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MINI SUPER BOWL 2007 SPECIAL EDITION

PITBULL UMP & MONEY MARK CAROL CITY CARTEL SUAVE SMOOTH PRETTY RICKY TRICK DADDY COOL & DRE JOE HOUND FLO-RIDA NOREAGA BRISCO WEBBZ D SHEP STACK$ C-RIDE KALIBA MECCA TORO

WELCOME TO MIAMI


MINI SUPER BOWL 2007 SPECIAL EDITION

COOL & DRE CAROL CITY CARTEL PRETTY RICKY TRICK DADDY FLO-RIDA PITBULL BRISCO C-RIDE KALIBA MECCA BANG UMP TORO WEBBZ D SHEP STACK$ DJ EPPS DJ ENTICE NOREAGA SAM SNEAK MONEY MARK SUAVE SMOOTH

WELCOME TO MIAMI


PUBLISHER: Julia Beverly GUEST EDITOR: Ms. Rivercity PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR: Malik Abdul CONTRIBUTORS: Tene Gooden DISTRIBUTORS: Big Teach (Big Mouth) Buggah D. Govanah (On Point) Lex Promotions Mercedes (Strictly Streets) Pimp G Teddy T SUBSCRIPTIONS: To subscribe, send check or money order for $11 to:

SUPER BOWL 2007 INTERVIEWS DJ Epps pg B27 BANG pg A34-37 Brisco pg A36-37 Cool & Dre pg A28-31 Mecca pg A52-53 Pitbull pg B16-17 Stack$ pg A40-41 C-Ride pg A42-43 FEATURES D Shep pg A46-47 Photo Galleries pg A15-17, B13-15 Flo Rida pg A48-49 Event Listings pg A20-22 Noreaga pg A54-55 DJ Entice pg B18-19 Club Listings pg A26-27 Sam Sneak pg B22-23 Miami Maps pg A23-25 Pretty Ricky pg A58-59 Chick Flix pg A19 Suave Smooth pg B40-41 Carol City Cartel pg B36-37 Money Mark pg B52-53 Trick Daddy pg B50-51 Joe Hound pg B58-59 Webbz pg B46-47 Kaliba pg B56-57 Ump pg B52-53 Toro pg B44-45

COVER STORIES

Ozone Magazine 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318 Phone: 404-350-3887 Fax: 404-350-2497 Web: www.ozonemag.com COVER CREDITS: Cool & Dre photo (cover & this page) by Brian Smith; BANG photo by Julia Beverly. DISCLAIMER: OZONE does not take responsibility for unsolicited materials, misinformation, typographical errors, or misprints. The views contained herein do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or its advertisers. Ads appearing in this magazine are not an endorsement or validation by OZONE Magazine for products or services offered. All photos and illustrations are copyrighted by their respective artists. All other content is copyright 2007 OZONE Magazine, all rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any way without the written consent of the publisher. Printed in the USA.

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01: DJ Khaled and Trina on the set of Trick Daddy’s “Bet That” (Miami, FL) 02: Dunk Ryders on the set of Trick Daddy’s “Tuck Ya Ice” (Miami, FL) 03: Trick Daddy and Baby on the set of “Tuck Ya Ice” (Miami, FL) 04: On the set of “Tuck Ya Ice” (Miami, FL) 05: Guest, DJ Khaled, and Keith of FUBU on the set of “Make it Rain” (Miami, FL) 06: Trick Daddy and Baby on the set of “Tuck Ya Ice” (Miami, FL) 07: DJ Demp, Tony Neal, and TJ Chapman @ Plush for the Ghetto Grammys (Jacksonville, FL) 08: Remy Ma and Jacki-O @ Plush for the Ghetto Grammys (Jacksonville, FL) 09: Young Cash & Paris Jontae @ Plush for the Ghetto Grammys (Jacksonville, FL) 10: Lloyd Banks (NYC) 11: Video models (Miami, FL) 12: Dunk Ryders & Trick Daddy on the set of “Tuck Ya Ice” (Miami, FL) 13: Ted Lucas on the set of “Tuck Ya Ice” (Miami, FL) 14: Video models (Miami, FL) 15: T.I. & Fonsworth Bentley on the set of Fat Joe’s “Make it Rain remix” (Miami, FL) 16: Young Jeezy & Rick Ross @ Mansion (Miami, FL) 17: DJ Khaled & Fat Joe on the set of “Make it Rain” (Miami, FL) 18: Dre & DJ Khaled on the set of “Make it Rain” (Miami, FL) 19: Fat Joe on the set of “Make it Rain” (Miami, FL) 20: Video models (Miami, FL) 21: Guest, Yung Sean, Rich Boy, & TJ Chapman @ Plush for the Ghetto Grammys (Jacksonville, FL) All Photos by J Lash except #15 by Julia Beverly

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01: Fentz, Che, & Louis Oliver @ The Forge (Miami, FL) 02: Akon & Gil Green on the set of “Don’t Matter” (Miami, FL) 03: Cool & DJ Khaled on the set of “Make it Rain remix” (Miami, FL) 04: BANG & Mike Calderon on the set of Akon’s “Don’t Matter” (Miami, FL) 05: Fat Joe & his wife on the set of his “Make it Rain remix” (Miami, FL) 06: T.I. & C-Rod on the set of “Make it Rain remix” (Miami, FL) 07: Pitbull & Akon on the set of “Don’t Matter” (Miami, FL) 08: Steve Rifkind & his kids on the set of Akon’s “Don’t Matter” (Miami, FL) 09: BANG & Durte Red on the set of Akon’s “Don’t Matter” (Miami, FL) 10: Pitbull & Benny D on the set of Akon’s “Don’t Matter” (Miami, FL) 11: E-Class, Big Teach, & Gil Green on the set of Akon’s “Don’t Matter” (Miami, FL) 12: Trina & Fonsworth Bentley on the set of Fat Joe’s “Make it Rain remix” (Miami, FL) 13: DJ EFN & Noreaga on the set of Fat Joe’s “Make it Rain remix” (Miami, FL) 14: Malik Abdul, Micha Porat, & Chubby Chubb on the set of Fat Joe’s “Make it Rain remix” (Miami, FL) 15: DJ Ideal & C-Ride @ The Forge (Miami, FL) 16: Benny B, Akon, & ladies on the set of Akon’s “Don’t Matter” (Miami, FL) 17: Toro & Zo on the set of Akon’s “Don’t Matter” (Miami, FL) 18: DJ Ideal, Bryan Leach, Vanessa, & Big Teach @ The Forge (Miami, FL) 19: Fonsworth Bentley & Scott Storch on the set of Fat Joe’s “Make it Rain remix” (Miami, FL) 20: Akon, E-Class, & Steve Rifkind on the set of Akon’s “Don’t Matter” (Miami, FL) 21: T.I. reading OZONE (Miami, FL) Photos by Julia Beverly

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Model: Alex Photo by: J Lash 954-854-4008


GREATER MIAMI AREA MAP


DOWNTOWN MIAMI MAP


SOUTH BEACH MAP


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Miami lub Listing

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

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

Club 112 1439 Washington Avenue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State 320 Lincoln Rd.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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COOL & DRE

MIAMI, FL

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hat have you guys been cooking up lately? Cool: We’ve been working at the Circle House studios for the past three months just banging out records left and right. We’ve got a new artist named Joe Hound that we just did a deal with for Skeleton Key/Epidemic. We’re in the process of wrapping up his album. We did five records on DJ Khaled’s album. We’re real excited about that. We’re back in the studio with Christina Milian working on her album. We just gave David Banner two huge records and we’ve also been working with Ludacris, T.I. and Jadakiss. We just gave Rick Ross two monster records for his album. We’re going all in. 2007 is gonna be big! Dre: Christina decided she wanted to go back in the studio early so she asked us and some other people to work on it. It’s us, The Runners, Danga, Eric Hudson, and Lil Jon. We’ll probably do like three or four tracks. I called all my friends to help us out on this one. We’re giving her a direction and everyone is really fucking with it. We’re just making great music. We’re not trying to do the whole album ‘cause we’re in the studio working a lot but we’re trying to do as much as we can. We brought in reinforcements to help make it pop. The people we’re bringing in we feel are the hottest dudes in the game. Are ya’ll involved with any community events? Cool: Actually, every year Willis McGahee does this charity football thing the week before the Super Bowl. It just so happens that the Super Bowl is here in Miami this year so it’s going to be extra big. The kids come out there and sign autographs. Me and Dre got our team that we’re coaching. Trick Daddy has a team. Dre’s performing, the whole Epidemic crew, DJ Khaled; Ross is coming on stage. You know, it’s just for the kids. You gotta give back to the community. Dre: It’s all fun. It’s for charity. We’re gonna go out there and do “Chevy Ridin High” and “Hustlin’.” It’s for the kids and it’s a getaway from all the bullshit we gotta deal with everyday. We’re real cool with Willis McGahee. We’re all from Miami. Everyone knows each other out here. We were involved in it last year. This year they asked us to be more involved. We’re helping make jerseys. Are there any ventures beside music you’re working on? Cool: We’re in the food business now. We co-own a restaurant called 510 Ocean on Ocean Drive. You can’t get lost. It’s the only minority owned restaurant on Ocean Drive. It was voted one of

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the top ten restaurants on South Beach. It’s the hottest spot on Saturdays. We have this thing on Saturdays called Social Snacks. All the Miami celebrity football and basketball players go up in there. We’re also getting a clothing line called Dirty Royalty. It’s crazy. We’re in some stores locally like the Shoe Gallery and a few other spots. We just put out two shirts and the buzz is so big right now I can’t even supply the demand. We’re waiting for the clothes to get in so we can lace everybody up. Another thing is that we’re involved in this online community called BattleRap.com. It’s like Myspace for rappers trying to get on. It’s been in production for about a year, so hopefully by the second or third quarter we should be rolling. What kind of food do you have at the restaurant? Dre: It’s fine dining so you know, steak, fish, Italian, things of that nature. It’s a really fly spot. We look up to people like Sean Combs. We watched how he opened up a restaurant and we had an opportunity so we jumped at it. The place is packed on Saturdays nights with people mingling. We’re bringing something called Dinner and a Movie. We’re going to show classic movies like Boomerang, Coming to America, Four Brothers, Set It Off – the shit that we fuck with, that’s classics to us. And every week, whatever movie we show, the star of that movie is going to be at the restaurant hosting that night. It’s dope. It’s a hot idea. How is your life different now than from your pre-celebrity days? Cool: Me and Dre have always been some real down-to-earth grounded guys. We go out and sometimes we underestimate how big we are. But it ain’t different; we’re just ourselves. People meet us and say we’re cool as hell. When we go out we get bombarded with people giving us their mixtapes and we listen to everybody. That stays with people for a while. They remember that Cool & Dre showed them love. But ain’t nothing really changed. The success has never infiltrated us. My number has always been the same. Dre: We try not to look at ourselves as celebrities, even though we gotta accept what it is. I kinda go through a lot more being that I’m doing the artist thing and a lot of people see me more often. My personal life is kinda out there. It’s crazy but it just comes with the territory and you gotta deal with it and keep it moving. Once in a while it may get frustrating but at the end of the day, we’re just some real niggas from Miami. Some-


