WELCOME TO TAMPA 2009
CHRIS J // J GREEN // T-PAIN UNIQUE IMAGE // RISKAY MR SMITH // MILITANT MILITARY MAD LINX // DJ Q45 // TOM G DJ CHRISTION // DJ SMALLZ OZONE MAG //
WELCOME TO TAMPA 2009
PLIES & CHRIS J
2 PISTOLS // J GREEN // T-PAIN UNIQUE IMAGE // RISKAY MR SMITH // MILITANT MILITARY MAD LINX // DJ Q45 // TOM G DJ CHRISTION // DJ SMALLZ
**special edition** OZONE MAG //
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PUBLISHER: Julia Beverly SPECIAL EDITIONS EDITOR: Jen McKinnon a.k.a. Ms. Rivercity GRAPHIC DESIGNER: David KA CONTRIBUTORS & CREW: Ashley Smith Eric Perrin Jeeâ€™Van Brown Kisha Smith Luis Santana Matt Daniels Maurice G. Garland Mercedes Randy Roper Terrence Tyson
CONTENTS COVER STORIES
2 PISTOLS CHRIS J
pg. B14-16 pg. A16-18
ALJA pg. B18-19 AYCH pg. B28-29 DANNY CLARK pg. A26-27 DJ CHRISTION pg. A6 Q45 VS. MAD LINX pg. A22-23 DJ SMALLZ pg. A8 J GREEN pg. A28-29 KANE BEATZ pg. B17 MILITANT MILITARY pg. B24-25 MR SMITH pg. B22-23 ORLANDO of WILD 98.7 pg. A15 RISKAY pg. B12-13 TOM G pg. B26-27 T-PAIN pg. A10-11 UNIQUE IMAGE pg. A20-21
CLUB LISTING EVENT LISTING TAMPA MAP
pg. A12 pg. A11 pg. A10
PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR: Malik Abdul STREET TEAMS: Big Mouth Marketing Lex Promotions On Point Entertainment Strictly Streets SUBSCRIPTIONS: To subscribe, send check or money order for $11 to: OZONE Magazine 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318 Phone: 404-350-3887 Fax: 404-601-9523 Web: www.ozonemag.com COVER CREDITS: Chris J & Plies photo courtesy of Big Gates Records. 2 Pistols photo by Luis Santana. 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 2008 OZONE Magazine, all rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any way without the written consent of the publisher. Printed in the USA. OZONE MAG //
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Thursday, January 29th
Pepsi Smash Super Bowl Bash Featuring Rihanna, Fall Out Boy, & Lifehouse Live broadcast on VH1 @ Ford Amptheatre 4802 US Hwy 301 N., Tampa, FL 6pm-11pm Champions of the Good Life w/ Winky Wright Special guest Sean “Diddy” Combs @ The Venue 2675 Ulmerton Rd., St. Petersburg, FL Pre-party at 7pm, Event starts at 10pm Plies Week: Welcome to My City Industry Party Hosted by Plies & Bust It Baby Calendar Models Music by DJ Q45 @ Club Underground 10pm-3am Green Light Party w/ John Legend Performing Live@ Temple Mega Lounge Jazze Pha @ Skye
Friday, January 30th Jermaine Dupri & Aqib Talib host Under the Veil Super Bowl Party @ The Museum of Science & Industry 4801 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL Legends of the Good Life w/ Deion Sanders Special guest Sean “Diddy” Combs @ The Venue 2675 Ulmerton Rd., St. Petersburg, FL Begins at 11pm following the celeb meet and greet Diamonds & Pearls Celeb Gala w/ Jon B @ GLC Entertainment Complex 1910 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL Plies Week: Goon & Goonette Pink & Black Bash @ Studio Inc Nightclub Grown Folks Friday Ft. Biz Markie & Kid Capri @ Florida Aquarium 701 Channelside Dr., Tampa, FL
Lil Jon, Keri Hilson, & Rich Boy @ Skye
Saturday, January 31st Vibe Mag Presents: T-Pain’s Thr33 Ring Circus @ GLC Ent Complex 1910 E 7th Ave 8pm-3am Celebrity Car Show Hosted by DJ Khaled & Big Tigger Live broadcasting by Wild 98.7 @ The Big Game Festival Grounds 1913 Ave Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL Plies Week: “I Got Plenty Money” Car & Bike Show Hosted by Black, Live Performance by Plies @ Hip Hop Soda Shop 1241 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL Tickets available @ Eman’s Fashions (University Mall) Snoop Bowl VII Youth football game between Snoop Dogg’s team & Mike Alstott’s team @ Gaither High School Football Stadium 16200 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL Plies Week: 106th & Good Afterparty Hosted by Rocsi @ Studio Inc Antonio Tarver & Nelly’s Celeb Super Bowl Party Invited Guests: Ken Griffin Jr., Common, DL Hughley & more @ The Museum of Science & Industry 4801 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL Info: 941-822-4373 Southern Smoke Night w/ DJ Smallz & Friends @ Temple Mega Lounge
Sunday, February 1st Super Sunday Vibe Mag After Party @ GLC Entertainment Complex 1910 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (AZ Cardinals) Official After Party Special invited guests Edgerren James, Larry Fitgerald, Anquan Bolden, Darnell Dockett Music by DJ Smallz@ Temple Mega Lounge Jazze Pha & Yung Joc @ Skye
Miami Invasion w/ DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Ace Hood & Brisco Music by DJ Smallz @ Temple Mega Lounge OZONE MAG // 11
Club 360/The Ampitheatre (Ybor City) 1609 E. 7th Ave Tampa, FL 813-248-2331 Club Joy 11921 N. Dale Mabry Hwy Tampa, FL 813-968-1515 Club Underground 802 Whiting Street Tampa, FL
Pin Chasers 4847 N. Armenia Ave Tampa, FL Prana (Ybor City) 1619 E 7th Ave Tampa, FL 813-241-4139 Skye (Ybor City) 1509 E. 8th Ave Tampa, FL Strokers 11236 W. Hillsborough Tampa, FL
Empire & Climax (Ybor City) 1902 E 7th Ave Tampa, FL 813-247-5582
Studio Inc Nightclub 3603 West Waters Ave Tampa, FL 813-598-3946
Full Moon (Ybor City) 1613 E. 7th Ave Tampa, FL 813-248-3309
Temple Mega Lounge (Ybor City) 1915 E. 7th Ave Tampa, FL
Level 3 (Ybor City) 1611 7th Ave Tampa, FL
Ultra Push Lounge 128 3rd St. S St. Petersburg, FL
Mirage 3605 W. Hillsborough Ave. Tampa, FL 813-673-8835
The Venue 2675 Ulmerton Rd. St. Petersburg, FL
Penthouse Club 1801 N. West Shore Blvd. Tampa, FL 813-288-9200
Orpheum 1902 N. Avenida Republica Tampa, FL 813-248-9500
2001 Odyssey 2309 N Dale Mabry Hwy Tampa, FL 813-877-6406
Thee Dollhouse 1010 N. Westshore Blvd. Tampa, FL 813-281-9389
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Gold Club 6222 Adamo Dr. Tampa, FL 813-622-7899 Hollywood Nights 3003 N. Howard Ave. Tampa, FL 813-254-7194 Mons Venus 2040 Dale Mabry Tampa, FL 813-875-2762
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With over 10 years in the game and a PD position with WiLd 98.7, Orlando has reputation as a powerful record breaker. Along with hosting the Orlando & the Freak Show 6am-10am, he also gives a helping hand to the youth and hosts some of the biggest parties in Florida. What do you have going on right now? I have a lot going on right now, especially with the Super Bowl coming up and Wild Splash right after that. Wild Splash is our spring break concert that we’ve been putting on for the last 8 years that caters to over 15,000 people. We’ve had headliners such as Jeezy, Digital Underground, Wyclef, Beanie Man, 50 Cent, Ziggy Marley, Sean Paul, Rick Ross, Plies, and T-Pain. What songs are getting a lot of buzz in Tampa right now? Gorilla Zoe’s “Lost” is heavy right now with Lil Wayne. Keri Hilson’s “Turning Me On” is banging. We just premiered Eminem, Dr. Dre, and 50 Cent’s song called “Crack a Bottle.” This local joint called “All The Way Live” from Military is pretty big around here. What other local artists are blowing up in your city? Tom G is major. His track “I’m There” set him up as the next one to blast off. Javon Black has “Tear It Up” ft. Lil Kee that’s heating up. We’re pretty much the only station that really grabs local records and gives them true shine on the air. We broke artists like Plies, Mims and got 2 Pistols signed, to name a few. How has your station been able to maintain your reputation for breaking new records? We listen to the audience. We get songs that we like, but we’re not going to gamble with
the audience. It has to be proven. We have a good system of finding those right records and they blow. I’m not gonna share the exact recipe, but it includes PDs actually seeing these records pop off in the club. A lot of PDs aren’t on the air, and a lot of them ain’t hosting no clubs late Friday night. If I see 2,000 people in the club jamming to it, I know it’s time to play it on the air. A lot of people think they can drop the song of at the radio and it’s going to blow up, but it doesn’t work like that. With you being on the radio for 10 years, how do you feel about the music and how it has changed? The music is still the same because it’s still a reflection of the streets. You have artists out there who tell their story, and you have some who talk about what they’ve seen or what other people have been through. It’s still the best hustle we got as far as this generation. It’s kind of like the movie Devil’s Advocate when Pacino said, “There’s more people in law school than lawyers walking the earth.” Well with the rap game, there’s more people that claim to be in the rap game than there are rappers. Besides being on the radio, do you do anything else within the community? I’m an honorary Deputy Sheriff with the Sheriff’s department. I work with the juvenile offenders and gang unit. I work with Everyone’s Youth United who help a lot of St. Petersburg kids with their marching band, computer labs, and care. I also host their Tampa Youth Conference every year with Rev. Run, Justine Simmons, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, and many great speakers. As far as TV, I work with our local NBC affiliate. I’m shooting a pilot for a new show I’m hosting during the Super Bowl week. I’ll be on Extra with Mario Lopez and Carlos Diaz. // Words by Jee’Van Brown OZONE OZONEMAG MAG////15 15
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Words by M
y & Luchi
different cities trying to get a buzz, putting CDs on cars at the malls and clubs.
