane like he tries to make everyone believe. I know him, and I’m just lookin’ at this nigga laughin’ like, oh my God. This nigga is for real. I could tell he was like that in the beginning just by how he’d act towards people. He’ll act crazy. I’d tell him, “Sit yo’ ass down, cause I’m not even with all that shit. If I fight you, nigga, you know I’ma shoot yo’ ass.” He’s a big nigga, you know, so I’m not even fuckin’ with it. But nah, that dude taught me some shit and I just thought he was the realest in the world and I looked at him like a big brother. Shit, anything that nigga told me, I believed it, and I put my trust in him. Certain shit happened and I had to let him go to keep my career moving. I could’ve still been cool with him but I kept looking at the money situation, like, damn, you actually let money just fuck up all this shit. That ain’t real and I can’t deal with nobody that ain’t real. Is today a typical day in the life of Lil Scrappy?
Is it fair to say that your labelmate Bohagon is a better rapper – There’s a difference between a rapper and a lyricist. I can rap all day but Bohagon’s a better lyricist. What I was getting at is this: do you think it’s your music that “sells” you, or your image? You’ve got the have the whole package. You’ve got to have the brain too. And Bohagon, he has everything too. He does his shit. Bohagon works every fuckin’ day, and he’s a creative-ass muthafucker, and he’s been keeping himself to where the young ladies will like him. He doesn’t have a real problem with sellin’ anything. But when other people can’t see that, it’s kinda hard for you. If you’re going around the whole United States and everybody can see that except the people that put you out. It’s like they’re just now getting it. Now they’re like, “Okay, Bohagon, he is the truth. The nigga is gonna do it.” So now they’re behind him. But you’ve got to put pressure on them, and Bohagon did that. He did it out of his own will and his own thought. Sometimes it takes the whole package. Certain people don’t have to go through that because they’ve already got the package. They’re already set. They’ve already seen other people go through those types of problems, so they’re like, “Look, I need my paperwork straight. I ain’t signing shit. I don’t give a fuck how broke I am. I need to see them papers, and I got my lawyer right here so don’t try to half-ass.” And they got the lyrics and everything. Everybody knows there’s something wrong with everybody. They might not be the hardest, they might not be the realest. They might be somebody who just got a good flow. Those are the ones that halfway win, the ones that got an ounce of will in their body, straight from the suburbs. They’ve always had it, and they’re just getting out of the house and they’re struggling now. So now they’re the hard nigga, the real nigga, and they just want to rap. What’s the best advice 50 Cent has given you? The best advice 50’s given me is, “Fuck that shit, do your shit.” That nigga told me, “You know why I won’t stop, even though I’m wealthy as fuck? It’s because it’s nobody out there that’s doin’ it like that, to where I can just feel good about leaving the game.” It’s entertainment. It’s nobody out there that’s makin’ it look good. He just makes it look good. Like he told me, “At the end of the day, I want you to be you, and go as far as you can cause you’ve got that in you.” When it comes to the music, have you used the 50 connection to work with people like Eminem and Dr. Dre? Yeah, I got a track with Eminem called “Lord Have Mercy” that me and 50 wrote. 50 came up with the chorus and I came up with the verses, unlike some other people that 50 has helped. On that note, do you think you’ll ever be put in a position where you might have to beef with somebody on 50’s behalf? I’ll put it like this: I done seen everybody in the world that 50 has beef with and nobody’s tried me or said nothin’ out of the way. And that’s because I’ve seen them before the situation and it’s always been, “Whassup,” give ‘em dap and keep it moving. I ain’t tryin’ to butt into their shit and they ain’t tryin’ to butt into my shit. 50 told me, “Don’t even try to get into the beef shit, because niggas like you.” Niggas fuck with me, and I fuck with niggas. Don’t just talk about somebody and then take pictures with them the next day or do a song with them the next week. I’m not gon’ do that shit. I’m gonna keep it real. I don’t wanna beef with nobody. I’m not gonna do that shit cause I got a lil’ girl at home and I’m tryin’ to take care of her. I’d rather be real about the shit. I grew up listening to half these niggas, you know what I’m sayin’? What’s the movie you have coming out? 43
The movie is called “Trappin’.” It’s produced by Mekhi Phifer. I play a robber, a stick-up kid. I got a good part; I’m in a couple of scenes. I’m in there for half the whole movie. Stacey Dash is in it – I heard you had a little run-in with Stacey Dash at the Atlanta airport. Yeah, but I don’t think she really seen me. She wasn’t looking at me. Her bodyguard kinda took the whole shine because he’s big as fuck. I was like, “Hey, I just wanna say what’s up to her because I like her work and I’m finna do a movie with her, and I’m from the A and she’s here in my city.” The nigga was like, “She’ll be at Club Compound tonight.” I’m like, “Nigga, I’m from the A, I know where she gon’ be at tonight. I’m tryin’ to shake her hand right now and say, ‘How you doin’?’” So the next time that cocky-ass nigga sees me he’ll know what it is. He ain’t know who I was. I’m like, damn, I’m finna do a movie with her. I have a song on the radio. I’m still poppin’ right now. She didn’t even look over to see what was going on. She just turned her back and kept moving. She’s a beautiful lady, but I just feel like people need to be more realer. Black people hurt each other but at the same time, when we see famous people, all we want is an autograph. You gotta look in their eyes, first of all. I don’t think [her bodyguard] was a good judge of character, because I came up to him real humble. I should’ve been like, “Whassup, nigga, let me holla at Stacey, nigga, get the fuck out of the way before I bust yo’ shit.” We was in the A so I was tryin’ to look out. She might need something. Whatever she needed, you know, I could’ve looked out. I got a baby mama. She might need some girly girl shit (laughing). What’s up with you and Diamond from Crime Mob? I just tend not to answer that question. I plead the Fifth. That’s my lil’ shawty. When does your album come out? My album comes out on October 31st, you know, Halloween. Are you going to wear a costume? Shit, God already gave me one. I’m me for Halloween. Are you gonna be beefin’ up even more to sell this album, going for a 50type look with the bulletproof vest and all? Naw, I just gotta stay in shape. My body is the type that if I just sit down and don’t do nothin’, I’ll get fat. I’m not a skinny project kid, I’m a solid project kid. I’ll be chubby if I don’t work out. Were you chubby when you were a kid? Naw, I was brought up skinny as fuck. But now I see my genes actually kickin’ in. My daddy’s genes are finally kickin’ in. My daddy, he’s swole. He used to be a power lifter. That shit is just comin’ into play. How do you stay in shape? I do jail workouts. I used go to the gym, and that’s what got me to where I’m at. Now I do my boxin’ shit and my lil’ everyday workout.
How much do you think you’ve grown since you came out, not just as an artist but as a person? I’m a grown man now. There’s no hiding that shit. I just feel like I know more now. Ain’t too many people that can get over on me now, but they used to get over on me. They can’t just throw me over here now, cause I ain’t gon’ just go. I’ma still be a grown man, I’ma rap, I’ma get my relationships and I’ma keep ‘em, and I’m not gonna be cocky. I’ma be humble but at the same time I’m gonna stand for something. That’s what you’ve got to tell some of these artists. I don’t care how many records you ain’t sold – don’t let them just throw you somewhere. That’s why they throw you so many places, because they can. They know you need them. I don’t give a fuck. My daughter will eat. I don’t give a fuck where your office is at or how high you are; nigga, everybody can get got. I’m a grown man and it’s all about getting money. We’re going for the same thing. I’m not gonna be lax, cause when you get lax, everybody can get you. What’s the concept of your TV show, G’s Up TV? Is it like a talk show? G’s Up TV is some extra shit that I just wanted to try out. It’s like a talk show without the crowd. People come hang out with me. It’s like Tigger without the DJ and the videos. I do long interviews, that shit’s gonna be crazy. I did Jon and Jamie Kennedy so far. I’m finna do Triple 6, The Federation…. You just ask them some real off-the-wall questions? Yeah, and I got this lil’ thing I call “What if?” It’s a whole bunch of “what if” questions and we go out in the street with the camera following us. Like, I might put a whole bunch of clay with a little bit of water no my hands and walk up to somebody and say, “What if a person you didn’t know walked up to you and gave you dap and mushed your hand full of shit, what would you do?” It’s just something entertaining for the people. We don’t want to be so serious that niggas forget to laugh.
a ’t fuck with and wouldn did that niggas really didn’t, I certain ones “A lot of ’s that here T . ones boy the . ’t I see ‘em young that didn poppin’. Iffor m I’ ones ya.’” that certain now , ‘Damn, I’ll pray them help ’t can m like fallin’ off, I’
You were talking earlier about the fact that you’re a priority at your label now. Yeah, I’m a priority. At first they gave Trillville like three singles and three videos, and it didn’t go nowhere. I was like, damn, you coulda given that to me and I would’ve did something with it. Not to say that Trillville ain’t no stars, but it’s like, when you have a star like me you’ve got to let it shine because it’s gonna shine anyway. I’m not just any star or just any rapper. I got God behind me so I know it’s gonna happen. You can run me down in the woods and damn near cut my head off, but I’ma still do what I got to do. So if a label sees that kind of star, they know they’ve either gotta do something with ‘em or somebody’s gonna pay us for ‘em. Wasn’t your album supposed to drop earlier this year? Yeah, it was supposed to come out earlier, but then the 50 situation came into play and we had to get all the paperwork done. It was a lot of planning, and I needed the time because I’ve never done an album by myself. I would’ve put out some crazy shit and you would’ve been like, what the fuck is this nigga doin’? I had to make it relevant. I’m rappin’ real shit, on that hip-hop note. If I was gonna do “real hip-hop” with 44
just Jon beats, people would look at me like, “I don’t get it.” They wanna see you bobbin’ your head, getting crunk, and jumping in the crowd. They wanna see me goin’ crazy all the time, just like they wanna see Jon go crazy all the time. He don’t have no room to be calm. I wanna have room to be me. Crunk is me, but I’m more of a hip-hop person. I do crunk shit but I don’t wanna make that my main focus.
D N A T S E W D E T I N U E FROST IK M : S O T O H P DOUGLAS N H G U A V e D : S WORD
“At the last SXSW I was DJing to a real mixed crowd. So I put on some Kelly Clarkson and started screwing and chopping it.”
y now, the whole world knows of Swishahouse’s rise to fame: A small label headed by DJ Michael “5000” Watts which produced its own northside brand of screwed music popularized by southside Houston legend DJ Screw. Throughout the late 90s Swishahouse carved out a niche in Southern music putting out the music of regional stars Slim Thug, Chamillionaire, Mike Jones, Paul Wall and others. The label, like many other Houston acts, seemed content selling hundreds of thousands of records independently and maintaining their local celebrity status. That all changed last year with the breakthrough success of Mike Jones’ “Still Tippin’,” which led the charge of Houston rap music onto the national stage. Slim Thug has now appeared on top selling tracks with Beyonce and Gwen Stefani and continues to make noise on Pharrell’s Star Trak label. Chamillionaire has a platinum album and won both an OZONE Award and a MTV Video Music Award for his “Ridin’ Dirty” video. Every rapper is running down South to have Port Arthur natives Pimp C and Bun B bless them with 16 bars, and that small label started by Watts and T Farris boasts two of rap’s biggest names with more to come. Thanks to Biggie, the whole world also knows that with more money come more problems, and Swishahouse is going through a couple growing pains. Rumors have been circulating about Mike Jones and his break with the label so that he can run his own label, Ice Age Entertainment. Swishahouse is also breaking away from Asylum Records, the division of Warner that helped bring their brand of screwed and chopped music to the masses. These two situations alone are large enough to topple any record label, but Swishahouse remains optimistic about their future; a future which includes Mike Jones, a new label, and an expanded roster of artists including a southside Houston legend.
INS GROWING PA
arlier this year, magazines began to report that Mike Jones was no longer with Swishahouse and planned to devote all his attention towards his own Ice Age Entertainment. He separated with his original management and hired Rap-A-Lot Records to represent him, placing considerable doubt on the release of his sophomore album The American Dream. Then, almost as soon as the controversy began, Jones and Swishahouse were working together again, leaving fans to question what exactly happened. It is a question which Swishahouse exec Mike Clarke believes has an easy answer. “In the beginning of a relationship everything is really good because it’s simple,” explains Clarke of the Jones situation. “I think you hear about Mike Jones because the relationship between him and us is more complex. There are a lot more royalties and dollars that need to be split up. Artists like The Rolling Stones routinely renegotiate as their situation becomes more complex. Nobody questions the complexity of that situation. It’s just that when that when rappers do it, people think it’s beef. One of our artists acquired a lot of success so we went back and negotiated with him. People mistake that for animosity when there is none.” In response to Swishahouse’s feelings about Ice Age, Clarke is clear. “From day one we’ve been supportive of Mike Jones’s Ice Age movement. Ice Age is not an entity of Swishahouse so we would not actively promote it, but it’s nothing that we would try to stop or kill.” With one of their top selling artists back on board, Swishahouse execs now feel that it is time to leave Asylum Records and seek out a new home. Clarke further explains, “There is no problem with Asylum. They are designed to be an incubator label, meaning they take up and coming labels and groom them to get them ready for that next level. Swishahouse just reached that next level much quicker than anyone’s anticipation. We got value from the relationship with Asylum and now that they have helped us build our brand it’s time for both of us to move forward. Right now we are just looking for the best place for our team.” 46
0” WATTS MICHAEL “500
hat is your take on the artists that feel you are profiting off of DJ Screw’s legacy? Watts: First of all, we can’t take from DJ Screw. That’s his name. I know a lot of people feel differently but I look at the music like an art form like jazz or rock. It just happens to be that DJ Screw created it out here. I think people should look at it as more of an honor because his name carries right along with it. Okay, what do you have that’s about to come out? Watts: We have The Day Hell Broke Loose Part 3. It’s a compilation that comes out every year and a half. The first one broke Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Chamillionaire, and Mike Jones. For the new album we have some new artists like Coota Bang, Archie Lee, E Class, and Yung Redd as well as Paul Wall and Lil Keke. Any plans to screw other artist’s music? Watts: Yeah that hasn’t changed, but now I’m opening up the playing field a little. At first I did a lot of Southern music but now I’ve branched off into doing rock. I’ve also been doing some overseas stuff with people from Japan. Japan? What artists are you working with from there? Watts: There is a group signed to Def Jam called Teriyaki Boyz. They’re part of the Bathing Ape clique. I screwed and chopped their record. So you’re trying to expand the sound of the label? Watts: Yeah, exactly. The Swishahouse movement has a wide fan base – from rock to rap to R&B. The thing is now trying to get involved with all those genres. I heard you recently worked with the rock group Korn. Watts: Rock is just something I always digged. I just really did it for the
UNITED WE ST AND fun of it. I told Clarke that it was something I wanted to do and he came up with the project. I’m a huge rock fan. I’m an extremely open-minded person and I like to keep my options open. I’m gonna always be trying other types of music whether it’s released commercially or not. At the last SXSW Convention I was DJing, and I saw it was a real mixed crowd. So I put on some Kelly Clarkson and started screwing and chopping it. Kelly Clarkson? Watts: Yeah, and Mike Clarke was like, “Man, cut that off! Cut that off!” So I cut the music off and said, “My manager Mike Clarke told me to cut this music off.” All you could hear was “Booo! Fuck Mike Clark!” Looks like you have screw music on a nationwide level, and in such a short amount of time. A lot of rap labels that have come out so quickly disappear just as fast. What keeps your label at the forefront? Watts: I’ll tell you this about us. We’re a really fair company. We pay our royalties and everything. I think that’s it – we’re fair about it. We’re not the type of label that goes out and tries to stick people on the back end like some of the horror stories I’ve heard about other labels. We make it because we’re fair.
“Swishahouse was like our Roc-A-Fella, so when they called me it was a no-brainer.”
What is your situation working with Swishahouse? E Cla$$: Swishahouse, in Dallas, that was like our Roc-A-Fella. Paul Wall was our Jay-Z; Slim Thug was our Beanie Sigel. Getting signed to Swishahouse was like a lifelong dream. We didn’t grow up jamming [East Coast music]. I mean, we heard The Blueprint and stuff like that, but we were listening to all the Swishahouse mixtapes. They were so big to us that when they called me it was like a no-brainer. No question. Besides the vets on Swishahouse, who are some of the rap acts that influenced you? E Cla$$: Man, I love Ludacris’ music. UGK, Scarface, and Master P. I was basically influenced by entrepreneurs; people that made a way out of no way. These people couldn’t get recognized or heard so they went out there and made themselves be heard. What was it like to rap on the Korn CD? Had you listened to their music before? E Cla$$: Yeah! I had listened to Korn, AC/DC, whoever. I listen to all music because I know what’s behind it. I know what it takes to create it and I appreciate people’s hard work. When can we expect to hear your work on an album? E Cla$$: It’s called E Dash C.com. It will be out sometime around the first quarter of next year. Where do you see yourself going as an artist? E Cla$$: I see myself as being a successful entrepreneur. I have a website where I sell tennis shoes and T-shirts. Just something I can do on my own. I just see myself as someone for the people of Dallas to look up too. When people say Dallas, I want them to think of E Cla$$. I want us to have that bond in Dallas that Houston has with Swishahouse, Rap-A-Lot, and Wreckshop, where all the local artists work together. I want to bring that attitude to Dallas, and not just push myself, but push the whole city of Dallas to the rest of the nation.
“The whole world is picking up on [screw music]. It just keeps growing. It’s like an epidemic.”
allas rapper E Cla$$ is the first rapper signed to the Swishahouse label who is not originally from Houston.
How did you hook up with Swishahouse? E Cla$$: I dropped a single independently and Paul Wall was featured on it. It made a lot of noise in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area, San Antonio, and Austin. Since Paul was featured on the song that gave [Swishahouse] easy accessibility to hearing it. They liked it, heard some of my other music, and we made it happen. What type of music can we expect to hear from you? E Cla$$: I don’t want to be labeled as a gangsta rapper or a club rapper – I do it all. I can do a song for the ladies, a song for the club, a song for the streets. My whole objective is to show my humbleness and that I’m down to earth. I talk about everyday things that we all go through so you can relate to it. What do you say to critics that say Southern music is too commercial? E Cla$$: Everyone has their opinion and they’re entitled to it, and if someone feels negative about my music I don’t get mad. Hopefully, one day I’ll make something that they like.
oota Bang is the youngest member in the Swishahouse who was brought into the camp by Archie Lee.
How do you feel being the youngest person on the label? Coota Bang: I’m holdin’ it down for all the young people across the world. 47
AND UNITED WE ST So Swishahouse is the label that you came up listening too? Coota Bang: Yeah, in high school on the northside that’s all we came up listening too. That’s a camp I always wanted to be a part of and as I got older and started wreckin’ more it just happened.
Any artists you plan on working with on the album? Archie Lee: Well, of course my family Paul Wall and Keke, but as far as features outside the label there are a couple of people I plan on working with but it’s not official. It’s gonna be a beast.
What’s the name of your album? Coota Bang: It’s called The Big Bang Theory. It should come out late 2007. I’m waiting because I want it to be right. It’s the story of the hood. It’s everything that goes down in the streets, everything that I grew up around, and everything that I’m a part of. My style could be classified as hood. It’s more of the street type of rapping instead of standing there and fly talking.
How do you feel about artists that criticize Southern rappers for their lack of lyricism? Archie Lee: I really do feel like when they try to say what “real hip-hop” is, they try to shit on the south. What it really boils down to is, if you’re making good music then that’s what it is – good music. It doesn’t matter if you’re from the East or West. I think it’s more on the line that the South is getting hot right now and other artists don’t like it and they criticize. That’s what I’m thinking.
How do you feel when you look back and see where screw music started and where it’s at now? Coota Bang: The whole world is picking up on it. It just keeps growing. It’s like the new epidemic. Being one of the youngest people on the label, do you feel any pressure to perform at the level of your labelmates? Coota Bang: No, not really because I’m part of the team – it’s like a family. So, whatever I can’t do they are going to help me so that I can learn how to do it.
Who are the artists that influence your music? Archie Lee: Got to give it up for UGK, you know, Pimp C, Bun B, Scarface, Geto Boys, and N.W.A. Right now I’m feeling Juelz Santana and Cam’ron, the whole Dipset movement. I’m really influenced by the down South and West coast music. That’s what I grew up listening to. Do you feel any pressure coming behind successful artists like Paul Wall and Mike Jones? Archie Lee: You know what it does for me? It actually motivates me to work that much harder, by surrounding myself with other artists like Keke. I look up to Keke. I don’t want to say it’s competition, but the rivalry and competitiveness makes the music that much better. How do you feel about the state of Houston music right now? Archie Lee: I feel like right now in 2006 and 2007 labels like Swishahouse and Rap-A-Lot are helping to bring Houston together. There use to be a lot of hate and shit going around, and that was really what was holding us back. Now Houston is starting to get to the level where we all work together and we’re about to come up. At Swishahouse we like to say, “We’re setting trends for others to follow.” We lead by example.
