sxsw 2007 **special edition**
PIMP C // MONEY WATERS // RAPID RIC OG RON C // TUM TUM // BIG CHIEF LIL PEACE // ROB G // CHINGO BLING BOSS HOGG OUTLAWZ // BILLY COOK
sxsw 2007 **special edition**
PIMP C // MONEY WATERS // RAPID RIC OG RON C // TUM TUM // BIG CHIEF LIL PEACE // ROB G // CHINGO BLING BOSS HOGG OUTLAWZ // BILLY COOK
PUBLISHER: Julia Beverly CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER: N. Ali Early GUEST EDITOR: Matt Sonzala CONTRIBUTORS: DeVaughn Douglas DJ Chill Edward Hall Eric Perrin Mike Frost Randy Roper PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR: Malik Abdul ART DIRECTOR: Tene Gooden SUBSCRIPTIONS: To subscribe, send check or money order for $11 to: Ozone Magazine 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318 Phone: 404-350-3887 Fax: 404-350-2497 Web: www.ozonemag.com COVER CREDITS: Devin the Dude (cover and this page) by Mike Frost; Lil Peace by Tony Boyatti; Rapid Ric by Luxury Mindz. DISCLAIMER:
OZONE does not take responsibility for unsolicited materials, misinformation, typographical errors, or misprints. The views contained herein do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or its advertisers. Ads appearing in this magazine are not an endorsement or validation by OZONE Magazine for products or services offered. All photos and illustrations are copyrighted by their respective artists. All other content is copyright 2007 OZONE Magazine, all rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any way without the written consent of the publisher. Printed in the USA.
Section A 26-27 pimp c 10 og ron c 12 rapid ric 14-15 venue map 22-25 chingo bling 16 hotel listing 18-19 event listing 17 venue listing 20 sxsw founder 11 photo gallery 09 guest editorial 21 entrepreneur profile
28-31 devin the dude Section b 16-17 ROB G 10 DJ CHILL 08 DJ DOMO 18-19 NAYROCK 14-15 TUM TUM 30-31 BIG CHIEF 12-13 GRIT BOYS 20-21 BILLY COOK 28-29 MONEY WATERS 07 photo gallery 22-23 BOSS HOGG OUTLAWZ
24-26 lil peace OZONE
My 2 Cents
A Guest Editorial by Matt Sonzala
here’s not too many real music conferences left. Sure, we see the ads and get the emails for pseudo conferences where hustlers who have barely made it themselves attempt to wrangle money from every starving rapper in the country in the name of “education” and “promotion.” We’ve all been to these pseudo events and sat in these pseudo panels where “managers” and “label execs” complain about never getting their just due and tell the people what they are doing wrong, rather than what they could be doing right. Later that night we see a bunch of no-name artists who paid to perform get on stage and rap over their shitty sounding CDs through mics that barely work. The whole time, we’re hoping that the advertised headliner actually shows up. For so many people, this game is a hustle. The hustlers focus on getting money by any means necessary, fuck anything else. The music is secondary to so many people in this industry. People have been saying that sort of shit about South By Southwest for years. But, twenty-one years later, the conference is still standing and it’s bigger than ever. It’s known as the #1 music conference and festival in the world. No one, nowhere, does it as big, and I would venture to say that there is no single music event in the world that combines as many artists from different genres, backgrounds, regions, countries and lifestyles than South By Southwest. People who hate on it generally are mad because they weren’t included. But those who are included know that whether they invested their time, art, money and/ or energy in the event, it was all well spent. SXSW attracts music business professionals and artists from all over the world to the small town of Austin, in the middle of the big state of Texas. It’s a place where you can see up and coming rock, rap, jazz, techno, blues, funk, world, country, and more bands performing side by side on up to 100 stages, mostly within walking distance of each other. I’ve been going to the conference since 1990. I was a teenager and would head to Austin in a car full of dudes with no money, no hotel, no pass for the events, just the hopes to see and hear some incredible music and to be turned on to something I had never seen before. Back then I’d see groups like the Ultramagnetic MC’s and Decadent Dub Team up next to big name rock acts and thought to myself, “Damn, this is like the ultimate promotions experience.” It was right up my alley. I love all sorts of music and this is one place where you can see it all. A few years later, in 1993, I was approached by a man named Andre Walker. He was programming a
couple Hip Hop showcases for SXSW and he asked me to host and help book the shows. We had acts like the Odd Squad, K-Otix, Blac Moncs, Gravediggaz, Mad Flava, ESG, Big Mello and Erykah Badu before she was ever signed grace the stage. From then until 1996 I helped him in whatever way I could, because I knew that there was a place for real Hip Hop in this massive event. Back then the number of events was a lot smaller, but the crowds were huge, starving for the newest sounds in Hip Hop. I left Texas in 1996 and moved around a bit until the end of 2001, when I returned to Houston. I had attended SXSW pretty much every year with a press pass, covering it for magazines like Murder Dog and the Illinois Entertainer, but only saw a smattering of Hip Hop. It was in mid-2003 that I made a cold call to the conference offices and was connected to Craig Stewart, who is featured in this special edition of OZONE. I said “What if I could bring you all of the prominent rap artists in Texas to one stage at one time? Houston rap is about to blow up and I think it needs to be showcased at SXSW.” He asked me who I had in mind and of course I named Swisha House, Bun B, Chamillionaire, and a few others. Craig said, “You can do that? If you can get those artists, I’ll give you a venue.” And a beautiful partnership was formed. That year we did a huge showcase that featured all the aforementioned artists and Dizzee Rascal from London. I saw similarities between the independent scenes in London and Houston and wanted to bridge that gap. Since then, Dizzee has recorded with UGK and the Grit Boys and a great bridge was formed. I was asked to bring Hip Hop again the next year, and it’s been growing ever since. This year we have almost 150 acts representing Hip Hop in all its forms. UGK, DSR, Trae, Sage Francis, Whut it Dew Family, Money Waters, Nayrok, Studemont Project, Deaf in the Family, Devin the Dude, Public Enemy, X-Clan, The Pack and The Federation to name just a few. Each of those artists represents something radically different, and you can see them all between March 13th - 18th in Austin, Texas. It’s a lot of work, a few headaches, a couple of conflicts and a lot of fun. I’m glad that you, the reader, found your way down to Austin this year and can have as good a time as me. If not more.
OG Ron C W By Matt Sonzala
ho’s OG Ron C? Where do you come from? I come from Houston, TX. I’ve been responsible for a few things. I helped Michael Watts kick off the Swisha House stuff as some of you might know. I did radio. I’m just trying to hold down the Screw thing right now, make sure the Screw Music keep going. I got a record label called OG Ron C’s Platinum Sounds; I signed 5050 Twin that used to be in the Color Changing Click. I signed Khujo Goodie from the Goodie Mob, we’re doing a joint venture with his record label for his project. Also I got the Wreckin’ Yard, and another guy out of Atlanta called DJ Styles. I’m working on signing an R&B girl by the name of Tye. A lot of people have heard her sing at the Red Cat Café. Who all is the Wreckin’ Yard? Mr. Kaila, Big Nik and Kool Rod, G. Miller. It’s a few friends of mine from school, and we all got together right after I left Swisha House in 2002. The F-Action CDs have been big for you. People really love your slowed down R&B mixes. Yeah, that’s probably my claim to fame now, but some of my best titles that do good on a yearly basis are Spring Break, After the Kappa, well it’s called After Daytona now, and my Grind Mode CD’s and my Breakin’ Shit series. My Breakin’ Shit series are really for those artists that don’t got that record deal and they trying to get on. Their music might be a little homegrown, so I got a series for them. There’s a place for everybody with OG Ron C. This is my 20th year DJing. I’m doing a 5-box set for the F-Action 50. One gonna consist of a F-Action Greatest Hits. I took a little vote on MySpace about what songs people think I did the hardest so I let people choose that one. Of course it’s gonna have a 70s, 80s, 90s and a present disc. Just like when we did the 4-disc set for F-Action 40. We got a DVD too. We gonna do it big for that F-Action 50. 50? The fiftieth??? Who are some of the people you’ve worked with and seen come up on the Breakin’ Shit CDs? Man, Granddaddy Souf, he did the last one. I love working with him. He’s one of the artists that I think hasn’t been getting that chance. And other artists like Casino Mob, Kottonmouth, and DSR were on Breakin’ Shit. I had Kiotti on Breakin’ Shit. I had Chamillion[aire] and Paul Wall on the first Breakin’ Shits. I done had Lil Flip
on it. They workin’, I guess you could say. They servin’ they purpose. It’s those artists that you don’t hear on the radio but I feel that they had good music. Just because they couldn’t afford that $85 an hour studio with that mic compression that sounds so wonderful, some of them take it to a different level. I feel like everybody deserves a chance. That’s what my conference is about. Everybody wants to deal with you once you get one step up or something. I wanna deal with you when you’re on the ground. You’re doing a live set at SXSW. What can we expect to hear from you? I’m getting back into DJing at parties. I went from DJing parties to being a stage DJ to being a tour DJ, I want to go back to actually rockin’ a party. That’s what you can expect to see from OG Ron C. We gonna try to “reinvent ourselves.” I got that from an old school DJ homeboy of mine, D-Nice, y’all might know him if he’s old school. Some real live words. Tell me about the music conference you have coming up. The conference is March 29th – 31st at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Houston. It’s gonna be real big. We got a lot of folks coming in. I know a lot of people think conferences are all about money, but this conference is free for all those who come from out of town and stay at the Hyatt Regency. It’s $50 for people inside of Houston, for the whole conference the whole weekend. We gonna show you how to get this money. From no money. I’m gonna have a 20th Anniversary Party on that Friday. I’m having music and comedy showcases and a fashion show. As far as comedians, I got Michael Collier, he did the movie Norbit with Eddie Murphy. I got D. Ellis, Hope Flood and Ali. I got Killer Mike, Da Franchise Boyz, Yung Joc and the whole Block Entertainment, Southern Gurl, Trae, he’s a featured artist along with the Grit Boys and Moufs of da Souf, Tony Neal, he’s the president of the Core DJ’s, DJ Jelly from Atlanta, Mr. Pookie & Mr. Lucci, and Pitbull. Those are the artists for the artist panel. I got press from all over, so I’m trying to give access to my peoples and my fans. I got music directors, I got Mac Payne coming in. There’s a lot of people coming in. I’m filming a reality show too, called Life Of A Celebrity DJ. //
For more information, visit www.ogronchoustonmusicconference.com
AUSTIN PHOTO GALLERY 1. Black Mike and Kiotti 2. Carnival Beats 3. DJ Chill and DJ Princess Cutt at Spirros 4. Chingo Bling & Tomar Williams of Carnival Beats 5. DJ Bounz 6. DJ 2DQ, South Paw, Chico Rico, and Jamie Lee 7. Chamillionaire at Hot 93.3 Winter Meltdown 8. Axiel and Black Mike in Austin 9. Black Mike, Chingo Bling, and Chalie Boy 10. Chalie Boy at Hot 93.3 Winter Meltdown 11. Eddie Deville and Stunna Man at The Parish 12. Frankie J 13. DJ Rapid Ric & Chalie Boy at Hot 93.3 Winter Meltdown 14. Gerald G and Black Mike performing live at The Parish 15. DJ Ebonix and Matt Sonzala 16. Chamillionaire at Hot 93.3 Winter Meltdown 17. Chingo Bling - They Canâ€™t Deport Us All 18. DJ Grip at The Parish 19. DJ Hella Yella 20. Chamillionaire at The Austin Music Hall for the Hot 93.3 Winter Meltdown 21. KJ Hines Photos by Luxury Mindz
rapid ric Y By Matt Sonzala
ou’re not originally from Austin, but you’ve been there for quite some time and have probably been to a lot of South By Southwests. How has it changed? There’s a lot more appreciation for the Hip Hop shows now. SXSW used to be more known for rock and indie and weird stuff and country and it’s just great that SXSW and the city in general has embraced Hip Hop. That’s one of the biggest changes. For a lot of the local artists who may not have been mentioned before, they have more of a spotlight to do their thing. It makes them work harder and gives them a great outlet. Do you benefit from SXSW? Every year I’ve done it has definitely benefited me just because Austin is such an important music city for so many reasons. SXSW is a cool way to get that audience, who normally don’t go to Hip Hop shows to be exposed to new Hip Hop. In the past few years you’ve become known as one of the hottest DJs in the south. I know the Whut it Dew mixtapes have been a big thing for you, but you’re working on a label now too. Yeah. Me, Bavu Blakes and a few other people have teamed up to start a record label called Dew Music. It’s a way of graduating from the mixtape game into the album game. When I first started doing mixtapes, I was doing them because not a lot of people were doing them and putting a lot of time into them and putting the music I wanted to hear on them. When the mixtape thing became hotter and people started seeing mixtape DJs become somewhat celebrities, everybody did it and it kind of made the game saturated. Now, once again, I have to figure out some kind of cool, creative thing to do with music that everyone else isn’t doing. I’m involved in the production from start to finish and it’s giving me the chance to become an artist. but I’m also engineering the project and getting musicians and becoming something like a Quincy Jones or a DJ Premier or Hi-Tek rather than just a mixtape DJ. We have Gerald G, Black Mike, Bavu and myself and we are still affiliated with the Whut it Dew Family of Chalie Boy, Magno and Da Ryno. Has DJ Drama’s situation affected you at all? Naw, I don’t think so. I still haven’t seen the dust completely settle so I can’t say what happened, but it hasn’t affected me in any way and I don’t think it will affect Drama in any way but positive just because a lot of people know who he is now. I haven’t received any phone calls or emails or letters [from the RIAA] like other DJs.