You may be familiar with Memphis native Chris J from his HOOK ON Plies’ single “Put It On Ya.” Last year the singer/songwriter appeared on a segment of BET’s 106 & Park, sparking the interest of Big Gates Records who signed him to theIR roster. Things have been moving fast for Chris J ever since. How did you connect with Plies? What’s the story? I hooked up with Plies through his brother Big Gates. He was watching 106 & Park and I was singing on the Wild Out Wednesday competition. That was the same day Plies came out with “Shawty.” Him and T-Pain was performing on there and the label was watching me. It was actually Plies’ first time on BET too. After that, Big Gates asked me to send more material to the label. I sent about 17 songs, from there they said they was interested in signing me as an artist. Did you write the single “Put It On Ya”? How did that come together? That’s something me and Plies did together. Somebody else wrote it, but I’m not sure who it was. You were doing your thing for a while prior to BET and getting with Big Gates. What did you have going on before your current situation? I been grinding for more than 8 years. I’ve opened up for many artists, from Anthony Hamilton to Gerald Levert, Marques Houston to Mike Jones, Genuine. Me and Nick Cannon headlined a show here in Memphis that was big time. I been passing out CDs in different cities. Me and my crew take 300 CDs with me when I go out of town. I wasn’t trying to sell them ‘cause nobody will buy your CD if they don’t really know who you are. I would give ‘em to people, or ask for a $2 donation or something. We would take trips to Atlanta, Nashville,
How did you end up on BET? When they first started Wild Out Wednesdays, I was telling my manager at the time that I wanted to get on that show. I thought it would be a good opportunity. He said he had the contacts and he sent an email to try and get me an audition. He got a date set and we had to pay to fly to New York. When it’s an opportunity I’ll take my last dime, my light bill and house note money, to be seen. I went up there and out of 500 people that auditioned, they were only going to call 3 people back. A week later, Pat Charles, senior writer at 106 & Park, he called and said, “Congratulations, here’s your date for 106 & Park.” What happened from there? I just started promoting for people to vote for me at high schools and colleges and radio. Much love to the radio stations here, 97 and 107.1. They really put it out there. Me singing on BET was a great opportunity, plus meeting the other artists that were there. You mentioned having to spend your bill money to go to New York. What kind of check did you get for singing on a hit record for Plies? Well, let’s say that life is pretty good right now. I am very happy. Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I haven’t even been with Big Gates for a year and everybody is knowing Chris J for the “Put It On Ya” record. Financially I will say that I’m blessed. I’m honored and I do pay my tithes. I read somewhere that you were the first Memphis artist to perform in the Fedex Forum. Explain why that was big for you. That boosted my career. It was a show with Monique and Gerald Levert. They gave me 15 minutes to sing. A lot of people in Memphis knew me and loved be because my “Bubble Bath” song has been circulating here for a minute. It’s the song I won the 106 & Park competition with. But standing on that stage in front of about 12,000 people was really an amazing feeling. To get off stage and people OZONE MAG // 17
want to buy my CDs or get my autograph, say ing they enjoyed my performance, it was an indescribable feeling. Have you been in Memphis all your life? Yeah, I actually grew up in North Memphis, the same neighborhood as Three 6 Mafia and Yo Gotti. Memphis has a lot of musical history, did that influence you at all? Not in general. What really influenced me was my mom before she passed. My mom was shot and killed when I was 11 years old. I was singing in church since I was five. After my mom passed, it became a dream for me to become a household name. My brothers were in a band and the older I got they said I could really sing. They actually fired their two lead singers and put me and my nephew in when we were like 14 years old. We were young, singing in the band, singing at black tie affairs, sororities, those kind of events. That really inspired me to be a big time star and work on my own stuff. So singing in a band probably made you pretty popular in high school huh? Oh yeah. I’ll never forget, I was singing in a nightclub and I was a basketball star at Northshire High School. My coach always asked me why I was so tired. One night he was in the club when I was singing on stage. He said, “Oh, now I understand why you’re so tired.” I was like, aw man, here I am at one o’clock in the morning singing and I had to go to school at 7:30. Were you ever nervous on stage or were you a natural? I never had stage fright. When you’re born to do something you feel comfortable doing it. It always felt natural to be on stage to entertain, whether it was talking or singing. Besides the “Bubble Bath” song, you also have the “Balcony” single. Talk about some of your music and what people can expect to hear. I got another song called “Lunch Break.” It’s saying all I need is 45 minutes of your time, the first 30 minutes we can use to bump and grind, then we’ll take 10 for a shower and get fresh, and use the last 5 to say goodbye with no regrets. I got another song called “Breakfast in Bed” and I’m not talking about scrambling eggs. I’m talkin’ about throwing back the sheets and tasting something sweet, with my head up under the covers, waking you up out your sleep. I got some real behind-closeddoors type of music. Everybody knows me for bedroom type music.
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So do you mess with one particular person in the bedroom or are you single and mingling? I’ll leave that one alone. I’ll just say I’m alright right now. Back to the “Balcony” single. is sex on a balcony something you’ve actually experienced? Yeah. Everything me or my crew writes about is realistic experiences – whether I’ve had ‘em, or my friends and relatives have had ‘em. I don’t like to write music I can’t relate to. “Balcony” is a song that really went down like that. But I didn’t write “Balcony.” Adonis and Sonny Black in Atlanta wrote that. I can relate to it because I’ve experienced it. What’s the big deal with sex on balconies? We interview a lot of artists that say that’s one of their biggest fantasies. For me, just enjoying the right setting outside, a beautiful day or just the right temperature. You gotta have that right setting, just before the sun goes down, with your candles and bubble bath, your rose petals, chocolate covered strawberries, and whipped cream. You gotta have all the ingredients before you get to the balcony. What are your album plans? I can’t wait for my album to drop. It’s called Secrets. We got about four or five major labels interested in me right now. There’s some meetings being set up. It’s gotta be the right situation with someone willing to invest in Chris J. I will say that I’ll give 110% and be a consistent artist. It’s not just two or three songs on my album that sound good and the rest are fillers, I’m not that type of singer. I want you to love my album from the beginning to the end. Plies set the bar for the label and I want to come right behind him. Unique Image and Zack King are on the label too. We appreciate music and we do it because we love it. So what else is coming up for the new year? You been working with any other artists? I got some collaborations on Secrets. I’m not gonna give away all the goodies, but there’s a song about to come out that the women are gonna love. Women, you think you love “Put It On You,” but when this song hits the radio you’re gonna love it like “Bust It Baby.” My album is a host of good music from start to finish, money back guaranteed. If you go get my album and you don’t like it and you see me out, you can get your money back. Naw, I’m just kiddin’. But most definitely it’s gonna be one of those albums that makes people say, “Why wasn’t this guy signed a long time ago?” I have confidence in myself as a singer and performer. I’m here to make some noise. //
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Unique Image is on a mission to bring the heart of R&B back to the game. After signing to Big Gates Records early last year, Mic, Corey, Veedoe, and Franky have been focused on taking their quartet to the next level in Hip Hop Soul music. How did you guys come together as a group? I notice y’all are all from different states. Mic: Our group originally started at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2002. We all went to college together. It started off with four of us and we ended up getting another member. Over the course of the years, the members kinda faded in and out. When we met our current lead singer Franky a couple of years ago everything just clicked. That was the boost that we needed to get us where we’re at now. Tell me about appearing on BET. What did that do for your career? Corey: We were already a known group in the area – Hattiesburg, Jackson, New Orleans. BET just put us on the national level. When we went on 106 & Park and won, it was people from all over that had never heard of us but appreciated the music. Winning on that type of stage meant a lot to us.