“I’m a hard worker... Sucka Free was too focused on the gimmicks just to get a dollar.”
“We’re setting trends for others to follow. We lead by example.”
rchie Lee is one of the original members of the Swishahouse who left before their break on the national scene. He is now back and ready to make a name with the Swishahouse camp.
There was a lot of speculation as to why you left the Swishahouse label. Why did you leave and now return? Archie Lee: I just hopped out there and got my feet wet. The business and everything was good the first round. I had no complaints. My first project sold over 60,000 out the gate. Everything was good, but I just wanted to try something different. When they came to me with a chance to do another album I just hopped back on it. Wasn’t no bad business or nothing like that. Now that you’re back on, what can we expect to hear from your upcoming album? Archie Lee: It’s called Hollyhood. It’s gonna be a beast. It’s gonna be a beast. I can’t even put it into words. It’s gonna come out midyear 2007.
ung Redd started off his rap career as a member of the Sucka Free Camp and underground rap group H.S.E (Hustlaz Stackin’ Endz). Once his contract was up, Swishahouse offered him a deal.
What made you decided to move to Swishahouse after your contract expired? Yung Redd: When I was on Sucka Free they were too focused on Lil’ Flip and didn’t promote me. I had been dealing with Swishahouse for so many
UNITED WE ST AND years and I knew the whole camp for so many years that it felt right to go with Swishahouse. If I was gonna mess with somebody else I thought I should mess with the other Houston camp that’s on top. What do you feel Sucka Free did wrong in terms of promoting you? Yung Redd: I’m a writer. I’m a rapper. I’m an entertainer, but more than anything I’m a hard worker. I’m real marketable, but I’m not a gimmick rapper. I wasn’t really focused on the gimmicks and Sucka Free was real focused on the gimmicks just to get a dollar. They really weren’t concerned about the music quality. They were all about just getting a dollar. That’s where the conflict was. So you parted ways with Sucka Free and came to Swishahouse. When can we expect to hear an album from you? Yung Redd: The name of the album is Dead Presidents but right now we are working on The Day Hell Broke Loose and Paul Wall’s album. We just shot a video for This is How the Hustlas do it with Lil Keke and Weebie. Right now I’m working on Dead Presidents. How does it feel being on the Swishahouse label and working with artist like Paul Wall and Lil Keke who you already knew about? Yung Redd: I’ve been dealing with those cats for years now. I’ll be 25 in a couple of months and I feel like I’m a legend in the making. I’m on the same level as them; I just didn’t have the window that they had, but now Watts, Farris, and G Dash are providing me with a window so that I can be on the same pedestal as other rappers who are doing it big in Houston. So you started off around the same time as a lot of other Houston artist that are out now? Yung Redd: I’m actually a hell of a lot younger than everyone else. I was in high school when we dropped the H.S.E. album. So it’s like you have a built-in fan base. Yung Redd: Everybody is excited about the move. They want to hear what’s new. Plus now I have a squad – a team, and there are no weak links on my team. Everybody is working hard and I couldn’t ask for a better situation. With this new team what can we expect to hear from your album? Yung Redd: I’ll be real, what you’re gonna hear is not a new side of Yung Redd. It’s a side that’s always been there, but it’s what you didn’t get to hear in the past. I’ve really grown since then. Right now if you had to pick ten top rappers in Houston then I should be in that top ten.
Lil Keke is one of the original members of the late DJ Screw’s southside Screwed Up Click. He recently, to some surprise, signed with Swishahouse and is now making moves to unite the city so that Houston can maintain its status in the rap world. What made you decide to sign with Swishahouse? Lil Keke: I’ve been watching the rap game for a minute and I’ve been paying attention and looking at what was going on. To be honest, Slim, Paul, Mike Jones, I love all of them, they all cool, but without me they wouldn’t be here. Not to say they wouldn’t be rapping. I have respect for all of them, but the style of rap that they do is a style we brought out years ago. Before anybody was accepting this style, me and Fat Pat was dominating the south. Swishahouse had offered me a contract a few times during the year, but I had already sold 600,000 independently. I wasn’t hurting for nothing. But once I saw them consecutively win with my style of rapping for eight or nine months I began to think it was the perfect fit. Do you feel the signing of the contract is helping to unite the city? Lil Keke: Yeah, I’m a leader. The decision was based on me being a rapper. There are a lot of rappers in the city that can’t say they’re living off of the pen. People know my heart and talent, and they know I’m doing this for H-Town. Some people say “Why Swishahouse?” I could have said fuck everyone. Fuck the north. Fuck Swishahouse. Fuck the deal. Now, I’m still a rapper. This is what I do for a living. So when Monday morning comes around, who got something for me to do? So your signing is going to help the city? Lil Keke: Yeah, we need to be more like Atlanta. We don’t know what part of Atlanta T.I. and Jeezy come from. All we know is that they from Atlanta and their whole city is standing up. We don’t know about their north and south. My mission is that you don’t know about Houston’s north and south, just that H-Town dominates the rap game. You feel this coming together is going to be led by rappers like you and Pimp C, who addressed the separation problem on his last CD? Lil Keke: Hell yeah. There was a time I didn’t know Paul Wall or Slim Thug. I didn’t even know if Paul was black or white. At that time if you weren’t fuckin’ with Screw I didn’t know you. There was a time where we weren’t fuckin’ with the north and they weren’t fuckin’ with us – point blank. Now things are different. Ask Paul Wall and he’ll tell you – I’m his favorite rapper.
“[Houston] needs to be more like Atlanta. We don’t know what part of Atlanta T.I. and Jeezy come from. All we know is that they from Atlanta and their whole city is standing up.”
After selling 600,000 records independently, what made you decide to go with a major label? Lil Keke: The game changed. I was making 50 to 60 grand a month at doing shows at 19 years old. When I shot the video for “Souhtside” I didn’t need a video. I just wanted to show Houston we could do it. Then Paul and them came and now it’s about videos, TV, ring tones, and tours. I’d be a damn fool to let them eat off of my music and not do anything. This is about taking my career to the next level and if anybody in Houston deserves this, besides Scarface, it’s me. I deserve it. How do you feel about people saying Swishahouse is taking away from Screw’s legacy? Lil Keke: If they didn’t do it someone else would have. At least it’s in the city. There are people with S.U.C tapes in the store and we don’t even know who they are. What’s dead and gone is dead and gone. You got to move on. I’m going to stand up for the S.U.C and make sure everyone straight. Do I want Screw to be here and him be in charge of this machine and put out the S.U.C? Yes. But that’s not gonna happen. And anybody looking at this rap game can’t tell me that Swishahouse ain’t a machine. They sold 2.5 million albums with their first two albums out the gate. If you don’t think that’s a machine then you not really looking at this rap game. 49
AND UNITED WE ST or 2 others. On my last album, there were 7 or 8 features. I really wanted to tone it down a little bit on this one. My boy T. Farris has really been motivating me to step up to the plate and do my thing.
I spoke with Lil Keke earlier and he says he is your favorite rapper. What’s it like working with someone you grew up listening to? Paul Wall: It’s a dream. Lil Keke is still one of the most talented artists ever to touch the mic. He doesn’t get his just due. He is still my favorite rapper. The verses he’s dropping now are incredible. He’s been a really big motivating force for me to step up. I mean when Michael Jordan is on your team he makes all the other players play better. Now we’ve got Michael Jordan on our team. I’m Scottie Pippen. T. Farris is Phil Jackson. We’re going for the championship. Tell TV Johnny to get our rings ready, cause we’re coming.
“I’m used to disappointment and abandonment from people you love and trust. But no matter how bad your day is, the sun goes down and comes back up tomorrow. No matter how fake your friend might turn out to be, there’s somebody even realer around the corner.”
y now, everyone knows about Paul “What it do” Wall, who is now in the process of creating his sophomore album.
Tell me about the new album. Paul Wall: It’s called Get Money Stay True. It’s been a lot of fun recording this album. I’ve been constantly in the studio almost every day that I’m not out touring on the road. T. Farris is the A&R so you know it’s going to be serious. And Mr. Lee is doing the production, so the music is going to give you shivers. Are you happy with the sales for the last album? Paul Wall: Oh yeah, definitely. We’ve sold over 800,000 albums, and we’re certified platinum. That’s a huge accomplishment for any musician. We’ve been consistent with every album we’ve released. So I’m glad that my status and sales have been continually on the rise. Do you plan on doing anything different with this album? Paul Wall: We’re basically doing the same thing we’ve been doing. That’s what people like about us. That’s what we give ‘em. At the same time, the production has really improved, the lyricism has improved, and in general this album is a lot better. What guests can we look forward to seeing on the album? Paul Wall: Definitely Lil Keke. Other then that, there is only gonna be 1
What is your response to critics that say Southern music is too commercial, focusing on cars and money? Paul Wall: If you lived the way we live, you’d understand why we speak about the things we do. There are so many branches on the hip-hop tree now, and there is a huge fan base for every branch of style. Everybody isn’t going to be a fan of every style, and you don’t have to be. Talib Kweli is one of my favorite artists. I love [his album] The Beautiful Struggle. I didn’t live the way he lived so I don’t make the same type of music. How do you feel about Pimp C’s verse on “Knockin’ Doors Down,” where he advised Houston rappers to align with one another? Paul Wall: That would be a great thing for the Houston scene. For the most part, everybody pretty much gets along great. There are only a few artists, maybe one or two, that pretty much don’t get along with anybody. But God bless them too.
You’re an entrepreneur, so are there any other businesses besides grills that you plan on entering in the future? Paul Wall: Yeah, I’ve already got my hands in quite a few other pots. I’m a fan of music, I love making music. But honestly, I know my career won’t last forever. I’m a hustler at heart. I’ve got tremendous ambition. Million dollar dreams are turning into billion dollar dreams. You seem to be every rapper’s (and singer, and entertainer’s) favorite rapper. How do you maintain in the music industry which can be real two-faced? Paul Wall: I mean, I just be me. I stay true. The world in general is twofaced. I take the good with the bad, and always keep my chin in the air and a smile on my face. I came from a real rough upbringing. So I’m used to disappointment and abandonment from people you love and trust. But no matter how bad your day is, the sun goes down and comes back up tomorrow. No matter how fake your friend might turn out to be, there’s somebody even realer around the corner. When me and Chamillionaire went separate ways 4 years ago, I hooked up with Mike Jones. Then Mike Jones went another direction, and Lil Keke came. At the end of the day we are all extremely successful. I’m happy, they seem happy to me. Everybody has their own journey to travel. Sometimes our paths cross. But my journey isn’t the same as Chamillionaire and Mike Jones. When it’s all said and done, people are gonna be people. There aren’t very many genuine people that have love for you and keep your best interests at heart. Most people have their own best interests on their mind. I’ve been blessed to work with the legendary T. Farris and G. Dash. They always have my best interests at heart. And that’s rare.
! A LUD
ND A L R A G CE G. I R U A M S: PHOTO HNSON ERIC JO
hen you meet Ludacris in person you immediately find that there is a difference between reality and what you see on TV. That’s almost rare. Most artists stay in performance mode 24/7. Don’t think that’s true? Well, go to the flea market and peep the latest random DVD magazine that follows your favorite artist around. You’ll notice that most of them live the entire day as if a microphone is up to their mouth at all times. Do they do it for the camera? Who knows? But you won’t be completely wrong if you get the sense that the world to them is a stage with millions screaming their names. Ludacris is different. When he is in performance mode, he’s live because he is supposed to be. When he is in front of a camera he turns his star wattage way up because he is supposed to. But when the music isn’t playing and the cameras aren’t rolling, Ludacris only comes out when he is summoned. If he sees people walking past him, he doesn’t clear his throat to get one of those “hey, isn’t that…?” responses. He lets them mind their business. If a pack of teenagers stroll by, he doesn’t greet them with a wide smile assuming that they want his autograph. He lets them be. So naturally on a rather quiet Saturday afternoon in downtown Atlanta, Luda, or Chris Bridges at this particular moment, is minding his own business conducting a photo shoot. There is a celebrity car show in town that is sure to be followed by at least 5 afterparties. But Luda won’t be attending any of these events. The only fancy car he will be seeing is his daughter Karma’s Barbie Escalade. While he is known for animated videos and now television and movie roles, Luda will be playing “Karma’s Daddy” today and it’s a co-starring role. He’s not complaining though. Days like this are cherished and might be part of the reason why you haven’t heard his name pop up in the tabloids or the police blotter over the past 6 years. Really, besides the times he has a new album or video out, you don’t hear much about him period. So, instead of crafting the rompish, party-animal skewed, colorful personality driven albums that he’s become known for, Luda will be getting up close and personal with his new album Release Therapy. What are you getting off your chest with your fifth album? I’m getting honesty off. The last 4 albums I kept information to myself because I didn’t feel like the public needed to know. But now I’m at a point where…[trails off]. I signed a 5 album deal for Def Jam, and when I started recording this album I kinda had a lot of subject matter in mind. I didn’t wanna talk about the same shit I did on the last 4 albums. I’m giving my thoughts on my personal life. I’m getting family stuff off my chest. I’m talking about my daughter, my thoughts on the Lord, where I feel like I’m at in the rap game.
Karma softly interrupts: Daddy.,. Karma’s Daddy: We almost done baby, 10 more minutes. You’ve avoided the tabloids, and visits in the rumor mill. Do you consider yourself lucky to not have to go through that? Luda: I don’t feel like I’m lucky, but I feel like all my fans wanted to know how I felt about certain things and I’m finally doing it after holding out for so long. It’s therapeutic for me. It’s the same as sitting down talking to a psychiatrist, and it’s gonna feel the same for the listeners too because I know they can relate. Talk about some of the songs specifically. Luda: With “Tell It like It Is,” I know there are a lot of people trying to get into this hip-hop game and a lot of them don’t have their business right. They just want to rush into it and worry about the consequences later. I’m trying to educate people and tell them there is a flipside to this rap game. All these rappers wanna paint it like it’s this great lifestyle where we always having fun; it’s not all good all the time. On “Runaway Love” I’m talking about the pressures of life. People get fed up and want to run away from home. Young children getting abused, or young ladies who might get pregnant, people doing drugs. Me and Mary J did that one together. Then on “Slap,” everyone’s been in a situation where they wanna slap somebody. I’m talking about how the government treated people after Katrina, and people stressed from working a 9 to 5 and hating their day job.
Karma returns: Daddy… Karma’s Daddy: We almost finished.. All of your albums have been solid and entertaining. But many would say that you have yet to drop a classic album. Not to cut you off, but this is my classic, word for word, song for song, hi
hat for hi hat, snare for snare. This is the one. But I don’t pay attention to stuff like that, honestly. I heard people say that Word of Mouf was a classic. If people are sleeping on my skills they gonna wake up real soon. If people weren’t giving me props, they did with Red Light District. I’m coming with the consistency; multi-platinum albums. It took a little time but I think people are finally giving me the respect I deserve, and they can’t front on me after this album. You’ve achieved a vast amount of commercial success, but even with that, are you at all envious of the street cred of say a Young Jeezy or T.I.? I’m never envious of anything like that. I don’t knock what anybody does. I respect what anyone has done to change their lives. Am I envious of that? No. I’ve been through my own struggles. I think being gangsta is telling the truth, so I’m the most gangsta muthafucka in the world. I don’t lie to nobody about shit, I’m giving you me. The real street muthafuckas respect a nigga who tell the truth; that’s street. If they telling the truth on their own accord, that’s good because I’m telling the truth on my own accord. I feel like the most street shit is just telling the truth. You came out in 2000 when the “Southern Takeover” was beginning. But yet we still hear people say you’re not “Southern” and you’re not readily mentioned when people say who’s the best down South. How do you respond to people that say you’re not “Southern” enough, maybe because you don’t have that typical Southern drawl? I’m universal. I never limit myself to the South, like I said on “War With God” I’m universal. People used to call me the mouth of the South. I never came up with that title; they just called me that. I respect all Southern rappers for what they do, they feeding families, but you not gonna limit anything I do. People are entitled to their own opinions, but at the end of the day, I done sold 15 million records. I can give a fuck what anybody says about me. I’m feeding the hell out of my family. But if you don’t have haters you doing something wrong, and if you got haters you doing something right in your life.
Karma returns, frowning: Daddy I’m tired. Karma’s Daddy: Stop making that face, we’re almost done. Speaking of “War With God,” who are you talking about on that song? Some have said it was directed at T.I. or Young Jeezy. That’s funny. I got a song with Jeezy I did before the “War With God” came out. Somebody who interviewed me misquoted me saying I was talking about myself. I said that I divulge more information about myself on that record than it is just me going at one person. If I was talking about one person, I would’ve said their name. I did that record because I hear a lot of subliminal stuff from rappers, but they never say my name so I’m never sure if they’re talking about me. So that’s my way of sending subliminal shots right back at them and at the same time divulging personal info about myself. I start off saying I’m the best and that I never sold cocaine. I’m talking about myself, so if someone is talking about me, come to the forefront and say my name. Jeezy was on my album so it’s funny they would say that.
You probably know by now that Bill O’Reilly and Oprah Winfrey aren’t Luda’s biggest fans, which is actually quite surprising. He gets paid to voice his opinions and musings just like they do. They publish books, he records albums. They conduct interviews, he gets interviewed. Maybe they’re mad because he is a business man who doesn’t, er, didn’t look the role at the time. Luda isn’t complaining too hard, though. The void that Pepsi left has been filled by Puma and the publicity Oprah gave him landed him a role on Law & Order. Not to mention the fact that he owns a label that’s tasted platinum since its inception. “He’s a very smart and shrewd dude, although he’d like for you to believe he has ADD and has no idea what’s going on,” says Jaycee, Luda’s longtime tour DJ. “That’s what all the ‘great’ CEOs do, I suppose.” People had some interesting things to say when word broke that you were coming out with a clothing line, CP Time. Can you explain what the title means? It means Chasing Purpose ‘Til It Meets Existence. We flipped it to a positive meaning. I’m one of those people who get to places on time and that has to a lot to do with being business minded and professional. If you get there on time you leave on time, you get there late you leave late. It’s been said that the music industry is 99% business and 1% talent. I realized that along time ago. I’ve been rapping since I was 9 and it took me ten years to realize that. I definitely know I have talent, but I’m the perfect balance. If you’re business minded you can stay in this business whether you’re a rapper or not and will know how to make money off 53
yourself or other people. If you just got talent and you’re not business minded you can be here for all of three months. Did you cut your hair off for business reasons? It was a personal decision; it just came at a business time. I had braids for ten years, and I was sick of getting my hair braided. I’m getting older now, and I never front on my age. I love age and I’m getting better with time. I’m 28 years old. I told myself I wouldn’t go over 30 with braids. Plus, this album is talking about some more serious shit, so I might as well cut it now. We hear a lot of guys say that they don’t want to be 40 years old rapping. Do you think the idea of rapping at 40 is whack? To each his own. Some niggas are whack rapping at 40. Some niggas are still going hard. If you still motivating people and we still have a need for you, I don’t give a fuck how old you are. Me personally, I don’t want to be rapping at 40. I’ll still be in music somehow, as a CEO, but I don’t wanna be 40 rapping. If anything can be said about your artists, it’s that people know who they are, even though they know they’re with you. How have you been able to avoid overshadowing your artists in that way? I just feel like we all have different personalities. None of the DTP artist sound like me. Then we broke an R&B artist [Bobby Valentino], so we started molding ourselves as a label. If you have a label with all rap artists, you’re limiting yourself. Labels have different genres of music. You also have the Ludacris foundation. When you do charity events around Atlanta, only a couple news channels show up. David Banner voiced his displeasure after seeing how news organizations didn’t flock to his Heal The Hood concert. Do you share in his feelings as far as how the media gravitates to negativity rather than the positive things artists do? I definitely share in Banner’s feelings, but I don’t dwell on that. The most important thing is giving back, and I’m sure he’ll say the same. Whoever shows up, cool, but as long we do what we gotta do I’m good with it. But I understand that the media is gonna focus on the negative. They wanna paint us as the anti-Christ, so whenever they can, they gonna do it. Do you think rappers are the new leaders? I can’t say that all rappers are, but I do appreciate the ones that do try. I look forward to working with them more so we can set an example and have others following our footsteps. ABC News recently ran a special about AIDS in Black America and they
“Hip-hop is a coded language, and people who don’t understand it, fear it.”
alluded to the notion that hip-hop music and video promote promiscuity, thus leading to sexual irresponsibility. When you hear about the high numbers and how hip-hop gets part of the blame, do you think rappers should speak up in some way to help the problem? I can’t speak for other rappers, but I stand behind everything I say and if anybody wants to put me to the test and question my lyrics, I’ll explain them if I feel they are worthy. But to answer your question, I do feel like more rappers should, but I don’t think we have to, because we don’t have to prove nothing to anybody. But if put on the spot sometimes we do have to let people understand what we’re doing. Hip-hop is a coded language and people who don’t understand it - people fear what they don’t know. They criticize because they don’t understand; if they took time to understand they wouldn’t trip as much.