Tell me a little bit about your artists. Bavu Blakes is one of the first dudes who ever started rapping on my tapes. The kind of bond we had music wise and business wise and friendship wise it was almost necessary for us to get together and do this. We’ve always seen eye to eye on a bunch of different things. He recruited other artists like Gerald G and Black Mike, and he also does a bunch of production. He produced Lil O’s album, “I Do,” and he’s got a couple joints on the new Mike Jones album. He did a song for Plies. Him being a factor, not only as a rapper but also in the production, it made us want to work with him. These are two of the first people I ever seriously wanted to work with really heavy. They’re both young and filled with a lot of passion for the stuff. Who all have you DJed for? I’ve been on the road overseas and in Canada with Devin the Dude, Chamillionaire, and Slim Thug. It’s great getting a check with those big artists and that touring helps with my DJ gigs. I use it to my advantage. Every dollar I make off these DJ gigs I put back into making my album pop off. It’s great having all these resources. When you go overseas where are they most receptive to Southern music? Paris, Norway, the UK, and Amsterdam, but the most receptive is Paris. A lot of the young folks over there are into Hip Hop more than everything else. They’re all about Hip Hop: neosoul, harder stuff, Texas stuff, weird, obscure underground stuff, and they have all their own music as well. It’s huge. Paris is a place I’d like to go back to cause I see a lot of potential to make some moves there. Like Texas, France has its own Hip Hop scene. Musically they’re always doing their own thing, like the South is. Where were the biggest shows you’ve DJed? The shows with Chamillionaire were all in big arenas, and the Quart Festival in Norway was insane. We went on with Slim Thug and then Kanye West went back on after that. The biggest crowds I saw was me coattailing on other artists’ sets. I can put together a DJ set for people who don’t get to hear Texas music on one big stage, and the parties are cool.
For more info visit www.mixtapemechanic.com
SXSW Hotels DOWNTOWN
01. Courtyard Marriott Downtown 02. DoubleTree Club University 03. DoubleTree Guest Suites 04. Driskill Hotel 05. Embassy Suites Downtown 06. Four Seasons 07. Hampton Inn & Suites 08. Hilton Austin Convention Ctr 09. Hilton Garden Inn (Capitol Pl) 10. Holiday Inn Town Lake 11. Hyatt Regency 12. InterContinental S.F. Austin 13. La Quinta Capitol 14. Mansion at Judges Hill 15. Omni Downtown 16. Radisson Town Lake C. 17. Residence Inn Downtown 18. Sheraton Austin
19. Americaâ€™s Best Value (Quality) 20. Best Western Airport 21. Clarion Inn & Suites 22. Comfort Suites Airport Austin 23. Country Inn & Suites North 24. Courtyard Marriott Airport 25. Courtyard Marriott Central 26. Courtyard Marriott South 27. Crowne Plaza 28. DoubleTree Hotel 29. Drury Inn & Suites North 30. Embassy Suites North 31. Fairfield Inn South 32. Hampton Inn & Suites Airport 33. Hampton Inn South 34. Hilton Airport Hotel 35. Holiday Inn Express - North 36. Holiday Inn Express 37. Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel 38. La Quinta Airport Austin 39. La Quinta Austin North 40. La Quinta Ben White 41. La Quinta Oltorf 42. Marriott Austin South 43. Omni Southpark 44. Radisson North 45. Ramada Limited North 46. Ramada North Central 47. Springhill Suites Marriott 48. Wyndham Garden
300 E. Fourth, 512-236-8008 1617 N. I-35, 512-479-4000 303 W. 15th, 512-478-7000 Sixth & Brazos, 512-474-5911 300 S. Congress, 512-469-9000 98 San Jacinto, 512-478-4500 200 San Jacinto, 512-472-1500 500 E. Fourth, 512-482-8000 Fifth & I-35, 512-480-8411 20 N. I-35, 512-472-8211 208 Barton Springs Rd., 512-477-1234 Seventh & Congress, 512-457-8800 300 E. 11th, 512-476-1166 1900 Rio Grande, 512-495-1800 Seventh & San Jacinto, 512-476-3700 Chavez & Congress, 512-478-9611 300 E. Fourth, 512-472-5553 701 E. 11th, 512-478-1111
909 E. Koenig Lane, 512-452-4200 2751 Hwy. 71 East 2200 S. I-35, 512-444-0561 7501 E. Ben White, 512-386-6000 7400 N. I-35, 512-380-0008 7809 E. Ben White, 512-386-7464 5660 N. I-35, 512-458-2340 4533 S. I-35, 512-912-1122 6121 N. I-35, 512-371-5243 6505 N. I-35, 512-374-4853 6711 N. I-35, 512-467-9500 5901 N. I-35, 512-454-8004 4525 S. I-35, 512-707-8899 7712 E. Riverside, 512-389-1616 4141 Governors Row, 512-442-4040 9515 New Airport Dr., 512-385-6767 8500 N. I-35, 512-821-0707 7501 E. Ben White, 512-386-7600 7800 N. I-35, 512-836-8520 7625 E. Ben White, 512-386-6800 7622 N. I-35, 512-467-1701 4200 S. I-35, 512-443-1774 Oltorf & S. I-35, 512-447-6661 4415 S. I-35, 512-441-7900 4140 Governors Row, 512-448-2222 6000 Middle Fiskville, 512-451-5757 9121 N. I-35, 512-836-0079 919 E. Koenig Lane, 512-454-1144 4501 S. I-35, 512-441-8270 3401 S. I-35, 512-448-2444
SXSW Music Festival Venue List 01. The Ale House // 310 E. Sixth (alley) • 21+ 02. Antone’s // 213 W. Fifth • All Ages 03. Austin Music Hall // 500 E. Cesar Chavez • All Ages 04. BD Riley’s // 204 E. Sixth • 21+ 05. Beauty Bar (2 venues) // 617 E. Seventh • 21+ 06. Beerland // 711 1/2 Red River • 21+ 07. Blender Bar at the Ritz // 320 E. Sixth • 21+ 08. Bourbon Rocks // 508 E. Sixth • 21+ 09. Buffalo Billiards // 201 E. Sixth • 21+ 10. Carver Museum // 165 Angelina • All Ages 11. Cedar Street Courtyard // 208 W. Fourth • 21+ 12. Central Presbyterian // 200 E. Eighth • All Ages 13. Club de Ville // 900 Red River • 21+ 14. Club One 15 // 115 San Jacinto • 21+ 15. Continental Club // 1315 S. Congress • 21+ 16. Co-Op Bar // 400 E. Sixth • 21+ 17. Copa // 217 N. Congress • 21+ 18. Creekside EMC at the Hilton // 500 N. I-35 • 18+ 18. 18th Floor at the Hilton // 500 N. I-35 • 18+ 19. Dirty Dog Bar // 505 E. Sixth • 21+ 20. Elephant Room // 315 Congress • 21+ 21. Elysium // 705 Red River • 21+ 22. Emo’s (3 venues) // 603 Red River • All Ages 23. Emo’s Annex // 600 Red River • All Ages 24. Eternal // 418 E. Sixth • 21+ 25. Exodus // 302 E. Sixth • 21+ 26. Flamingo Cantina // 515 E. Sixth • 18+ 27. 401 Guadalupe // 401 Guadalupe • 18+ 28. Friends // 208 E. Sixth • 21+ 29. Habana Calle 6 (2 venues) // 709 E. Sixth • 21+ 30. Habana Calle 6 Annex // 708 E. Sixth • 21+ 31. The Hideout // 617 Congress • All Ages 32. Jovita’s // 1617 S. First • All Ages 33. Karma Lounge // 119 W. Eighth • 21+ 34. La Zona Rosa // 612 W. Fourth • All Ages 35. Lambert’s // 401 W. Second • 21+ 36. Latitude 30 // 512 San Jacinto • 21+ 37. Lava Lounge Patio // 405 E. Seventh • 18+ 38. Light Bar // 408 Congress • 21+ 39. Maggie Mae’s (2 venues) // 323 E. Sixth • 21+ 40. Mohawk (2 venues) // 912 Red River • All Ages 41. Molotov Lounge // 719 W. Sixth • 21+
42. Momo’s // 618 W. Sixth • 18+ 43. Opal Divine // 700 W Sixth • 21+ (all ages Wed) 44. The Parish (2 venues) // 214 E Sixth • All Ages 45. Red 7 (2 venues) // 611 E. Seventh • All Ages 46. Red Eyed Fly // 715 Red River • 18+ 47. Redrum // 401 Sabine • All Ages 48. The Rio // 301 San Jacinto • 21+ 49. Room 710 // 710 Red River • 21+ 50. Soho Lounge // 217 E. Sixth • 21+ 51. Spiro’s (2 venues) // 615 Red River • 18+ 52. Stubb’s // 801 Red River • All Ages 53. The Tap Room at Six // 117 W. Fourth • 21+ 54. Uncle Flirty’s Loft // 325 E. Sixth • 21+ 55. Visions // 614 E. Sixth • 18+ 56. Whisky Bar // 303 W. Fifth • 21+ 57. Zero Degrees // 405 E. Seventh • 18+ DS. SESAC Day Stage Cafe // Austin Convention Center • All Ages TL. SXSW Dew Music Fest at Town Lake// 500 W. Riverside • All Ages OZONE
Tuesday March 13th George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center – 1165 Angelina – All Ages 5:30 – 6:15 p.m. – Matt Sonzala of HoustonSoReal Interviews Chamillionaire 6:30 – 7:00 p.m. – Chamillionaire Performs (Houston, TX) 7:20 – 7:50 p.m. – Gutta Gang (Austin, TX) 8:10 p.m. – Cyrill Neville & Tribe 13 (New Orleans, LA / Austin, TX)
Wednesday March 14th
HIP HOP SHOWCASES
Visions - 614 East 6th Street – 18+ 1:00 – 2:00 a.m. – Devin the Dude (Houston, TX) 12:30 – 1:00 a.m. – Coughee Brothaz/14K/ Rob Quest of the Odd Squad (Houston, TX) 11:45 – 12:25 a.m. – Evidence of Dilated Peoples (Los Angeles, CA) 11:00 – 11:30 p.m. – Kidz In Da Hall (Chicago, IL) 10:30 – 10:55 – K-Rino & The South Park Coalition (Houston, TX) 10:05 – 10:20 – KJ Hines (Austin, TX) 9:45 – 10:00 – Public Offenders (Austin, TX) 9:15 – 9:30 – Lower Life Form (Houston, TX) 8:45 – 9:00 – Southern Intellect (Houston, TX) 8:00 – 8:45 –DJs Domo & Good Grief of the Coughee Brothaz (Houston, TX) Hosted by Matt Sonzala of HoustonSoReal Zero Degrees - 405 E 7th St - 18+ 1:15 - 2:00 a.m. - Kev Brown (Baltimore, MD) 12:25 - 1:00 a.m. - Oddissee (Philadelphia, PA) 11:30 - 12:15 a.m. - Trek Life (Los Angeles, CA) 10:50 - 11:20 p.m. - Faculty (Oxnard, CA) 10:00 - 10:40 p.m. - Classified (Halifax, NS) 9:25 - 9:55 p.m. - Omni (Los Angeles, CA) 8:40 - 9:15 p.m. - Jern Eye (Oakland, CA) 8:00 p.m. - Scratch Bastid (Montreal, QC)
Thursday March 15th Club One15 – 115 San Jacinto St. – 21+ 1:15 – 2:00 a.m. – Billy Cook (Houston, TX) 12:30 – 1:00 a.m. – D-Madness (Austin, TX) 11:45 – 12:15 p.m. – Keite Young (Ft. Worth, TX) 11:00 – 11:30 p.m. – Ter’ell Shahid (Austin, TX) 10:00 – 10:45 p.m.- Carmen Rodgers & Geno Young (Dallas, TX) 9:15 – 9:45 p.m. - W. Ellington Felton (Washington, DC) 8:30 – 9:00 p.m. – Nuwamba (Ft. Worth, TX) Hosted by Mr. Blakes, DJ For Night Frances Jay of Neo Soul Cafe Zero Degrees – 405 East 7th Street – 18+ 12:00 – 12:45 a.m. Chingo Bling featuring Stunta, Lucky Luciano, Coast & Jezufavio 11:25 – 11:45 p.m. - Play-N-Skillz (Irving, TX) 11:05 – 11:25 p.m. – Reyez (Irving, TX) 10:50 – 11:05 p.m. – Lumba (Dallas, TX) 10:15 – 10:45 p.m.- Rob G. (Houston, TX) 9:45 – 10:00 p.m. - J. Kapone (Austin, TX) 9:15 – 9:30 p.m. – D of Carnival Beats (Austin, TX) 8:30 – 9:00 p.m. - Juan Gotti (Houston, TX) Hosted by Paul Saucido of ME Television
Copa – 217 Congress Ave. – 21+ 1:00 – 2:00 a.m. – C-Mon & Kypski (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 12:15 – 12:45 a.m. - Cadence Weapon (Edmonton, AB, Canada) 11:30 – 12:00 a.m. - Chris Lee (Oslo, Norway) 11:00 – 11:25 p.m. - El Axel (Oslo, Norway) 10:00 – 10:45 p.m. – Grand Analog (Winnipeg, MB, Canada) 9:15 – 9:45 p.m. Monster Maker (Washington, DC) 8:30 – 9:00 p.m. C-Rayz Walz (Bronx, NY) 8:00 p.m. DJ Spinner T and DJ Crop Diggie of the Superstardjs (Austin TX) Fox & Hound – 401 Guadalupe St. – 18+ 1:00 – 2:00 a.m. – UGK (Port Arthur, TX) 12:15 – 1:00 a.m. – UGK Records Featuring ??? 11:30 – 12:00 a.m. – Boss Hogg Outlawz (Houston, TX) 10:45 – 11:15 p.m. – Willie D Introducing Huntzville (Houston, TX) 10:25 – 10:40 p.m. – Xxzotic (Little Rock, AR) 10:10 – 10:20 p.m. – Moufs of da Souf (Houston, TX) 9:45 – 10:05 p.m. – KB da Kidnappa of Street Military (Houston, TX) 9:15 – 9:35 p.m. – Steve Austin (Dallas, TX) 8:45 – 9:00 p.m. – Saint (Houston, TX) 8:20 – 8:40 p.m. - Short, Bird Street, Mike Moe & DJ Wrecka of Beltway 8 (Houston, TX) DJs for the Night DJ Grip, DJ Since & Young Spinna
