YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
GORILLA ZOE big kuntry bloodraw shawty lo
Polow da don
dairy of a mad black producer WAIT TIL I GET MY MONEY RIGHT
Captain of the hook
: e r i a E n G o EN i V l l T RE i EE W m S Cha
LUDACRIS KANYE WEST tRICK DADDY LIL BOOSIE DAVID BANNER & more
ozone west The pack | b legit the outlawz NOVEMBER 2007
Mistah Fab Destroys Another Victim OZONE MAG //
YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
Polow da don
dairy of a mad black producer
Captain of the hook
GORILLA ZOE big kuntry bloodraw shawty lo
The pack | b legit the outlawz
Mistah Fab Destroys Another Victim 28 // OZONE WEST
LUDACRIS | E-40 | BLOODRAW | MANNIE FRESH PIMP C | KANYE WEST | SLIM THUG | THE GAME PAUL WALL | TRICK DADDY | WEBBIE | KIA SHINE | TRAE AKON | BUN B | LIL BOOSIE | LIL SCRAPPY | DAVID BANNER
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PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF // Julia Beverly CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER // N. Ali Early MUSIC EDITOR // Randy Roper FEATURES EDITOR // Eric Perrin ART DIRECTOR // Tene Gooden ADVERTISING SALES // Che’ Johnson PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR // Malik Abdul MARKETING DIRECTOR // David Muhammad Sr. LEGAL CONSULTANT // Kyle P. King, P.A. SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER // Adero Dawson ADMINISTRATIVE // Cordice Gardner, Kisha Smith CONTRIBUTORS // Alexander Cannon, Bogan, Carlton Wade, Charlamagne the God, Chuck T, Destine Cajuste, E-Feezy, Edward Hall, Felita Knight, Iisha Hillmon, Jacinta Howard, Jaro Vacek, Jessica Koslow, J Lash, Jason Cordes, Jo Jo, Johnny Louis, Kamikaze, Keadron Smith, Keith Kennedy, Kenneth Brewer, K.G. Mosley, King Yella, Luis Santana, Luxury Mindz, Marcus DeWayne, Matt Sonzala, Maurice G. Garland, Mercedes (Strictly Streets), Mike Sims, Ms. Rivercity, Natalia Gomez, Ray Tamarra, Rico Da Crook, Robert Gabriel, Rohit Loomba, Shannon McCollum, Spiff, Swift, Wally Sparks, Wendy Day STREET REPS // Al-My-T, B-Lord, Big Teach (Big Mouth), Bigg C, Bigg V, Black, Brian Franklin, Buggah D. Govanah (On Point), Bull, C Rola, Cedric Walker, Chill, Chilly C, Chuck T, Controller, DJ Dap, David Muhammad, Delight, Derrick the Franchise, Destine Cajuste, Dolla Bill, Dwayne Barnum, Dr. Doom, Ed the World Famous, Episode, General, Gorilla Promo, Haziq Ali, H-Vidal, Hollywood, J Fresh, Jammin’ Jay, Janky, Joe Anthony, Judah, Kamikaze, KC, Kenneth Clark, Klarc Shepard, Kuzzo, Kydd Joe, Lex, Lil D, Lump, Marco Mall, Mr. Lee, Music & More, Nick@Nite, Nikki Kancey, Pat Pat, PhattLipp, Pimp G, Quest, Rio G, Rippy, RobLo, Stax, TJ’s DJ’s, TJ Bless, Tim Brown, Tre Dubb, Trina Edwards, Vicious, Victor Walker, Voodoo, Wild Billo, Young Harlem
MANNIE FRESH’S COUSIn 84 HUSTLIN’ TRICK DADDY’S BROTHER 96-98 END ZONE DAVID BANNER’S COUSIN 14 FEEDBACK LIL SCRAPPY’S BROTHER 18-20 RAPQUEST LIL BOOSIE’S BROTHER 36 TATTED UP PAUL WALL’S COUSIN 30 TRUE RAPS BLOODRAW’S SISTER 89 DJ PROFILE SLIM THUG’S SISTER 94-95 CD REVIEWS KANYE WEST’S MOM 24 CHIN CHECK WEBBIE’S BROTHER 17 JB’S 2 CENTS AKON’S BROTHER 92 DVD REVIEWS KIA SHINE’S WIFE 22 MATHEMATICS E-4O’S BROTHER 38 DOLLAR MENU TRAE’S BROTHER 21-47 PHOTO GALLERY PLIES’ BROTHER 28 CHAIN REACTION LUDACRIS’ MOM 88 PRODUCER PROFILE PIMP C’S MOM 32 CHRONICLES OF PIMP C BUN B’S SON 97 CAFFEINE SUBSTITUTES 86 10 things: hip hop doc 17 10 THINGS I’M HATIN’ ON 50 INDUSTRY 101: DAMON DASH 26 SIDEKICK HACKIN’: MISTAH FAB 34 RELEASE THERAPY: POLOW DA DON
59 56 55 53 54 53 59 61 60 56 55 57 58 58 61 57 60 54
DISTRIBUTION // Curtis Circulation, LLC SUBSCRIPTIONS // To subscribe, send check or money order for $11 to: Ozone Magazine, Inc. Attn: Subscriptions Dept 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318 Phone: 404-350-3887 Fax: 404-350-2497 Website: www.ozonemag.com COVER CREDITS // Chamillionaire photo (cover and this page) by Ty Watkins; Rocko photo by Eric Johnson; Gorilla Zoe photo by Zach Wolfe. DISCLAIMER // OZONE Magazine is published 11 times per year by OZONE Magazine, Inc. OZONE does not take responsibility for unsolicited materials, misinformation, typographical errors, or misprints. The views contained herein do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or its advertisers. Ads appearing in this magazine are not an endorsement or validation by OZONE Magazine for products or services offered. All photos and illustrations are copyrighted by their respective artists. All other content is copyright 2007 OZONE Magazine, all rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any way without the written consent of the publisher. Printed in the USA.
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interviews 62-63 SCARFACE 78 PROJECT PAT 82 BIG KUNTRY 80 BLOODRAW 70-71 GORILLA ZOE 90-91 SHAWTY LO
patiently waiting FAMOUS MACK MAINE JON YOUNG & J CASH JR GET MONEY DA FAM
42 40 44 46 48
72-74 pg E R I CHAMILLIONA
65-67 pg O K ROC
OZONE MAG // 13
Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us up at www.myspace.com/ozonemagazine
Ms. Beverly, I just read your editorial for the Hustler’s Edition. I know you and your staff go through hell to put the TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference & OZONE Awards together, but please don’t stop! I was at the first one in Orlando with Kamikaze and the last one with GMB, Tambra Cherie, and Corio, and we loved every second of it. I’ve had the time of my life for two years in a row and it’s pretty much the only vacation I get. I was just writing to say thank you for putting this event together because it’s one of the few times I get to get out of Mississippi and get my network on. You and TJ and y’all’s staff do a great job of putting it together and most of all you make it affordable for those of us who haven’t blown up yet. So once again, thanks a lot, and I’ll probably bump into y’all at the SEAs. I done fucked around and pulled off 2 nominations! - DJ Jonasty, email@example.com (Jackson, MS) Everyone in North Carolina really appreciates what OZONE is doing for us. I’m not quite sure y’all understand the size of the helping hand you reach out to the artists and producers that really dedicate themselves to this thing we call music. I’m not going to write a novel, but I figured I should share this thought with you. Thanks for the love, support, and motivation you’re giving me and many others. OZONE is the shit! – Ronnie C (Fayetteville, NC) I got the new OZONE with Mr. Mississippi David Banner on the cover and I want you to know I will be promoting the hell out of this magazine with our very own superstar on the cover! I promote it every month, but having our own on the cover helps me let people know that they can make it one day too! Patiently waiting! – Christiana Houston, firstname.lastname@example.org (Ridgeland, MS) JB, I just read this month’s 2 Cents column and it was precise but funny. “Diva bullshit” was hilarious. When I saw you in Miami at the OZONE Awards, you looked stressed as hell. I understand what you were going through. Rappers are divas. Just keep doing you. And yes, you are famous now, so the groupie love is kinda not the way to go. I enjoyed the read! – Kash Kastro, email@example.com (Columbia, SC) I saw the OZONE Awards on MTV Jams and I just wanted to congratulate you on a very edgy, exciting awards show. I was really moved by all the fabulous talent that the show presented. I wish you much success in the years to come. Keep up the excellent work. I have seen the show at least three times; thanks for the repeats. – Robin Hughes, firstname.lastname@example.org (San Francisco, CA) The True Raps article in OZONE by Paul D was enlightening and entertaining. I enjoyed the witty play on words and the thought and dialogue the piece enticed. Please continue bringing articles like this to the forefront. – Talitha Coverson, email@example.com (Tallahassee, FL) 14 // OZONE MAG
I just got the October 2007 issue. You did it again, pimpin’. Twista on the cover and then you’ve got East St. Louis, IL rep Raw Resse. He is a very well respected artist out here in the STL and East STL. More artists like him need these kinds of looks. We’re from the middle of the map so we have to struggle, push, and grind to get what we got. We don’t have distributors or DJs that show local love. – Jesse James, firstname.lastname@example.org (St. Louis, MO) JB, props on your 2 Cents in the June edition of OZONE. Considering that I’m not too girly myself, it’s hard for me to relate with most of the women that I meet in the industry as well. You had me crackin’ up cause all of the things you point out are so familiar. It’s really sad that most of the girls you are speaking of think they actually have a chance. Hopefully all of the hype around the disrespect of females in Hip Hop will make some women look in the mirror and wonder if they are actually to blame. Women like you and me just gotta keep our heads up and keep moving forward. – DJ Sinamin, myspace.com/djsinamin (St. Louis, MO) This is your African homeboy holding things down in Australia. My favorite issue so far is the July 2006 issue, the one with Trick Daddy and Da Muzicians on the cover. When you interviewed Da Muzicians you mentioned D-Roc’s handicap – what is it, exactly? Also, me and my homie from Burundi read that Tampa Tony doesn’t smoke anymore. We can’t believe that he created Da Splitta which is the best invention yet and he ain’t using it. My second question is, to win a bet – does Tampa Tony still smoke weed? Holla back; there’s no way to get this info anywhere but OZONE. – Nathaniel Ramsey, email@example.com (Australia)
Editor Responds: D-Roc is missing parts of a few of his fingers and Tampa Tony really doesn’t smoke weed anymore. The new issue with Plies and Yung Joc on the covers is official, but Pimp C is the biggest idiot in the history of music, in my opinion. Mistake or not, what runs through your mind to say that Atlanta isn’t the South? He’s dumb! Then, he says Russell Simmons is lame. You’ve been rapping since 1982! Who’s really lame? Then, he sounded even more dumb when he spoke about conflict diamonds. He’s kind of racist and actually Russell Simmons is the #1 African-American importer of diamonds into this country. I bet “Simp C” didn’t know that. Has he ever heard of “Green Initiative” jewelry? I’m not listening to these clowns any longer. Fat shout to Russell Simmons for teaching the next generation how to be bosses. On another note, RapQuest is official and it’s my favorite part of the magazine! I’d like to see Superhead, Nas’ baby mama, or April Clark in one of the next issues. Fat shout to you for the OZONE Awards! Next year I’m going to win for Patiently Waiting Virginia, cause I run Virginia – not Pharrell! Keep doing it big! - Derrick Francis, firstname.lastname@example.org (Virginia Beach, VA)
Pimp C responds: Derrick Francis in Virginia Beach, Virginia, I want you to eat my whole entire dick and nuts.
OZONE MAG // 15
16 // OZONE MAG
jb’s 2cents A
t all the industry events, parties, music conferences (there’s three every weekend now), and video shoots, I run into a lot of artists and music biz folks. You shake hands and hug and dap and take pictures and exchange contacts but after a while you realize the futility of it all and the fact that we don’t give a shit about any part of each other’s lives unless it can benefit our careers, and none of these people will remember you in five years. There’s nothing I hate more than having to pretend to be interested in meaningless small talk and nod your head like you’re listening. Sometimes I totally zone out and it makes me understand why people like Busta Rhymes and DJ Clue are complete assholes when people try to speak to them.
10 Things I’m Hatin’ On GUEST EDITION
Eric “Bought An Iron At The Pawn Shop” Perrin (email@example.com)
01 // WHACK ASS DVD MAGAZINES These damn DVD magazines are getting worse and worse. I watched one the other day that looked like it was recorded on somebody’s iPhone and edited in Pro Tools. 02 // Old, grown ass rappers still Patiently Waiting Nigga, if you’ve been patiently waiting since the days of “Yo, MTV Raps” it’s time to give up. What are you patiently waiting for, death? Grow the fuck up and get a job. UPS is hiring. 03 // Niggas ordering food in the strip club If you’re in the strip club ordering the steak n ass special, smack yourself and go the fuck home. That shit is lame as hell. None of those strippers want you drippin’ hot sauce and shit down their back while they’re trying to give you a lap dance. 04 // Weedcarriers These muthafuckas done got so comfortable getting runoff groupies and free weed that they forget to do their job. They are supposed to carry-the-weed so the artist doesn’t go to jail, but more and more rappers are getting popped off on possession charges.
Me & Scrappy in MIA
I love the CORE DJs, especially the big bald ones
Mr Smith goes to Vegas
05 // Presidential candidates Does Hillary, Obama, or any other candidate actually think they have a chance? Bush ain’t giving that shit up. He’s gonna find a way to change the rules and stay in office forever. 06 // The lottery People hold up the damn line at the gas station for a half an hour “playing their numbers.” Broke people aren’t winning the damn lottery. The government is just selling dreams. You might as well just save that money for some extra chicken wings at the strip club.
Ah, yes. It’s the classic makeJB-wear-your-chain pic
07 // High ass electric bills You’ve gotta win the lottery to pay the light bill. I’m bout to say fuck writing and start trappin’, cause Georgia Power won’t give a nigga lights free. 08 // Click It or Ticket That’s just a bullshit ass reason for the police to pull yo’ dumb ass over. They don’t care about your life. 09 // Crackheads in ATL Walking around Atlanta at night is like a scene from Michael Jackson’s Thriller. They look like they’re auditioning for Resident Evil 3. 10 // Grown ass women doing the SUPAMAN If you’ve got kids older than Soulja Boy and you’re in the club crankin’ it, go sit yo’ old ass down somewhere and read a book. Raise yo’ kids, raise yo’ kids, raise yo’ gotdamn kids!