Karma appears again, sighing: Daddy you’re taking forever. Karma’s Daddy: We almost finished. Lately you’ve been letting it be known that you want to be considered a top five emcee. Nobody is messing with me in this game. When you look at sales, consistency, how many albums sold, features, and personality, I feel like nobody is messing with me. I feel like I’m getting there. When I said I want the number one spot I meant overall. I don’t think I’m the best because of record sales, I meant everything together. But no, record sales don’t mean everything. I feel Jadakiss is dope, but he wishes he could sell more. Beanie Sigel is ridiculous on the mic but hasn’t sold very well. A lot of artists want to sell more but I don’t think it’s all about record sales.
Karma: Daddy, I’m tired and ready to go. Karma’s Daddy: Five more minutes. Karma: When is five more minutes? Karma’s Daddy: Count to 200. Karma: I’m ready to go now. Karaa’s Daddy: We could have been gone a long time ago, but you keep wasting time asking questions. It’s safe to say that Chris Bridges is an excellent multi-tasker. He is an artist, philanthropist, CEO and most importantly, Karma’s daddy. So for all of those who thought that he was just a loud-mouthed character, that image is soon to change. “I’m just a down-to-earth dude at the end of the day,” he says, finally fulfilling his “five more minutes” promise. “Ludacris is not her father. Release Therapy is gonna let you know who Chris Bridges is.”
PATIENTLY WAITING 2006
: CLASS of 200. 690) ba boys (pg (pg. 82) baby drew92) b.a.n.g. (pg. 98) LUMNI: A E big zak (pg. g. 58) L B A T O N charlieo (p g. 95) 03) Akon (June 20 2004) curren$y (pg. 80) eptember (S (p yola d. g. Big Kuntry 2005) (pg. 59) diggla T eptember (S dir Big Tuck . 60) 2003) don fetti (pgg. 61) ctober (O Bohagon dukwon (p62) (Sept. 2004) . g (p eclipse Chamillionaire 2004) 3) 6 . g (p fatboy (pg. 64) rime Mob (April 05) C ghostwridah 20 100) ovember . g (N (p L 4 D hezeleo . 65) 05) (February 20 R hue hef (pg1) S D 2005) ebruary (F j dash (pg. 9. 66) ane M Gucci j khrist (pg . 67) (June 2003) -O g (p Jacki jewman ay 2004) (M ) 8 8 . g reeze (p B jibbs Jody ) 8 6 . g (p (June 2004) kaliko oosie B ) 9 il 6 L . g 2003) kantrell (pg. 70) eptember (S Lil Scrappy killa kim (p 04) (pg. 93) Jones (May 20 ike kottonmouth M 2003) ) 1 7 . g (p eptember joe (S lil Paul Wall lil ru (pg. 85) ) 2003) une (J 7 8 . g itbull (p P . 2005) M.O.S ) eptember 2 7 (S . g (p mr mack g. 96) Play & Skillz (p 2005) p stones (pg. 99) eptember (S Plies 2003) ctober papa duck (pg. 86) (O Pretty Ricky paperchase 2004) pril (A ) 4 7 . g hug (p T pop Slim 3) 8 . g (p rashad (pg. 73) (April 2005) mitty S rock city (pg. 75) 2005) ay (M ain -P boys T s.e.ga 2003) ) 6 7 . g (p eptember (S spark dawg Trillville 77) 2004) ) ovember 7 9 swordz (pg. (N (pg. Webbie 2003) the ghostwriters eptember ) (S 4 9 . g (p otti G Yo 2006) tyte wurk ebruary (F ) 8 ro 7 unk (pg. Young D g. 79) (p ay 2004) joe (M willie Jeezy Young 4) 2006) wine-o (pg. 8 9) 8 pril . g (A (p Joc Yung young capone ) 1 8 . g (p yung sean
PATAIENTLY W ITING
lthough lotte, N they have the Bobcats orth Ca ro th in almost e Hornets, be lina lost their town now, C see the cause o same th f a lack first NBA fran harc ing hap o pening f support. Cha hise, “For on with th rlieo ca e, we n e music n eed unit from th scene. y e game. “ Carolinas nee ,” he blasts wh Everyb d to do e n a sked w ody nee in orde thing o hat a r ds n nobody the map. And to come toge to succeed in th rtists ther so we nee from th e rap w d Petey P e ablo on Carolinas on radio, cause y e can put this ou don the rad the rad ’t io. You io no m don’t ev hear ore.” Instead en hear o penden f waiting on r a t grind w album Fifth Y dio, Charlieo fo e it after. N h DJ Chuck T ar Senior by g llowed up his etting o indeow aim and fin n in is he can create h g to drop the hed a second his mixtape album so perfect is own sound a si mongst ngle, Charlie on “I don’t o hopes his pee r rs. else talk eally talk abo ut the n s about. ormal th sists. “I I try to tr in own wa y to take wha talk about diffe gs that every t every y. My st body els rent thangs,” body even na yle is re he e is med it ally har yet.” d to desc doing and d ino ribe be cause I it my ain’t
IS REALLY “MY STYLED ESCRIBE HARD TO AIN ’T EVEN I BECAUSE D T.” NAME IT YE 58
Right n o Man, w w the only na m h album. ich is the title e that matters The pro o is The D time co duction f Charlieo’s u iary of p ll is made so aborator Vinn being handle coming sopho A Boss more y Delux und tha d by Ch e, t can on a ly be tr so you can ex rlieo and long “It’s a lo aced to pect a ta t his crea ilor to hear of different in tor. it g unique ,” he says. “O redients in m nc y a trying to nd it’s like no e you hear it, style. You’ll ju th y st have push it get the right ing you’ve ev ou’ll hear tha si er t so gain en we can boom ngle so we can heard before it’s .W o too bad ugh success off at the stores li push it. We ne e’re .” ke we w ed to that, a d an istributi on deal t to, and if we Until th w ouldn’t e look Carolin n, expect to se as. In fa e ct, he d and hear abo ut oesn’t w “Get ou ant to b Charlieo all o t e the on v promote of the studio a ly one o er the n ut there you sho ,” he advises h d get out here . is u you’re ld be buying w peers. “You’r in these streets gonna d e o it, the rapped vans. buying the C and he G n do it. That’s h et for real abo vys, but Words: ut it. If ow we’r Mauric e G. Ga e doing rland it.”
A L G G I D
Click, up 904 rap gro -hop, his e th f o uarter Southern hip stands ts one q epresen ew addition to ry, Dirt Diggla r ly n o not lan delive he is stil t Diggla ynamic rida, Dir nd all. Though t voice and d lo F in oss distinc swag a st cities e all acr roughe ative, country gnition for his now m eal recogk e th le p f o o st pe ay. R g reco om one nville n me tod ’t had to rts, “Mo ising fr a true Jackso eniable. Gainin gla asse m the exact sa p it trill. I ain ig . o d e D n ls n t a u o ir e e is n he s ar tha ple, D e then and I’ ays ke e ways l abilitie me peo d I alw musica peers, in mor deter so . They knew m ’t no fake an ould.” ld u o t is w in w h ct. I a ation eople il now ongst ing, Dir out am any situ I was a baby ‘t hy I get respe es] like most p on rapp childhood t in se y e it r r w e at’s hen otyp ts w mino as his from w ize real and th al with [stere his sigh iggla, or S.J. ed him, had being a Before D While the city n de call s d n ie sketball fr ising ba a prom ead of him. h career a eing kicked b Despite r high schools u out of fo a “troubleg in e b r eived a fo Dirt rec maker,” ge scholarship d. e il full coll . “But I was w sts ha r a o ll a sp T r fo in school I was in it just wasn’t sh ap d n see a I left. R g in g out so pannin always someth ke ta s a ’t n w id g d pin g, but I out 2002 in o d s l ab I wa sly unti utlet it seriou usic was an o that M . m 3 o 0 fr 0 2 y a r o aw nd.” to stay for me grew up arou I le y lifest dy ad alrea es, gh he h ith Mike Jon u o h lt A ngs w wasn’t so it d , e ie d r b reco Web rade A all and Paul W 5’s release of G people t 0 until 20 e Mixtape tha s abilit’ Th Gracy: k notice of Dir single d o truly to 904 Click’s lea one ed e ties. Th t’s Me” featur ses the a r e D v “ g d e n titl itti irt. As ardest h from D of the h d ever heard circulated, z ha streets acy buz de A Gr nt that the 904 . a r G e th e em e appar st one g it becam more than ju emerge from d a to h artist Click g Cash, g Youn ond solo The sec , the first bein M.O.E. label up the gro ins loyal to his ic, our CEO, a V m e r Dirt up with ut eight years o d “I grew mates. since I was ab h T Smiley an it sh w a y p C r u e d v e n a .E qu ut 2002 idn’t cli old. I d Man until abo ” t. n o e h k Chic up is our gro chosen body in s for his r life. n o ti ta c pe t fo gla’s ex to be se . Dirt Dig are simple – y own money n m m io g profess been makin since a baby. I’ r ys ula n a g w e r o lw a o y I n “ e nm can n’t hav I was o Really usic ‘cause I ca my love and I r as fa is m s is is e. Th in th oss.” A just t ain’t m y own b job; tha ots and be m ys his crew is lly a sa sh e t r e ir ’t th D n ll o d es, ca deal go er. “We t this a record r the right off hen we can ge fo w waiting ush for a deal t.” r en d to n d e e p e e n d super in money ercity Ms. Riv Words: rrence Tyson Te Photo:
TNVILLE, FL DICR KSO JA
“WE DON’T RE LLY NEED TO RUA SH FOR A DEAL W WE CAN GET HEN HIS MONEY SUPT E INDEPENDEN R T.”
PATAIENTLY W ITING
rying to of cour gain ground in se, talen the wo t. T en rld ist/CEO ce, however, c alent is some of hip-hop re th a q w n Federal ho since 199 not be so easi ing one is bor uires extraord 6 has st inary d n with; Fetti Re ly b e st eadily b o e d cords. een buil wed. Enter Do etermination termination, e xperien and exp n Fetti, Bred in ding his ce, and erith the stre la e b a el, rtson Ken e tucky, F ts of Hendermany tr etti face ia while tr ls and tribula d ti ying to both th cover fo ons e business artistic and th r e As a wa sides of the in d y and rev to generate b ustry. u e he prom nue for his lab zz e o te s c oncerts l, major la w b contacts el artists and ith u establish as a way of sh ses his o Someti ed artists his h wing m u ended u es these endea nger. v p money. simply costin ors have g “ we wer When we first time and e with Bo supposed to d started, o n “But so ecrusher,” rec a show methin a g happe lls Fetti. show e ne nd that rea ed up falling d and the a ll why yo y hurt the lab part and e u hear ab ’re only just st l. That’s o a forever ut Fetti. I’ve b rting to .” een doin g this Presentl y, Don release Fetti is o p Kentuc f his debut solo reparing the ky, and DVD, T album Mr. Hot TV s o heavyw , co-signed by o Real for su e Young ights as Pimp ch Southern B C ditiona uck, and Pimp , Yo Gotti, lly, Fett in’ Ken i . Adbring F is const ed a realm a eral Fetti out ntly trying to n o “It’s a fu d into the majo f the indepen de ll “It’s alw -time grind, r label circuit. nt m a getting ys been a har an,” explains Fe d w of the su ith the right task, but it’s a tti. people.” b o c c e ss of his st business And be ut re c e ation fo s, Fetti can w et buzz and si ause de ait r into the him and his a for the best si rti distribu bureaucratic o sts before jum tuc ti the end on. “Believe m ean of major la ping b o will be f the fourth q e,” boasts Fett el i. knockin u g on th arter, all the m “By e door.” ajors Due to his indie freedom status, D “the Ke to tune his mu on Fetti has a ntucky ll si sound” c into what h the East Co :a a e about e st, West Coast combination calls v , o “Kentu ery style of m jazz, bluegrass f South, usic the cky sou , and ju nd” to a re is. Br st of Fetti’ in n s market, primary goals ational audien ging the . “We’r ” he exp c e is one e Kentuc ky is or lains. “Nobody in an untouch e who Ke r ntucky eally knows w d is.” With ju here st of now enough talen here” m t, this “ ay just guy fro determ ha m in of oppo ation and exp ve the right c the middle o erience rtunity . to answ mbination of er the k Words: nocks Rohit L oomba & Mike Li
-TIME “IT’S A FUL’SLA BOUT IT GRIND... WITH THE GETTINGPEOPLE.” RIGHT
N, FL O W K DU ONVILLE
d him to courage ad. He was n e , C d ing Run-DM ith my d with ood friends w t I started tak e r u to o u g h b l a w e e , d r r a fathe rst gr y was on. His aster Ja in the fi r Dukw pping. Jam M was rapping fo t u o I a veryd r y life. ed in worke D and e ame all dad was involv e a rapper all m out a C a pivotal g t e u p th I e “ b cess. uld be s to hav re. “My g me to e of suc ject wo ate seem sed on his futu been pushin first tast s his next pro is ’s u h e c d H fo e . stay ager rienc ow wa ad man on’s he says. on expe idn’t kn their ro tenth grade,” f Dukw 2, Dukw at Dukwon d 0 0 2 e title o imself in in h l in th o y W o o sl h ls .” u c a e S . It is er on und h do it. High it serio ing city won fo Ribault op anoth er grow manager, Duk od position to ing of g from was gonna dr v n e ti n a a u f d o d I ra in a g ’s road enter o the lan le new After g s asking when ts the c on, Alicia Key . We were just n it was like n ho a se w e . w a r r e p y e t, bod his care unty, re on of DJ Walt y first album nding, and th environmen o in C t l a n e v mom in Du attenti technically m r with The La , a whole new ndmark n d ting the t. a key la . After attrac “It wasn’t eve ple are familia ole new soun , g n the S in d n m eo a s, u L P y lb e sa t. g spot o ow a , a wh h u e l T o in th a H n n ir it . e b n io e p e o v o r W ss a ti a g a fe ded an 6 Bow ge first pro favorable situ ssed it up and tist. It was like n inclu the 200 r er re situatio Jazz Fest and shared the sta ss list w e yet oth d the songs, p whole new a n.” n e’s hole n’s countle We ha me as a situatio That w Maarte Tour. H with a s like Lil of star , Fat Joe, Wayne David s, Fabolou Trick , r e n n a B Mike Daddy, akiss, d Ja Jones, ezy, TJe g n u o Y ld ay J, Fie Pain, R B2K. d n a Mob
“I HAVEN E EN ON LOCAL’TRB A D YET AND IT H IO ASN’T STOPPED M E F DOING WHATROM DOING. YOU G I’M HOOK UP WIT OT TO H STREETS.” THE
also He was appear to d e k boo f the Kings o on the d South n North a T.I. and ith Tour w ymes on h Busta R y weekend. a Labor D iggest ace b e th t u B and is won’s h in Duk “We Ride,” le the sing Killer Mike. g in r tu a fe 003, er nuary 2 Since Ja and his manag n Dukwo ed a coveted aft ed have dr ithout the ne w , e m x ee resu play. H ne, for radio a frustrated to in t s o e n ss e is r p x ople dio in Ja “The ra g us. Some pe e n th ti r n o get o supp e , ‘I can’t are like ck it. Fuck th local fu n o so n io e e d b ra haven’t opped radio.’ I and it hasn’t st You . t g e y in m do radio what I’ h the streets, m o fr e it m w et ook up nkin, g got to h with Bigga Ra p .” u io Rad hook al Nigga your Re . His at he did just wh ly titled I s t’ a th And in priate release e, appro mixtap ne, is due for lo Stand A r. be Novem ercity Ms. Riv Words:
PATAIENTLY W ITING
clipse! h a point a s a exclamatio t the en n d of for does ha reason: every his name thing h s a little e that’s n extra on ot always a surprise, be it. But c been a little ex ause he’s tra. While his were se childhood fr ie gr cal tast egated in the nds es, Ecli ir musi pse! list everyth ene in When g from every d to he wasn where. ’t old en to buy th ou he wen e music himse gh t lf dubbed the extra mile , an h It would is older cousin d s’ n’t be lo he starte ng befo CDs. r d himself making musi e . c “I was 8 y got Sno ears old when o I My Nam p Dogg’s “Wh at’ e got a fe ?” single. I just s eli writing ng to start ,” “It was he remember s. ha verse w lf a verse. Th e as even si to Snoo p’s, but milar it was mine.” He wou ld go on mimic to so other fa me of his vorite e mcees which in Thugs N cluded Bone Twista, Harmony, a kal. Bu nd Mystitw caught hen he w low Mis ind of felsi Crooke ssippians d Grey Sk Lettaz’ ie he was s album, convinc ed that he co himself uld be and hav a fruitfu e l career . That be in said, Ec g li is poise pse! d to show th e many si d his stom es of p ground ing s. wouldn “I say we ’t have a M issi so th to can’t de T W ate. “No hile he can c he same can b fine it.” wn and then e Pine Belt. W und,” he says. ssippi a the Delt e “ city, bu matter what I ter to the taste said about his a. We h e have the Coa I’m from t it is a d ave so m st, Jack business o, I’m making s of his surrou Dragonfly ser u ch flavo nd ies . We go g r, you Words: nna ma ood music,” in ings, he can a of mixtapes a ls k n Mauric si e good o e G. Ga music r sts the preside offer styles th d latest offerin rland egardle ss, but w nt of U2DK Pr at the West a g Who Iz This nd od Kid hat I do is try to uctions. “I’ma Midwest can a ? h p reflect what’s old it down fo precigong on r my in my c ity.”
AST T TO THE CTO L E B E IN P , E A H “FROM T KTOWN TO THE DEL VO R, C A L JA F TO SO MUCHIT S A H I P IP .” SS SI MIS EFINE YOU CAN’T D
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door en the nally op bout 15 or fi n a c d if he use we got a en aske a to reall anaged says wh back home, ‘c e m h ’t ,” sn e a c h m n l a ‘e il h g c st good to brin rolina ve got a y. I got outh Ca change that. ak.” figure I’ forget nobod to I e t n u o b e a that bre s, th s to get dy’s toe I’m not gonn e o n b o o n e of th step on I open doors, eir thing.” I’m one want to g th t if hoping st “I don’t do know tha basically doin ju hands. startm “I e his own bers. “I thing. I’ in ir e y for SC. rs here that ar th in remem mething st g e e in d h o is ,” d e h h p ’t I do so t ain t lunc 20 rap taking 500 tha . I knew I had to round a of him also got layin’ a ts so I figured k to the streets by way p e e st W m “ ju a , c s, e h game or stic rst.” 4 or 15 in these stre He laug the rap p thing about 1 fi d ak into n I was essing aroun ither do the ra put my head e e r h b erl w ia e it m e m to s d a in d a e g a usic gen as ’s st w p h y e a g arr the r Fatbo stic. It ould rap so I zz his m w ed gettin real dra c The bu ted while he “I got in a rated incarce d him prompte is own h to start thern ou label, S Rene Bloodli learned e H s. d r o O c as a CE t a th g fast in o d e ld b he wou e work, th f most o s no big a but it w deal. out uced ab “I prod y album, m 75% of ’t call myself n but I do r,” he admits ce a produ debut album is about h Block. “I e Tha Sam couple of a bought ines with my ch beat ma money, and g in d n e sp nt my ce I spe then sin it I felt like I on how to money to learn ch prod e d e e n u m y tt pre album, do it. I y whole duced m l with a couple .” o a but I de s down here to r e c u d o pr all & and 8B as is UGK h So far h uenced music nd a fl a e in r a JG is M with h nbase. d te c e n fa con ild a him bu helped t is lk abou ing I ta ets behind th y r e v re “E ot the st things I real, I g ey know the rything e th v d me an t,” he says. “E the t u u o o b b a a lk m ta my albu nt that I grew n o y e I sa om the nvironm rough e eal. If you’re fr I’m talkt r a up in is u’ll know wh from the o ’t y in a ts e u e o str e if y e pictur ut, but ing abo u’ll still get th o y streets aint.” ing to p I’m try Garland rice G. u a M s: Word
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“EVEN IF YOU AIN’T FR M THE STREO YOU’LL STILELTS, THE PICTURGEET I’M TRYING T PAINT.” O
PATAIENTLY W ITING
hen att en about w ding high sch o here th a ey wa ol, most stud bout wise kn own as joining the m nt to go for co ents think ilitary. GhostW of the a llege or F b th r South M ove. He wante idah, the cho or Troy Jeffery ink ic d to be , otheria e m w i a s H obvious: most ta a rappe igh, he r le h beating nted emcees in ad his first ba and while atte none tt nding on a ga le th a e game gainst o rbage c it. That today ne o an w me on m as my first se , and me and . “We had a d f the rio P u against y battle career us battle,” G itbull were go de host rec ing at him in b y g iv ing me the hall a the opp lls. “He starte way.” d ortunit That ha y to rap llway le examin d ed the c him to the st reets of ulture a ently, it N n curious was a learning d how intense ew York, wh er about th experie th stayed nce he’d e grind was. e he e hip-h th A o I study at high for so p scene, the m never forget. ppar“I fi lo came b rst,” Ghost say ng. Anything usic and how was ack to m th s. I y crib a “I just studie wanna be a p e city d the ga art of, nd I’ve m Once h been hu e stling e e over there, to his o returned to So ver sinc wn situ e.” u th Mia ation. S ince 20 mi, he applied 01, the th at wo 23-year -old ha rk ethic s dropp ed
two volu feature mes of his stre s e smart m drops from Da t series The H o v o in the a ve, especially id Banner and od’s Choice, w rea. “I fe when fe h C so ever lt like I w mixta ool & Dre. It w ich yo “When ne knows wh had to come o pes were circ as a u u a I showin put it out, it w t I do and repr t with my mix lating g me lo ta e as a gre ve.” at expe sent,” he expla pe riment and cats ins. GhostW started r id a h has bee believe nb s by DJ Id his latest effor uilding off th t a e feature al, showcases Coming From t momentum an s h D freestyle his battle victo is lyrical calib a Bottom, ho d sted er. The ry on 1 s o v e r tr 0 rations v with Sm acks like T.I.’ 3.5 The Beat, ersatile disc his furio s “Ride itty and W P it a u M l Wall. e,” and us Of cour collabo se about li , it wouldn’t b fe young e in his hometo e complete wit m h variety cee has some wn of Dade C out Ghost spit ou th o ti someth f flavors to ad ing to offer. “ nty. Clearly, ng d th in I to be on g different to to the table,” feel like I hav is he ea th e of the best in e table and I fe says. “I am br South M in el I got Words: iami an the pote ging Bear Fr d in th azier e game ntial .”
