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I n This I ssue:
Dizzy Wright I ndependent Living in The Golden Era
Dam e Rit t er
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Wrekonize of MAYD Y! St range Music
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Playa Rae x Trey C ( I .L.A.M.) La Machina ( The Machine) Monst aville Music
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I n 2 0 0 3 , you w on a M TV ba t t le w it h a gr a n d pr ize of a r e cor din g con t r a ct w it h Roc- A- Fe lla Re cor ds. W h e n t h a t sit u a t ion n e ve r ca m e t o ligh t , h ow did it a ffe ct you 'r e ou t look on t h e m u sic in du st r y? I was 19 at t he t im e so it really only m ade m e hungrier and m ore det erm ined t o break in t o t he business. I t m ade m e a bit skept ical and t uned in t o t he bullshit t hat com es wit h t he business but all in all it only m ade m e want it m ore. Aft e r sign in g w it h St r a n ge M u sic, w h a t su r pr ise d you t h e m ost a bou t t h e la be l? Out of all t he t alent in and around t he label every single person from t he t op t o t he bot t om were genuinely nice down t o eart h people and I st ill have yet t o com e head t o head wit h any egos. H ow did you ( M a yda y) a n d St r a n ge m e e t & m a k e t h e con n e ct ion ? One of our m anagers had a neighbor who was good friends wit h Dave Weiner who is t he VP over at St range. She int roduced t hem and Dave st art ed list ening t o our m usic. He showed t he m usic t o Tech who loved it as well and set up for us t o open up for Tech on 2 of his shows in Florida. Once Tech and t he crew saw our live show it was a done deal from t here. I fou n d it ve r y in t e r e st in g t h a t you a n d you r fa m ily h a d a r e la t ion sh ip w it h t h e la t e Gu r u of Ga n g St a r r . W ill you spe a k on t h a t a bit ? haha. I 'm going t o go on record here and set t hat rum or st raight . Years ago in an int erview i t old som eone t hat m y dad int roduced m e t o Guru's m usic t hrough Jazzm at azz. That 's how i got put on t o Gang St arr and so on. Som ehow over t he years t hat got m isconst rued int o t hat m y fam ily knew Guru. Unfort unat ely t hat 's not t he case. I did m eet Guru in Puert o Rico in 06 and he was cool as hell but t hat 's as fam iliar as we got . You 've r e le a se d a n u m be r of m ix t a pe s ove r t h e cou r se of you r ca r e e r . W h a t is you r opin ion on t h e m ix t a pe ga m e in t h is da y a n d a ge ? I t 's t he wild west and I love it . The m ix t ape gam e definit ely isn't as popping as it was som e years ago and wit h people get t ing sued it 's st art ed t o change t he landscape of what people do now. But m y m ixt apes have always been a fun experience and allowed m e t o have a creat ive out let when m y back was against t he wall. You r e ce n t ly r e le a se d a solo a lbu m t it le d " Th e W a r W it h in " . D o you fe e l t h a t it h a s r e a ch e d you r e x pe ct a t ion s? I t got great reviews and I definit ely feel it reached t he acclaim level i want ed. I 'm creeping up on 10,000 copies sold which is a great st art for m e. of course t he desire t o go higher st ill rem ains but t he reviews is what 's m ost im port ant and overall t hey were st ellar.
You 've be e n on m or e t h a n a fe w t ou r s w it h St r a n ge M u sic. W ill you t e ll u s h ow t h e t ou r s h a ve pr ogr e sse d ove r t h e ye a r s? When we first t oured t i St range we hadn't released an album yet so it was apparent t hat no one really knew who we were but as we've released proj ect s and produced and feat ured on m ult iple art ist s proj ect s on t he label t hat has definit ely changed. The vibe for us has got t en bet t er exponent ially. Som e t h in g ve r y dope w e n ot ice d is t h e ba t t le s you a ll h a ve w h ile on t ou r a s t o w h o's se t w ill be t h e m ost live . Te ll u s m or e a bou t t h a t ? That was j ust a prom o for t he sum m er of st range t o rev up t he vibe of t he t our a bit . There is a healt hy com pet it ion bet ween art ist s but it 's always been posit ive. We all push each ot her t o go harder and when som eone out shines som eone we all t ake it in st ride and use t hat as m ot ivat ion for t he next swing. But it always st ays posit ive and t he at m osphere is a fam ily like one. You r e ce n t ly fe a t u r e d on a son g for Te ch 's n e w a lbu m " Som e t h in g Else " ca lle d Fr a gile w h ich fe a t u r e d Ke n dr ick La m a r w h o h a s r e ce n t ly se t t h e h ip h op sce n e a bu zz for h is ve r se on t h e son g Con t r ol. H ow w a s it w or k in g w it h h im a n d w h a t a r e you r t h ou gh t s on t h a t ve r se a n d t h e bu zz a r ou n d it ? Really happy wit h t hat record and how it t urned out . We didn't work wit h Kendrick in st udio seeing as we delivered t he song t o Tech and t hen he got t he verse from him so I couldn't t ell you his vibe but I 'm a definit e fan of dude and all of t he TDE fam ily. I loved t he cont rol verse. I t hink it got blown out of proport ion wit h all t he corny response shit but ot her t han t hat it was dope. W h e n you a r e n 't doin g m u sic, w h a t is it you e n j oy doin g? Man. That is a rare occurrence bet ween writ ing and producing but I also enj oy film m aking. We do a lot of own videos which I oft en edit . Ot her t han t hat I 'm a m ovie/ xbox/ sport s kind of guy. Tw o pie ce s of a dvice you ca n give u p a n d com e r s w h o a r e ch a sin g t h e ir dr e a m of m u sic? Don't be in it for t he goal or wish of " Blowing Up" . Enj oy what you do and t he rest is cherries on t op. Also never st op based on progress. I f you love t o do it t hen, keep doing it . Socia l M e dia : Twit t er.com / Wrekonize | Facebook.com / WrekonizeMusic WrekonizeOnline.com | I nst agram - @Wrekonize Maydayonline.com