times you may read something that bothers you, but I can remember a time when Cool and I was hot and then we wasn’t hot. I couldn’t read nothing bad about us or good about us. So I learned to appreciate the hate because when they hate, that means you’re doing something. Do you think the saying “more money, more problems” is true? Cool: If you get more money, of course a different lifestyle comes along where you spend more money; you got bills and you got all this extra shit you’re dealing with. There’s always extra baggage when you have more money. But we’ve struggled way too long to let stupid stuff mess us up. Do you ever hear a song that’s dope and wish you had made it? Cool: Yeah, it’s been a few times that we’ve been like, “Damn, that beat is crazy!” When we heard that “Crazy In Love” we were like, “Holy shit, that beat is stupid.” When we heard “Tingling,” we were like, “What the hell is that?” When “Still D.R.E.” came out we were like, “Wow!” As much as we’re in the game, we’re still big fans. Dre: I’ll tell you what record I wish I had produced – a record I heard that made me say, “Damn!” – that Gnarl’s Barkley record “Crazy.” I’m a big 80s head so I get caught up in a lot of 80s shit. I wish I had done all of Phil Collins’ records. To be honest, I wish I had done “Easy Lover,” “Thriller,” “Purple Rain,” or “Take Me With You.” As accomplished as we are, I wish this was 1985 and Cool & Dre were at where we’re at now. Those times were just crazy. I grew up during the era of Michael Jackson, Prince, Lionel Richie, Madonna, George Michael, U2, New Edition, and Chaka Khan all at the same fucking time! At that time, you had the youngins and some of the same soul veterans still around. Have you ever thought about taking an up-andcoming producer under your wing? Cool: We’ve never really thought about that too much. Maybe if we ever found the right person we would bring them in. If the right producer came along, I think we could give them a hand. We always have our ear open, but we haven’t heard something and been like, “Wow, we need to fuck with them.” After you’ve made a beat and you listen to it, how do you know if it’s a hit? Cool: I think through the years as we’ve grown, if it’s something out of the ordinary, we’ll know.

We make hot beats all day but if it’s one of those select few beats that makes you go, “Holy shit!”, we’re calling everybody like, “Listen to this.” We did a record once and were like, “This has got to go to Jay-Z.” We let Khaled hear it and he was like, “Jesus Christ, that’s my song.” Jay-Z ended up passing on it so we gave it to Khaled. Khaled made a movie out of it. When you hear it, you’ll know what record we’re talking about. Certain beats give you that feeling. I’ll put the beat on a CD and if I play it all the way home, then there’s something special about it. What happened at Jive? Dre: I’m in a transition right now. I love everyone at Jive Records; they’re great people. It’s just that we tried and I felt like “Chevy Ridin’ High” should’ve worked a lot better than it did. It was an incredible hit on the street and in the hood, but we couldn’t get radio to take it to the next level. I love Jive and we do business with Jive to this day. We make records with everyone at Jive. I developed a great relationship with the people that’s there. For them to be willing to allow me to move to another label without giving me any stress is a testament of how our relationship is. My album is called The Trunk 2008 and I’m moving it to another label and the first single is “My Name is Dre.” I promise you it’s gonna fuck niggas heads up. What significance does the name of that song have? Dre: I’m really crafting the album after The Chronic 2001 – one of my favorite rap albums ever. And you know, my name is Dre so it’s like… it’s one thing to be named Michael Jordan and make beats, and it’s another thing to be named Dre and make beats and rap. It’s crazy – the expectations. Dr. Dre is the greatest producer of all time. You can’t come out with a name like Dre and be whack. You better be incredible or change your name, homie! What’s up next? Dre: Check out DJ Khaled’s new album coming out. Look out for Rick Ross’s new album. Look out for my new album. This is so important, Joe Hound’s new single “Choppa” is real huge right now in the hood. He has an album called Misery Loves Company. We’re shooting the video in a couple of days. And ya’ll look out for C-Ride, the hottest rapper in the South. Words: Ms. Rivercity Photo: Brian Smith

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BANG

MIAMI, FL

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aised in the streets of Miami, BANG suffered a setback at the age of sixteen. Spending twelve years in prison didn’t deter his spirit though. Since he appeared in our 4th Annual Patiently Waiting issue, BANG has continued his optimistic path towards success. With the support of his manager Big Teach and Latin superhero Pitbull, BANG is more focused now than ever. What’s new with BANG? I’ve been working on a lot of production and some videos. I have a feature with Pitbull on his album El Mariel which is in stores now. I’ve been riding with the Codefendants; we’re coming out with a compilation in March. You’ll be able to order it online when it comes out. The underground mixtape is still out. It’s the hardest in Dade County. It’s called Gri-ami. I’ve got production from Mr. Collipark. Dr. Dre has an artist coming out named Martinez, and I’m featured with him. We’re just vibing. I’m basically just keeping my name out there. I’ve been out [of prison] for eight months now. I’ve been gone for twelve years so I’m trying to learn everything and get used to the society and carry on. I’m not in any competition and I’m not racing with anybody. You feel me? Just to set the record straight, I’ve only been out for eight months and people don’t understand that. They expect me to do this and do that. Who am I? But it’s all good. How did you end up working with Pitbull? My manager, Teach, that’s fam. I met him through Demi, a real good friend of mine. He had everything hooked up. Demi used to look out for Pitbull and all that. What’s the response been like towards your mixtape? Everybody loves it. The streets love it. Ain’t nobody that don’t like it. Even labels and big name producers are feeling it. It’s gotta a song called “Dread Wanna Play.” I put it on Myspace and it took off. Do you have any other songs out? I’m fixing to push a new one out real soon. Have you been working with any DJs? Oh yeah, DJ Ideal is doing his thing. Khaled is holding down the city. There’s so many DJs. I keep in contact with all my DJs through Myspace.

I just vibe with them. A lot of dude’s talk about Myspace like there’s something wrong with it, but there’s not. That’s how you keep in touch with DJs. Have you done any performances? I’m glad you brought that up. I did a show with the East Coast Ridaz at the car show. We rocked that thing. The crowd left and we brought them back. Now we’ve got to go to five more states and do it. How did you spend your time when you were locked up? It inspired me to write. You don’t got nothing to do but work out and write. That’s how I chose to do my time. Other dudes chose to do it other ways, but that’s how I chose to do mine. I focused on what I wanted to do. I had a sixteen year mandatory sentence. I was sixteen years old at the time when I caught that sentence, so it was like a life sentence. It wasn’t a petty charge. It was for armed robbery and kidnapping so I had to wear that shit. Anyway, you got to keep your head up and stay focused. Did it change your perspective on life? When I was younger, I ain’t have no direction. If I would have had a little direction, I probably would have skipped all that. Now, I have a second chance back in society and it’s a blessing. A lot of dudes don’t know what that means so they don’t appreciate their freedom. Do you have any advice for anyone that may be traveling down that road with no direction? It ain’t about who’s the strongest; it’s about who lasts the longest. Do you have any shout outs? I want to shout out Big Mouth Promotions, Big Teach – my manager, Pitbull, Cubo, Trick Daddy, the Dunk Ryders – Trick Daddy’s group. I’m gonna be working with the Dunk Ryders in a minute. I’m gonna be recording at their studio for a month. Shout out to the Codefendants – that’s my click. Vido, Rex, Kafalai. Kafalai records all my music for free. Also, I want to shout out C-Ride and The Most Organized Three. Come to my Myspace page www.myspace.com/bangmia. Words: Ms. Rivercity Photo: Bogan OZONE

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BRISCO

MIAMI, FL

E

xperience, intelligence and motivation are three traits that anyone successful should strive for. Poe Boy artist Brisco has them all. With a freshly inked deal at Cash Money Records, Opa Locka’s greatest leader is ready to do big things in ’07. What are you working on right now? I’m in the lab going hard. My voice is gone right now. I’ve been recording so much my voice shot out on me last night. I’m working on my debut album Street Medicine. I’m working with Triple C. I just signed a deal with Cash Money so I’m working with them. How many hours do you spend in the studio every day? Aw man, my baby mama’s so mad at me right now. A regular working person spends eight hours in the studio; I gotta spend sixteen hours. I be here from 8:00 in the morning till 8:00 at night or longer.

How has working with Poe Boy Entertainment helped you as an artist? Poe Boy is where I got all my grooming from; that’s where I sharpened my skills. Poe Boy’s like a big artist family. When you come here, it’s like a concentration camp; when you come in here, you’re going to leave a man. Put you here and it’ll raise you. [laughs] Have you learned a lot from their guidance? From the guidance of Poe Boy’s E-Class and Big Chuck, you’ll learn to sharpen your skills. It’s a real good environment. E-Class and all the cats around here are really my family. It’s like they’ve raised me since I was a baby. Being on Cash Money, have you worked with any other Cash Money artists yet? I just did five songs with Lil Wayne two nights ago – big records. It’s straight chemistry. They really pulled me in and accepted me as one of their brothers.

Who’s producing your album? I’m getting beats from Cool & Dre. I got my single right now; it’s only being playing for a week and it’s getting a crazy response in Miami. They back it up ten times every time they play it. It’s produced by Cool & Dre. I got tracks from Young Hollywood, J Roc – who produces at Poe Boy Entertainment, Jackpot – who produced my hood single called “Opa Locka.” I’ve been working with everybody, even Scott Storch. I’m just trying to get it. I’m going real hard.

Are you working on any promotional mixtapes? Aw man, if I started naming all the DJs I’m doing mixtapes with - I got so many mixtapes coming out. Right now, I got a mixtape called The Streets. That’s basically going to come out before the Street Medicine album. I’m going lace ‘em with some crazy mixtapes.

So you’re from Opa Locka – it has a pretty bad reputation. Yeah, it was ranked third on the murder rate for the cities in the United States. It’s a crazy place to live in. I’m like one of the saviors.

Who’s going to be making appearances? You know, the whole Cash Money family. It’s a whole new Cash Money. Shouts out to Mack Maine and Curren$y. It’s going to be a lot of guest appearances. I’ve been working with a lot of cats in the game over the years. I know a lot of people.

Do you think it’s getting better or worse? It’s getting a little better. It needs direction. Sometimes your environment needs direction and a leader – someone that can preach that goodness to ‘em. You’ve been compared to Scarface and Biggie. Would you say that’s accurate? Yeah, I had a lot of influence from Scarface. I had a lot of influence from Big. I always admired a big man with style, a big character that has swag. I would say that’s correct.

Any videos planned yet? Yeah, we’re getting treatments in right now for the single “I’m Into Dat.”

What should people know about Brisco? Brisco’s next. I’m gonna be here for a minute. And I really want to say, God is the best. Do you want to give out any contact info? www.305DJs.com – that’s where you can check out all of Brisco’s latest drops. And www.PoeBoyMusic.com. Words: Ms. Rivercity Photo: Joe Wesley

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STACK$

MIAMI, FL

I

n 2005, hurricane Stack$ crossed paths with Twista’s cyclonic thunder and a whirlwind was formed. “Git It, Git It” knocked down walls for the 20-year-old lyricist and he has since worked with Paul Wall, Pitbull and 8Ball & MJG. Get your umbrellas ready, another storm is coming and Stack$ is about to make it rain.

me how to rap. Two years later I met Scott Storch; we were chilling on his boat. I originally did two tracks with him and after that he said he was feeling the project and wanted to executive produce it. He had Twista in the studio and asked if I wanted to do a song with him. That’s how we ended up doing “Git It Git It.”

You have a lot going on right now. What’s poppin’? We’re working on the album. It’s coming out this year. It’s titled CraZee and ConfuZed, executive produced by Scott Storch. We’re pushing a single with Lil Wayne called “Money Ova Here” produced by Steve Morales.