ON A E BEATING D U D A D PITA D H N A “WE , AND MEIT N A C E AT G H A T B . R GA E GOING AUTS BATTLE.” BULL WERIR SERIO WAS MY F ST
EFC H E U H MAN, S BOW
wn to are kno e South groups. But th in s wn that &B , rural to rs and R lina’s Hue Hef, usically t Gospel singe o r u uth Ca crank o Bowman, So to . d s e k g out n n a e th lking ab e chall when ta “That’s out to b b e a u is H s n notio laugh state. y small ver us,” an, let’t skip o s in the alread shot in Bowm ttos. n id d p e n o s h a h w g w to e ip ’ v r o a H e “ tt h e small he Ghe ies that one of th video for ‘In T ot just big cit n e why th know that it’s .” o u c will ting yo ce has a ghett e’s musi la n to Hu d the ghetto, e st li d Every p a goo beyon ep’s (NSD) on and nds far e nversati his music exte el Never So D e, Hue has o c f ie r m b t ti a la Ab t th r is o h w arkets and ly sh kno let you ecause of him g. In a relative d charted in m b n n a ti mainly rnet marke loaded, sold te n m. savvy in music get dow and Amsterda uth n is a h p nded So n Ja see ho atte ursue a ware to w , la e e u D H p from th ,” says ing school to om Sou ersatile v se I’m v ty before lea believe I’m fr use of my u a c e b “That’s State Universi f people don’t m there beca o o a Carolin music. “A lot up that I’m fr k career in , they only pic a Carolin dialect.” nd voice a
e face n be th who ca oes and feels st ti r a ose sh ve an lling th et to ha te has y no problem fi a st is h s Since ue ha oing state, H at it’s g for the re doing it. u , I feel th sold in the ss it e r to p o in n t I put ecords can be nd [Yung] a ork tha n f the w ys. “I know r ne sells here, o se u hat I ca a “Bec y,” he sa ere, [Lil] Way . So imagine w a w t h here the rig s. T.I. sells h not from a Carolin here and they th s Man bo Joc sell t Paper Game that a th t e do.” and G er The loads on Is Mine kin Ov Streetz , but it was Ta g 20,000 down s e p ta His mix tionally well on, garnerin ep nti did exc veryone’s atte ds.com. is r e o t c h e kesman g r p cau lina Spo erson he o ersodee r v a e C .n e w ww ject Th pular as the p ext pro o at, his n ef’s name as p th f o Because make Hue H om. ith fr to game w poised d the moniker p of his after admitto e t w a o r is bor efner e says nds. “I’ma ut it,” h Hugh H ie under] sinessman abo gly among fr name fo y o b jokin ok the “[Play s, being a bu im to h I to so , n the ladie name was give c thing myself si ting the top of the mu e be at th ith it.” w and ran rland e G. Ga Mauric s: d r o W
VE S THAT HA IE IT C IG B TTO.” ST E “IT’S NOT EJU CE HAS A GH A L P Y R E V GHETTOES. 65
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on’t get th to be ab e wrong idea le to wa a lk on w bout J-Khrist. ”Everyb ater or return He isn’t claim ody thin from th in ing like e dead. g that,” h ks it’s suppose which is Jesse. e urges. “J stan d to stand for Jesus, b ds for m Christ m everybo ut y d North C y’s waiting on eans Messiah, real governm it’s nothw e . a the nam rolina, everyb After all the p hich is the on nt name, e ody’s w a e J-Khr aiting o st artists we’v that ist.” e n Jesse, Feeling so that’ had out of s how I as if arti “didn’t got sts like h S ficially old up the flag unshine And e put his r li so k n and e they state on the map should have,” Petey Pablo “The m . J wants ajors ne to ofe out her e and c d to go ahead heck an and ope it’s gon d n n looking a take, somebo see what’s goin up their ears an d a what th t in Carolina y to trust and g on,” he says. d come and just ey do.” believe “ open th in an ar That’s all e door ti and let st they J-Khris them d t o Your Sw is hoping that pe agger B ack” wh ople trust and ich app believe ears on in his inde his single “G penden e t album t
Hustler ’s spins in Dream. With creasin 3,000 u g he can n get peo , someone mu its sold indep ple to b st e elieve in believe in him ndently and B DS “It’s de everyon .H finitely e around e just hopes a and the him. y’ll see movement. A ll I nee what it and com d is is the best ing artists wit , cause I repre a torch in m h my fl b e a tm ow,” he sent a lot of th y hand akers h worked er eu sa w beat ma ith some of th e, like Ski Bea ys. “We got so p ts k m to do th ing, but it’s st e best artists in . Our produce e of ill no ar rs have e damn th e in du tist because th the mar ing yet. It’s so s they’re brin stry as far as got the safety p ket is so easy. hard, and I d ging out here on It in, and it’s just ’s just like a b ’t know why ig ballo easy to Beyond on and pop.” repping we people worldw for his state, Jide who Khrist a sp share in “I’m th his exp ires to be a vo e erience ice for people type of person s. th that rep coming at’s on the gr r esents in u to the st p right now,” d, the people the epitome o f th th he says. udio an because d make “I can’t at’s struggling e a I them k can’t right no hundred son tell you that I and n gs c w just try ow that you ca . But I try to about the ha an go in p g and go n stronge achieve your ive people ho py life, pe r.” dreams Words: and goa and let Mauric ls if you e G. Ga rland
“I CAN’T T YOU THAT I CAENLL G O THE STUDIO A IN MAKE A HUN ND DRED SONGS ABO U T HAPPY LIFE, B THE I CAN’T RIGH ECAUSE T NOW.”
NS A M W M JE
cou N, . O -Z and S K like Jay apper category s C st ti r A a J his rned-r idolize ntless
g y -tu hustler ers toda is craftin ost rapp ho all into the bred Jewman i w p s other ississip ople. r e kson, M e corne But Jac ent group of p ns all th at’s r w fe o if o d h a fter man w grind, and th grind a w[ish] e m the Je always on th na be at.” o fr s e e m r n o a a c s w e w I m n’t “My na e says. “The Je I get to where ut he is h l ” ti s, n e u r e o e is at b eady an b st h a e n r e n h o g ith w e is alr and how I’m sfied w artist, h isn’t sati n to being an p, barber shop n a m w il sho dditio sly, Je Obviou om there. In a is own car deta h fr r g fa in n o to ow ake openeur, rties. ed to m e entrepr im p r o p r p is ate r, he real est ourselfe do-it-y a y d a e e is alr Since h
t his cit
e is lo if no on
even imself, you, it ies for h portunit t. and help owned k c a b n to come ther was a ren re for tale e meone d on so whose grandfa e the ATL wh n e p e d lik n’t an, “You ca e,” says Jewm ork. “We ain’t m Y takes ti mer in New aine Dupri.” m m u r r d Je ility by z z to ja get visib e likes bump in to n a le c b a u n h th yo e Al ing wit has bee im, he yne and work Westsid s as h g r in fo r tu r ly a a e te d fe W a n ” n il o head Fortu ne w s for L “Bobble have do g show openin osie. His songs Young Shad h o of Lil B nd “Swag” wit ou’re a e n o ls. “If y p Ca is laure e me, such n o g . well restin . Believ plan on from it doesn’t ome you get e h , r e Howev that’s the outc rnight.” e g slackin ppen ov esn’t ha cess do Boothe Cedric Words:
“BELIEVE ME, CCESS DOESN’T HASU P P OVERNIGHT.”EN
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dmit it. W that the hen you thin r k campus e’s anything w of Tallahasse e rong w life. ith that , Florida, two th - perha “People ps you ings come to just swe just don m we’re u a r th e r ’t know ind: Florida S n e . Well, tate Un opens a derestimated. isn’t any talen Kaliko B lo t plans o iversity and FA to let p t of doors an ut, I will say th here,” laughs n intro eople k d gets o K a a t li hav ko. ducing MU. Not now ab u you the out the r music to dif ing the colleg “It’s really a st offes here ferent m local life r While u ggle gro is good he most arkets. too.” w in b g e B ly u for club cause it ut I hav p becau known e se songs like his radio monster “I’m Fresh,” he insist s that he is bringin g lot mor a e. “I do m u about m sic y life too ,I don’t ju st party a ll day,” h e “I don’t says. d fight m o u ther, I’m sic eimuch a pretty v box for oice niggas who do n’t rap.” Aside fr o Pain an m Td his gr oup the Nap p Tallaha y Headz, ssee ha sn’t really g o musica tten on the l radar quite yet. Bu t doing sh with Kaliko the Sou ows all over th ing ope east, includn Juvenil ing gigs for e people in Georgia, are star tin put a so und wit g to city. h the “North F differen lorida has a t sound South F from lo show p rida. I wanna eople th at its m just Mia o m the sou i here. We h re l and ve ave rsatility very un . iv compar ersal. You ca It’s n e us to anybod ’t y.” Words: Charles Parsons
YA “IT’S REALRLO WING G E STRUGGL LLAHASSEE] UP [IN TA SE WE’RE BECAU ATED.” UNDERESTIM
nts to und anta wa n of Atl f spitting profo o ti c se n Road . So instead o to appeal to Simpso lf om the ng his true se down his flow fr e e c -old em before reveali tely dumbed r a e y 0 n The 2 ip-hop trell delibera ed dow sleeve. n dy of h y dumb rtist who g up his enter the bo ight Man,” Ka m in is ’ th n e a a an tM virus to has som le “We ‘Weigh ing from can antrell himself like a ced first sing to know suspect com trap, Kantrell tical u le d e p o is o r u e p g m p li e e ti t o dis n it se th P a N n ld w m a is u o I nh er. agger. “ ose words co with a tale fr ts. As a freshm ed a 3.7 G.P.A sw verses o hip-hop listen t n a confid me.” While th ng that deals ol book smar sity, he earn n rap average so er ntrate o s with a ga ho today’s ” he say get me in the e world with a a with old sc ng State Univ hold to conce ,’ n a M st to eight ol on to th rambli person yled ‘W and I used it ju duces himself -up his street ce major at G e putting scho me. “I freest intro back Scien befor full-ti flow also has Kantrell of being a e tl ti the or ed auth publish asing a le e after r oetry p book of of 16 e g a e y at th Vibes b entitled LL: Can E KANTR Me Vol.1. l You Fee consideren He’s ev rming dual fo ing per n author and a s a ty u d ably “I prob rapper. e another it will wr ok,” he sugbo y tr e o ing p everyth e gests. “If t, I would lov u works o book and an a to have t at the same u o m u lb a .” e tim ed as receiv , ls gh he h Althou m several labe o offers fr doesn’t want to Kantrell ing another g in om risk bec f a bad record o pa y lt m a o c su d a c or t. “[Rec ffers, contrac showing me o es. ess e r r a ” he st cord nies] options, re but not vision with a that a n t o n ti a a w situ “I y and a r those compan from.” So fo tion ow ila I can gr hear a comp e to ,h g ll e in tr h c n it om Ka ntitled 60 fr c si u e pe of m s a mixta include released The mixtape he plans . t s a Minute r wordplay th ture. e fu the clev ore of in the m to show ins. he expla artist,” lines of l a ic r “I’m a ly be along the .” With to .I “I want 00, Nas, and T ame, he g 30 Andre ence into the oned as rg ti his eme ant to be men snap or w ta doesn’t artist. “I’m no an dumb l Ic a typica st,” he says. “ of these other rti t crunk a own, but a lo ow up.” He’s d fl w ir o e fl th y ow h m ’t switc patiently to sh ’t do n a c st n o g arti w in I it “ a ly w trell. definite the real Kan e reveals. “I’m h ld r ,” the wo for long game, I just t Man’ e ‘Weigh to change th ing not try dd to it.” a want to haw Amir S Words:
KTALANTA, GA A
A T...I’M NOT IS T R A L A T IC R O “I’M A LY CRUNK ARTIST. I’M N JUST SNAP OR CHANGE THE GAME, I TRYING TOANT TO ADD TO IT.” W
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illa Kim lion - h - formerly kno as transi wn as K ly ti im to a tick ricist to an un oned from a h ilde ob in five yea g time bomb. rground quee by n rs A winnin amongst frie fter rapping fo nds and g most r o fa f entered , she de the competiti mily and ons she cided to box. “I w st money as just doing it ep out of her or to do it ,n response even putting C Ds out. ot for th a t I was g people, The ettin w perform hen I was at th g from other ing in ta e studio think, d lent sho or a w more th mn this is a lil’ s, made me an just so m e th for fun do it.” . I can r ing eally Kim’s g re undoub atest asset nex te t everyth dly her streng to talent is th in went th g my four old . “I saw er r brother ough. I lost m brothers y oldest when I was you One’s in n wild ou prison right n ger. o t here, a lot of w. It’s a lot of figh kil through ling. Everyth ting, in P alm Bea ing I go about it ch, I c every o ause I know th talk ther cit at in y relate to , so the stor meone can y.” Her nar ra situatio tives of real li ns gain fe ed her tion tha atte t denied, might otherw nis e doesn’t specially since e be portray sh female the typ e rapper ical image. fact, sh In e is opposite the complete o dards. S f today’s stan h as my d e explains, “As re fa are mor ss code, fema r les e they sh accepted whe n ow or they ing more skin rapping , sex. Just about b cover, a y my CD d not wan ude might t to list en to it cause I’ m But afte not naked. r people my mu heard si a respec c, it’s more o f t factor kn si r think I’ me.” a week ecently, Trick ngle “Gimme There’s no que m past ow I have goo . They and her the pha stion th d music a Bottle Daddy’s se wher struggle a . la ” e it hur I s and su test song “I’m group The Du put her in po t Kim has earn ts sitions nk Ryd ccesses, e a Dunk d th e to work title Fla ers. He Ryder” Killa K r w “I want w im has remain featuring Tric current club b ith Grandadd da’s Dawta. H to comp e k a y Souf, I want e d n le D g p te addy pr er, “I P oised, o my albu my albu Riskay, r breakthroug op,” is r omises ptimisti m befo h m locke deal,” sh Triple J to e c c , e r k a e iv e n I e in d d and mo p the m g over th ready fo Ya Hea e says firmly. U tight, have th get a deal. I w st o m r ir e h ty n e tu r rd a ra e future. m goin of supp hosted by Big ntil the release buzz built up nt to start my g. Thro dio spins ort, Kil ugh all la Kim ga Rankins an of her officia so that if I do own label. I h her a l is positi si oning h d Florida’s Da album, Kim is gn a deal, it’s ve a couple of Words: ughter a erself fo fo h r e Ms. Riv ti r a sts tha big ca vy in host r a serio ercity us take ed by DJ Dad the streets wit sh. I’m not tak t I work with over. . h mixta dy Pha ing no tts. Wit b p h a full es, including ullshit F blown arsenal uck What and an army
A Y CD COVENRT, TO “JUST BY M A NOT W DUDE MIGHITT CAUSE I’M NOT LISTEN TOUT AFTER PEOPLE NAKED. B MUSIC, IT’S MORE HEAR MY SPECT FACTOR.” OF A RE
E O J L I L
ound oling ar After fo uple raps he . lf se it get it tells im hear a co ation naged to Joe let h heard, Los ma ow the ch narr u s, o m L d e ig esn’t ne er brother B d by what he r a Scarface sh ld e fo story do il Joe’s dio with his o entals. Inspir rmance spot u m rfo in the st er some instru d opening pe r some t… v te to jail fo t wrote o Lil Joe a cove next week bu “I went tickets and go te to la o to out show,” do the s. “I h g he lau ers y w la d a h dsn o b d an g in y tr men me to rush I still ut there b it.” d se mis t at poin From th asn’t h on, Joe ng any issi been m ortunipp more o e presith s A s. e ti is own s h f o t e den et Valu e tr S label, wants e Jo s, Record at his e sure th to mak e mic is th time on t. en well sp ow ing to sh “I’m try it’s more to at boys th rug dealer,” d being a People think “ l. s. y sa y is coo he dope bo being a ain’t cute. I it That sh g labeled as a in e b e v it ain’t lo st because rapper, a hustler. I ju g t fun bein ow people tha sh wanna rself is okay.” ou being y zz ng a bu generati s Already Thought I Wa ofnd with his tape, his seco Guy ix d a m B e e n Go f th eturn o fering R turn heads. to is sure aring been he you’ve f o ff t u lo st e e. “A “Th y insists Jo ong wa is old,” ok me the wr h my it to people did a dance w it wonh I because ught I was one em.” o r th song; th something fo ot der. I g Boothe Cedric Words:
INK BEINGAAT “PEOPLE TH IS COOL. T.”H DOPE BOY TE SHIT AIN’T CU
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already knows what if “ feels lik I did an tantly. e to be article “Me pe labeled with th rsonally . e lo c , I don’t al newsp If not th want th aper an d they at, but e South c if the fa at least , he is a .H ns wan alled me the K b t to call in (the rem is smash sing out to becom e me that, g of the South le ix th “W e feature All Star ,” he sa its cool. s Yo Go here You Fr king of his d , and ys reluc ” omain, om ” tti, D. Coo ley) and “W hat Up Doe ” featurin g Bonecr u has eve sher ryone in the 8 6 trance. 5 in a He plan s keep it to th by stay at way in to his r g true oo a style ts with he is influe insists n Tenness ced by e like Skin e legends Three 6 ny Pimp, M Playa F afia, and ly. “I’m do in in Knox g shows v Chattan ille and ooga. T rying to get to Memph Nashville and is,” he sa feel like ys. “I people with all the in Tenn essee, w can go go e at hom ld or platinum e alone .” He add s, going o “Ain’t nothin g n been ha where I live. It’s rd for a ll the u dergrou nn me. Aft d artists, not just er I saw embrac h o w peo e on hom d me, I gotta fo ple e. I had c to mov a chanc us e e weeks a to Atlanta a co g u home y o, but I can’t ple le e mess up t. I can’t leave ave a do som the chance I h nd ething ave to sp fans do ecial or wn.” let my Words: Mauric e G. Ga rland
THIN’ “AIN’T NOO N ’ IN GO IVE. L I E R E WH RD H IT’S BEEN TA E H L L FOR A D N U O R G R UNDE T O ARTISTS, N JUST ME.”