You guys are masters of the internet, tell us about Funk Volume taking it directly to the fans? Me not coming from the music industry, and just looking at it from the outside looking in; It just made the most sense, it’s the most cost effective. When I connected with Hop, he was working MySpace heavy and it seemed to work. But then we noticed Facebook was becoming the beast. There were a lot of others too, but we didn’t have the resources to be everywhere so we gotta focus where people are and decided very early Facebook was going to be it. Your always hash tagging things on FB, tell us about #stillmovin? It was something I thought up…something positive. Even though a lot of the music we have, some guys are saying some crazy things. It’s genuine, it’s real emotion or it’s just wild stuff that they think of at the time, but at the end of the day Funk Volume is positive energy. It’s all about keeping things moving. Everyone has their own story, things that affect them but at the end of the day most of the time the only people are going to help you is yourself. As a label all the stuff we been through, no matter what happens we’re still movin. You post pictures of some of your supporters & whatnot which ties into #stillmovin? Yea, we try to do them regularly. There was a young cat that lost a bunch of weight, one who was in a car accident and one on dialysis. They’re just examples of cats who been through a lot but overcame it too. Don’t Funk Up Our Beats…tell us how that started? That was another idea of mine, and it started because we weren’t releasing any music. I was like okay, how can we continue to push forward and still engage people? Kinda keep their mind off the fact that we weren’t releasing any music. It’s a contest we allow people to come to our site, download a beat pretty much make a music video to the beat. We now use a FB App to run it. But it’s a win win all around. For the artists that participate, it’s more exposure. If your video is good and it gets love through the contest it’s gonna get a lot of views. For us it’s good exposure for our production and for the label. The fans like it too. Have you done any scouting on those videos? Yea, I mean it’s possible. We haven’t picked up anyone yet, but yea. I think the problem is, the cats who should participate in it don’t because it’s probably an ego thing. They don’t want to lose; they may have a small fan base already so they don’t do it. It’s not the norm to see an Executive with the fans; do you feel it’s important for Funk Volume? Yea; especially in the beginning. Now I’m accustomed to it. The FV voice is really my voice; it’s just kinda grown that way. You need as much momentum as you can, and if I can help create that with artist advice or pictures we put up you know it’s another way to engage fans. When FV is touring, do you also do the tour managing? Yea, well I have been. But since we’re growing and everybody is doing different things it’s impossible for me to everywhere at the same time. So, we are recruiting new tour CEO CEO FUNK FUNK VOLUME VOLUME managers and more. We’re actually looking for some right now. Now that you mention it, is there someone looking to contact you about that where can they do that? Yea, I mean…probably just email@example.com I would feel most comfortable going through someone we know already but if there is someone who sees or hears this wanting to connect yea. You mentioned before that you had gone through a lay off at a previous company doing consultant work. When you came aboard to Funk Volume, you mentioned it was a smooth transition because you were already a fan of Hopsin & Swizz’s music. Swizz being your younger brother. Yea, it was very easy to say yes because A, I had the time and B, that was my little brother. When someone is trying to send you music, what do you look for? We just look for people who really appreciate the culture and who actually want to get good at making music. So when people come to me and want to give me their music, I can’t reply to everyone but I do say focus on your fan base. If your fan base starts to grow then you can access to whatever you want. You’ll get our attention; you’ll get the blogs attention eventually, booking agents and other brands attention that want to sponsor you. It’s all based on a fan base. I’m gonna throw 3 things out at you, tell me what you think in one word: Technology – Opportunity 360 Deal – FunkVolume (That’s us. The guys are kinda in a 360 Deal but we’re growing together. We not only run the label but we manage them as well. It’s kind of a 360 Deal as well, but there’s a successful relationship that we’re building. I don’t see anything wrong with a 360 Deal.) 2013 NBA Finals – Heat (3 Peat) When did the music career become a reality (I think we answered this one) When you joined correct? Well, no it wasn’t right away because things didn’t just start poppin off. Even when I was laid off I was still doing side jobs and I even had another job I started. This wasn’t my full time till probably 2 years ago but we’re 5 years in. I was always doing other stuff to make money and keep paying my bills. I always had confidence in the guys, but after you have the talent it’s hard to put out music and deal with people’s criticism…continue to develop your craft. Hopsin suffers from ADHD…you get depressed sometimes. An artist’s mind is different you know. So for an artist to stay consistent, stay involved, stay wanting to do it. Now you got 4 artists, they all got issues…we all got issues. So, it’s difficult to get cats together, get everybody moving. So, I was confident that this was going to be my career till about 2 years ago.