Friday March 16th Town Lake Stage at Auditorium Shores – All Ages 8:00 p.m. - Public Enemy (New York, NY) 6:45 p.m. - Ozomatli (Los Angeles, CA) 6:00 p.m. – X-Clan Beauty Bar Patio – 617 E. 7th St. – 21+ 1:15 – 2:00 a.m. - The Federation (Oakland, CA) 12:30 – 1:00 a.m. – Balance (Oakland, CA) 12:00 – 12:25 a.m. – The Pack (San Francisco, CA) 11:30 – 11:55 p.m. – Saafir (Oakland, CA) 11:00 – 11:25 p.m. – Rico Pabon (Los Angeles, CA) 10:30 – 10:50 p.m. – Qualo (Chicago, IL) 10:00 – 10:20 p.m. – Roxy Cottontail (New York, NY) 9:30 – 9:50 p.m. – Wale (Washngton, DC) 9:00 – 9:30 p.m. – Doujah Raze (Brooklyn, NY) 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. - DJ For Night – Nick Catchdubs (New York, NY) Beauty Bar - 617 E 7th St. - 21+ BIZ 3 Publicity and Kork 1:10 - 2:00 a.m. - Kid Sister (Chicago, IL) 12:10 - 1:10 a.m. - A-Trak (Montreal, QC) 11:30 - 12:00 a.m. - Yo Majesty (Tampa, FL) 10:40 - 11:15 p.m. - Bondo do Role (Sao Paolo, Brazil) 9:45 - 10:30 p.m. - Flosstradamus (Chicago, IL) 8:55 - 9:30 p.m. - CX Kidtronik (Chicago, IL) 8:00 - 8:55 p.m. - The Rub (New York, NY) Visions - 614 East 6th Street – 18+ 12:00 – 2:00 a.m. – MTV & Mountain Dew: artists TBA 11:30 – 12:00 a.m. - Rapid Ric’s Whut it Dew Family (Austin/Houston, TX) 10:55 – 11:25 p.m. – Houston North Side All Stars (Houston, TX) 10:25 – 10:50 p.m. – Money Waters (Dallas, TX)
10:00 – 10:20 p.m. – VIP, (Austin, TX) 9:35 – 9:55 p.m. – MC Fatal, (Austin, TX) 9:00 – 9:30 p.m. – DJ Chill Presents Chill Factor Music (Houston, TX) 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. - Host and DJ for night - OG Ron C Zero Degrees – 405 East 7th Street – 18+ 8:00 – 8:25 p.m. – Zeale 32 (Austin, TX) 8:30 – 8:55 p.m. – Perceph1 (Houston, TX)
Saturday March 17th Club One15 - 115 San Jacinto St. – 21+ 1:00 – 2:00 a.m. – Dirty Wormz (Austin, TX) 12:00 – 12:40 a.m. – Nayrok (Dallas, TX) 11:00 – 11:40 p.m. – Peekaboo Theory (Houston, TX) 10:15 – 10:45 p.m. – Purple Crush (New York, NY) 9:45 – 10:10 p.m. – Deaf in the Family (New York, NY) 9:00 – 9:30 p.m. – Studemont Project (Houston, TX) 8:00 – 8:40 p.m. – Dujeous (New York, NY) Flamingo Cantina - 515 E 6th St - 18+ 1:00 - 2:00 a.m. - Lee “Scratch” Perry (Kingston, Jamaica) 12:15 - 12:55 a.m. - Grimy Styles (Austin, TX) 11:45 - 12:05 a.m. - Brother Ali (Minneapolis, MN) 11:15 - 11:40 p.m. - Lethal Bizzle (London, UK) 10:15 - 10:55 p.m. - Mau Mau Chaplains (Austin, TX) 9:15 - 9:55 p.m. - Joseph Isreal (Fayetteville, AR) 8:15 - 8:55 p.m. - Rocky Dawuni (Accra, CA) 7:45 - 8:15 p.m. and throughout night - DJ Queen Majesty (New York, NY) Zero Degrees – 405 East 7th Street – 18+ TheScrewShop.com 10 Year Anniversary 1:20 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. – Trae (Houston, TX) 12:50 a.m. – 1:10 a.m. - Carnival Beats (Austin, TX) 12:35 a.m. – 12:50 a.m. – Basswood Lane (Austin, TX) 12:15 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. – Grit Boys (Houston, TX) 11:55 p.m. – 12:10 a.m. – Sparkdawg (Killeen, TX) 11:35 p.m. – 11:50 p.m. – Dok Holiday & Set 4 Life (Austin, TX) 11:15 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. – South Bound (Austin, TX) 10:55 p.m. – 11:10 p.m. – Ryno (Austin, TX) 10:35 p.m. – 10:50 p.m. – Big Sid (San Angelo, TX) 10:15 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. – Circle G’z (Houston, TX) Hosted by Tosin of thescrewshop.com 10:00 p.m. DJ Bounz – And DJ for the night Visions - 614 East 6th Street – 18+ Dallas Night Presented by OZONE Mag & Urban South 1:15 – 2:00 a.m. - Big Tuck, Tum Tum & DSR (Dallas, TX) 1:00 – 1:10 a.m. - T. Balla (Dallas, TX) 12:45 – 12:55 a.m. - M. Dot (Dallas, TX) 12:20 – 12:40 a.m. - Big Chief (Dallas, TX) 12:00 – 12:15 a.m. - Gator Mayne (Dallas, TX) 11:30 – 11:50 p.m. – Kottonmouth (Dallas, TX) 11:00 – 11:20 p.m. - Mr. Pookie & Mr. Lucci (Dallas, TX) 10:40 – 10:55 p.m. – Lil Peace (Dallas, TX) 10:15 – 10:35 p.m. - Big Ben (Dallas, TX) 9:30 – 10:00 p.m. - PPT (Dallas, TX) 8:45 – 9:15 p.m. – Verbal Seed (Dallas, TX) 8:00 – 8:30 p.m. – Thesis (Dallas, TX) DJ for the night – DJ Drop (Dallas, TX)
For information on all of the showcases including even more Hip Hop go to www.sxsw.com
SXSW Music Festival founder
his year SXSW has over 1400 acts playing. Has South By Southwest always been this big? An “act” is insincere by definition. We have 1500+ bands and solo artists playing. It’s mostly real shit but there’s some corny crap; that’s life. We try to avoid “acts,” unless their fans got crazy money. Just what is South By Southwest? It’s my 9th year planning and booking and I have no idea. It’s like an atomic smart bomb of artistry. An artistically overrated city like Austin getting mobbed by crazy shit from all over the world in 5 days. I love it. It’s like a smack in the face. But I hate that I don’t get to witness most of it, cause I have to work and run around and put out fires all night, every night. What exactly do you do? I run this shit! Ha, no, I book a lot of the music festival with my great friends and colleagues like Cathy, Todd, Darin, and others – we couldn’t do this huge shit storm without each other. Why did you decide to bring in so much Texas Hip Hop to the conference? Because we love it, and it’s embedded in this region and America and the world. And mostly because “someone” reached out four years back, to pump it up like never before. We have over 100 rap artists for 2007, and UGK is playing SXSW this year. That makes me almost faint, seeing that shit in our schedule. 20
By Matt Sonzala How do you feel when people stereotype the conference as a rock event? There’s lots of different styles represented at SXSW each year. Parts of the industry will always focus on rock, and some labels only put promo money into rock bands, even when they have a diverse roster. But fuck ‘em, man, in 2007 you can’t label any city, event or era one genre. We’re at war, and whatever rock is in 2007 is not going to get me through the day. I wanna hear some Terry Riley, Betty Davis, Fleetwood Mac, Devin the Dude, Wire, KB, Dead C, Z-Ro, Reigning Sound, Bun B. Yeah, looking at our schedule, we have a bunch of rock. But c’mon, fuck with us. You’re also a musician. Can you tell me a bit about your band Rubble, your solo jams, the Yella Album and Emperor Jones Records? Rubble is in litigation, so no comment. The Yella Album will be like the bearded opiate version of Boosie’s Bad Azz when it drops. My label Emperor Jones is going on 12 years now and my SXSW duties forced it to being a side thing, which is fine, fuck the game. My focus is on vinyl lately. There’s too many CDs out there. I put out an Ill Tactics 12” last year that featured Lil Keke, very limited. And I’m looking to put out more rap. Just things that I like and feel are unique. Who are you most looking forward to seeing this year? Jandek. But a lot of live music is very disappointing. At the end of the day I just wanna bang my Screw. //
will hustle W
By Matt Sonzala
Will Hustle By Matt Sonzala
here’d you get the name Will Hustle? How’s it relate to who you are? When I came up with the name I told all my fam. Everybody was like, “Nigga, that fits you. Run with it.” I’m known all over the country for all my hustles. My motto is MASH: Maintain All Sorts of Hustles. I got that shit tatted on me. I don’t talk this shit, I live this shit. I will hustle. What’s your main hustle? I know you do DVDs and manage artists. My hustle is maintaining all sorts of hustles. I am a music mogul. Whether it’s music, media or fashion, this is my passion. I’m in this to be in the history books. The industry is shook right now. I plan on changing the game. I can show you better than I can tell you. Just keep watching me like Z-Ro and Trae say. Right now Will Hustle Multimedia is my bread winner. My DVDs are like cable in the hood. Boys be watching my shit over and over again. We are about to do some major branding through Will Hustle TV with major companies in ‘07. A lot of major people came and hollered at us after what we did for the Da Bomb Blunts. The DVDs, mixtape promotions, and marketing are all under Will Hustle Multimedia. I created it just so I could make my own lane for my record label Set For Life. It’s so many dead weight fuck niggas in the rap game taking up space I had to do something to stand out. This is chess not checkers. How is the independent rap scene in Austin? The indie game is wide open right now with all the Houston artists going major. The underground is wide open. All of Texas is looking for that new sound. It’s funny cause I saw this shit coming in 2001. I met T.I and Jason Geter, and Geter asked me what the Texas scene was like and ask about Paul, Flip, Slim, all the niggas making noise. I told him, “In about five years all y’all niggas will be major and y’all will leave the underground to a nigga like me.” Look at all them niggas now; they’re on top of the world. Set For Life, we don’t worry about just Austin that’s why we are so big outside of Austin. We are killing the underground. Next year at SXSW, we will have major deals on the table. You’ve got radio stations, retail outlets, a TV station, and newspapers that cover local rap artists. Do people in Austin listen to Austin rap? Hell yeah. Austin listens to Austin now more than ever. A couple of years ago if you weren’t from Houston, you weren’t selling shit. But that all has changed. Austin wants to see someone
from Austin blow just like Houston did. It’s really due to the talent down here. Boys got an original sound and it’s a nationwide sound that has the ability to crossover just like the ATL sound did. Robert Gabriel is holding down the movement with his articles in The Chronicle. Steve Savage and 88.7 has had our back since day one, but that’s only on the weekend. As far as corporate radio, the DJs help as much as they can, but the powers that be don’t give a fuck about us. I used to get mad about them not playing us, but it’s not going to stop our movement. We running the underground. Austin rap is popping all over Texas. We are ‘bout to blow, so soon they are going to have to play us. That’s just how radio works. Shout out to all the DJs. We got other options: clubs, mixtapes, they are holding us down. What releases have you put out? My nigga Dok Holiday is a legend around this bitch. He dropped a mixtape series called The Pre Season. Dok Holiday and PLA’s album will be out this summer. My Set For Life roster is crazy. We plan to drop albums like Master P in his prime. I hooked up with DJ Knowledge to do the Whata Hustla mixtape series. We flipped the Whattaburger Logo into Whata Hustla. It’s one of the hottest mixtapes out right now. Me and Ice Water put out the Kappa Bound DVD and Will Hustle TV Vol. 1 and 2 are in stores now. Will Hustle TV Vol. 3 will be out nationwide this April. When did you first come to SXSW? What does it mean to you as a man in the music business? I was raised in Austin so SXSW has always been around. It wraps up the end of the first quarter and gets you ready for Texas Relays and the summer. The panels are throwed; a lot of good game and education. Does it mean much to the Austin independent Hip Hop community? It helps a lot. I saw it come from barely no rap shows to having all Austin showcases. I would like to thank everybody who helps put these shows on. It’s a good look for the city.
