MINI 2006 DEMP WEEK SPECIAL EDITION
TREY SONGZ JAE MILLZ T-PAIN PITBULL
MAPS EVENT LISTINGS
DJ DEMP & MORE!
WELCOME TO TALLAHASSEE
MINI 2006 DEMP WEEK SPECIAL EDITION
MAPS EVENT LISTINGS DJ DEMP TREY SONGZ JAE MILLZ T-PAIN PITBULL YOUNG CASH CHYNA WHYTE DAVID BANNER TJ’S DJ’S & MORE WELCOME TO TALLAHASSEE
PUBLISHER/EDITOR: Julia Beverly OPERATIONS MANAGER: Gary LaRochelle MARKETING & PROMOTIONS: Malik “Highway” Abdul CONTRIBUTORS: Aldrick Williams, Elora Mason, Keith Kennedy, Matt Sonzala, Rohit Loomba, Samuel Cobb, T-T To subscribe, send check or money order for $11 to: 1516 E. Colonial Dr. Suite 205 Orlando, FL 32803 Phone: 407-447-6063 Fax: 407-447-6064 Web: www.ozonemag.com Cover credits: Young Cash/DJ Demp, Haitian Fresh, and Eye Candy photos by Julia Beverly. Photo this page: Aldrick Williams. 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 2006 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.
dempweek2006 COVER STORIES Young Cash pg A22-25 DJ Demp pg A12-13 Haitian Fresh pg B20-23 DJ PROFILES Supastar J-Kwik pg A14 Frank Luv pg A16 Cadillac Joe pg A18 DJ Lil Boy pg A20 FEATURES Tallahassee Map pg A12 Event Listings pg A10 Photo Galleries pg A15-17, B9-11 T-Pain’s Release Party pg A26-27 INTERVIEWS Pitbull pg A28-29 BSU pg B8 Total Kaos pg B10 David Banner pg B12 TJ Chapman pg B14 Amphinati pg B15 Ed the World Famous pg B16 Rohaun pg B17 Jam TV pg B18 Chyna Whyte pg B19 Trey Songz pg B24-25 Eye Candy pg B26-27 Jae Millz pg B28-29
DEMP WEEK 2006 EVENT LISTING Monday, January 9th, 2006
Saturday, January 14th, 2006
12noon – 2pm Clippers Barber Shop DEMP Week Grand Opening (Clippers 2nd location) 1815 South Adams Street
2nd Annual DEMP Week Golf Classic & Skins Games Host Course Jake Gaither Golf Course 7:45am – 8:30am - Early registration, continental breakfast, range balls 9:00am – Shotgun Start Portion of proceeds to benefit Coach Robert T. Mungen, Sr. Foundation (Provide scholarships for minority children from the Tallahassee Jake Gaither Community with an interest in Tennis & Golf)
10pm – Until Hittmenn DJ’s Welcome to DEMP Week Kick Off Party Everybody free until 12am and all Capricorn’s free until 1am @ Chubbys 1833 West Tennessee Street Tuesday, January 10th, 2006 6pm - DEMP Week Fashion Show presented by Faces Modeling Troupe Live performance by Freeway @ the Leon County Civic Center 505 West Pensacola Street 10pm Official Fashion Show After Party @ Club Elements Wednesday, January 11th, 2006 12noon DJ DEMP Live @ Florida State University in the Student Union 10pm - Hip-Hop/Reggae @ Baja’s Night Club hosted by Wayne Wonder & FSU’s CSA feat. Cool Running DJs, Wickedness, Black Chiney, and X-Facta 2020 W Pensacola Street Thursday, January 12th, 2006 10pm DJ DEMP Celebrity Birthday Bash Hosted by David Banner featuring celebrity appearances and performances @ The Moon 1105 East Lafayette Street Friday, January 13th, 2006 12pm Florida Entertainment Summit Collegiate Tour Kick Off Panel Discussion Featuring a Q&A with Recording Artist and Producer David Banner @ Florida State University 10pm Crunk Juice II Party The Ultimate Crunk Energy Drink Party BME Artist BME Artist Trillville, Lil’ Scrappy, Bohagan, Chyna Whyte, & more @ Chubbys 1833 West Tennessee Street 10
12noon – 2pm Bowling Tournament @ Seminole Bowl 1940 W Tennessee Street Portion of proceeds to benefit Big Bend Cares HIV/AIDS Outreach Initiatives Celebrity Basketball Game @ FAMU Gaither Gym Florida A&M University 2pm Doors open 3pm Game Time Portion of proceeds to benefit Trick Luvs Da Kids Foundation 6pm - Madden Bowl Tournament @ Snookers Billiard Room 1861 W Tennessee St 10pm - DEMP Week Exclusive Celebrity Basketball Game After Party 18 & Over Listen to Blazin’ 102.3FM for details 10pm - Special Edition of Grown Folks Night @ The Moon 1105 East Lafayette Street Hosted by MC Lyte & Special Ed, Music by Ed The World Famous and Tony Neal Sunday, January 15th, 2006 7pm - Comedy Show @ Ruby Diamond Auditorium Florida State University 10pm - Official Comedy Show After Party and Gangsta Grillz Grand Finale featuring DJ Demp & DJ Drama Special invited guest all night @ The Moon Monday, January 16th, 2006 DEMP Week Extended Stay Private Barbecue - Invitation Only Private Location
DJ DEMP Are you from Tallahassee? Nah, I was born in Washington, DC. My parents moved down to Tallahassee to get away from the cold. What inspired you to start DJing? Probably the movie Juice. It was around that era. I mixed and matched some turntables and started working. I just really liked music, so it was one of those things you start to dabble in. I was about 17 or 18. Were you planning to college? I was right out of high school. I had an art scholarship to go to college, actually. I’m good with my hands; drawings and paintings. But I went into the military. I got tricked. The recruiters tricked me. You know, they tell you all these stories about what you’re gonna be doing. I was just out of high school, and that shit looked real good. When I realized what was up, I was already in the Army. I got homesick real fast and got out on an honorable discharge. I didn’t have to go through basic training. I made a little bit of money and got out. When you came back home, did you have a plan? Nah, I was just into the music thing. I didn’t have a plan or anything. I had a little bit of money in my pocket so I was cool. But I couldn’t get a job cause I don’t like working for people. I started DJng little theme parties here and there, making a couple hundred dollars. You’ve been affiliated with a lot of artists. Who was the first? The first national DJ group I belonged to was the Ghosttown DJs, with So So Def. I branched off from there to a local group. The first artist I DJed for was a member of Ghosttown. My first tour artist was Luther Campbell. That was fun, back in 1997 or 1998. I’ve toured with Juvenile, Trick Daddy, and Lil Flip, and I’m currently on the road with Trick Daddy and David Banner. How have you been able to build relationships with artists? I guess I’m somewhat good at what I do, and it takes a certain type of DJ to do tour DJing. Your travel schedule has to be very flexible. You have to be able to leave whenever you want. You can’t have very many ties to your city where you have to be home at a certain time, cause you can be on tour for days or months. You never know. You
can’t be on the radio unless you’re really doing a syndicated show, because you’ll miss a lot of radio days. You can’t have a 95 and be a tour DJ. That’s not gonna work. Aside from tour DJing, do you do club nights and mixtapes? I do everything. I balance my time out between two artists right now and my regular gigs. I travel and do my own gigs where people just book me as a DJ. It could be NFL parties or regular events like the Florida Classic, Super Bowl weekend, Clinton Portis weekend, stuff like that. I’ve done parties for people like Travis Fisher and Randy Moss. How did you get the idea to do the first Demp Week? I was actually the resident DJ four nights a week at The Moon, so when I was doing my birthday party, I decided to have a party each night. Vaughn Wilson at the Moon, DJ Ace, he kinda gave it a name and made that statement that it was “Demp Week.” I decided to roll with it. What’s your most memorable Demp Week moment? I actually have a number of them, but one of the most memorable was when George Clinton came out. He came out twice. The first time was when I got my gold album from So So Def, so he came to celebrate. Then the second time, he came in 2004 and came out on the stage. I had Juvenile, Trick Daddy, Twista, Lil Flip, the Nappy Roots, Red Rat, Jae Millz, Tampa Tony, and everybody there that year. What can we expect to see this year? A lot more events. We added a couple daytime events and new artists. It’s all about my birthday, so I just try to keep it simple. How did you get the city of Tallahassee to actually proclaim it “Demp Week”? I’ve been doing it a number of years, and the event has a positive vibe. My publicist, Elora Mason, and she kinda set other things in position that I’m not capable of doing. She did the research on how long it’s been here and what it brings to the city and got in touch with the mayor. I’m not sure the steps and the processes she went through, but she was able to make it happen. Anything else you’d like to say? The website is www.DJDemp.com. This is the 9th year, so we’re really just setting up for the ten year anniversary. It’s gonna be crazy. I got all kinda of surprises. - Photo and words by Julia Beverly OZONE
SUPASTAR J-KWIK Are you from Tallahassee? Nah, I’m born and raised in Philly. I came down here to go to FAMU’s school of business. Being straight out of Philly and coming down South, it was a little culture shock. I had to actually go home and get my mind right, but when I came back to Tallahassee I fell in love with it. My mom wanted me to stay down here because she wanted me to stay alive. I was getting into all kinds of trouble in Philly so I figured it was for the best. She raised me by herself, so I figured if her knowledge got me that far, her knowledge would take me a little further. What kinds of trouble? My situation is unique because I was always pretty smart. I went to the best school in the state of Pennsylvania. It was an allwhite prep school in an all-black neighborhood, so I had to live two lives. I would come back to the hood at night, but during the day, it was a different world. It wasn’t about the kind of clothes you wore, it was basically about who your parents were and what you knew. It was weird going to school with the movers and shakers of the world and then coming home to the hood at night. It had me confused. I had a job in high school working with the Philadelphia Eagles, which allowed me to meet a lot of the players. That’s where my drive and ambition came from; I was always around a lot of people that succeeded and had a good work ethic. But even though I went to the best school in the state, I was out there on the streets robbing, stealing, selling dope, and just running with the wrong crowd. This cat I was working for had killed a guy in the projects and he eventually did 7 years of a 12 year bid for that murder charge. I was getting involved with people like that. What was the turning point? Two days before I was about to move down to FAMU, these dudes from the projects tried 14