Tell me about the infamous car. The drop-top Phantom! Yeah, that car has gotten a lot of press. We put it out for the “MIA” video – the first video I put out with Puff. We took one of the cars we had and actually cut the top off of it. The owner of Rolls Royce is here in Miami and they had been watching the video all the way over in London and didn’t realize I was the crazy kid that cut the top off their car. They had caught wind of it and said, “Nah, don’t cut the top off such a beautiful car.” But it came out so nice the owner asked me to come by [so he could see it]. It actually jump-started a new line of convertible Rolls Royces.

You’ve been working with Scott for a while. Is he doing your whole album? He’s got something like ten tracks on the album. The album features everybody – Fat Joe, Trina, Beanie Man, Lil Wayne, Twista, Paul Wall, Pitbull, and 8Ball & MJG. A lot of people are associated with the project. We’ve got a lot of labels showing support, like Swishahouse, Black Wallstreet, and Cash Money; so even though it’s coming out under Sobe, there might be some side ventures we’re working on right now. So I think it’s going to be real big for everybody when it drops. It’s going to be a big event for hip-hop. Didn’t you have a CD release party recently – was that for a mixtape? Yeah, that’s the second mixtape I’ve put out – The Empire Strikes Back. It’s hosted by the Nu Jerzey Devil and Big Mike. We actually got Hulk Hogan on the intro. We had all them show up to the event at Sobe Live, our club here in Miami. We put on a little show for ‘em. Since you’re on Sobe, have you worked on anything with your labelmate Brooke Hogan? We have, actually. We’re finishing up a duet that we did together that I’m probably going to put on my album. We’re definitely working hand in hand. You’re not from Miami originally. Did you go to Miami to pursue music? I was born in Washington D.C. and was raised in Maryland. But I’d say my hip-hop education came when I moved to Miami after I graduated high school in Maryland. So I went to Miami and spent a couple of years in college but the rap thing kinda took over. I started off working with Poe Boy Entertainment – shout out to Rick Ross and E-Class. Actually, Brisco gave me the name Stack$. That’s the man that first really showed

Do you still have it? Yeah, we still have it. My friends are borrowing it; I’m not in Miami a lot so they all want to borrow it for the weekend. They keep bringing it back all fucked up [laughs], but it’s still here in one piece. I can’t even imagine what you find in the car when they give it back. I’ve found a lot of shit in that car when I’ve gotten it back; I probably shouldn’t even say what. Did the value of the car go down when you cut the top off? I don’t ever plan on selling it. I remember when we first got it done, Shaq saw it and was like, “Just name a price,” but I needed it for my video. To be honest with you, a lot of shit is wrong with the car. When you cut the top off a car a lot of the electrical wires get fucked up. It still rides but I wouldn’t trust it on the highway. What else should people be checking for? We have the single with Lil Wayne. When our story is told over the next couple of months, it’s going to be controversial for hip-hop ‘cause we’re flipping a lot of stereotypes and what you thought hip-hop was about – we’re flipping that. Whether you hate it or love it, it’s next. The project is really big. Pay attention and watch. CraZee and ConfuZed will be out the first quarter of this year. Words: Ms. Rivercity Photo: Mike Frost OZONE

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C-RIDE

MIAMI, FL

W

ith help from DJ Khaled, Cool & Dre and DJ Ideal, C-Ride has come up with several income generating strategies, including the sales of his new mixtape. In today’s era of independent money makers, C-Ride is capitalizing on Miami’s untapped market. He’s a man with a plan. Where are you from? I was born and raised in Carol City. Tell me about your mixtape with DJ Ideal. It’s called Get Right or Get Left. It’s doing pretty good. Actually I didn’t think I could sell CDs until I sat down with Ideal and he showed me how. So when I finished it, I sat down and set up a plan on how to create income for myself, which I wasn’t doing at all before. It came out the end of November and we’ve sold almost 5,000. And I never sold one CD in my life before that. I still pass it out for free in Miami, but other than that, it’s on the internet and in the stores. He showed me how to make money off the mixtapes ‘cause that’s what he does. He could have sat down with any rapper and showed them how to do it but he chose me. I thank him a lot for that. We’ll probably do a lot of other stuff too. Are you working with any other DJs? Of course Khaled is my big brother. That’s family. But I fucked with all the DJs in Miami – Entice, Epps, and all the club DJs. What single are you pushing? It’s called “PPPushin,” and Cool & Dre did the beat. I’m shooting a video for it during Super Bowl weekend at four different locations. We’ve got another artist named Joe Hound; he’s shooting a video for “Chopper” and I’m on that. So we’re shooting two videos Super Bowl weekend. Is that the song that’s on the movie soundtrack? Yeah, somebody at Jive had heard “PPPushin” and put it on the soundtrack for Steppin’ Up. I still don’t know who did that. Chris Brown had the lead single and Ciara’s song with Chamillionaire “Get Up” was on there, too. Did they cut you a check for that? I just got it a week ago. I don’t have a publishing company – me and my lawyer are setting that up right now. I think it was like a work for hire thing. That’s where a lot of rappers mess up; you

gotta get a publishing company so you can track your money. How long had you been rapping before you figured out some of the business aspects? I was rapping for four years before I got my mind right. I was just waiting for a deal and hoping to blow, which is what ninety percent of rappers do. They go out and hustle for a deal but if you go out there and get it from the ground up, you’re going to be worth a lot more. Ain’t nothing wrong with getting a deal and shooting for the top, but if it doesn’t happen, you need to sit down and come up with a plan to build your fanbase without a major label. There’s no independent scene in Miami at all. Nobody’s making money here with music like in Houston and Tennessee and all those states. Do you think Miami is a hard market to break into? Yeah ‘cause I think it’s how we’re brought up; Miami’s not that friendly. They hate you before they love you. You gotta prove why we should like you in Miami. They’re not just going to open their arms for you, no matter how good your music is, it’s about you. We’re trying to break through and start a movement. It’s hard but it’s gonna happen. What’s different about you from everybody else trying to get in the market? I think my music stands out. It attracts people automatically, faster than it would for somebody else. When they hear my music, they want to hear it again. I try to make timeless content, not just novelty, fad music. I try to make music you can play ten years from now and still have the same vibe you got today. What’s the next step in your plan? Since my mixtape’s doing so good, Cool and Dre got me running around and sitting down with a lot of people. I’m going to just tell them what I’m doing and see how they can help me. From that, I’ll see if I’ll take a deal or not. Other than that, I’m alright. I’m getting money from mixtapes so I’m going to see how big that’ll get. I’m shooting videos, DVDs, and selling ring tones. I’m trying to run my company, Stash House Music. Words: Ms. Rivercity Photo: J Lash OZONE

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D SHEP

MIAMI, FL

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iami can be a tough market for independent artists, especially when it comes to radio play. This doesn’t seem to be an issue for D-Shep. His new single “Stay Real” is picking up speed and gaining some spins along the way. Are you originally from Miami? Born and raised. How did you come up with the concept for “Stay Real”? When Rick Ross had come out with “Hustlin’,” a lot of people was biting off him. They had the same sound. So I just took the word “nigga” and just started describing this type of nigga. Everything’s based on the n word. How have you been building your buzz? I put out a mixtape called Rent Money and off of that I ended up having two singles, that weren’t planned to be singles, spinning on the radio. My single “Stay Real” is getting a lot of play in Miami. It’s getting played in other cities, but it’s strongly supported here. Right now as we speak, I’m on a promo tour. I’m going to twelve cities promoting the single. Are you doing shows on your tour? I’ve been doing shows in the Miami area and a couple out of town. My next show is in Tallahassee at TJ’s DJ’s Music Conference. What do you like most about performing? Getting love from the fans. When you perform a song and people know it and feel it, you really get a chance to express to them how you feel about the song. It ain’t nothing like getting on stage and people vibing with you. Have you done any collaborations recently? I did a song with Brisco and one with B.O.B. I got the remix of my single “Stay Real” coming out with Trick Daddy. The song with me and B.O.B. is a different type of song. You know, it’s a song that you probably wouldn’t expect to come from me. B.O.B.’s on some crazy, good shit. We got together and blended our styles and came up with the sound for “If You a Baller.” And Brisco, he’s from Dade County and so am I so we linked up. The song with Brisco is called “Get Off My Dick.” It’s real groovy. What other producers are you working with?

I’ve worked with DJ Toomp and Akon. I’ve got an in-house producer named O-Horn. Have you ever been compared to any artists in the game? I don’t think my style is really similar to nobody. I think the streets are the streets. It’s just street stories being told through different words and through different mouths. It’s just your perspective and the streets that you came from. I rap about everything. I rap about life issues. What do you get out of making music? To me, my music is a release. It’s therapeutic. I think a lot of people should be able to relate to my music. What type of team is behind you? My management is in-house. We do everything. We put up everything to go on this promo tour. Basically, everything is in-house. Are you trying to take your music to a major level or keep it independent? I got a couple of majors looking at me and I got a couple of offers on the table but I mean, if I can, if everything goes right, I would love to stay independent. What’s your biggest accomplishment? Just getting the buzz I’ve got so far coming out of one of the toughest cities for rappers. Miami is starstruck. If you ain’t nobody yet, it’s hard to get on the radio. I accomplished that and I’m real proud of myself. How would you describe yourself personally? I’m just real. The type of person I am, I’m not going to change who I am or my attitude. I’m me one hundred percent, regardless of who I’m around. What made you decide to rap? I was seeing other people make music. I was never really interested in rapping, but hearing other people’s music made me think if people like that song, I know they’ll like me. That’s what motivated me. I tried something and it just happened to work. Words: Ms. Rivercity Photo: Joe Wesley

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FLO-RIDA

MIAMI, FL

H

ailing from Opa Locka, Flo Rida is one of Poe Boy Entertainment’s newest editions. As his name suggests, Flo Rida is a specialist at rocking a beat. His new song “Birthday” is not only a banger, but a banger with a powerful message. As he says, tomorrow is not promised today, so he’s wasting no time in his pursuit for happiness.

I’ve worked with Devante of Jodeci, Rich Harrison, Flava Flav, Rick Ross, Brisco, a lot of names.

How did you get into music? Basically, I’ve been rapping for about twelve years. A couple of my friends used to rap. I wasn’t doing it at the time but I was really interested for the fact that they used to get the girls. So I started practicing and finally, the dudes around the way cosigned me.

Who produced your single “Birthday”? That’s one of The Runners’ tracks. We’re getting a great response from that.

How did you end up at Poe Boy? I grew up with E-Class’s brother. I went to school with him. Me and his brother went to the studio and did songs together. I was part of a group called The GroundHoggz. Actually, I knew of them doing music early on, before they even started the record company. E-Class heard me and was like, “You need to start rapping.” He said I should be a solo artist and told me to let him know what I wanted to do. After that, I went to California instead of staying in Miami. They was giving me a call when the Rick Ross thing was going on. I started thinking it would be a good thing if I came back. I came back, cut a couple of records and there it was. Why did you leave Miami – was it because it was hard to make it as an artist? It’s not that I felt like it was a harder market. It was because of trials and tribulations, things I was going through down here in Miami. I moved for a breath of fresh air. And knowing that California has an industry for everything – whether it be for fashion or music – I just decided to go out there. Would you say there’s more opportunities in Miami now than there was before? I would definitely say that. Just like Houston had their run, St. Louis had theirs, now it’s like Miami is the new movement. Everybody is coming to the forefront. They’re on the widescreen now. You got Rick Ross, Cool & Dre, Smitty, Pitbull, Trick Daddy. Back in the day, we didn’t have it like that. We’ve got a lot of household names now. You can turn on 106th & Park and see ‘em. Who all have you worked with?