For more info visit www.willhustle.com OZONE
chingo bling By Matt Sonzala
lot of people know you for the comedic side of your music, but on “Like This and Like That,” you’ve got a pretty serious political message running through it. There’s some humor in it but you’re saying a lot of deep stuff that people aren’t touching on right now. I knew I was up against that, and I know that I’m gonna have to fight that battle. Program Directors say, “Well, this isn’t anything like ‘Taco Shop.’ That did well for us. I don’t think this will work.” My main point is, I just cater to my core audience. If I feel like my audience is gonna allow me to show my versatility and my range, that’s all I care about. At the end of the day, I’m not out to please certain executives at certain networks or nothing like that. On the subject of immigration, plenty of people on the other side of the issue are speaking out on it, but on your side of the issue it doesn’t seem like a lot of people are speaking on it. Especially not in Hip Hop.
I think it’s my responsibility as an artist to do that, and it’s something that I feel in my heart. Shit, it’s something I gotta say. It affects us all and that’s my way of spreading a little information; just raising a little awareness, addressing it or just talking about it. Whether it’s with a little anger or a little satire or humor, I’m gonna get my point across. Do you think even mentioning George Bush could be dangerous for you as a business move? I mean, you see what happened to the Dixie Chicks. I think it’s a little different for them because of the way their whole career is. They’re signed to a big label. They’re out of a conservative scene like Nashville and for a long time they were just at the pinnacle. They were on top of their shit and they made certain comments overseas. They went to Great Britain or something and started bashing, whereas I do it through my art and I’ve always had this stance. It’s not like a night and
day thing where last week I was a Republican and I was answering to a label and I didn’t have creative control and all of a sudden I want to lash out in frustration. We’ve always done things our way and will continue to do so. If anything the danger lies more in saying some powerful shit that somebody doesn’t like. It’s equally as dangerous to not say anything. You’re right, but I think in the past with the civil rights movement and things like that, people took different approaches. Like Martin Luther King said, a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. That’s basically saying, “Hey man, by not doing anything you’re a part of it.” On “Like This and Like That” and in the video, you’re talking about the current state of immigration and especially how it affect Mexicans in our country. Well, on the song I’m talking about all kinds of stuff. I got the hustler’s perspective on there, and I’m flossin’ a little bit, because I’m not gonna be preachy on every bar. I just threw a little line or two in there. But the video, I think that kind of paints a picture, showing what an immigrant goes through and how a person could come to this country, really not hurting nobody, really just working. That’s really the main gist of the song. In terms of the movement, I’m not saying we deserve a little bit more respect, I just think that we need a little bit more understanding. There’s just not enough awareness out there. George Lopez is representing and we got a couple Mexicans on TV who every so often express themselves, but I just feel that we’re like the battery pack of America. We’re like a part of this Matrix where they want our money. Tthey wanna sell empanadas at McDonalds, they wanna sell tacos at Burger King, they want to target us on radio stations for advertising. Lincoln, Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, all these companies want to cater to us to get our money at the grocery store, but by the same token, [what would happen] if we really just took a day off like the way we were supposed to that one day, but no one did? Everybody was too scared. There’s not enough communication and organization within our community. But if we really did, the economy really would have taken a hit. Because guess what? All them people that work at them slaughterhouses, they wouldn’t have been there to kill them cows, which means there wouldn’t have been fresh meat for that day. Which means Jack In The Box would have been out of some hamburgers for like a week. That’s just the fast food industry. But we’re the ones picking the tomatoes, the strawberries, cotton, killin’ the cows at the slaughterhouse. Dangerous jobs. You might break your back or lose a 24
limb at one of them slaughterhouses. There’s pesticides being sprayed over the people like roaches because they live on the property and pick them fuckin’ vegetables. I mentioned what Kanye said [about George Bush not caring about black people] as well, and I basically said “Hey we Kanye, you got a point and we’re in the same boat.” We [Mexicans] make up a large part of the U.S. Army and the military. Basically, we’re here to catch some bullets and buy some empanadas at McDonalds. We’re the battery pack. Our stomachs are hooked up into the Matrix and we keep this bitch going. We keep the economy afloat and pay taxes. We don’t take advantage of all of the things that our taxes should go for, like health care. If you’re an immigrant, you get hurt and sometimes you’re scared to go to the hospital. Are you afraid that message could fall on deaf ears? Are you trying to open up some ears? Not too many other rap artists are speaking about those issues. I think there’s two things. You got the media, which really is just a function of distraction. They want to keep us dumb and worried about Anna Nicole Smith all day instead of worrying about the real facts. They call these people insurgents, when really they’re just immigrants. They don’t have no army. They’re just muthafuckers in some regular ass clothes with some guns trying to defend their house or whatever. So you’ve got the media as a big factor and also, the music industry really doesn’t nurture those type of stars. Back when Hip Hop was fresh and young and expectations weren’t the same, all these playlists and payola didn’t exist. All the shit that is wrong with the music industry, all the lawyers and bankers and accountants, hadn’t moved into these executive positions. You still had “music people” in high places. So a lot of artists feel like they might not have that outlet. They feel like, “Well if I do say some shit [about these issues] in my song, my label’s not gonna let me put it on a record anyway. If I submit all these songs, they’re gonna turn them down cause I mention certain things and they want to hear some more party tracks.” I’m not making excuses for no artist because at the end of the day, if you call yourself an artist, you call yourself Hip Hop, you’re supposed to do what’s in your heart and represent that way. None of that shit should affect you. Not no car, not no mansion, not no advance, and not no label is supposed to make you less of a man to where you can’t express yourself in this country. I said that on the intro of my song. I said, “Dear Uncle Sam in that white and green van, why you chase my daddy, huh? Why you make him ran? On the 25th of August 1969, daddy was focused on the grind. He headed to
H-Town [from Mexico] in an orange two-door ‘53 Belaire, a pound of grease in his hair. Yeah, he crossed with a trampoline, not with a passport. They asked him, ‘Did your ass learn English from the black folk?’ Thank God for his backstroke, I probably wouldn’t be here. Gave me free speech, talk shit about your speaker. Work in the gas tank, they’re looking for arrests. ‘You an American citizen boy?’ My Daddy said “Jess!’” You know he gave me free speech and at the end of the day, I’m a man. It’s my responsibility to say what I want to say. I just have that luxury because we’ve always done things our way and we’ve always found a way to get our music out to the people whether it’s through the internet or just driving around one or two deep in a vehicle and just posting up at mom and pop shops, or at the flea market.
people ain’t got no papers. If they just came from Guatemala and crossed three borders and jumped on five trains to get here, I’m not gonna belittle their fear [of being deported]. But what I’m saying is if we have a little unity, we can demand a little bit of respect because I feel like we’re second class citizens. Even the ones that are citizens, like my parents - they were naturalized and everything. Shit, we still feel second class like we’re in the back of the plane, no peanuts, and we’re just getting harassed. We’re sitting here in the back of the plane, cleaning it, gassing it up and keeping it going. And they like, “Get off the plane!” But we like, “Nigga, we gassed it up. We sitting here cleaning it, and we paid for the seats. We paying taxes for the seats but it’s like, ‘Get off the plane, we don’t want you.’”
A lot of companies talk about how they are starting a movement, but you seem to really be working to spark a movement here. I know your distributor is really big on movements. Do they understand yours? When Hip Hop started, people had no choice but to be innovative because we had to find ways to get reactions. You had to find a way. I don’t give a shit who you are, you had to do something original. Like LL Cool J, he said he was gonna be the young dude with the Kangol, take his shirt off and rap like this. Run-DMC brought the no laces thing. Everybody brought their own thing. Nowadays people want to call that a gimmick. Everyone wants to look like everyone else and talk about the same old shit. Nobody even has their own style, their own voice. Even with poetry, people say you gotta find your voice. You gotta find what you’re about. These days people aren’t about too much. I don’t feel like I’m the greatest rapper by no means, but I do feel like there is a lane for me and I do have something to say. Like our statement, “You Can’t Deport Us All.” You could wear that shirt in an airport, or you could wear it walking down the street and you’re gonna get a reaction from people. It’s gonna provoke thought. It’s gonna have people saying, “Oh, yes we can.” And, “Say it to my shotgun, boy.” Or “Man, that’s true.” You know, there’s really strength in numbers. There’s strength in unity and when we start to really think, “You know what, they probably really can’t.” Then we’re starting to call their bluff. It’s like, “Man you can’t deport us all. Dude, do you really want to deport us all? How many buses is it going to take and how logistically, who’s gonna build the fence and how much is it gonna cost and are we gonna be able to jump the fence again? How are you gonna go about rounding up everybody?” It’s not even possible. And the minute that we just snap out of that fear, you know, it’s a natural fear. Some
Well, America was originally founded by immigrants. Yeah, and I think if we looked the same as the people on the other side of the argument - let’s say the Irish - it would be different. When the Irish first came they went through some problems. They couldn’t get hired in Boston or anywhere in New England. Italians, Jews, they went through a lot of stuff. We’re all human but at the same time there’s gonna be divisions. Does that tone run through the album? Shit, I got all kinds of stuff on there, man. I been working with Salih and Carnival Beats, Tomar and them. They produced the bulk of the album, so it’s jammin’. You might hear a beat on there that’s kind of reminiscent of Wreck Shop and the “Barre Baby” days. Basically I’m touching on all kinds of stuff that just goes together. I feel like it’s more effective to throw a line or two [about immigration issues] in a crunk song or a line or two in a party song; make it fit in there cause you’re giving medicine mixed in with the honey. If you’re just preachin’, preachin’, preachin’ it turns people off sometimes. It reminds people of problems. But if you’re just jammin’ and you’re talking about all this other stuff and all of a sudden there’s a punchline at the end of a verse, they get the message. I’ve also got a few songs I did with Jim Jonsin. I have [a beat from] Daniel Cartel from New Orleans, he did “Slow Motion” with Juvenile and Soulja Slim. He’s actually Honduran and Nicaraguan as well. We got Shadow that used to be with Dope House. We got Smoke Beats from Corpus on a song that’s just silly as hell. Of course I got Trae on there, Lucky Luchiano, Stunta, Paul Wall, Coast, Paul Wall, Big Pokey, and even Fat Pat on a verse - we’re going back and forth on the hook. I’m really proud of it, man. The skits, everything. I got some funny little characters. // OZONE
not saying that [mixtape DJs] are getting rich off artists and the artist ain’t getting no benefits from it, but yeah, they’re getting paid. To me, doing a mixtape is like putting out an album. I might as well take those same rhymes and put it on some of my own beats and put a record out instead of paying for some street credibility that a nigga’s trying to sell me, telling me that this [mixtape] is what I need to make my album sell. If someone’s getting paid [off my mixtape], I want to get money too. If everybody can get paid, it’s a beautiful thing. But as soon as you put your rhymes over beats, it’s no longer a mixtape. It’s an independent album. What I propose is that mixtape DJs start hosting independent record releases. Instead of the rappers taking the small end of the money or no money at all and wait for the mixtape DJ to blow them up, why don’t the DJs take $5,000 or $10,000 and jump on these independent mixtapes and host them muthafuckers. They need to say “hosted by DJ so-and-so” now, because with the copyright game and the way the powers that be are playing dirty now, they can come get their houses and cars. Even with “for promo only” on it, it’s still copywritten music and they’re still going to 26
get sued. So we’ve gotta come up with new, creative ways to put this stuff out and still keep the same street flavor that we get out of mixtapes. DJs are gonna have to start doing mixtapes of their own music. That’s just the bottom line. If you’ve got a reputable artist that’s hot, it’s going to sell whether you use existing beats that’s already on the radio or brand new beats. People just want to hear these hot dudes rhyme and want to hear some new material cause everything is so watered down right now. In my case, I don’t have a publishing deal right now, so Jive doesn’t have jurisdiction on my income. But in most cases, the artists do have some type of deal with their label. At the end of the day it’s easier to give up [a freestyle] and still run with your business than it is when you’re dealing with total copyright infringement. I don’t buy mixtapes or listen to them. I like [artists like] Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne, but I ain’t never heard none of their mixtapes. I don’t participate in that shit. Do I think Jeezy would be where he’s at without his mixtapes? Hell yeah. The nigga is cold. Wayne is on top
of his game right now. That nigga ain’t gotta rap on other niggas’ beats just to get people to know that he can rap. He could take those same rhymes and put them on some indie shit on the site and get paid. Most of those independent [labels] are getting $7 or $8 per record, and a nigga like Jeezy right now can sell 50,000 independent records. Even if he just gets on a record and farts, we’re going to buy it. I think [the idea that artists need mixtapes to sell albums] is the attitude that these [DJs] want us to have.