Dame Ritter continued... Wow…I think people reading this may be surprised to hear that. You guys have done so much. Naw, I mean from the outside looking in you know everything moves faster than it really does. You know, this shit’s been stressful. All these lil’ patches right here it was all filled in before (points to head); I wasn’t forced to do the low cut. I had the wavy cut, you know lil taper. (haha) I got a little grey now over here… shit ain’t been easy. Because our label is so small it’s been stressful. Me and my brother haven’t always gotten along and Hop be wild’n too. What are some of the goals you are setting for Funk Volume? You know as the guys grow as artists, we’re trying to grow as a label. I want the label to get to a point where and artist can come to me and whatever his/her goal is as an artist we will help him/her get there. So, for us that next step is getting the right relationships in radio, the right relationships to get them the opportunity to act somewhere. Just keep growing. I want to be able to provide the resources that allow them to execute however they want to execute. I just want Funk Volume to have that team of artist that can compete with anybody. Have I diverse group of artists…so if someone came to me like “I’m a Hip Hop Fan” then there is somebody on FV your gonna fuck with and if not, then I’ll probably challenge that you’re a Hip Hop fan. By the time we have 10 artists I feel like we’ll have every lane covered and be inventing new ones. Every artist will always appreciate the art and can actually rap. Who in the music business do see as being a positive influence on you business wise? I mean definitely our homies over at Strange, just to see how organized they are you know doing it independently. Russell Simmons definitely, he’s real positive. I mean I follow him on twitter and he’s real positive and I am look forward to meeting him. I don’t even know…a lot of this stuff we’re just making up along the way as we go. I’m constantly reading blogs and stuff. We just try shit, if it works then we try it again and if not then we just try something else. Have you had the chance to sit down with Travis O’guin before? What’s his take on what FV is doing? Yea, we’re cool. I think he’s proud of what we’re doing. Originally he reached out and wanted to sign Hop. At that point Hop was doing very well and we just felt confident that we can continue to build the momentum and build it out into something that was bigger than Hop. So yea, we’re definitely cool. Stevie Stone just did something with Jarren Benton, um…we got a few more collabs on the way too. Looking forward to doing more music and hopefully for a few shows.
Web: www.MyFunkVolume.com Twitter: @MrFunkVolume Facebook: www.facebook.com/dame.funkvolume
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Tell us about being related to Lazy Bone & has he influenced your music at all? Yea, definitely. I grew up on Bone. I wasn’t the kid that went out and bought albums. The music that was around (hip hop) was Bone, everything else was R&B. Growing up not having a male figure in my life, every time I seen him it was always love and I always to be just cool like him cause he was always just so cool about everything. There was a time when they brought me, his son, my little brother, my cousin Chris and this kid named Three out to Arizona and they was tryna start like a Mini Bone Thugs with us 5. They had us all in this house it was like a making the band haha. We couldn’t get it together though. How does he feel about your situation now? I seen him yesterday, they had a show in Vegas at the House of Blues. I met with them at the hotel before the show and he was telling me “I see you!” He said it was just making him happy. It’s just dope cause I really did get on my grind. He knows that they have inspired me a lot. The show was dope too, cause it was my first time really being able to see them and it was dope! In 2010 you won the Sheikh Music Rip the Mic. That was the first time Funk Volume approached you and what was the approach like? Damien approached me and I don’t even really remember. I think he said something like; actually I don’t know what he said cause everybody was saying some stuff. I wanted to see what Def Jam was gonna say, cause you got that opportunity…so just coming from Vegas and like nobody being from there I wanted to take everything in and focus on what I needed to focus on. Yea, I probably just kinda brushed him off a little bit. (Dame laughing on the side) Had you heard of Funk Volume at the time? No I hadn’t. My managers at the time, who were still like my big homies…they told me about them and kinda pitched them to me. I had seen them on FB but I wasn’t up on the FB formula, I was more on Twitter. They were definitely there for me to see them, and then I finally checked out Hop and Hop was dope. So, Smoke Out Conversations was your first release on Funk Volume and that dropped on 420. It did really well #42 Billboard & #8 on Heat Seekers. Was that better than you planned? Yea, I had no expectations. It was crazy cause, it was gonna be a mixtape first (which it eventually did). But what happened was, Damien heard it and was like “none of this is sampled? This is all original?” and I was like “yea”, and he said “this needs to be an album”. That’s why we took the album route. I pushed it back cause we decided to go the album route. The fans was kinda upset but 420 just seemed like the right deal. Tell us about the Independent Living single and the video. It hit hard with a lot of cats including us because it was such a slap in the face to the industry. Were you all in the studio and can you paint a picture for us of that session? You know what’s funny, we weren’t. I came up with the song in Vegas. When I first got with Funk Volume, they weren’t officially a label yet. So, I kinda watched it grow into that label. But, to the people it actually looked like a label that’s established and organized it was. It looked like a label, moved like one but it was more of a camp. Just being a part of really becoming a label, independent everything (the merchandise, the grind, the tour, the fans)…you know I’m feeling real independent living right now. I knew that Swizz & Hop would feel the same. So, I shot it to them…I knew it was a little outa they lane a bit, but they could show they’re fans they can flip on anything. The video was shot in Salt Lake City, all green screen. It was fun. Everyone on Funk Volume is kinda crazy in their own sense; so… if you can give us a break down of you? I’m goofy, I’m silly. I’m the happy one though, I smile a lot. I’m real just chill. I don’t really trip about nothing and I’m easy to work with. I’m a thinker though too. As Dame would say, I think I’m emotionally intelligent. I can tell when a ni##a don’t wanna be fucked with etc. Story: RGMjr & D.Tracy Photography: RGMjr