Me & Bibi Guns doing what ATLiens do (hang out at the bowling alley)
So that’s why this surprised me: I was at a party, but I don’t even remember which one because they all blend together into one big blur (unlike other magazine editors who swagger jack OZONE consistently, I actually go out and get hands-on with this shit), and Gorilla Zoe walks up. I’ve never had much of a conversation with the dude and every time I see him, I’m a little scared because he looks like’s going to eat me (that means whatever you think it means) and the name “Gorilla” is actually quite fitting. But instead of the usual rapper bullshit (“You need to put me on your cover,” “Who are you fuckin’,” etc.), he just asks, “How the hell do you keep from getting jaded?” Just by him saying that, I realized that I am jaded. Somebody told me a long time ago that even if you aren’t dirty when you get into the music business, you’ll end up dirty. It is a dirty game and I try to keep my integrity as much as possible, but what does that really mean when everybody’s definition is different? Everybody’s playing by different rules so how much of a “good girl” or “evil white bitch” you are (I have been called both in the past week) depends on who’s counting. My blackberry buddy said I’m “too smart for this simple Hip Hop life” and I couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic or not, but it’s probably fair to say that I’ve overanalyzed this way more than necessary. As a white female, I’m used to people questioning my Hip Hop motives (and guys pinching my ass and calling me “Becky” like that asshole at the club last night). In interviews I’ve been asked if I’m “profiting off of the black culture,” but that’s bullshit. I could’ve easily had a comfy 9-5 with a salary and benefits, but money isn’t what it’s about. I could probably write a whole editorial about the reasons I love Hip Hop. I’ve never claimed to be a “real Hip Hop” expert or scholar or historian; I can’t recite A Tribe Called Quest or Run-DMC lyrics or breakdance or spray graffiti or DJ, but the whole essence of what Hip Hop is, that’s what I’m about. The hustle, the energy, the individuality, and the overall gangsta mentality. Fight the power, whether the “power” is a slaveholder or a racist cop or a demanding boss or strict parents or just the everyday struggle of life. It’s not fair for anyone to judge another person’s trials and tribulations from the outside looking in. How do you know if they can or can’t relate when Kanye says “wait til I get my money right” or when T.I. says “small things to a giant, I can overcome this” or when Lil Wayne says “no assistance, just that persistence with that committment” or when Tupac says “get my weight up with my hate and pay ‘em back when I’m bigger”? That’s why all races can connect and love this music. But just like any relationship, over time, it’s easy for the bullshit to turn true love into love/hate. It’s hard to remember why I do this sometimes, and that’s when I write “I quit” rants. I erased my first two editorials. The first was too depressing. Next I was bitching about how I get no love at other award shows even after I did my own damn show, but then Denmark hooked us up with tickets to the BET Hip Hop Awards so I had to scratch that. Anyway, I’m glad next month is the annual sex issue. I may feel like quitting this music industry shit sometimes, but I’ll never be jaded about fucking, so check back next time and I promise to be in a better mood. - Julia Beverly, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lil Wayne f/ Juliany “Smoking Section” Young Buck f/ the Outlawz “Driving Down The Freeway” Little Brother f/ Lil Wayne “Breakin’ My Heart” Ludacris f/ Rick Ross & Bun B ”Down In Da Durty” Gorilla Zoe f/ Jody Breeze “Crack Muzik” Lil Webbie f/ Lil Boosie “Independent” Young Dro “U Know About Me” Foxx f/ Trey Songz “She Said”
email@example.com J. Holiday “Suffocate” Trey Songz “Store Run” Nas “Surviving The Times” Drake f/ Trey Songz “Give Ya”
OZONE MAG // 17
T S E U Q P RA
’ , HIT US UP at JB@OZONEMA N I P P O P SEE WOHR ANOTT’SREPRESENTED AT ALL AUGUSTA, GA O T S T E E R T REPRESENTED, S Network Inc. held their first celebrity weekend which included E H T S T I IS Seattle Seahawks’ Deon Grant, Washington Redskins’ Carlos OZONFEEEHL THAT YOUR CITY IS M Rogers, Tennessee Titans’ Ben Troupe, and former NBA stars IF YOU
It’s official, Ray Sanchez will fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in Albuquerque on PPV in December. NM’s Keith Jardin beat UFC Icon Chuck Lidell. Rap artist NINE and Drippin’ Wet Productions released the bangin’ new CD I Just Want II Be Heard. Raw Muzik and The Blok Boyz are preparing their new CD Another Level. Rah Digga and Rampage came and rocked the State Fair on the Ambush Tour which featured up and coming rapper Mutt Dogg. Cedric the Entertainer performed for the 505. Ned’s and 97.3 are hosting local rap performances on Thursday nights. - Beno (Beno@eadymusicgroup.com)
The 2007 Hot 93.3 Winter Meltdown saw performances from Mims, Rob G, Three 6 Mafia, Twista and Baby Bash. DJ Rapid Ric hit the road with Chamillionaire for live performances on MTV’s TRL, BET’s 106 & Park, The Carson Daily Show and more. South Bound opened up for Method Man on the University of Texas campus as they prepare for their upcoming album release Vice Verses. Trae came through for a packed performance at Spiros. Set 4 Life and other guests celebrated PLA’s Birthday Ballout at Karma. Bushwick Bill, TYK, Casino and Gutta Gang held it down at Club 311. - O.G. of Luxury Mindz (LuxuryMindz@gmail. com)
Vonteego Cummings, Will Avery, and Zach Marbury. DJ Spinz, known for his Southern Swagger mixtapes, held down the after party. Flavor of Love’s Deelishis hosted a party alongside NBA star Vonteego Cummings at Club Cream. DJ Kyde Joe, a street rep for OZONE Magazine, was on the 1s and 2s. The Come Up DVD recorded footage of the party which will appear on their next project. Trina is also coming to Club Cream for Celebrity Fridays in November. - Ty Shine (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Diddy taps the Baltimore talent pool to find his latest signee to Bad Boy Records: Los. As Los preps his major label debut, he has just blessed the streets with his mixtape Young, Fly, & Hungry. Darkroom Productions begins work on music for season 3 of MTV’s Rob & Big. And Mullyman has just released his latest video “Hustleman Shuffle” to media outlets everywhere. - Darkroom Productions (TheDarkRoomInc@yahoo.com)
BAY ST. LOUIS, MS:
The big homie Pimp C (left) had a few choice words for JZ94.5’s staff members and DJ Alreese rocked the Boiler Room into overdrive after his performance. Nell’s Sports Bar & Lounge held a 15 Minutes of Fame concert series which was a good look for Mississippi. Artists throughout the state came out to support. Cruisin’ The Coast is back as St. Rose de Lima gets ready for its 85th Church Fair. WBSL AM 1190 celebrates its one year anniversary after Katrina. DJ Deliyte kicks off the We Don’t Need No Radio Tour. - DJ Deliyte (email@example.com)
The Thundacatz DJs (Kub, Tantrum, Hugga B) are the newest DJ crew taking over in Charleston. Ice Cream Sundays is back at the all new Club Titanic. DJ D-Nice’s Virgo Bday Bash at Club Titanic was crazy! Z93 and Big South Promotions brought the Stone Soul Reunion with Soulja Boy, Cupid, B5, Rasheeda, and more. Marly Mar and Pachino Dino squashed the beef and did a song together. Grind Out Ent. brought Rich Boy, The Kushman and DJ B-Lord to The Tunnel in Holly Hill. Carlos Cartel is everywhere right now. Legendary producer Twin D scores a hit called “Models” featuring Snook and Lil Boosie. - DJ B-Lord (BLordDJ@aol.com)
M-16 is gaining attention from producing Playaz Circle’s “Duffle Bag Boy.” The B.A. Boyz won an OZONE Award for Patiently Waiting. Labels like Kottage Boy, Freewill Records Inc., Mob Tied, Soufsyde Records and Zeus Ent. are making moves. Attitude, Modesty X.O, Corey Barbar, M.P., Nina Ross, Birmingham J., Gin & Snipe, H.E.A.T., Murc Kamp and more are also making noise. Club Platinum, Club Red, Armani Raha, Gold Club and Jitterbugs are holding down the nightlife. Adult clubs like Mikes Crossroads, The Palace, Sammies and The Furance keep well balanced crowds. Gravity Hood Couture is opening a store on 1st Ave. and South Models is growing. - K. Bibbs (AllOrNothingPromo@hotmail.com)
After suffering through the bloodiest summer in decades (20 homicides in 22 days), families of victims still have no answers and the Mayor’s office remains silent. Duane Johnson of Akron has accused LeBron James of ordering his bodyguard to physically threaten Johnson if he continued taping the superstar in a public park. LBJ hosted SNL’s 33rd season premier on September 29th. Quincy Taylor and the Ohio Hip Hop Awards committee hosted their 2nd annual awards ceremony. Notable recipients/winners included Judy Jones, Hi-Tek, Eddie Bauer, “X” Allah, Mauly T, and the late Gerald LeVert. - “X” Allah (Supreme1@sprintpcs.com)
Coalmine Music Group just celebrated the one year anniversary of Industry Night at Vain. WGCI is now doing live remotes at Secrets and the MD/PDs are embracing more local music. DJs in the city are breaking artists’ records in the clubs. Super promoter Donski holds down six different clubs and has brought Rich Boy, Cassidy and others to perform with LSO as the opening act. Kreo is the new media assassin of the city. Dutch Dinero, Hymalaya, Hot to Def, 89 Music, Parkay, Implicit, Dave Pracyse, Money Bagz, Jak Frost and Kontact are also doing it big. Power 92 has been broadcasting the Power Hour since its inception. - Jamal Hooks (JHooks@tmail.com)
B. Luck, E-Chek, Black-Jack and Tweez are tearing up the airwaves at WIZF 101.1. DJ Eddie Bauer, Skillz, Diamond, and Dime Piece are teaming up to bring the hottest mixes and new flavor to the streets. Drugs are being cleaned up off the highways and bi-ways and the state troopers are not playing with giving out time. Be on the look out for the newest label Hook Kings. The R&B artist Bobby Lee is gonna give the ladies just what they’re asking for – smooth sounds, good looks and the feeling of being loved. - Judy Jones (Judy@JJonesent.com)
Lil Ru officially signed with Capitol Records and won OZONE’s Patiently Waiting award for the Carolinas. Snook’s mixtape release party was hosted by Neek with B-Lord and DJ Frosty on the turntables. Boo Boo also had a mixtape release party and his single “I’ll Pay” is starting to heat up. Team Irac’s “Pants Saggin” is also burning up the clubs. Lims Menswear in Columbia Mall is still the hottest spot to shop for gear and you can catch Lucky Leon spinning once a month in the store. Mo Beatz should be home real soon and be back on them beats in no time. - Rob Lo (RobLoPromo@aol.com)
18 // OZONE MAG
PHOTO: EDWARD HALL
Fall in the South means football Classics, tailgating, concerts, and parties. The granddaddy of them all went down in October between Tuskegee and Morehouse. Plies tore down Club Ritmo, while Pastor Troy did it big at the V&S Lounge. DJ Chip celebrated the 3rd year anniversary of his morning show and Greg Street hosted Chip’s party. Chip did the morning show live with Pastor Troy, Rasheeda, Kandi, and local up-and-comer DK. DK’s single “Yuah” has had radio and clubs on lock since the summer. - Slick Seville (SlickSeville@gmail.com)
The Usual Suspects Crew’s weekly podcasts are quickly replacing the radio as the place to go for new music – www.fullblastradio.podomatic.com. They also have dope interviews. Cove Lounge threw another tent party hosted by Melyssa Ford a.k.a. Jessica Rabbit. This time they had a clear roof and you could actually see the stars. PA Flex of The 3rd is putting in work on an upcoming solo album as well as vocalists Middle Child and J Rawls. Rawls was nominated for Producer of the Year at the Ohio Hip Hop Awards. They hosted an album preview in October and their album release is planned for Spring. - Dawn Dickson (Dawn@TheUrbanStarr.com)
DALLAS/FT. WORTH, TX:
Big Chief’s (above) album All About Emotions is in stores now. The Dirty South Block Party radio show on KNON 89.3 will end this month. I heard Trap Starz signed with Universal and Skin with Quick DFW is your weekly exposure. Mic the Menace is keeping Fort Worth’s name strong while Baby C outhustles the local rap vets. Patty Geiger continues to try to save the DFW music scene with hardly any support from the city. Baptist Original Clothing got the streets fresh. - Edward “Pookie” Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Killa Keem a.k.a. the Alabama Ambassador continues to showcase his talent locally as well as regionally. As he continues gaining popularity from his last mixtape Coming To Alabama, Keem is ready to release new music with his next series of mixtapes called the Tribal Rights Movement (above). Keem’s music can be heard atMyspace.com/skentertainment05. DJ Marcus Kage has pre-released his 4th mixtape to a select few listeners in the underground. Currently the mixtape remains un-named. D&R Promotions is attempting to bring the Hood Hard movement to the area. - DJ Akil (DJ.Akil@yahoo.com)
FORT MYERS/NAPLES, FL:
We average one grow-house bust per day. We are the hometown of Deion Sanders, Jevon Kearse, Ernest Graham, Vonzell Solomon, Noell Devine and Plies. 105.5 The Beat brings J. Holiday to Club Envie. Time to Shine goes down every Monday on the Afternoon Drive with Scrappy giving local artists a chance to spit what they got on-air. MTV2 Fight Klub comes to town for a showdown between local battle rappers. K.L. Shanks, a.k.a. Queen Unique, releases her debut book A Mile in My Heels: A Personal Compilation of Word Play. Check your local bookstore. - Jae Rae (JaeRae1055@aol.com)
One of the hottest models from the city hit it big in the 50 Cent “Get Money” video. Simply Ophilia is doing her thang and it’s starting to pay off. Shoot her some love at Myspace.com/SimplyOphilia. DJ Murdock was named VP of the Heat Spinner DJs, and they are locking up the city. Be on the lookout for the Takeover mixtape by DJ J Torcher. He has started making a major presence in the streets and clubs. The 3M Management team has signed some of the hottest talent in the city. Fetti Black’s single “Weather Man” is getting radio play in various cities. - Lucky The Promo King (email@example.com)
It’s round two of the New South takeover. Chamillionaire and Trae are back. Coughee Brothaz are putting that good fire in the air. Upclose Entertainment is resurrecting Hip Hop with Uppa Dek, Dre Steel, and Krystal. The Grit Boys are holding down the hood. Jak Da Rippa, Upfront Records and Fatman are making things happen all over Galveston. Come hit up Baby O’s where all the hoods’ favorites go to perform. - Jamar “J Gamble” Irby (My. Upclose@gmail.com)
DESIGNED BY LT
Happy Homecoming to all the schools in the Mac and Warner Robins. We love the kids. Big Wu put out his mixtape I Am What I Am so find a way to cop that. DJ Wiz is taking the show on the road in surrounding counties as soon as Friday Night Fever is officially underway. Halftime won’t be the same. In the meantime, the Mac continues to bubble. - Ali Roc (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Big John Henderson missed his first career game against the Denver Broncos due to a concussion. The Jags held it down though, despite being an NFL underdog. DJ King Ron held his birthday bash at Club Endo Exo. King Ron is known for his work with local artists as well as breaking national acts. Ciara from the Street Team Divas celebrated her bday at Arielle’s and Trick Daddy partied with J-Ville on his birthday at The Globe, hosted by Point Blank Entertainment. Midget Mac is all over VH1’s I Love New York 2 and Young Cash shot his video at Plush. Bigga Rankin’s RNR mixtapes still go hard. - Ms. Rivercity (MsRivercity@yahoo.com)
Lately it’s been poppin’ in the “Lost City.” Kentucky Muzic Pool had its annual KYMP Kamp Weekend which included parties, a car and bike show, a DJ music conference, and performances by SOLO, JY Ent., Kobe Keyz, and others. Special invited guests included DTP, Koch Records, and Universal Records to name a few. Sincere had his mixtape release party with Don Diva, powered by Forever Records. Nova produced a track for 50 Cent called “Jugganaut.” It’s featured on DJ E-Feezy’s Myspace page. The female emcee Baby Loc had a signing party with Ice Age Records. Malik held the Rap Fest pre-tour show. - Divine Da Instagata (OuttaDaShopEnt@hotmail.com)