to rob me. I was going to a private school that cost $10k a year for free, so I had the chance of the lifetime, but I was fuckin’ it up by being out there in the streets. I was fighting six dudes and I ended up getting hit by a taxicab in the middle of the street. I got my ass kicked and they took some of my jewelry. I had the taxi take me home and I got my mom’s gun and came back. My friend that was there with me – I didn’t think he was my friend, because he had left me by myself to fight six cats – actually saved my life because he found a cop and told him what happened. I hopped out of the cab and saw one of the dudes that tried to rob me. When he saw me, he had that look of death on his face. I knew I was gonna shoot him. As I’m reaching for the gun, the cop stopped me. He said, “Don’t do that. Walk with me.” I just started crying cause I was so mad. But this dude actually saved my life, because if I had pulled that trigger, who knows where I’d be now. The cop told me, “Your friend says you’re about to leave to go to school. Don’t throw your life away.” So snitching isn’t always a bad thing. Yeah. The cop actually took me home and gave my mom back her gun. He was like, “You need to get out of here.” It was a blessing in disguise. When did you start DJing? DJing was always in me, but I had kinda suppressed it. While I was going to school, I was still doing what I had to do. I was working for a guy selling beauty supplies until he died of a heart attack. I tried to find another job... For the rest of this interview, check out the January issue of OZONE Magazine at www.OZONEMAG.com. - Words and photo by Julia Beverly
01: Tampa Tony, Mad Linx, and Young Cash @ T-Pain’s album release party (Tallahassee, FL) 02: Big Teach, DJ Demp, and TJ Chapman @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 03: T-Pain and Short Dawg on the set of “I’m In Luv (Wit’ A Stripper)” (Atlanta, GA) 04: Floyd Mayweather and friends (Tallahassee, FL) 05: Rawlo and crew (West Palm Beach, FL) 06: Pupp and Triple J reppin’ OZONE @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 07: Ed the World Famous, Storm, and Hurricane Dave @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 08: Trina and Fat Joe reppin’ OZONE @ Mansion (Miami, FL) 09: Sean Paul of the YoungBloodz @ Fusion (Ft. Myers, FL) 10: Mike Jones testing some lyrics out on DJ Demp (Atlanta, GA) 11: Chucky Chuck and DJ Slim @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 12: Krazy Baby and friends @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 13: Phatt Lipp and Nay Fresh @ Power Moves (West Palm Beach, FL) 14: Garcia and DJ Quest @ Fusion (Ft. Myers, FL) 15: Lil Flip reading OZONE (Orlando, FL) 16: Mal-Jay and Grenade Records reppin’ OZONE @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 17: Ivory, DJ 151, and Point Blank Entertainment @ The Roxy (Jacksonville, FL) 18: Supastar J-Kwik, Lady T, and Baby Stone @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 19: Bonecrusher, Krazy, Akon, and MeMpHiTz @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 20: Red Dogg and Plies @ Cairo (Orlando, FL) 21: Get Cool, Zay, and Young Cash @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) Photos by Julia Beverly except #04 by Samuel Cobb and #14 by Malik Abdul
FRANK LUV Where are you from? I was born in Jamaica, and grew up in Ft. Lauderdale. I came up here to Tallahassee to go to school at FAMU. What were you studying in school? I graduated with a degree in Political Science and Public Administration. I was always into DJing, in the dorms and stuff like that. I wasn’t really into politics; I wasn’t trying to put on a suit and go work for somebody. I really wasn’t trying to run for governor; it was just world interest. I started DJing little house parties and fraternity and sorority parties. When I first came to FAMU, they had a DJ contest with Clay D. This was back around 92, 93 in the end of the bass days. Clay D scooped me up and I went on tour with him. I went to the Clay D school of DJing, and Clay D went to the Luke school, so it’s all connected. How did you get into radio? Right before I graduated I started working for Cumulus 96.1 as a mixer, I was doing a show with Ed the World Famous and Malcolm X. I had dibbled and dabbled in college radio, but that was really my first time on the radio. I was DJing at The Moon too. DJing brought me in the door of the radio station so I started spreading out and learning how to move up in radio. Would you still say you’re a bass DJ or a dirty South DJ? I have a lot of influences cause I’m from Jamaica. I’m down South all the way, but I like to cut and scratch too. I had cousins in New York that would send me Pete Rock tapes. But I grew up on Jam Pony. Where do you currently DJ? I’m on the radio every day – WBWT 100.7 The Beat - and in the clubs two or three times a week. I do a mixtape series called For The Most Wanted. I’m on part 5 right 16
now. I’m also the official DJ for the FSU Seminoles’ basketball team. Do you think your college degree has helped you as a DJ? Kinda. In this industry you gotta talk to a lotta people on some politickin’ and networking type thing. I don’t regret going to school cause it opened me up to be on my own knowledge search. How do you feel about vinyl vs. mp3/CDs? I’m a diehard vinyl person, but I’m always down with technology. Right now I’m in the process of converting over to Serato, where you don’t lose the essence of DJing. You can still manipulate two turntables and a mixer. Previous things that came out were garbage. You had people who weren’t DJing calling themselves DJs. Do you feel confined to a playlist when you DJ on the radio? Nah, I’m pretty wide open. That’s the freedom I like about Tallahassee. It’s like a microcosm of America. You’ve got everybody from everywhere, and I can test new music. A lot of labels fuck with me cause they know the market is like a tester market. You’ve got a little baby population here. It’s like a mini mainstream. What artists do you see making noise in Tallahassee besides T-Pain? Guys like Total Kaos and the Dirt Dogs. Of course the Nappy Headz are getting ready to bring some serious action. There’s a lot of Florida underground veteran rappers. so with my mixtapes I focus on artists like Rick Ross, Total Kaos, Triple J and Luc-Duc. Their time is coming. Do you wanna give out any contact info? Yeah, you can call me at 850-980-1156. - Words and photo by Julia Beverly
01: Trey Songz and Webbie @ Fusion (Ft. Myers, FL) 02: Bu and Akon @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 03: TI and Trick Daddy @ Mansion (Miami, FL) 04: Tampa Tony, DJ Dagwood, and Tango Redd @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 05: Julia Beverly and DJ Dap (Atlanta, GA) 06: Shaun and Hutch @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 07: Tigger and Roland Powell @ The Roxy (Orlando, FL) 08: Chris Brown reppin’ OZONE @ Champ’s concert (Orlando, FL) 09: 2 Slabz @ Power Moves (West Palm Beach, FL) 10: Taelarmade of Eye Candy with DJ Tech @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 11: DJ Drama and Jason Geter @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 12: DJ 38 and Plies @ Cairo (Orlando, FL) 13: Haitian Fresh and Get Cool @ T-Pain’s album release party (Tallahassee, FL) 14: Ivory and DJ 151 @ The Roxy (Jacksonville, FL) 15: Get Cool and Zay @ T-Pain’s album release party (Tallahassee, FL) 16: Supastar J-Kwik, Yun Quan, Young Gune, and Dame Dozha @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 17: Mike Jones and T-Pain @ their video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 18: Cottin Mouf and Bonecrusher @ TPain’s album release party (Tallahassee, FL) 19: Big J, Chicken Mann Lil Hen, Young Cash, and Mario @ T-Pain’s album release party (Tallahassee, FL) 20: Akon and Red Cafe @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 21: DJ Dap, T-Pain, and Ed the World Famous @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) Photos by Julia Beverly except #5 by Malik Abdul
lege? No, I worked for about six years as a supervisor. I started being around other folks and saw how they were getting money doing promotions and stuff like that. I was dealing with Dwight Wilson, who ran V12. He’s the one that really inspired me. I asked for more money one night and he felt like he couldn’t give it to me. That made me wanna show him that I could do it. I rented out the club for my birthday and had over a thousand people show up at $10-20 each. Once I hit that one lick, it just took off. Who are some of the artists you’ve brought in? The Ying Yang Twins, Trick Daddy, Lil Wayne, BG, Mystikal, Mike Jones, Lil Jon, Pastor Troy. Pretty much everybody. What makes you unique as a DJ, compared to all the others? I know for a fact that I’m the only DJ in this area. A lot of folks don’t really recognize Quincy cause it’s a smaller town, but I know I’m the only one in this area that’s actually getting paid. Anyone in Tallahassee can tell you that too many DJs settle for whatever the club pays. My situation is set up differently. Even though I’m in a small town, I’m pulling in six figures a year.
CADILLAC JOE Where are you from? I’m from Quincy, Florida, about 20 miles outside Tallahassee. Where do you DJ? I DJ at Club 1090, The Platinum Club, L&J Lounge, and formerly Club V12, which isn’t running right now. I do radio every Thursday with Jay Blaze.
How did you learn to negotiate numbers with the club owners? I got business sense. I ain’t have to go to college, I was just blessed with it. Once I hit that one lick I just kept flipping my money. It’s just like the dope game, really. You’ve gotta spend money to make money. What’s your DJ style? I’m a trendsetter. I hear a lot of folks that tell me I’ve got a good following. I create a lot of little ad-libs. I got a thing called “Turn ‘em Up.” Everybody was going around saying that. Now I say “Boop!” and you can hear the crowd saying that every evening in Tallahassee. My commercials are hype. Other folks come along doing the same thing, so that shows that I know I’m doing it right.
How did you start DJing? I’ve been DJing since the 10th grade. My older cousin inspired me to do it. He was DJing high school, so he taught me the ropes as far as doing business and blending music. I just took off from there. I got my first break doing parties for this girl’s high school. She was the class president so I DJ her party, and she put me on to all the high school dances.
What other projects are you working on now? The next big thing I’m gonna do is my birthday bash. That’s gonna be at the end of March; March 30th, to be exact.
After you graduated, did you go to col-
- Julia Beverly
Do you want to give out any contact information? I’m working on my website now, DJCadillacJoe.com.
radio six days a week and in the clubs three times a week. I got a mix CD coming up. I’m doing the Labor Day Community Car & Bike Show in 2006 behind the indoor flea market; that’s a citywide function. One thing I’m working on is music, too; I came out with a song called “Whoop,” featuring BSU. So you’re a rapper too? I don’t really rap, I just hype it up like Lil Jon. It’s basically my song but I just hype it up and do mic checking on the song. It’s kinda a club/dance song that’s blowing up in Tallahassee. Everybody’s on it, from college students to teens to grownups. It’s a real hot record. What’s your favorite style of music to play? Bass, down South music. But I could play anything. Since I’m on the radio, I play all kinds of music. White, black, Chinese, anything that’s real.