Tell us about Hopsin? Hopsin is goofy. Hopsin is definitely goofy, more than anything. He’s definitely his own person. He’s that kid when somebody says a joke and everyone stops laughing…he’s the one that keeps laughing and repeating it. (hahaha) Tell us about Swizz? Swizz, that’s my boy. Swizz um…Swizz is to himself, he keeps to himself. He has a turn up side with his people though. He created Team Turn Up. But! He’s super to himself, but when it comes to his people…we’ll go to the bar and he’ll be like “ya not done right? Ya not done are ya my boy!!!”. But he’s super healthy; works out, super fit…basketball games all week. Jarren Benton? Jarren is a clown man! I’m so glad he’s that person man. He’s just random man, he speaks his mind…he’s just wild. Good energy, it’s never like bad energy from Jarren. He is a fool. DJ Hoppa? That’s my boy because you know we both have a genuine love for Marijuana. And uh, a lot of rappers talk about smoking a lot of weed and they don’t really smoke a lot. So when we first met he wanted to know if I really smoke. I’m like; “I really smoke bro”…and I definitely didn’t think he was a stoner like he was. It grew into something great. He’s just one of those little kids that grew up on all the hip hop. He just knows so much, you can tell he was a part of hip hop. He’s been through a lot. His story is crazy. One day when he tells his story people gonna be like “damn, you did all of that?” All before this and he’s gonna do more. Tell us about being a successful young father and how things have changed? It’s been cool man. I’m still just like learning my situation. Figuring out how to do this since becoming a man. I can’t change that at all. It’s cool, I love being a daddy more than anything. I’m pretty normal with that. I’m just a Dad you know. I‘m a good Dad, just like every other good daddy I’m there. It’s just cool to take care of shit; I like to keep my daughter active. It’s good to be able to pay for her to do things that some kids aren’t able to do cause the funds ain’t there you know. I’m just glad I’m gonna be able to open up new doors for her to just live and try new things. When you’re done touring and need a break from music, what is it you like doing? Honestly, I haven’t even taken a break from music. I wouldn’t even know. Literally, I have been trying to perfect my craft from every angle. How I’m dealing with people, my performance….how can I conserve this weed so I’m not spending so much music? (should we just grow it? Hahaha) And then the music…my music is talking about everything so there is never not a time that I don’t just wanna talk about shit. Let’s say if you weren’t doing music, what would you been doing today? Something like working with people. A counselor or something. Talk to young kids or something…just like bad ass little kids that don’t know no better. I would wanna be doing some shit like that, active with working with them. I used to like them kinda ni##as. It didn’t ever look like they had a lot of shit but they would come and put that good energy into us. I woulda been one of them ni##as. One pitfall you would warn other artists about? Shit, just fakin it. Don’t fake it man. Just be you…be you. After the year you had, XXL and all. What’s the one thing you did for YOU? Yea, I just recently moved into my new place. It’s more of the expensive route. It’s that spot in Vegas you say, “I ain’t never gonna live there…that shit too much!” It’s just one of them spots, me being from there. But, I needed that comfort zone and security for my family. I’m realizing my position, how people are reacting to me. I’m cool with all that, I wanted to create that zone. I ain’t just paying for the living…I’m paying for the work space, the security, the rehearsal room and a bunch of other shit. That was probably the only thing that I went out and was like, “I’ma do this for me”. I’m gonna throw 3 things out there for you and you tell me in one word what comes to mind… 1. California Weed: DJ Hoppa 2. Crowd Surfing: Hopsin 3. Growing Up In Vegas: Moski Moe What’s your definition of success? I don’t really focus on it. What are your best and worst tour stories? Oh man…um. My best tour story would probably be like crowd surfing and smoking on top the crowd while they are holding me up…just puffin. My worst would probably be just getting charged at all the hotels for smoking weed. Them $250 fines, I always get a few every tour. One time we shut the whole spot down at the end of the Smoke Out Conversations Tour. They gave us all this weed and we we’re just like we gon’ smoke all this…everybody passed me and Moski said we just gon’ puff till the flight! What happened? The smoke alarms went off…we were tryna wave it down! The homies started getting scared they started walking out the door. Where was Dame? I didn’t know where Dame was. They opened the door and the smoke went rushing out and the alarm went off in the whole hotel. The fire department came….(I wouldn’t lie to you bro). I threw all the weed away…I walked out like I didn’t know what was goin on. Then I thought it was the police coming so I went back…(I hit one cigarette my whole life) and this was the day. I lit that mothafucka up cryin like “NO! NO!....I laid down said…if they get me they get me…!” haha. It was wild man. Was that the worst or the best?
Where do you see your career next year this time? Next stage, whatever the next stage is for me you know. Everything is just a stage. Most people have someone they say, “when I get there…I need to go back and get this person”. Who is that for you? Moski Moe would probably be the one and he’s here already. I fucked with everybody but this is who I kicked it with. I was like you could be my hype man and go everywhere I go. But he was buffed at the time, ghetto I mean GHETTO (hahaha) we had to mold that ni##a into…THAT ni##a. I definitely just want to set it up so he can do everything he wants. Also, my family you know. We gotta work on 2 & 3 before we get to 4 & 5 honestly. What influenced you to steer clear from a major and stay independent? I talked to major label one time (and I had a lot of shit going on)…I knew I wasn’t no Jay Z but with the right crowd around me I could do something nice. Them ni##as didn’t listen to none of my shit, they were telling me they wanted to find the new Kid Cudi and said you could be the one. I was like damn. I’m like come on man, that’s when I knew. When I looked at it and listened to the radio I didn’t want no part of it. I ain’t looking for fast fame. I rather just build like that for my career and have fans listen to my whole projects, the skits everything. I will grind like this for the rest of my career. I had a feeling for what I wanted to do but I never seen anyone do it until I seen Hop. I seen Hop before Tech. I didn’t even know the Tech grind until after the Funk Volume shit. I had to do my research. I never even knew what Juggalo was bro…like I never even heard of none of that. All that is new to me, mosh pits? Bro I ain’t never seen that in my life…I thought they was fightin. (haha) What’s your opinion on Radio and airplay? I think it’s starting to open up and get more in tune with hip hop. I think Kendrick, Macklemore I think those cats are gonna open up some doors man. We’ll see... I feel like Kendrick is a top dog, Cole is a top dog and Wale is dope too. Dudes like them. Follow Dizzy on Social Media here: Facebook: www.facebook.com/dizzywright Twitter: www.twitter.com/dizzywright Instagram: www.instagram.com/dizzyhippy Funk Volume Page: www.myfunkvolume.com/artist/dizzy-wright/