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Were you expecting to win on Wild Out Wednesday? Corey: Of course. We was expecting to, excuse my language, beat the shit out of everybody. We always had self-confidence. You were also on Showtime at the Apollo too right? Corey: Yeah, we were on Showtime at the Apollo. We didn’t win, but we got a standing ovation and the people went crazy. It was a great experience. If you had been on Showtime at the Apollo and the clown dude came out and pushed y’all off stage, would you have quit? Corey: Nah, of course not. First of all, that wouldn’t have even happened. We do our thing, we get down on stage, but if he would have come out, it would just be another motivational tool to let us know we gotta step our game up. We not the type of cats that get easily discouraged. Why did you choose your group name? What exactly is unique about your image? Veedoe: Basically how the name came about was in college there was us four guys – one
guy was a football player, one guy was in a band, and another guy was doing his thing in classes and singing to the girls all the time. When you put us together it’s a unique combination. Before you signed to Big Gates Records, was that the only deal you had on the table? Veedoe: It was other people looking at us, but at the time we felt that Big Gates was the best opportunity. Have you had a chance to work with Plies yet? What’s that like? Veedoe: Yeah. We’ve worked with him, but the particular song we did with him wasn’t released. Franky: Working with Plies on that song was a blessing. Plies is the man. Not everybody gets the opportunity to do things like that. Do you have a single for the group yet? What are some of your favorite songs? Veedoe: We’re releasing a single February 1st called “Fresh Off the Lot.” Franky: We have a song called “We Could Be in Love Again” that sticks out a lot to me. We recently recorded the single “Fresh Off the Lot,” “Drowning,” and we have another song called “Way to My Heart” that sticks out to me.
Shai. We have real singing, real soul, real feeling in the type of music we’re bringing back. Working with Plies and appearing on TV, have you had a chance to meet and maybe work with some other big names? Franky: Actually we have. When we were at the “Bust It Baby” video shoot with Plies we had some people come on the scene like Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, Ne-Yo, Ace Hood. Rich Boy just dropped a video with Chris J. We got a chance to meet a lot of celebrities. Tell the people what you hope to accomplish in the future and any upcoming plans. Franky: We want to have longevity in the game. Like Veto was saying, we want to bring the soul back to the game, good music how it used to be. We give it our all in the studio and focus on making classics. Mike: Be looking out for our upcoming album More than Music and the single “Fresh Off the Lot.”Look forward to some good music. Real R&B is coming back. Words by Ms. Rivercity
And what can people expect to hear from your music? How would you describe yourself musically? Veedoe: You can expect real R&B from Unique Image. We’re trying to bring back how the music scene was ten years ago. A lot of people say we’re a mixture of Boys II Men, Jodeci, and OZONE MAG // 21
Mad Linx and DJ Q45, both former hosts of Rap City, are known as hot commodities in the Florida club circuit and beyond. Recently they’ve come together as a duo called “Face Off.” No, it’s not a beef, it’s a joint effort to see just how hype they can get the crowd with not one, but two DJs.
Tell me about this “Face Off” concept and how it came about. Mad Linx: Before the BET thing popped off for myself and then Q, me and him were cool. We’re both from Florida and we both hosted Rap City and we’ve always wanted to do something together. Both of our teams finally sat down and decided to start doing some shit together as far as DJing. We put our powers together and came up with something crazy. Q45: Linx had been doing his different DJ gigs across the country and I DJ a lot of different places. He’s a good friend of mine. A lot of people thought me and him weren’t cool but it’s not like that. I work real well with him. He’s real seasoned in his music knowledge and I’m a real aggressive DJ, it just works. Where did the name come from? Linx: To be honest, I have no idea where the name came from. It’s like a marketing tool – we don’t have beef or nothing like that, 22 // OZONE MAG
some people think it’s like we’re gonna fight in the club or something. It’s nothing like that. We’re basically bringing both our DJing shows together. Do you do parties together? Q45: Not all the time. We have to make it a point to let promoters know they can get us both together to DJ a party. Our teams keep us booked a lot and it was just coming to the point where people would call me for a gig and then call Linx or vice versa. We were like, why don’t we both just put a gig together and split it to keep getting that money. If you were in a DJ battle, who would win and why? Linx: (laughs) I’ve never been the DJ battle type, but if it were on some who could rock the crowd type of battle it would be interesting. I’d have to say it’s a toss-up. One of the things I’ve always liked and respected about Q is he really loves to DJ as much as I do. With a lot of people, their heart really
Clair and Big Lez and people really loved them. I know Tigger had his rough period coming in where people wanted Joe and Big Lez, and then after a while people started to respect him. It’s like everybody talking about Chad Pennington in New York. They didn’t want him but as soon as he goes to Miami and gets in the playoffs it’s like, “Oh shit, we love Chad.” Linx, are you from Tampa originally? Linx: I was born in New York but I relocated to Florida when I was really young so I rep Tampa. I started doing radio there many years ago, before there was a commercial Hip Hop station in the area. The name of my show was The Underground Railroad. It was basically the only outlet for Hip Hop in the city. It wasn’t a lot of distribution, like DJ Clue tapes, so whatever music was in your city [stayed] in your city. When I got the BET show, I made it my main objective to hold it down for the city.
ain’t in it, but he’s really into it. He’s like me, if I’m at a party I’d rather be DJing than partying. When it comes to technical DJing, who do you think would win Q? Q45: Linx is my brother, I love him to death, but when it comes down to the technical side of DJing and tricks, I’d win that hands down. But when it comes down to going into certain markets and knowing the music, Linx is very proficient. Say we went to a place in the U.K., I might be a little lost, and Linx would outmatch me on that. That’s what makes this Face Off thing so great. What have you been doing since Rap City? Linx: I got a lot of experience in the world of television so after Rap City I started doing hosting some stuff with another network called Fuse. Q45: I’m doing [the show] BET Now. It comes on during the day at like 2 or 3pm, it fluctuates times. That’s when you get to see a lot of the rate-it-next videos before they transition over to 106. So Linx, you took the Rap City host position after Big Tigger. Was there a lot of pressure in that situation? Linx: It wasn’t really no pressure. I was like, fuck it. If people don’t like me, fuck ‘em. People always hate you while you’re there and love you when you’re gone. I think Tigger probably even experienced that. He came in after Joe
Where will you be DJing during the Super Bowl weekend? Linx: I don’t have my schedule yet, but for the last ten years I’ve been hosting the EA Sports Madden Bowl. And for last few years we’ve partnered up with ESPN. Me and Trey Wingo co-host the event together on NFL Live. We always do it the Thursday leading up to the Super Bowl. Is there anything else you have going on? Linx: If someone wants to book my they can call my manager Matt 813-728-1131. I’m looking forward to getting this popping. I don’t really think that Hip Hop or urban music has really had the DJ duo team. It’s always a lot more fun when you get to do something with somebody you respect. When you working somebody who’s on point, I gotta make sure I’m on my A game. Q45: ‘09 is already looking good. I appreciate everything the people at BET do for me, keeping me in the loop on television. I have a new business situation when it comes to promoting the 21 and up clubs. We’re about to start a company that just caters to the grown and sexy crowd. We’re gonna rent out different venues all across the country. We’re already starting in Orlando, Gainesville, Tampa, Tallahassee. I’m just keeping it moving. I got a couple of different movie auditions I wanna go for. I don’t wanna say what movies ‘cause I don’t want to not get the part. Shouts out to my team – Malik, Ivory Orr, Point Blank Entertainment, DJ 151, Shawn Don, Roger, the whole machine that’s behind Q45 and 45 Entertainment. // Words by Ms. Rivercity Photo by Malik Abdul OZONE MAG // 23
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Danny Clark, a starting linebacker for the NY Giants, is involved in much more than tackling on the field. he’s also attempting to tackle the music industry. Among many other ventures, Clark is actively developing his production company Family Biz Entertainment. How did you get involved in the music business? Music is ultimately my second passion. It ties into so much in my life. It can be an inspiration to others, it’s uplifting when things are bad, and it can get you pumped up for an active situation like playing football. At home my dad always made sure music was played at all times. It worked for us. Where did the idea come from for your company Family Biz Entertainment? The way Family Biz was constructed was my best friend was a drummer in a band growing up and he had aspirations of doing more. I couldn’t sing or play an instrument, but I was always a fan of music, and seeing someone as passionate about it as I was sparked Family Biz. The name came from two of the most important things to me, outside of my faith. What exactly does your company do in the music business? We’re a production company. The producers are Severe Garcia and Black Vega. They’re a team, like the Cool n Dre situation and their tag is “Garcia/Vega.” We make tracks and construct whole songs. We have writers and people that make the tracks. What I’m finding out is that artists are lazy and I’m not saying that in a negative way. If they can get a whole package delivered to them where they can just sing or rap it, it’s more attractive to them than just getting a track. That’s what’s makes us special. Switching over to some football talk, how did you feel when the Giants put the offer on the table for you to come to their team? I had mixed feelings. Our head coach Tom Coughlin was my coach at Jacksonville. This was a very strict guy and it wasn’t a very personal relationship. So I wasn’t excited but I liked the team concept that I saw from afar. Once I stepped foot on the [Giants field], I realized he was a different man. He genuinely cared about his players and how they can