DJ LIL BOY Where are you from? Originally from Leon County, Tallahassee. How long have you been DJing? My dad was a DJ, so I started DJing at the age of the 6. I had some turntables on the floor when I was a kid. Now I’m 21, and I’ve been DJing on 102.3 for two and a half years. Wow! You started young. When did you start looking at DJing as a career? Career-wise I got serious when I was about twelve. I started doing birthday parties and DJing at local teen clubs like The Garden. So you were a popular guy in school. Oh, yeah. I was doing all the birthday parties and the little teen socials. That’s why they called me Lil Boy, cause I was always the smallest DJ and the youngest DJ. Do you have to play edited versions of songs for teen clubs? When you play for high school functions you have to play the clean version, but at regular parties we play the dirty version. These days, where do you DJ? I started doing regular clubs in Tallahassee like Floyd’s and Fat Tuesdays. Now I’m doing Chubby’s, I do a college night every week, and the high school stuff. I’m on the 20
Are you restricted to a playlist when you mix on the radio? On the radio I have a lot of freedom. In the daytime it’s kinda restricted, but it’s basically whatever I wanna play. I’m starting to put my mixes on my website and do a lot of stuff over the internet. Are there any unsigned artists you see in Tallahassee that are ready to blow? Of course T-Pain already broke, so you can’t really say him. I could see the Nappy Headz or BSU going next. Do you think it’s easier to DJ in a smaller college town like Tallahassee? Nah, it’s harder. If you could DJ in Tallahassee, you could DJ anywhere. It’s harder because you’ve got people from all over, and you gotta cater to everybody and play some of everything. I play West coast, East coast, and down South. I mix it all up. Is it hard to get servicing from labels? In a way it’s hard, but since we’ve been getting #1 ratings for mixshow on the air down here in Tallahassee, so it’s kinda easy. It’s both. It’s a small city, but a lot of record labels that know about Tallahassee see our ratings and like our station. Do you think you’ll ever DJ a party with your dad? Nah, my dad probably only DJs one party a year. He gave that up. Do you want to give out any contact info? Check out my website, DJLilBoy.com. - Julia Beverly
(l to r: Young Cash and his brother Vic)
YOUNG CASH For anybody who doesn’t know your background, can you explain how you came in the game? I started out with the 904 Click when I was like 17. It was me, my brother, and my cousin in the group. We were making some noise in Jacksonville, and Tye Dash came down on a promo run with some bullshit ass New York group. We owned a club at the time called Choices. We performed that night and he started hollerin’ at us. Ever since then we had a little buzz. Then my brother Vic got shot on his birthday. We were supposed to do a show that night but Vic got shot; that’s when everything started falling apart. How were you able to keep things moving after Vic was shot? I had to become the leader because I was the only one still around. My brother was in the hospital for six months and my cousin went to prison, I so I was really forced to take up things on my own. I started doing some little shit by myself. Everybody had always told me that out of the group, I was gonna be the one to do my solo thing. That’s what the streets were already sayin’, cause I used to come up with most of the hooks for the 904 Click. It wasn’t that I was ready, I was kinda forced to. How did you link up with the rest of the artists that’s in your crew? Really these are just niggas I used to be with in the streets. Real niggas don’t wanna be hustling just to be hustling. You know the consequences are either prison or death. You gotta hustle to get something; make that illegal money into legal money. These niggas I fuck with now are the same niggas I was running with in the streets. They’re like employees now. Everybody has a different job title. You’re signed with SRC/Universal now, right? How did your deal come about? The deal came about through “Gimme A Bottle.” I had a vision for a club song, so I came out with that song and just started going to different cities. My name was already strong and niggas was fuckin’ with me. I just get along with everybody. Every time a DJ played my shit, I’d throw money in the crowd, like $400-500 of $1s. That’s how I built that song up in every city. When DJs play my shit, I throw money in the crowd. That’s my marketing strategy - money.
Money motivates everybody. So the majors reached out to you when the song picked up a buzz? A few people were hollerin’. They were just checking me out. They wasn’t rushing cause they had only heard one song. A lot of A&Rs said they needed more songs. Once I started putting out more music, that’s when they started hollerin’. Tye was tied into Universal, and that’s when Avery Lipman had a meeting with me. That came through Tye, and Renee Frost. They set up a meeting with me and Avery. He said he had heard about me, and we sat down and listened to the music. He’s kinda like a corporate white America type of cat, and the first song he heard after “Gimme A Bottle” was “Put That Iron On ‘Em.” He fell in love with that shit, that was his favorite shit. So if this corporate America muthafucker likes “Put That Iron On ‘Em,” that’s how I know that shit is gonna be big when it drops. He said he wanted to fuck with me, then he was joking, “I’m a family man, though, this might be too hard for me.” After that the lady from Universal in L.A., Joline Cherry, flew me out to meet with her. She fell in love with it too. She said Steve Rifkind’s SRC Street Record Corporation - would be perfect for me. She played him my music, he loved it, and now it’s history. Since you signed the deal, has everybody been hitting you up for money? Shit, that was already going on before I had the deal. I was already in the streets, so you know a nigga had some money before. It really ain’t no different. Family members, cousins, friends, everybody asks me for money every day. This deal shit ain’t really no different from the streets. It’s all the same shit. Niggas been asking me for money every damn day. Is it easier to get radio play now that you’re signed? It was getting easier already once the buzz started picking up. One thing about me is that I never call no DJs or none of that shit. My phone number used to be out there everywhere. I got that shit from Mike Jones; I give everybody my number. I never call no DJs. The DJs I meet, it’s just cause I’m out partying and they see me throwing money in the crowd and they’re like, “Oh, you’re Young Cash?” I don’t be conversating with them niggas. But that’s something Tye told me I have to start getting better about. I don’t know these niggas so I don’t run up on them asking them to play my record. In the street you don’t just run up on no nigga asking for work. Everybody who’s played my shit, it’s on the strength. They OZONE
heard it and liked it, so they play it. I don’t like running to DJs and calling DJs and asking them to play my music. I get calls every day from DJs asking them to email me their songs. They be hollerin’ at me. I ain’t never approached no DJs. If a nigga do something for me on the strength, I’ll appreciate it more than if I go in there and ask him to play my shit. If it’s not hot or you don’t like it, don’t play it. I don’t give a fuck, cause I’m gonna eat regardless. What’s your album going to be called? I’ve been playing with titles. I was gonna call it Scared Money Don’t Make No Money, but it’s up in the air. That’s how I was feeling at the time. That’s how it was when I came in the game. I was breakin a lot of bread. That’s one thing I will do; I might pay a DJ to play my shit just so I can say, “I don’t owe you shit, nigga.” If the shit do blow, it’s cause I paid you. But other than that, play it cause it’s hot. Don’t play it cause I’m asking you to play it. Do you have a single? I ain’t decided on the single yet. That’s the problem I’m having at SRC. I got so many songs they don’t know which one to pick as the single, which is a good thing, they say. They say they never really had that problem before. Most people just come in there with a single. With me, I got so many singles they don’t know which one to choose. Who’s featured on your album? A lot of people don’t know I have a song with Paul Wall called “Disco Ball.” That “Grillz” song they put out kinda fucked me up. I had that song first. I been had the grill song. “My mouth look like a disco ball.” I had did that song with Paul Wall before they got the deal. I’m probably gonna have Akon and T-Pain on the album too. What about production? Of course M-Geezy, and I’m also working with a new set of producers named the Beat Squad. They’re young, tight niggas - Orlando, Lil Joe, Bishop Jones, and J Frost. What do you think is gonna happen for Florida in 2006? I think Florida finna represent. We ain’t never really had nothing besides Trick Daddy that went worldwide. T-Pain is really a rapper anyway, before he was a singer they had a little buzz through the Nappy Headz. The Florida rap scene been bubbling, niggas just had to get the machine behind them. I think Florida finna blow up how Texas did, the same way. Is your crew still the 904 Click? 24
Yeah, it’s still the 904 Click. I’m still in the 904 Click. Me and my white homeboy, SJ a.k.a. Dirk Diggla, we shopping for a deal together too. We got a group called Money Train. We working on some things right now. I’ve got a lot of things coming up. Me and T-Pain finna drop a “Best of Both Counties: Duval & Leon County” mixtape. Me and Shawn Jay are gonna do a mixtape too. That’s like my big brother. You have a mixtape in the streets right now, don’t you? Yeah, that Straight Drop is going hard in the streets right now. My main man Lil Hen, his daddy is like an OG out here in Jacksonville. That nigga had millions. He was getting paid like that movie Paid In Full. He was that type of nigga; he had big money. He was the first nigga out of Jacksonville to have that big tall money. They finally got him, but he’s like a legend out here in Duval. He’s like those niggas Supreme or whatever in New York. That nigga Henry Mann had millions. So he hosting my mixtape live from prison. He called and did some drops for me from prison. That was real crazy out here in Jacksonville. On the outside looking in, it’s not a big thing, but for us it was huge. I got a Real Nigga Radio version that Bigga Rankin hosted, and a regular one that DJ Q45 did. What was the reaction to your interview in the sex issue of OZONE? Aw, the reaction was crazy. I put my phone number in there and I been getting a thousand calls a day from females. Half of them call just to see if it’s really my number, and the other half call like, “What’s up?” Really, it was just on some humorous shit. I do give my number out to everybody, like Mike Jones. He did put me up on that game. He told me I should do that way back. He got to the point where he can’t even answer, but me, I can answer right now. I’m ‘bout to blow, but even when I blow, I’m still gonna answer though. Straight up. That’s just me. I’m just so down to earth it’s ridiculous. Call me at 904-622-6229. A lot more people are starting to recognize me, but I still don’t really give a fuck about that shit until I’m a trillionaire. You comin’ out to Tallahassee for Demp Week? Tallahassee is like my second home whenever I wanna get away from Duval. It’s so wild in Duval I just shoot out to Tallahassee. I fuck with a few people out there and just chill. - Words and photo by Julia Beverly
T-PAIN’S ALBUM RELEASE PARTY RAPPER TERNT SANGA Venue: The Moon Location: Tallahassee, FL Date: December 7, 2005
champion to call their own, T-Pain has come home.