A new breed of flashy has claimed territory in Memphis this month with the young group Grafiti Boyz (left). This talented and vibrant group has gained much recognition in the city with their hit “Riding Swerve” streaming through the airwaves. Keep a look out for Lord T and Eloise coming to a city near you. They have begun their tour and are reppin’ Memphis to the fullest. Claiming Aristocrunk, they have made it big performing with artists such as Al Kapone, Danity Kane, Coolio, and the Ying Yang Twins. Check in with MemphisRap. com for some new columnists touching on some very interesting topics. - Deanna Brown (Deanna.Brown@MemphisRap.com)
Gorilla Zoe and Flo Rida came through Montgomery and had Front Street on fire. Zoe couldn’t get through the last verse of “Hood Nigga” before the shit jumped off. Not only did they grace Montgomery’s presence but so did Tank, Trey Songz, and Twista. It was a hoeasis. Maxximum Exposure mix CD hit the streets and these tricks still ain’t ready. Beat Camp Productions is taking over graphic designs and music production – the Maxximum Exposure flyers were blazing. 107.1/95.9 does it big for local artists; check out the Candy Shop weekly from 6 AM - 2 PM. - Hot Girl Maximum (HotGirl.Maximum@gmail.com)
Shaq and Shaunie called it quits. Chillax South Beach hoochies! Trick called into my 99 Jamz morning show to vent about wanting to part with Slip-N-Slide and go where he’d be “wanted and respected.” G-Unit maybe? CEO Ted Lucas responded by saying Trick was free to go! Now that DJ Khaled is finding success (his songs are playing in South America!), it seems like the beef is flying from everywhere. I guess Biggie was right: Mo’ money, mo’ problems! Trina’s song “Single Again” is crazy! - Supa Cindy (www.Myspace.com/Supadupe)
OZONE MAG // 19
RAPQUEST MILWAUKEE, WI:
signed on with Polo Grounds Music and the Ratchet Queen Angie Locc is getting much love after her appearance on the remix of “A Bay Bay.” A new artist by the name of Blitz is on the rise. His new single is called “J’s.” KMJJ 99.7 FM has won the Best Station in America award from Radio & Records Magazine again, making them a 6 year #1 broadcasting force across four states. - C-Mac (email@example.com)
Milwaukee is so thirsty right now that Lake Michigan is about to disappear! We are the home of Core DJ Ceo Tony Neal. Local ghetto hero Baby Drew is dropping nationally. Pimpin Ken is putting that “Pimpology” down on the whole industry, making himself a household name. His emcee protégé Paperchase is right there reppin’ hard. Taste Emcees is holding the Mil down as far as local Hip Hop venues go. They have weekly live sets on Wednesdays and Thursdays for area artists and DJs. Live Wire Music Store is doing big things to support the scene too. - Gorilla Promo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ST. LOUIS, MO:
Black on Black, the backbone for the group All Stars, had a fan appreciation night at Club Society. Trackstar the DJ was featured in OZONE’s September issue in the mixtape vendor section. Mutt Dogg out of Gary, IN shut it down at Top Ten Tuesdays. Da Banggaz are dropping a new mixtape called New STL Vol. 2 along with a DVD. For those who want to hear what STL really sounds like, download these artists’ mixtapes for free at www.MidwestMixtapes.com: Tantrum “DerrtyBoi” Montana, Top Notch, Blaze, County Brown, Da Banggaz, DJ Trackstar, Dutch Jackson, Family Affair, Gena, John Hill and OutDaWoodWorks. - Jesse James (JesseJames314@aol.com)
MYRTLE BEACH, SC:
Common and Q Tip came through and rocked the House of Blues and I had a nice conversation with Common about where the East Coast is and what the South is doing right now. Soulja Boy came through in October and so did Gorilla Zoe and Rich Boy. Halloween was full of stars here on the Grand Strand. Carolina’s elite B-Lord, Chuck T, Kub, Cleve, D Nyce, Frosty, Rob Lo, Chubbs and the whole SMES movement are keeping it moving in Myrtle Beach and throughout South Carolina. - Mr. Smith (MrSmith9114ever@gmail.com)
Tallahassee Pain is set to be one of the headlining acts for FAMU’s Homecoming Concert. The concert has been sold out or close to selling out for the last three years. Other acts include Lil Wayne, Plies, Lil Boosie, Lil Webbie, and Musiq Soulchild. Shortly after announcing that he’s leaving the group Pretty Ricky, Pleasure P comes back home to Tallahassee with a VIP party at Bajas Beach. The streets are talking about a female artist named Skai. Her new single “He Didn’t Call” is buzzing along with a new joint from Thrill Da Playa called “Everybody Rock.” - DJ Dap (DJDapOnline@gmail.com)
WQQK is now holding the coveted title of #1 station in the city. Speaking of radio, long time club and college DJ C-Lo has moved to an on-air personality slot on WUBT. DJ C-Wiz and Project Pat released the What Cha Starin’ At mixtape via Hypnotize Minds. OZONE Magazine was in the house at Club 615 alongside Lil Boosie and some of Cashville’s finest which included RIP, Lil Bru, All Star, Thoroughbread and more. Cashville’s own Young Buck is scheduled to release his David Brown clothing and jewelry line. - Janiro Hawkins (Janiro@southernentawards.com)
NEW ORLEANS, LA:
Lil Wayne and Young Money Entertainment did it big at Tulane University and recently announced that the original members of The Hot Boys will be reuniting for another album. Monster with Da Fade and Bonoze TV have a solid lock on the bounce scene of New Orleans. Monster, along with Joe with Da Dreads, are creating the biggest buzz since U.N.L.V. and the original Cash Money roster. Chev Off Da Ave has a hit with his single “Hollywood.” MC Shakie continues to “make the bitches go crazy!” Hot Boy Ronald hopes to score big with his single “Walk It” featuring Cupid. - Derrick Tha Franchise (www.Myspace.com/DerrickThaFranchise)
Big Money Ced was a big winner, taking home the “Love is Love” and “Peace, Power, and Progress” awards from the Gainesville Music Summit for his continuous support in the music community. Although there was some rumored controversy regarding the selection of winners, Tampa was well represented with nominations for the Summit. A few other winners from the area included Big Cee Jay, Angel Benton, Sandman, J-Holla, and Beat Matrix. Tampa took it back by partying at Pin Chasers bowling alley on the weekends. Hopefully someone will take it back at the skating rink! - Mz T-Rock (MzTRock@yahoo.com)
Tulsa resident DJ Biggrich and the Real DJs present Monsta Music hosted by Tum Tum, in the streets now. 106.9 KHITS is bringing Ludacris and T-Pain to the Expo Square for their Winter Jam. Club UV is the newest spot to get your party on every weekend. Tulsa college student Kanebeatz signed a three-year contract with Atlantic Records after producing Lil Wayne’s “S on My Chest” and Chamillionaire’s “Welcome to the South” featuring Pimp C, appearing on Cham’s newest album The Ultimate Victory. - DJ Civil Rightz (email@example.com)
The Swamp Boyz have released their mixtape In the Streetz Vol. 2 hosted by DJ Leezy. Two Dogg Records are still riding off the success of Hollywood & Big Koon’s Real Nigga Radio/Gangsta Grillz mixtape. Look out for upcoming projects by Stxboy Drow, 352 Giants, C-Nial’s In My City hosted by DJ Leezy, and Young G.P. featuring Mayonnaise Hood Money. - DJ Leezy (DJLeezy352@yahoo.com)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK:
The ladies of HoneySiccle Entertainment had a very successful promo video shoot. The community came out and showed mad love to Honey. Tyler Perry will be paying a visit to the O. Is he bringing a play? We all hope so. Lil Boosie had a show at DeJaVue in October. There was just an Atlanta versus Miami review at DeJaVue hosted by Gloria Velez and Strings. Mannie Fresh was chillin’ in the cut too. - PL (BeatBrokers77@yahoo.com)
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA:
Batman and Gee share the throne for hottest club promoter. Hampton University hosted their 2nd Annual Producers’ Battle. The Saturday night party moves to Tribecca in Newport News with Young Fame on the mic. Allen Iverson came home to VA and hit up Club Reign; Michael Vick was in the building even with all that’s going on. D-Strange and his County Star family have their store County Star Customs poppin’. If you’re looking for Bape, BBC, Ice Cream or any other fashion that originated in VA, hit up County Star Customs at the beach. - Derrick Tha Franchise (www.Myspace.com/DerrickThaFranchise)
Orlando is geared up for the big Florida Classic game between Bethune Cookman and FAMU at the Citrus Bowl. Stick 3000 was featured in OZONE’s annual Patiently Waiting issue. Lil Wayne’s Greatest Rapper concert went down at the House of Blues. Das EFX performed at Club Element and DJ Caesar celebrated his birthday at Club Element as well. Haitian Fresh held his Sak Pase Signing Party at Tabu where he performed his single “Gon Joc” featuring Wyclef and Lil Boosie. Mercedes Streets (right) was nominated for awards at the Gainesville Music Summit and the 2008 Southern Entertainment Awards. - Ms. Rivercity (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wale and Tabi Bonney both came back to good situations after touring in Europe. After opening for Mark Ronson overseas, Wale was blessed with a production deal under Amy Winehouse’s famed producer. Tabi was also chosen to host BET’s new international Hip Hop show that’s scheduled to replace Rap City. Also, Northern Virginia producer Greg Calloway’s Defient Entertainment is looking to make a splash in 2008. The title sponsor of the second annual OZONE Awards has signed Orlando artists Jon Young and J. Cash. Calloway got his break after winning Lyor Cohen’s reality show and securing an imprint deal under the Warner Music Group. - Pharoh Talib (Ptalib@gmail.com) //
Hurricane Chris’ new single “Hand Clap” is doing well. 5 Entertainment/Rap-A-Lot is set to shoot their video for Teflo’s “Hot Topic.” Billy Broadway has an upcoming video shoot. Lava House has WARD HALL
20 // OZONE MAG
(above L-R): Bushwick Bill & his wife @ Roxy for Chamillionaire’s album release party in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K); Slick Pulla, TI, & Young Jeezy @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly); Yung Berg, Yung Joc, & Greg Street @ Esso for Gorilla Zoe’s album release party in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Eric Perrin)
01 // Big Ramp, Sixx Mann, Dizzy, & OZONE street team models @ Baby Boy’s birthday bash (New Orleans, LA) 02 // Trae, Chris Ward, Big Pokey, & D3 @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 03 // Lil Wayne, Oowie, & Lil Chuckee @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Young Cash, Terrence Tyson, Lil Hen, & Ms Rivercity @ Jacksonville Arena for Bigga Rankin’s birthday party (Jacksonville, FL) 05 // DJ Khaled & Young Jeezy @ The Untouchables birthday party (Atlanta, GA) 06 // Lil Scrappy & G’s Up @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 07 // Brisco & Rick Ross @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 08 // Playaz Circle @ Club Level for B-Lord’s Anniversary party (Columbia, SC) 09 // Kevin Shine, guests, Miltikit, Wendy Day, & Lucky @ Midwest Music Conference (Indianapolis, IN) 10 // Rickey Jones, Marcus., Aziatikk Black, & Clarence Weatherspoon @ Freelon’s (Jackson, MS) 11 // Diddy & Dave Mays @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 12 // Fiya, The Mexicanz, Ms Hawkins, & Pebbles @ Party 104.9 (Houston, TX) 13 // Janiro Hawkins & Boss Baby @ Greg Gates Music Conference (Pensacola, FL) 14 // Aziatikk Black & DJ Q45 @ Freelon’s (Jackson, MS) 15 // Jack & Rick Ross @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 16 // Mac Bre-Z & Xtaci @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 17 // Ms Rivercity & Plies @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 18 // CO & Quinn Gray of the Jacksonville Jaguars @ The Globe (Jacksonville, FL) 19 // Ladies reppin’ Gorilla Zoe @ Club Esso for his album release party (Atlanta, GA) Photo Credits: Clevis Harrison (08); DJ Who (13); Eric Perrin (19); Intl K (02,12); Julia Beverly (03,05,06,07,11,15,16); Malik Abdul (04,09,10,14); Marcus DeWayne (01); Terrence Tyson (17,18)
OZONE MAG // 21
mathematics Every year in this issue of OZONE, I seem to write about getting out in front of your fans and touring, most likely because I spend the better part of every summer and fall on the road with new artists. All of them experience success, so perhaps there’s something to these words I write. I watched Master P get out in front of his fans and promote himself and his artists (No Limit soldiers, as he called them) everyday. Tupac also did it exceptionally well. Do Or Die, Twista, David Banner, all of Cash Money, Killer Mike, BloodRaw (I got you, baby)…many successful artists built their following one fan at a time and they did it on the road, promoting their singles, albums, DVDs - shaking hands, signing autographs, meeting DJs, retail store workers, promoters, and potential fans, and performing for free over and over and over. When fans feel they have a connection with an artist, they support that artist. Every artist I have worked with has gotten out into the marketplace and grinded it out. EVERYONE! Those with a realistic budget even had me tagging along, routing the tour for them and plugging in my connections and experience to make it a little easier and a lot more effective. For the past 35 days, I have been on the first leg of the promo tour with the TMI Boyz going from city to city in a wrapped van (nosey folks or folks too broke to hire me can check out TMITour.com to see where we went, what we did, and how a promo tour works). TMI Boyz have another 60 days out on the road, but they don’t know that yet and by the time they read this, they’ll have already done it. Promotional tours are extremely tiring and very hard work because they keep you out on the road for months at a time. Most artists miss home and family, get tired of explaining who they are and what they do to people who have never heard of them, and after awhile the endless Motel 6s and McDonalds or Waffle House meals get really monotonous. But there is no better way to catapult yourself, your name, and your career forward than getting out on the road and promoting yourself (or your artist) from city to city in your target market. 15 years deep in this business, and I am still traveling from city to city with artists when I have a full staff of people I could send in my place. What does that tell you? When working a record, whether signed to a label or putting it out yourself, you pick an area where you are likely to blow up with relative ease. In most cases, this is the area where you reside, but not in all cases. There are some Midwest artists who make New York sounding music, and some Cali based artists who make music that would sell well down south. The key is to promote where you’d most likely be embraced. Basically, I am saying not to sell crack in a heroin neighborhood. Promote where you’ll sell well. Once you know your target market, you need to plot your travel from place to place (city to city, or town to town) so that you can effectively reach all of the cities and towns within your target market. Depending on your budget, this might entail drawing a circle around your starting point that consists of a 3 to 5 hour driving range (this is for the folks with smaller budgets). This allows you to go out on quick blitzes to minimize your need to stay in hotels every night, as those costs can eat up your promo budget quickly. Those with healthier budgets should plot a tour based on a three to five state area, saturating all of the bigger cities and smaller towns along the way. I prefer to devote an entire day to each area to make certain I am thoroughly blitzing and saturating each market. I stay multiple days in larger cities (like Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, etc.) and break them down into workable areas each day. With the TMI Boyz, we hit about 25 cities in 30 days. When we wake up in the morning, we are checked out of the hotel by 10 AM and rolling towards retail stores in a wrapped vehicle (wrapped with the album cover, preferably). Depending on the artist and his or her level of fame, we go to each and every retail store in the market that sells rap CDs. For a new group like TMI Boyz, we show up and introduce ourselves to the staff, find out who the rap buyer is, and sign autographs for the staff and anyone in the stores at the time. For a more established group or artist, set up in-stores and promote ahead of time that the artist will be there signing autographs for 2 hours or so (reserve these in-stores for the more popular stores, or target one chain like FYE). I always plan this ahead and let folks know I am coming. If they prefer 22 // OZONE MAG
PROMOTIONAL TOURS byWendyDay of the RapCoalition