And Jive ain’t on an island of their own. These muthafuckers [at all the record labels] were up there paying this dude [Drama] to do mixtapes on their artist. For a brand new artist that needs a street buzz and has never sold no records, that’s a great thing to do. Get them a DJ with a name, put a mixtape out, get people hyped on you, and then you’re able to get a deal. But for a nigga like me that likes money, and niggas buy my records anyway, I can’t fuck with it. I gotta get me some bread.
But I do think it’s dirty that record labels pay mixtape DJs to do a mixtape on an artist and then turn around and send the Feds to niggas’ studios to arrest them and fuck over ‘em like that. I think that’s some fucked up shit. I think it is very unfair that record labels are paying niggas like Drama to do mixtapes and then they turn around and sell a nigga out and throw him under the bus. That’s fucked up. If they’re going to turn their heads on [mixtape DJs] then they need to go ahead and turn their heads on the whole thing. I think it’s easier for them to condone the shit. [The record labels] are going to have to adjust their approach a little bit.
But at the end of the day, the same people that was paying Drama to do mixtapes send the Feds at him, and I think that’s real fucked up. I’m riding with Drama because they fucked over him. He ain’t doing nothing worse than what the record companies are doing; putting out records and trying not to pay the artist. If you see a nigga in the street who has sold 100,000 records and he
The first time we talked [about doing a UGK Gangsta Grillz mixtape] me and Drama had figured out a way for both of us to get paid. We ain’t gonna expose all the details of what we were talking about, but we came up with a way that both of us could get paid. We were going to do a Gangsta Grillz, mixtape style, but using beats that I produced. [Our record label] Jive was going to give Drama $10,000 to do our mixtape, and he was going to give us the $10,000 back. I said, “Nah, you keep the $10,000 and let’s do the mixtape over our beats, you host the muthafucker, we’ll walk in Jive and let them press up 100,000 or 150,000 copies and put it in the stores as a limited edition.” In a case like that, I can make Jive give me $100,000 [advance] and give Bun a $100,000 [advance].
So even though I don’t do mixtapes and all that, I still gotta ride with Drama because he’s a product of the streets. At the end of the day, fans don’t give a fuck about [the politics]. They just want to hear their favorite rapper. He was supplying the streets with the dope that they needed to keep going in between these weakass watered-down albums where they won’t let a nigga sample no muthafuckin’ records no more. And Drama is just the first example of what the Feds are going to do to a bunch of muthafuckers if they don’t get their game together.... - Julia Beverly
The rest of this interview is featured in the April issue of OZONE Magazine. Visit us online at www. ozonemag.com
If you want to settle for $10,000, that’s you. But me, I like advances. I like money. I don’t give a fuck about getting niggas on the street to like it. But even though I feel a certain way about the mixtape game, when it comes down to the RIAA vs. mixtape DJs, I’m riding with [DJs like] Drama. I’m never going to ride with the establishment. I support Drama because they threw him under the bus, and a whole bunch of these record labels were paying him to do their mixtapes. You and I both know we had the conversation because Jive was trying to pay him [to do a UGK Gangsta Grillz].
Words by Matt Sonzala Photos by Mike Frost
his is your third year doing South By Southwest. Is this a big event for you? Yeah, and it’s getting bigger and bigger, actually. It’s cool to be a part of it. I got people from California that’s coming down to it and asking about it, even people from Norway. Everywhere, man. It involves a lot of people, a lot of cultures of music. It’s just a good time. Especially the spot where it is in Austin on 6th Street, man, it’s just a ball every year. It’s getting bigger and bigger. Who all are you performing with this year? All the Coughee Brothaz. The Odd Squad has been a big part, DJ Domo, Good Grief, T-Mac, 14K, pretty much all the Coughee Brothaz. We got K-Rino and Evidence from Dilated Peoples. It’s going to be good. This year you’re not just going for a show, you’re celebrating the release of your 4th album, Waitin’ to Inhale. Yeah fo’ sho’, man. Waitin’ to Inhale, we been having a cool time with it. We been having as much fun as possible, trying to make it as humorous as possible and keep movin’ and groovin’. So we can expect more of the wit and wisdom of Devin the Dude? Yeah, man. Well, there might be a song or two on there that you might say, “Man, what in the fuck is wrong with this dude?” It’s just all in fun, and you know we just having a good time making the most out of what we have. Especially with Hip Hop nowadays, you really just can’t take it too serious, man. You gotta know that there’s gonna be new cats coming. It’s gonna be the old school that you love. There’s different kinds of music with Hip Hop involved in it and it just spreads and it’s really cool; the fact that it lives and breathes everywhere and you’re a part of it. What are some of these songs that people are going to be wondering about? Are you taking shits on record again? Ha! Well there might be a song called “Just Because” on there that we did, and it sounds something like a “I Need Love” type song when it first comes on and it just gives you the flip side of love and what people think about doing to their loved ones. And it’s just a thought, it’s nothing serious. I don’t want people to get the wrong idea. It’s just thoughts that go through peoples’ minds. Then a song called “Cut You Up,”
on there. They might get the wrong understanding but if they listen they’ll get it. Wrong understanding of “Cut You Up”? It’s all in the wording. You got to listen to it from the beginning to the end and understand. If you’ve been listening to my music since back in the day you might get a good idea of what I’m talking about, but if not you might say, “This guy, something’s wrong with him. We might have to watch him.” And that’s just not the case. At all. A lot of listeners out there or critics get the wrong idea about certain songs and it goes the wrong way. This is just a way to fuck their heads up. All in all it’s just about something so innocent and pure and natural and good for me and you. You’ve got a couple of really huge features on this album, like Bun B, Snoop Dogg, and Andre 3000, but it sounds like a lot of it really stayed in house this time. For the most part, that’s what it is anyway. All the previous albums that I did, it’s just the Odd Squad. They played a big part in all the projects. Rob Quest, Jugg Mugg, DJ Domo, we have Funkafingaz on the bass, he’s been around for a minute. We’ve been having keyboard players and stuff, like my homeboy Lester from Shreveport, and we also accept tracks coming from different areas. We work with up and coming producers who have nice music. We invite them over and listen to what they have. If it fits in with what we’re doing and we can make a cool song out of it, then we’ll go with it. That’s what made it real cool over the years. We welcome anybody with open arms, any Coughee Brothaz, you don’t even have to smoke weed to be a Coughee Brotha. It’s just an in-house thing, we just like to have fun with what we do. Is Snoop a Coughee Brotha? Oh yeah, he’s an O.G. Coughee Brotha. We’ve been trying to get something together for a minute. Maybe we’ll have a song together called “A Pound of Coughee,” with the Dogg Pound and the Coughee Brothaz together. We’ve been trying to get that together for years. You have Snoop and Andre 3000 on the same song? Yeah, on a song called “What a Job.” It’s a song done by Chuck Heat from L.A. and we were just expressing how our music and what we do in the studio is considered a job. A lot of time, people wouldn’t consider what we do a job. We
have a lot of fun doing it. They hear about the hoes and the bling and the drinks and the weed and they think it’s like a party for the most part. But it’s not. It’s work and it’s gotta be considered work. You gotta take it seriously. And also, a lot of other people depend on what we’re doing with our music and we gotta support each other with it. You’re basically celebrating the life? Do you come from three different perspectives? All in all it’s about the studio and work being done in the studio. On my verse I’m in the studio, on Snoop’s verse he’s at a radio station announcing, letting the shorties know and his family know what he’s doing, and on Andre’s verse he’s actually communicating with a couple and hearing their problems and letting them tell him how they feel about his music and how it’s helped them out through their lifetime. He talks about downloading music for free and the artists get charged for it. It’s a trip, man, it’s wild. You been touring all over lately. Where will we see you this year? We got some stuff lined up. There’s some offers available and people looking forward to having us come out, which is a blessing. People from Australia and London and places that I’ve never been and that will be real cool. Hopefully we’ll get something happening before the album comes out, get a nice little buzz created, book up a solid tour and hopefully we’ll able to get it structured enough to be able to have fun and give the people a good time.
AUSTIN PHOTO GALLERY 1. Will Hustle and PLA at The Parish 2. Russle Lee 3. Pimp C at Hot 93.3 Winter Meltdown 4. Mr. Fitness of Gutta Gang at The Parish 5. Mr. Blakes talking to the kids 6. Nina Sky 7. Money Waters 8. Wine-O at Hot 93.3 Winter Meltdown 9. South Bound at The Parish 10. Rapid Ric and Coota Bang 11. Matt Sonzala, Tony C, and Tino Cochino 12. Magno and Kinfolk Joe at The Parish 13. Michael Watts 14. K-Paul, Jamie Lee, Black Mike, and Duece 15. Mr. Blakes and Tomar Williams of Carnival Beats at The Parish 16. Shareefa 17. Ryno at Hot 93.3 Winter Meltdown 18. Nac at The Parish 19. Natalie at Hot 93.3 Winter Meltdown 20. TYK and Young Mexicans on the Rise at The Parish 21. Mimi, Boogie, and D-Train from Hot 93.3 Photos by Luxury Mindz
dj domo Words by Matt Sonzala
ou’re known as one of the original dudes out here. Where exactly did you come from? I come from LaPorte. I went to school out in LaPorte and started DJing probably around the summer of ‘83. I was like 12 or 13 years old when I started DJing. What made you start? Man, I have no idea. My homeboys from back then said we were sitting watching Jam Master Jay on TV one day. I just started doing that shit and from the first day, I was cold at it. How did you end up being the DJ for the Geto Boys? You started when you were 13, but there’s got to be a lot more to it. I remember hearing you on the radio live from a club. Me and my pa’tna Wiz - who’s now the DJ for Aesop Rock and Def Jux Records - was DJing at this club called Amnesia out on 290 and Antoine. Scarface and Bushwick used to live together right there off of Mangum. Ready Red used to live over there; everybody lived over there. They used to come to the club and we automatically just started kicking it. That was when that Grip It! On That Other Level came out. The Scarface single just came out so they used to come through there. But aside from the club I used to go fuck with ‘Face and Bill. I’d go ride over there, pick ‘em up, go get food, whatever. We used to kick it. After that we was just sort of hanging around for the next two years, but after Ready Red left the group it kind of fell in place to do that shit. I was on the radio before I got with them. Me and Wiz were on live mixing from the club at Infinity. That’s around when Bill got shot. I was up there [at that club] that night fuckin’ with Bill. Like all around that time, when Bill got shot, going to the hospital, that’s when Red quit, so a muthafucker got the opportunity and seized that shit. You still work with them to this day, right?
Yeah, when muthafuckers work, I’m there. Tell me about the Coughee Brothaz. Is that your production team? The Coughee Brothaz has different aspects of it, but as far as I’m concerned it’s mainly with production. Me and Devin and Rob, we do the Coughee Brothaz production thing. What are some of the songs people might know that you’ve produced? I got a lot of songs on Devin’s albums. I did like ten of ‘em on The Dude, six or seven on Just Tryin’ to Live and I got like six on the new album, Waitin’ to Inhale. I did a couple songs for David Banner. What else do you have in the works? I’m just getting back in the lab, jammin’ on beats, man, doing some more Coughee Brothaz songs. I got my boy Capo and them from New Orleans that I’m fuckin’ with. What equipment do you use? There’s a kick drum and a snare, a hi-hat, and a couple hand claps. I fuck with the 4000 though. I do all the sequencing on the 4000, and everything else comes from records, live shit, keyboards, whatever. I got a bunch of little different shit that I get sounds from, but I do the drums and sequencing on the 4000. So this year at South by Southwest you’ll be DJIng for Devin the Dude and also being the house DJ along with Good Grief all night. What can we expect to hear from you? We gonna jam, man. You know me. I’ma bring some real old school with me. I got some old shit; I’m gonna bring that. Grief got the new shit, I got the old shit and we gonna play it all. //
www.myspace.com/djdomotraxxx or email@example.com
dj chill Words by Matt Sonzala Photo by Keadron Smith
here exactly are you from? Houston, TX, in the South Park area.