PATIENTLY WAITING LANDS S I Y N I T G K CI THE VIR
hone otten p , have g duo before, y it C k .a. Roc ork with the ne singing w uch, a.k o Talk M be the next to ’t from some ’t n o D sn a n nd a a w c d n y e a e iv th sm e e c g e k r in o ll hop they’ve ever Da Sp g” is labels, a Islands, rugglin Virgin rs and record est phone call e th them st d to talk to m g o s, te ig fr o b th s m u r e o e o r th you broth etto y ernor wante lub p eal life ith “Gh y DJs, c they will tell v m man t hook w m that the go e th e c e calls fro y blow up. Bu th pla e g r in y e ll e ks re th tor, te or as, th ho thin n’” whe .’s sena es. sman, w re they ’ “Hustli a call from V.I is e ss a k r o o p R p S ir k the says Da ool tour befo here, but e of Ric hey even got h them,” l remak T bashed oup in for a sc s in the ‘hood oversia irgin Islands. tr y n ll a o e c r g r e V g in w e e th Their d th th o n ng in y flew song a they d in that ngry since the w about how alls like that.” the #1 so ut the song. t n e lts m n o ’t kno gover their be ’t get c cially a them ab out the ent was espe record. “I don e projects don s under ke folb a m u g lb in a e th ree e talk the governm dropped th ult-li niggas in With th “We ar and a c g in the V.I., lowin Atlanta the now ck City o based R ing sh is unlea sic on the u m ir e th y acked b states. B DJ Benny r e c u prod the n’s DJ), B (Ako een ripping b duo has tlanta and A through east with th the Sou -exciter b their clu .” It g n a “B u can’t ough yo “Even th derstand the n really u u still feel it,” o words y Talk Much s n’t ve says Do song that ser e about th ple of their p am ra as an ex nd-accented la o heavy is ery time we d v ets style. “E the reaction g e w g, n w o so N e . r th d bette le are n a r e g big eop ip.” es and p go plac long; that’s a tr a signing g creasin buzz in y plans ir e th With ck Cit g a day, Ro by the ze by releasin e to li a om to capit ixtapes, Welc non n m a f C o n pair Do ity with e New Rock C City a.k.a. th which D ck and Ro ith DJ Benny Ameriw ir e s e th tl a y Be s. db eighbor followe will be t Wake The N u b can de gorize g to cate d The in y tr e ar s an “People lack Eyed Pea eet, it’s r B st h is us wit ut our stuff kesb Da Spo Fugees, uggle,” insists brother r about st along with his of Atlanta’s o e man wh rmed in som ff is high u rfo have pe enues. “Our st v st e ” ti t. it e r g re but is st energy up on e grew think w grew up on ld u o e “Most w usic, but we ch. “W m alk Mu Calypso adds Don’t T a first, we just ,” ric hip-hop pping in Ame accents.” r ra started pping with ou ra d te r rland a st e G. Ga : Mauric to o h P and Words
ROLACNTA, GA via AT
TRYING TO “PEOPLE AERUES WITH BLACK S, CATEGORIZ D THE FUGEETE.” N A S A E P D E EY FF IS STRE BUT OUR STU
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ost arti st with le s spend years waiting gends in for the r the m a p per to beco me one Pop has alrea usic industry, chance to wo dy wor r himself ked wit but Houston-b k . h two a ased Pop, on n d is loo e king who ca of eight child ll re was eve ed him Popey n, got the nam e becau ntually e fr om his se of his child, P shorten older o e la and wa p was always d to Pop and h rge forearms. brother moving s influe The na e’s kept nced by m a the mu round various it ever since. A e sic he h “I grew a sa r e a s in eard ar u ound h Houston N.W.A p listening to im. ,” says P the Geto op of h to othe Boys, U is r he wou artists on the earlier influen GK, Master P rise like ld work a c break w Z-Ro.” es. “Right now nd with tw L o C’s “Kn rking with M o of rap’s grea ittle did Pop k I listen ts a o n soon to ckin Doorz Do ster P and rece , eventually ge ow that b n tt w records. e released on n.” Pop is no tly appearing ing his w work Southe on Pim rn Emp ire, a div ing on his albu p m ision of “That’s h Rap-A- , Arthur is track and h Lot e put it native. d “P the trac k and it imp called m own,” says Po p e right.” ’s Pop con just a situati and told me th , of the Port on whe siders h e idea h r ee imself fo e rtunate verything cam had for to appe ar on th e out just e song
where Pimp C a Housto n rap sc ddresses the p otentia ene. “A we can lp s r we com ise in the indu a city we have roblems arisin stry,” h e togeth g e says. to come togeth in the at Houst er, espe “W e c person, on. Like my p ially right no e can’t make r so that w eo it but one person ple tell me – T with the world unless can’t pu e n p e o ple can looking Pop is lo ll ten.” pull on e his deb oking to rise w u it currentl t album and cr h the city of Housto eates a y has a n as he buzz via ing wit mixtap w h e release Don Cannon, out with DJ S the mixtape sc orks on li of some ene. He Green L m Chan future w antern, c and DJ es and is talkork. “I have Drama so about th called T mething in th e e e just try nnessee to Te works with a ing to fi xas and gure ou a few si DJ out of Tenn streets pic t n e some m k the single a which one to gles on the wa ssee ro o y s Pop is h re exposure w we get more ll with. I’ll le . I’m t the ex e o he expe ping that his ’ll follow it up posure. Once li r w w against ienced in life steners can lea ith an album e get and sho ,” he sa adversi rn from y ty. w peop le that the hardships s. anyone “I’m try can rise ing to te up through ll people ,” times, w he summariz about the str uggle a es. “Eve hether nd r they w ant to a ybody is goin what I’ve be g throu e dmit it Words: gh hard n or not.” D Photo: eVaughn Do uglas Keadro n Smith
SS WE AKE IT UNELCEIA LLY “WE CAN’TGM ESP , R E H T E O D T COME H THE WO.”RL IT W W O N T RIGH HOUSTON LOOKING AT
.GRAOSS, GA S.E AYC
en selfhave be inging s) y o B eorgia s a group, br ty a n thEast G ys (Sou for eight years sisting of twe e o B A he S.E.G g their style Originally con ve is raising th n ti d . cultivati eastern flare ur-man collec with their lea p fo uth that So iors, now the y mountainto red cla ss warr Waycro igh above the .GA h g a the S.E 912 fl d Killa circuit. Go.” n s a t’ , e L sy “ a tape tar E single, oove, S ern mix Series , Big Sm on the South on Da Grind y la a P f music s le o it b ir h p a e u f st th o e a d g d Ma coming ressive catalo Boys promote d WJBT radio e b e r a n ot Boys .GA dio a n imp uting a pes, S.E igga Ra the #1 sp Contrib emakers mixta kin of Real N eorgia” held n G a “ and Tast essed Bigga R re their song e pr oint wh s. and im p e “I use th to k ersona. deejays nsecutive wee y and p y speaking r e v o li c e d for 10 tage b to show style, is own y advan e brings h xperience to m inting a pictur . “I keep r e b m e y a e la m p a d h n P m c a s a I’ , E te nt ul R&B yrically ica,” sta ironme my env perspective. L urban Amer o brings a soulf in y h y m w a , from n tod oove going o Big Sm what is s ready,” adds the ladie to the group. r swagge
s a,” state Americ another in d o er ho eing any oth ir city b aints a just like e notion of the oup member p l of “the is ss o r “Wayc o disputes th rgia. Each gr in the capito e h eo Killa, w d suburb of G its like to resid “Georgia.” e d t e n a c li h u w e d ro tre l of eGeezy p g mura ed, hom befittin th” on the Mgia earn ssive r o e u G o f S dirty state o al and impre e. “We e n e entire ct of th e group’s app ason-Dixie li owe sp e r e th sh M e th is w o h th te n it d k ta n S s W pporter nd beyo the Tritown su f hits will exte Atlanta, and illa. o in K catalog ge following t for us,” adds r hu eley have a derable suppo C. Wak si ed was roup in r n o tu c p g a c in y ear d the g ne day I industr o signe o ttentive rtainment, wh up and then diately I a r e th o e Ano ke Ente g about the gr nce, and imm hing BET a w th r of Ea hearin eir performa e while watc lt they t p e k I atch th 2005. “ int cam e recalls. “I fe ere to go w w ping po h decided essed. The tip orgia’ video,” realized they praises I e pr was im d I saw the ‘G lked to them, were focused,” n ta d Uncut a and when I as a group an in s could w for seven year r togethe . y le e k a W z Shabaz Raheim Words:
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t the yo u Spark D ng age of 24 S p a Atlanta wg decided th ark Dawg has become at it wa in hope s s of sec uring a time to chang use to making “I drop pe record qu e course deal. is what d out and cau and go ick changes. S g I wante into the oo d to do ht the next Gr rap wor n after enterin ,” expla ld. He u g ins Spa eyhound to A The trip prooted college in Te tlanta. rk. “I to p xa r himself o v I e ld d d Scrappy idn’t kn to not b myself and mo s, ow any I’m not ved to G’s Up and Crime Mo e a waste and b c o o d m y in ou C g home S b withou t there, but I h began to lick and a two . This connec park Dawg wa ti t a reco s y rd deal. ad it on my he est in m feel that his m ear stint with on led to Spar soon under th ” art that k e in a th this soured. d and the rela nagement did e group on to becoming a m same manage ment as ember It’s a situ n u ti o r o . t n S h sh p a a o v ip even r Spark ta f e th k a L , h ti a il h is t o o S o n b w crappy’s f Lil tually est inte fo ever, k rsibility. es partial resp r which on“Really , but min it’s no ones fau e lt with th . When I got do e fortable m, I got real c wn om . py, and I felt like me, S C same m rime Mob ha crapve the anager, just sit so I sho ba u up,” ex ck and wait to ld plains S park on blow situatio n th my man . “But at the sa e m a forward ger wasn’t a st e time, r and cam dude. After I fi aightr e fired him back to Texa ed him s, fired him , and then Cr Scrappy im put you . I learned tha e Mob r t hands a career in one you can’t nd expe person’s the lim c elight.” t him to put y ou in Undete rred, Sp ark retu Killeen , r connec Texas and beg ned home to an usin tions he g the promote had ma d paid off himself. His g e on tour to rind qu in 2006 ickly tainme at the S nt o “Best R Awards whe uthern Enter re he re ap Mix tape” an ceived for “Mix d ta a p n e o min Ro categor y usuall okie of the Ye ation ar y reserv ed for D ” (a “I was o Js). n so ma didn’t k ny mix ta n laughs ow if I was a pes that peop Sp ra le blessing ark at the mix pper or a DJ,” mixtap in disguise and up. “It was a e Wall an that I did with I did win for a d Magn DJ Exp licit, Pa o.” ul Spark r eleased his und Me On er M mixtap y Sidekick (S ground hit “H es id it to see h and the inter ekick Pimpin net and ),” via is hard work p T-Mob is now ay ile st dealing to secure an off. He’s talk arting in endorse with his ment d g with newfou eal and nd fam “Someb e. ody too k my sc kick so ng re but I ap and I can’t e en name from ven log preciate the Sid onto love,” h ea ll the fan e laugh s out th it anymore, s. ere sho wing Words: D Photo: eVaughn Do u Luxury Mindz glas
THAT YOU “I LEARNED YOUR CA-’S CAN’T PUT E PERSON REER IN ON XPECT HANDS ANUDT EYOU IN HIM TO P ELIGHT.” THE LIM
Z E, FL D R O SW NVILL JACKSO
ho can’t artist w rida’s n a s e m ere co ville, Flo while th types. Jackson a in e c o very on to break stere rtists. a t think help bu one of those s a fan I is é, but a r in the h c li Swordz c e ay b persta shionair. It m s the su of fresh d down,” say d stories. Its fa when th a e r e b e e time “I’m a l water f sugar cover ice 1 e is rea the sam o the gam “You get a lot p nigga but at c, UGK and Sp eets a a r . g tr st ‘P in e d e k n k ga ma at th le li be a thu we had peop telling you th t slanging big u able to p e o u b m ing a ming on ga I was co ld put you up ear niggas talk ma.” m h u that wo Now you just one’s baby mo t re. e ly m g so u g e al stree ar fuckin ccasion at comes out d o n a e s th k bric with g th anythin dabbles Swordz e to stress that y. h g u o Even th self, he is sur nsibilit the h respo s,” says cord him uth is said wit quence MC to Paso se n m o c is e h of w th Run-D pike TV: y to sho e from onsibilit edits everyon -hop is like S as artists sp e r y r ip “It’s m ative who c p to us rent h n e. “Cur ut it’s u Florida as an influenc ant from it, b the truth.” w y tor Tro ke what they people will see ta nce, le so ib people ss o experie p s wa orth of w ’s e to be ra d a a dec ’t boast he doesn e il h W
een if he’s b -hop as k at the ip h n o o speak can lo use he erty to ill at lib e. Why? Beca st is z d Swor ng tim ughfor a lo well. ase thro around an outsider as s ng fan b one from a o r e r st n a e g ed him d with every that have set e e afford s pes hav and he’s work t it’s his show ta ix m His er. Bu theast, d u n o o S e W out th w to Wayne petition. er a and rath BloodR t from the com e rock b Swordz ar v p li a a h im h wit stage, perform rew on egularly rd 100-man c . r to n a Know e the stand rently at he is v at diffe claim th rap, than ha to be looked e th g n d s rock an dismissi demand he says, n. “If you take me picture, ,” n a c I r , sa to a and Ko e thing because “I do it g Limp Bizkit ying the sam ergy. If you go eople sa P in n e . k e g t mimic me thing. W d to use tha e thin sa the sam it’s the frame. I wante oy show, it’s r t ” T differen w or a Pastor ff their chests. o o nt that rock sh g frustration es evide rm he is m o c in e tt b e are g usic fo g to do and it of the m ’s music in Swordz e stereotypes ining, he’s go to n e One list rated with th ead of compla st st he is fru d with. But in associate g about it. in someth anson Kale Sw Words:
“ROCK AND R AP ARE THE SA THING. SAM ME E P IC FRAME: PEOP TURE, DIFFERENT L E ARE G TTING FRUSTRATION OFF THEIREC HESTS.”
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nyone w musica ho loves musi l epiph c has h an ad the sa li me of pure kely was a pro y. It most boredo duct m. As a a clever joke, , catchy from so rhyme m sl another eone’s mouth ips p e r so n playfu and beating lly a surface simple beat o starts .T n flowing he words just a solid . Excite sta m and eve ent fills rt r ative vib yone is hype o the air ff the roo es that flow th the crem r says, “W . After a whil oughout e of that. e should make someone ” And a lthough a song out is in ag re e thinks ement, no on veryone that it’s e possible actually . A simil ar Atlanta event happen -r e of the le apper and ne d with w g Unk. A endary Big O member ft o Chocola er leaving a co mp Camp, n te Atlanta , a popular n cert at Club ightclu ’s eastsi b on d parking e, he he lo friends, t singing to h ard a girl in th e e “ was the Walk it out, w rself and her n a had his that the 4th w lk it out.” It m it and k oment of cla ard-bred rapp rity. “I e new I n just hea r of that. e rd I just kn eded to make a song o everyon ew it w u e a little da could relate s something th t to. The nce tha at re was t every club an a one wa d it just s d spread,” o explain ing in the For him s Unk. to sa y that th underst e so a It Out” tement. He en ng spread is an tered h in Atlan is and wo ta n every ’s Hot 107.9 song “Walk ’s da ultimate B ly retir y for two wee attlegrounds ed from ks. It w c o m petition as Now ev . e a senten ryone from ba b c out. “Th e together to ies who can b a g is ting sta ain’t even fin randmas are w rely put rted. It a is h e d yet. It’s lking it shocks out of to m ju grandm wn. It’s just pe e every time I st geta o d out,” he s, mothers, da ple everywhe o a show re, kids, ds, ever sa y s, a d y the imm m b ediate r itting that he ody is walkin g esponse was sur prised b it to th e song. In the m y id st of the so studio to n g ’s from rid make songs th success, Unk a in songs fo g to partying t will cover a hit the ll r will inc the ladies. Th to smoking an corners, d lu e Big Oom de DJ Monta production o undoubtedly y, n who ca p’s eight-year also of the Oo the album -o m m Da Gre e up with the ld son, Big Co p camp, and at Yola r p ey. Th h r a se , and B the albu aby D w , the Ying Yan e girl m. g ill also have ca Twins, meos o Unk’s d n ebut alb for rele u ase the m Beating Do e have fr wn You nd of th ie r creative nds with reco e summer. It d Block is slate d rding st e momen udios, ju finitely pays to ts do ha st in ca ppen. se more Words: Autum n Willi ams
’T EVEN OUT’] AINT IT K L A G ‘W G “[MY SON ED YET. IT’S JUST GET IN EI IM T Y H R EVE FINIS E M S K C O SH .” STARTED. IT UT OF TOWN DO A SHOW O
E O J , CA E I ALLEJO L
WILNTA, GA via V
-hop ld of hip
e wor the wid al] Peae you in k ta n he Roy tly. “At a c [t d is in y r a and g illie Joe. ednesd matter-of-fac ut it’s r hustle W pin’, W b s t how fa in the case of ing pop e rapper say get no sleep, u th o e b a m s h got so something,” th show. I don’t ard tale ted - but not e ic h R ll B a e’ve ggera y man strip club or dio after the are exa case - m u one of stories a show Fridays I hit a goin to the st n ti it ade him emh , m e m m s h I’ I’ a c h a d y a p n g eA rk a uesd entality t burgeonin lk full ucial, T Thursday is th m goin’ to wo it.” u a tryin’ m I’ ay is Cr or-die- ost talked abo city that’s ch orn it t“Mond ock, every last e same time onna be worth e g B a s. in st s g That the m c th ti e r ce ious a of ambit ed in Vallejo, and rais e of self-made m CA, ho e E-40, the e air million y Area has com e a entire B ned by its entr fi e d e b . to it rial spir preneu ear anta a y d to Atl ix “I move ago with a m ip alf and a h and a roundtr 0 1 $ , ers. “I e b m tap e m he re rm ticket,” my sister’s do t in a d b e y jo a a st th, got up my n o m a for ssed the ort, pre the airp nd just got on case, a w e mixtap ng every sho ttle, itti ba grind h n mic, every e with p o o d y r eve at had to y would be th g in anyth ybod here an music w there.” Tah ent (Big anagem le casting m is h t tt He me Knox) at a ba ere began t th and For TV and from ning for M pe call for ore shows, o nchize m a rocking es and Dem Fr nths ago, o n m Jo x e si ik r the e M little ov Em Got Em”— A . z y t t Bo a e G th “ ngle rded he reco ely energetic si d’s Hot 100 ar iv aggress #25 on Billbo 5 on the #2 at landed les Chart and s Chart in a ale S S s s le le g Hustle/ Sin Sing p/R&B s Grand Hip Ho remix feature e July. Th rapper Yola. c ti ing,” n a Atl om noth came fr no indust a th y e with at, mebod “I’m so tains. “I’m her ds, none of th n in ie a fr m o e Jo s, n nection try con work.” d r ara just h with W us talks his debut io r se in n on tly he’s rking o Curren ers and is wo tures producti a a th fe o st r u y B ner do (B alread which nd Mon album, oomp (T.I.) a any Wataboy tape ix p JT from D With his com ing, his new m is . h s) sw d e n ll m a gly Rhy in fu inment ng stron indusEnterta Wax circulati about every the st n m Thrax o e mouth of ju illie Joe’s “Fro e Karl th k a W in , m y e n it m ec na eve would der in th try insi e A” campaign th Bay to ud. when ro p e v ntality] o R rself me me things u o y it sa the t [do a whole sed tha s. “I did “I just u re,” he shrug d brought it to e n h a I came g in the Bay .” oin I was d and it worked y new cit Howard Jacinta s: d r o W
T CAME BODY THAG .” “I’M SOMEM IN FRO NOTH
PATAIENTLY W ITING
M ME THING FRO E M SO R DY A E B H Y ER YOU TIVATIONAL. EVER O “WHENEVN AT.” H T O E M IK E IT’S GON RAS,BSO YOU NEED MUSIC L GOT HATE
rawing e Rouge’s arly comparis on L Great Y il’ Boosie, D.G s to Baton o of a bre . ath of fr la) has becom Yola (Da e somew esh air scene. H in h is music B sound is rem Atlanta’s musi at iniscen ig Oom t of the c p Recor in the la ds te modern 90s and early was releasing iz 2 only a n ed with a you 000s, but it’s thful en ew jack ergy th can pro at vide. While he may not loo is curre k th ntl of Les B y Atlanta’s h e part, Yola iprown. H contagio is motiv hop version u a Let Up” s hit single “A tional and in h waves fo as been killin t Gon’ g r overnig months, mak the radio in h even th t celebrity and g him an e p lover n most thugged roving that eeds wo out mu si r ment e very on ds of encourag c ce in a e while. “Motiv ati do for th on music, tha t’s e ish look people,” says what I th in Newpo g emcee as he e boyrt. fi someth “Whenever y res up a ing from ou hear be moti me it’s v g got hate ational. Every onna bo rs, so yo like tha u need dy t.” music Raised on ous We Atlanta’s noto st r Temple Side in the A illen commu nity, it plenty of to for Yola self-motivatio ok n to emer dreary g e from th co up in. N nditions he gr e ew o motiva w that he has tio th focus an n, getting the e d next task longevity is th e seems to at hand, and h e track. be on the righ t
“I made th my mu e ‘hood feel sic know th first, so I e love me world gonna to Yola w o,” says ho Gon’ Le saw “Ain’t t played Up” get o for mon n the radio on-air p ths before erso finally name. “ just her song yo D.G. Yo from “A started nalities family e for th My mu u hear sayin and is sl in’t Gon’ Let la is also featu fr si e o c m m me e U r ated to ither.” oment. This a is gonna last. It g his drop his p” in the hook ed on David B in ’s not ’t g a o . “I’m br n debut a nna be In in lbum in addition to ner’s latest cu the only that, he and doin ging the truth t “Get M the nea is also th to the ta r future on steadily g my thing. P . ble; the e newe ey,” which fe eo g st mem crowde rowing natio ple are going greatness,” he ber of th atures some of nwide, d. to reme promise his e Grand Yola ju m s. “I’m ber me Hustle/A lyrics st may the gre a s tlantic th se e a Words e his pr li & Photo oclama ttle snot-nose test of my tim tions co e d : Mauric , I’ n m ig ga in me to li e G. Ga fe. Hop who became D my prime. 18 rland y on the bandwa a Great.” With ears old gon now his buz z before it gets to o 80
N A E S G N
YTULANTA, GA A
in the for. But ing. sk a u o thing y such a bad th t et every don’t g in’,” that’s no u o y y r m ,” st o u o d B in for radio e rap g “Trap looking over Ates in th his son ’t sn a w ll a ometim ung Sean and the rd, we that is now Y up with d pe reco case of a mixta an of the song waves. “I got an s , a Js e D n o n e ir d S n a “It was admits lanta’s Hittme streets hit ,000 with 10 Got s. le sing strip it in the d n a s b lu c it to passed ith w le peop rs.” nice ca
ERYTHING “WE DO EVSE ROM IN-HOU T, F VIDEOS.” O PRODUCTION
n ere Sea From th a 27 n o g went r pushin city tou oomin’/ pB his Tra a Radio g Real Nig hitting es, mixtap ere from h everyw est to the w the Mid to New as Carolin , taking ity York C rity of ula p o p e th next g to the the son level. ave him r also g The tou to promote e a chanc ompany, Rich c his own tertainment. n E d a u Sq ing everyth “We do from produc, in-house eos,” he says, a vid tion to artists D s. e ning his mentio and Casey Jon y r Dreame 18, running m ly n it o g m oin “I’ el and d We’re own lab major label. a o t g u witho we can s far as ve.” a g in o g ha hat we with w icks more tr a couple g With a eve - includin er th e o sl e is m h up h so that are oup wit supergr ming rappers ean is S co up and p right now - t big ex gu n in e w th lo g b on bein e next focused iod, not just th r e . p South thing g in the big thin ce. I differen wing a gainst the o sh e ’r a ing “We ow, but ave noth don’t h t’s out right n ys the a sa music th g repetitive,” tta get out o in it’s gett /rapper. “We g e trying to .W er produc theast region ou of the S er fanbase.” g ig b a t ge Garland rice G. u a M s: Word
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Californ Mildew ia-based Nativ eR .