we not come through, I’d skip it, but in 15 years I have never had a store ask me not to come through. I have also never skipped a store due to schedule constraints. I hit them all. In the case of TMI Boyz, even though they are new, I hired Face2Face to set up our in-stores for us at FYE stores in the ‘hood malls, and we are targeting the areas where we are getting early response to our radio promotion campaign. In some cities we are backing up our in-stores with cable TV and radio advertisements. Timing is key if you are taking this approach, as it can become a hugely expensive waste of money if you aren’t experienced. Be careful… In addition to retail, once the artist is getting radio play, you can set up radio interviews or club performances based around your level of spins. We often perform at the clubs where the radio DJs spin or have relationships, and in some cases the radio stations even come out to our in-stores and broadcast live, do remotes, or offer giveaways to the fans. This can be the difference between selling 50 CDs at the in-store and selling 200+. If you have relationships, you may even be able to get the key DJs to come to a lunch or a listening party while you are in town (again, budget controls this). In the cities where I have street teams, I let them set up the interviews, shows, and DJ events. I also consult my street teams ahead of time to find out what’s going on in each marketplace so I can route the tour through key events if possible. With TMI Boyz, we got to attend the Oklahoma State Fair in Oklahoma City, which enabled them to sell thousands of dollars worth of their DJ Smallz and Bigga Rankin mixed CDs in a few hours from their backpacks. This also spread their music cost effectively at a time when their single “Swervin’” was just starting to spin at radio there. Aside from radio and retail, I like to blitz college campuses and high schools with postcards, flyers, posters, and snippet CDs. I also like to blitz car audio shops, barbershops, Hip Hop clothing shops, and Malls. TMI Boyz had DJ Michael “5000” Watts create their snippet CD for them (he’s my close friend so it was easy) which catches the attention of people in the entire region (not only are they fans of his, but they are surprised to see him affiliated with a new group from Houston that isn’t signed to Swisha House — thanks Watts, I love you!). The snippet CD has both singles on it, plus snippets of 4 or 5 other songs from the album to show potential fans that there is great music coming on the album so they will buy it when we release it independently. At night, the artist should go to clubs and promote to the patrons, perform if possible, and connect with the DJs. If the city allows sniping (hanging posters on light posts and telephone poles), blitz the ghettos on the way out of town. We then arrive at the hotel in the next city (usually a 2 to 3 hour drive), park our promo vans in front so everyone driving by can see the advertisement, and pass out til we get up the next day to do it all over again. Sometimes we even remember to eat along the way. Each night when I get to the hotel, I do two things: 1) I type up a summary of where we went and what we did which includes entering the names, addresses and phone numbers of people we met along the way (promoters, retail buyers, owners of Hip Hop gear shops, DJs, club owners, etc) into my database program in my computer, and 2) I update our blog so that our friends, family, and fans, can follow along with us. Each day I watch the hits on our blog, website, and MySpace pages grow. We are building a movement. Lastly, I email copies of everything home to my two assistants and a copy back to the label in case anything happens to my computer or hard drive along the way. I also download pictures I took that day and save them on a memory stick. If I go more than a few days, I find that I forget which people are from what city. Everything starts to blend together. With TMI Boyz, we are fortunate to have a videographer along with us. We are shooting a ton of footage for a behind the scenes DVD and for TMItv.com, our own TV station we are setting up through YouTube and MySpaceTV. In this overcrowded marketplace where sales are down overall, it’s important to stand out from everyone else, build a movement, and to bring as many fans into our franchise as quickly as possible. This is what separates the successful artists who can make a living from rapping, from the ton of CDs released by folks every year destined to get day jobs any day now. Be the one turning music into money instead of stacking your unsold CDs in your garage.
(above L-R): Ludacris & Akon @ Atlanta 300 bowling alley in Atlanta, GA; Rich Boy & Shaq @ The Roxy for Rome’s birthday party in Orlando, FL (Photos: Julia Beverly); Slim Thug & Z-Ro @ Screwfest in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K)
01 // Lil Wayne @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 02 // Young A, DJ Ro & Hurricane Da Hustla @ The Venue (New Orleans, LA) 03 // Brian Angel & TV Johnny @ TV Jewelry (Houston, TX) 04 // Derrick B, Sylvia Rhone, & Rick Ross @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 05 // Keith Kennedy, Mark Starr, & guest @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 06 // Rick Ross & Big Zak on the set of Rich Boy’s “Let’s Get This Paper” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Shakir Stewart & Vee Johnson @ The Untouchables birthday party (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Ivory Orr, DJ Q45, & Trick Daddy @ The Globe (Jacksonville, FL) 09 // Tiny & friends @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 10 // Shawty Lo @ D4L’s studio in Bankhead (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Kiotti, Steph Jones, & The Mexicans @ Party 104.9 (Houston, TX) 12 // Famous & Theresa @ Roxy for Chamillionaire’s album release party (Houston, TX) 13 // All Star & crew @ Club 615 for Rambo Entertainment’s Lil Boosie show (Nashville, TN) 14 // DJ Ebonix, Maricia Magana, & Sky @ Roxy for Chamillionaire’s album release party (Houston, TX) 15 // Miltikit, Kevin Shine, Lucky, & guests @ Midwest Music Conference (Indianapolis, IN) 16 // Slim Thug & J Dawg on the set of Lil Keke’s “I’m A G” video shoot (Houston, TX) 17 // Grit Boys & Botany Boyz @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 18 // Choppa & OZONE models @ Baby Boy’s birthday bash (New Orleans, LA) 19 // Big Bank Hank & Dolla Bill @ Maxwell’s for Tony Neal’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 20 // Phoenix da Firestarter & DJ Who @ Greg Gates Music Conference (Pensacola, FL) Photo Credits: DJ Who (20); Edward Hall (19); Eric Perrin (10,13); Intl K (03,11,12,14,16,17); Julia Beverly (01,04,06,07,09); Malik Abdul (15); Marcus DeWayne (02,18); Terrence Tyson (05,08)
OZONEMAG MAG////23 23 OZONE
by Charlamagne Tha God email@example.com
TOTEM POLE D
o you ever imagine what it would be like to see the world through the eyes of a racist white man from a small town in the South – for example, Jackson, Mississippi; Charleston, South Carolina; or even Jena, Louisiana? Imagine seeing the world through the eyes of someone like Strom Thurmond, former governor of South Carolina and United States Senator. In 1948, he ran for the United States Presidency on the third party ticket of the Dixiecrat party. During a campaign speech, Thurmond was quoted as saying, “I want to tell you ladies and gentlemen that there are not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches.” Strom Thumond also conducted the longest filibuster ever in opposition of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 (I’ve got to break that word down for the hood: a “filibuster” is a device, used only in the Senate, to delay or prevent a vote by time-consuming talk). Basically, he was not feeling us negroes getting our civil rights! That same type of hate that Strom possessed is still embedded in millions of white people all across the country.
The most disturbing thing I’ve seen while looking through the eyes of a racist white man is the breakdown of how they categorize us. It’s almost like a totem pole. First are “African Americans.” This exclusive class is said to be what we are all labeled, but that is not the case! Racist white men think African Americans are non-threatening and usually involved in politics and hold some type of government position. African Americans are extremely wealthy or do great humanitarian work – not to mention they’re either full-fledged or borderline Uncle Toms (i.e. Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Condoleeza Rice, Bill Cosby). Next on the totem pole are Coloreds. These are usually black folks who entertain the white man with their extraordinary abilities. You may hear white men whisper to each other, “That colored sure played that role well,” “That colored sure can jump high,” “That colored sure can dance,” and my favorite, “That colored sure can run the ball.” Examples include Denzel Washington, Michael Jordan, Halle Berry, and Emmitt Smith, especially after Dancing with the Stars.
It is scary to think that a strong majority of people who possess this blatant racism are in office as Presidents, Governors, and Senators. It is even scarier to think that there are law enforcement officials, policemen, and judges who share the same mentality. How can you protect and serve when you would rather prosecute and sentence? How can a court of law provide justice for us, when time and time again, they’ve proven themselves to be racially unjust against us?
Third on the totem pole are Blacks – Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Spike Lee, and Dave Chappelle. These are all Black people. Dave Chappelle could’ve been a Colored but his show, although entertaining, was too socially conscious for the white man. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson could be African Americans, but they’re too threatening. They stand up for us too much. Spike Lee is not a colored because his movies, just like the Chappelle Show, are also too socially conscious. After creating movies like Malcolm X and Bamboozled you will never be in the white man’s good graces.
The proof is in the pudding. You can go as far back as the Rodney King trial, where white officers were caught on tape beating the shit out of a black man but were still found “not guilty.” To bring us more up to date, recall the slow response of government officials when Hurricane Katrina hit. I know this was not just a black and white issue; it was also a rich and poor issue. I still wonder what the response would’ve been if that had been a town full of more poor white folk than black folk. We can also not overlook the injustice (which by the grace of God has been resolved) in Jena, Louisiana. School officials and law enforcement officials were all working together to hang (pun intended) six black students in a court of law!
Finally, on the bottom of the totem pole are Niggers. In America, most of us that get caught up in this matrix called the Hip Hop generation are niggers! Jay-Z and Diddy, as wealthy as they are, are just a couple rich rapping niggers to the white man. Michael Vick, as entertaining as he was on the field to the white man, was way too hood to ever be considered anything but a nigger. White men at the Falcons games used to say, “Damn, that nigger is quick on his feet.” Now he is known as that dumb, dog-fighting nigger. Niggers buy ridiculous amounts of gaudy jewelry, get a whole lot of tattoos, and drive cars more expensive than their houses. If it was up to the white man, niggers would all be in caskets or prison cells.
Through the eyes of a prejudiced white man, Rodney King getting his ass kicked by those cops was like the feeling you used to get when you finally beat Mike Tyson in “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out” for the first time! Through the eyes of a racist white man, watching our people suffer through Hurricane Katrina was like a d-boy watching Young Jeezy go platinum!
So ladies and ghettomen, after reading this, what have we learned today? Charlamagne Tha God is a NIGGER, with way too much time on his hands! Until next time my niggers (cause only niggers read OZONE). //
24 // OZONE MAG
- Charlamagne Tha God
(above L-R): Trick Daddy & CO @ The Globe in Jacksonville, FL (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, & TI @ The Untouchables birthday party in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly); Jas Prince & James Prince Jr. @ Screwfest in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K)
01 // I-20 & Akon @ Atlanta 300 (Atlanta, GA) 02 // Bun B, Talib Kweli, & guest @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 03 // DJ Demp, BloodRaw, & guest @ Tailgate Park (Jacksonville, FL) 04 // Big Amp & Charles Wakeley @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 05 // TMI Boyz @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 06 // Meshah Hawkins & Mike Jones @ Roxy for Chamillionaire’s album release party (Houston, TX) 07 // Shawty Lo & crew @ D4L’s studio in Bankhead (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Carol City Cartel, Diddy, & Rick Ross @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 09 // Alfamega & Gorilla Zoe @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 10 // Basswood Lane @ On Da Edge for BloodRaw’s DJ Appreciation party (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Young Cash & Coach @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 12 // Billy Cook & Dr. Teeth @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 13 // Eric Perrin & Kisha Smith @ Atlanta 300 (Atlanta, GA) 14 // Pat Nix & Twista (Tallahassee, FL) 15 // OZONE street team models Mikel, Dwana, Freda, & Love @ Baby Boy’s birthday bash (New Orleans, LA) 16 // DJ Big Cheese, Mr. Cool, & DJ Raj Smoove (New Orleans, LA) 17 // Bu & Devyne Stephens @ Atlanta 300 (Atlanta, GA) 18 // Crisco Kidd & KJ @ Chamillionaire’s album release signing (Houston, TX) 19 // RawLT, Cory Mo, & Troublesome @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) Photo Credits: DJ Who (05); Eric Perrin (07); Julia Beverly (01,08,09,10,13,17); Intl K (02,06,12,18,19); Malik Abdul (03); Marcus DeWayne (15,16); Shoeb Malik (14); Terrence Tyson (04,11)
OZONEMAG MAG////25 25 OZONE
mistah fab and kobe Mistah Fab: Hey Kobe, I’m with this chick who say she know you? Kobe Bryant: Really, what’s her name? Mistah Fab: Shit I don’t know, Tammy or some shit like that. Maybe it’s Becky. Kobe: Naw, I don’t know no Becky. Mistah Fab: Well maybe it’s Susie or Wendy. Who gives a fuck? She look hella good. Kobe: Where she from? Mistah Fab: Hold up, lemme ask her. Mistah Fab: Her name is Katelyn. She say she know you from Denver. Kobe: Oh, shit. I don’t fuck with girls from Colorado. Naw, I don’t know no girls named Katelyn. I can’t fuck with that. Mistah Fab: Why not? This chick looks like she down for some hella freaky shit. She said you and her got hella history so I figured you already hit it. I just wanna know if it was good? It looks hella good. yadadamean
OZONE EXCLUSIVE Textin’ is no longer safe now that OZONE’s dangerous minds have hacked the system.
Kobe: No, I don’t know what you’re talking about Fab, but quit textin me about this shit. My wife is sittin’ next to me. I can’t talk about this shit. I don’t know no girls from Denver. Mistah Fab: Man, this chick know you! She said she used to work at a hotel in Colorado but she got a settlement from some hella rich dude and now she pop hella pills all day. Oh, boy. I’m gonna go hella dumb on this hoe and fuck the shit outta her little ass. yadadamean Kobe: I gotta go. Mistah Fab: C’mon Kobe, it’s off season, come fuck with ya boy. We can have this hoe riding the yellow bus all night. She told me she likes to take it in the ass hella hard. Kobe: You got the wrong number, this ain’t Kobe Bryant. He changed his number. Mistah Fab: Shut up homie, I know it’s you. You just called me yesterday about getting on my album. You left me a voicemail with that hella whack freestyle, remember? Kobe: Fuck you, that shit was good. I can rhyme better than yo’ ass. Mistah Fab: You better hope so. I know you ain’t got no prenup. Kobe: That wasn’t cool, man. I thought we were cooler than that? Mistah Fab: Yeah, just have my tickets ready for the Lakers vs. Warriors game. I gotta go, I ain’t got time for this shit. I’m ‘bout to go fuck this chick with or without you. yadadamean Kobe: Man, I got practice in the morning. I’ll holla at you later. Mistah Fab: Fuck it, Polow da Don’s in town anyway. I know he likes white girls. yadadamean
- By Randy and Eric OZONE’s Dangerous Mindz (Photo by D-Ray)
*This is just a joke. No, we didn’t really hack into anyone’s sidekick.