be better. The team concept is unmatched. I haven’t seen anything like it. We have a family mentality on this football team and that’s one of the keys to us being successful. You’re actually a well-rounded business man with several businesses. Talk to me about some of the other things you’re involved in. The Danny Clark Foundation was established this year. You can check it out on www.dannyclarkfoundation.com. It was inspired by my son who was born three months premature. He was born 1 lb, 3 ounces. What me and his mom had to deal and not knowing what to expect, I felt it was important to have a support system. The idea was sparked back then in 2002 and it wasn’t formed until this year. When I met with the board of directors, I was urged not to limit myself to the issue of prematurity. I also felt uplifting the youth was so important, and creating positive role models. How do you uplift those children? I do a number of different activities. I have two free football camps, one in my hometown in Illinois and one in my wife’s hometown Magnolia, Mississippi. We have 400 kids come out for free and we guide them on their way. Of course we have teammates from across the league come out and support the event. We enjoy helping out the kids any way possible. Our most recent event was Shop with a Jock where myself and fifteen other teammates take fifteen children to Wal-Mart and give each one a $100 gift card. We’re picking up steam and doing collaborative efforts with the March of Dimes and a couple other youth foundations. What’s in store for the near future? I’m sure you have big plans for Family Biz in ‘09. We produced some tracks for 50. We’re gonna have one or two tracks on his album. We’re real excited about working with G-Unit. We did something with Cupid. Pablo Escobar, Jr. is doing a movie of his dad’s life and he offered us a chance to do a few songs on the soundtrack. We’re doing some things in all genres and we wanna work on doing some things for the movie business as well. Is there a website where people can listen to the music? Myspace.com/doublenixx and www.dannyclark55.com. Words by Ms. Rivercity Photo by Jay Lawrence Goldman
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WORDS BY JEE’ VA PHOTO BY PURF N BROWN ECTION PHOTOG RAPHY
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J. Green, who is originally from the Polk County group OHB, is flying solo and still trying to regenerate the success he had with the club classic “Paralyzed.” Recently beating a murder charge that had him incarcerated for 30 months, J. Green is back in the streets working on a new mixtape. A lot of rappers say they have lived that street life, but this rapper can’t be denied his creditability. What have you been working on since you’ve been out? Just working on this new mixtape called Fresh Out The Gates. What DJ is going to be hosting the mixtape? Well right now it’s undecided, but I think I’m going to go with my boy Supastar J Kwik, that’s my nigga. He’s Gucci Mane’s DJ. I know you were recently locked up. How long were you in jail? I was gone for 30 months. I beat the murder charge they gave me, so I’m back out here in the lab trying to do my thing. 30 months had to be tough. How did you get through that? Shit, to be honest, I lived pretty good in jail. I can’t complain. I listened to my iPod, smoked good reefa, and everything like that. So I can’t really complain. A nigga was living real good to be in jail, but this my county right here so I’m gonna get love. You had an IPod and smoked good reefa while you were locked up? If I ever get locked up in your county I need to talk to your connections. (laughs) Yeah man, you got to have that connect. It’s all about that vibe, it’s some real niggas in there. If you a real nigga they going to fuck with you and look out for you. Since you had an iPod, what music were you listening to that helped you keep your head up while you were locked up? I’m not even gonna lie, while I was down we didn’t have no radios or listen to no music in there, just so happened I had a couple of correctional officers that fucked with me in there. I was on that first Plies album, Rick Ross’ first
album, and a lot of niggas are sleeping on Rich Boy, but I fucked with that nigga. Since you beat the murder charge, can you explain to me what exactly happened that night of the shooting? Well, this fight broke out between two groups of sets in the club. Then after the club, it started again at the Denny’s. Everybody knows that I’m from one of the sets and the dude that got shot is from the other set. Basically everybody knows me because I rap and I do my music thing, so people told the people I did it and the cops came to get me just off that. When I got locked up for that, I had some people come testify for me and they let me go because of that. What happened when the cops came to get you the second time? When the police came the first time, they kicked in my house while me and my daddy were in the house. They tore up the house trying to find a pistol, but they didn’t have any success with that. Me and my brother have another house next door that we rent out, and then they went into that house and found a pistol. I guess they felt like that was the pistol they was looking for. So they left, and let me go because I wasn’t under arrest. Then they came back 13 days later and said I was under arrest for murder. I could have ran and I would have ran if I would have knew I was gonna be locked up for 30 months. I would’ve ran, but I opened the door because I figured I hadn’t did shit. So from that day I didn’t see the streets for 30 months. Are you still with OHB? I originated that, so a part of OHB is going to always be mine, but I’m doing my own thing right now. Those still my niggas though. One of them is locked up, and the other ones are doing their own thing. What’s your favorite song off the new mixtape you have coming out? My favorite one so far is “Going to Trial.” For 09 we ain’t taking no pleas because niggas is copping out too much. How do you feel you stand out from other rappers? If I haven’t done the shit I’m not going to rap about it at all. If you not living like that you don’t need to be rapping about that shit. People want to hear about niggas that’s really going through some trials and tribulations. //
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DJ Christion One of the key record breakers in Tampa, Wild 98.7’s DJ Christion holds down the airwaves and local clubs. He’s a member of several teams including Turntable Assassins, We the Best, and Terror Squad. When can people in town for the Super Bowl check you out on the radio? They can catch me at 5pm all week long and on the night show. Pretty much everyone that’s gonna be in town will be on the radio too. I know [Fat] Joe, Ross, and Khaled are gonna be in town. What is your role with Terror Squad and We the Best? Are you the official DJ or do you have some other responsibilities? Between Terror Squad and We the Best the main role is holding down my market and making sure all the people hear the latest and greatest, whether it be from Joe or Khaled. I give my input on any of their singles or projects. I also DJ for Ace Hood. Do you have plans to drop any mixtapes? I’m going to put out my own album within the next couple of years. I plan to hit up every city and get fans in other cities. I was trying to do something different and I put out a Tampa to Miami remix. I had Plies on it, 2 Pistols, Tom G, Khaled, Ace, even Orlando, my PD, was on the record. Two or three times a year I plan to put out something to keep the streets knowing I can put a record together. But it’s all a process, I got a lot of learning to do. I gotta get fans all over the world and once that happens, it’ll be time to put out the album. Who’s poppin’ in the Tampa scene? Are there any new artists from the area that people should be familiar with? They should be checking for people like Tom G, Key, Strizzo, OGK, Trinity, Javon Black, there’s so many. Everybody has their own thing, but Tom G definitely has a few club bangers. // OZONE MAG
What’s the word on the street with Tampa Tony? Has anyone talked to him recently? Oh yeah, he’s holding his head up. Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out the way he wanted it to. We stay focused on his movement, play his songs here and there, trying to help out somehow. I want to say he has an appeal going on, but I’m not too sure. But the city always has his back. We want to make sure people never forget about Tony. So what makes your city worthy of a Super Bowl? Why is Tampa the shit? It’s a melting pot. If you’re a freak and you need a strip club fix, this is like the capital for strip clubs. Then we got the party scene with Ybor City. I’ll be at Club Skye throughout the week. There’s a party every night. Downtown and South Tampa are going on. It’s gonna be freezing, but if you wanna hit the ocean you can drive to the St. Pete area. You got the Clearwater area. It’s something for everybody here. And of course you have DJ Christion holding it down on Wild 98.7. What else would you like to mention? As a step to the album I’m putting out, I’m gonna put out a mix CD with exclusive records from each artist I work with. It’s called Cadillac Crack and that will come out in the spring. Shouts to my Wild 98.7 family, Tampa, St. Pete, OZONE, Turntable Assassins, Terror Squad, We the Best, and Black Group Marketing. // Words by Ms. Rivercity Photo by Lloyd of Flip TV
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Top 10 Fear Factor Mixtapes
DJ Smallz, the man who brought you the Southern Smoke phenomenon, unleashed a fury of new exclusives in 2008 via his Fear Factor series. Here he gives us his list of the best Fear Factor mixtapes and why they’re considered classic material. 1. Yo Gotti - Cocaine Muzik (Memphis, TN) Yo Gotti made it clear in ‘08 that the streets are his. This tape expanded Yo Gotti’s markets outside of Memphis and helped create a new movement in the streets reminiscent of Jeezy’s “Trap or Die” campaign – from the wrapped trucks to the Cocaine Muzik tees, Yo Gotti went in. And his new deal with J Records/Jive solidified his crazy grind in the streets. Look for Yo Gotti to break out in ‘09. 2. TMI Boyz - Patiently Waiting (Galveston, TX) The TMI Boyz created a huge independent following and buzz in Texas via their Grindin’ for a Purpose series which I helped brand with them. Look for them to take over Texas and beyond in ‘09. 3. Jackie Chain - Fear the Future (Huntsville, AL) This tape was a testament to Jackie Chain’s incredible grind in ‘08 in which he inked a deal with Universal Republic and won an OZONE Patiently Waiting award. Fear Jackie Chain in ‘09. 4. Snook - Let’s Smoke (Columbia, SC) Snook solidified the streets outside of SC with this tape, later joining the Southern Smoke College Tour and winning an OZONE Patiently Waiting award. Snook will be makin’ some major noise in ‘09. 5. King James - In da Building Vol. 2 (Jonesboro, AK) I first heard of King James when I did a show up in Nebraska two years ago. After I heard a few records, I was sold. King James is a diamond in the rough, and a contender for the streets in ‘09. 6. Modesty XO - Hustler Music (Birmingham, AL) Alabama has a lot of talented artists in the streets right now, but Modesty XO is ahead of the pack.