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DIZZY JOINS HOPSIN ON TOUR IN 2014 MORE INFO: WWW.MYFUNKVOLUME.COM
Story: RGMjr To those reading about you for the first time, tell us a bit about you and where you're from? I'm a weird life-form created and raised in a secret laboratory outside of Philadelphia, PA. Who did you grow up listening to and look to as inspirations? Artists like Eminem, TLC, Missy Elliott... these were all major inspirations to me as a kid. When I started getting involved in music myself I started discovering other indie and underground acts as well and now a ton of artists inspire me every day! We recently caught you in Santa Cruz, CA on the "Rugged & Raw Tour" great live performance; how was the tour and tell us a bit about your friendship with R.A. The Rugged Man. Noticed you backing him up during his set. Thank you! I had never met him in person prior to the tour, but R.A. is a really cool guy! He can be very forward about things, but at least you always know he's being real! R.A. has a lot of female vocals on his tracks during the hooks or as backups so I backed him up live so I could bring that element. It was fresh!! What a good time... I'll never forget it. It's recently been announced that you will also be joining 3-6 Mafia on their "Sinners Tour 2014"...are you excited about that? And how did that come about? The more shows I've done the more promoters have been taking notice of me because of my high energy performances and crowd interaction! I get so many booking inquiries now, it feels great... I remember when I used to go to venues holding my press kit begging them to let me have a chance to perform at their club. Now people are approaching me it's crazy. I'm amped about the tour... I know Gangsta Boo from the group and I haven't seen her in a while so it will be dope to kick it again! We noticed on FB you had a photo of you holding a Grammy Certificate with your name on it for participating in a recording with other various artists. Can you tell us more about that? (pretty cool) Yeah, I was on a charity album that raised money for an anti-bullying organization. I like to do side projects for charity. Not all hip hop needs to promote violence or material things. Though it wasn't my normal style music a lot of time and energy went into writing and recording on that project and the fact it went on to win a Grammy Award is MIND BLOWING. I still don't think I believe it. Before we close out, tell us about your new album (name etc.) when does it drop and who you worked with on it? My new album "On The Brink" (which is being considered my debut album) releases Jan. 31st!! In the past Iâ€™ve been fortunate enough to collaborate with some HUGE names, but for this record I kept collaborations to a minimum and mainly did solo tracks. I do however have some select big names from both the OG hip-hop scene and the new school scene. You can expect to see songs featuring Spice 1, UnderRated of Potluck, Roscoe, Cool Nutz, Cryptic Wisdom, and Dubbs. Pre-orders will be opening for it very soon and it will be available both as digital or physical copies! How can those reading keep up with you online for news, music and shows? I think I'm on about 34346356345.2 social networking sites! Here's a few...take your pick! WhitneyPeyton.com Twitter @WhitneyPeyton facebook.com/WhitneyPeytonMusic YouTube.com/WhitneyPeytonMEDIA ReverbNation.com/WhitneyPeyton instagram.com/WhitneyPeyton
New Album Jan. 31st!
Sept. 6th, 2011 is a date that is significant to these two artists because of a few things. It marked the day these two set out on a journey together as a group they had no idea they had even formed. It marks the day they officially stepped away from previous label arrangements and it also marked the day their first EP I.L.A.M. 1 dropped. And in case you missed the bold heading, yes… I.L.A.M. stands for “Independent Like A M#fuka”. This is more than “just another story of two mc’s” and yes, this is more than just another magazine interview. It’s a story about how these two from two very different backgrounds came together to create something so small that is now having an impact so big. Trey C was born in San Francisco, CA and raised in the small city of Sebastopol, CA. With a population of under 8,000 people, small town livin’ is what you got. Lots of hidden lakes, farms and natural beauty. Tough sell to a hip hop fan right? It was…and IS. Playa Rae on the other hand was born and raised in San Jose, CA which is the last stop in the Bay Area heading south and you guessed it…it has a population of well over a million. Easy sell to a hip hop fan right? NO. You see, San Jose is considered a forgotten city of the Bay. Its music scene is often overlooked & overshadowed. Being the Silicon Valley, some might say that didn’t give it the “urban edge” people were looking for in hip hop.
teaming up with Empire Distribution to do digital distro. In the same room with all this going on, the two ran a full fledge studio recording their own music. Realizing there was next to nobody they needed to call to get things done, the name Independent Like A M#fuka came about. Actually, via a tweet after a long night in the studio from Playa Rae. Trey seen it called him and asked what that was and Rae simply said it’s US. We’re Independent Like A M#fuka. We don’t call anyone for anything do you realize that? We do it all. Everything is in house. Trey’s immediate response was to do an EP called just that. What followed was unexpected. The two released the EP full of music they called “Hustle Music”. Talking about the industry from a perspective of not being accepted for not “having the look” or not being “street” enough. Everyone had run to fake social media #’s, materialistic flows, colorful tattoos, fake skate boards and 360 deals that majors were throwing artists in a ploy to save their own ships from sinking.