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(above L-R): Lil Wayne & Diddy @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht in Miami, FL; T-Pain & Cee-Lo @ Sobe Live in Miami, FL; Rasheeda, LeToya Luckett, & Solange @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht in Miami, FL (Photos: Julia Beverly)
01 // Grandaddy Souf & Trae @ Maxwell’s for Tony Neal’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 02 // Hurricane Chris & Jimi Jump @ WEMX End of Summer Jam (Baton Rouge, LA) 03 // Roland Page & Deandre Perryman @ Dante’s for Da Banggaz mixtape release party (St Louis, MO) 04 // TI & DJ Khaled @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 05 // D Woods of Danity Kane, Girls Club ladies, & Bu @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 06 // Baby Boy, Freda, DJ Black N Mild, Sol, & Walter B @ Baby Boy’s birthday bash (New Orleans, LA) 07 // Brisco, Baby, & Mack Maine @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 08 // Cheri Dennis & Jimmy Cozier 09 // Diddy & Pleasure @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 10 // RawLT & Brandi Garcia @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 11 // Killa Kyleon, Chris Ward, & J Dawg on the set of Lil Keke’s “I’m A G” video shoot (Houston, TX) 12 // Young Samm & Kenika @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 13 // Dukwon & CO @ The Globe (Jacksonville, FL) 14 // Eddie Deville & Pryme Status @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 15 // Treal & Wes Fif @ Central Florida Fairgrounds for DME car show (Orlando, FL) 16 // 102.9’s Candice Broc, Q93’s UpTown Angela, & Cristina @ Club Metro (New Orleans, LA) 17 // E-Class & T-Class @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 18 // Crisco Kidd, Jas Prince, & 2 Clean @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 19 // Horseman & Playaz Circle @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 20 // Young Jeezy & DJ Nasty @ The Untouchables birthday party (Atlanta, GA) Photo Credits: DJ Who (02); Edward Hall (01); Gary LaRochelle (08); Intl K (10,11,12,14,18,19); Julia Beverly (04,05,07,09,17,20); King Yella (03); Malik Abdul (15); Marcus DeWayne (06,16); Terrence Tyson (13)
OZONEMAG MAG////27 27 OZONE
She saw my chain and started relaxin,’ that’s what the fuck I call a…
ewelry is just one of my weak points; some people gamble, some people got obsessions with women, some people have obsessions with cars, but for me jewelry has always been my thang. I try to get pieces and chains done that symbolize who I am as a person.
The Goon [license plate] piece reflects the struggle. It’s here to remind me of the struggle. Anytime people see me they talk about that piece, and I think it’s is one of the most talked-about pieces out in the streets. All the jewelry I’ve gotten up to this point has always been based on my vision and what I want. I don’t buy jewelry that’s been pre-made. Anything I get is custom, and that piece was all my idea. The jewelry industry is kinda like the Mafia, it just depends on who you fuckin with in terms of what you gon’ get. I always try to make sure the clarity and the quality of my situation is pretty good. I got a person who I always bring along before I make a jewelry purchase, kinda like
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Plies’ 107 a personal jewelry appraiser, to make sure I’m getting the best quality I can get for the money. I ain’t gon’ tell you what jeweler made [my piece] because he ain’t cut a deal good enough for me to free promote him, but I can tell you it cost a lot. This Goon license plate is over 107 carats, all BVS diamonds. I’ll never forget when I bought the piece and what I paid for it! Cash! I think I slept for about 8 hours after I spent that cash. That muthafucka took a lil’ weight up out my pockets, I know that for sure. The last time I calculated it I had definitely spent over $600,000 dollars on jewelry, and that’s what I call a stupid investment. But it makes me hustle harder. So now I have to hustler harder and try to do what I can to get that cash back. I’m trying to get smarter about how I spend my money, but I feel at some point in time we all do make stupid investments. // As Told to Eric Perrin Photo by Terrence Tyson
(above L-R): Karrine “Superhead” Steffans @ Walden Books for her book signing in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Allwyn Crichlow); Meshah Hawkins & Papa Screw @ Screwfest in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K); Ne-Yo winning $10,000 from Ludacris & DTP @ Atlanta 300 Bowling Alley in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // Snipe of the Chopper City Boyz & OZONE models @ Baby Boy’s birthday bash (New Orleans, LA) 02 // Hellaflow & Clay Evans @ The Untouchables birthday party (Atlanta, GA) 03 // Aztek & guest @ Chamillionaire’s album release signing (Houston, TX) 04 // Sixx Mann, Dizzy, Big Ramp, & DJ Black N Mild @ Baby Boy’s birthday bash (New Orleans, LA) 05 // Ray Hamilton & Alfamega @ On Da Edge for BloodRaw’s DJ Appreciation party (Atlanta, GA) 06 // Kelly Rowland singing Happy Birthday to TI @ The Untouchables birthday party (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Girls Club, Lil Wayne, & D Woods of Danity Kane @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Yung Ralph with young fans at Old National Bowling Alley (Atlanta, GA) 09 // Lil Boosie & Big Creed @ Birmingham Faigrounds (Birmingham, AL) 10 // Bigga Rankin, Young Cash, Shawn Jay of Field Mob, & guest @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 11 // Uncle Pauly, Bay Bay, guest, Trae, & Gatormain @ Maxwell’s for Tony Neal’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 12 // Guest, Rob G, Latin Prince, Pryme Status, & guest @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 13 // Foxx, Crisco Kidd, Mouse, guests, & Scooby of the Grit Boys @ 104.9 (Houston, TX) 14 // Jayton & E Man @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 15 // Grand Prix, Supa Chino, & Dirt Diggla @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 16 // Willie the Kid, MLK, & Big Kuntry @ Cloud 9 (Indianapolis, IN) 17 // Latin Prince & DJ Chill @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 18 // Vernon Gump & Pat Parlae @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 19 // OG Ron C & Slim Thug @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) Photo Credits: Chester Colston (09); Edward Hall (11); Eric Perrin (08); Intl K (03,12,13,14,17,19); Julia Beverly (02,05,06,07,18); Malik Abdul (16); Marcus DeWayne (01,04); Terrence Tyson (10,15)
OZONEMAG MAG////29 29 OZONE
“Shawty Is A 10’’ BY Dream ment iting for an appoint Setting: Dream is wa with his homeboy... nic Southside Health Cli
.P.Y THER.I ujar l D. of t By Pau Anthony Cu y b o t o Ph
Ken Jo: ‘’Man, you done messed up now. I’m tellin’ you, LaTisha was the one that burnt your ass. I don’t know why you still claim her? She’s a groupie, a ho, a....’’ Dream: (cutting him off) ‘’Video queen. She walk so mean...’’ Ken Jo: Yeah, she sure do. Walk just like she got a swollen monkey in those jeans. She got that package, boss. That thing, that thi-i-i-i-ing! (singing one of Lauryn Hill’s hits off-key) You not even paying attention. She got you off in a clinic and you smilin’, starin’ at the ceiling in La La land. Damn, who got that cheap potpourri perfume on. Is that you that smell like a French hooker? Dream: ‘’Burberry fragrance on my shirt From when she hugged...me...’’ Ken Jo: ‘’You a fool boy...’’ Dream: ‘’Hard as a rock when she touched...me. Thinkin’ now if she woulda loved me...’’ KEN JO: ‘’Love? That girl loved the whole block. Can’t turn a ho into a baby mama, Dream. Wait. Is that who I think it is? Hell naw... That’s your girl, LaTisha, right there.” (pointing at the front door to the clinic...)’ Dream: (walking quickly up to her before she even gets to sit down...) ‘’What it is? What it ain’t? Tell me what to do, Ay! (scratching himself), I know I’m late but destiny brought me back to you, Ay!” (scratching again) LaTisha: (stuttering and acting nervous) ‘’Yeah. Look, I been real busy lately and um, I think it’s best if I just holla at you some other time.’’ Dream: (flirting...not taking the hint) ‘’Time went by [and] turned you into a butterfly.’’ LaTisha: Aw. That’s sweet, Dream, really but, I feel more like a cockroach right now. You wouldn’t understand. I’ll see you later sweetheart...’’
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Dream: (stopping her before she leaves) ‘’I’m bouta say hello, tell yo’ nigga goodbye.’’
LaTisha ignores him and heads past him to the waiting room... Ken Jo: (walking up to save Dream from anymore embarrassment) ‘’I told you but you wouldn’t listen. LaTisha burnt you and you so sprung, you run into her at the clinic and still don’t realize it.’’ Dream: (still in denial) ‘’It was Keyshia.’’ Ken Jo: ‘’No hell.’’ Dream: ‘’It was Sonya.’. Ken Jo: ‘’You ain’t talked to that girl in like four years.’’ Dream: ‘’It was Tonya.’’ Ken Jo: ‘’She’s a lesbian, homie. Stop lying.’’ Dream: ‘’It was Monique.’’ Ken Jo: ‘’No...LaTisha! Sound it out: La-Tish-A!’’ Dream: ‘’It was Neicey.’’ Ken Jo: ‘’Nah.’’ Dream: ‘’It was Ki Ki.’’ Ken Jo: ‘’Look, man. You gon’ believe what you wanna believe. Keep thinkin’ shawty is a 10 and you gon’ mess around and be 6 feet deep. She fine but a STD is s’posed to make her rating drop down at least 8 points. I gotta go. Hit me up later and tell me what the doctors say.’’ //
(above L-R): Baby, Diddy, & Juelz Santana @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht in Miami, FL (Photo: Julia Beverly); BG & DJ Drama @ Cloud 9 in Indianapolis, IN (Photo: Malik Abdul); Chamillionaire & Lil O @ Chamillionaire’s album release signing in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K)
01 // Kiotti & The Mexicanz @ 104.9 (Houston, TX) 02 // Kim Ellis, Alfamega, & Julia Beverly @ On Da Edge for BloodRaw’s DJ Appreciation party (Atlanta, GA) 03 // Majic & Shake Severs @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 04 // Truth & DJ Rage @ Club 615 for Rambo Entertainment’s Lil Boosie show (Nashville, TN) 05 // Juelz Santana & Jas Prince @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 06 // Shawty Lo & his mother @ D4L’s studio in Bankhead (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Playaz Circle & Trae @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 08 // DJ Khaled & Baby @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 09 // Steph Jones & Cory Mo @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 10 // Mack Maine & Lil Wayne @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 11 // KB, Blaze, Billy Cook & guest @ Roxy for Chamillionaire’s album release party (Houston, TX) 12 // J-Money & Marcus. @ Freelon’s (Jackson, MS) 13 // Ne-Yo & Compound Entertainment winning $10,000 bet from DTP @ Atlanta 300 (Atlanta, GA) 14 // Mercedes & Stephani @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 15 // Baby D & Unk @ Central Florida Fairgrounds for DME car show (Orlando, FL) 16 // Ms Asia & Lil Hen @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 17 // Joe Hound, Stacks, & Jit @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 18 // J-Dawg & DJ Nasty @ The Roxy for Rome’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) 19 // KJ Hines & Z-Ro @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 20 // Rich Boy & Rome @ The Roxy for Rome’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) Photo Credits: Eric Perrin (04,06); Intl K (01,07,09,11,19); Julia Beverly (02,03,05,08,10,13,17,18,20); Malik Abdul (12,15); Terrence Tyson (14,16)
OZONEMAG MAG////31 31 OZONE
Disclaimer: These are my opinions and my statements. They do not reflect on Bun B or UGK as a group.
chance. We’re trying to go as far as we can as artists. We ain’t perfect; we can only rap about the things we know or what we’ve heard about or seen.
A lot of these rappers talk about how treal they are and say they’re riding around with AK47s, but at the end of the day, muthafuckers are getting advances and royalty checks and living in big houses off this thing called rap music and this culture called Hip Hop. The rappers that I know, man, these niggas are living positive lives. If they’re living negative lives it’s because they’re choosing to have negativity around them. We’re truly blessed. When we’re rapping on these records, we’re either rapping about our past lives or things our people are going through right now in the struggle. It’s not necessarily what we’re going through ourselves. I don’t know too many rap niggas riding around in Rolls Royces and Bentleys that are unhappy right now, do you?
We try to raise issues in our music: What does happen to the gangsters and the drug dealers when they die? Is there heaven for the real Gs, the dudes out here that are really not bad people but are trapped in a situation they’re trying to get out of? Is there a place for for the people who are trying to get clean from being dirty in heaven? I know you can’t believe that everybody in the drug game or everybody that’s a hustler is a bad person. That’s not true. Everybody that hustles is not a bad person. Everybody that’s been involved in prostitution is not a bad person, on either side – the prostitute side or the pimp side. Everybody that’s done bad things in life is not necessarily a bad person. It’s never too late to change. So what happens to people that go on to the next life before they’ve completely made the transition from their negative lifestyle to where they want to be in life? We’re raising those types of issues on our album.