7. Q6 - The 6th Sense (Crosstown, FL) If you haven’t heard of Q6 before, get to know him – his music will surprise your ears. His catchy hooks and street stories are unique and he’s going for the crown in ‘09. 8. Kinfolk Thugs - We Here (Memphis, TN) The buzz for these two cats is brewing. They got Drumma Boy production behind them and a fresh new deal with Rap-A-Lot Records. 9. Ruin - The Southside Superstar (Richmond, VA) Females in the Hip Hop industry are a dying breed, who better to resuscitate this endangered species then Ruin? She got the streets of VA, look out for her too in ‘09. 10. Kae State & Scoope - Penitentiary Chances (Lexington, KY) It’s hard to find quality street music in Kentucky, so when I stumbled upon Kae State and Scoope, it was a blessing in disguise. Look out for these boys to make Kentucky sizzle this year. As told to Ms. Rivercity
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Riskay Words by Randy Roper
The Florida girl behind the “riskay” song “Smell Yo Dick” breaks down what a dick should smell like before she goes down on the love below.
T PAIN WORDS BY JULIA BEVERLY
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It’s crazy how some artists like you and Akon are such international superstars but you’re still low-key enough that you kinda have a personal life without the paparazzi and people all up in your business. How have you been able to maintain that distance? I ain’t that famous to have muthafuckas following me around with a camera. Akon has white [fans] too, and the pop crowd. For some reason I can’t get out of the hood crowd. I guess it’s ‘cause of what I talk about and how I look. When you started out, was music the only career path you had in mind? What do you think you woulda ended up doing if this didn’t pop off for you? I ain’t got nothing else. I still don’t got another career path in mind. This is pretty much it for me. When I started, it was just for the love of doing music. I wasn’t watching the videos thinking, “I’ma get this car,” or, “I’ma have this many girls around me.” I wasn’t even into that. Kinda like how I am now, I ain’t got as many chains as everybody else. I ain’t ballin’ like everybody else, or it doesn’t seem like I am. I keep my [money]. That’s how the rich stay rich. Be cheap! (laughs) Buy the Mini Cooper instead of the Bentley? Exactly. I only got one expensive ass car, and that’s the Lambo. That was a gift to myself. When we did our first photo shoot, before “Sprung” popped off, you had actually produced and directed a music video for the song as well. Are you planning on directing any of your videos in the near future? Yeah, I’m still doing the same thing with my videos. I just don’t want the stress ‘cause all that shit comes with stress. I ain’t tryna have all that responsibility. I’ma let other muthafuckas do that. I’ve done enough on my own. I’ve proved that to myself [that I can do it] so I’ll let other people do it [now]. When I got the Producer Of The Year [Award at the 2008 BMI Awards, along with J.R. Rotem and Kanye West] I felt like I don’t really have to produce that much anymore. Let other muthafuckers have that stress. I’m real hands-on [with my video concepts], but I don’t wanna be known as the director. The last couple videos I filmed, the [ideas] were really all me. They had all the capabilities and control to really bring my shit out. Once I got hands on it really brought it to life.
theme for your stage show for the upcoming tour with Lil Wayne? Right now, I’m going with the circus theme. It’s just having fun. Fucking with people and fucking with their minds. I want people to ask, “Why the fuck is he doing that shit?” A lot of people don’t understand that’s really how you [become successful as an artist]. Don’t give everybody everythang, let ‘em have some kind of mystery about you. That’s why a lot of people haven’t seen me without my shades on. So when I’m ready to take my shades away from the image, they still got something to look forward to, instead of already knowin’ what I look like without shades on. When you started, a lot of people doubted that the auto-tune effect would work for you. Obviously, they were wrong. Are there any “I told you so” moments that stick out in your mind? Any critics that had to eat their words later on? Pretty much everybody. Nobody thought I would get past “I’m Sprung.” Then “I’m In Luv (Wit A Stripper)” came out and they were like, “Okay, this is the last one right here.” Then “Buy You A Drank” came out and they were like, “This gotta be the last one from this nigga with the auto-tune.” And I just kept coming. Then I started doing all the features with everybody and shit got crazy. Everyone had to eat their fuckin’ words. I had gone to everybody, and every record label and every artist I tried to get on with was like, “Nah, we good.” They didn’t think [the auto-tune] shit was gonna work. But you know, they couldn’t see the future. So fuck it. I heard some of the stuff Wayne is working on for his rock album. Are you looking at going in a different direction as well? Oh yeah, I’ma definitely switch it up. I’m not gonna switch it up hard, I’ma keep it classic TPain. If somebody didn’t know who Wayne... The rest of this OZONE interview is on newsstands now - look for T-Pain on the cover.
What about your stage show? I read that Kanye was really involved in the design and format of his stage show, with the whole spaceship concept. Are you developing a OZONE MAG // 11
riskay WORDS BY RANDY ROPER PHOTO BY D SUAVE
The Florida girl behind the song “Smell Yo Dick” breaks down what a dick should smell like before she goes down on the love below.
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To start off I’m going to give you two celebrities and you pick which one of the two you’d rather fuck. T.I. or Ludacris? And why? T.I. ‘cause he’s sexy. Nas or Jay-Z? Nas, of course. He seems more fuckable than Jay-Z. [Jay-Z] doesn’t seem like he can do much in bed. Ok, how about Lil Wayne or T-Pain? This is hard because neither one I would do. Lil Wayne. I don’t know, he just…I don’t think I could be high enough or drunk enough to go there [with T-Pain]. Big Boi or Andre 3000? Big Boi. Because Andre seems like he would be too weird in the bed. I ain’t into all that weird shit. Alright. I’ll give you one more: DJ Drama or DJ Khaled? Drama. Because Khaled got a belly and it just looks disgusting. He don’t look like he got nothing. Let’s talk about your song “Smell Yo Dick.” Do you actually smell your man’s dick? Of course. So, what’s the reasoning behind smelling a dick? Well, it can be a couple reasons why you can smell your man’s dick. On the song I made it was to find out if your man was cheating. Another reason would be, you smell it before you suck it, because if it smell kinda musty you ain’t finna go down there. That’s the other reason why you would wanna smell your man’s dick. So, what does it have to smell like for you to suck it? It damn sho’ betta not smell musty, or smell like somebody else’s pussy. It just needs to not have a smell. The best thing to do would be to just take a shower before that. What’s your favorite position? Doggy. Is that the same position that you’re best at? Nah.
Riding. What’s the worst sex you ever had? It was less than five minutes. It made me wonder why even bother. What’s the best you ever had? That went on for a long time and it was many positions I’ve never tried before. How long was it? Three hours. Does size matter to you? Yes. I don’t care what nobody says, men with little dicks have to do more fucking than men with bigger dicks. They get straight to the point. I don’t like nobody humping and they not getting no work. Do you send text messages about fucking? Yes. What types of messages do you send and receive? Just messages about how I liked to be fucked, and the same thing comes back to me. What’s the best message you ever got? When I was told that he liked to eat ass. That really did it for me. So you like getting your ass licked? I don’t know about that. Yeah, of course. It’s like, if you’re not expecting it and then you feel it, it’s like, “Damn, that shit’s right. Eat that ass.” I mean, you’ve never had your ass ate, but I know guys that like getting their ass ate. Do you use toys in bed? Yes. My Jack Rabbit, and I got this little vibrator for the clit. Do you use it on the men, too? No. They get to use it on me. Do you think its better when you use toys? I like the toy thing because I know how to hit my spot. And then I ain’t gonna worry about trying to make somebody else nut. I can get my nut at least five times when I use my toy... Look out for the rest of this interview, which is featured in OZONE’s upcoming sex issue.
What position you best at?