Who’s doing your production? I’m working with The Runners, Trae Pierce of the Brown Boys in Alabama, Cool & Dre, Khaled the Beat Novocain. I got some beats from Nitti. That’s about it so far.

Describe the song. It’s definitely a club song. The hook goes, “I don’t want no cake on my birthday / I want my cake every day.” The first verse states out what it’s about – “Tomorrow ain’t promised today / That’s why I say this / Here today then you’re gone.” That’s where the concept comes from. You’re not promised tomorrow so you could be looking forward to your birthday but you don’t know if you’re going to have a birthday so it’s best to go ahead and enjoy life. I mean, don’t take it overboard, but enjoy it like there’s no tomorrow. When are you putting out another project? I’m actually putting out another mixtape. I put one out earlier this year called It’s a Done Deal. Do you have a DJ hosting the mixtape or putting it together? Oh yeah, it’s gonna be with Papa Smirf and DJ Kronic. What other DJs in Miami are showing you a lot of love? We got DJ Khaled, Entice, Sam Sneak, Irie, and Big Will. Do you have plans to release an album? I have an album coming out the first quarter on Atlantic Records/Poe Boy. What else would you like to mention? I want to give a shout out to Poe Boy, E-Class, Strong Arm Management, Big Chuck, Brisco, Triple C, GroundHoggz, 305, Dade County, and Carol City. Do you have a website? Yeah, it’s www.myspace.com/officialflo Words: Ms. Rivercity Photo: Joe Wesley OZONE

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MECCA

MIAMI, FL

M

ecca is a proud Haitian-American with a big voice. He uses his lyrical prowess to spread education amongst youth that might otherwise be distanced from their heritage. With honorable intentions and a love for his culture, he’s poised to become the next spokesman for Haitian hip-hop. Where are you from? I was born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens. Miami’s my second home; I’ve been here for a while. I’m a brother of Haitian descent; my parents are Haitian. Describe your style. I’m a hip-hop artist as well as a spoken word poet. I’ve also added some acting to my belt. I did an independent film called Kidnappings. I’m just trying to create a hip-hop/Creole movement, something that hasn’t been brought to the forefront. There’s different genres that have come out and I think it’s created an influence on all these Creole populated cities. I was told that you’re translating some English songs into Creole. When I first stepped on the scene doing this Creole stuff, [I realized] you’ve got to have money and marketing behind it so I do these remixes to get their attention. I do it to show them I am just as good as the stuff that’s out on the radio. The philosophy doesn’t really change. There’s a lot of Haitians-Americans that have been torn away from their heritage because there’s no way to express it, except through fashion. Through the music, which is a universal language, the people are able to absorb their culture. It’s not always remixes; sometimes I’ll take a song and do my own song. Sometimes I translate it. That’s another skill in itself – to translate it, make it rhyme and make it sound like it goes together with the beat. That’s not easy. It’s easier to promote to the DJs because they’re familiar with the music. A lot of DJs won’t break music that’s not backed by big companies because their reputation is on the line with the crowd. With the remixes, we’re able to slide in and get a buzz because people haven’t heard Creole rap over hip-hop tracks. It’s fairly new. There’s been forefathers who’ve done it, but the movement has died out. It’s starting back up again. How do you feel about other Haitian artists, like Wyclef, that have been successful with the mainstream? I think it’s beautiful. We’ve got to support each

other, but we’ve also got to keep it moving. It’s not just Wyclef that’s out there. We have some Haitian artists that are out and don’t really say they’re Haitian. There’s an identity situation going on because of that and the situation in Haiti. Through the music, I’m starting to educate the young Haitian-Americans to connect with their culture. I feel it’s up to our generation to do that. But I salute Wyclef. I’m just trying to come up to that level. Tell me about the community work you’re involved in. The first project is with the Haitian Heritage Museum. They’re building a museum with Haitian artifacts. That’s a way they found to educate the kids in the neighborhood and get them to appreciate art. We’ve got to get our kids involved with the culture. The program goes to these schools and does presentations about the beautiful island of Haiti because people have negative stereotypes about it. They bring different art forms to the schools and I rap and I also bring to the table spoken word poetry. I perform for them. They’re already familiar with me because they’re already playing my videos on the Caribbean stations. They’ve already embraced the hiphop/Creole movement becoming mainstream. We also want to educate other nationalities besides our own. The other program is with the commissioner of district 5 called Unite for Peace. There’s seminars and different programs. We go to the schools again and talk to the kids about having a leadership frame of mind and not conforming to peer pressure. We just share knowledge and use hip-hop as the platform. Sometimes when the elders are talking to them they don’t understand, but with music, they understand that language. I always have a message attached to my music about what they’re trying to present. Do you have any songs out right now that people should be checking for? I have a song with a legendary artist named Sarah Jusde; she’s like the Diana Ross of Haitian folklore music. The name of the song is titled “Paradise”. It’s a song speaking about Haiti and our paradise. I also have a hip-hop Creole mix CD out called Kreyole Konneksyon. Where can people hear some of your music? www.meccaakagrimo.com and www.myspace. com/meccaakagrimo Words: Ms. Rivercity

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NOREAGA

MIAMI, FL

E

very few years N.O.R.E. manages to reinvent himself. After locking down the hip-hop market with his debut album in ‘98, Noreaga moved on to tackle another genre – reggaeton. His 2004 release of “Oye Mi Canto,” featuring Nina Sky, Big Mato and Daddy Yankee, paved the way for his first ever Latino album. After a successful run on the Latino Billboards, N.O.R.E. is back in Miami working on his next batch of heat. Why did you decide to make reggaeton music? At the end of the day, I’m black and Latino so I always felt like me doing hip-hop represented my black side. I wanted to venture out and do something different for once. I did it; it’s done; I got it out of my system so it’s time to move on. Were you trying to tap into a different audience? Basically, the Latino community is the hip-hop community but it’s a very distinctive group when you’re talking about the reggaeton community. I’m Puerto Rican and the birthplace of reggaeton is Puerto Rico. By me venturing out there and hearing this music that wasn’t getting love in the United States – it definitely wasn’t getting love on the BET or MTV stations – I wanted to show people I was hip not only in the pop culture but also in a whole different society. I wanted to show people that there is a new movement. “Oye Mi Canto” was the first [reggaeton] video that got played on BET and MTV. It was the biggest reggaeton record that ever came out with that audience. Do you have any new songs out right now? We had the album that came out on Roc La Familia. N.O.R.E. y La Familia was number one two weeks in a row on the Latino Billboard charts. We threw that out and now we’re back to hiphop. We just did a song produced by DJ EFN called “My Name is N.O.”. It’s blowing up on the hiphop level. We also have another joint out called “Cocaine Cowboys.” I’m proud of my reggaeton movement and my accomplishments with that market but I’m back to hip-hop now, doing what I’m known for. Are you putting together a new album? Yeah, I’m working on a new one called Global Warming with my man DJ EFN. He’s the A&R on the project. Look out for it; it’s one of the best albums I ever made. I’ma give everybody what they’ve been waiting for. Who have you collaborated with on the new album? Right now I got T-Pain on the album, Game, Bun

B, Jadakiss, and Kurupt. How long have you been working with DJ EFN? I’ve known EFN forever, for almost ten years. I just recently moved to Miami so now we’re working in a controlled environment. I still live in New York as well but I didn’t want to go work at The Hit Factory or Circle House or anything like that. I didn’t want to see other artists that are just as big as me. It makes me too comfortable. I wanted to be around hungry artists like Garcia, artists that didn’t have a chance to break into the music business. If I’m around hungry artists, I’m always going to make hungry music. So me and EFN opened up his studio Crazy Hood. We’re partners on that now. EFN gives me his honest opinion. He’s not there to be frontin’; he’s there to be my friend for real and give me his honest opinion. That’s what I need. Why move to Miami and not somewhere else? I needed to get some peace of mind. The thing about Miami is, once you go to a place more than five times, it actually becomes more than just a place you visit. It becomes something you’re used to. My two favorite albums are the War Report with Capone and the N.O.R.E. album. The N.O.R.E. in its entirety was made in Miami and the War Report album was made in seclusion. I wanted to be in seclusion and I wanted to be back in Miami. I wanted to recapture those two feelings and I wanted to make music for me, as opposed to making music for the world. I wanted to please me again. Since you’re back to your hip-hop roots, what’s up with you and Capone? Are you working with him on anything? Yeah, we’re definitely getting together next week and thinking about knocking this album out. It’s really a no-brainer. Working on a CNN album is really an easy process. It’s about him doing his part and me doing my part and making a great album. What’s your label situation looking like right now? I had two albums that came out on Def Jam. Right now we’re looking to do our own thing and move on from that situation. There’s no beef. There won’t be no diss records on Jay-Z or anybody else at Def Jam. We’re looking to own our masters this year. That’s the process we’re working on. Until then, I’m going out and doing my album on my own. Words: Ms. Rivercity OZONE

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PRETTY RICKY

MIAMI, FL

T

ell me about your new CD. Late Night Special is an extension from the first album, Bluestars. Bluestars was a lot of pre-recorded music and with this album we got a chance to take our time and actually give the ladies what they want. We’ve had more time to organize the album and we’ve been around the world. We’ve been through different experiences and stuff, so it’s gonna be crazy. We actually did two albums again this time; a clean album, one you can find at Wal-Mart and then one you can find in record stores. So for the parents that’s concerned out there, you can go get the Late Night Special from Wal-Mart for your daughter. We’re kinda beating them to the punch, so we don’t get that animosity that we always get where they say, “Aw, they raunchy.” So parents, you gotta pay attention to what your kids listen to, cause if you did, then you wouldn’t have no problems with Pretty Ricky. We’re just artists at the end of the day. But our new record is phenomenal. I’m gon’ say that myself. I think it’s gonna be the best album out this year. That’s a pretty bold statement. What exactly makes Late Night Special the best album of the year? We’ve actually stepped it up and we’re growing older now. We got a lot more to talk about and it’s a crazy album, but a different crazy. You’ll see. Record sales have been down a lot this year. Are you afraid at all of a sophomore slump, in terms of sales? I’m gon’ tell you the truth. I mean, our first album was a good album, but our second album is gonna top it a whole lot. We really ain’t stuttering that sophomore blues stuff because we’re talented young men and we make good music that our ladies love. We don’t really care about this album sales thing that’s going around because Pretty Ricky’s gon’ sell no matter what.

on a show. Okay, you guys are definitely known for making music the ladies want to hear, but do you have anything for the fellas on this new one? We always do something for the fellas. Everything we do is for them too, because the fellas ain’t gotta really say anything. All they gotta do is pop that Pretty Ricky CD in and press play and the girls just gon’ relate to it. It makes life easier for the fellas. So your first single “On the Hotline” has done pretty well so far? Yeah, the video is all over BET. It’s on the countdown and it’s hot. Baby Blue directed the video and we got a lot of input on this project, too. That’s why I can say the project is going a lot better, because it’s a 50/50 thing with us and Atlantic. We’re signed to our own record label which is Bluestar Entertainment International. A lot of critics have trouble defining your style, but would you say you’re more rap, R&B, or pop? We all three, we’re all three in one. That’s what’s so phenomenal about us... Words by Eric Perrin Photo by Ray Tamarra

