DAVID BANNER’S CERTIFIED OZONE COMIC BOOK!
...THE UNDERRATED MEMPHIS MACK INJECTS SOME PIMPIN’ FLAVOR TO DAVID BANNER’S NEW ALBUM CERTIFIED! How did you and David Banner start working together? I met Banner a few years back. He used to come through my studio with Bonecrusher. He was really tryin’ to grind. He spent a lot of time at my studio, just watching and checkin’ out what was going on and the way I did things. I’m from Memphis and he’s from Jackson, so we kinda like cousins anyway. I remember once he mentioned that you’d let him borrow some production equipment. Oh, I let him use my sounds. Borrowing equipment is nothing, but he wanted to borrow some sounds. In production, nobody does that. I mean, Banner’s just that kinda guy. I wouldn’t give that to anybody. It’s only a couple producers that I would do that for. What song did you produce on his new album Certified? I produced “We Should Be Fuckin’.” We was in the studio kickin’ it, and I told him that’s what he needed. I don’t think he really heard the potential at first, but he took a stab at it just because he felt like it was cool. He was really checkin’ out the vibe of the song and he fell in love with it.
Being from Memphis, how would you compare the music scene in Memphis to the scene in Atlanta? I think Memphis is definitely a musical city. Atlanta just had more resources with LaFace and So So Def and Dallas Austin and everybody doing they thing. Atlanta just had that head start on a big label level. I’ve got so much going on out here in Atlanta, I don’t know if I could leave my city now. It’s like going out of town. I’ve gotta be here. It’s so much more going on here for me. It’s more friendly for record labels, too. If a label wants to send Mariah Carey down here to Atlanta, she can come see Jazze Pha, Dallas Austin, and JD all at one time. It’s more accessible. Didn’t you originally have a joint venture with Young Jeezy? Why did you go separate ways? It’s just that Jeezy wanted to go his own way with his project. I told him in the beginning that I wasn’t gonna hold him to a contract, because if he wanted to be gone he could go. I didn’t go to L.A. Reid, I didn’t go to nobody at Def Jam, I went to Jeezy and I told him myself – do whatever you want to do with your situation. We had no beef; nothing like that. I love him, he’s like my little brother. He can always come to me and holla at me. He knows who put him on, and as long as we know, it’s all good. You seem to have a knack for finding new talent. Is there any up-and-coming artists you’d like to name? Yeah, look out for my man Tone Tone, out of Detroit, and my group Nephew. I’m also closing a deal with a young female that’s incredible, but I don’t want to say her name yet. And, of course, Jody Breeze is still with Shonuff and Boyz N Da Hood. Ciara’s doing movies and a tour right now.
JAZZE PHA’S VITAL STATS:
ALTER EGO: FENZELL WASHINGTONZELL COSTUME: SUNGLASSES, 5X JERSEY SUPERPOWER: EAR FOR NEW TALENT feeling. It’s just the typical story of someone who’s like, if I make it, I ain’t gonna be able to hide it. If I make a few mill, you’ll know. I’m gonna put on some new rims, new clothes, and new jewels.
What’s going on with your solo project? Me and Cee-Lo are doing a whole album together right now called The Happy Hour. That’s the next thing. As far as my solo project, I had problems with Atlantic Records. They didn’t want to do what they were supposed to do for the Jazze Pha project, so I had to find a way to do something else. It’ll be coming out in November, and I’m doing the majority of the production. Me and Atlantic Records are not seeing eye to eye right now. I’ve got a label deal now with Capital.
Do you ever just sit back and think about the fact that you make money to do what you love? Aw, yeah, I mean, I can’t believe it sometimes. But it ain’t always easy work. A lot of people see the effortlessness and the fun parts of the music. The easy part is in the studio. It takes nothing to cut a record. If it was that easy to push it and make a whole country of people feel the same way about the song, everybody would do it. There’s a lot of work involved. To wake up at 7 AM to take a flight, day after day after day, people don’t understand what kind of wear and tear we go through.
On Slim Thug’s “Incredible Feeling,” you talk about how much fun it is to make money. Is that your main motivation for being in this business, or is it more about the music? You know, that’s just one aspect of it. It’s a celebration. It’s really a great
Are there any producers today that you feel are underrated? Yeah, Jazze Pha! But it’s cool, because that’s why I stepped up and started saying my name and letting people know that my presence is here. Showing up in the videos has done a lot for my career in the last few years.
FUN FACT: JAZZE PHA’S FATHER, JAMES ALEXANDER, WAS A MEMBER OF THE LEGENDARY SOUL SINGERS THE BAR-KAYS! OZONE AUGUST 2005
Ozone Mag #37 - Aug 2005