Coming out of South Park you must have seen some of the most important people in Houston Hip Hop coming up. Yeah, I saw pretty much everybody out the Screwed Up Click. First, K-Rino, he was one of the first rappers I ever had some kind of relationship with. We went to school together. Fat Pat, basically everybody out the Screwed Up Click, I’ve had some kind of dealing with coming out of that area. Everybody that put out an album, a record out of Houston between ’88 till now I’ve had some type of dealing with. I started DJing when I was like 16 at a skating rink. That was like mid-80s. Things started breaking through in Houston for independent rappers in the early 90s. You came up alongside DJ Screw as well, right? Yeah we came up together DJing. When I started spinning at 16, he was spinning in his neighborhood and we just really came together because I wanted to DJ for some up and coming rappers. He was DJing for Al-D at the time. A friend of mine knew Al-D and he introduced me to Screw; that’s how we met. It was history after that. You do radio, clubs, and mixtapes now. How long have you been doing all that? Since ’93 or so I’ve been doing mainstream rap clubs here in Houston. Right now I still do two of the hottest clubs in Houston with an attendance of 1,000 - 1,500 people, Candy Shop and Konnections. I’ve been doing my own promotions for clubs myself. I got a little club in Texas City that I do on Thursday nights. I’ve been promoting another club called Bad Ass Fridays. I do that in different little towns. What’s Texas City like on a Thursday night? Texas City is a hood club, know’m sayin’? A lot of the local rappers in Texas City come out and want me to play they music. They just come out to jam. They introduce me to new music and I introduce them to new music. 10
Besides Texas City, you’ve also toured Europe. Where all have you been? Yeah, I’ve been to Oslo, Norway, Trondheim, Norway, Amsterdam, London, and Paris. I’ve been touring as a DJ for the past 2 ½ years. I’ve done shows as a DJ at All Star Games in Denver, shows in New York mostly with Oxy Cottontail. I’ve done shows in Austin, of course. I’ve done South By Southwest for the past four years. Where have you seen the best response for down South music? The best response I saw was in Norway. Trondheim and Oslo had some of the biggest responses for down South music from Houston. It was the biggest positive response from there. When we did London we got a positive response cause you got a lot of Hip Hop heads that know the music as well; same as in Paris. In Norway they got a lot of love for this music. I’m going to Norway the week after SXSW again with Rapid Ric, and to Helsinki, Finland too. Who are some of the artists you’re working with? I’ve done promo mixtapes for a lot of artists like Z-Ro. The last CD I did was hosted by Lil Flip. I used to tour with Flip. I work with Young Samm, a female artist named Kenika, and an R&B artist named Sydnee, I’ve released CDs on all of them. I just did a CD for a guy called Kritikal. I just did a CD for Lil Troy. I got my store now too, Chill Factor Music. I’m trying to make sure everything keeps going at my store. Keep the music selling, keep the clothes selling. I’m also getting ready for the OG Ron C Music Conference and the OZONE Awards this summer. I’m really trying to get overseas more this year as well. I also just signed a distribution deal with R&D Distribution and I’ve got an album coming out early this summer called The Chill Factor. It’s gonna be a compilation. I got four of my artists on there, a new artist by the name of Ghost and some local guys that’s been coming by the radio station and my store. //
For more info visit www.djchill.com or www. myspace.com/djchillmix2cold.com
he G.R.i.T. Boys have been a hot name in Houston for some time, especially in the mixtape game. We’ve been waiting for a real album. Now that you’ve signed a distribution deal with TVT Records, when is it coming? We got most of the control out of the deal; it’s like a P&D deal, which is better than being the labels’ slave. But we’re finally dropping an album and it’s gonna be nationwide. It’s coming out May 15th and Pretty Todd is in New York right now doing the marketing plan. As far as the album, we finished it last week. We got production from Cozmos, Mr. Lee, a guy named Joe, and the Grid Iron produced most of it. It’s a good look. I’m glad my album is coming out, dawg. 12
Who all is on it? We got a lot of good features on there. We had a song with a sample from Pat Benatar, I think it was called “Follow Me Through This Town,” and we took the line “You Don’t Know These Streets,” but we had to get it redone because the sample cost way too much to get it cleared. We got Travis Barker to play the drums over and Corey Funkafingaz to play the guitar. That shit is crazy. Hopefully we can bring a Grammy home this year for that one. We got Paul Wall, Hawk, and Dizzee Rascal on there. We just shot Dizzee another song; we want him on a single so we can try to get a buzz over in the UK too with his feature. We got Mase on the album, Trey Songz, B.G., Bun B, and Slim Thug.
We got a lot of the reps from TVT coming out there cause they got a couple other acts. This year we’re trying to put on the best show that we ever put on. Being that there’s so many shows going on, we trying to enjoy everybody’s shit and make sure we do a great show. There’s a lot of talent out there this year. There’s always been, but this year it just seems like it’s the biggest year to me. Tell me about everybody in the group. All y’all have real distinct styles. Can you describe yourself, Poppy and Unique? Well, Hawk is also a G.R.i.T. Boy and Paul Wall as well. Pretty Todd is a G.R.i.T. Boy too, he’s the producer. Poppy got lyrics. He don’t even write his words down anymore, it just comes to him like that. Niq, he has the best delivery out the group. He’s got a response on the mic and stuff. Me, I’m catchy, I got a voice. We all different. We get on the mic and you wouldn’t mistake us.
Grit Boys Interview with Scooby Words & photo by Matt Sonzala
Hawk was a mentor to you, right? Yeah. On this album we did “Roll Up A Blunt Part 2” with Hawk. We’re actually on his album Endangered Species as well. We were his protégés. He put us in the game. He showed us everything about being businessmen and how to handle ourselves on the road and how to get our money. He always told us, “Once you get a deal, don’t look back. Keep pushing forward. Make the money. Get Money, Stay True.” Hawk really introduced everybody to us and Paul Wall took us to another level. And of course South By Southwest took us to another level. Well, you guys have been doing that conference for a few years now. What can we expect from you this year?
What sets you apart from the rest of the Houston artists who might have gotten a lot of attention in the past couple of years? I think what sets us apart from a lot of artists period is our work ethic. That’s why a lot of the stuff that’s happening to us happened in the limited amount of time that we been in the game. We’re setting trends and we’re not following what everybody else is doing. A lot of people switching to what we’ve been rapping about. I see a lot of dudes trying to make reality songs and that’s what we been doing from the jump. It seems like the whole game switched back to the real and not so much the gimmicks; the songs and the sampled hooks and all that kind of shit. We doing us. We not doing what everybody else is doing. Did you ever feel pressure to conform to what you think they might want? I mean, we’ve got songs like that but we’ve never simplified ourselves to rap like somebody else that’s out. We made songs with sampled hooks, or about syrup and cars. We did all that type of shit; we’re from Houston and we’re gonna represent where we from. I mean, that’s ghetto reality too, being outside seeing a slab come down the street. But the album is still reality. It’s so many different subjects. The streets. The corporate shit. Being on the road. We done seen the hood and we done seen some shit too. Being away, making some money, it’s touching a lot of different areas. We represent Hawk on there a lot, too. We’re keeping him alive. //
You hail from Dallas, Texas? Yes sir. When can we expect to hear an album from you? Oh, I got a lot of them out already. Tumthousand and Six is in stores. Fuck You Pay Me is in stores. I’m not a new artist, I’m just new to a lot of people. Where did the name Tum Tum come from? I’ve been had that name. It’s just something my grandma called me and I’ve been running with it ever since. You’re a Dallas artist, so how you plan on bringing Dallas to the rest of the rap world? I think Dallas has a lot of talent and we have the ability to make a lot of noise in the rap game. We got a lot of artist out here, like E-Cla$$ and myself that are trying to put Dallas on the map. You told me about your mixtapes, but what’s your album going to be called? Eat or Get Ate. It’s on T-Town/Universal. It should be coming out the 20th or the 27th of March. I’m thinking the 20th, [the label] is thinking the 27th. It’ll be out soon. Who are you working with on the album? It’s gonna be an in-house Dallas thing. There’s gonna be a lot of people on there that represent Dallas. I had to keep it in Dallas and show everyone what we’re about. There is just gonna be a lot of Dallas artists and Dallas producers on the album. I’m gonna have some people from outside of Dallas, but this is gonna be an in-house thing. What can we expect to hear on the album? I got Carnival Beats on there. They did some songs for Mike Jones and Paul Wall. I got Jim Jones on the album. You’re gonna hear from Mannie Fresh and Cool & Dre. I got Trae on the album, and of course I got DSR [Dirty South Rydaz] on there and TBGZ. What’s the first single off of the album? Right now we’re still trying to decide what the first single is gonna be. We’re trying to pick from about six songs that could possibly be singles. How does the Houston sound differ from the Dallas sound? It’s kind of the same because we rap about the same topics - candy paint, cars, girls - but it I would say that Dallas has a more aggressive sound than Houston. What is your take on the criticism that the South has a simpler, more commercial flow? I wouldn’t say that. People here are just rapping about what they know in their lives. I mean, when they say, “lean wit’ it, rock wit’ it” they say that because that’s what they do. We’re just down here doing our thing. They out there rapping for they hood whether anyone else likes it or not. //
tum tum By DeVaughn Douglas
rob g By DeVaughn Douglas
Where are you from? My parents came here as immigrants to this country and settled in Chicago. After I was born they decided to move to Houston. I’ve been here all my life so I consider myself a Texan [laughs]. You first got into rap due to an MTV/Roc-A-Fella battle, right? Actually, I started rapping about two years prior, right after I got out of high school. At that time I was just making songs but I realized I needed more exposure and that’s what brought me to the whole battle scene. I started entering myself in local battles around Houston and I was doing real well. There was this big battle in Houston called Roc-the-Mic that had about 300-400 contestants in it. It was this huge battle put on by the radio station and the winner got to go represent Texas in a battle on MTV hosted by Roc-A-Fella records. I won the battle in front of about 200,000 people at this car show we have in Houston every year. Then I got to fly up to New York and do the whole battle thing. I got disqualified for cursing [laughs]. That battle, though, is what kind of got my name ringing around the streets. It was a good look for me. After the battle I felt like I had done everything 16
I could do battle rapping and it was time to step up, start making records, and become an artist. How would you describe yourself as an artist? I don’t feel as though I have a certain style or image that I stick to. I have a lot of different stories and I’ve been through a lot of different things in my life and those situations get put into my music. I’m a very opinionated person. I’ve got an opinion about everything, like every man should, so my music is just full of my opinions. I feel like I have the ability to make somebody laugh, make somebody cry, make somebody hype, and make somebody angry. I just try to stand out and be my own individual. How much of your actual life story do you plan on bringing into your music? I’m a very personal writer. What I mean by that is, when I write a song I like to take examples from my own life. When I write a song about females I put my own life experiences into that song. If I write about the street then I’m going to use examples from my own life to illustrate my music. My music is shaped by the events that have happened to me and how I view the world through my eyes.
You’ve gone through a lot of events in your life. I heard there are people trying to make a movie out of your life story. Yeah, we’re trying to put together an autobiographical movie about myself, starring myself. Basically it is just going through everything; from my childhood to me becoming a rapper, and now the beginning of me launching my career. To be honest, I never thought about [doing a movie] because I didn’t think I was on that level yet, but my label and all the people behind me just pushed it. As they got to know me better and learned about my story, they thought the movie was a good idea.
look at myself or the fans knowing I’m rapping about something I don’t really know about.
You have a pretty interesting life story. You turned your life around after a drug deal that didn’t go as planned? Yeah, I was about twenty and my son had just been born. He was actually about one and I was still involved in a little bit of drug dealing. I mean, I used to have normal jobs, but I always wanted more for myself and for my family so [drug dealing] is what I turned to in order to get more money. In one of the instances things just didn’t go right and I almost lost my life because of it. That’s when I started to open my eyes and realize that I had to do something better with myself. I always had real people in the street, people that were a lot deeper in the game, telling me that this wasn’t the kind of life that I wanted to lead. I wouldn’t consider myself a thug. Some people talk about the street for their image. I did a lot of stuff, but I was just trying to take care of my family.
Your mixtape has been selling well in Texas. Yeah, it’s a three disc set called The Rob G Campaign. It’s got the regular album, with a screwed and chopped version for all of my screw heads, and a DVD hosted by Crisco Kid showing my career up until now. It’s got about 47 tracks on it with a few of them getting big on the streets. I got a song on there called “Freaks of the Industry (tha La Raza Remix)” that talks about the immigration debate.
How do you fit in with the image of the Houston rap scene? I’m a huge advocate of where I’m from and I rep Houston to the fullest, but I don’t fit into the rap scene here. I kind of chose not to follow the mold of the normal H-town artist. I didn’t want to just stand in line, follow what everyone else is doing and wait for my time to shine. I decided to step to the left and start my own line. It’s kind of like a double edge sword because I don’t know if it will turn people on or turn people off of me. So far I think it’s working because it has separated me from everyone else. Plus now I’m starting to see that there are more Houston artists that see music the way that I do. Not that there is anything wrong with any of the Houston artists. It’s just not my cup of tea to rap about candy paint, chrome wheels, and jewelry. I can’t rap about any of that stuff because I never lived it. I had a lot of drama going on trying to raise a family and all so that’s what I have to rap about. I felt more comfortable rapping about the stuff that I know because at the end of the day I have to look at myself in the mirror. I can’t
Are we going to hear that Houston sound on your album or hear from any Houston artists? You’re definitely going to hear that Houston sound but it’s not going to be so dominant on the album. My song that’s out right now is called “Reppin’ my Block” and it features Lil’ Keke and Slim Thug. Those guys showed me a lot of love so I got to send a shout out to them. That record has a Houston feel to it but I think my album, overall, doesn’t sound like a Houston album.