The rest of this interview is featured in the March issue of OZONE Magazine - check it out online at www.ozonemag.com

I know last year at The Scream IV tour, you guys had some of the parents a little upset by “giving the ladies what they love” in terms of some of your stage antics. Everything was just over the top. People overreact to what we do, I mean, you’ve never seen some guys on stage with boxers on? I don’t really think that’s all that bad compared to somebody on the stage getting naked. I ain’t saying no names, but you know. Everything was taken a little hard on us. If we grind, people start overreacting, but we’re just artists putting

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01: Baby D & Unk @ the Rollexx (Miami, FL) 02: J Lash and a friend (Miami, FL) 03: On the set of Trick Daddy’s “Bet That” 04: Lennox Lewis & Keith of FUBU @ The Forge (Miami, FL) 05: Trick Daddy & Dre (miami, FL) 06: Carol City Cartel @ Dwayne Wade’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 07: K-Foxx, DJ Irie, & friends @ Dwayne Wade’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 08: Trick Daddy & a friend on the set of “Bet That” (Miami, FL) 09: Udonis on the set of “Bet That” (Miami, FL) 10: Model reading OZONE (Miami, FL) 11: Ray Lewis & a friend @ Dwayne Wade’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 12: Kelly Rowland & friends @ Dwayne Wade’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 13: Gun Play of Carol City Cartel (Miami, FL) 14: Supa Cindy @ Dwayne Wade’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 15: Trick Daddy on the set of “Bet That” (Miami, FL) 16: Trina on the set of Trick Daddy’s “Bet That” (Miami, FL) 17: Rick Ross & Brisco performing (Miami, FL) 18: Zo & friends (Miami, FL) 19: Rick Ross & a friend (Miami, FL) 20: Ladies @ Dwayne Wade’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 21: Dwayne Wade’s birthday party (Miami, FL) Photos by J Lash

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01: Lorenzo Ice Tea & friend @ 400 Club (Miami, FL) 02: Jones of Daed Jewels & friends (Miami, FL) 03: James Jackson & Shonie of Slick Salt Entertainment (Miami, FL) 04: Gocha of Image Salon & friend (Miami, FL) 05: Tony Neal & DJ Smurf @ Pitbull’s party (Miami, FL) 06: Keyshia Cole performing @ Opium Gardens (Miami, FL) 07: Boxer The Prince (Miami, FL) 08: Gary Payton @ Dwayne Wade’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 09: Mr. Mauricio & a friend on South Beach (Miami, FL) 10: Pitbull @ his listening party (Miami, FL) 11: Pitbull, DJ Khaled, & Trick Daddy performing “Born & Raised” @ the American Airlines Arena (Miami, FL) 12: Cassie & J Lash @ Cafe Iguanas for Diddy’s listening party (Miami, FL) 13: Dwayne Wade’s birthday cake (Miami, FL) 14: Guest, Fentz, Alex, & Che (Miami, FL) 15: Sonnema Vodka models @ Pitbull’s listening party (Miami, FL) 16: Guest, Jim Jonsin, guest, & Mistah FAB (Miami, FL) 17: Cubo & DJ Ideal @ Pitbull’s listening party (Miami, FL) 18: DJ Laz & a friend @ Pitbull’s listening party (Miami, FL) 19: J Lash & JT Money (Miami, FL) 20: Dwayne Wade’s wife wishing him a happy birthday @ his party (Miami, FL) Photos by J Lash

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DJ ENTICE D

MIAMI, FL

J Entice is most known for his mixshow on Miami’s 99 Jamz and his affiliation with The CORE DJs. As one of the city’s top DJs, Entice has spent years practicing and learning the business. Now that he’s made it, he has some pretty good advice for the up-and-comers. How did you start DJing? When I was a sophomore in high school, a friend of mine was selling some equipment and records. I always wanted to try it out so I gave him a hundred dollars and he gave me all his stuff. I just sat here and spent a long time practicing. How did you end up getting to the radio level? I used to watch a lot of videos of DJ competitions. My first route was really turntablism. I started realizing that to make it, you gotta do clubs. I started going out and watching other DJs, practicing more and more, listening to music more often and then I finally started getting with some DJs in the clubs. I started working with Khaled and Irie. Cedric Hollywood, who was the PD [at WEDR 99 Jamz] at the time, was always hearing me and he gave me a shot. Are you working with any local artists? I also produce so I’ve done a couple of tracks for some artists. I’m about to start doing a lot of work with Brisco, who just got signed to Cash Money Records. I do a lot of work with the artists that everybody’s hearing about right now, like Rick Ross. I’m also working on some mixtapes.

in Miami. The newest one is definitely Rich Boy’s “Throw Some Ds.” What are the differences between Miami’s music market and those from other cities? I definitely think there’s a big difference. I haven’t been everywhere, but I’ve been to a lot of spots and I’ve noticed a lot of places, depending on where you go, you can only play certain types of music. If you go to Atlanta, you’ll hear a lot of Atlanta music. Miami has so many different people and different cultures and when you come here, you’ll get a little bit of everything. You’re gonna get East coast, West coast, Midwest. I think Miami’s on top for that reason. Do you have any advice for any up-and-coming DJs? I tell people that want to get into the DJ industry, just hustle it. Believe in yourself. If you can believe in what you’re doing, you can do it. Don’t let nobody stop you. Just grind 24 hours a day and live it. Is there anything else you want to plug? Lookout for my mixtapes. I got one coming out with Rich Boy, one coming out with Brisco. I got a Jay-Z/Lil Wayne coming out; and I got Clipse coming out. My website is www.djentice.com. Words: Ms. Rivercity

How long have you been with The CORE DJs? About two years. How has being with a crew helped your helped your DJ career? I notice that some DJs don’t believe in having a crew but being part of any DJ affiliation is good for you because it gets you more outlets. With The CORE DJs being as strong as they are right now, I can go anywhere in the country and out of the country and call up a DJ and tell them I’m in town. It’s like my brother is taking care of me. I’m on a real family-oriented basis with The CORE DJs. I’m happy with them. What are the top 5 most requested songs in Miami right now? Omarion’s “Icebox” is real big right now. Jim Jones’ “We Fly High” is still on top. Fat Joe’s “Make It Right.” Jeezy’s “I Luv It” is blowing up OZONE

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SAM SNEAK S

MIAMI, FL

am Sneak has a unique niche in Miami’s music scene. His signature catch phrase “Saaam Sneak!” can be heard on underground radio stations, in the club and in the hood. After being slept on for so long, people are finally noticing Sam’s knack for breaking new artists. Where are you from and how did you get started DJing? I’m out of North Miami. I’ve been DJing about eight or nine years now. I’ve worked with Rick Ross, Poe Boy, and Triple C. I’m doing the strip club scene real hard right now. I got mix CDs heavy out here. Basically, all the underground radio stations in Miami play my mix CDs. Are you working with any independent artists? Yeah, I’m working with Supa Chino. I’m doing a mixtape with him. I basically try to get a lot of independent artists out there. Even when the Rick Ross record “Hustlin’” came out, I played it in the hood. With my mix CDs, a lot of dudes buy them off the corners and from the bootleggers. If it’s hot, it’s going to make it. Different artists hit me up from Jacksonville – everywhere. I’m working with Brisco, Flo Rida, Supa Chino, and Piccalo. It’s so many; I don’t even know where to start. You mentioned doing mix CDs for radio stations. I provide the underground stations with mixshows. I put together the songs for them. 89.1, 92.7, 97.7, 89.5 – all these stations know me.

Eventually people started knowing who I am. How long did it take for you to get your name out there? I know you’ve been at it for a while. It’s funny, when I first started doing it, people didn’t really respect me. They were like yeah, whatever. I felt like they weren’t giving me credit so I started tagging my music with “Saaam Sneak!” and it stuck. So whenever the underground stations would play my mix CDs, that’s what you’d hear. One day this dude opened up a local hood spot called Aquarius and he gave me fifteen minutes but he underestimated me. I rocked the house. Different people started giving me chances and I would do like ten minutes for free. Then they realized I was good. Even my cousin – he’s a promoter out here – would tell me I wasn’t ready. Then one night he let me open up at Oxygen and he was like, “Damn”. What else are you working on? I’m working on this new mixtape called Sneak Peek. I’m dropping Volumes 1 and 2 during Super Bowl weekend. I’m also working on the Triple C mixtapes. Do you want to give out any contact info? Contact me at samsneak@tmail.com. Shouts out to North Miami, the Westside and Jam Squad DJs. Words: Ms. Rivercity

Is it hard to break music in Miami? Miami’s a very different market. Down here, it’s hard to break a record compared to Tampa or Orlando. If you play a record out there, it’s not that hard to break because they show love out there. Miami’s real tough. It depends on how you introduce the song. Sometimes they might not respond in the first twenty seconds; sometimes they start vibing when the hook comes on. It varies. What does it take to make a mixtape that will circulate as much as yours do? There’s certain things you do when you put the product out there. Holla at certain vendors and let them know what you’re trying to do. Basically, I give it to them for free and let them listen to it. If it’s poppin’ and they want it, then you can start saying what you want for it. That’s how I started it. I gave a lot of my mix CDs away for free – like for six or seven months I was giving them out for free. People were loving it and I kept doing it. OZONE

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DJ EPPS

MIAMI, FL

D

J Epps has been putting it down in Miami for over fifteen years. He’s currently working with several artists in the area, including North & Agony. His future plans include the release of several mixtapes as well as a new website. Check him out at www.myspace.com/djepps. What are you working on right now? I have a couple of things going on. I’m working with my artists North & Agony – they’re two Puerto Ricans; they’re very funny. They call ‘em the Tag Team Champions here in Miami. You’ll be hearing from them very soon. They’re putting out mixtapes all over Miami. I’m also working with a website called PeopleClick.com. It’s like Myspace on steroids. You can load up unlimited video clips and mp3s. Did you come up with the idea for the website? My friend came up with it ‘cause he’s the computer genius. I’m gonna be taking care of the music side and getting the record labels to sponsor it. We’re already gonna build up Big Tigger and Gino Green’s site as well as Trick Daddy and North & Agony. We’re going to launch it here in Miami. Do you DJ at any clubs as a resident? I try not to do residencies because the promoters don’t keep their word. It’s hard to keep a residency because the loyalty in here in Miami is not that great. I’m always going out of town and overseas every month ‘cause honestly, that’s where my money’s at. Talk about the mixtapes North & Agony are working on. We’re putting out several mixtapes. We got a future mixtape that we’re getting Whoo Kidd from G-Unit to host. We’re about to put out Who The Hell is North & Agony right now.