For many years, Tallahassee has watched with impatience as other regions of Florida and the Southeast received shine for their musical achievements. On December 7, 2005, the little city with a big name finally had a
Although the evening began mired in rain, The Moon (1105 E. Lafayette St.) was completely sold out as Tallahassee supported their prodigal son. This was due in large part to TJ’s DJ’s and Tallahassee’s rival radio stations WWLD and WBWT teaming to support a worthy cause. In fact, all of Tallahassee’s music stores were “Sprung” when T-Pain’s debut album, “Rappa Turnt Sanga” was sold out by 2 PM. T-Pain was forced to tears when he could proudly state, “U Got Me” to the city of Tallahassee when they officially proclaimed December 7th “T-Pain Day.” Once his emotions subsided, T-Pain took the crowd’s temperature by asking “Como Estas?” When greeted with warm applause, T-Pain knew the crowd of 1,500 was ready to “Have It,” so he said, “Let’s Get It On” and proceeded to tear the roof down. In a bittersweet moment, T-Pain shared that he was robbed at gunpoint a few days earlier. T-Pain just knew his time had come to “Fly Away.” But, with the help of Bonecrusher, T-Pain realized that he was never scared to “Say It” was time to go, he was just “Going Thru A Lot.” So to ease his suffering, he put on a tune that had the “Dance Floor” on smash! T-Pain even had E-40 and Duval’s finest Young Cash of SRC/Universal falling “In Luv Wit’ A Stripper.” Next, T-Pain revealed that ever since he hooked up with Akon, people have noticed that “Ur Not The Same.” But, T-Pain showed that Tallahassee was proud to welcome Akon as T-Pain introduced the once locked up star to “My Place.” T-Pain was not through with his surprises as he traveled to “Ridge Road” to pick up the Nappy Headz and “Blow Ya Mind” with a throwback to his robbery days. Finally, there came a time when T-Pain reached Cloud 9 with 1,500 of his closest friends showing love and support. But, the people hit Cloud 10 when Trick Daddy came out to proclaim “I’m Hi” and “I’m Sprung 2.” The evening was a true testament to the adage of it takes a village to raise a child. In this instance, Tallahassee was proud to raise this star who blossomed from a rappa into a sanga and is now ready to share this treasure with the world! - Keith “1st Prophet” Kennedy (Photos: Julia Beverly) 26
hy did you decide to put out an album of remixes with a DVD? The whole idea is just to keep us afloat in the market so we don’t dim out, so there’s no gap in what we’re trying to do. We shot the video for “Everybody Get Up” today with Pretty Ricky. It’s an album full of remixes, and it’s got about three or four new records with a DVD attached. The remix album is called Money Is Still A Major Issue. You felt like you needed something to keep the momentum going? It’s not about keeping the momentum or things slowing down. With me personally, it’s just so I can always stay in their minds. I’m all over the Spanish records, English records, whatever. I just want everybody to know that Pitbull’s a hard worker. As long as there’s an opportunity, I’m gonna take advantage of it. This remix album has already shipped 250,000. That’s ridiculous. When will your next regular album be released? My second album, El Mariel, will be coming out in March or April. It’ll be an all-English, all-Spanish album with a DVD attached. “El Mariel” was when Castro opened the gates of Cuba to and America opened the doors to Cuban immigrants. That’s the boat lift you see in the beginning of the movie Scarface. I feel like the game is opening itself up to me, and I’ve opened myself up to the game. I rap in Spanish, I rap in English, I appeal to all different types of audiences. When people ask me if I do “reggaetone” or “crunk,” I tell them, “I do music.” I just bring everybody together.
personal between Lil Jon and TVT owner Steve Gottlieb? It’s just a matter of not cutting checks. They need to cut the muthafuckin’ check. People like myself and Lil Jon, we don’t sleep. We work, work, work. People like Jon earn what the fuck they get paid for. So as far as Lil Jon – I call him Lil’ Jizzle – he deserves anything that they owe him. Right now, I’d say Jon is keeping the lights on at TVT. You’ve got the Ying Yang Twins selling records – God bless ‘em, they’ve given me opportunities too – but Jon really keeps the lights on at TVT. There’s positives and negatives with TVT, though. It’s ironic because with Jon’s situation, I’ve actually become more of a priority at TVT, because they’ve still gotta get money. In this game, you’re either gonna have TVT bad dreams or you’re gonna have major label nightmares. As long as I’ve got Bryan Leach in my corner, I’d rather have TVT bad dreams than major label nightmares. Just give my muthafuckin’ brother Jon his money. What did you gain from being on the Anger Management tour with Lil Jon? The Anger Management tour wasn’t my first tour, but it was definitely the most influential. You’ve got two of hip-hop’s biggest acts, Eminem and 50 Cent, and you’re picking up their audience. But it also shows you what success does to people.... - Photo and words by Julia Beverly For the rest of this interview, check out the January issue of OZONE Magazine at www.OZONEMAG.com.
We had an exclusive interview with Lil Jon a few months ago talking about his issues with TVT Records. Being that you and Jon are close, and you are also signed to TVT, have those issues affected your career? I’ll tell you like this: If Jon doesn’t get his money, it’s like I don’t get money. Jon’s my brother. I told TVT, if you do Jon wrong, you do me wrong. Therefore, we’ve been having continuous conversations – or, you could call them arguments – with TVT to make sure they get Lil Jon’s situation right, because he more than deserves it. Do you get the impression that it’s just business as usual, or is it something OZONE
BSU Where is BSU from? Money: We’re actually from Pompano Beach. We’re in and out of Tallahassee and Pompano Beach. How many people are in the group? Money: There’s me, T-Dub, J-Work, Deville, and Killa K.I.. We got the whole family, trying to get out there and hustle and promote. We all grew up together; we basically knew each other since middle school. When did you get the idea to form a group? We always used to do music, but it was never taken seriously until about four years ago. We had a lot of people trying to steer us in the right direction. A lot of people have been telling us it sounds tight. How would you describe the BSU style? I’d say we just keep it Florida. We keep it real, but we also try to have a little fun. At the end of the day that’s all it’s about. We’re down for the partying and the entertainment but we also try to keep it real. We just balance the both. That’s the best way to bring it to the table. Who’s your producer We sorta have an in-house producer, Hutch. He’s on the radio in Tallahassee, on 102.3. Does the radio connect help with airplay? I feel that he really plays a big part, but we also help too. It wasn’t just him. Our songs actually do sound pretty good, and everybody else was cosigning. What’s BSU’s plan right now? Recently we’ve been everywhere. We performed at The Moon. We had shows in Panama City, Dothan, AL, Ft. Lauderdale, everywhere. We’re doing three singles and pushing these mixtapes to keep the BSU name buzzin’. We put out albums to keep
income coming in, just selling CDs city to city. We’re also working on an album. We have enough material for an album. We just trying to keep the name buzzing. We working on some more material and deciding which track we’re gonna put out. What’s the main single you’re pushing? We have “Beat It Up,” produced by Hutch. It’s for the ladies, featuring Eye Candy. Have you done any other collaborations? We did a song with JOB – the Jump Out Boys – who are from Tallahassee. We have one more song we did with DJ Skip-AChuck. He passed away a year ago – RIP. I’ve seen BSU perform with a Haitian flag. We’re Haitian, so we feel that when we’re going on stage we should represent that fully. We’re trying to do it for our people, for Florida and the South. Why did you name the group BSU? It stands for Bottom Side Up. We feel that we’re gonna be the ones to take Florida to the next level. A lot of people don’t respect artists in Florida because they think it’s just party music. A lot of people are taking our style and running with it and ain’t giving props. Florida should be acknowledged for the past, and the future. Do you want to give out any contact info? Email is BSUboddumsideup@hotmail.com. Any last words? We just wanna tell anybody else that’s out there doing it: Just keep going at it no matter what. Just stay focused. Don’t let anything stop you. The more you hustle, the more you’ll get out of it. The South is on top, and we ain’t goin’ nowhere. It’s time for Florida to step up. - Julia Beverly (Photo: Aldrick Williams)
01: T-Pain and MeMpHiTz @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 02: DJ Demp and Rohaun Designs (Tallahassee, FL) 03: Kashus Deniro, Rollo, and Dawgman @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 04: DJ Demp, Young Cash, and M-Geezy @ The Roxy (Jacksonville, FL) 05: Garcia, DJ EFN, and TJ Chapman @ Power Moves (West Palm Beach, FL) 06: Bonecrusher, Gypsy, and Akon (Atlanta, GA) 07: Champs Sports concert (Orlando, FL) 08: Supastar J-Kwik and DJ Q45 reppin’ OZONE @ The Roxy (Orlando, FL) 09: Floyd Mayweather (Tallahassee, FL) 10: Ed the World Famous robbing Young Cash (Tallahassee, FL) 11: Tigger shows off his grill @ the Florida Classic (Orlando, FL) 12: Bigga Rankin and Dereck Washington @ Hittmenn DJs conference (Orlando, FL) 13: Dior and Tampa Tony @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 14: E-40 and Trick Daddy @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 15: MeMpHiTz, J-Lyric, and T-Pain reppin’ OZONE @ their video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 16: TJ’s DJ’s record pool meeting @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 17: KG Mosley, Matt Daniels, Acafool, and Justin @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 18: Sidekick, TJ Chapman, and T-Pain (Atlanta, GA) 19: M-Geezy, Young Cash, and Lil Hen (Jacksonville, FL) 20: T-Pain with his father and his wife @ The Moon for his album release party Photos by Julia Beverly except #09 by Samuel Cobb
Break into a studio? Nah, that’s not my advice. It all depends on how bad you want it. I didn’t have shit growing up. My mom was in Jacksonville and I was down South, so I didn’t have no money. I was living off the earth, friend to friend. That was my dream, so I did what I had to do to get it. But no, I wouldn’t advise that. I’m pretty sure if I had really thought about what I was doing and planned it, I coulda came up with another way to get the equipment. But I wanted it right then and I was young, so that’s why I did it. My advice would be, Keep God first and go hard. When an opportunity knocks, be ready to make the right decision. What happened after Problem Child? I put out two more albums under Wildstyle with TJ – Y2Kaos and Black November. I got a lot of response off them and that was going very well, but we kinda fell out and had a disagreement. We cool and shit now.