Do you feel that Hip Hop in general need to have more songs that talk about current events and political issues such as the immigration debate? That’s a good question. I can’t call it. As a musical person I’ll admit that I don’t want to be hit with a lot of political issues. But I would like to see more artists express themselves. I didn’t do the song because I’ve always had a problem with how immigration is handled. I just had an opinion on the issue and expressed it through my music. It’s something that really hit home for me so I decided to express myself. I don’t think we necessarily need more political rap; we just need more artists out there to express themselves. When is the album is supposed to come out? It’s tentatively scheduled to be released in the spring or summer of ‘07. I don’t have a title for it yet but I feel like it’s going to be a big thing for Hip Hop and Latin rap. Do you feel as though people are more open to Latin rappers? I feel like we have a lot of groundwork to put down but I do feel like people are more accepting. The reggaeton movement was huge for us. I still think we have a lot of groundwork to do. I just don’t feel like we have the respect of being able to hang with anyone lyrically. I want to do what Eminem did when he came out and get to a point where people aren’t even concerned with my race. // OZONE
nayrok By Matt Sonzala
Where exactly are you from? I am from the South part of Dallas, which is basically Metro Dallas, the hood. I’ve been in Dallas all my life, but I’ve traveled all around the world. I’ve stayed a couple places, like I went to college in Houston, but always made Dallas my home. I started singing before I could talk. Church was my spearhead for music. My godparents are my founders of the Black Academy here in Dallas and they were my introduction to the arts. As a little girl of four years old they started me in music, dance and theater. My sister and I had a rap group when I was in high school called Sustah MCs, but unfortunately she had to go to college so she went to college and I stayed at home and missed her but continued doing my thing. That sister you speak of is Erykah Badu, right? That’s right. At that time she was known as Apples. When time came for me to go to college, I attended Texas Southern University in Houston, and that’s where I started working with rock bands. I was always into alternative music and rock music. Aerosmith was my favorite band and Cyndi Lauper was my idol as a little girl. I loved the Eurythmics. Anything that was alternative, or against the norm, I basically grabbed ahold of. I’m a vocalist but I’m such a free spirited vocalist, I just like to get on the stage and holler and blurt out some stuff. I loved rock for the energy and that’s what I got into and have been into ever since.
I don’t think Dallas gets credit for being as musical of a city as it is. I mean, look at female singers alone. Dallas has spawned Norah Jones, Edie Brickell, Erykah, so many great artists, but people don’t seem to ever associate that with Dallas. You’re absolutely right. Dallas is absolutely underrated when it comes to music. I think it’s because a lot of times we go outside of Dallas to make it. Erykah had to go to New York, as did Norah Jones. People aren’t coming to Dallas, artists are going outside the city to be heard. Well, you could say that about any city. Yeah, that’s true but we don’t have that “music mecca” that Atlanta or New York or even Houston has. Will Nayrokula be with the band or will it be more beat oriented? The songs will definitely be live. I’m still working on it but most of the music is live with the band and produced by Boski. My manager Tee Dee Davis is also a producer and she produced “Redemption,” which is getting rotation on K104 right now. Who else will we hear on this album? Will Erykah make an appearance? Yes, for sure. I also have Big Tuck on my CD and Tum Tum as well from DSR. Money Waters is gonna be on my album and as of right now, that’s it. For production though I have Boski, Tee Dee, S1 from Strange Fruit Project and Ernie G. Is it more of a rock album or more of a Hip
Hop/soul album? The advice that I got from Prince is, “Don’t go on the rock shelf.” So I’m keeping my rock edge, but I have to make the music radio ready and with an urban edge. Nayrok is always gonna be Nayrok. It’ll always have the guitars but we’re gonna filter it with Hip Hop and soul/R&B. Was Prince a big influence on your sound? It sure seems like it from listening to you. You know what? I am a Prince fanatic. I love him. I met him a couple of times and opened for him once. He influences me just by his individuality and his originality. I just love that about him, and in talking to him, he’s given me a lot of advice about the industry because he’s all about independence and not selling my soul to the labels. He just gave me some advice about what to do in the music industry. My album is coming out on my own label called Hoodrok. Who would you say is your biggest influence? I’d have to say Tina Turner. She defied all odds with what she did. She went from deep, deep R&B to pioneering rock and roll. But my personal influence is my sister. She’s the hardest working person I know. Who else should we be looking out for in Dallas this year? Definitely Money Waters, PPT, Strange Fruit Project, Dow Jones, Baby Ray, and Carmen Rodgers. There’s a lot of artists to look out for here in Dallas. And T. Donkey, he’s like some gutter rap, he’s hot. That’s pretty much it. Love hard, live hard, rock harder. //
here exactly are you from? You’re known as one of the hottest singers in Texas. Actually I’m from Atlanta, Texas in East Texas but I live in Houston, in Missouri City, actually. I started singing at the age of four but have been singing professionally since the age of 16. The first song I ever appeared on was “Super Star” from Fat Pat and the second song was “Get Over That Shit” from Big Mike. I received my first gold record from that. The first label I was ever signed with was Always Infinity Records, but we put the label on hold and I signed a deal back in the day with Rap-A-Lot. I was on Rap-A-Lot for four years and after that contract was up I signed with Def South Records. That went on for three years and I was back doing my own label, me and Cynthia’s label, Battiste Music 1965. In between being back and forth with our own label I did joint ventures with Paradise Recordings and Pearl Records. Those two labels never did get off the ground or work out for me, so it was back to our own label and I never did another joint venture with anybody else. Now I think my business ethics, skills and music have really progressed. While everything was really taking off for the South, I was featured on over 450 albums. I was on a lot of radio hits, street hits, and a lot of songs that fell by the wayside but people still listen to til this day. You take a different approach to your music. Would you consider yourself an R&B artist with hip-hop leanings? How do you describe yourself musically? I know you do some very soulful music, but you’re always associated with underground, hardcore rap. I kind of associate myself with everything because the world has so much to offer. To be in the world and not of it, I think that’s what gives my music its diversity. I came out of the church singing gospel. I was raised in the church so the soul has always been there. I’ve attended Baptist church, Methodist church, and Catholic church, so I got a chance to hear a different sound and see people feel different things in different churches and from different ethnic backgrounds. It’s all in my music. It shows. I’ve been on the secular side too but a lot of the spiritual influences are still there. A lot of the people who sing R&B, jazz and country also have a spiritual background. I think everything is spiritually influenced. In my music, I exploit it with the hip-hop and gangsta music. I’m influenced by it because I’ve been in the streets. I’ve seen the struggle, and I’ve been a part of the movement. A lot of people don’t understand or know the struggle of what hip-hop is all about. With my background, being black, I think the soul in my music comes from back in the slavery 20
days with the real singing. People call it gutter singing. It’s just so soulful. It’s kind of hard to get away from that but it’s always gonna be in my music. I’m influenced by Latin music; Tejano music. I’m gettin’ off into opera right now so I’m trying to learn everything. In junior high I was in the orchestra. I used to play the cello, the violin, the viola, so I’m getting back into that. I’m learning how to play my acoustic guitar. I’m learning my keys again. When I was in high school I was in the choir so I had to learn how to read music. But I strayed away from that. What all have you released so far? I released Certified Platinum, Livin’ My Dream, The Truth, R&B Gangsta, and The Best of Both Worlds. Some of those were overseas albums. I also have It’s Christmas Time and the Peace on Earth album, two Christmas albums. I also have my underground album of all my greatest features. I know you’ve toured in Japan. Do they know much about Southern music over there? They know a lot about Southern music. They have shelves and shelves of music. They love the South and Texas music. They have Chicano rap, South rap, Texas music period. Texas has the biggest shelf. They really embrace our music and I’m on the majority of those albums so that’s how that whole thing came about. Plus I sing and they’re real big on singing and R&B in Japan. I was thankful those people finally got a hold of me. //
billy cook Words by Matt Sonzala
Slim Thug & THE Boss Hogg Outlawz
ince entering the rap game, Slim Thug has referred to himself as Tha Boss. And in the rap game, a boss is a CEO of his own label. Slim Thug meets this Boss criteria, with his Boss Hogg Outlawz label. With the release of Boss Hogg Outlawz’ album Serve & Collect, featuring Slim Thug, PJ Tha Rap Hustla, J Dawg, Sir Daily, Chris Ward, Killa Kyleon, Young Black and R&B singer, Rob Smallz, only a few weeks away, OZONE caught up with Tha Boss and his Outlawz to find out what this new Houston record label has in store for 2007. How did the Boss Hogg Outlawz come about? Slim Thug: Me, PJ, J Dawg, we been together since Swishahouse. A lot of these niggas I’ve been knowing for years. Chris Ward, we hooked and we ended up working together, clicking up. And he brought through Killa. And it all came together like that. Everybody else fell in place while we been grindin’. What’s the difference between the Boss Hogg Outlawz and the Boyz N Blue? Slim Thug: Boss Hogg is the whole label, that’s 22
Words by Randy Roper Photos by Mike Frost
everybody. The Boyz N Blue only consists of like three, four dudes. The Boss Hogg Outlawz is everybody. We got Young Black, he’s a Young Hogg. We got Rob Smallz, he’s a R&B dude, so it’s the whole click. You’ve had a lot of independent success but your album didn’t do as well. Why’d you choose to put out the Boss Hogg album before releasing your next album? Slim Thug: Really the Boss Hogg Outlawz Serve & Collect shit is just some street shit to keep the streets feed. We got my shit coming out April 24th, Boss of All Bosses. Then we gonna drop Boys N Blue. It was like, we didn’t put nothing out, so we had to keep the streets fed. They are a lot of members in the group. Was it to get everyone some shine? PJ Tha Rap Hustla: It was really simple because like in the way we work in the studio people come and go, so it’s like if it’s a hot beat or hot song we’re working on whoever jump on it first, that’s who makes the cut. If you participate that’s what determines whether you get put on
the song or not. I was simple for me cause during the making of this album I stayed in the mix. I stayed in the studio. So every song that was jamming I hopped on, you know what I’m sayin’. So it was real cool, the process of making it. Slim Thug: I just let niggas do them. Everybody got solo songs on the motherfucker, know what I’m saying, where they gotta stand on their own two feet. I’m a big part of the record, I did at least 12 records on there. It ain’t just like I’m just putting my name on the shit, trying to sell it to people. I’m really a big part of this project. These niggas have been down with me since day one, they’ve been making a lot of noise out here. So it’s just time for them to get their shine on too. Chris Ward: There are a few [tracks] that I just fall back from. Between me, PJ and Slim, we don’t really tussle over who’s gon’ get on what. We kinda almost know what was for who. And sometimes though, what we did with a lot of them, everybody writes a verse. But we don’t have no problems as far as laying a verse, it’s nothing. If the song is just super, super jamming, everybody lays a verse. And you know how that goes, you go hard or go home. Tell me about the Boyz in Blue. PJ Tha Rap Hustla: A lot of people think we’re Crips but on the Northside of our city we ride blue cars, candy paint, candy blue. That’s where the group Boyz in Blue [got our name]. What are we going to get when the album drops? PJ Tha Rap Hustla: You gonna get the rap hustle, you gonna get PJ The Rap Hustla raw and uncut. I ain’t no lyricist or nothing like that. I just get straight to the point. I’mma groove wit’ the beat and I’mma give you some good game. I might get a little street, a little fly, whatever. You gon’ get PJ to the fullest. I got my own little style, real simple wit’ it. That’s just me, I’m a simple
man. So you gon’ get straight PJ Tha Rap Hustla talking about some money or talking about grindin’, talking to some chicks, having some fun, that’s about it. Killa Kyleon: I ain’t gon lie my dude, you gon hear lyrical. I’mma give it to you live and direct. One thing I know, it’s a bunch of real dudes over here. We real stand up guys. We bringing real rap, real music back into the game and we’re bringing a side of Houston that ain’t nobody seen. It ain’t nothing but hard hitters over here. It’s five Barry Bonds, that’s what it is over here. Chris, what do you bring to the Boss Hogg Outlawz? Chris Ward: I bring a whole other swagger to it. Cause we all do our own thing and everybody stands for something different. As a team we kinda like Voltron. We all connect in a different kind of way. I kinda just bring the flyness to the table. They always say I’m fly. I guess I bring some of the flyboy swagger to the table. But at the same time I still give it to them raw and gutter. Tell me about the album. Chris Ward: The game right now is real crazy. I don’t know if a lot of people look at it like that. I know a lot of people in the industry do. I think we’ll bring a whole ‘nother look to Houston. If we get the right action and the correct timing on this here, we’re going to bring a whole ‘nother look to Houston to where they’re going to be like, “Oh, I ain’t know it was like that.” They actually been looking over us, but I guess sometimes you save the best for last. It’s not just no one track album. We all have alter egos. You gonna have ‘bout 4 or 5 personalities, that all got a double personality which is gon’ give you about 10 people, feel me? Slim gon’ do his boss thing. PJ gon’ do his rap hustla thing. I’mma do my flyboy thing. Killa gon do his thing. It’s just gonna be a flipside to everybody...