and Germany. Shadyville is DJ Epps, E-Rock, Noodles, Whoo Kid and a whole lot of other staff. Hot DJs in different markets is our thing. You can check it out at www.shadyvilledjs.net. Are you originally from Miami? I’m originally from New York. I came out here fifteen years ago and it was pretty wide open. There was nobody out here. There was no Irie, no Khaled, no Ideal, no Maurico. Everybody pretty much calls me a pioneer in Miami ‘cause when I came out here it was wide open. I came out here and did my thing. I took my career to the next level. Would you say the scene in Miami has grown? It has grown but it hasn’t grown to where it’s supposed to be like Atlanta, Houston or New York City. Miami is very different. Not one radio station has given me a radio show. It’s really pitiful. Anybody that’s out there right now is not coming back to the hood and giving the rest of Miami a chance to make it happen. I feel they’re pretty much keeping it to themselves and that’s not cool. So I’m about to grab all the hot songs and artists and bring my city up single-handedly. Do you want to plug anything? Be sure to pay attention to Night Breederz Ent., CG! and North & Agony are coming soon. I can’t forget Kaliba, C Traffic, and the beautiful twins Unique. Words: Ms. Rivercity Photo: Julia Beverly

Have you ever done production work or do you plan to get into that? Night Breederz Entertainment is my company and it’s also a production and record label. We have several producers on deck. Me, myself, I’m just getting ready to start doing the producing thing. I just got a crib and we’re setting up a studio. We also have some producers on our team like Chaotic; North & Agony have in-house producers as well. Are you affiliated with any DJ Crews? Yeah, I’m the Southeast Regional Rep for Shadyville DJs. That’s Whoo Kid’s squad. We’re very new and very powerful. We also have an international roster. We have some people in the U.K., France OZONE

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PITBULL “T

MIAMI, FL

he slow grind is the fa’ sho’ grind,” Pitbull explained in his last interview with OZONE. These are words of an artist characterized by patience and persistence. Some may wonder if it’s better to be a platinum-selling one hit wonder or a gold artist turned legendary. While one promises instant fame and money, the other is focused on building a foundation and appreciation for success. Pitbull chooses the second option – the one with longevity. Since the release of his second album on TVT Records entitled El Mariel, Pit’s been putting his all into touring and promoting. His travels around the world have enlightened him on many issues that others take for granted, such as freedom. Fresh off a flight from Mexico, Pit shares his thoughts on his current album, his future ventures and life in general. Is El Mariel living up to your expectations? I’d say one hundred percent, especially with me having to fight through the fourth quarter. That’s all I know is how to grind so it’s a beautiful thing. I’m still on the road with it.

to say about El Mariel is that it can be confusing to the consumer. They don’t know if it’s Spanish or English. They don’t know what to expect from it. So I’m going to put out a Part 2 called The Boat Lift. What’s going to be different about The Boat Lift from El Mariel? It’s going to be just straight urban records in all English so there’s no confusion within the consumer. The Pitbull movement is a little bit ahead of its time. So we better figure it out; it confuses us sometimes. [laughs] So you’ve been in the studio working on Part 2 as well? Have you come up with any singles yet? I’ve been working on the records for The Boatlift. We pretty much got a single right now that I’m going to release called “Sticky Icky.” Lil Jon produced it. I think that’s going to be a big club and street record. You can imagine what it’s about. Didn’t you shoot a video not too long ago? Yeah, I shot a video for a record I got on El Mariel called “Be Quiet.”

Since you’ve released several projects, what does it take to successfully promote an album? I think you definitely have to have everything aligned right and organized. Everything’s got to be ready. The label’s got to be behind you. You gotta be grinding in the streets and making sure you’re taking care of these DJs.

When are you going to release it? I got the final edits back and what I’m going to do is leak that to MTV Tr3s and then do the whole internet game on YouTube.com and Myspace.com. Like I said, it’s a grind. I don’t got that major label money behind me. But it should be out in a week or two.

How important is touring when you’re trying to sell a project? You gotta have that connection with the fans. If you don’t got that foundation, no matter what kind of record you got, you’re not going to sell no records. It’s already hard enough to sell records in this business. It ain’t no algebra, geometry or trigonometry to this shit. It’s real simple. Go out there, grind and do shows so people will watch you and like you. You gotta get out there and make people your fans.

YouTube and Myspace are fairly new outlets for artists. How have they helped you since they came out? It’s definitely an important part of my career ‘cause instead of behind out here passing out mixtapes, you can put up a record on Myspace and you’ll have a million plays in two or three days. It’s definitely something I use as a marketing tool.

How is important is the team behind an artist? My team is very important. Without my team, there is no Pitbull. Bottom line. Is your Spanish album Armando completed yet? I haven’t finished it. I’m still working on it as we speak. What other projects are you planning? I’m working on another album. One thing I want

Compare the support from the Latino community to that of your American listeners. Is it the same? It’s definitely the same from both sides. When do you usually come up with your song ideas? Do they hit you all at once or do you sit down and plan them out? I usually come up with the idea and then find a record for them. It’s different now that I’m on the road. Before I could get the beats, sit down, and think about it. Now that I’m on the road, I’m OZONE

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just waiting to get home to knock it out in the studio. You work with several local artists in Miami like B.A.N.G., Cubo and Piccalo. Why do you feel it’s important to work with up-and-coming artists? I think it’s always important ‘cause you’re opening the doors for them. If any of them succeed, then of course it will be part of my success also. If one hand washes the other, then we’ll both wash our face. The more successful they become, it makes the whole circle successful. We all need to unite and make it happen. That’s pretty much what it’s about to me – the whole Dade County, 305 movement. I’m blessed to be a part of it. Did you ever have anyone look out for you when you were coming up? Who were your mentors as an artist? Luke was my mentor. You sponsored a scholarship contest a while back. How did you come up with the plan for that? It’s a basically a foundation we opened up to make sure certain kids go to college and get their education. I thought, what a better way to give back to the community than to send them off to a university. Do you feel that going to college and getting an education important? Me, myself, I ain’t go to college but it’s a great opportunity for someone underprivileged to experience that. Do you know who won the contest? To be honest, we don’t have a winner picked out yet. What do you love most about living and working in Miami? How is it different from any of the other places you’ve been? I love everything here. The weather – everything. It feels good to be home. There’s no other city in the world like it. It’s the most international city in the world. There’s so many different people and cultures here. What would you say to people living in the United States that complain about the problems here? Does it seem like Americans are spoiled to a certain degree? Most definitely but I can understand that. I’ve gone back to Cuba and seen what’s going on over there. I’ve done been to different countries and seen what poverty is like in their country. How would you compare poverty in other countries to poverty in the U.S.? A ghetto here in the United States is like Beverly Hills compared to another country’s or island’s ghettos or neighborhoods. I get a chance to un32

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derstand it; a lot of people don’t because they don’t get out. They don’t understand the freedom and opportunities that we have here. You know, the number one disease we’ve got in this country is called ignorance. Is there anyone you haven’t worked with yet that you’d like to collaborate with in the future? The only person that I didn’t get a chance to work with, that I really wanted to work with was Celia Cruz. She’s a legend. I’ve pretty much worked with everybody and I think it’s only gonna continue. What’s the most requested Pitbull song right now? I got two. I got a record that’s number one on the Spanish charts. It’s called “Dime” featuring a cat named Ken-y. I also got a record called “Ay Chico” that’s taking off. Do you have anything else you want to tell people about before we finish the interview? I think we’ve pretty much covered everything. Just let them know make sure to check me out on Myspace www.myspace.com/pitbull. And I always appreciate the love because without them, there is no Pitbull. Look out for my music and The Boatlift. Go get El Mariel – it’s in stores right now. Words: Ms. Rivercity Photo: Vincent Edmond Louis

For more on Pitbull, check out the November 2006 issue of OZONE Magazine online at www. ozonemag.com


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CAROL CITY CARTEL F

or most hip-hop groups, the concepts of loyalty and longevity are hard to master. For Miami’s trillest trio – Rick Ross, Gun Play Murddock and Torch – the concepts are second nature. Over the past several years, Triple C has gone from surviving the streets of Miami to enjoying the successes of Port of Miami (Ross’s platinum solo album) to becoming a family. How long have ya’ll been working together? Ross: We’ve been a squad and doing music together for the last 10 years. Torch: I actually met the boy Ross back in ’98. Then we founded the Carol City Cartel. I just want people to know that we real street niggas, not some fly by night dudes. Gun Play: When I was fourteen or fifteen we said we want to do the rap thing and get money. We started it and called it Carol City Cartel. What does the name Carol City Cartel mean? Ross: That’s Triple C; they came from our hood. We’re still representing the hood and representing the movement. My homeboy, he’s doing time right now, Kenneth Williams. We’re really representing for a lot of dudes that’s no longer here with us, either serving 200 years in prison or dead and gone. So when I’m screaming it, I’m thinking about them. What projects have you done collectively? Ross: We’ve been doing music together forever so we released our mixtapes together. Everything I’ve ever released Triple C has always been a part of it. We’re basically in the studio working on this debut album right now. What keeps you motivated to stick together? Gun Play: The love of the music and the game, and of course the money. I always knew it was gonna get me rich. That was enough motivation for me. Not only do I love to do it, but I love to get rich, too. I like a lot of money. Torch: I think about my little boy. Making sure he’s eating good and setting the future up where he don’t gotta struggle like I did. I’m from the Castle Hill Projects. I’m trying to make it so he don’t grow up in that type of atmosphere. That’s all the focus I need. What have you learned about the music industry that you didn’t know before? Torch: Besides the fact that it’s cutthroat, you just got to be focused and try hard. As long as you’re determined, it’ll work out. So the group as a whole has a good chemistry?

MIAMI, FL

Ross: Oh yeah, most definitely. We all come from the same thing. Everybody compliments each other. That’s what makes it a real special situation. You’ve got Gun Play Murddock – he’s like the black Tommy Lee. He can do more than Rick once he becomes a millionaire. As far as lyrically and what he brings to the microphone, he can’t be compared to nobody else in the game. Torch is the ultra-lyrical dude with his word play. When you see them on stage with me, you see them really holding me down. But everybody already did their thing before. This album will really showcase their solo talent. Their showmanship is where it needs to be. Their performance is legendary. Gun Play: Ross is the best rapper that I ever had an opportunity to work with. And Torch’s word play and his whole different style makes me want to catch up to them, and work harder. When you listen to their lyrics and how they formulate those words, it makes me really step my game up. Talk about the album and the collaborations. Ross: It’s going to be the best group album coming out in the game in a long time, period. It’s real creative and real powerful music. We’ve got Jay-Z, Young Jeezy, Junior Reid, Brisco, you know, Poe Boy checking in all the way. 8Ball, Smitty, Cool & Dre, DJ Khaled, Yung Joc. The production is top shelf – crème de la crème. We’re negotiating a distribution deal right now for the album. I’m just bringing everything I can to the table, as far as production, features and everything I’ve learned. Gun Play: It’s real music. It’s real life stories, real life issues that we’ve put on beats. It’s stuff that you deal with everyday and we put it in perspective. We go through the same shit, maybe even worse. We feel your pain, pa’tna. What’s the significance behind the album name Black Flag? Ross: Down here in Miami we’re representing that black flag. It’s just a saying and a symbol. When you see that black flag you know it’s real; you don’t want me to wave it. Is there anything else you want to add? Gun Play: I’m one of the realest and best rappers in the game. Torch: We about to be running this game with so much diversity, so many angles, three different flows all coming as hard as you want to hear it. Words: Ms. Rivercity Photo: Julia Beverly OZONE

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SUAVE SMOOTH

WEST PALM BEACH, FL

W

est Palm Beach is home to several talented artists, including Suave Smooth. One half rap star, one half producer, Suave is as gifted as they come. With the unfolding of the new year and his new record deal with Fontana/ Universal, he’s geared up for the release of his second album. What are you working on for 2007? I have a new album dropping this year; we don’t have an exact release date yet. I produced the whole album. It’s called “Gov’t Work.” I’ve got Tampa Tony, 8Ball & MJG, T-Pain, and Triple J featured on the album. What singles are you pushing? The song I have with 8Ball & MJG is the first single from the album. We’ll be really pushing it the first quarter of this year. How did you link up with them? I had been wanting to do a song with them and they just so happened to be in Orlando. My A&R is cousins with their manager. What shows have you done? The last people I opened up for were the Ying Yang Twins, David Banner and Smilez & Southstar in Fort Myers. I’ve really been headlining shows lately. What’s been your biggest achievement? Actually, signing this deal with Trevor Price from the Baltimore Ravens. It got me a deal through Fontana/Universal. I had an offer to do a group deal through Pretty Ricky’s label Blue Stars. Spectacular called me directly because we known each other for a while. It didn’t go through because I already have a contract. How did you learn to produce your own beats? I was involved with music my whole life. At the age of nine, I had a piano in my house. My sister was supposed to be learning how to play it but she ain’t never really take it serious. I taught myself how to play by ear and eventually, when I turned fourteen, I got a keyboard and took it from there. I was in the band too in high school; I played the tuba. I was the section leader. Who were some of your musical influences? It wasn’t any rappers. It’s kinda crazy ‘cause I grew up listening to a lot of Barry White. As far as my production, it kinda came from Barry White, even though I don’t sound nothing like him. Are they supportive?