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WORDS B Y PHOTO B MS RIVERCITY Y LUIS SA NTANA
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After smashing last year’s charts with “She Got It,” 2 Pistols released his introductory album under J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League/Universal Republic. Now that everything has died down, his distribution situation has dissolved, and the smoke has settled, 2P is seeing what it really takes to make a significant impact in the game. His current free agent status isn’t deterring him one bit though. He recently linked up with Slim of 112 for a second female-targeted song, a record 2P hopes will show the world he’s still got what it takes for another go around. I know you’re working on your sophomore album Arrogant. When are you planning to release it? I don’t have a set release date for it. I’m trying to see who’s gon’ do distribution on it. I’m no longer with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, they got released from Universal Republic. There’s stories going around that I got dropped and they wasn’t trying to rock with me, but by them being released from Universal Republic, it automatically releases me. So I can technically go do my own situation with whoever I want. I don’t have a date or distribution but it’s gonna come out under my company Blood Money Unit Entertainment. So will you still be working with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League at all? I tried to move forward and get some records with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, but I think they have different things in mind. I don’t know what they’re gonna do, but for me, I got the single “My Gurl” featuring Slim of 112. I also got a street record called “Ain’t Gotta Talk.” I got this one record titled “Lights Down Low” featuring my R&B artist Young Joe. Do you have any other artists on BMU? BMU Entertainment is just me. I had a couple rap artists in the beginning, but I don’t have any right now. The only person I’ve been working with is my R&B artist. For ’09 I’m going many different routes – I hired new management, I hired some attorneys, I got out of my production situation, and I’m doing things the way I wanna do them. What are some things you are hoping to change for this next go around? I really felt that the sales, and things albumwise, not digitally, didn’t go the way I wanted
them to. My project was slept on ‘cause I think cats looked at me as fast food. They just looked at me as a quick situation to get money, a quick buck. Why did you go with the Slim collaboration as a first single and not the song with your own artist? The first record was produced by Oddz N Endz, and the “Lights Down Low” record was produced by myself. I actually liked the “Lights Down Low” record more, but the “My Gurl” record with Slim got leaked. The people was swinging to that one so I rolled with it. I like the situation with Slim because we can do a bunch of shows together, verses me doing a record with T-Pain last year. It was the number one record in the country, but I didn’t have an opportunity to perform with him. People don’t understand that sometimes people have different visions with what they’re trying to do. Slim is out here grinding and has an independent situation through Asylum. We can probably do more together as far as shows and traveling, verses doing a video with someone and not seeing ‘em no more. So would you consider doing another T-Pain record even though he’s not available to perform with you? I won’t say I wouldn’t do another record with T-Pain being that I had a lot of success with “She Got It,” I just don’t think things went the way they were supposed to. All his success was coming to him right then, and I don’t think anybody looked at it like I added anything to the record. Everybody thought that it was his record and I just happened to be a guest on it. He took all the juice out of it. It’s not that he overshadowed me, but his situation was just becoming bigger at that time. I’m trying to get with someone on my level that can pop off with me at the same time. You said they looked at you as the fast food of rap, how are you trying to overcome that and gain respect? I never really had a foundation. I tried to build a foundation by doing mixtapes or whatever, but I had the game twisted when I came in it. A lot of things I expected the label to take care of or was told they would take care of, they didn’t get taken care of. I would have even come out of my pocket for different things. I would have shot some videos and released some stuff on my own. But every time I reached in my pocket to do something, they was like, “Nah, don’t do this, don’t do that.” When I had the incident at the awards, it was really other people controlling that. I ain’t really get to voice my opinion about anything. When I came up in the streets, I didn’t answer to nobody. I spent OZONE MAG // 15
my money to get T-Pain on the record and to do my own situations. I think I slapped myself in the face by getting tied up with people that controlled me. I’m trying to reach back and build my foundation, but I don’t want to take full responsibility for the situation, although I should because I involved myself with people that looked at me as fast food. Do you think learning those lessons will make your second album go farther? Yeah. Real talk, if I’m in control of the situation I feel it will be great. The positive things that popped off from my album and sales, everything that was done right was done by me. Everything done wrong was done by other individuals. We’ll see. I’m pretty much the underdog in this situation, but fuck, look at the Cardinals. Nobody ain’t expect them to be in the Super Bowl but look, that’s the situation. Nobody expects me to succeed, even though my last situation did 45 million digital. I mean, my album did like 100,000 but I see a gold situation for Arrogant. I’m always growing as an artist. Is that why you named the album Arrogant, because you’re arrogant about the project so to speak? Yeah, and I named it that because I got called arrogant so many times in meetings and by so many people. But I mean, what sucks is I tell them the real. I give them real examples of why I’m right and why they fuckin’ wrong. And they couldn’t ever explain to me why they’re right and I’m wrong. I got my own reasons why I want to do things. I came in this shit by myself, I’m gonna die by myself, so I’m gonna do this shit the way I want, by myself. Doesn’t the term “arrogant” kinda have a negative connotation ? I want them to look at the situation like that. If they say, “Man, that nigga arrogant,” then so be it. It’s a lot of muthafuckas that walk around here arrogant or cocky. If I wasn’t feeling myself I wouldn’t be able to do this shit, I’d be too concerned about what the next nigga feel about me. When we talked to you before you mentioned some of the things you’ve been through with the law. Do you think the Hip Hop police read your interviews and keep track of things you say in the media? If they do, so be it. I don’t care. I’m pretty sure they do, all my interviews, YouTube videos, whatever. I’m still on papers so my P.O. may see some shit and ask me about it, just because I’m speaking about it in songs or an interview. But I really ain’t trippin’ on that. If they wanna hit me with some extra charges, if I did that then 16 // OZONE MAG
I did that. I know what the deal is before I do things. Any nigga that’s going into any situation, if you involved with some niggas and y’all plottin’ to go get some money together, if you get caught and the rest of them niggas don’t get caught, if you wrong you shouldn’t be snitching on your niggas. That’s why I named the first album Death Before Dishonor. A lot of niggas in this shit is flaw. Since you’ve gone from 2 Pistols in the streets to 2 Pistols in the music game, how many people from your past are you able to still deal with? To be real, I don’t fuck with nobody I used to fuck with at all. I don’t really have a relationship with my mother or brother or sister. I can talk to them and be cool with them, but the fucked up thing about this shit is when you get successful, they’re looking at the TV like, “Well Keyshia Cole bought her mama this. Why the fuck you ain’t buy me that?” Or “Why you ain’t doing this and that for me?” I’m one of those people that ain’t trying to help nobody unless they trying to help theyself. If you trying to get somewhere in life, then I’ll help you to the fullest. Where I came from I ain’t have shit and I wanted to establish myself and be the person I am today. If you don’t have no goals then I don’t need to be around you. Why should people purchase your album when it comes out? Times are rough and people need a good reason to spend $15 on an album. Because everybody’s got haters and this Arrogant shit is a way for you to get over your haters. Think highly of yourself, let them call you whatever they gon’ call you, but at the end of the day, don’t focus on what them niggas talkin’ about. What’s the last album you bought? I buy shit all the time, whether it’s Hip Hop or R&B. I think the last shit I bought was Plies. He’s someone I can somewhat relate to. Do you want to give out any contact info or a website? Niggas can holla at me about some features or show bookings at 727-686-2715 or 352231-3760. What fucked me up last year, it was so many niggas running around with false advertisements that they was my booking agent. Them muthafuckas was getting money and keeping that shit. People were thinking I didn’t show up. If you want a direct contact to get some shit done, holla at either one of them numbers. Hit me at Myspace.com/2Pistols or my new site www.2PistolsWorldBlog.ning.com.
Kane Beatz Kane Beatz has accomplished a lot since signing a publishing deal with Warner/Chapel when he was only 19 years old. Over the last couple of years, KB has produced songs on numerous major albums like Chamillionaire’s Ultimate Victory, Flo Rida’s Mail on Sunday, and DJ Khaled’s We the Best, to name a few. You have a lot of major placements. Who all have you worked with? I did two records on Trick Daddy’s album – “Tuck Ya Ice” and “Lights Off.” I produced a song called “S On My Chest” on Khaled’s album. I did about 5 records on Chamillionaire’s last album. I did a track called “Still Missin” on Flo Rida’s album and the first record on Birdman’s album called “Fully Loaded.” And I did the bonus track on Plies’ last album. What do you have in the works right now that hasn’t been released yet? I did two records for Flo Rida’s new album. I did a record with Fabolous. I did a record with Luda but it looks like the label’s not clearing it. That’s pretty fucked up. I did something on Gorilla Zoe’s new album. I’ve been working with all the Warner artists, like Attitude. I got lots of work, trying to go crazy right now. How were you able to land your beats with major artists? Were you grinding for a while first? Yeah, I was grinding for a while. Once things started poppin’ and I got the publishing deal with Warner/Chapel in the end of ‘06, they started hooking me up with A&Rs which got me to where I’m at now, where it’s easier to get my beats to people. Who are some major artists you think your beats would cater to that you haven’t worked with yet? I haven’t done a record with T.I. yet. I just did a record on Big Kuntry’s last album so I’ve been at Grand Hustle meeting people. I’m definitely trying to make T.I.’s next album. I haven’t done a record with Wayne yet. I’ve done a couple records he was featured on like the one on Khaled’s record. I’m also trying to get into a lot of pop and stuff, more R&B. I have a lot of R&B placements with people. People come to me for a lot of rap records, but I’m trying to do more R&B records. It’s just a process. I’ve been working with a lot of writers. The record I did with Fabolous was originally an R&B record, but he liked it so much he kept the hook and decided he wanted to rap on it.
How do you think you’ll be able to cross over into doing more R&B? I’m just gonna keep working with more and more writers ‘cause most of these R&B people don’t write their own records. The process for getting a hit R&B record is a lil more complicated. You’re 21 years old and you’ve had a publishing deal since you were 19 years old. Do you feel like that’s a pretty big accomplishment at your age? I wouldn’t look at it like that. I just look at it like I was blessed with an opportunity. But there’s still so much left to do. I really haven’t accomplished that much. I mean I’ve done good for myself, but I want that #1 hit record. So I’m working just like everybody else is working. I’m working like I’m still trying to be the best. So how do you set yourself apart from other up and coming producers? I don’t limit myself. I work with a lot of musicians and writers. It’s an ability to not slow down. I’m out here doing me. I don’t stay in one zone and let people label me. I’m trying to do what Polow is doing. What else are you working on that people should know about? I’m working with two artists – one is Blaze out of Orlando and I got a group in Atlanta called The Dope Boyz. We’re just waiting to get the majors behind ‘em. That’s the focus this year. Words and photo by Ms. Rivercity OZONE MAG // 17
Newly signed to Interscope Records, Alja â€œJesse Janeâ€? Jackson definitely has her own lane when it comes to her sound and image. Claiming influences from Missy Elliott to Madonna, Alja has long been in pursuit of a career befitting her leftfield personality. After leaving her Duval hometown, hitting New York to be a backup dancer, moving to Atlanta, and landing a label deal while working in L.A., Alja is now making something big of her journeys.