Some people aren’t as encased in the industry as others. Some niggas are industry niggas. They’re caught up in the industry and all their friends are industry niggas. For me, a lot of the people around me that I’m still in contact with are not of the industry. Not necessarily people that have to do illegal things to get their money, but just people with everyday jobs and people that have to work to make ends meet. So it’s a little easier for a guy like me to stay grounded, but at the same time, I’m ridin’ around in them [expensive] cars too and doing the same things these other rappers are doing. We work hard and risk our lives out here and we deserve to have nice things. I don’t consider myself to be bigger than nobody else in this game, so I’m not here to tell people what to rap about. I just remember how I used to feel when I heard Public Enemy records. We don’t have very m any different styles of music out there right now. We don’t have social commentary like we were getting on Goodie Mob records, and if we are getting it, I wanna know where those records are at. I wanna hear that shit. Maybe those records are being made and they’re just not being promoted and we’re not getting our hands on ‘em, but I’m trying to get my hands on some of that shit. At the end of an album, I want to leave with some type of gotdamn food. I wanna be full when I’m done listening to an album. I don’t wanna hear about a nigga riding around with AK47s. Niggas are not riding around with AK47s, trust me. Niggas are riding around practicing looking hard and all this ol’ hoe-ass shit. A lot of people attack music like the Soulja Boy music, but hey man, my kids love that. And “Laffy Taffy,” that was my shit. I liked that shit. What’s wrong with the “Laffy Taffy”s and the Soulja Boys? We need fun records. We gotta have dance music. We gotta have club music. We gotta have kids’ music. That dude from the “Laffy Taffy” song, Fabo, that nigga is one of the most gangsterist niggas I’ve ever seen. He’ll beat a nigga to death if you fuck with him at the club. We need those types of records to balance out all the other shit. At the same time, we need Talib Kweli. We need a new Goodie Mob album. We need a new Scarface album. And we need records from the streets. We need the Young Jeezys and the T.I.s too. We need all these people and I think that the game would be a whole lot less exciting if we didn’t have all these people; a whole mixture of different types of music. A lot of times it’s the gangsta niggas making the fun records and the soft niggas making gangsta records, so that just goes to show that this shit is all entertainment at the end of the day. Me and Bun are gonna get out here and hit the road and do some shows and shit and let these people see us as a unit again. We’re gonna give the people some more good music. We try to step our game up every time we get an opportunity. I try to take my production to the next level every time I get a 32 // OZONE MAG
I know for a fact that there’s a higher power, but I don’t always know what that higher power’s name is. I read a lot of books [about different religions]. When you pray and your heart is in the right place and you ask for forgiveness, I know he’s listening, so I raise this subject: “Hey, man, I’m steady prayin’ to you but I don’t know your real name.” So we’re constantly pushing the envelope and asking questions that ain’t been asked. Hopefully other people will try to do the same. Me and Bun had a hard time with this album because we had to do a double album on a single album budget. It’s kinda hard to do that when you’ve got niggas charging you $70,000 and $80,000 for a track. If a man quotes me a price and he feels like that’s what he’s worth and me and that man ain’t had no prior commitments with each other, I’m not gonna try to jew him down and make him come down off his price. I either want to buy what he’s got to offer or I don’t. I’m not gonna tell him to give me a different price. So if a nigga quoted me $80,000 and I wanted the song, I bought the song. But everybody’s budget can’t sustain that shit. At the end of the day, I had to do a whole bunch of the work myself. A lot of the work on the [UGK album Underground Kings] was done by me or my production team, the 808 Boys. We put in a lot of work along with all the live musicians that helped us put this record together. It was a team effort. Barry Weiss [at Jive Records] told me that if we could bring him a double album with enough good music on a single album budget, he’d put the muthafucker out. He said, “Double albums don’t tend to sell,” and I said, “Hey, man, I wanna sell it at single album prices.” I heard a little bit of criticism [about the album] from magazines that don’t understand our type of music, but all the magazines that do understand our type of music – like yo’ book [OZONE] and the XXLs and The Sources and people like that, I ain’t hear nobody complaining about how long the record was. I heard people complain about how long the record was in books like Rolling Stone and Spin Magazine, muthafuckers that don’t know too much about our music in the first place, but hey, man, fuck them. We ain’t makin’ it for them. We’re making it for our fans and people out there who love our records. I think the UGK album would’ve been a whole lot better if it woulda had Young Jeezy on it, don’t you? I guess we’ll never know, now will we? But hey, man, you never know what might happen. Shouts go out to him and his camp. Peace. I ain’t trippin’. Chuuch! // Photo by Julia Beverly
(above L-R): Trae & Yo Gotti on the set of Rich Boy’s “Let’s Get This Paper” video shoot in Atlanta, GA; TI & Lil Wayne @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht in Miami, FL; Young Dro & Gorilla Zoe @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty in Atlanta, GA (Photos: Julia Beverly)
01 // Teddy T, Wes Fif, & Tony C @ Central Florida Fairgrounds for DME car show (Orlando, FL) 02 // Slick Pulla, Bibi Guns, & Young Jeezy @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 03 // Latin Prince, Trae, Nina 9, & Octavia @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 04 // Big Kuntry & friend @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 05 // Blaze & Z-Ro @ Roxy for Chamillionaire’s album release party (Houston, TX) 06 // Lil Duval & Rick Ross on the set of Rich Boy’s “Let’s Get This Paper” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Sidekick, Jay Lyriq, & T-Pain @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 08 // Skip & Wacko of UTP, 8Ball & MJG, & DJ Ro @ The Venue (New Orleans, LA) 09 // Slim Thug & TI @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 10 // Shawt, DJ Money Fresh, DJ Popa, & Young A (New Orleans, LA) 11 // Mike Frost & G Dash on the set of Lil Keke’s “I’m A G” video shoot (Houston, TX) 12 // Picnictyme, Mr Lucci & Mr Pookie @ Quick DFW Red River battle (Dallas, TX) 13 // Madface TV hosts filming @ Plaza Theatre (Orlando, FL) 14 // Shawty, Bushwick Bill, Chamillionaire, & Famous @ Chamillionaire’s album release signing (Houston, TX) 15 // Julia Beverly & Gorilla Zoe @ Club Crucial (Atlanta, GA) 16 // Ray Hamilton & DJ Brad @ On Da Edge for BloodRaw’s DJ Appreciation party (Atlanta, GA) 17 // Sytonnia & Baby Lac @ The Roxy for Rome’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) 18 // Trick Daddy & the Dunk Ryders & crew @ The Globe (Jacksonville, FL) 19 // M-Geezy, Haitian Fresh, & Young Cash @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (12); Eric Perrin (15); Intl K (03,05,11,14); Julia Beverly (02,04,06,07,09,16,17); Malik Abdul (01,13); Marcus DeWayne (08,10); Terrence Tyson (18,19)
OZONEMAG MAG////33 33 OZONE
OZONE’s February 2007 issue, Polow da Don premiered his title of “King of the White Girls,” adding, “I’ve always had one foot in Buckhead and one foot on Bankhead. My parents made me go to private school, and I think that changed my life.” Several months later, in the midst of the super-producer/rapper’s blossoming fame, the Zone 4 CEO made a similar statement in an interview with Allhiphop.com that many felt was degrading to black women. Here, Polow clarifies his opinion and defends his title: First of all, I don’t have a problem with black women at all. I just made a comparison between women of two different ethnic backgrounds. It was an opinionated/factual statement. My comments were very educated. I’ve dated all types of women; Indian women, Pakistani women, Canadian women, women from the UK. I’ve dated women from all over the world. But about my “King of the White Girls” comment, what I said is real, and if anybody has a problem with what I’m saying, they must not be educated. They probably haven’t dated outside their race. They probably haven’t dated different cultures other than their own. They probably haven’t been around the wide spectrum of people I’ve been around, so they can’t make those comparisons, and that’s why they can’t see my point. A lot of people didn’t read my whole interview - if you wanna hide something from black people, just put it in a book. White women love me, man. I don’t know what it is. That’s how I got the title “King of the White Girls.” I used to go out with a whole group of white dudes. We would go out and kick it at all-white clubs, and I’d be the one who would get all the girls. I’d be with a whole group of white boys, and these white girls would just come over choosin’. A white man gave me the nickname “King of the White Girls” and it was in fun, but it had some truth to it. One white boy told me, “I ain’t never seen a m’fucka get more white girls than you except for Fred Durst” — and that’s a huge comment, because he made that statement when Fred Durst was the king. So I didn’t make that name up, it was given to me, and the retarded thing about it is that black women have more of a problem with the nickname than white women. That’s retarded! How is a black woman gon’ have a problem with a black man being titled “King of the White Girls”? Would a white woman be mad if a white man called himself “King of the Black Girls?” Probably not, but black women would be mad, though. I should have white women and Klansman at my door cussing me out, not my own people. That just shows you backwards we are. We’re fucking backwards, and that’s why we are the joke of the world. Black people are the joke of the 34 // OZONE MAG
Girls of the White
world, and once we realize that, we might be able to change it. As long as we keep dying over rims and a bunch of dumb other shit, and denying that we’re the joke of the world, we’re gon’ keep being the poorest, most AIDS infected, and least fortunate people in the world. We’re gon’ always be niggas until we switch our frame of mind. Black women don’t understand black men, and we don’t understand them. Black women have been taught to be independent. Their grandmothers were probably single parents who raised their mothers, and then their mothers probably ended up being single as well. It’s an ongoing cycle from generation to generation. Black women are trying to raise their daughters as strong women, so they repeatedly tell them, “You don’t need a man.” And if you keep hearing that, eventually you tell yourself that you don’t need a man, and that’s how you live your life. So when a man finally comes into the picture, you’re battling over control. The same thing goes for black men; they’re raised in a lot of single parent homes, too. They don’t have the proper guidance to be a man. So now you’ve got women who are taught not to really be women, and you’ve got men who come from single mothers that can’t properly teach them how to be men. When you put these men and these women together, nine times out of ten the relationship is either gonna fail or end in divorce, because neither one of them knows how to play the role. A lot of people disagreed with what I said, and lot of black women emailed me directl, or Myspaced me about the issue and they were furious. They were calling me a house nigga, asking, “How could you down your black women?”, “Isn’t your mother black?”, all kinds of shit like that, but the next thing you know, I was fucking ‘em — less than a month later. Really. Because when they opened up and listened to what I had to say, they thought I was a genius. People were upset because of all the bad things white people have done to black people in past, and my response was simple as this: Since we know their game and what happened to us during slavery, now it’s time for us to stop blaming them. Now we know. We know it’s a setup. That’s why I attacked us instead of attacking them. I’m saying we’re full of shit. If Rich Boy doesn’t sell a million records, I ask what did [my label] Zone 4 do wrong before I ask what [our distributor/parent label] Interscope did wrong. I look at Rich Boy, like, “Did you do everything you could do?” We gotta start taking the blame for our own actions because that’s the only way you can progress. // As told to Eric Perrin // Photo by Julia Beverly
(above L-R): Lil Jared, Trae, & Tity Boy of Playaz Circle @ Screwfest in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K); Hot Boy Ronald, KKK, Big King & Big Slack reppin’ for Turk on the set of KKK’s video shoot in New Orleans, LA (Photo: Marcus DeWayne); TI & Tiny @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // Brolic D & Ludacris @ Atlanta 300 (Atlanta, GA) 02 // DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, & Cool & Dre @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 03 // Coota Bang & Yung Red on the set of Lil Keke’s “I’m A G” video shoot (Houston, TX) 04 // Lil Wayne, Tiny, & TI @ The Untouchables birthday party (Atlanta, GA) 05 // Gorilla Zoe & Block @ Esso for Gorilla Zoe’s album release party (Atlanta, GA) 06 // Devin The Dude & The Odd Squad (Houston, TX) 07 // Rick Ross, Trae, & Rich Boy on the set of Rich Boy’s “Let’s Get This Paper” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Gorilla Zoe & Young Jeezy @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 09 // DJ Amino, Kiotti, & Steph Jones @ Party 104.9 (Houston, TX) 10 // Devyne Stephens, Slick Pulla, & Young Jeezy @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Bun B & Mddlfngz on the set of Mike Jones’ ‘Turning Heads’ video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 12 // Byron & Fee @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 13 // Bushwick Bill & guests @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 14 // Jocelyn Coleman, Lil Wayne, Arian Reed, & Lynn Hobson @ Lil Wayne’s 25th Birthday party aboard the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 15 // Bigga Rankin & 2 Dog Records @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 16 // Bobo Luchiano & DJ Fish @ Dirty South Block Party radio show (Dallas, TX) 17 // Juelz Santana & Lil Wayne @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 18 // Chris Johnson & Clip D @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (16); Eric Perrin (05); Julia Beverly (01,02,04,07,08,10,14,17); Intl K (03,06,09,11,13,18); Terrence Tyson (12,15)
OZONEMAG MAG////35 35 OZONE
36 // OZONE MAG
(above L-R): Jody Breeze & Greg Street @ Esso for Gorilla Zoe’s album release party in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Eric Perrin); Lil Wayne, Carol City Cartel, TI, Rick Ross, guest, & DJ Khaled @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady in Miami, FL (Photo: Julia Beverly); Brothers Choppa & Baby Boy reppin’ OZONE @ Roc-A-Fella in New Orleans, LA (Photo: Marcus DeWayne)
01 // Big Zak, Rick Ross, Trae, Rich Boy, Lil Duval, Frank White, Yo Gotti, guest, & Eren Sky on the set of Rich Boy’s “Let’s Get This Paper” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 02 // Guest, Block, & Greg Street @ Block Entertainment’s Athlete’s Foot Block Party (Atlanta, GA) 03 // Trae, Nancy Byron, Sky, & Clip D @ Roxy for Chamillionaire’s album release party (Houston, TX) 04 // Yung Red & Lil Keke on the set of Lil Keke’s “I’m A G” video shoot (Houston, TX) 05 // Roc, UpTown Angela, & Grand Hussle (New Orleans, LA) 06 // DJ Q45, Stacks, & Jit @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 07 // Gorilla Zoe & Lil Wayne @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 08 // C-Rod of P$C & guest @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 09 // Lil Wayne & TI @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 10 // Dukwon, Mario, Midget Mac, & Young Cash @ Jacksonville Arena for Bigga Rankin’s birthday party (Jacksonville, FL) 11 // Papa Duck & crew filming for Madface TV @ Plaza Theatre (Orlando, FL) 12 // Acknight & Chris Turner @ The Roxy for Rome’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) 13 // Crime & Papa Reu @ Roxy for Chamillionaire’s album release party (Houston, TX) 14 // D Glover, Gorilla Zoe, & A Dubb (Houston, TX) 15 // DJ Deuce & Loaded @ Maxwell’s for Tony Neal’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 16 // Barbara, Roshaun, Ebony, & Marie @ Palladium for Tom G’s mixtape release party (Tampa, FL) 17 // Gun Play of the Carol City Cartel, Rick Ross, Angie Martinez, & Rick Ross @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady (Miami, FL) 18 // Fiya, Lil Keke, & Meshah Hawkins @ Roxy for Chamillionaire’s album release party (Houston, TX) 19 // J Baby, Bigga Rankin, Plies, Dr Doom, & Coach @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (15); Eric Perrin (02); Intl K (03,04,13,14,18); Julia Beverly, (01,06,07,08,09,12,17); Malik Abdul (10,11,16); Marcus DeWayne (05); Terrence Tyson (19)
OZONEMAG MAG////37 37 OZONE
Words by Eric Perrin