They just wanted to bring it back to hip hop, lyrics and most important of all…they wanted to fall in love with music again. In 2012, they hit the iTunes charts for the first time in their career at #71 with a single called “All Over The Map” featuring Ric Jilla on Hot New Singles. That was the start of something even greater. Touring. The two knew they needed to step out from their The two met like most these days; the internet. Rae who comfort zone and hit the road. Rae had experience in had relocated to Denver, CO for about 3-4 years did a few putting together 2 previous independent tours, so they features for Trey. It wasn’t until 2006 when the two went to work on their own. But, before any of that took actually met in person. Trey was in L.A. for about a year place…they needed to be stage ready. This meant and came back to the Bay probably around the same rehearsals, stage presence and it meant no lyrics. To be time Rae did. Doing small things here and there keeping on tour they knew they needed to stand out and a connection they formed a good friendship. Ups and performing over your own lyrics wasn’t going to cut it. downs with label issues, the two found themselves in the When you take such a bold stand against what you call studio recording together a lot. Rae had started a small an industry full of “bullshit”…you become an easy target. media company to help with income called 408INC; So, the preparation was done and they soon hit the road. doing duplication, design work, printing and even
These two were no true headliners. They started from grass roots. They wanted to earn their name and place in hip hop. Not from a co-sign or from paying to get on a tour…but from nothing but hard work. Promoters & venues often said no due to the lack of a name and draw. They continued and took the chances they did get and built on every little win they had. They deem the folks who support their style of music as “Believers”. 7 independent tours later, 4 of which they headlined… more and more are becoming believers. All of these things still happen, but it’s the determination to overcome and achieve the vision they have for this machine they’ve built that keeps them pushing. Inspired by the inner workings of independent titans such as Strange Music, Rhymesayers, Hiero, Psychopathic, Funk Volume, Suburban Noize and many more these two are carving their own lane. When they are not recording, Trey is usually cleaning up tracks, writing, checking out new underground artists and working on new merchandise. He’s also found a new love...production and learning more about that and the engineering process everyday. Rae on the other hand is usually running 408INC doing design work and handling new clients for booking and then switches hats to Monstaville to work on backend things like the tours and things of that nature. All of this inbetween making music and building a buzz. Branding everything they do now…408INC Magazine has converted to the #ILAMHIPHOPPAGES presented by 408INC. Focusing on the independent aspect of hip hop. 408INC has since expanded into independent tour booking, screen printing and so much more. It is now a full fledge one stop shop for the independent artist specializing in short run everything. And, as that grows… so does Monstaville Music. The two have recently wrapped up volume 2 of their “Cheap Wine & Vintage Rhymes” series and are working on I.L.A.M. 4 which is titled “6 Degrees of Separation”, which is also the name of their Spring 2014 Nationwide Tour. The saying around here is…“the goal isn’t to be famous…it’s just not to be a stranger”. Work until you never have to introduce yourself again right? By the way, I’m Anthony. Some call me Ant Dawg and I’m what you call the silent partner to this little thing we call “La Machina”...which, in english means “The Machine”. I’ve been with Rae the longest and I’m an original member of Monstaville. I’ve seen it’s ups and downs and I’ve got to say, perseverence is heavy around here and I am glad to be a part of something great. Hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read and more importantly, I hope you have enjoyed the 1st issue of the new.... #ILAMHIPHOPPAGES Story: A.Casillas Photos: Rudy Loyda
Web: www.monstaville.biz | www.408inc.com Twitter & IG: @playaraedaboss @westcoasttrey @monstaville @408inc FB: www.facebook.com/ilamhiphop www.facebook.com/playaraedaboss www.facebook.com/westcoasttrey www.facebook.com/monstavillemusic www.facebook.com/408inc www.facebook.com/408incbooking Youtube: www.youtube.com/monstavillemusic
St or y: RGM j r
Te ll u s you r m u sica l in flu e n ce s? Being a beat m aker & hip- hop art ist I have several. On t he beat m aking side, it ’s m ost definit ely DJ Prem iere & Pet e Rock. On t he art ist side of it t he m ost influent ial person t o m e, is KRS ONE. He is t he definit ion of uplift ing t he com m unit y. W h e r e a r e you fr om ? I was born in Elm hurst NY, and raised in t he Pacific Nort hwest ! You ’r e a pr odu ce r / r a p a r t ist . W h ich is you r fir st pa ssion a n d w h y? My first passion, is writ ing. The power of words enables t he abilit y t o creat e wit hout const raint s. Writ ing is t he ult im at e “ play doh” enabling you t o channel your im aginat ion wit h few rules. All beat s st art from words …so t he basis of our art form is t he cont rol of words and how you can m old & bend t hem . This is why writ ing is m y first passion. Th r ou gh you r m u sic, you h a ve a con sciou s m e ssa ge ...t a lk t o u s a bou t it . I grew up in low incom e housing, wit h blind parent s. I was always t old t hat becom ing a funct ional m em ber of societ y is t he goal in growing up. The neighborhood I grew up in was anot her st ory however… Gang- banging, drugs, and prost it ut ion were at t he forefront ; wit h few in our com m unit y set t ing a