TOTAL KAOS Where are you from? I’m from Deerfield Beach, Florida. I moved up here to Tallahassee about ten years ago. They treated me like a star when I came up. I had a lil record out called “Mo’ Money.” Down there I was just the average nigga. They didn’t give a fuck about me. Tallahassee showed a lot of love, though. Did you drop an album independently? Yeah, I was on a label called Fresh Records. My first album Problem Child did good regionally. Was it a bass record? Yeah, it was bass, but it wasn’t the Luke kinda bass. It was gutta bass. I won a rap contest with Luke and Ice T, and after that Luke started keeping me under his wing. I worked on the Poison Clan album, Poisonous Mentality. I helped write some shit and I was on a couple songs on that album. After that I started getting into the production side. I produced for Cameo, 2 Live Crew, Three 6 Mafia, Pretty Ricky, and Master P. What made you interested in production? I couldn’t get beats when I needed them. So I broke into this cracker’s studio and took his drum machines and shit. I started producing from there. Is that your advice to aspiring producers? 10
Are you focusing on production now? I’m still recording but production is what I’ve been eating off. I got a new album called No Remorse that we’re putting out in another two months. Are you planning to switch up your style at all? Do you think bass will sound dated? Honestly, bass music is what’s poppin’ right now. That’s what Ying Yang and all them niggas are doing. It’s Florida music, honestly. When you look at Lil Jon and them, those are just hooks they takin’ from Jam Pony. Their whole sound is what Florida is supposed to be doing, but Florida is too caught up. We’re too city; we ain’t country enough. We got away from the essence of what we’re about. They slowed the bass tempo down a little bit, but they’re still using the heavy 808s and the snares. It’s our game. But when we rise up and say we’re gonna do our kind of music, that’s when I think we’ll really start to shine just like them cats. I ain’t takin’ nothin’ away from them, because it’s their history too. Atlanta always looked up to Florida, and we got away from ourselves so now they’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing. All those club records sound like old bass songs to me. Anything else you’ve got going on? We just filmed an underground movie called Chain Reaction, produced by my homeboy Willie Hustle “Flat Broke” and MBeezy “Low Key Key Figure.” Do you want to give out any contact info? KeyFigureGroup.com or 954-907-1035. - Julia Beverly
01: Hittmenn DJs conference (Orlando, FL) 02: Young Cash, Midget Mac, Teddy T, Ed the World Famous, and Chad Brown @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 03: Trick Daddy and DJ Demp @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 04: Akon and Mad Linx @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 05: DJ D-Strong and DJ Nasty @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 06: DJ Dap and Tampa Tony @ T-Pain’s video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 07: Swordz and T-Roy reppin’ OZONE @ Hittmenn DJs conference (Orlando, FL) 08: J-Shin showing off his OZONE cover @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 09: Trey Songz shows love to women of all sizes @ Fusion (Ft. Myers, FL) 10: Mike Blumstein and DJ Demp on the set of T-Pain’s video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 11: Bonecrusher and Princess Rivera @ T-Pain’s album release party (Tallahassee, FL) 12: Teddy T and Chad Brown @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 13: Trick Daddy and T-Pain with his “T-Pain Day” proclamation 14: Tampa Tony, Tavoria, and P-Nut @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 15: T-Pain and his mother (Tallahassee, FL) 16: Plies and Pimp J @ Cairo (Orlando, FL) 17: Freeway, Fat Joe, and TI @ Mansion (Miami, FL) 18: DJ Black, TJ Chapman, T-Pain, and DJ Demp (Atlanta, GA) 19: Rohaun Designs (Tallahassee, FL) 20: Rock, P-Nut, and Tampa Tony @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) Photos by Julia Beverly
DAVID BANNER While you were out shopping during this holiday season, did you happen to hear your Christmas song booming out of any department store speakers? Ha! I heard it once. I actually did, but it was on a radio station. They played that on the radio? That might be the most raw Christmas song ever. But it’s the truth, man. We actually had the opportunity to do a song for a Christmas compilation, but that ended up turning into something else. Everybody always make these happy Christmas songs, but for most of us, Christmas can be a very depressing time. Whether it’s trying to find out how you gonna provide for your family, or seeing everybody else with they family and you not being able to be with your family, there’s so many high expectations at Christmas time when that’s really not what Christmas is supposed to be about. Christmas. a lot of times. is turned into a more stressful time than it really is supposed to be. Christmas isn’t supposed to be about us or our kids. Christmas is supposed to be about the birth of Jesus Christ. So I wanted to take the song and talk about how most people in the hood feel about Christmas. You had a real successful release this year. What are you working on right now? More or less most of my side projects, doing the beat game, getting my beat game straight and just really going back and correcting a lot of stuff that I felt like could have been better last year. Like what? What could be better than having a huge hit? A lot of times when you have the opportunity to get a big song or whatever, you become a lot more busy so you’re not able to do a lot of the things that you were before. You’re not able to speak to all of the people that you were able to speak to before be-
cause you running so much. There was a span where I was overseas for a month so it’s really just about catching up with those relationships, and you know, honestly, to just really let people know what the music industry is really about. You know, it was put out there that I got this big deal, and that wasn’t the truth. I never came out telling nobody that I got a $10 million dollar deal. So in certain cases people feel like you have a lot of things and that you know everything, but you don’t. People think you know how to run a big corporation, you know what I’m saying? So it’s really about educating people sometimes about the fact that you don’t even know. I’m just trying to fix things up and make it even bigger and better this year. I’m getting my spirit back together and just really trying to do as much as I can as a regular person to be a better entertainer. Well you’re one of the few people in rap who has a real show any more. A lot of these dudes don’t even have any energy on stage, let alone what you put forth. Right, and it’s about letting people know that. It’s like, yeah, that’s the truth, but then at the same time how much of that can you have and it not really be at the forefront of people’s minds. So for me it’s really just about matching the talent and getting out there and letting people see what you’re actually able to do in the right venue. It’s not so much about you being the best rather than people knowing it. Sometimes it’s that one show that one time rather than 100 shows that are not at the right time... Visit www.ozonemag.com to read the rest of this interview which is featured in the 2006 Southern Entertainment Awards special edition. - Matt Sonzala (Photo: Clay Patrick McBride) OZONE
TJ CHAPMAN For people who don’t know, what exactly do you do? That’s a question that I hate answering more than anything. I guess the best way to classify me is to say that I make things happen. I have the record pool TJ’s DJ’s which services about 140+ DJs. We do special events like T-Pain’s album release party, Clinton Portis’ white party, and my quarterly conference called TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers. I do a lot of consulting for upstart companies; marketing and promotions for labels. My website TJsDJs.com is its own entity. We have 14,000 registered members, and average about 20 million hits a month. What role did you play in T-Pain’s career? His dad gave me a CD and told me to listen to track #1 and 3. Track 1 was okay, but when I heard track #2, it was the shit. #2 was “Sprung.” I never made it to track 3. I took the single and ran with it, and had a lot of good support here locally from both radio stations. I gave it to MeMpHiTz, an A&R at Jive, who did the deal. Who’s the next to blow out of Tallahassee? T-Pain’s group, the Nappy Headz. There’s also a young kid named Calico from the County Boyz. He has a real hot record. There’s a group called The Free Agents they got a song called “Boom” that’s heat. On the R&B side my man Randy B is on the come up. It’s a lot of talent here; other labels like So Phatt Records. What are the top three things you see that most indie artists are lacking? One is work ethic. Everybody thinks they’re “grinding” because they’re in the studio. That’s just a small part of the overall success of a project or an artist. It’s all about getting into other markets and spreading your hustle. Most people I know get caught up in their city and get stuck. Home is usually the hardest, because to them you’re just 14
a regular dude that they see every day. The second thing is technology. Most of these folks don’t have a website or email or even understand how to use MP3s. The internet levels the playing field between indies and majors. When you watch the news, they’re always talking about how downloading is killing the music game, but I think that’s just what they want you to believe. The internet allows indie artists access to the same resources. You can get your music all over the world with limited funds. The third thing is, indie artists spend their money in the wrong places. They get full page ads in OZONE but they don’t have quality music. I’m not saying that’s wrong, but you’ve gotta spend your money on beats first. At the end of the day you’re competing with T.I., Trick Daddy, T-Pain, Pretty Ricky, and Young Jeezy. There’s a limited amount of slots and everybody’s trying to get in the same game. If your music is not equally as good or better than the other stuff that’s out there, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. On the flip side, what have you seen indie artists doing right? Mike Jones promoting himself in his songs. That was ingenious, in addition to his work ethic and his hustle. It really depends on the artist’s relationships, and what they’re willing to do to make it happen. T-Pain’s record was a hit, so that made everything easier. I didn’t have to beg people to play it. Any comment on Demp Week? This is the 9th year. I’m looking forward to it. Thursday night is always off the chain. I’m real proud of Demp for what he’s done for himself and the city. Come party with us and see how we get down in Tallahassee. Do you want to give out any contact info? 850-877-6090 or www.tjsdjs.com. - Photo and words by Julia Beverly
AMPHINATI Are you from Tallahassee? No, I’m originally from Miami. Born and raised from Miami. I came up here to Tallahassee for school, then it manifested into me starting my own company. I actually dropped out of school and started doing paintings for people who were playing in the NFL. Through that I met a couple people who asked me about indie design work. I started a clothing line called Original Gear in 2001. I just starting taking paints from canvas and putting them on shirts.
for the Bob Marley and Tupac series.
How long has your new clothing line, Amphinati, been in existence? It’s been on the streets since 2003, but I just established it officially in August 2005.
What does the snowman mean to you? People put too much thought into thing sometimes. If it represents Christmas to you, wear it. If it represents the trap to you, wear it. It’s just a snowman.
What does “Amphinati” mean? My first name is Anthony, or “Amp” for short. I took the “Amp” and added “Infinity,” which means to reach my full potential and beyond. Everybody calls me Lump because my last name is Lumphkin. Who are some artists that you’ve designed t-shirts for? Young Jeezy and everybody in USDA, BloodRaw, Slick Pulla, Field Mob, Akon, T-Pain, Wayne Wonder, DJ Demp, the OJays, David Banner, Clinton Portis, and a lot of NFL players. There’s Amphinati shirts in Young Jeezy’s first video “Then What,” with Mannie Fresh. Akon wore one on 106th & Park recently, and DJ Demp on Rap City. Shawn Jay of Field Mob wore one to the Vibe Awards. Sam Madison, who plays for the Dolphins, had some of my paintings on his MTV Cribs. What are your most popular designs? A lot of them are customized shirts for their company. I did Konvict shirts for Akon, USDA shirts for Jeezy. Of course Jeezy got his snowman shirts and BloodRaw has customized shirts. I’m probably most known
How do you sell your shirts? Mostly just word of mouth. My base is in Tallahassee, at Flava Music. Were you the first to come out with the Jeezy snowman shirts? What I do is customize shirts. The snowman shirts were printed up a long time ago, but mine’s one of a kind. I just did a couple of the snowman shirts.