ecords for his debut a Stickin lbum B g to his ar-B-Q or putting and f you fe togethe iginal formula el it in fi r , a h D , is r h e andles a w lb your ch says the is u m c o the busi while h ncentra est then Drew fe self-pro is m ness ting w y e and cris est region,” B claimed “first ou feel it in y “Ain’t n ls that the on side of things. anagement tea on solely underg ly our hea aby Dre p lyrics m o W thing th setback it h round k h rt,” himself w. Wit fo this Mid is focus , Black Mas but si r me an at can h ing of th h a stro locally on his m w tt d o in e n ld st g o e t h b ng m and nati e thing a s a setb having the driv ack waiting fo im back is him usic onally. cee is steadily aura of confid Mida r self: With a c e so b e k . n u . I m c il I d e ding a n e don’t fe o st el like n n’t feel like th thing to come ame for is on a rong sense of Curren eir own othing’s mission tly with pride in no such wrong.” to put h untouc what th his labe h h is city o is hometown e l to the h ed part of the sure of future holds Infinite Unex n o f th M e il h w co fo ip where ip he wan r him in term plained, Drew feels pla -hop forefron untry,” comm -hop map. “M aukee, Drew ts his m is il e t g usic to s of his label si unsure of shine, d ues the mainst Drew plans to nts Drew. To waukee is an “I want take him tuation b r to go st but is . and I w iving, or no k ream today: “I avoid the musi ring his city r I a w ig ant to ht to illi ant it to do c give him go?” The Mil the top,” says be my fa ng. I want mu n’t want it to which he w D sic be ult that Drew st wide w a national rea aukee emcee rew. “Where it happ to turn back about no a orld.” ch and a e ens.” into mu “arms lo lso aspires for lse would noise” a rted his journ si c ey his n ng enou Drew w d growing up by simply list Drew fe gh to h music to in ug the w a e e ting ou s formally intr a household ning to “anyth about a ls that it is his hole t that im baby? It o purity th mersed ing that made produc mixtapes whic duced to the L ’s ik a p t e u se a r e ts b ed effor h ,” h h a t Street included the ip-hop under im in music. offered and tha by, I want to explains Drew him apart. “W gr be God M h t’s how 4 hat you . “A kid ’s locally 8 tracks of str usic Volume ighly acclaime ound by putI want ee 1 w people gift to this Ea has no reason know d r to the stre ith tracks suc t life recantati . The double d Big Hankth W to lie p . it erceive That’s w h a st h et favor is o me.” hat I am . ite “Wh as the socially n and helped c release music to rong musical v e at The c Fuck Y onscious “Str stablish Drew Thanks God fir convey his m ision Drew is ou Said eet Mu st.” w essage: to .” sic” and “With e orking hard interest the strong r to esp very m from an ove you use his Words: d subse onse Volume make, k quently Rohit L 1 eep oomba landed generated, Dr & Mike a distrib ew rece L ived ution d i eal with
“I WANT TO G O STRA HT T THE TOP. W O HERE ELSEIG I WANT TO G WOULD O?”
D A H S A R MI
o hapwho als w artist makes it all e n a e . To b organ ng task shad M a daunti 1-year-old Ra e b st u s stry m . However, 2 n he wa r sic indu er, whe ith the ay’s mu be even harde th d fa to y in ke it als. “M f stand-ins w must g to ma otown he reve o st tryin thplace of M hurch,” d to do a lot ti c r a in w g e ir se in u g n e h si .” p o be a n ail from the b se blood becau grew u h uite a ugh my ffin, Jr. rs, so I pens to . rating q re pasto him David Ru running thro a sy a le e c k n dy gene ore recent u a ly ll e e loo y a lr it c m a n fi d to is ’s de tive the m d er an used troit na uzz as one of to T.I.’s Gran s andfath ounger, they emptations. It The De b “My gr y T rd ns o c e R c additio tlanti Hustle/A anks to his hit camp th m What They e “Tell Th ear.” H Wanna ill debut w oming g Dro, and c p u is H un T.I.,Yo y as feature Hustle famil d n a r . the G f 112 Daron o well as n as writte album w onfie r ti n e c ys “My lf,” he sa ell. by myse produce as w nna I a “ . W y y tl e n h e d What T by me. I do m ‘E ll d ‘Te uce accept as prod Hear’ w riting but I do because s w r a lot of er write young om oth a e songs fr ow it is to be g to com h I know producer tryin r o ng.” writer a hot so up with hat I do to do w ody y tr st eryb s, “I ju He add way and let ev in love. I’ve l e in a coo t it’s cool to b the album a n know th f love songs o st do it in ju to got a lo s mess with. I les can take a de that du where the fem proud to be a way to the males can ing it with k d ic n a k y it to the n when put it o ” l. to their gir ing able . and be t fall in .I T h it no d gw Workin own songs did cond go-roun se is to write h lap, this is his e was signed ’s 9h rds as Morgan ustry. In 199 10 Reco Ray. d iv B in e l, e th y in Ra s’ lab an and as l Biven Michae e group Antu a young age h th t a f a part o e experience th Having . me paid off ink got that I th successful g in th g his as one g out a “That w tion of puttin says, mentionin ay. si R o e y p h a e R ,” um Me to th dent alb ple Call you, indepen rea smash Peo hat they gave e a ’v w Detriot- an take away way what you a c e le k p ta o e r “P eve y can’t but the w .” d dy is ho learne ed alrea n r a le s a gs he h le attention. a the thin One of the extra fem “I’m le laughs. to hand ave,” he e main h s y a ke I alw gh. That’s th self at the y ing it li ou “I’m tak g focused, th m enjoying m I’ in y so a , st g n u still o y ut I’m thing. B e.” m ti e m sa . Jones Ivory M Words:
AN TAKE “PEOPLE CW AT AWAY HY OU, E V THEY GAY CAN’T BUT THE E AWAY EVER TAKYOU’VE WHAT LEARNED.”
PATAIENTLY W ITING AT TOLD ME TDHA E N O E M SO , S IN JAIL LIFE... I REMEMBERE ING.” “WHEN I WPA POSE IN HE EXACT SAME TH U I HAD A ER LLING ME T PREACHER T
sk any cy right no nic what they w, and think o it th f outweig looks like a b ey’ll probably hip-hop ig soap hs the ta say o p ter. Aft le e ra; the that nt and er hear d e v e r y in o the mis ne is a c rama g his st ta or h script. H ke of lumping y, many may aracma Wine-O e been to ’s sold drugs, into tha ke be ja cred th il and prison en shot in the t at an fa will ha his unborn gr d has so much ce, ve peop e le respe at-grandchild street ren cting th em. But, he doesn’t p ter trait s to his lan on using th advanta ose cha ge. rac“All the se nigga says blu s rappin n g to some tly. “A lot of th ain’t hard,” h e mixtap es and lo em just listene I come d fr o runnin om the streets ked at movies. g away from th for real, but I’ m at imag e.” Origina lly nam ed Nuwasn’t W in claimin spired to rap b ine, Wine-O g to be y any e Go mc inspired by God d on the mic. ee He was himself . “When I was in me that jail, som I e stuck w had a purpose one told ith me because in life. That bered a I p exact sa reacher tellin rememg me th me thin e g,” he sa he told m y went in e that I praye s. “After d th rapping e corner and and just .” started After v owing to return God to to n came o hustling, Win ever ut of ja e-O il not hop homele ss ele his tale ss. So driven but nt and new vis by went as ion fa acapell r as to sell his , he a since he could songs afford to n’t thick p buy beats. His ain enough -laced voice w fo a to supp r people to w s or an biggest t him, though t .H su Housto pporter was th is n e who wr Astro Kevin B nass, ote him check a a $1,00 0 ft freestyli er hearing him ng on th e corne r. But eve r followe ything that d as easy. didn’t come content Being that th e of his m wa c c from dr “I use who u inking. lubs fearing th ouldn’t get bo s strongly spir usic they w sed to be sign d to get mad w o it T a k ua th his virtu e ant you e ally lea is Godly mess d for shows in l, he to be pe d to Evander hen people ca d him to ag n ll Holyfie rfect.” perform e would detra ightld’s Rea ed my stuff go While ct peop l Deal R he is th spel rap on the le e c e . Southw hurch c cords. “ first to I’ e a ircuit. When m just a Chris you titl my mu st/Universal a dmit that he is ti a n w e someo h si lb ne with o raps,” says th album is c,” says Wine- um Hate Me, no angel, Win po O, ee the spir just wh itual th artist at it is: hinting that th wered by the O plans to sha ing, It’s my st k Words: truth an is album will reet single “P e the heavens Mauric o be a litt d my li w e G. Ga fe.” le diffe p My Trunk.” ith his new W rland rent fro “ m his m I’ve healed a ine-O/Americ lo ore spir a itually t of hearts thr n charged ou music. gh “This 84
PATIENTLY WAITING ies ror stor the hor ords with s a h y lread a Rec er. He a h Elektr s not newcom ecord deal wit ith Stone wa of a t o n w r is ut g a o u n t R d li e e a il g he sign ing to , but L that de r to you e early 2000s ght, Ru feels t he is still try ia il m e fa indsi In th ” tha ay not b tuation ne. In h rove it. ltered is face m stry scars to p ger Angie Sto nce a “dirty si n u ie lektra fa r d si R&B e expe and in l with E with Atlantic, m a th o e s d fr ll a is c lp h e some h good look. He ow. of that, s they merged h resulted a n On top a whic being in him from d droppe But el. b la e th nd of e e th at Ru , y a d the look at doesn’t but ss it as a lo learna s a e r mo . erience ing exp ke a felt li “I kind as too w it sh that eally didn’t r easy. I was ready I feel like e,” he tim at that was still “I admits. d I wasn’t n young a that, so it r ready fo cool for da was kin indframe m me. My t now. I’m en r fe if d is nd my ature, a more m ore mature m music is k then I really ac now. B ady to work, I .I re wasn’t in the streets e e r r o o m m lot was rough a been th all that drama , o shit now I’m ready to g . it sh and .” now harder ard at going h rrently gle “Hood u c is u R sin w ith his radio w e plans to follo e H Th Hard.” ith “King Of y DJ b w that up ot,” produced om. L o g D f in o k r Pa ion the Leg cure Brad of that he can se then s nd e He hop s on his own a the in BDS sp y get back into es to ll op eventua el game. He h bring b l major la t his grind wil on. a ati c th e lo v is o r h p t cess, no him suc rapard and rking h ,” says the o w e ’r “If you gonna pay off ved to Ato ’s ping, it native who m . “Sooner k ia c b a b m e Colu e you. cam d then ecogniz lanta an ey’re gonna r d. If you’re th oo or later good, you’re g .” e e ’r g u a o b If y gar , you’re garbage uth with So lmates d Green on e b la y tl r Curren favorite Colla is defiantly a Ru Carolin ter Records, iar face sooner il un Head H become a fam to d e is o p . u think than yo rland e G. Ga Mauric Words:
UA, SC LOILLUR MBI C
FRAME “MY MINDR T IS DIFFE EN RE O M NOW. I’MRE.” U MAT
PATAIENTLY W ITING
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/bigpap erchase oes are to Milw on the a coast so ukee what co ca n w it’s just iggas up here e don’t get all ine is to Miam a part o in the M i: the m the dop f their li o e id festyle.” west was do like other cit st accessible p ing a lo Born an ie t of pim s,” says Pape roduct for stre d raised rc e pin’. Ev his neig in Milw erybod hase. “Even b t hustlers. “W h y got so h efore th meetin borhood gettin aukee, Paperc me pim g e drug ere we at, we h game w pin’ in ain’t that Ke with Pimpin’ g money. “Th ase absorbed it their fa e K n mily. A as popular, like a m had been inca en seemed lik older niggas c all, and says th r o alled m e fate w u rcerate entor to a n t d he was here e Paper d with hen Pap chase sa him, lik alway his ,” e y gave him s of Pimpin’ K e he is to me,” father. “My rchase discov he laughs. A c s the youngest p e h e red ops was in Paperance this stre a lot of jewels n. “He e that. O t life and shit on nc li that, it e we establish ke made u s click.” ed With P im serving pin’ Ken now a er, Pap s his mentor/m er hustle to chase has turn anage He coll wards the rap d his aborate game. d the join with Ke t Ghetto DVD/soundtr n on a Streets to the E ck, tive Suit x e city on s. “I wanna p ecuut th and Bu e map; do wh my n did fo at Pimp rP says. “Ju st like P ort Arthur,” h small c o e r t Arth it a small y close to Hou ur is a ston, w city clo e’re se to Ch Milwau ic k gas arou ee is a small c ago. it n Paperch d here are do y but nigin a a remix se’s new mixta g big shit.” o with Co f his record “ pe features N o fame, th Coo Cal of “M o Good” e only M y Proje see mu ch succ ilwaukee rap cts” ess bey ond the per to city. But stil l, even be kee, rap pers cla ing from Milw nothing iming to auPaperch new. “I’m a re be pimps is al every ase resp thing,” his pim onds w p h “It’s lik in’ extends be en asked if yond th e ‘Pac w e booth expose ith ‘thu . so g take it a mething, peo life’ – once yo ple are nd twis gonna u And wh t it to th e e theoriz n it comes to y own likene es, ss th and som “Some rappe e rap game, h .” r e e It’s nigg rappers are p s are being pim impin’ a ped, th know e s out there m aking m e system. xactly w oves th in their hat the at y b what p ankrolls and doing, and it im th sh shit tha pin’ is all abo eir longevity. ows u t T it to a fe can get you p t – if you know hat’s aid m gonna p ale and she b and you can some elieves ay you. tell y some n iggas use Some niggas a ou, then she buse th it prope e shit, b rly.” ut Paperch ase hop pimpin e s to u se ’g pushing ame properly his knowledg e in “It’s In singles like “M the music w of the M o y to catch e Not On Me Diamond Ch rld, ” th ain the atte ntion o roughout the ” and f major Words: labels. Midwest Julia Be verly
ED, BEING PIMPPIN E R A S R E P P A “SOME R ME RAPPERS ARE PIM T ’ AND SO EM. IT’S NIGGAS OU THE SYSTAKING MOVES THAT THERE M CTLY WHAT THEY DOKKNOW EXASHOWS IN THIER BAN ITY.” ING, ANDAIT HEIR LONGEV T D N S L L O R
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t and On Sigh rugs. Murder th,” M.O.S. sh is s: g in n h a o t e b u m o m l b e a a r has du I like to use th s. One’s more e ik n o x. “ is m litie Over Se rent persona sta shit.” Money ang diffe g o t h tw ig r y a me str “It’s m own fo ’s on so na is kn major e li n o o r a d C n a ally a North gs money, ’s not re state of nd thin s home ne of them. “It n for sports a er. There .’ .S .O oth now gh M ot o Althou ings, rap is n s. “It’s more k is racing each it th p several arket,” he adm t’s tryin’ to ra e that dude.” b a am media m Everybody th dy just wanna of Durh t. o a b y th r e e etown od or v e m lik o – h y it is un out h her Blo ead. ain’t no now ab u’re eit r ay not k I’m from, yo of it, but it sp like m u o y e e r g e e lu in m h b o th h d W “ e n But on g affiliations. ink L.A. is the ain’t all red a ; it’s about y n it th a il g s – m s lk n fa it o o to ti is “F that. It’s pposed e says. r protec Crip,” h oin a gang] fo t deeper than y. You only su ected.” sp lo it [j e n a r ’t u is n ’s omm I did ks. It eing d f your c lic thin ou’re b the pub taking care o nce] when y self in d le n ing him n unity a ourself in [vio en, land first song upo y ft e o lv d o te v is ec in h sp is d e e r o d is wh cor lt d .O.S. fe ullshit.” He re older brother ntly, M b is Appare r “a bunch of esenting for h r prison fo in 2001, rep ase le e r is h
ke rap an to ta ally beg producer Ski n fi e h t when rth Carolina ie drove up o t a poin m rated. A ll-connected N e and my ho t crack up for e c r a c M “ . e c still in , he met we ints ed tha n k e o r o fe c n I y o three jo seriousl local music c on Salem] and .S. “The first st .O ta Beats a studio in Win udio,” says M om.” st s to [Ski’ t there in the d where I’m fr n h .S., who him rig re classics arou for M.O of just t in o p a we did turning dustry instead several ts was a in es, Ski Bea to the music c and mixtap Records’ h it w g in of musi interest. Jive z and Workin put his grind ty n le ed gp od began to ts. After leakin labels express the YoungBlo s the first a e h rd the stre m major reco tly works wit ression. “He w e was o n p h e fr r d s r im n u R c st A & “ e o . b y A iTz, wh s M.O.S ade the nd reall MeMpH ong others, m et me],” recall nd listening a sound a e ’t m g a m n , o in d d K [an sten t. I UG e was li y down uch hea ’t really one to fl be critical. H t it was too m arket that ain ith Jive] to u m b g e deal w comin t to like me, ut of a ming o blo. [Signing th ” o o n c g m in I’ y a s. tr nd Petey P llar sign body, a like no ped except for e and saw do m p d ta e, B.G., e been y Breez . S.’s Drug . He lik d sy Jo a , e B st O was ju far, M. s of Bun the like ungBloodz so streets hard to h it w the Yo worked ng the Having and J-Bo from e will be hitti e debut. p , v Ji ta se o ix o th ng sm Pap Affiliate is full-le Related audiences for h prepare verly Julia Be Words:
“[THE GA G L IFESTYLE] AIN’T ALL N R E D LIKE THE PUB AND BLUE IT’S A LOT DE LIC THINKS. THAT. IT’S FAEPER THAN MILY; IT’S ABOUT UN ITY.”