The rest of this interview is featured in the April issue of ozone. Visit us online at www.ozonemag.com
lil peace Words by Matt Sonzala Photo by Tony Boyatti
here exactly are you from? You’re really young but seem to be really on top of the game musically right now. I’m from Oakcliffe. I’ve been into music ever since I was little. I remember when I wanted a Karaoke Machine. I was like in 4th grade beating on lunch tables and rapping at football games, beating on stands and battling people. Ever since then it’s like everybody knows me as a rapper. They called me Lil Rap-A-Lot. Everywhere I went I had to battle somebody, so every week somebody felt like they was ready for me. It just started from there all the way to me recording CDs. My first CD I recorded was between 7th and 8th grade called No Competition. I did that CD and I liked how it sounded and everybody else gave me a good response. They kept telling me I need to do it for real. I thought, naw this ain’t what I do cause I used to like playing basketball. I was playing for a little bit but then I seen it was gonna take me too long to make money playing basketball - you know you gotta get a scholarship, do this and that, so it took too long. I picked up the rap game real strong towards the 9th grade. How’d you get with Clout Records? There was this girl, she was a model, and that’s when Clout had first started. One day she took me up to Clout Studios, I saw people working like Oakcliffe and Young Nino and them and I already been knowin’ about all of that, so I said shit, I’m gonna try to get me a spot in. I had demos and CDs and I knew it was gonna be hard to get Corey one of my CDs so I went in the office and I spit him a verse. I spit a hot 16 and he liked it. He threw me a beat CD right then and there. So I got to writing and he was liking what he heard and he picked me up. There’s a lot of history and a lot of music that’s come out of Oakcliffe. Yeah, Oakcliffe is like, man, I give big thanks to Young Nino and Hot Boy Star. People didn’t look at us like they do now. If you ain’t from Dallas or anything, you probably still know about Oakcliffe. Your song “Hit the Dance Floor” is getting pretty big. Yeah, I didn’t plan for that to be a hit. I just record. I just do me and record. If you trying to plan a song, it’s more stressful. Music to me is just basically having fun. I have fun with it cause rappin’ is something I like to do. I take the game serious, but as far as music and stuff, the only time I get real serious is when something gets real fucked up. Like my daddy dying. I’ma write a song about that and that’s gonna come from my heart. About my hood, that’s gonna come from my heart. OZONE
But when it come to stuntin’, shit, if I do that I’m just doing that to have fun. Aside from the music, you’ve got a pretty crazy history. Yeah, I got shot 12 times. It was a drive by. Our generation right now is fucked up cuz back then motherfuckers would rather be in the burbs than the hood. But now it’s like the motherfuckers that staying in 2-story, 3-story houses want to move to the hood. For what? People want to move to the hood just to say they “hood.” That’s another thing. But shit, if you from the ‘burbs, you good. What’s the point of moving to the hood for? You end up getting killed. What do you mean? Like white folks coming in and gentrifying neighborhoods and destroying all the low income housing? Naw, man. I’m talkin’ about niggas. People, period. The music’s so fucked up, a nigga can say something and right then a kid can go and kill somebody. Why would you want to move to the hood when you already in a good environment? Me, my momma got out the hood. She got tired of it. We moved out of Oakcliffe and my mom moved to Duncanville. When she moved there with all my brothers and me, we didn’t know how that shit was gonna be. Everybody was looking at us as different, cause we some different-ass niggas. We came into Duncanville High School just different. So now niggas trying to do shit we do just because. Like, we don’t try to play hard, some people do, but real gonna know real. Anyway, my daddy got killed on September 12th, 1999. It was a set up. He was riding with a female, he stopped at this corner store and the bitch ran in and came out with a nigga. Daddy didn’t want to go take him to get whatever he was looking for so he pulled out his pistol and started shooting. Then my daddy pulled his out. My Daddy put the car in reverse, then went in drive, and lost consciousness like 15 seconds in. So the man ran from the store all the way to the street, threw him out his car on the median and him and the other girl burned out and after that some people came and seen my daddy was outside and rushed him to the hospital. Then I got shot October 17th, 1999, a month later in a drive by. Really? How old were you? Like nine or ten years old? I was like 11. That’s why I say anything can happen to anyone. I got shot in Duncanville. There was the Wolves and Hollywood, that was the rivalry. Put it like this, for Duncanville those were the two hoods. That’s where the hood niggas was really moving to. I was staying in the Wolves for a little bit but after that my momma 26
moved us to Hollywood and I didn’t know how it was gonna be over there. I didn’t know how niggas was gonna be looking at me, but eventually everything was cool. One day they had did a drive by, they rode through two times and the third time they shot. Everybody in the hood know the procedure so niggas dropped. I’m a lil nigga, so I’m runnin’. I’m trying to get away from the shit. So just by me running I took my bullets. Just by me not dropping I was the one that got hit by the most bullets. After that I got rushed to the emergency room. Why did that happen? Was it just a rivalry? Yeah, you know, in school, probably from one fight at a school caused all that. I just can’t say what really happened. It was some school shit like Bloods and Crips. That’s when gangbangin’ was really strong. They wasn’t aimin’ for me but you know the innocent always get hit. That was one month after your father was killed? Yeah, that was a month after. I thought I was gonna die like my old man. I went deaf and shit, I was bleeding thinking I was finna die. Not long after that you went into juvenile detention too, right? Didn’t you have some history of that as well? Yeah, that was like a little robbery. It wasn’t a robbery, but they put it as a robbery. It was like kids being normal kids. It started out from a fight, me and this one dude started fighting. After we started, I ain’t gonna even lie, I took off his shoes and was finna take him. I didn’t even want the shoes so I threw him his shoes back. After that shit, detectives and shit was coming up to my school recording a nigga, trying to get shit out of a nigga. Since I wasn’t telling them shit they kept coming back saying other people snitched on me. Since I didn’t snitch back on them they threw everything at me. Everybody was saying it was all me and just because I didn’t tell anything they just threw it on me. He said I took some money from him too. I gave his shoes back, and he said I took $8. It was some bullshit. How long were you in juvenile? A month. Shit, that month felt like some years to a nigga though. Just being a young ass nigga, that shit felt like forever. And then I had violated so I had to go back for not going to school. I was on probation and you gotta go to school when you’re on probation. I was skipping school and all that so after that a nigga was far back. I didn’t graduate. //
Words by Matt Sonzala Photos by Edward Hall
n your first album, The Porch, it sounded like you have a really heavy blues influence. Was that what you heard growing up? Yeah well, more spiritual music than blues. I heard a lot of gospel. You know the church always had that blues element in it. The producer I work with, Cara Simone, he’s a real cool cat and a cold musician. He plays a lot of rock, funk, blues, and all type of things. We wanted to do something different. He pulled out some strings and it was instant chemistry. We were just trying to do something different with it, man, some real music. I hear a lot of gospel influence on your second album. Yeah, it’s all spiritual. Even though what we doing is rapping and everybody categorizes it as being negative or like it ain’t got no meat to it, come on now. We got some meat up in there. Hip Hop ain’t dead, ya dig? Well, there’s a lot of rap music that doesn’t have a lot of meat to it. Yeah, well everything has a yin and a yang. See what I’m saying? Everything balances itself. It’s all part of what the universe brings to us. It all comes full circle. Do you find it harder for yourself right now, because you don’t fit in with mainstream music or what Hip Hop has become? Your stuff is pretty different from what you hear today. Yeah, it is, but you know what I’m noticing is that since we’re independent and underground and everything is financed by us, everything we do is us. What keeps us going is our fans, people who buy our music. We ain’t on TV, we’re not on the radio, but our word of mouth is a muthafucker. We got a lot of different press and orders from places like New York, Norway, and Germany. We’re shippin’ a lot of stuff overseas. The internet and word of mouth is a muthafucker, to the point where you don’t need all that capital that the majors are gonna put into you. You really don’t need none of that shit, to be honest with you. You just got to get out here and do what you do. Like Young Bleed, he’s a legend in the South. I’ve watch him walk through the South and make things happen without a major. It’s beautiful.
Do you incorporate a lot of live instrumentation into your production? Yeah, like I said, my producer Cara and Gugu from Redrum Records, those guys did a lot of my songs and we brought in a lot of live instruments. Some horn players, whatever, it was tight. When you perform live you often perform with a band too. Yeah, every now and then I get a chance to do it with the live band. When we do it with the live band it’s like a circus, man. We could have 20 people on stage. A guitar player, a bass player; we have drums, background singers. We bring it full circle, man. When we do the live band, we call ‘em Bangkok, Texas. It’s a different show from when I just do it with the DJ. But both shows, it’s still Niggalaws, you feel me? Tell me about that title. Where did Niggalaws come from? Man, it’s just some old common knowledge shit that we used to play with. It’s stuff people need to ride by, or live by. Sometimes we get so caught up in mainstream shit that niggas be forgetting what they’re supposed to do. It’s just a little theme to cover the whole album. My manager Uncle Pauly did a track on there called “Niggalegiance,” and kinda set some ol’ common law rules of how men supposed to get out here and how we supposed to present ourselves. Otherwise we ain’t right with the universe. We’re doomed. You said some people get “caught up in the mainstream.” What’s your definition of “mainstream”? Well, if you listen to the album we define a whole bunch of rules. “Never come between a man’s family,” shit like that. “Keep these women out your business, quit goin’ naked dick in these hoes,” you know, a whole bunch of shit. Just a whole lot of common knowledge for men period. We ain’t just talkin’ about black folks, we talking about everybody in the world. It’s just some shit to live by. Sometimes you gotta lay down the law and say, “Hey, we need to look at what we’re doing.” The mainstream has really gotten to the point where people think that whatever they do, things will be all good. But naw, it ain’t like that. //
’ve followed your music for a long time and it seems like you have always been affiliated with some of the bigger names in the Dallas underground. I started with Kevin A., Pookie & Lucci and them when they was hot doing they thing. I had a hot track with them. I’m messing with Tum Tum and them right now. He’s on 106th & Park and MTV doing his thing. I also got Twisted Black, he locked up right now but he got his deal. I work with everybody, we all mess around. Also the Young Hustlaz and Corey at Clout. Anybody doing something I’m damn near gonna be messing with them cause anybody who’s working needs to be messing with each other anyway. 30
What was your first release? Exotic Games, I was 16 and I’m 25 right now so that goes to show you how long I been doing it. I got Exotic Games to the Actin’ Bad to the Just Bein’ Me, to the Eat Greedy or Don’t Eat At All, now we got the Eat Greedy Volume 2, Real Conversation in stores right now. It’s the hottest in the city. My company is Take it Off Entertainment. I’m also affiliated with Clout Records and Scarred for Life Records. How does it work out having three different companies behind your project? It works out because I’m really self-owned and everything goes through me. I call all the shots,
big chief Words by Matt Sonzala Photo by Edward Hall
the same question and I told him Dallas is cool, there’s a lot of potential down here and a lot of promising things all across the Metroplex. D-Town is looking good. These boys working. Right now I got the hottest album in the stores next to your Jeezys, your Games, and all of them. I’m moving more at home than all these boys. D-Town looking real good. So Eat Greedy Volume 2 is an album, not a mixtape? Naw, it’s a whole album. I got the mixtape coming too, Eat Greedy Volume 3 It’s All About Emotion. So I’m steady working it with it. I ain’t doing no stopping.
it ain’t like I gotta answer to nobody but we all just work together. They help me as far as promoting and marketing. Corey [with Clout Records], he’s got the clubs so anytime I wanna do anything his door is always open for me. JT helps me on the management side, turning me on to people he knows. But it’s really Take it Off Entertainment. I’ve always been doing my own thing. How do you feel about Dallas right now? You’ve been in it a long time and seen a lot of ups and downs but right now seems to be a pretty strong look for Dallas. Yeah, right now D-Town is cool, man. I just got off the phone with Allhiphop.com and they asked me
Who do you work with on production? Right now I got my young secret weapon, his name is Hollywood. He’s a monster right now. I’ve also got my old school guy Mr. E. He does a lot of live, musical beats, and Choko too. They’re all from Dallas. They’re some starving artists, man. They’re hungry and you can see through their music how hungry they are. This is your first year doing South By Southwest. What can we expect to see from you as an artist? Oh, man. I’m live I got a lot of energy. You’re gonna see a real, prime time entertainer. It ain’t gonna be all that whoopin’ and hollerin’, it’s gonna be cool and you’re gonna be able to distinguish who’s the artist. You’re just gonna get a whole lot of energy. That’s what’s up. //
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