How do you plan on growing? Starting with Demp Week, I’m gonna launch a new series. You’ll see Demp and David Banner wearing it the whole week. We’re gonna do a big launch that way and just keep pumping it with BloodRaw. He’s a spokesperson. We came up together. Do you think there’s a lot of opportunities through the colleges in Tallahassee, even though it’s a small town? Yeah. It’s a melting pot. You’ve got people from everywhere here, from down South all the way to the North, all different coasts. If you’re a hustler and you about your money and your grind, you can get out there and communicate with people and make things happen. So there’s definitely a lot of opportunities, but there’s disadvantages in a small town too. If you doin’ what you’re supposed to do, somebody’s gonna recognize. Do you want to give out any contact info? 850-251-0613 or Amphinati2105.com. - Julia Beverly OZONE
ports, and when I first started out I was always turning in stuff late, but it was a learning experience. I definitely use my creativity within the radio station writing promos and sweeps and thinking of ideas of how we can continue to dominate in this market. I’m still a radio personality too. What are your typical responsibilities? Everything that has to do with the radio station on a day-to-day basis. Making sure the commercial logs have been done correctly the day before. Working with the on air staff, grooming new guys and molding them into good on-air personalities. Keeping people on top of their game, as well as mine. Meeting with my promotions director. Meeting with my music director to talk about our rotations. Answering emails, talking to local artists and DJs, staying on top of the music game. The PD position does have some perks and you have some power, but at the same time, we do a lot of work.
ED THE WORLD FAMOUS Where are you from and how did you get into radio? I’m originally from the Caribbean, St. Lucia. My mom spent some time in the military so I traveled a lot. Most of my family lives in Miami. I came to Tallahassee to go to FAMU. What did you study at FAMU? I came to school as a Music major, but I ended up switching to a major in Psychology and a minor in Public Relations/Broadcasting. I did a lot of things at FAMU – I was in the Marching 100, the Striker’s dance troupe, the music fraternity. I got into college radio as another avenue to use some of my creativity. I started as a regular personality and worked my way up, developing my personality and working in production. I got hired on the only urban commercial station at the time, which was 96.1 Jamz. Orlando – the PD in Tampa now – hired me. Since you have a creative mind, is it difficult handling the day-to-day business of being a Program Director? No, I don’t know how it is in other markets, but fI don’t handle too many boring things. I get to use my creativity and think outside the box. I do have to do paperwork and re16
What’s your advice to local artists trying to get played on the radio? First, whatever music you’re putting out has got to be up to the caliber of the majors. Even if you don’t have a lot of money behind them, whatever product you’re putting out has got to be equal to or better than what the majors are putting out. A lot of local artists don’t realize that radio is a business. If my competition is playing hot joints by a major artist and I’m not, I’m worried that playing some of the local artists music may affect my ratings in the long run. If my competition does better than me in the ratings books, nobody’s gonna buy ads. Number two – you’ve gotta build a story behind your product. I’m a PD but I’m also out in the clubs hearing what other DJs are playing and what the crowd is reacting to. I can see what’s working in the clubs, and more than likely, it’ll also work on the radio. When Blazin’ first launched, we did make it a point to reach out to local artists and let them know that we support them. We’ve been doing that since day one with a contest called “Rep Yo’ City.” We’ve done numerous local artist showcases and seminars. I don’t operate by no playlist when it comes to our mixshows. As long as it’s hot, I definitely encourage our mixers to break new music and mix it with current stuff. Is there anything else you’d like to say? In 3 years we’ve become #1 in our demo. Our staff works hard – we’re a family. RIP DJ Skip A Chuck. I don’t plan to be here forever, but I would like to stay in the South and move on to a bigger market. - Words and photo by Julia Beverly
ROHAUN Why did you name your clothing line Rohaun Designs? Rohaun is basically the name of the two people who founded the company. My name is Robert, and my business partner’s name is Hasaun. Are you from Tallahassee? I’m originally from New Jersey. I lived in Chicago and Miami, and I went to school up North at U of I for a year. I transferred down here in 2003 to FAMU. Right now I’m studying Psychology, with a Business minor. How long has Rohaun Designs been in existence? About three years. But you could really say it’s been around forever, cause I’ve always been a designer. Ever since I first picked up a brush and pen and drew my first picture, I started turning it into something I could profit from. Are all your shirts custom-made? I’ve never made a single shirt that was exactly the same, in no way, shape, or form. Not even when I paint. It’s always different in some way. I’ve painted over 500 shirts by myself. Where are some places people might have seen your shirts? We’ve done stuff for Roy Jones Jr., Mase, Trick Daddy, and Young Jeezy. I did a shirt that was in XXL and another one that was in URB. Is it difficult being in school and still maintaining a business? It’s very difficult. It takes more focus, and understanding that I have a goal I need to accomplish. I have to make sure I don’t get sidetracked and do things that are a waste of my time. It’s a learning process more than just me trying to make money.
I’m learning a lot and making a lot of contacts, meeting people who will help me in the future. The money’s gonna come, but it’s not the most important thing right now. But being in school, I can’t travel whenever I want. You gotta make priorities. I have all kinds of schedules and bulletin boards and lists and timelines and deadlines to meet every month. What’s your main goal with the clothing line? To try to expose people to art. I’m an artist, not a clothing designer. I feel like by doing these shirts, people will be more inclined to look at canvas and purchase things for their house. I’m trying to expose more young urban people to different styles of living. Honestly, this is just something that’s a hobby or a side job. I have a career that I wanna go into. I wanna take Rohaun Designs into a multimedia-type business, doing all types of contract work from advertising to magazine publishing. I wanna be able to supply every marketing firm with the visual aspects they need to run their campaign. That’s what I wanna do as a career. Art is a passion of mine. I wanna use it to send a message to people; not just to make money. Where do you sell your products? We work with different stores, like ADL Customs in Tallahassee and Hoop Dreams in Houston. You can also go to www.RohaunDesigns.com to purchase or call me at 954-410-4851. Anything else you’d like to say? I wanna thank you for giving me this chance to do the interview. I wanna put a message out to the people – you could do whatever business you want, you just gotta stay focused and put the bullshit aside and look at the bigger picture. - Julia Beverly OZONE
JAM TV Who’s involved in Jam TV? DJ Dap: Myself, JL Shade, and Marco Mall. What role does each of you play? All of us are executive producers. I’m the programmer and the host, JL Shade is the director, and Marco Mall is the producer. How did the three of you link up? We were all linked up through 105.7 WVHT. It used to be a black-owned station here in Tallahassee, and we were all employees of the station. When the station ended, we had always wanted to have a video show. It was one thing we always talked about. The station got sold, so other than going out in the streets and trying to secure that street team stuff we decided to take it to television. We started working on Jam TV, filming and putting shows in the can. What’s the basic concept of Jam TV? Artist interviews and videos, especially with a local feel to it. What makes it different from BET or MTV? We actually run the local stuff and stuff throughout the state, videos you might not catch on BET. We don’t hesitate to run indie stuff. For example, BET might not care about T-Pain, but we do cause he’s from Tallahassee. When he did the “I’m In Love With A Dancer” video we were there filming behind the scenes. We cover not only Tallahassee, but also Florida and Georgia. Right now you might not get to see Tampa Tony on BET on a regular basis, but you’ll see him on our video show. We’ll cover things like Demp Week and TJ’s DJ’s Record Pool meeting right here in Tallahassee. How long has Jam TV been on the air? This is our 13th week. What about other local TV shows? How does it compare? 18
Right now we feel like our quality is up there. That’s one thing we wanted to work on. We’re not saying we look better than other shows, but we always try to be professional. We operate like we’re already on a major network. We make sure it looks good and sounds good. We play quality videos. We just want everything to look professional, and we make sure we’ve got a dedicated person when it comes to the graphics and voice imaging. We hired a voice imaging guy out of Tennessee. We wanted everything to be professional. When does Jam TV come on? It’s on UPN, channel 24, every Thursday and Friday late nights. Any other projects you’re working on? As far as Jam TV, what we’re gonna do is slowly branch out to other markets and try to just crossover the appeal. Me and Marco and JL Shade all have other things going on. We bounce over through the video show. Myself, I have a website, and I always got some other stuff poppin’ off as far as marketing and promotions. We promote for other artists. Marco does promotions for different parties, and JL Shade does graphics. We’re gonna cross promote all our side projects through the company. Where do you DJ right now? Right now I’m on Blazin’ 102.3. You can catch me every Friday and Saturday night. I just got hired in Valdosta, Georgia, to DJ on 105.3 on Saturdays and Sundays. As far as the club scene, right now I do a club called Big Kahuna’s in Tallahassee. How could someone contact you for more information about Jam TV? www.JamTVonline.com, 850-942-6272, or DJDapJamTV@yahoo.com. - Photo and words by Julia Beverly
CHYNA WHYTE Where are you from? I’m from New Orleans, but my career really popped off in Atlanta. Most people remember you from features on Lil Jon records. How did you hook up with him? I spent like five years working on my demo, and I started mailing it out to different labels in 1998. At the time, Jon was an A&R at So So Def. I guess he was going through tapes and he liked mine. He called me and told me to come to Atlanta. He was working on a group called 4X Family and he wanted me to be in it. I came up to Atlanta, and I’ve been with him ever since. I signed with BME and later, in 2001, we got the deal with TVT. After “Bia Bia,” you kinda disappeared for a while. Where have you been and what have you been doing? Well, I had to do some Fed time. I had been going through the process all throughout “Bia Bia.” Right after the video dropped, I had to turn myself in and go to jail on a gun-related charge. I was locked up for six months and then I was on house arrest for the rest of the year. I came back out in 2002 doing a couple shows, and then I got pregnant. I had to take care of that. I took a little over two years off to deal with that. And I thought about things during that time, I started to see things in a different light.