his is the story of Joy, an aspiring housewife with a weakness for anything chocolate. “Chocolate is my only weakness,” reveals the 21-year-old Detroit native. “When I was a little girl I would always beg my mom for chocolate cake for my birthday.” But today, Joy doesn’t want her cake on her birthday, she wants her cake everyday. The cake she asks for isn’t chocolate, it’s green. And it certainly doesn’t come from her mother. Lately, Joy has been the chocolate causing all the weaknesses. In two months, she has quickly become been one of most popular girls at Stokers. But even though her new career is off to a sweet start, Joy’s true ambition is to be a career housewife. “Ever since I was little I just knew I was gonna be somebody’s housewife and bake cookies and things. That’s like, my dream,” admits the 5’ 2” dimepiece with a grin. “I love taking care of my son, and if I could just find somebody to pay me for that, I wouldn’t do anything else.” But for now, she brings Joy to the world — or at least Strokers patrons
38 // OZONE MAG
— every time she sets foot in the club. Joy is far from shy; she has always been comfortable with her body, and being naked was never a problem for her. She was, however, hesitant on telling her mother about her new profession. It was actually her ex-husband who snitched on the private dancer. “I didn’t tell my mom about my job, my ex-husband told her,” she laments. And when her mom confronted her about it, Joy denied her bare-naked business. “I denied it at first,” she reveals. “But somebody from church told my mom they saw me in there, so I was kinda busted.” After the divine intervention, Joy could no longer hide her dirty dancing, so she came clean. “When my mom first realized I was a stripper, she would leave scriptures on my voicemail everyday,” Joy laughs. “My mom still doesn’t like it, but at least she doesn’t say anything to me about it anymore.” After all, Joy is only dancing so she can be at home with her son during the day. She is serious about this housewife thing, even if she hasn’t found Mr. Right yet. //
Website: www.strokersclub.com Photographer: Sean Cokes 404-622-7733 Make-Up Artist: Mike Mike 678-732-5285 Hairstylist: Baby Boy 404-396-2739
OZONE MAG // 39
AITING W Y L T N E I PAT
e n i a M k c a M
NEW ORLEANS, LA
be familiar to you yet, but ack Maine’s face might not ey/Cash Money signee, he Mon ng You according to the ey Records fold watching Mon h Cas was right there in the Boys make Get It How U Hot z and the Juvenile record 400 Degree N’awlins drawl. heart,” he says in a thick Live! “I was a Hot Boy at and Baby, those are Slim . me w kno n’t did “I was around, ya’ll just t’s my brother.” my uncles and Wayne, tha el, when it was to the burgeoning rap lab Although Maine had ties he found it best , eer car rap own his s time to take steps toward
the Hollygrove Boys’ footsteps. Instead, not to follow in the Hot h. But when he pat own his ze lbla trai to rio Tony Merprojects emcee decided career under music impresa he realized , struggled to jumpstart his der Ben an ath Jon yer ballpla cedes and later, former NBA it seemed. as y eas as n’t was own making it on his w I rapped,” he [Cash Money] and they kne “I never tried to rap for to make my ted wan I so g, had their thin work.” explains. “The Hot Boys n’t did just it other places and own thing. I tried to go not deterred Slightly taken aback but an making beg he s, am dre rap from his New out ugh thro self him a name for ets, battling Orleans. He took to the stre ned him a spot local rappers, which ear petition. And com tle bat rap on a MTV d with various rde reco he g when a son mings entitled -co New Orleans up-and ’s Rated Next, “Unsigned Hype” hit BET certain Hot a from call a ived he rece didn’t know ‘I , like ed call Boy. “Wayne n’t you tell did Why you weren’t signed. “When he saw me that?” he remembers. u’re with that video he was like, “Yo e the newam bec he r, afte me.’” Soon rint Young imp s ne’ est member of Way Money. neighborhood Since reuniting with his appeared on has ld r-o crony, the 26-yea es and Baby’s Wayne’s Dedication mixtap ds really Fast Money album. But hea this year him of ice not e tak started to nded to inte y edl pos when a track sup , titled “The Fuappear on Tha Carter III rnet. Although ture,” leaked on the inte verse alonghis for ise pra he received ks at it as loo ne Mai side Young Carter, wanted to put a wasted verse. “I really n that [record] a pistol to my head whe at was a hard “Th s. say he ,” leaked out view. pre a just verse.” But it was tape, where he With a Freestyle 101 mix the top of his off ty jori ma the recorded g six songs rdin reco of dome and boasts ue work in 45 minutes, a Weezy-esq ady rubbed off. ethic seems to have alre nobody,” he like not I’m st, “I’m a bea a protégé. not “I’m rs. confidently utte e out under I’m me. Even if I had cam elf, I think I’d somebody else or by mys ps that my hel it But ed. ept still be acc game right the in test brother is the hot alive per rap t now. [And] I’m the bes ter.” // Car not e’s nam last ’s who dent
Words by Randy Roper s Photo by Thaddeus McAdam
40 // OZONE MAG
(above L-R): Plies with his OZONE cover @ WEMX End of Summer Jam in Baton Rouge, LA (Photo: DJ Who); Yung Joc with his OZONE cover @ Esso for Gorilla Zoe’s album release party in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Eric Perrin); DJ Khaled & Angie Martinez @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht in Miami, FL (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // TI on the set of Big Kuntry’s video shoot for “That’s Right” (Atlanta, GA) 02 // Rich Boy @ WEMX End of Summer Jam (Baton Rouge, LA) 03 // Trina @ Sobe Live for Defient, TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend kickoff party (Miami, FL) 04 // Soulja Boy & Lloyd @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 05 // Gangsta Boo @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 06 // Lil Scrappy @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 07 // Twista @ Soundwaves (Houston, TX) 08 // Devin the Dude @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 09 // Lil O @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 10 // Treal filming for Madface TV @ Plaza Theatre (Orlando, FL) 11 // DJ B-Lord & Randy Roper @ Club Level for B-Lord’s Anniversary party (Columbia, SC) 12 // Felli Fel @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 13 // Mr Cheeks @ Sobe Live for Defient Ent, TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend kickoff party (Miami, FL) 14 // Paul Wall on the set of Lil Keke’s “I’m A G” video shoot (Houston, TX) 15 // K Foxx @ Sobe Live for Defient Ent, TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend kickoff party (Miami, FL) 16 // Polow da Don & Micha Porat @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 17 // Brandii, DJ Q45, & Alishea @ TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend (Miami, FL) 18 // Kraze & Naztradamas @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 19 // B5 @ Club Level for B-Lord’s Anniversary party (Columbia, SC) 20 // DJ Khaled & Cool @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 21 // Chamillionaire @ Chakra during TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend (Miami, FL) 22 // Grit Boys, Lil Kano, & Countri Boi @ Roxy for Chamillionaire’s album release party (Houston, TX) 23 // Randy Roper & Maurice Garland @ Esso for Gorilla Zoe’s album release party (Atlanta, GA) 24 // Khia & guest @ Esso for Gorilla Zoe’s album release party (Atlanta, GA) 25 // Rico Brooks & Skye @ Esso for Gorilla Zoe’s album release party (Atlanta, GA) 26 // D-Ray, DJ Juice, Clyde Carson, & Gary Archer @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 27 // 4-Ize & DJ Scorpio @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 28 // Keak da Sneak & Mistah FAB @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 29 // Midget Mac @ Jacksonville Arena for Bigga Rankin’s birthday party (Jacksonville, FL) 30 // Hoetester @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 31 // G-Mack & Freeway @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 32 // Gar, Lady Dolla, & BG @ WEMX End of Summer Jam (Baton Rouge, LA) 33 // Guest & Malik Abdul @ Sobe Live for Defient Ent, TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend kickoff party (Miami, FL) 34 // The Alliance @ Township Auditorium (Columbia, SC) 35 // Jacki-O @ Sobe Live for Defient Ent, TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend kickoff party (Miami, FL) Photo Credits: Bogan (03,05,13,15,16,17,20,33,35); Clevis Harrison (11,19,34); DJ Who (02,09,32); Edward Hall (04,26,27,28,30); Eric Perrin (01,23,24,25); Intl K (07,12,14,18,21,22,31); Julia Beverly (06); Leon Lloyd (08); Malik Abdul (10,29)
OZONEMAG MAG////41 41 OZONE
AITING W Y L T N E I PAT
s u o Fam
San Antonio, TX
the way was formatted after of the mixtape game worked in a CD shop in San rn tte pa ole wh e “Th s. “I let’s m re doing it,” he say ns to Hip Hop. Well, me through and Sli Houston artists we stantial contributio tions ael] Watts would co through, and they’d ibu ich ntr [M co en al wh nti n sta exas has made sub see Antonio. I would come on, TX has made sub out through and Cham I did the rephrase that: Houst Antonio, the only thing memorable ab Thug would come d the opportunity, ha I n the Sa saw d I an for as As mo on p. Ala so as the So of . to Hip Ho e off ttl s Ba CD p the is dro us, the populated city io Spurs. But if Famo Texas’ second most same.” pions, the San Anton amillitary Entertainment, am ch A NB e tim indie labels like r fou arable to H-Town onaire’s imprint, Ch the illi as n am ow Ch kn m fro be o xtape hustle comp ist als mi rapping under the ll a n g wi ga lead art tin io be op ton ho Ad An (w n n kso about it, Sa and Boss Hogg, Jac ckaging CDs, and se pa ou d ah an has anything to say ish ng Sw ssi ous emcee. gan recording, pre be n”) Ke grow, he soon l’ to “Li n er hometown of a fam ga monik as. As his buzz be ily to Tex fam t ou his gh th ou wi pes with the d thr xta ve m mi , he mo selling the s and jumping on n in Cleveland, OH n’t offer f performing show sel him Born Kenneth Jackso of five. Growing up in Alamo City did nd fou er. aft age e Hip Hop as rned his hustle San Antonio at the he decided to pursu very artists he patte blueprint. So when unterparts. co as Tex rn ste violation landed ea much of a Hip Hop his But when a parole took the lead from he , on ati cup nths, the budding oc an him in jail for 22 mo t his dreams of pu to ced for s wa emcee d n’t languish behin fame on hold. He did ed steadfast of ain rem he bars. Instead, once his time was his ambitions. And ts s back on the stree served, Lil’ Ken wa me. “I was na ge sta w ne nd with a bra come out and do planning in [jail] to t out. People were go big things when I be t out you’re gonna like, ‘When you ge ah, that’s what ye e, lik s wa I So famous.’ ’” I’ma [be]. ’Famous. nd, one call to a Once back on his gri o was now running wh e iat oc former ass of his major label s ces suc high off the nge would accelerve debut Sound of Re as rapper now known ate things for the illionaire’s] am [Ch d ha ll sti “I Famous. nkphone. And I’m thi number in my old I called t Bu it. d ge an ch ing, of course he ng machine came him and his answeri ssage saying I me a him t lef I up and some music. him d sen was going to me and I sent to t ou He reached back pressed with im s wa him the music. He deal through a me er off to gh it enou Chamilitary.” en Chamilitary, he’s be Since signing with s pe xta mi e’s onair featured on Chamilli Mixtape Messiah and Mixtape Messiah II est appearance on III, along with a gu d from Cham’s secon “You Must Be Crazy” e. With a forthveng album Ultimate Re album tentatively coming Chamilitary d Fame and plans an r we titled Money, Po er, to drop shortly aft um alb lo so his for is He ct. rre is co the San Antonio MC Famous after all. //
officia www.myspace.com/ per Words by Randy Ro dz Photo by Luxury Min
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(above L-R) T.I. & Lil Wayne @ Club Crucial for their Untouchables birthday party afterparty in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Eric Perrin); Playaz Circle with their OZONE cover @ Chakra for TJ’s DJ’s Tasties Fashion Show during OZONE Awards weekend in Miami, FL (Photo: Edward Hall); Rick Ross & Julia Beverly @ Hitco Studios in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Eric Perrin)
01 // Lloyd & Baby Boy @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 02 // Soulja Boy @ WEMX End of Summer Jam (Baton Rouge, LA) 03 // Lil Boosie @ Club 615 for Rambo Entertainment’s Lil Boosie show (Nashville, TN) 04 // Webbie @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 05 // Trey Songz @ Sobe Live during TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend (Miami, FL) 06 // Freekey Zekey @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 07 // Pastor Troy @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 08 // Play & Skillz @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 09 // Killer Mike @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 10 // Grandaddy Souf & Ike G Da @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 11 // Fabo @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 12 // KD & DJ Black @ Cloud 9 (Indianapolis, IN) 13 // Theripy @ TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend (Miami, FL) 14 // Slick Pulla, Trae, & Tity Boy of Playaz Circle @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 15 // All Star @ Soundstage Studios (Nashville, TN) 16 // Tony Neal @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 17 // Mr 3-2 @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 18 // DJ LaTangela & Kinfolk Kia Shine @ WEMX End of Summer Jam (Baton Rouge, LA) 19 // DJ Finesse & J-Roc @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 20 // Rasheeda @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) 21 // JT Money @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 22 // DJ Backside @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 23 // Michael Watts & Rob G @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 24 // Pookie of Urban South @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 25 // Bohagon & guest @ Club 615 for Rambo Entertainment’s Lil Boosie show (Nashville, TN) 26 // Grouchy Greg @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 27 // Haitian Fresh & Dee Boi @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 28 // Cassidy @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 29 // Countri Boi & Kiotti @ Roxy for Chamillionaire’s album release party (Houston, TX) 30 // Fiya & Big Bank Hank @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 31 // I-20 @ Atlanta 300 (Atlanta, GA) 32 // Frank White & Rich Boy on the set of Rich Boy’s “Money” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 33 // Kenny Brewer & Kisha Smith @ Atlanta 300 (Atlanta, GA) 34 // Tum Tum @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 35 // Rick Ross & the Carol City Cartel @ Lil Wayne’s birthday party on board the Biscayne Lady yacht (Miami, FL) Photo Credits: Bogan (05,07,08,21,27,30); DJ Who (02,17,18); Edward Hall (01,11,14,19,22,24); Eric Perrin (03,15,25); Intl K (06,10,16,23,26,28,29); J Lash (13); Julia Beverly (20,31,32,35); Kisha Smith (33); Leon Lloyd (09); Malik Abdul (12); Ms Rivercity (04,34)
OZONEMAG MAG////43 43 OZONE
TING I A W Y L T N PATIE
g n u o Y n o J h s a C J.
Myspace” is exposure through y “gained a lot of self, who the t him g tha t un en Yo n tem Jo sta by The ir’s page (designed cees, it’s n views pa em e llio l Th mi ica 6 y. t typ htl os e lig lik alm it k ed putting sh don’t loo signer) has amass de ic ph gra Jon Young and J. Ca t it’s not race that separates this Ora as moonlights r day. t. Bu to 40,000 plays pe ntly Waiting artists because they’re no and averages close ions of other Patie leg is the sh m Ca J. fro d o an “Even du g lando e about Jon Youn l,” says Jon Young. really professiona d s. What’s most uniqu k ne ces loo sig suc ge re pa for r we d ou we rve de sta “We ma s, people thought , the industry. weren’t major artist marketing has proven to be uncanny we h their approach to ug tho of ace ty sp ali My qu ir dy ea the the n alr ile e the music tha sh. But they’v already.” And wh about the quality of thing ourselves, from the recogve a lot of accompli “With us, it’s more y know they still ha gest obstacles — gaining major label every the do e “W s . sh ing Ca ord J. s rec big say ir the ,” the en ing of Ev e ord ts. on rec ep e nc the co overcom hooks and all the ists. production to all the our computer.” nition as Orlando art on use ho s Jon Young. inwere done ked in Orlando,” say should, it g, who met his talent that’s overloo e un ch lik Yo mu n off Jo so p ts is po mi a ere ad nn “Th lves, it’s not go for cash,” humbly since. But all just stay to ourse it.” “We were strapped been rapping ever we s ha “If d an de do gra ir 9th to the we can do friend J. Cash in the d for cash. Thanks but with teamwork . is no longer strappe duo feels ve heard of (Myspace ha t gh mi today, the tandem u yo y black industry, the ite and a webs ent. “We’ve was a ite in predominatel it wh ing ing ord be rec for d it-yourself mentality inked a deal with Defient Entertainm as rte d An tly . “When we first sta t a lot of ue It’s more ge . iss lly ted an r rea ep ge n’t acc lon re did no mo com), the two recen we that’s years it’s gotten 11 years now, but few for ual st sic pa act r mu the ou t . in ing t ou sh do ab s J Ca been problem, bu e. ace came along,” say music than our rac exposure until Mysp If you make a hot track people don’t care what race you g are,” says Jon Youn confidently.