funct ional exam ple. Thru m y m at urat ion I have seen t he dest ruct ion of hum an life in all facet s, t herefore choosing t o set t he exam ple needed t o uplift our com m unit ies. Rat her t han prom ot e deat h and t aking t he easy way out , I would rat her expose life’s possibilit ies and t he opt ion t o choose success over conform ing t o t he set st ereo t ypes of our com m unit ies. W h a t h a ve you r e le a se d & w h o h a ve you w or k e d w it h of k e yn ot e ? I have released t he first 4 t racks on m y upcom ing EP “ Ment al Crim inal” wit h t he last 2 dropping t his week. St ay updat ed on t he release of t he EP and fut ure proj ect s at : www.nyqeunort hodox.com Most recent ly I have worked wit h; Kuzzo Fly & FreezTV of t he Regim e Mob, Monst aville x I LAM, J.Lat ely & J. Good. As well as Sunny Red wit h Clover G Records. W h a t a r e you r pla n s for t h e fu t u r e ? The release of t he full EP “ Ment al Crim inal” by t he end of 2013. Going int o t he com plet ion of m y first LP som et im e in 2014! Be on t he lookout ! Cont inuing our weekly radio show, Unort hodox & JMarie LI VE on www.kouvradio.com EVERY Tuesday from 8- 10pm . Fin a lly; give u s you r t h ou gh t s on t h e st a t e of h ip h op? I would say t he st at e of Hip- hop is in t ot al em ergency! I t has becom e m ore of who has m oney and beat s vs. who has t alent and cont ent . There are few left , wit h t he art form s t rue st ruct ure in m ind. Call it som ewhat a phase if you will, I t hink t hat t here is enough pure t alent left t o point Hip- hop in t he direct ion it once was. Especially if originalit y is cont inually encouraged. W h e r e you ca n fin d m e : Websit e: nyqeunort hodox.com FB: facebook.com / pages/ NYQE- Unort hodox/ 144425949058510 Twit t er: t wit t er.com / NYQEUNORTHODOX I nst agram : inst agram .com / nyqeunort hodox Soundcloud: soundcloud.com / nyqe- unort hodox Reverbnat ion: www.reverbnat ion.com / nyqeunort hodox
UNORTHODOX & JMARIE LIVE
Bringing you live & local Hip- Hop, R&B st raight out t a t he PNW! Tune in EVERY Tuesday from 8- 10pm ! Support YOUR local art ist s! www.kouvradio.com
H ow is it com ing fr om Re no a nd doing hip hop? Reno is called t he " Biggest Lit t le Cit y in t he World” ; m eaning t here is so m uch in such a sm all place. I grew up list ening t o all kinds of m usic not j ust hip hop and rap and used t hat t o m y advant age when I first st art ed writ ing and recording songs. Every art ist here has t heir own st yle and t ells t heir own st ory. Som e were brought up rich and som e were brought up poor. I wasn’t fort unat e enough t o have t hings handed t o m e on a silver plat t er. My parent s t ried t heir best t o raise m y brot her, sist er and m e. So m usic was m y out let and I t ook everyt hing I seen and did everyday and put it int o songs t o release m y anger, sadness & pain.
W ha t ha ve you r e le a se d & de scr ibe your st yle ? At t he beginning of m y career I rem em ber recording dem os on casset t e t apes and honest ly I can’t rem em ber how m any of t hose I put out . But , I do rem em ber I put out m y first CD at 15. Then at 17, I m oved t o Alabam a and connect ed wit h a bunch of art ist s. My hom ie Chico Cabron and I form ed a group called ourselves Dyfrent St ilo. We dropped t wo self t it led m ixt apes, t hen went our separat e ways. I t hen connect ed w/ a few ot her art ist s and we put t oget her an album and released it . While in t he process of working on t hat album , I was working on m y own solo CD t it led “ For Tha St reet z”. I put it out and m ade sure t o send copies t o m y hom e st at e of NV and lat er found out it hit big on t he st reet s. I m oved back t o NV & put t oget her anot her solo album t it led “ Childhood Dream s” w/ t he int ent ion of showing fans t he deeper and m ore harsh part s of m y life. Lat er on I got t oget her w/ a singer/ rap art ist and we cooked up our m ixt ape “ Killing Them Soft ly” and got a couple t racks on t he radio. I ’m now finishing up m y m ixt ape “ Unt ouchable” due out in lat e Nov.
Krazy One St or y: RGM j r
t hat ’s when
W ha t a r e your influe nce s & how ’d you ge t st a r t e d? I grew up list ening t o all kinds of m usic. As a Hispanic, Mexican m usic was always part of m y life, but m y Dad would m ost ly play 80’s m usic around t he house and in t he car. My cousins list ened t o oldies & Chicano rap which had m e playing t hat also. I rem em ber one t im e I had gone t o t he local swap m eet and picked up a Chicano rap CD and said t o m yself, I could do what t hey did. So, I began freest yling songs which lead t o writ ing and t hen recording t racks
t o a casset t e t ape using a cheap walm art m icrophone. From Lil’ Rob & Dr. Dre t o Bone Thugs N Harm ony; I can go on forever t elling you who and what influenced m e. Every art ist old and new has had an im pact on t he way I m ake m usic and why I st art ed writ ing & recording.
W ha t do you w a nt pe ople t o k now m ost a bout you a nd your m usic? I want people t o know t hat I ’m j ust a cool chill regular guy who j ust happens t o m ake m usic t hat people can relat e t o. I writ e about t he t hings t hat have happened in m y life, good or bad. I want everyone t o list en t o m y st ory. Every CD I ’ve put out has it ’s own st ory because I look at t hem as chapt ers in m y life. I f t he album had all part y songs it ’s because at t hat point I was happy and living it up. Sam e goes for love songs or sad t racks, it ’s because t hat ’s where I was. One t hing about m e is t hat I ’m real. No fakery what soever here. Everyt hing I rap about is real whet her I experienced it first hand, seen it wit h m y own eyes or know som eone going t hrough it or doing it . I consider m yself a st oryt eller. The difference is, I ’m t elling t rue st ories.