Very supportive. Very surprised, too, ‘cause they ain’t never really think it would have been as big as it is. They remember me being in the band and it was the same thing then. In Palm Beach County, I’m like the main head honcho around here. The whole county is behind me. How did your buzz get so big? Actually by interacting with the people. It was more about me as a person than my music. At my shows, I always stuck around and signed autographs for everybody and interacted with them. Basically, by doing that so much, everybody feels like they know me. Are you working with any DJs on any mixtapes? I was getting ready to start on a mixtape but the DVD thing is starting to become real big down here. You used to get a big buzz off the mixtapes, but the DVDs are starting to be the biggest things. But I got a lot of love for the DJs, especially down here. What’s up with the Dem Damn Dogs DVD? They named the DVD after one of my songs called “Gangstas and Thugs.” They caught heat from the Feds, the city, the mayor, and they’re still catching heat from the news. It was actually on the news last night and the DVD was released last year. Anytime a fight happens or a kid gets beat up, they’re throwing the DVD up. It was good and the bad. The lieutenant of our police department had something to do with the DVD, too. They couldn’t put too much heat on it or it would make everybody look bad. What do you mean? How was he involved? It’s rumors but they say he funded the money to get the DVD pressed up. He helps rent out a teen club in West Palm Beach. It kinda made him look sloppy. It looked like he was allowing all this stuff to go on. But it was real beneficial for the artists that had songs on there. Them and the street cats that spit freestyles on there got known. I was poppin’ before that but it helped, too. The song didn’t really get as hot until the DVD was released. We had actually stopped pushing the song. After the DVD was released, I got calls from Clay D and all them in Orlando trying to get shows. Do you want to give out any contact info? Www.myspace.com/suavesmoothofficial and my manager’s email address is torrey@outlookmusic.com. Words: Ms. Rivercity OZONE

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TORO

MIAMI, FL

3

05 is on the rise and Toro is making his mark in the movement. His new CD, Walkin’ Check, features his latest single “Ima Star” – a statement that is backed by Toro’s grind and stage presence. Hosted by DJ Khaled, the project is industry certified and approved. And just in case the world needs more proof of Toro’s star qualities, he landed an acting role in the new Bloodline movie. Where are you from? I’m from Dade County, FL. I was born and raised in Bunch Park; that’s in Opa Locka. Describe your style for someone who hasn’t heard your music. It’s original. It’s like street lyrical. I wouldn’t say it’s gangsta rap, but it’s real life situations put into lyrical form. It’s killing ‘em! Do you have a single? Yeah, I’ve got a singled called “Ima Star.” It’s killing the underground right now. Is it getting any radio play? We’re trying to get some spins. As we speak, I got 99 Jamz on it and I got Khaled backing it. What projects are you working on? I got my street CD out. “Ima Star” is on the CD. It’s doing real good. It’s called Walkin’ Check and it’s hosted by DJ Khaled. We’re moving a lot of units on the street right now. Everything’s going good. Have you done any collaborations? I got collaborations with Mario Winans, The Game, Rick Ross, and the Goonz Squad. We’re moving units, moving units, moving units. What’s the name of your label? Lifeline Entertainment. The CEO is Zo of Czar Entertainment. Jimmy Henchmen is my manager. Are there any other artists on the label? No, I’m the only artist on the label right now. Where have you been promoting yourself and your street CD? In Southeast Florida, Miami, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Fort Myers. Basically, we’re covering Florida right now but I got a couple units up in New York. I got some in Alabama, too.

Who all have you worked with as far as production? I’ve worked with a lot of producers out of Miami like the Drum Majorz. I’ve worked with a couple of other underground producers. Are you performing in order to get yourself out there? Yeah, I was on tour with Juvenile in about 36 cities. I’ve been performing a lot in Miami and other parts of Florida. How was the tour? It was a good experience but it’s not like what you see on TV. It’s blood, sweat and tears. You gotta really be ready for that road ‘cause that road will make you or break you. It’s hard work. For somebody who hasn’t had the chance to go on tour yet, what’s the typical day like when you’re on the road? Get up, eat breakfast, do radio interviews, magazine interviews, sound check and the show. That’s how it goes. Every day is the same thing. Are there any artists in the game that you look up to or are influenced by? I grew up on JT Money, Luke, 8Ball & MJG, N.W.A. and stuff like that. What’s next for Toro? I have a DJ Drama mixtape coming out. That should be the last mixtape before I get a deal. I’m doing a couple of shows Super Bowl weekend. Basically, I’m on the grind. Do you have any shout outs? I want to shout out the whole Dade County, 305, Opa Locka, Carol City, all that. Ya’ll go check out that Bloodline movie, too. I got a part in that movie. I’m doing a good supporting acting role. My name is Smurf in the movie. That’s doing real good in the streets right now. How could someone get in contact with you? Y’all can hit me up on Myspace at www.myspace. com/toroiconz or www.lifelineentertainment. com. Check me out in the hood, flea markets, all that. We in the hood out here. Words: Ms. Rivercity Photo: Julia Beverly

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WEBBZ

MIAMI, FL

A

Southern boy with big city skills – that’s how Webbz describes his style. His new mixtape, Watch My Moves promises to prove this theory right. Webbz is ready to take his southern swagger to the streets of Miramar. How long have you been rapping? Six years. Where are you from originally? I’m from Miramar, Florida but I was born in Canada. We came here in the 80s. My parents are Jamaican.

What projects do you have out right now? I just dropped a new one called Watch My Moves. It’s hosted by Rick Ross and DJ Papa Smirf. Is it your first project? That’s my second solo mixtape and my fourth mixtape overall. Do you have any singles your pushing? I currently have a single with Akon called “All I Know.” What’s the song about? It’s a real street song about what we’re used to, like dudes in the hood and what they do and about their attitudes. It’s about all that we know. For someone who hasn’t heard your music, describe what you sound like. The first time you hear my music, you’ll hear a very lyrical artist from the South. It’s something you might not be used to. When you first hear me, you’re gonna think I’m from New York. But check it out, I’m from the South. You mentioned that you’re lyrical – what do you typically rap about? Most of my music is real struggle music. Reality music is what I like to call it. It’s what the average person is going through – looking for a job or the bills are backed up. I rap about what’s really going on and what I’m trying to do which is get out of this situation. Most people are stuck in fucked in situations. You used to play basketball – what position did you play? Point guard at Miramar High School. Why did you decide not to pursue basketball after

high school? Well, my grades decided not to let me pursue it. I wasn’t really getting good grades and I thought I could get by with skills alone. I was getting by for a long time but finally the grades came into play. I was skipping a lot and not going to class. When did you start pursuing music as your career? A little bit after I got kicked off the team and basketball was over. I’ve always been into music though, forever. I used to see a lot of people in the industry blowing up and doing it real big, like around the time when Master P and them was on top. I was like, “hey, I can do the same thing.” I just said I wanted to rap. So I got into and here we are now. What type of music did you listen to growing up? Like I said, my parents are Jamaican so I’m heavily influenced by Jamaican music – Reggae, Dancehall. And then I was into hip-hop, like JayZ, Nas, Biggie, Tupac. Those are my dudes right there. Which producers have you worked with? I’m currently getting production from Ron Lawrence. He co-produced the Biggie joint “Hypnotize”. He’s the one that did the single with Akon. He did “Money, Power, Respect.” I’m working with Chop D.I.E.S.E.L., who’s on Kay Slay’s album. He did an Amerie and Nas joint. Are you working with any other DJs besides Papa Smirf? Yeah, he’s just the first one that I’m coming out with. I’m working with a lot of local and out of state DJs, like Mr. Maurico, DJ Haze and DJ Ideal. When will you be releasing the other mixtapes? Watch My Moves will be out the end of January and then I’m going to do The Underdog. After that, I’m gonna be doing Coming from the Bottom, hosted by DJ Ideal. Anything else you want to mention? Look out for me. I’m gonna be real heavy. A lot of mixtapes are dropping. Also, the second single after the Akon joint is gonna be “On the Block” featuring Pleasure from Pretty Ricky. You can go to www.worldwidewebbz.com or www.myspace. com/worldwidewebbz Words: Ms. Rivercity Photo: Kevin Pamphile OZONE

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TRICK DADDY’S 10 Ways To Get Fucked Up In Dade County 10 Counterfeit Money

If you come tryin’ to cop with them dummy wads and counterfeit bankrolls, that’ll get you fucked up real quick.

09 Dummy Birds

Fake blocks, you know?

08 Ride Through The Triangle With That Bullshit

The Triangle is Opa-Locka. If you ain’t from 21 and you don’t hang in 21, you don’t got no business on 21.

07 Slippin’

Some red lights are meant to be ran at certain times of night. Don’t get caught slippin’.

06 Snitchin’

Any nigga that points fingers and testifies is a snitch. A nigga that’s been debriefed is a snitch that don’t even know they a snitch yet.

05 Getting High

Weed, laced, base, or pills. Getting doped up will get you fucked up in Dade County.

04 Hating On The Heat, Dolphins, Or Hurricanes

You can get killed by hating. That means hating on the 305, period. Niggas who don’t like the Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes, or Miami Heat are straight haters, and that’ll get you fucked up.

03 Gambling

Gambling will get you fucked up. Tryin’ to stop my bank in the cee lo game will get you fucked up.

02 Slimy Ass Hoes

Slimy-ass hoes will get you fucked up in Miami with that he-say she-say shit.

01 Guns

223s, 308s, mini 14s, AKs, SKs, Calicos – being on the wrong end of ‘em will get you fucked up. It’s better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.