Do you feel like you missed out on the buzz created by “Bia Bia”? Not really, because I have an understanding of how things work. I felt like I had to go through that. Even though I was out there and it seemed like things were blowing up, I feel like my time is right now. Everything’s going smooth. I had to go through what I went through. I was doing a lot of destructive stuff and I was heading in the wrong direction. I had to take a minute off to slow down, but all that is done with now. I’m not tryin’ to do no more dirt, man. I don’t feel like I missed nothing. I feel like the time is now. I’m 100 times better now, you know? I’ve got my own label, my own management company, my own artist. Everything’s falling into place, and now that Jon is who he is in the game, it’s even easier. When “Bia Bia” first was blowing up he had a real hard time getting on the radio and on BET, even though the song was hot in the streets. He had to fight to get crunk music out there, so it’s so much easier now that everything’s in place. It seems like a lot of women’s careers are halted by pregnancy. I mean, I was happy being pregnant. I love being a mother. But this is my first child, and I’m seeing that children do change your life and it does slow things down as far as your career. I used to be able to just get up and go, but now I’m looking for a babysitter. And you don’t want just any kind of babysitter. You’re worried that something’s gonna happen to your child. You’ve got to be a mother, you’ve gotta be home. Not only do you have to be in the studio, writing rhymes, on the road, hitting clubs, being seen – you’ve also gotta be home, cleaning, cooking, being there for your child, taking your baby to the doctor if she’s sick, going to the emergency room and being there all night. It’s a whole ‘nother level. It comes with the territory. When you came out, you really had a different look. You weren’t the typical Lil Kim/Foxy Brown type female rapper with a sexy look and sexy lyrics. You were more thugged out. I’m just doing me, that’s me. That’s how I like to rock. I like being sexy sometimes and I like being a woman, but that’s just how I rock. I like big jeans and Polos. I can’t do nothing but be me.... Visit www.ozonemag.com to read the rest of this interview in the February 2006 edition. - Julia Beverly (Photo: Tshombe Roberts) OZONE
Are you from Daytona originally? Haitian Fresh: Naw, I was born in Haiti and I lived in West Palm Beach for about five years before I moved to Daytona. Why’d you name yourself Haitian Fresh? I’m always fresh. I’m a fresh-ass dude. When people think of Haitians, they think we are black, ugly, and stank. So I kept the Haitian in front to let ‘em know I stay fresh all the time. It’s Haitian Fresh, a catchy name. Once you hear it the first time, you don’t forget it. That’s why I chose it, so I love it. What’s your goal in the rap game? I’m tryin’ to represent people that’s been in the game for a while. You meet a lot of people that are fucked up in this business. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work and a person that’s not willing to give up at all. It’s like the lottery. Basically you keep playing and hopefully you’ll win. The person who plays the most is usually the person who wins; that’s the odds. The bottom line is that I’m representin’ for all the Haitians. Right now that’s a wide open lane. Wyclef did it, but he did it after he became famous. I’m doin’ it before nobody knows me. And Smitty’s doin’ his thing, but I saw him on The Ultimate Hustler and he didn’t have a Haitian flag on, so I guess he didn’t want people to know he’s a Haitian. (laughing) I’m not tryin’ to start nothin’, but I’m just sayin’, he didn’t have a Haitian flag on. You don’t have a Haitian flag on. (laughing) Nah, cause I’m just doing an interview. But anything big like that on TV, you’ll see me with a Haitian flag on. You might see me with Haitian pants on, Haitian shirt, Haitian everything, just to represent. But Smitty is cool. I’m actually tryin’ to do a song with him. Do you have family back in Haiti? I have family back there, but after the hurricanes that hit a couple months ago, you can’t go back to Haiti. Haiti is like a no enter zone. You can’t go there, and there’s no phones. I don’t even know if they’re okay. It’s a serious situation. It’s just like Katrina, but in Haiti. You just don’t hear about it. A lot of people died. I heard they sent $60,000 to Haiti after the last hurricane. That’s like one loan to a college student, and that’s all they sent ‘em. But you can complain all you want and nothing’s gonna change. Bush won’t even spend money in the United States, and we’re having problems right now. When did you start rapping? 22
I used to have a group. I had a couple dollars to waste so I said that I’d start a group and watch them. That was basically my way to get in the game. I wanted to take them on the road and learn that way. If you gotta smoke weed to come up with a verse in the studio, you’re not ready for this game. It’s too serious for that. That didn’t work, so I went on the road with another artist. I learned a lot from being on the road and meeting a lot of stars. Amp told me, if you haven’t lost $50,000 in this game, you ain’t really ready. You gotta lose. What makes your style unique? My style is unique cause my accent comes out when I rap. My rap has a meaning to it. Everybody’s so hard. Everybody’s gangsta, man. I’m tired of gangstas, to be honest with you. I just wanna dance in the club again. I feel like when I go to the club I’ve gotta take an uzi or stay strapped. And people basically think that what they see on TV is real. These dudes just rap about it. I checked a lot of their rap sheets, man, and they don’t have not one felony on their record. Basically I just wanna make people dance in the club. I represent Haiti but at the same time I got songs from everybody. I got a song with Smoke from Field Mob. I got a song with BloodRaw. To me, he’s by far the number one rapper in Florida. And that’s not cause I know him but just because he has a lot of talent. When is your album gonna come out? My album comes out in February, but my mixtape should be out in January. I’m trying to find a name that you’ve gotta think about. It’s either gonna be Lick Season or Open Doors. The first single is gonna be either “Came to Party” or Put Yo’ Leg Up.” The album consists of hits after hits or you’re guaranteed your money back. Are you going to drop it yourself? Independent, yeah. But if someone comes at me with an offer, things will change. I’m tryin’ to do it big. I see a lot of cats that come out with just two good songs. Me, I need 16 good songs to drop an album. That’s what I did, and hopefully people are gonna see that. I hear you have an interesting live show. Yeah, I love being on stage. If you haven’t seen Haitian Fresh live, you’re definitely missing out. When you come to my shows, you never know what to expect, like Luke. Luke attracted people to his shows because you never know what’s gonna happen. Now everybody just grabs a mic and looks hard for like ten minutes and leaves
the building. But when Haitian Fresh does a show, you don’t know what’s gonna happen. You might see live sex. Ain’t no tellin’ what’s gonna happen. You gotta come see it for yourself. I represent the freaks. I represent the Haitians and the people that like to have fun. Everybody can’t pick up a gun and shoot somebody. You’ll know if I’m a gangsta. What do I have to do to prove I’m a gangsta? I gotta have a murder on my record? Everybody with a murder is in prison right now, and they ain’t gonna make no money. I love this but I ain’t finna die for it. I got a beautiful daughter Jimiya, and that’s what it’s about – her. Rap is something I love to do. Right now I don’t think there’s anybody that can stop me but God. I got my own name. One, I’m a Haitian, two, my show’s different, and three, what I’m rappin’ about is different. Who else are you down with? I feel like anybody that’s out there trying to make it in the game needs a real team. You really can’t make it by yourself, unless you win the lottery and have a lot of money and you’re gonna pay everybody. Even then, you gotta start from the top, and the only way you can go is down. People might see you on the cover and all that, but after six months they’re gonna wonder where your music is at. I had to learn that from Wakeley. People don’t understand that Wakeley and Amp are geniuses. These dudes been there and done that. They been doing it for fifteen years. They went through a lot with BloodRaw. They’ve seen the ins and outs. Those are the people that I’m gonna ride with til this journey is over with, and I know I won’t fail ‘em. I’m one of those people who believes that failure is not an option. I have never failed in my whole life, and the first time damn sure won’t be rap. All you have to do is give people good music, promote, and not be afraid to go to the small clubs. I’m not afraid to go to the small clubs, and I go by myself. No security, none of that. You’ve gotta be willing to travel. That’s another big thing if you’re trying to make it in this business. You gotta travel. People gotta see you. People gotta see that you are no different than them. That’s what people love about rappers. David Banner is my favorite rapper cause he’s just real about it. He loves people, it ain’t just a show for BET. And it’s a couple other people that I like cause they’re real. How did you end up in Daytona Beach? I went to Oklahoma State University for basketball, but they kicked me out for weed. They caught me in the dorm and I went home, and my mom started crying for like
ten hours. They kicked me out in the beginning of August. I went home, and you know how it is – everybody was like, “I knew you weren’t gonna last in college.” Everybody was talking about it. I prayed about it and then I called Bethune Cookman. It was a Friday, and they told me I could start school on Monday. It was a blessing cause I had always dreamed about going to a historically black college. I went there and got my degree in Marketing, with a minor in Physical Education. How has your marketing degree helped with your rap career? A marketing degree helps because you’ve gotta be able to talk for yourself. 60% of the rappers don’t know people skills. You’ve gotta know how to talk to people and represent yourself. You’ve gotta know how to walk in a room and just shine, man. Hold some serious conversations. It ain’t gotta be about rap all the time. It could be about what happened yesterday. You’ve gotta know when to and when not to spend money, cause everybody’s comin’ at you when you’re trying to do something with yourself. Everybody says they can do it better than the next guy, so you’ve gotta make the best decision. What’s the music scene like in Daytona? It’s a lot of artists, a lot of people in Daytona. Daytona is behind me 100%. I got Bethune Cookman behind me, because that’s where I graduated from. Everybody’s kinda waitin’, just like me. When you do something big, that’s when people really support you. I represent Daytona and I’ma ride for Daytona, but the overall picture goes to Haitians. There’s so many Haitians just waitin’ for me. The streets already opened the door. Do you want to give any shout outs? My beautiful daughter Jimiya, FAMU – I love Tallahassee, that’s one of my favorite places. My team Wakeley, GTP, Earthwake, Gator, BloodRaw, 20, DJ Quik, Drama, Young Jeezy, Young Cash, Bigga Rankin and Cool Runnings, DJ Nasty, Tom G, Secrete, DJ Headbussa, DJ Chuck T, Dawgman, Frontline, Hood, Wild’n, HOB street team, my publicist Lady C, everyone who was involved with Katrina, all our soldiers in Iraq, all my trappers, Baby Lac, TJ’s DJ’s, T-Pain, and Disco. If I forgot you, just know that Julia is always in a hurry. Everybody, keep doing your thing and don’t listen to nobody. Nobody should be able to tell you if you’re gonna make it or not. Sak pasé to all my Haitians. Shout out to OZONE! - Words and photo by Julia Beverly OZONE
TREY SONGZ Having seen your stage show, I have to ask, were you a stripper in a past life? (laughing) Nah, I was never a stripper. You’re from Virginia, right? Where exactly? Yeah, I’m from Petersburg, Virginia. Do you think Virginia is somewhat overlooked on the music map, with everybody talking about East vs. West or North vs. South? Virginia’s kinda stuck in the middle of everything. I ain’t trippin’. It is what it is. As far as I’m concerned, I ain’t really trippin’ on whether it’s overlooked or not. I think in the last few years, with Missy and Timbaland and the Neptunes and the Clipse and now Chris Brown and myself, we doing pretty aiight. Chris Brown is from Virginia too? You and him could kinda fall into the same category, huh? Yeah, something like that. Chris Brown is actually my nigga, he’s like a little brother to me. As far as anybody else R&B-wise, they’re not even in my mindset. It’s not a competitive type thing. I’m just by myself, as far as I’m concerned. Are you getting a lot of R Kelly comparisons? Actually, they stopped for a while. I haven’t been compared to R Kelly in a while. I mean, it’s an ongoing thing, but in the beginning it was a lot more comparisons than it is now.