W ha t a r e your pla ns for t he fut ur e ? My plans are t o cont inue doing what I am doing but st ep it up a not ch every t im e t o event ually end up on t op. Most art ist s m ake m usic hoping t o get a deal and st art raking in t he m oney. To be honest , if I don’t get a deal it wouldn’t m at t er t o m e as long as I ’m st ill able t o put out m usic for t he fans and cont inue t o enj oy doing it . There’s t his saying t hat goes, “ I f you love your j ob, you’ll never have t o work a day in your life”. That ’s exact ly how I feel when I ’m in t he st udio writ ing and recording. I don’t feel like I ’m working because I love t o do what I do. So t o any of t he dedicat ed fans who st ill list en t o m y m usic, 5 or 10 years from now...I want t o t hank you for being here and support ing. Socia l M e dia Link s: Personal FB: www.facebook.com / krazyone775 Fanpage: www.facebook.com / kay.ohh775 Twit t er: @krazyone775 List en t o t racks here: www.reverbnat ion.com / krazyone775
You r fr om Oa k la n d, bu t live in Be r k e le y w h a t 's it lik e be in g a h ip h op a r t ist t h e r e ? I n t he world of hip- hop Oakland is definit ely a m ore reput able cit y, but I personally owe m y hip hop experience t o Berkeley. I f I hadn’t m oved out here I likely never would have m et up wit h Rossi Mac who t ook m e in as an art ist and helped get t his whole t hing in m ot ion t o begin wit h. Being an art ist out in Berkeley is great . I pret t y m uch live wit h everyone I work wit h, and I act ually have a com m unit y of art ist s who all live walking dist ance from m y house and we have been put t ing in som e good work and doing shows. One of which being “ The Get Down” in Albany at t he I vy Room every 3rd Tuesday of t he Mont h! Be on t he lookout ! I t 's t ou gh be in g in die , w h a t dr ive s you t o con t in u e doin g m u sic? Music is t he m ost ent ert aining t hing in t he world! I t brings people t oget her, allows people t o express t heir com m onalit ies and differences in a peaceful way, and it brings down barriers so people can have a good t im e. My ult im at e goal is t o be able t o bring t hat sam e feeling and sense of com m unit y t o people who enj oy hip- hop everywhere. But when it com es down t o it I do m usic because it ’s fun, and I get a sense of accom plishm ent from it . I f I can get people t o vibe off m y shit t hen it j ust becom es m ore rewarding for m e in t he end. W h o a r e som e of you r in flu e n ce s a n d w h y? I like t o t hink t hat everyt hing I ’ve ever heard has influenced m e one way or t he ot her whet her it be posit ive or negat ive. Som e of m y classic favorit e influences have been Hieroglyphics, Living Legends, A Tribe Called Quest , and Wu-Tang, am ong ot hers. I was also in high school when t hat whole hyphy m ovem ent was in full effect , which is when I wrot e m y first raps ever. So all of t hose art ist s like Mac Dre, Andre Nickat ina, Mist ah FAB, and E- 40 had an influence on m e as a developing art ist as well alt hough m y st yle t oday is on t he conscious side. H ow did you ge t st a r t e d a n d w h a t h a ve you pu t ou t u p t o da t e ? I st art ed writ ing raps in high school m ost ly as a j oke t o m ake m y friends laugh. I enj oyed it enough t o begin writ ing “ serious songs” during m y senior year and for a few years aft er high school. I liked t o freest yle and recit e m y songs t o people, but had none of t hem recorded. Then in early 2012 I m oved out t o Berkeley where I current ly live t o st ay wit h som e people I m et t hrough m y high school friends. Over t im e it was brought t o m y at t ent ion t hat our neighbor and m y current m anager, Rossi Mac was working on his own record label, Online Music Group ( O.M.G.) and ran his own prom ot ional com pany, Fancy Foot work Prom ot ions out of a st udio on Gilm an St . When I t old him I had songs, he was hesit ant t o work wit h m e, but once he heard m e out we got t o work and st art ed recording! Since we st art ed working t oget her Rossi Mac has supervised, m ixed, and m ast ered all of m y work. On May 31st 2012 we put out m y first m ixt ape “ CALL OF DUDEY.” On June 21st 2013 we put out our first original proj ect THE DEAD DAZE, which is a post apocalypt ic zom bie t hem ed st ory EP feat uring Grem lin 1114 and Lit t le Larry of Berkeley.
W h a t a r e som e of you r goa ls in t h e fu t u r e for you r m u sic? I have m any goals when it com es t o m y m usic and t he im age t hat I put out . I am arranging m y com plet ed t racks according t o sound and feel so I can get feedback on what people like t o hear from m e upon fut ure proj ect releases, I have plans t o get clot hing and m erchandise prepared, and I would like t o see m yself on m y first st art- up t our wit hin t he next year. I will cont inue t o build m y m usic relat ionships and put in t he necessary work t o put m y plans int o act ion. W h a t do you w a n t pe ople t o k n ow m ost a bou t you a n d you r m u sic? That it ’s genuine. While I writ e, I do everyt hing I can t o m ake sure t hat I put m y whole self int o t he lyrics. Som et hing t hat I believe, som et hing t hat I ’ve done, som et hing t hat I want t o do, som et hing I would do, som et hing t hat happened t o m e, WHATEVER. I j ust want people t o know t hat t his shit isn’t ake and t hat I put m y heart int o it . I hat e t he idea of m aking m usic wit h a m essage I don’t support , or m aking som et hing half- asked. Everyt hing I do has som e kind of personal connect ion t o m e, and I put in t he t im e t o m ake sure t hat I act ually like what I put out . W h e n you a r e n ’t doin g m u sic, w h a t it is you lik e t o do? I t ry t o st ay busy as oft en as possible, because sit t ing around j ust m akes m e feel uneasy. I n any case, I am an avid t ennis player and coach. I am looking t o creat e a client list , get professionally cert ified, and coach for a living in coincidence wit h t he m usic. I used t o be seriously int o Hockey and Basket ball as well, but recent ly had t o get knee surgery from a sport s relat ed inj ury, so m usic is t he prim ary focus t hese days. I have been working for Oakland Parks and Recreat ion for about 10 years, and at t he Downt own Berkeley YMCA for a couple m ont hs, but hope t o be done working for “ The Man” as soon as possible t o pursue what you read above.
fa ce book .com / h e a vydu de y sou n dclou d.com / h e a vy- du de y r e ve r bn a t ion .com / h e a vydu de y Em a il: H e a vydu de y8 8 @gm a il.com
St or y: RGM j r
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