PATAIENTLY W ITING
JIBBS ST. LO
efore st e was ma pping into the k r Jibbs, w ing his mark in ecording booth ho starte side the , Jibbs with his d bo father, three brothers, boxing at age xing ring. fo an w pion. B d became a tw as trained by ur along ut o h music w it wouldn’t be -time Golden is ex-boxer Gloves ould in long be ch tr droppin fo g his glo igue the St. Lo re his pedigre amuis you e for ves and ng picking “My mo up a mic ster into m was . a rappe “My da r in d And as used to play th the ‘80s,” Jib b the yea rs were e drums and th s begins. [my old go e er [and] e brother] inst ing by they w guitar. qu ru er ally had ipment. And ments like ke e buying yboard years aft a real p s e rofessio nal stud r that, he actu io.” From th at studio one half , Jibbs’ b o - went f the producti rother, DJ Bea on ts o hip-hop to produce tr n team Da Bea ac ts ic to the p ons Nelly an ks for St. Lou taz d is o everybo int to where h Chingy. “He g e o d everyw y around St. L was producin t g fo he ou watchin re,” Jibbs says. is and doing sh r g what I that, so I figu “And I was just ows wanted r to do.” ed out that this is Jibbs tr ad for rap ed in boxing h ho o eight y oks and punc oks and punch ears old hlines, and at ju es , record The son ed st g a believ was enough to his first song. e incline r in his young make DJ Beats dB er Jibbs to eats to start b sibling, and rin the stud and Jib io. As th ging young bs’ e ened, h lyrical abilitie years passed e tested s streng h thcompeti is mic sk tors tw ills again ice his st age. “When I was ar when I ound 1 1o st were li arted battling r 12, that’s ke 18 a nd 24 a cats that recalls. lrea “A that’s w ll older cats, dy,” Jibbs be h killing o was recordin cause them, a nd it w g. I was point w as to th h e wanted ere you can se e th to fight. eleven B ut I wa ey and tw elve the s only they kn n. P ew nothing they better lus not try .” Fast for w openin ard to 2006, a g sh fte Bow W ows for the r lik o shoppin w and Chris B es of ro g landing his demo and wn, a d e a l w Intersc ope, th ith Geffen/ yea en to relea r-old rapper is ow fifteenFeaturin is incre Low.” “ “Ear Ha adding a low-ha C se his d preparin nging p ng Low” tune hain Hang Lo sing daily due g Jibbs. The b e - made uzz sur but album Jib g latinum With “C w,” wit to the su r bs, fa h o c un m cc hains to a lionaire hain Hang Low their C ous by ice crea catchy sing-alo ess of his hit si ding Jibbs’ de , Fabo, ” h but b m n r n u is g g z tr le tm zin h ucks ev L choice. as lists. erywhe ook sung by c “Chain Hang Perform il Wayne, Yun g, and Jibbs, F hildren re - has eaturin g Joc, C ing on to kids all g stage w h across A the ith a pla ingy and Mu Jibbs not only Words: rphy Le merica tinum c R featurin e Photo: andy Roper , h g d ain bea Ray Ta ts takin ue in stores th Jibbs but guest marra g punch is es to th fall, it’s obvio appearances fr e face a ny day. us Jibbs made om Chamilthe righ t
1 OR AROUNDR1T S A W I N D E H “W HEN I STAWEERE 12, THAT’S W TS THAT BATTLINGEC1A AND 24.” 8 LIK
E N O P A GC
ws who one kno p a C g Youn ow. decades, er two letting you kn v o e st ju r m fo le ining th b th this ear he has no pro en expla ts. “I’m a h n o w s n g e he shru s, Bright Ligh the big only be n top of that, erson,” h e ugh he’s t. O r type p o Def, Big Fac have fun wit esent e ven tho who he is no p p a r d as no n So S rson ready to hts that repr that lf o se m he is an y u m lb at lig pe fe ta n’t look e of his debu unner, a party ces and bright e part of my li now.” titl st fa th “I would ight r in m I’ he Before this reached was a e stage, h oducer/ r p g n u o y orkw r e p rap Nitti’s r e d n ing u produc r e k a Playm He . y n a p m tion co dy known ea was alr r for his tu in Deca d Jermaine an , ts n le ind ta ught w a c i r p c Du si u m ne’s of Capo Nitti and h throug e him to mak decided e So So Def f th a part o he made his s roster a to Virgin on ti si n a tr s. Record ear d last y ” surface t. Capone single “I’m Ho t’s a is th h , h im it h w ing to e clip. d r o c c a th But bullet in just one a well- all yself as do “I see m artist; I could s. st d rounde usic,” he insi e m fm types o dy was telling ake o m b y r to e k v n E “ u a get cr down you gott but I wasn’t n ap now e p sn it hap ith the t. But w d n a with it t me to do tha until e an they w keep doing m in’t A er I’d rath y respects me. g part of d in everybo rong with be er start w nothing ent, but I’d rath m e v o ent.” am movem my own eing cludes b ment in rtist and e v o m a ’s Capone equally as an approaches d e respecte . As a rapper h d it. While ce er produc as if he produ eat, he b at e e b th h ” c ark” e a e ers “rid er “parallel p p p a r st th a r mo ’d e at h boasts th at. be rather on the but I’d better, roduction g in c u rod nd p “I like p apping first a has done s ho nr focus o s the talent w g Atlanta artist y in I sa s m ,” o st r c ti p te r u la ra r other ot othe e tracks fo reat Yola. “I g I just don’t lik , G h a it it. I’d h it like D g around w w all big n in be fuck p on it and go the productio u n k o a e w sp lo it to side.” er keep just rath ick to the rap st st and ju d . Garlan aurice G M s: d r Wo verly Julia Be Photo:
UTNA, GA YTO LAN A
“I’M A STUNNER, A PARTY PERSON READY TO HAVE FUN WITH THE BIG FACES AND BRIGHT LIGHTS.”
PATAIENTLY W ITING
he Bad A 23, and ss Boys weren ’t nomin Joe 2 T ym I se a magazin e us as the fr es, 25, still see ted for an Alab ontrun am es. We th n e the bac th r s in the emselves as le a Patiently W e ones k the bus . We’re from B out here mak city,” 2 Tym aders in the B aiting Ozone es in ir now [la A ir ughs].” mingham. Bir g it happen. I says. “We’re mingham, Ala ward this yea th r. fe b mingha In the b m ain’t el that we we e first ones to ama hip-hop Nevertheless m , e g r had to get in th e very much o on tour. W ovement. “Rig Young PJ, attendin ginning, Youn e ov e back g of the b erlooked. We got the billboa ht now, merous g Woodland H PJ and Joe 2 T ’r us. We r ig ta ain’t fix e tired of bein ds, the the inte lent shows th h School in B ymes united a fter rec in’ to g g irmingh rest of A rougho put in et in th ognizin ut their signed am. Th labama e back g th e h of Now, w e duo to a rec indie label Re ometown. Th tandem proce each other’s ta al o e le e it ing distr h Real Record rding contract. Records, who ir buzz peeped ded to win nu nt while s beibuted by Univ Music a n e tion, th d Video Distr rsal ib e be victi BA Boys won u’t m much lo s of narcolepsy nger. Their d e Being B but album Day r s Flip, Pa oke featuring of L st Tela an or Troy, Boha il’ d g artists, a host of Alab on, among ama o stores th thers, h it with th is past August .A e album “Check ’s lead si nd M n The Last e Out” featur gle in making Mr. Bigg, effe g c th of these e industry ta tively k days of Birmingham B e notice b o numbe eing broke ma ys, their red. y be
IKE COUNTRYTLO BE “WE AIN’T R RAY US PEOPLE PORETIN ALABAMA.” DOWN HE
“The so n check m g is pretty mu c look at e out,” 2 Tyme h saying... m s so long e. We’ve bee says. “Like, n ,w the state e felt like we overlooked sh m e n t li out for ke, ‘Loo ould make re k people al.’ We ain’t c , check us p o Alabam ortray us to be untry like a.” down h ere in Curren tly tour ing Sou and un th iv to Norfo ersities from O ern colleges rangebu lk , VA, alo , the BA rg, SC ng w group a Boys won’t sto ith Crime Mo b nd their p until they de th serve. “ state get the r eir espect There’s Alabam a a be at th ],” PJ says. “W lot of talent [i n e forefr e just tr ont to h of talen ying to t e getting we have down lp expose a lot o with th verlooked all there that’s be th e BA Bo e artists li ys acco ese years.” An n m k d and Inte e Alabama, D panied by Ala e b r have be scope’s Rich B f Jam’s 334 M.O ama e o barriers. n quietly brea y, Alabama r .B.B., ap king do wn ind pers ustry “I just w a we’re h nt everybody e to know been w re now,” 2 Ty mes beg , Alabama, aiting so ins. “Fo hear fro long. T lk m h waiting Alabama, bu ey’ve been w s have aiting to t they’v to hear longer e fr b o e m en b Bir have to wait ca mingham. An asically use we’r d e here n they no Words: ow.” Randy R Photo: Julia Be oper verly
ASSOH E, FL L L I J JD V N ACK om
is name “J” in h wns on e th t a ume th dom clo dy. may ass ith those ran e u o y , c w si his com sh’s mu him confused lculated with a D J. n’t get ening to very ca id, ‘All d all fter list r joker. But do r/producer is n he sa e fo p s p a d r n est whe be singers, an t to b is sta h it T . id an e sa t to View happell medians wan rs and artists w e says. Comic “Dave C co s,’” h singe n ia d e be com basically what “That’s rt of take my al I do. I so d put a comic , e n music a . That’s just m it twist to nality.” so my per e oject Th rent pr His cur f A Corporate o Odyssey une gives you T y e n o o Dash is L of what an idea m the title and s g o about fr ne. But it’s son it” H lo a A r e e k v a o c M w You ingly gives o H “ e lik ock get raDash m where ns on how to saying o ti y instruc nd stardom b beats a le dio play ords over simp somew he is t a simple th ly, u w yo opriate that sho genius. Appr How a “ what of s that up with w he follo ix A Hit.” m You Re y is t’s funn y, ow wha le I talk to sa t n k u o p h o “Y e ig r p c e si f th mu 100 % o oing on with yet it’s so g t s u t’ BS,’ b ‘Wha ave don’t h s BS, it’s now? It l because they says Dash. ,” fu success lse to bite into issue, but e e nothing e recognizes th going to n I’m “Everyo ou change it? e way that y th m how do light on it in give the e th e nd then ’ve been a shin d n a ey derst they un want, what th y’ve lost.” e ey th th t t a a h h w w for, and gives waiting ash also elief, D e on songs r ic m o the c tal sid Beyond is experimen ntownology” w sh o r e D n “ e y st uthin’” li ng sing-so n’t Do N like the ux-crunk “Do t to dance, fa no and the urges people sity and is diver people he H e l. r il e h st w d has ply stan e even but sim l flow cadenc Andre 3000. ) na occasio g him to (gasp in t that compar el abou w to fe out expectao h w o n ab don’t k to ueried “I really dmits when q ave to live up sus h a I e h e nd Je k a li n l e yet,” w o fe ut my ou, you I don’t tions. “ expectations b start doing y e so u ’r o ’s u e y o n e y o c y n an ause .O eople c that’s it n said it Christ, y hear other p oing. Raekwo y seed all all can’t re n what you’re inding not re o gr ow you d n st k se ju u u c o u fo day yo ; next thing y what’s going e n ‘O : g at’s best g on anythin it!’ So th at’s goin ing wh and you made can’t really see keep a I p wake u ow with me. ye line and I’m e tn on righ what’s in my ” st a p s y goal. m s that’ d r a g tow workin dul alik Ab hoto: M P d n a w Intervie
“I TAK Y MUSIC ANEDM P U COMICAL TW T A IST TO IT.”
PATAIENTLY W ITING
or some , flood ou making music r is can test television sets about more th ify to th is theor and becomes a an platinum c ha y better n He desc than B.A escape from e ins and flashy r very vide daddy h ibes his all-too .N.G., a -comm ad got d M iami str day despairs. S os. It transcen o since I ds the w eet vet imply p was nin eported back n story in a m who su to e an quently rvived ut, it’s salvatio orldly messag , I did ti years old. I ha Jamaica. I’m th ner of regret tw es that n for th e lv e years a d me for in priso e lost. Nobo it. I got to do what I e oldest of my nd slight hesita dy n had to Althou locked . li ti l’ o n. “G broth do gh up on a n arme . I was gettin er and lil’ sist rowing up, m how I d nearly half h g in tro d robbe y e is life w id my ti r momm . It w u ry and a me; tha kidnapp ble at school as rough; I be a was single, t’s wha s spent incarc en and wit m ing case t helped erated, B.A.N.G h it was d the poli out the house y when I me get . e c w a Mysp came home w th fi e a . n s r A it o fo nd conse ugh it.” ely not urteen.” ac it wasted mia). W e most wante h a point to p . “I star d r it ted writ a featur h the help of , receiving sev ove. He hit th ing mu e studio eral tho e on Pit his man sic in p u bull’s a rison. T lbum E ager, Big Teac sand plays in and cranked o hat’s l Marie h, and c ut his fi o When n ly a l. few sho rst mix asked a lose frie tape Gr rt week bout his nd Dem casually i-am s (m r i, B.A.N prophe replies, “It’s li ecent endeavo .G. also yspace.com/b i. He quickly k cy thin rs, he secured angbecame g to me e a cause I always seen it like this . the wh I feel like ole mov ement was wa it He then ing on me.” and ela gets excited bo many o rates, “So f prison w my dawgs in make it anna see me h the ene appen. It’s rgy from the gate inside s all this that’s stirring up. The y get on the pho n people e and tell their about m say I’m e. They th came th e best that ev e r peniten ough the Flor r id ti really w ary system. T a h a I knew nt me to do th ey I was g is. o and sta y focuse nna get out d what it takes.” . I know It’s this k passes o nowledge tha th n to the them, if youth. e th e y make th “I tell they lay eir own ex in it. They cre bed, p a how ha eriences. And te they rd a situ no matt always er ation is st , someth ay focused an they can d in of the g g greater beca achieve r u history eatest men thr se some o w prison. ere locked do ughout A w round th ll they gotta d n in o e is surm se lve share th eir sam s with people e dream that s.” As for h is futur e predic B.A.N.G ti . waiting says, “I’ve be ons, en fo and rep r a long time patiently e ,” gonna m ats, “a very lon he chuckles g time. ake it.” We’re Words: Ms. Riv ercity
“I KNEW I A WAS GONN U GET O T [OF PRISOANY] AND ST . FOCUSED I KNOW WHAT IT TAKES.”
T U O M TTON
ad the u can re nd o y – X there a allas, T about D on. He’s been nmouth is w o n k tt ant to ong Ko e city). Kotto use early on, ys If you w King K is city. further than rent parts of th , mostly beca ext to all frallybo h u s o ie m d n o y embo ed to look no radically diffe in the streets his tapes up n om/kott e e ho reall yspace.c guys w t really you n to Plano (two 0’s and get lov d put them on se o www.m th Cliffe in the mid-9 ally Boys, an k – bu one of c k a is a b O s th e u m o R World ottonm e did a few issu very block fro e to Houston is group, The at Rally xas trying th m e w h o d d c e h sé p le it o ld p b e p w as ex cou rst dro hout T ew the at he did at and h as who r en we fi l throug done th uys from Dall s, and songs th day wh e would trave k off. I met Sc dio and e g th le g w in c n u fe h k . si st fu c e e n a p is e d m b th o h h n f ti s take en one o recksh ouse a stry w m the of tape w would ters fro bunch ays in the indu go to Screw’s h We were at W ame by, and th a n o e DJ Scre on heavy hit c m d m s. li to w t tt S ly e a u d r r n p a c e se e W ust . Screw members his imself. “We u met Michael -Wreck and S lim Thug wh no plex. the Ho S J Screw with D e 1,” Kotton re e a name for h e Screw ever essing with D came by with cat. It wasn’t ept d te r a g n st k u o y to mak first tim I was m Watts “It all st Volum h ew I ju was a ing wit met Scr After I back and mess ith it; w g l o comin w was a fo to do. re he used d a lot him. Sc w o h w ha o you kn my dawg, he oming s c a s a w t w a Th as. I ying to for Dall of love n back then tr ing to o m st to Hou instead of co e Houston. k as, do Dall trying to rap li know I le n Housto pted and peop of mixtapes s ce I get ac nd on all type Heads to w ou e r r a c S n e e to e b oss Ness time I se from W of stuff. Every ed Up Click s rew all kind s from the Sc ct. Just real e oy them b love and resp ll a ’s it d an stuff.” e people w in th st wallo eer. He’s ju ’t n le car tton did But Ko hetto his who lo albums and g p so e p th ta g . But po len mix six full is s to date released the Rally Boy on’t just see h r w m two fro trunk and you reet distributo s a st is n a h ’t e a n k p e li op is his selling is . Kotton catalog hole of Dallas, ight next to h r w d e a o r e for th th t out on produc . n om ow today fr ll e it’s at hustling. I se r e h w gh a d just reer is “My ca dependent an of going throu rning a in d staying myself instea “I’m steady le y. I s. a sic my mu an,” he explain better every d ’s a n It m middle g my situatio s coming up. and lk r kin e fo a ld g m o n d u le n o a lp the y done got a litt on, I can talk e h to try Kott ss. I g proce g Kong learnin w album, Kin e n on my rything.” w,” ve Windo about e Out the by Big E. from s w o lb , “E ced d produ st single of the His late Chalie Boy an currently one to Oklao g is featurin tertainment, ets from Lared should be n e ig r E P st g id e n u Liq You in th y now. singles aturing hottest d his remix fe ear you any da n n a homa, up at a station end of g r by the reets. “I’m blowin jo a m a on e st Kotton find him in th closes, “but on’t see on d If you d e to Texas an t signed,” Kott ” e om s. g c g d , in n 6 a 0 th 0 n 2 to get o ing a hundred g in k r do wo one cat I’m just nzala Matt So Words: ward Hall Ed Photo:
KAOLLAS, TX D
“I TRY TO HEL P THE YOUNG COMING U F LKS P. IT’S A LEA RNING PRO OCESS.”