to be fucked up with you. That makes them wanna get at you. They want something to be twisted about you or something different. But I don’t think I need none of that shit. Being out on the road, the more places I go, I’ve learned that the more you put me in front of people, it’s all over. We were introduced to Trey Songz in the video for “Just Gotta Make It.” Is that a true story of how you came up? Naw, it wasn’t autobiographical to the point where everything in the video was literal. It was just put in a way where people could relate to what I was saying. I ain’t even got no girl, they just threw in a love interest because it is R&B. But that was just to let folks now where I’m coming from. I’m on the grind to get where I wanna get. In the video, you were working a 9-5. Did you have a regular job before you were singing? Nah, I ain’t never had a regular job. Was singing just a hobby? That’s exactly what it was, a hobby. It was just something I thought was a cool thing to do. Once I met my producer Troy Taylor, that’s when things really came to light. A friend of a friend of a friend of a friend introduced me to him and after that it went from being farfetched to.... - Photo and words by Julia Beverly For the rest of this interview, check out the February issue of OZONE Magazine at www.OZONEMAG.com.
Do you have a fetish for underage girls like R Kelly? (laughing) Nah, I don’t have no problems like that. Well, you know, most musical geniuses have something wrong with them. You’re not perfect, are you? (laughing) I don’t know. I don’t do nothing that everybody else doesn’t do. I’m just a regular nigga, baby. All day, every day. Do you think that you need controversy to sell albums? Is it necessary for an artist to have a famous girlfriend or bullet wounds or a sex tape or court cases or something to become a superstar? Nah, personally, I don’t think that shit is necessary, but the world we live in is so goddamn crazy that they want something OZONE
(l to r: Taelarmade, Ms. Hollywood)
EYE CANDY Ms. Hollywood, weren’t you in the group Spoil’d Rotten? Ms. Hollywood: Yeah, that was my first venture. I was just rapping and Triple J wanted to start a girl group. I’m from West Palm Beach. How did you end up in Tallahassee? Ms. Hollywood: I came to Tallahassee to go to Florida State University for Law. Spoil’d Rotten got a little buzz off your female version of “Wait (The Whisper Song).” What gave you that idea? Ms. Hollywood: It was a hot song at the time that had leaked out in Tallahassee, and we just jumped on it real quick. It got us known in Atlanta and parts of Alabama and Mississippi, really all through the South. We were really doing publicity all over the South. What happened to Spoil’d Rotten? Did y’all break up? Ms. Hollywood: The group broke up because we were having problems with the producer, and my partner had a panic attack. Everything went downhill after she had a panic attack so I decided to branch off and go solo. How did you meet up with Taelermade to form the group Eye Candy? Ms. Hollywood: We knew each other from Palm Beach. I actually introduced her to it. one day I just asked her to rap, and one of the managers we were working with heard her and was like, “Yeah, she could rap.” Taelarmade: This was my first rap project. My dad used to do music. Do you think it’s hard to break out of a smaller market like Tallahassee? Ms. Hollywood: Nah, they show a lot of love in Tallahassee. It’s easier than our hometown of Palm Beach, cause they show a lot of local love in Tallahassee. What music does Eye Candy have out now? Ms. Hollywood: “Go Head” was a song we did produced by Hutch Daddy Dollars. Another song we’re featured on is by BSU, “Beat It Up.” They play those two on the radio. Musically, what’s your style like? Ms. Hollywood: We’re kinda a modern SaltN-Pepa or TLC. We’re trying to come with something different. We’re not trying to
imitate Trina and other female rappers in Florida, we’re trying to do something different. We’re gonna cross over into pop and different types of music. Who does your production? Ms. Hollywood: Money Mark, Will Baker, M-Geezy. What about features? Who have you worked with? Ms. Hollywood: BSU, Young Cash, and Money Mark. What’s your goal right now? Are you gonna put out an album independently? Ms. Hollywood: Right now we’re really just trying to run with our single and see what that does. We’re basically getting our demo CD together. Since you’ve come out with a sexy look, do DJs and industry execs take your music seriously? Taelarmade: Nope. (laughing) Ms. Hollywood: It’s hard being a woman, and it’s hard being pretty. It’s hard to have DJs take you seriously, but they do help you to a certain extent because sex sells. But we’re not just pretty, we have talent too. Aside from sex, what kinds of things do you rap about? Ms. Hollywood: Men. (laughing) Doesn’t that fall under the “sex” category? What else? Ms. Hollywood: General hot topics. We listen to other artists and try to find out what’s hot, what’s the new phrase. We try to go off the hot topics of what’s going on today. Do you write your own lyrics? Ms. Hollywood: Yeah. How old are you? Ms. Hollywood: I’m 19. Taelarmade: I’m 20. Is there anything you want to say to the men who are reading? Taelarmade: They always ask us, “Do you live up to what you rap about?” Ms. Hollywood: Yep. We do. (laughing) Do you want to give out any contact info? Ms. Hollywood: Our website is coming soon, and you can email us at MsHollywood561@aol.com or Taelarmade561@ aol.com. - Julia Beverly (Photo: Samuel Cobb) OZONE
JAE MILLZ What’s going on with your album, Back To The Future? It was supposed to come out in September, but I pushed it back to the first quarter of 2006. I got the joint with me and Jada out right now, that’s my new single. It’s on Funkmaster Flex’s The Car Show King album too. That’s the single the DJs are burning down. We trying to put the remix together with Busta Rhymes and Fabolous. I’m trying to finish up the album. I’ve got a joint with me, T.I., and Slim Thug, a joint with Paul Wall, a Cool & Dre joint, the list goes on and on. I’m still working. Do you think you’re the Most Persistent? I hope so. I can’t wait til this album drops. I can put that award next to my Most Hated trophy. You really feel like you’re hated? Yeah, I feel like that, even though I get a lot of love. My man Mac Boney always tells me, “You get too much love. Everybody cool with you. Who don’t like you?” But there’s people out there who hate me. That’s what keeps me going. I feel like it’s me against the world. I don’t wanna get lazy. I wanna stay in hungry mode, ready to grind. Not just on some rap shit, niggas is really fuckin’ with me. I get love in the South, out West, in the Midwest, I get love in New York. New rappers, old rappers, new producers, old producers, shit is cool. I’m just happy to be doing something constructive with my time. Even though you work with a lot of rappers from the South, are you trying to be the one to bring New York back? That is my intention. I’m not blocking nobody else though. I’m not saying that Papoose or Remy or Cory Gunz or Juelz or Grafh or Tru-Life ain’t gonna bring New York back. I definitely feel like I’m one of those people that’s doing it. That’s my intentions with the whole Back To The Future thing. I’m the statue moving in right now. It ain’t no more shitting on nobody else. Like I said, I fuck with everybody. But being that I’m from New York, I wanna bring that back. When you look on the TV, I wanna see down South niggas doing they lean dance. I wanna see they shoulder lean. I wanna see niggas in New York in their army jackets. I wanna see Paul Wall’s niggas with grills. Right now you can’t really solidify what’s the New York sound. Everybody else got a sound except New York.
New York don’t have an identity, and it’s up to the new dudes and the people who are veterans and the people who been around and the forefront and pioneers in the game. Niggas ain’t gotta do party records, just do your kind of music. Anybody could make a party record, but everybody can’t be theyself. That’s the crazy shit that bugged me out. Everybody in the world can make a party record and pull up in the club poppin’ bottles, but nobody can be theyself. When niggas stop being theyself that’s when the game gets fucked up. I want niggas to start being theyself again. They don’t understand why niggas like Bun B and UGK or Outkast or Goodie Mob gets so much respect; these niggas been around for years. In New York we just ain’t been respecting what niggas were doing. We wasn’t paying attention because they wasn’t selling 8, 9 million. Now they’ve got alliances and they fuckin’ with each other and helping each other sell records. That’s what shit gotta come to. Niggas is too sour in New York. We gotta swallow our pride. Everybody’s got money. Everybody’s got jewelry and cars and their own labels. But what’s after that? You gotta get money with somebody. I’m gonna be the one to bring New York back. A lot of muthafuckers is bringing it back with me, but I’m gonna do it in everything. I rep New York when I go to Tallahassee, when I go to Atlanta, when I go to Texas. Wherever I go I still rep New York and still show love to that town I’m in. Is it harder for you to come in the game without a cosigner? You’re not coming in under somebody else’s umbrella. It’s ten times harder. But that’s what’s gonna make my shit so much more powerful and potent. Look at how T.I. came in the game by himself. It’s not like he came in under somebody. He was working with niggas like Pharrell and Beenie Man, but he was still Tip. He was still doing his street shit and mixtape shit. In the back of my mind, that’s the same way I’m looking at it. I’m gonna do it on my own. When you got niggas fuckin’ with you, you don’t need no cosigner. I got niggas that fuck with me everywhere. I can name a rapper from every state that fucks with me on the rap level and the respect level. I don’t feel like I could lose. I just gotta keep doing my music. Are you coming down for Demp Week? Wow, man, I feel sorry for anybody who’s not present at Demp Week. The first time I went, I came back to Harlem like, “Yo, y’all need to fuck with my man Demp. Y’all niggas don’t know what you’re missing.” - Photo and words by Julia Beverly OZONE
Published on Jan 5, 2006