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How were you able to get signed to Interscope? I signed the paperwork on my birthday, June 29th. I was very excited ‘cause I’ve been grindin’ so long. I was actually in negotiations with Cash Money so it was like a bidding war, but Interscope came with the right stuff in the paperwork. Maddscientist brought me out to L.A. to write for The Pussycat Dolls. He was like, “If you ain’t signed to Cash Money yet, come out to L.A. and we’ll see what’s good.” I’m a loyal person so I was tryin’ to let Cash Money get they stuff together, but it was takin’ a lil longer than I expected. I went to L.A. and cut a couple songs. Erica Grayson, who’s my A&R now, walked in the studio while I was cutting my songs and she liked my vibe. It just went from there. A lot of people say they gon’ do stuff, and sometimes you hear stuff over and over and stop believing. But when I got back to the East coast my lawyer already sent me the paperwork. I always wanted to be on Interscope ‘cause personally I feel it’s the best label. What are the specifics of your deal with Interscope? The great thing about my situation is me and my manager, Erskine Isaac, own a production company called Leftfield Productions, and I signed myself to my own company. I have two acts on the production company/label – the Jack Boys are from Jacksonville and the other guy is EZ B, a.k.a. Green Socks, out of Atlanta. Everyone I’m looking for on the label has to be a leftfield artist, not afraid to take chances. What’s up with your alias Jesse Jane? Is that an alter ego? Jesse Jane is my alter ego. I had started writing for a lot of pop artists and discovered a side of myself that mixes urban and pop fusion, and it created this wild-child, outlaw type person. It’s like Jesse James and the outlaws. I’m an urban artist, of course I’m from the hood, but I have a worldly aspect on how I write my music. I write urban music with a pop formula. Jesse Jane helps me get into character, and Alja is straight from the hood R&B. You can definitely hear your influences like Missy Elliott and Prince in your music, and you have that Cindy Lauper pop thing going on with your style… Yeah, I love Cindy Lauper. When people ask me to classify my music, it’s hard to put myself in a box but people want to know, so I tell them Missy Elliott is my mother; Prince is my father; T-Pain is my cousin; Andre 3000 is my brother; Madonna is my auntie; Cindy Lauper is my godmother; and Michael Jackson is my goddaddy. [I’m influenced by] all the styles of people that weren’t afraid to be them, stuck to what they wanted to do and believed in it.
In your experiences so far, from a female artist’s perspective, is the music business is as shady or sexist as everyone makes it out to be? With everything you do in life, there’s gonna be some type of obstacle. In the music industry, it’s especially hard for women because if you ain’t sleeping with somebody or those types of things, it can be hard. But first impressions are everything, so if you present yourself like a lady, and you let a nigga know that this is what it is, if you like my talent that’s what’s up but it’s nothing else, I think that’s what’s important. You gotta stand your ground and let them know who you are so you don’t have those problems. Jacksonville is your hometown, but you’ve lived in some other cities. Do you think it was necessary to leave the nest in order to get your career going? I do think it’s good to branch out. Jacksonville is one of the largest cities, but we’re just now starting to get on the map as far as entertainment. If you feel like you’ve achieved something in a certain area and you’re still not getting to where you need to be, it’s important to branch out while still representin’. If you’re out networking in different cities and states, bring that energy back to your hometown and don’t be selfish. I moved to New York and it taught me a lot. If you ain’t goin’ to your auditions or goin’ to work...you gotta walk in the snow and rain to the train, it taught me independence and the grind. My mama wasn’t there, I had to get up on my own. I was a back up dancer for Sean Paul, Maxie Priest, and Shaggy. After I started dancing for Sean Paul, I moved to Atlanta to focus on me. My grandmother taught me that you only live once so make the best of it. What’s going on with the music you’ve been writing and recording lately? I’m working on this record, and I really wanna tell you the name of it, it’s so cool and I wanna put the record out there before anyone else does. But my single is definitely “Perrtiest Girl” featuring Missy Elliott. Wayne just did a verse on it as well. We’re gonna get Three 6 Mafia on a song called “Lava In Your Speakers.” Everything is really up-tempo, high energy, 808, crunk, kinda like early Missy Elliott with a lil more hood, down south swagger. A lot of people might not remember, but weren’t you on a reality show a while ago? (laughs) Yeah, I did the show Are You the Girl, where they was trying to find another member for the group T.L.C. I made it to the fourth finalist. I didn’t make it but everything happens for a reason. Television doesn’t portray you as the person you really are, but I was just thankful for the experience. I even see Chilli and T-Boz in Atlanta today and it’s all good. // OZONE MAG // 19
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I started performing some of those and got some pretty good feedback.
While his name might not be an attention grabber, Mr. Smith’s music definitely is. Always coming up with creative ways to market his product, Mr. Smith gained a sizeable fanbase in 2008 with his singles “White T” and “Breathe.” What’s your background in music? I grew up in the church and played piano in my youth choir. I was in the marching band in high school. I started listening to Hip Hop in my high school years. I went to Indiana University and got more involved in the music scene there. A lot of my friends that I played ball with in Florida and Atlanta, you know, everyone in football wants to get involved with music in some way. When I moved to Tampa I met [my manager] Matt. He was very ambitious in the music scene and he introduced me to a few people. One thing led to another and I was trying to be the next P Diddy. I started my own record label and the main act I was working with at the time was Acafool. What happened with football? I played four years in the league and got diagnosed with a neck injury when I was in camp with the Colts. I played a year in Tampa, a year with Carolina, a year with St. Louis, and when I got diagnosed with the neck condition I was sick that I couldn’t play ball anymore. I stopped playing football and actually started getting into martial arts. So tell me about your music career so far. What are some moments that stand out? I’ve always been kinda behind the scenes, like when I started working with Acafool and working records and building relationships. We were pushing records since like ’05 and “Hatablockas” ended up being a song that everybody liked. I was over in Europe when the song took off. They were all telling me about it and when I finally came back I saw exactly how big the song was. How did you transition from the behind the scenes role into more of an artist role? We were in a position where record labels were noticing us but they didn’t want to give us a good deal for various reasons. Once I realized what some of the reasons were, I decided to start writing some of my own songs. 22 // OZONE MAG
Is the “White T” song still top priority or are you pushing something else? In my mind it’s still a priority just as a song to introduce myself to the fans so they can look at the song, look at the concept behind the song, and it’s something catchy too. I recorded it last year but in order to work a song you really need to have a lot of things in place. In my mind, the best part of a song is the visual that goes along with it. There’s not a lot of people that would take a staple in Hip Hop, which is a white tee, and turn it into a play on words and then try and market it that way. I wanted to get the visual out there as much as the song itself. Why did you decide to go by the name Mr. Smith and not Young Smith or Lil Smith, something more rap friendly? Other than the obvious reason of it being my government name, I always looked at the music industry as a business. Anytime I’ve done anything business related, whether it was buying a house or purchasing a car, I was always addressed as Mr. Smith. I figured if I was gonna approach this thing as a business, I’d go ahead and use my business name. What other songs and projects do you have coming out? I have a song called “Breathe” that’s been taking off on the internet. You’ll probably see a lot of young ladies doing what they do on Youtube [to that song]. I got approached by an internet company called Shakeit.com last year that featured the song and before I knew it I started getting videos sent to me on Myspace and seeing videos all over Youtube. It’s been interesting to say the least. Some are better than others, some of them drop it like it’s hot, some drop it like it’s lukewarm, but as long as they do it to one of my songs I don’t mind. I plan on trying to moving up to Atlanta and take the song a little more seriously than I have been. I’m supposed to go up there and do something with the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. We’ve always had a real good relationship with them. Which is more competitive, football or the music industry? I’d definitely have to say the music business is more competitive than football. There’s a lot of people trying to get their name out there and come up with the next hot song.
WORDS BY MS RIV
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After recording music for several years, Militant Military? has finally struck gold with their radio hit “All da Way Live.” The song has taken Souljah, Ms. Williams, State, Militia, and their producer J.O. from the background to the foreground of local Tampa music. How did you guys come together as Militant Military? Souljah: Everything started in Tampa. We got people in the group everywhere, from Tampa
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to New York, to the Midwest. It was officially established in 2003. We opened up a recording studio here and recorded music for a few years before we decided to hit the scene. We did a song with Tampa Tony and he hooked us up with JMB Management. Last year we put out a song called “In da Bikke” and we got a lil bit of attention from that song. It didn’t have such a big impact so we switched over to “All da Way Live.” It’s a lot more radio friendly, a lot more commercial. It was an easier record to break. That’s how we were able to come this far. As a vocalist, how important is Ms. Williams’ role within the group? Ms. Williams: My singing brings a different vibe that allows everybody to listen the music, because just about everybody likes singing. As far as the R&B portion, I give us a different tempo to slow it down from being so much gangsta rap or club music.