PATAIENTLY W ITING
Enter D ir to pursu ty Black, a.k.a . e a stand a rap career fo Christopher Jo ou shot an t basketball p llowing the tr hnson. Dirty B d a la la heavy,” killed during yer with the gic death of his ck decided Dallas M a summ midst th Dirty B b er visit [my bro lack say averick rother, e h s, th s. rap gro hoopla over ups, the decided er] worked so “I didn’t wan ome. “I was in who was leanin’ an to re t S to pick was ma my oth hard for, and to pursue som basketball Mob. P outhern stank are still grou d rockin’ and d b ps e o an e b crafted e, Dirty Black r love, which ecame success thing that Georgia ama City, Flo nia popularize reminiscent o ubble gum is fu a u d r f ter Dirty rap style capa sed his brothe music.” After l in. So I group. emcee Kosha, ida emcee Dir by Outkast an classic b r ty Black of the A the cho ’s d Good le B d la o e f c ath kw ver Trey W ic ie labama ilson, in on a talent co satile flows an as motivation e -based and Talbotton duo Ty , and e , m d “A lot o x a tt p te m etition endanc nded th e lo te Wur d f cats th ic with Ko hooks. e; Kosh e invita k, is tha humbly “Our th ink you Afa had sha a tion t in well...” obliged. Since to Dirty Black found his par nd manager, certain g is real just b gotta come ou tn ti th t crunk to mode, w g eing ou e h a r fo t t . d K w r a m o ork.” y the d ,” bit long rselves. e just tr uo hasn a group, and sha e We ain Kosha explain B ’t stopp Tyte W our tim r to make it th ying to do wh ’t tryin s. ed mak lack u g a e come e t r to n k w so be is best k e do follo ing, s aroun ESPN’s heads.” n o w d we’re it. We’ll kee . If it takes us w no N n F po a li going to viewers L Sunday Co for “What It u p bust th n grindin’, and ttle rewrite er week. Eac ntdown, whic Is,” the openin eir muth Tyte W w h e n h s g h u afuckin week’s and rerecords week during fo reaches over song for a childh rk has reason ’ NFL an “ to o d NCAA What It Is” to otball season, two million his care od friend of B be confident. Ty match th e M action. Their b Studios. r as a certified E’s Bohagan, Kosha, a.k.a. K e storyli te Wurk iggest h elvin Se spent th ProToo K ne of th o sh a it p would and lan ls engin ldon, icked u e early and sm e la d e st with th p spins on both oker’s favorite from B ed a guest spo ter go on to ap er at Outkast’s ages of e ubba Sp t on “If pear on “ ir X M S ta M n a e n r w mixta and Sir y Jane (r konia Colock arxxx’s It’s Bum first on numero ius pe em fl alb e p u Tyte W ooding South Secrets of the satellite radio ix)” has started to sign with A um Dark Da in’” along wit s mixtapes, ern stre stations. ys, Brig urk on South V h Boha scoutin labama e th g h K g talent ts o age Ou in a A t osha sta l. e n, Nights die lab tkast.” to join rt givin way, it won’t and their self- 1 hosted by D nd forces fo el Superkala . Kosha, the ti g b J tl e “ la e lo d ff n Re d y taffy” g r what Words: groups before Dirty ebut album he desc cords, later a run fo Black a ribes as Randy n Roper r their “a new money. d
“A LOT OF CA TS THINK YOU GOTT A C CRUNK. OUR OME OUT JUST BEING O THING IS URSELVES.” 94
YA $ N E R CUR LEANS, L
om his bably fr
hedules “Our sc ore.” eard Cu h s. e e ifi ’v r u m rap no ,” he cla here yo n. o Limit ’t even gonna ering w g to slow dow d N n h o it w up w ran r head k was startin I wasn I ended me, he ch off. ing you for inco rsation at’s how I had to bran scratch s when the tan e th e n ’r li so u t , o ir e fy rd t-sh to jail me soon. So conv it Reco e went off as a his own joining ti No Lim er and h ming out any starting . What started into Curren$y nt and d t r u u o b M a o c king game rned tainme s with C see me was thin at a basketball ng together tu Money Enter g signed to y lly I wa t and I didn’t $ a n in e r ig r in g r “O feren hen Cu to Lil Wayne out doing a so ayne’s Youn entually gett ey Records. were dif Right w in ab W ev on M h $ Ca is earing h After h ces on both n a r a e d DJ app ayne an of Lil W edication D Drama’s it’s obvious s e p ta mix y ’s alread that he But on top . in fitting an above-par g of bein e’s a good fit h e lyricist, f his expensiv o because nse as well. se fashion ic rban ch to the u “I’m in ant to open w thing. I e and bring qu ti u o b rleans,” a New O things to vid A Bathing a e says the er. “People se ’t ar n e o w d e d p n A things a at’s the h it w me d th ven’t and, an underst cause they ha e e m b e , reason fore. They se ut I b be , it it e n k e se y li and the it to them with it bring I if g for e k feel li ood thin l be a g ’l it d n a .” the city e here Th gle “W Wayne n si t e e His str ring Lil y catchtl t?” featu Cash A y Ma is curren cuit, m tape cir . ix and Re m e on th voice ing fire e N.O. a new l feature il th w g in m u iv g ming alb he Runners o c p u His ave mT l also h tion fro produc & Dre and wil i and tt l o o and Co ces from Yo G bringing a f n appeara r. But on top o he just may e ns, C-Murd e from N’awli as well. e ic new vo g a new imag gin in r b ved e b mom li ger, my ere was n u o y s I wa re th “When borhood whe e corner into th h in a neig e kids around fter mentiona hit s w y e sa m e h so sco and arding,” upe Fia skatebo miration of L I picked it up , ad k ing his “Just watching iends, we too d fr . an ll y e ff r m o r a d it h n a g P as doin em. Me e, from th irection and w I wanted to b d s a r u d o o there o t g u s o it in a t t e still g ver go on. I ne time to time I m o fr t u b my ass.” and bust Lopez Rodrigo rly s: d r o e W v Julia Be Photo:
“I NEVER OT AS GOODG WANTED TO AS I SKATEBOARDBE [AT BUT I STILL G ING], THERE ANDEBT OUT MY ASS.” UST
PATAIENTLY W ITING
S IA INGLEN E N O T P S NTA, GA V
. Stones’ artist P e a few g in d r d o alongsi ope rec /Intersc d to cast him ould be sadly c si u M w pte rk ColliPa might be tem p rapper.” You hearing you sna pon first et Like Me,” comers as a “ w “G ced by single, anta-based ne s produ tl A r e ack wa e same man . tr n oth e e k th ta th t mis Yes, K-Rab, ve us the bea who ga y Taffy.” And ’, for “Laff you’re leanin r whethe r doing the o rockin’ ce, “Get Like ala P le o o P rovide ms to p … Me” see ct soundtrack tfe the per ut if you pay a t a B at first. ou’ll notice th g ,y in n r o e ti ff n te is o . Stones what P tly different. ke h li up is slig record is not s in ap la sn p x y e M ,” “ y else’s glenook, d o b y r In eve eally year-old the 19- . “They ain’t r they e v n AL nati out nothing o to the t ‘b talking what I brough o beats. S lyricism.” as table w Get elease “ ion to r st single was is c e d e Th e fir close to e” as th Like M siness. With e music u th b d strictly of exposure to ly picke s e r it a n e fi y e d six s a e h H . e ade y, h industr tricks of the tr climate, nt up a few t in this curre needed a e knew th st in Atlanta, h stations io ti r d a a r n t to ge as a is quick ecord to a snap r ention. But he l songs,” as a tt e a to pay that he has “r hit,” will ut eS point o ngle, “I’m th si t x e n his p in a prove. , grew u rre Lilly emerging as ie P n r bo as Stones, n the South w am hip-hop re he time w rce in mainst e, T.I., and fo ik a major s like Killer M aised for their r st p ti g r a e age in d e an were b bility. Since th ed e n y a a d l n a u Lil W ic o r r r ly ing” een su “surpris nes has also b e of the most g m to in S so , 3 m 1 o f o fr , includ is e South learned h by and l players in th e guidance of lso a tia th influen lf, thanks to ble” Raines, a kes a se ta T.I. him Carlos “Dark G onder that he w r e o g n a n ’s a m o it artist. S sly. former riou se so the ft a his cr ur with onal to the studio as ti o m o r p its s still h debut tly on a Curren DJs, P. Stone g to make his o n w in n T e d . r , grin mbe Hittm possible as even by Septe often as ailable to fans DJs tour, he w oad. r v n album a the Hittmen e studio on the ’s real to it ] th in o s g [s k brin ing, wee plans to t I’m do of high making chance in wha dropped out , but o c h a “I took says Stones, w to pursue musi time ” ’s e s, d It “ a u r . io g n ser tio 1th is educa nd keep in the 1 school nds to finish h to come in a in at,” he ts e a te fully in more young c s where I com e at’ h m T so . r g fo in time.” ustry go this ind s. “It’s just our e u contin Louis Tai St. Words:
L OOK, A
TS E YOUNG CA R O M E M Y R SO OR INDUST “IT’S TIMEEFIN ND KEEP TEHIIS A ME IN.” M O C O C TO ER H W ’S T A H T . GOING 96
RS E T I R OSTW
from H stream eeper in a m e d as hit th rface. But dig y. This what h uch of scratch the su s in the countr m so nitie is how if you only commu r plosion ston ex is quite simila ost diverse rap u o H t n me e curre lie, much of it one of the m . make so bout th to a em agon to many know w e hear a ’s really not ston is home ming from th d w n a t b in o . It pla ou sort of ston flavor so lly every ne com unds the same ill see that H ltiple sounds c a u n some w u jump o with that Ho g new practic on the r o e Town so scene and you of town has m d si d in m a n is a th e ic t im r e e n m into th and every sid ve to cla ased so tly independe street ly eally ha lethal mix of ts, having rele y ic r it r c ’t st , p sn o e -h at do acclaim bine a e stree is a hip has group th Jig com ampions in th years to wide inment iters, a vacci and Big e r h e c r w e st th p o Enterta g hard in h ta st a a ta G ix L p it e . m e H G th e th y f r a v in o r Enter he duo nd love. They ther month fo rind. bel Hea pt them work h producers noise. T a o g Their la ke . io wit d u st and T.A e th ce Bang ngers, u r B e k li ba e Head from th behind their n e the m “Hell e singles current d “Headed to th. e n k a e ” K h a il e Y gL featurin Club,” to the Club” is on ti d e d “Hea ong rota y in str .9 currentl n’s Party 104 o at Houst FM. en d Warr Pete an .9 heard our l to is P “ 04 Party 1 plains. “They G-Z at g ex Ji ig d it just B song,” a few times an re. e it played ok off from th at the to d e f o m r d fo kin er r y. We p n hono It’s craz , which was a got on d st n fe Screw be a part of, a owd go cr for us to saw how the d t was re n a a h e T stag e song. t there.” th r fo crazy g righ openin ally eye rir perfo and the ttracted y la p a dio That ra the Screw Fest Records, c at mance tion of Atlanti on take so n the atte roup hopes to ole ‘nother g h e w a th and anyd to can’t go ut reet grin their st it stands, you o h w wit s level. A Texas right no ostwriters h G in e e r th e has f h w inded o l Heavy Hitta m e r g e . b r bein a la e r y u ntire e. “O presenc ind it for the e ort in the h eff e d b se n e u e c b fo is defibeen a “104.9 y There’s ys G. Lavacci. dio, but Heav sa ra streets, hind it on the resources to e e te nitely b ed together th reets and crea st ull e e p th th ta m it o H into action fr s to get allow u and get the re r buzz.” u z o z u d that b d really buil , an DJ ICG people Dallas’s uston h it w e o H tap n fire in test mix eir Their la Ambition, is o Texas. And th d e ’s r Hustle small town in ’ Switches, host g and y o r n e ti D v t it e r H o d an Sh isc guys down d d by DJ slowed Kid and mixe hot title. These o a c o is by Cr paholix is als p atch. the Cho itely ones to w all n fi e “To see d are g closes. , it’s really a Ji .” n a g ed, m ay off en bless s pushin ing in p “We be we been putt what keeps u t’s rk the wo thing and tha l beautifu .” forward Sonzala to: Matt o h P d an Words
TX THE G STON, HOU
L THE “TO SEE AL EN WORK WEINBE AY P PUTTINGEALLY A R OFF, IT’S HING.” BEAUTIFUL T
PATAIENTLY W ITING
KA A Z G I B ANTA, G ATL
“I’VE BEEN BLESSED E WITH TH ELPGIFT OF HLE ING PEOPIR TELL THE STORY, SOANT NOW I W TO TELL MINE.”
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PATAIENTLY W ITING
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“MY E IM ULT ATO T IS L A O G BREAK INTAO THIS R P GAME AND HELP THE OT ARTISTS I G D N UP U ER ME.”
RICK ROSS PORT OF MIAMI Slip-N-Slide/Def Jam
FIEND THE ADDICTION FE
TRAE RESTLESS Rap-A-Lot/Asylum
Rick Ross’ Port of Miami is dope, literally. It’s a shame that this album didn’t come out 13 years ago because it would have been a perfect soundtrack for Scarface starring Al Pacino. Since that didn’t quite happen, the album’s opener “Push It” will have to do. Using Paul Engemann’s notorious song from the popular movie, Ross doesn’t push the envelope lyrically or content-wise, but he does let listeners know that his 12 year grind is well worth the success he is finally seeing.
Fiend was supposed to be star a long time ago. His voice, creativity and lyrical prowess always made him stand out from his fellow No Limit Soldiers, but even at their height he was bound by the branding of the tank. When he got down with the Ruff Ryders in the early 2000’s he was supposed to get the same notoriety as DMX and Jadakiss, but that didn’t happen either.
Even though the album’s title suggests that there’s going to be a lot of wild movement, really the only things that move when listening to Trae are your soul and your neck, not much else. Your neck is sure to snap on the album’s opener “Real Talk” when Trae comes out the gate spitting at 160 m.p.h. over a hectic guitar sample, immediately killing the notion that all Houston rappers slow down everything they touch. Even though he did that with ease, he does keep things calmer for the rest of the album. Grown man B.I. exudes on songs like “Dedecated 2 U” and “The Truth” where Trae explains his Asshole By Nature attitude. However, it’s the times that he’s not being a complete asshole that standout on this album.
And what’s success without showing off? He hooks up with his fellow MI-Yayer Dre for “Blow” which sounds like a vintage Big Tymers song, only here, Ross is a little bit better than Baby on the mic. Dre appears again on the equally flashy “Boss,” where of course Ross’ rhyme scheme pairs the song title with his name more than a few times. The rest of the album pretty much lets you know how he has afforded himself the chance to be a boss with money to blow. On the Jazze Pha “For Da Low” he constantly reminds you that he gets “it” for the low. He then informs us where he keeps “it” on the DJ Toompproduced “White House.” Ross goes on to tell us what he uses to make “it” on “Pots and Pans.” But the bearded one isn’t all about the hard “it,” he also likes the soft “it.” On “Hit U From The Back” he lets us in on his love life when he says “she make me cook her lobster tails, I make her go and cook a ki.” He also teams up with Mario Winans on the breezy “Get Away” where Ross spits his “L.A. Reid” flow and insists that “every D-Boy needs a friend.” However, after all of the money-making, drug sales and women chasing, Ross closes the album with “Prayer” repenting all of his sins on the previous tracks. Honestly, this is perhaps the realest song on the entire album because it is here that Ross shows he isn’t the largerthan-life dope dealer that he presents himself as in his music.
- Maurice G. Garland 108
Virtually forced to do things on his own, Fiend hasn’t disappointed since he’s went independent. The Addiction picks up where Go Hard or Go Home left off, showcasing Fiend’s ability to not only make a presence on the mic, but also crank out complete songs no matter what the subject is. The aggressive “I Want It All” starts the album off with a bang, but it’s the song that comes after it that reminds you that Fiend is not your average rapper. “Thugg’n And Drugg’n” has Fiend chronicling street life to realistic extremes over a sample of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun.” Lines like “The city where I reside, mostly income is fixed / Where the lights staying on is first on our Christmas list” are strong enough to make you forget about the weak verses from the unknown rappers who are also on the song. He stays on some rock shit with “That’s What U Want” when he takes the typical “don’t fuck with me” attitude but injects some undeniable lyricism into it, making it an above average song. He does the same on “Wired Up.” Capital F.I. delivers another hard hitter on “That Iron Gang” where he again overshadows the guest feature, this time Corner Boy P. Of course Fiend can do more than just kick ass, and he proves it on “Press Play,” talking about everything from having a daughter on the way to sacrificing QT with his woman to work in the studio. On “Bottom of the Map” he walks the listener through his New Orleans and on “What Is U Sayin” he takes a generic KLC beat to another level. Besides the safe and basic production, there aren’t many missteps on this album. Even though there may be a couple songs that you might just not feel like hearing sometimes, don’t hit the skip button too often because you may miss something.
- Maurice G. Garland
He steps outside of his element to hook up with Yung Joc on the slightly snap influenced “In The Hood” but still manages to stay himself on the beat although the track is begging to be leaned and rocked on. On “Coming Around The Corner” he hooks up with Dip Set’s Jim Jones to bust warning shots at anyone trying to interfere with their riches. He makes another out-of-state connection on the soulful “Restless” with Young Noble of the Outlawz, which turns out to be one of the albums strongest cuts. Outside of the mean-mugging “Matter of Time” featuring Mya, Trae keeps the rest of the appearance at home. He hooks up with his cousin and fellow G. Maab member Z-Ro on “No Help” to create some more of the classic “fuck you” music you’ve come to love from the duo. But Trae also show his lyrical side on “So Gangsta” where he almost makes you forget that the legendary Bun B is featured on the song. Even though he doesn’t spend a lot of time rapping about the things Houston rappers are now expected to talk about (cars, jewelry, syrup) he does have a couple songs that show that he can incorporate a little bit of those subjects in his music. On “Cadillac” he hooks up with Paul Wall, Three 6 Mafia, Jayton and Lil Boss of S.L.A.B. to rap about the obvious. “Swang” features Pimp C, Big Hawk and Fat Pat’s voice on the hook - although it’s not the version with the Michael Jackson “Lady In My Life” sample. That mistake is redeemed by “Screw Done Already Warned Me” with Lil Keke and “Pop Trunk Wave” featuring another Fat Pat vocal. Even though the production and even Trae’s voice can get boring, this is a solid effort. The mood stays consistent and Trae does him, rather than try to appeal to everyone with $13.99 to spend.
- Maurice G. Garland
OUTKAST IDLEWILD Jive
KILLER MIKE PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE Grind Time
An argument about anything Outkast has ever made can end friendships or just make you look at someone completely different. If anyone dared say something negative about Big Boi and Andre 3000, they were automatically dismissed as either a hater or just plain ignorant and stupid combined. However, after 12 strong and lucky years, the 13th one has ‘Kast dropping perhaps their first album that is actually open for debate.
Inspired by the same major label frustrations that saw him drop independent projects like Dat Crack and the DJ Sense-assisted The Killer, Mike returns with his double underground album I Pledge Allegiance, cementing his boasts of being the “New School Ice Cube.”
Even though the “it’s still better than 90% of the crap that’s out now” angle can be used when talking about this album, the statement doesn’t hold as much water as it once did. Much like he did on Speakerboxxx, Big Boi attacks every song with unbridled energy, even though the song isn’t that tight. “Peaches” has Big flowing exceptionally well talking about a failed marriage, getting straight to the point with no abstract metaphors. He stays in the twisted relationship on the funked-out “N2U” featuring Sleepy Brown where they honestly explain that they want sex, but not a girlfriend. Big Boi continues to snap on “The Train” and “In Your Dreams” where he is joined by Killer Mike, Sleepy Brown and Janelle Monae. But every time you start to get into Big Boi’s offerings, they are thrown off by Dre’s experimental musings. “Idlewild Blues” does a good job at creating a bluesy atmosphere but the rest of his sounds give you a screwface, forcing you to just accept the fact that he made music for a movie soundtrack, not an album. When accepted in that context, the songs are listenable but not always enjoyable. Take “Greatest Show On Earth,” for example, where Dre’s crooning is paired with Macy Gray - thinking of how it sounds is probably hurting your ears already. Or tunes like “When I Look In Your Eyes” and “Makes No Sense At All” which are both composed very well, but don’t really make you want to go back and listen to see if you missed anything. However, Dre does manage to catch attention on “Life’s A Musical” where he sings “I called Big Boi on the telephone and said hold up before we put out another song, no matter what goes down we stand strong ‘cause ain’t nothing changed.” He also does some “time traveling…something mind-unraveling” on “Chronomentrophobia” where he sings about the fear of time, hoping that people remember Outkast for their contributions in this age of glitz and glamour. But, the album is not a total loss. “Hollywood Divorce” featuring Snoop Dogg and Dre’s favorite rapper, Lil Wayne, has all four emcees creating the album’s best song. Together they spark conversation about Hollywood’s uncanny ability to take neighborhood trends, make them popular and throw them and their creators to the wayside. Overall, Idlewild is decent at best. Big Boi comes with it each and every time and it sounds like he has completely mastered and patented his rapid-fire flow, while Dre teeters along the fine line of pushing the envelope and fucking around. If you are a ‘Kast fan in denial, you may just want to accept this CD as a movie soundtrack instead of the album they would have you believe it is.
- Maurice G. Garland
The brightest example comes courtesy of the name-dropping “That’s Life” where he speaks on racial double standards calls out community “leaders” with lines like “Watch me as I cruise like Tom through the slums where the education is poor and children going dumb / In the section of the city where the saditty don’t come, where Mr. Cosby and Ms. Winfrey won’t come, unless it’s a hurricane and FEMA don’t come.” The truth continues to come out on “Killers” when he spews, “Fuck George Bush and that snake Bill Clinton” and “You Don’t Want This Life,” where he questions aspiring trap stars by telling them there’s nothing but death and police lights after the cars and ice. To juxtapose that, he and his fellow Grind Time Rap Gang members S.L. Jones and Da Bill Collector praise the legal money makers working 9 to 5’s on “Ima Shine.” While the Cube influence is prevalent throughout the album, Mike also freaks an idea from a former Cube nemesis, Common, on “The Next Bitch.” Here he embodies the crack game, rap game and corporate America as females who he messes with and then ultimately leaves for the other. With his lyrical wit already proven, Mike demonstrates his storytelling skills on the Three Dog Night-sampled “Duece’s Wild,” painting an entertaining and slightly comedic picture of a botched carjacking. Songs like “The Juggernaut” and “Fuck U Pay Me” pretty much add notches to Mike’s belt, but his Grind Time collective also show flashes of brilliance. Little Rock, Arkansas’ SL Jones reps his city and bangs with flying colors on “Sags N’ Flags” while Bigg Slimm, Da Bill Collector & Gangsta Pill flow nimbly over plucking harps and MPC drums on “What Da Bizniss Is.” Even though the gang slips into mundane pistol play on songs like “Gat Totin’” and “Shoot Em’ Up,” the exceptional wordplay from Mike and Nario make them worth a listen or two. Well-executed lyrics were pretty much expected from this release, but the surprise is the improved production (poor beats have hurt Mike in the past) courtesy of Chaotic Beats and Smiff and Cash. And as if the songs weren’t enough, the album is closed with a DJ Jellyesque blend of “Kryptonite” over Keith Sweat’s “Right and A Wrong Way” instrumental. An official Killer Mike album release date is still on shaky ground, but this double-CD offering of original material should keep the masses satisfied until then.
- Maurice G. Garland
ugklive Venue: Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre Location: Orlando, FL Event: 1st Annual OZONE Awards brought to you by OZONE Magazine, TJ’s DJ’s, BME/Warner Bros. & Interscope Records Date: August 6th, 2006 Photo: Julia Beverly
ISSUE #50: YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
THE NEW GENERATION
LUDACRIS LIL SCRAPPY OZONE AWARDS & TJ’s DJ’s RECAP
4TH ANNUAL PATIENTLY WAITING SPECIAL EDITION