- Borrowed from OZONE’s September 2006 issue > OZONE

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MONEY MARK & UMP

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et in South Florida, the DVD Bloodline is an urban drama about two brothers who have led very different lives. Separated early in life, one becomes a victim of circumstances; the other a man of the law. When their paths cross again, they must choose between family ties or their current lifestyles. We’re not going to give away the entire plot, but we did sit down with the lead actors – Ump and Money Mark – to get some insight on the film, their characters and life after filming. Tell us a little about the movie. Ump: It’s about two brothers that were separated fairly young in their childhood. I play the younger brother Nate Williams. They didn’t get a chance to bond until they were adults. The first time they met happened to be the same day that one of the brothers murdered the other one’s best friend. They met under some strange circumstances. Mark: I play Marcus Dorsey, a police officer. He starts off as a young man from a broken home. As we see often in the hood, me and my brother get split up. I go live with my father and my father helped me better myself. My brother Nate stays in the hood and becomes a victim of the hood. I go on to become a police officer and he stays in the hood and becomes a big time dope boy. We meet up further down the line and I got to choose between my blood or the law. That’s very ironic. Weren’t you just involved in an incident with the Atlanta police? Mark: Yeah, fuck the Cobb County police. I went and got me something to smoke. I guess they were watching the place where I was getting it at. As soon as I pulled off, they arrested me. That sucks, right? Hell yeah. So was this your first acting role or have you done other film work? Mark: This was actually my first movie. I’m actually an artist but I did some acting in a music video. I’m friends with Piccalo from Miami. The video’s called “Pictures on a T-Shirt.” They felt that I have the look and mannerisms to try acting so they gave me a chance in the video. It was the same thing with this movie I guess. Ump: This is probably the fourth or fifth film I’ve done, but all of them have been minor roles. This is the first key role I’ve had in a movie. What was the experience like for you? Ump: Wow, it was really hard. It’s a big difference between playing a minor role and having a lead

MIAMI, FL

role in a movie. There’s different levels of concentration and dedication. It’s intensified by ten. Was there a particular part of the movie that was harder for you to act out? Ump: Probably the most difficult part for me to do was the first scene in the movie; it’s close to the last scene also. It introduces you to the movie and takes you all the way back to the beginning. It’s a part where me and him had met up on that bridge. That was the first time we met each other in like ten years. But like I said, we met up under such bad circumstances – I had just killed his best friend – and the range of emotions that my character had to display in this was crazy strenuous. I ended up with a crazy headache after filming that scene that day. The emotions I had to go through in that scene went from one extreme to the other. We had to shoot it from so many different angles and every time I had to build that energy back up. It was extremely draining. It was the toughest scene for me. How long did it take you to prepare for the role before you started shooting? Ump: I prepared for probably about six weeks. Mark: It took me about a month. I sat down with a few of my friends and we watched a lot of movies like Menace to Society and Gang Related with Tupac. Tupac was a great influence on me ‘cause I figured if Pac could play a police officer role then I could definitely do it. How long did the actual filming take? Ump: We shot during the course of three and a half weeks. After three and a half weeks of shooting, was it hard to get out of character? Ump: I’ve never really had that problem. Some days we would probably shoot for twelve hours or more but when we were done I basically put the character to bed till that next morning. On the set, I tried to stay in character as much as I could but once shooting was done for the day, I came out of it. A lot of people say that character is so much like me. It’s funny ‘cause people must don’t know me ‘cause that character is nothing like me. What are the differences between yourself and the character you played? Ump: The character was persuaded and influenced a lot easier than I am. I think he expected less out of people than I do in life. I think I’m OZONE

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a little harder on my (above) Ump friends and associates (right) Money Mark than he is. And definitely we’re different as far as women; I’m a real family oriented person when it comes to me and my girl. The character was totally opposite. Mark: Wow, my character is very different from me. No disrespect to police officers doing they job and not busting people’s balls, but I’m obviously not a police officer. The similarities would be the player mannerisms, loyalty to my family, and the bravery. Me not being a police officer would be the main difference. Do you hope to do major films eventually? Ump: Yep, I stay in contact with a couple people and I’ve been contacted by a few production companies. When you do a role like this and people accept it so easily, it’s not that hard to get typecast into that character. I’m pretty sure they’re gonna wanna see me along the same line of this type of character. I definitely want to branch out into something else. I really hope the next thing I can do is a comedy.

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Mark, do you plan to do any more movies? Mark: Most definitely. Most likely. Gabrielle Union I hope you’re listening, and all those actresses like that, I would love to play opposite of them.

Ump: I want to give a lot of thanks to my partner Quick. Without him, it’s a lot of stuff I probably wouldn’t be able to accomplish as far as the acting and writing. It’s almost like we think on the same level, especially when it comes to movies and script writing. Mark: Fuck Cobb County Police. Everybody support. I have a mixtape out called Treasure of Dade County. Check me out on Myspace www.myspace. com/moneymizzell and leave a message.

Is there anything else you want to talk about?

Words: Ms. Rivercity

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Kaliba (center) and Thunda Tracks

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KALIBA

HOLLYWOOD, FL

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aised in Florida all his life, Kaliba is proud to be part of the vast rise of southern artists. With his unique style and marketable look, he hopes to be the next to blow from the Sunshine state. He even has a few label deals on the table. What are you working on right now? Right now, we’re still letting the Take 1 mixtape circulate. We’re working on our new singles for the new year. We’re also shopping around with a few labels. Which singles do you think you’ll release? Really, that’s undecided. We have a good idea of what they’re going to be, but it’s undecided right now. Did you have any songs in the past that did well? One is called “Don’t Be Scared” and another one is called “Screwed Up.” Was it a chopped and screwed song? Nah, it was like a Southern anthem talking about how the South is taking over and the growth we’ve developed in the hip-hop game and how we made room for ourselves to be noticed. How has the growth of the South helped you as an artist? It’s definitely helped me as an artist ‘cause when I first started rapping, the South wasn’t really that hot yet. I wasn’t ashamed to be who I was but I was trying to be what the industry wanted at that time, which is basically a Northern sound. Once the South started blowing up, it gave me more of an opportunity to lay back and be myself and make my own kind of music instead of having to adjust to what the industry was based on. How long have you been rapping? I started rapping about three or four years ago. Who makes your beats? My production team is called Thunda Tracks. They’re from the same neighborhood I’m from but we never knew each other. We just met right before the mixtape came out in August. We’ve been working together ever since. Their style is very versatile; they do everything – Southern beats, chick songs, whatever. There’s two of them – Mav and Thee. Have you worked with any other artists? On the mixtape I have a song with Jadakiss.

That’s the only collaboration so far. What have you been doing to promote yourself? We’ve been doing a lot of shows on South Beach at most of the clubs. We did DJ Khaled’s birthday party. I’ve performed at a lot of clubs like Metropolis, Evolution; I did a show with Juvenile, Boosie and Webbie. I did a show with them on Thanksgiving. We’ve just been doing a lot of shows to promote and putting up flyers and doing the ground work. Are you using the internet for promotions? Oh yeah, we have the Myspace page too. The official page is www.myspace.com/thundatracks. Who are some of your influences? My idol is Nas but my other influences include Outkast, Ludacris and Lil Wayne. Are you looking for a deal or do you want to make it as an independent artist? We’re trying to go major. We have a couple of major labels looking at us right now that we’re talking to. We should definitely do something major by the end of February with the way things are going. Do you think you have what it takes to blow? For one, I’m young; I’m only 20. I’m the most the versatile person you’re gonna meet. I listen to a lot of music, whether it’s from signed or unsigned artists, and I notice that everybody is on the same page as each other. Everybody seems to want to fit in with the times. They have one basic style. With me, I could do everything and I’ve done everything. That’s just who I am. I think that’s going to give me the edge when I get in. What has been your biggest accomplishment? I think the DJ Khaled [birthday] party was the highlight of my career. Every celebrity was in there, as far as the music industry goes. A lot of big people were there, a lot of people I’ve looked up to all my life. They actually got a chance to see me perform and after the show a lot of people approached me and told me I was hot. What’s next for you? Right now we’re working on the album and a second mixtape will possibly be coming by the end of February. It all depends on how things go with these labels we’re talking to. Words: Ms. Rivercity Photo: Reggie Saylor OZONE

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JOE HOUND

MIAMI, FL

J

oe Hound will be making a lot of noise this Super Bowl weekend. With Miami cosigners like Cool & Dre, his new single “Choppa” is taking off. In preparation for his forthcoming album, Hound and his crew will be shooting a music video and releasing two mixtapes – all at the same time. What are you working on right now? I’m working on the album. It’s called Misery Loves Company. It’ll be out in ’07. I got two mixtapes I’m dropping Super Bowl weekend. One is called War 2; that’ll be hosted by DJ Khaled, and the other one’s called Two Sides to Life. It’s coming out with DJ Papa Smirf and Kronic – all three of them are Miami DJs. It’s going to be big. It’s going to definitely be an event. What’s the independent hip-hop scene like in Miami? Is it growing? As far as independent artists in Miami goes, the scene is getting bigger. Right now we got a couple of independent acts that’s making noise. You have me; I’m signed under Epidemic. You got C-Ride under Epidemic, too. You got D-Shep and Brisco. You also have a guy named Flo Rida. Are the people in Miami supporting y’all? People in Miami are starting to understand that you don’t have to be on a major label to have good records. Back in the days, people used to think if you didn’t have no Def Jam, Atlantic Records, or Universal behind the project then the project ain’t no good. Now they’re realizing there are talented cats in Miami that can rap, that can make good music, too. Now that the scene is growing, they can hear Joe Hound on the radio. They’re seeing there’s a lot of other talented artists out there. So the scene in Miami, as far as music is concerned, is really growing to tell you the truth. Since you’re working on the album, have you chosen a single yet? I have the “Choppa” record featuring Dre from Cool & Dre. I got another single dropping in March called “Connect Boy”. It’s dropping on the Epidemic label. Khaled’s playing the “Choppa” record; Entice is playing it; Ideal’s playing it. The radio is basically showing me love. Cool & Dre have really been pushing you lately. How long have you been working with them?

I’ve been working with them since ’98. Me and Dre went to the same high school. I didn’t know Cool in high school, but I knew Dre. So I bumped into Dre in ’98 and it’s been on and bumpin’ ever since. So you’re from Miami originally? Born and raised. Have you collaborated with anyone else? I have no collaborations on my album right now. I have a couple collabos from Dirt Bag’s album that’s coming out on my mixtape. As far as collaborations for my album, I’m trying to get Rick Ross. Hopefully I can get a collabo with Trick. You gotta have Trick on your album. If I can get Trick, that would be lovely. I’m hoping we can pull strings to get those things to happen. What are you doing to promote the album? Right now we’re putting posters out in all our target markets. But for Super Bowl weekend, we’re going to be doing it big. We’re shooting a video for “Choppa.” We start that on the 1st of February. It might be a two day shoot or it might be a one day shoot. It depends on the weather and how quick we do our thing. We’re going to promote well. We got a couple of teams in Miami that’s setting up marketing strategies. They’re supposed to get back with us and let us know what they plan on doing. We got a lot of things in the works. We’re doing a lot during Super Bowl weekend. Hopefully in all the markets we’re targeting, we’re going to do it big there, too. We got plans to go in a lot of cities. We’re doing some things during All Star weekend as well. Is there anything else you want to mention? The album’s coming out in May of 2007. Look out for “Choppa” – the single with Dre and C-Ride and “Connect Boy” – the next single off the album. The pressure’s gonna be on now. That’s all I need to say. Do you want to give out any contact info or a website? You can get in contact with me at www.myspace. com/joehound. I’m always on there. That’s where all my people can check for me. Everything I mentioned is on my Myspace page. Words: Ms. Rivercity Photo: Big C Photography OZONE

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Ozone Mag Super Bowl 2007 special edition  

Ozone Mag Super Bowl 2007 special edition

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