What’s your background as a singer? Ms. Williams: I sang at church and at school. I was a director of my youth choir at church all the way up through my teenage years. I was always in chorus at school. Shortly after I got out of school I started taking vocal lessons. I always wanted to sing but I didn’t know exactly how I was gonna do it. This came along in my life and this is where God led me so this is where I am. How did State come into the group? State: About a year before the group was started, I ran into Souljah and we became friends. He was always telling me about stuff he had going on and how he was recording. I went to New York and when I came back I ran into him. That’s about when we got serious, sat down and put it together. With the “All da Way Live” song, were y’all pushing it a while before it got on radio? Or did it make its way there on its own? Souljah: We had to push it, just like any other major or independent label would push a product – through radio campaigns, advertisements, promoting, different marketing schemes, all the way to paying to open up for major artists. We did everything, street teaming, anything that has to do with promoting a record and the group. It’s on radio in other cities too. Plus, it’s just one of those songs that grew legs. We did the same thing with “In da Bikke” and we didn’t have nowhere near as much success with that as “All da Way Live.” Where did the group name come from? Soujah: The name just came from spirituality I guess. Before I even met the group, the name was always in my head. I was a teenager when I was using that name and the group came about three years later. You know how some things happen and they don’t make sense until later? Once the group came together, that’s when the name made sense to me. I think the
name just came from the spirits, I don’t know how that sounds, but that’s how it happened. What’s the story behind the masks you wear? Soulja: That’s part of our group’s signature. Every time we perform we wear masks. It mostly represents the unknown, just like the question mark on the end of Military. Do you have plans for Super Bowl weekend? Soulja: We’re going to be doing a couple teen nights and plus I’m sure we’re gonna be booked for some shows. We’re gonna put on for our city and make sure we get noticed even more and add more momentum to the project. What are some other things y’all have in the works for the upcoming year? Souljah: My plan for the next six months is to sign with a label and use everything we get from signing with a label to brand the group Militant Military? as a major group and not a one-hit-wonder. Ms. Williams: I’m just basically staying focused with the group, maintaining a positive attitude about everything, and doing what I have to do on my part. We’re just following suit with our leader. State: I’m just working real hard. I don’t plan on stopping no time soon. We’ve been grinding out here for years so we’re ready. Words by Ms. Rivercity OZONE MAG // 25
tom g WORDS BY JULIA BEVERLY
Tom G is a boss in the Tampa scene. In our infamous sex issue, he talks about groupie sex, orgies, and his secret crush on Eve.
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So do you have a wife or are you out on the road having fun? What’s your situation right now? I mean, shit, you know, I got three kids – twin boys, and I’m with they mom right now. I know you’re a popular guy in Tampa. You’ve probably had some groupie love and all that. Does having kids slow down your sex life? Nah, not really. I do my thang. It’s slowed down a little bit. Do you have females coming up to you wanting to hook up because of who you are? What’s the craziest groupie approach you’ve had? Let me see, I’ve had a couple of ‘em. I done had some of ‘em catch me in the club and just start sucking on my medallion, shit like that, I guess implying what she’ll do to me. Did you let her get what she wanted? Nah, actually I didn’t get a chance to catch up with her. When I catch her I’ma see what she’s about. What about celebrity females? If you could hit any three celebrities in the world who would they be? Definitely gotta be Eve. I have the biggest crush on Eve. I’d have to get on Eve real proper, real decent. Why Eve? I don’t know. It’s just something about her, you know what I’m sayin’? A lot of people say she looks funny but to me she fine as hell. Eve and let me see who else…I did like Diamond from Crime Mob but Scrappy took her from me. It’s a lot of ‘em out there but the biggest crush I can think of off the top of my head is Eve. She definitely could get it. You know she had a lil sex tape. Maybe you could make one with her. That’s what made me think I could say something to her ‘cause it ain’t like she green to the fact. I know she got that type of side in her so the shit I’m sayin’ wouldn’t be foreign to her. Even though I wouldn’t approach her like that, but us being human, that’s gonna come eventually. Have you ever filmed yourself? Nah, the most I done got into some shit like that was I’m doing my thang, and me and my homeboys had this thing where I’d call them and just sit the phone on the dresser or some
shit and let them hear how it’s goin’ down. And then they’d call my other homeboys on three-way and everybody just be in there listening. That sounds like some high school shit. Do y’all still do that? Nah, we don’t do that shit no mo’. We outgrew that shit. Nowadays, most of the time, we run into chicks that gon’ pop it off with everybody or she might have a friend and they’ll pop it off with everybody. Or we all in the same house, or the same room if we on the road, and they can hear the shit. You like the females that let the whole crew get it in? Yeah, sometimes. I don’t do it like that all the time, I got my picks, I wouldn’t call it crabbin’ or cuffin’, but I got picks that I’ll slide off with and I got my picks that pop it off for the whole click. What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in the same room at the same time? You know what? That’s kinda like a fantasy of mine. I ain’t never really been a part of no big orgy, well, you know, I been a part of shit like that but not where everybody’s just off the chain with everybody. That’d be some shit that would spark my interest. Do you have a favorite porn star? I’m feeling the girl with pink hair from Atlanta. What’s her name, Pinky? It’s a girl with some hot pink hair from Atlanta and she’s pretty decent. It’s her and it might be one or two mo’ but I don’t really know they names. I just know ‘em by face when I see ‘em. Why is she your favorite? I guess when I first seen her doing her thang, you know how niggas be ridin’ around with that shit in they car when they stuntin’ with them screens, when I saw her I was like, damn. She caught my attention. Usually I don’t even pay that shit no attention. I see that shit all the time, but when I saw her, she caught my attention. And then one time we was in Atlanta, we went to some strip club called Tootsies or something like that, and when you walk outside they had a whole table of just shit with her on it. So I’m like, damn, I’m kinda locked in on her as far as porno stars go... Look out for the rest of this interview, which is featured in OZONE’s upcoming sex issue.
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Words b y Ms. Riv
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Aych (pronounced like the letter “H”) is a frontrunner in the local Tampa Hip Hop scene. Chasing his dream has allowed him to appear on BET’s 106 & Park, open for several major artists, and help others get a foot in the door as well. Introduce yourself and tell our readers how you came to be the lyricist you are today. I’m originally from Delaware. I moved to Tampa in 2004. Since then I’ve opened for people such as Missy, KRS-One, Ludacris, Rick Ross, Juelz Santana. That’s how I really got started in Tampa. When people talk about open mics in the area your name comes up a lot. What role do you play in the local Hip Hop scene? When I first came to Tampa I got started doing things like open mic nights. For the last three years I’ve been running one and it’s basically the only Hip Hop open mic night that’s been consistent for this long. There’s nothing like it. We do it every Wednesday at Full Moon right now, but after the Super Bowl we’re moving to Crowbar in Ybor City. What’s the significance behind your name? Do people mispronounce it a lot? Oh yeah, all the time. The name came from when I was young. My first name starts with an H and my boy used to always spell it out. So on the night of my first show they wanted to know what I go by and I was like, “Uh, I go by Aych.” A lot of people pronounce it like ache or ack. Tell me about your experience on BET 106 & Park. How did that come about? The last time I went up there was in May. It was a good experience. I learned a lot and got to see how things work behind the scenes. I met a lot of cool people at BET. What’s your approach to putting out new music? It seems like you put out a lot of projects and singles at once. Why is that? I don’t do it to just to put music out. People want to hear new music. It’s supply and demand. I just try to do a lot of collaborations, stay relevant, stay recent, and stay working. When you perform, what are some of the crowd’s favorite songs?
“Dollas and Dreams” would be one of my favorite ones. They’re spinning that on 95.7 now. And the ladies like the “Like You” joint. What’s “Dollas and Dreams” about? It’s basically the story of me being 18. It’s about believing in myself and going through things an 18 year old dude goes through. Like you might not see eye to eye with your mom, and you feel like you grown and she feels like you still a little boy. So you say I’ma do my own thing, I’ma man and I’m gonna stand on my own two feet. The hook is like: “Look ma I’m on TV/Used to think one day that’s gon’ be me/ Running up and down the block screaming that’s my car/Now look, years later that’s my car.” It’s more of an inspirational song. Is there an overall message or an image you’re trying to portray to the youth through your music? You can tell the kids all the things you want, but when they actually walk out the house they’re gonna see the world for what it is. I just try to tell my story, what I’ve seen. I just try to be as real as possible with the people that listen to my music, whether it’s kids or adults. You can’t lie to yourself. I see you have some overseas fans and you’re branching into that market. Yeah. That’s one thing I can say BET helped me out with a lot. I didn’t know they had 106 & Park overseas. A lot of DJs reached out to me from over there. The Future Star DJs been behind me since day one. They have DJs in Dublin and Berlin. I’m just trying to spread my wings. If you’re an artist you gotta travel. Do you have shows lined up for Super Bowl weekend? More than likely I’ll be performing at Full Moon. I work for that club. What are your plans for 2009? My goals for right now are just to put out as much music as possible. I’m working on like 20 tracks a month, just keeping at it. I want to double my work ethic, get my business together. I’m trying to get on some of these movie and video game soundtracks and things like that. Do you have a Myspace page where people can check out the new music? Myspace.com/aych302
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Published on Feb 1, 2009