J. And lately, he and kma en be ve ha Cash ing hot tracks. Their st current single, “Po t” Up In Da Parking Lo ie os Bo ’ Lil ing featur has been gaining all airplay on stations uth throughout the So and been in rotation on satellite radio. Still, The Orange County Commission knows they have ts many more marke t to conquer. “We jus g ttin ge ep ke to nt wa ” our music out there, says J. Cash. “It’s g such a good feelin of nt fro in rm rfo pe to ’t a crowd that doesn even know us, and have them fans by ; the end of the show es pir ins at wh that’s us.” // myspace.com/ jonyoungmusic n
Words by Eric Perri
44 // OZONE MAG
(above L-R): Trae & Foxx @ Chakra during TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend in Miami, FL (Photo: Intl K); Lil Duval on the set of Big Kuntry’s “That’s Right” in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Eric Perrin); Scooby of the Grit Boys & Crisco Kidd with their OZONE articles @ 104.9 in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K)
01 // Slim Thug @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 02 // DJ Drama & Lil Duval on the set of “That’s Right” (Atlanta, GA) 03 // Gorilla Zoe @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 04 // Khujo Goodie @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 05 // Choppa & Grand Hussle @ Club Roc-A-Fella (New Orleans, LA) 06 // Flo-Rida @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 07 // Yo Gotti @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 08 // Brandi Garcia @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 09 // Birmingham J @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 10 // DJ Wildhairr & Michael Watts @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 11 // DJ Chill & his daughter @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 12 // Nick the Next One, Tony Neal, Ike G Da, & guest @ Maxwell’s for Tony Neal’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 13 // Yung Redd & E Class @ Screwfest (Houston, TX) 14 // Keith Kennedy & his sister @ Patchwerk (Atlanta, GA) 15 // DJ Ro, Da Real Choppa & Action Jackson @ Club Roc-A-Fella (New Orleans, LA) 16 // Spark Dawg @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 17 // B Simm @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 18 // Tonya Terelle & Trae @ Maxwell’s for Tony Neal’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 19 // Janiro Hawkins @ Club 615 for Rambo Entertainment’s Lil Boosie show (Nashville, TN) 20 // M$E, DJ Princess Cut, & guest @ Maxwell’s for Tony Neal’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 21 // Models Steph & Tyna @ Dante’s for Banggaz mixtape release party (St Louis, MO) 22 // So South @ Sobe Live for Defient Ent, TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend kickoff party (Miami, FL) 23 // Lane Boy Entertainment @ Club 615 for Rambo Entertainment’s Lil Boosie show (Nashville, TN) 24 // Duo Live @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 25 // Guest & JR Get Money @ Crucial for The Untouchables afterparty (Atlanta, GA) 26 // Big Gipp & Oozie @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 27 // Diedreich Jackson, Snook da Rockstar & Lil Boosie @ Florence Civic Center for Lil Boosie show (Florence, SC) 28 // Q45, J-Money, & ladies @ Freelon’s (Jackson, MS) 29 // Da Banggaz @ Dante’s for their mixtape release party (St Louis, MO) 30 // Robin Fly, B Easy, & JF @ Cloud 9 (Indianapolis, IN) 31 // Collard Greens @ Club Level for B-Lord’s Anniversary party (Columbia, SC) 32 // Ron Spaulding & Wendy Day @ Midwest Music Conference (Indianapolis, IN) 33 // Storm, TJ Chapman, & guest @ Sobe Live for Defient Ent, TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend kickoff party (Miami, FL) 34 // DJ Jonasty @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 35 // TMI Boyz @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) Photo Credits: Bogan (22); Clevis Harrison (27,31); Edward Hall (12,18,20,26,34); Eric Perrin (02,14,19,23); Intl K (08,11,13,16,35); J Lash (33); Julia Beverly (25); King Yella (21,29); Leon Lloyd (01,03,04,06,07,10,17); Malik Abdul (28,30,32); Marcus DeWayne (05,15); Ms Rivercity (09); Terrence Tyson (24)
OZONEMAG MAG////45 45 OZONE
AITING W Y L T N E I PAT
y e n o M t e G JR atlanta, ga
so long. at him you would never guess it’s been y signed to Grand Hustle, but looking act (without any racontr ding recor r dolla t’s been over a year since JR Get Mone n millio a half a a bidding war that resulted in Get Money He’s gone on tour with T.I., sparked quick to co-sign for him. But still, JR itude of industry execs who are now mult a essed impr has he and ), spins dio the job. acts as if everyday is his first day on trying to Fresh is mixing down a track, B.G. is ern legends are busy at work. Mannie ating the Inside Atlanta’s Ecko Studios, three South phone, but even with all the star presence in the room, JR is the one mand cell to listen on ors g ment talkin an is T.I. veter his and for eat, ng to waiti decide what ick, anxiously the studio writing lyrics on his Sidek that’s infectious. him t abou t most attention. He’s bouncing around emen excit an has e ns-born, Atlanta-raised emce to his latest creation. The New Orlea and a half “I just got out of high school a year new to me.” still all is this “So JR. ins ago,” expla industry the in been only he’s And even though e has for less than two years, the Zone 3 emce e rap, been in music all his life. “I always wrot but at about but I never had my swag all the up, rap.” y reall 16, I realized I can
ly rap,” Shortly after he realized he could “real Mood of Smith Eric ucer prod with up JR met the hit to n bega two The ns. Swing Productio ucer I studio daily. “He was the first real prod signing a worked with,” says JR. “We ended up we were production deal, and within 7 months deal. We up in New York working on a record Universal. had a little bidding war with Sony and ,000, but Sony was trying to give me like $500 wn. So I I ended up going with Universal Moto I got out find and math the do guess y’all can around a half million dollar deal.” dried, JR Four months after the Universal ink e. Tip Hustl d Gran from call e received a phon young wanted JR to be on his roster, and the you seemcee happily obliged. “I was like, ‘Are He’s nces. influe st bigge my of one is Tip rious?’ ing rapp think me made who le one of the peop a part of was cool, and now he wants me to be ims JR. his team? Of course, I’m with that,” excla e.” Hustl d Gran rsal/ Unive ally offici it’s “So now for release With his debut CD Opening Act slated every 19in the first quarter of ’08, JR is living music backs the ts insis he But . dream old’s year. It’s like up his lifestyle. “My sound is refreshing definitely nothing that’s out right now. You can you can hear the Creole flavor in my music, and ider cons to like I but , slang ATL that also hear in a me see t migh You . artist rsal myself a unive ns hat, Phillies hat, a New York hat, a New Orlea e the whatever. Everybody wants to stay insid JR Get box. a in put be a wann don’t I but box, bigger Money represents something so much a be the than a zip code,” he stresses. “I’m gonn t the opening act that makes you forget abou // “ liner. head http://www.myspace.com/jrgetmoney Words by Eric N. Perrin Photos by Drexina Nelson
46 46////OZONE OZONEMAG MAG
y (above L-R): DJ B-Lord & Carlos Cartel @ Florence Civic Center for Lil Boosie show in Florence, SC (Photo: Clevis Harrison); DJ Drama @ the OZONE Awards in Miami, FL (Photo: Leon Lloyd); DJ Q45 @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference in Miami, FL (Photo: Edward Hall)
01 // Diamond of Crime Mob @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 02 // Slick Pulla & Roccett @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 03 // Smilez, KC, Southstar, & Pitbull @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 04 // Olivia @ WEMX End of Summer Jam (Baton Rouge, LA) 05 // Big Kuntry @ Cloud 9 (Indianapolis, IN) 06 // Baby Boy, Love & Sol the Jeweler @ Baby Boy’s birthday bash (New Orleans, LA) 07 // Dunk Ryders @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 08 // Elora Mason & Tarvoria @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 09 // G’No & Miz Smurff @ Greg Gates Music Conference (Pensacola, FL) 10 // DJ Smallz & Gorilla Zoe @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 11 // South Water Records @ Club 615 for Rambo Entertainment’s Lil Boosie show (Nashville, TN) 12 // DJ Juice & DJ K-Tone @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 13 // Tom G & crew @ Palladium for Tom G’s mixtape release party (Tampa, FL) 14 // DJ Demp, BloodRaw, & guest @ Tailgate Park (Jacksonville, FL) 15 // Maricia Magana & Troy Marshall @ TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend (Miami, FL) 16 // BloodRaw @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 17 // Murphy Lee @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 18 // Micha & Monika @ Sobe Live for Defient Ent, TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend kickoff party (Miami, FL) 19 // Grit Boys & Stacy @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 20 // Young City & Leon Lloyd @ Sobe Live for Defient Ent, TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend kickoff party (Miami, FL) 21 // Willie the Kid @ Cloud 9 (Indianapolis, IN) 22 // Choppa, Raj Smoove, & Baby Boy @ Club Roc-A-Fella (New Orleans, LA) 23 // Stacks @ Sobe Live for Defient Ent, TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend kickoff party (Miami, FL) 24 // Lil Chuckee @ Club Crucial (Atlanta, GA) 25 // LA Smooth @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 26 // Keon Foley & Cayanne @ Baby Boy’s birthday bash (New Orleans, LA) 27 // Joe Hound @ the OZONE Awards (Miami, FL) 28 // Incognito & Yung Duck @ Atlanta 300 for Luda-Day Weekend (Atlanta, GA) 29 // Rapid Ric @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference (Miami, FL) 30 // DJ Element @ Sobe Live for Defient Ent, TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Awards weekend kickoff party (Miami, FL) 31 // Roland Page & Malik Abdul @ Dante’s for Banggaz mixtape release party (St Louis, MO) 32 // Chill da Million Dollar Man @ Palladium for Tom G’s mixtape release party (Tampa, FL) 33 // D Suave @ Central Florida Fairgrounds for DME car show (Orlando, FL) 34 // Tarvoria & Piccalo filming for Madface TV @ Plaza Theatre (Orlando, FL) 35 // DJ Bombshell Boogie @ Club Metro (New Orleans, LA) Photo Credits: Bogan (18,20,23); DJ Incognito (28); DJ Who (04,09); Edward Hall (01,02,08); Eric Perrin (11,24); Intl K (19,29); J Lash (15); King Yella (31); Leon Lloyd (03,07,10,12,16,17); Malik Abdul (05,13,14,21,32,33,34); Marcus DeWayne (06,22,26,35); Ms Rivercity (25); Terrence Tyson (27,30)
OZONEMAG MAG////47 47 OZONE
WAITING Y L T N E I T PA
m a F Da
MO Atlanta, GA via St. Louis,
what icks and you’ll see if they fuck with J-N d of the day.” en your favorite artist k the As at I’ve got credibility ing on BET and they gon’ tell you. ming rap groups, be e would be tim a at or most up and co urs ho Fetti, who is for FM every day icks rtner in rhyme Rob Atlanta’s Hot 107.9 St. Louis natives J-N is true for Nicks’ pa sing emcees hailing from Da Lou. e for t sam bu , e ity Th od mm most promi hear a greatly desired co stacle they hope to overcome. viewed as one of the th Da Fam,” exclaims Fetti. “You gon’ been an ob ck wi mi gim .” ns no and Rob Fetti, it’s t tio no ua ’s sit “It and image. t types of concepts have to keep a TV lyrics and differen J-Nicks, elf on TV; you still s urs say yo e,” be ag ’t us than what im can io u “Yo a rad d it’s a lot more to u still have to keep co-host of Atlanta’s Hot ented individuals an we write , tal rap lly Even with radio, yo t rea ite ren e wr t e’r cur d “W jus an n’t Rap City metimes ds J-Nicks. “We do former host of BET’s lity of it is that so meets the eye,” ad dio Show. “The rea and I alternative music.” ite wr en ev 107.9 Durrty Boyz Ra and want to talk about their music, we R&B; me punkass to yo t up ou me ab co g le kin op Liles to sign tal pe kin’ ent once led Kevin I don’t feel like fuc ty and obvious tal en Liles left Def tili wh may feel like, ‘No, rsa r, ve ve eir we Th Ho o. say that.” Def Jam years ag th wi re Kevin Liles’ al de we e a music.’ But I can’t “W to m el. the king for a new lab loo that his t ls lef s fee know what wa m, n’t m Fa Fa did Da lly Da of Jam, re of r, who is one half f Jam the label rea mo pe De t sic rap lef mu ta he n or two and Lan en ow ar St. ye wh e his a Th de project, so d to Def Jam for n and radio has ma as both a rapper and We were still signe us. r position in televisio th ee wi car do his to d has juggle between it.” a challenge, but he at job maneuvering we didn’t even know nk I’ve done a gre ople,” says pe er oth ng radio DJ well. “I thi lpi , J-Nicks eventually he I do on the radio failed with Def Jam to ATL. Two weeks that’s at ip wh sh uth d So on an ati the sic rel m mu fro the s my ist from STL Soon after k at all the new art . Ask Dro, ask Unk, ask rginal 7.9 and had to move J-Nicks. “Take a loo took a job at Hot 10 st of BET’s Rap City. While gaining ma the last 2 years in 7.9 ask 10 t zy, Ho Jee ho gh ask a VJ and , the e th cci bo Gu cam a come throu be ask as , e he bo er Fa fam lat Shawty Lo, ask Durrty Boyz. ed Joc, ask Yola, ask to me and ET, The DJ, Nicks has remain point their fingers t ou ab ate on ssi Rocko — they gon’ most pa sic. his own group’s mu t we “Nobody knows tha f Jam. De to d ne sig re we t we Nobody knows tha th had a situation wi dy know Virgin. Don’t nobo this ing do re we we t tha fore I be ce sin it sh ’ rappin ” io. was on rad
ll on Now, J-Nicks is sti t he is bu , ily da io the rad regunot restricted to his Da Fam lar 6-10 time slot. base has a growing fan od,” Go at “D , gle sin and a g din rea sp y idl that is rap t Rob through Atlanta. Bu Fam Fetti feels what Da ater gre far is re sto has in cur t’s tha ing than anyth rently out. wit “What we finna come ’ yo ng thi me so ain’t even you to grandma gon’ tell “It’s turn off,” Rob says. t evtha jam t tha be gon’ ppin’ tri be n’ go is erybody g just off. We keep it movin ” // st. like a new era Outka - Eric Perrin
48 // OZONE MAG
OZONE MAG // 49
Words by N. Ali Early // Photo by Ray Tamarra
50 // OZONE MAG
usiness impresario Dame Dash is known for many things, but Internet surfing is not one of them. He’d opt to be out gettin’ money over being cooped up in some four cornered room, stuffed in a La Z Boy mid-back swivel any day. But what happens when the fixed mind of a successful entrepreneur meets that of a driven web designer with unlimited potential? The answer is “Block Savvy.” Indeed. While Dash moved to employ one of the seemingly talented candidates from his 2005 reality television series, “Ultimate Hustler,” it was his technical consultant on the show, Kwame DeCuir, who had the brightest and most appealing idea of them all. With Dash’s ear fully exposed, he pitched a social networking website – blocksavvy.com. Open-ended with all the capabilities of Myspace or Friendster and more, the only thing left was an approval from Dash’s lifelong business partner Kareem “Biggs” Burke. After getting it (which rarely, if ever happens), Dash gave the DeCuir the green light. And the rest, they say, is the future (of social networking). Was this a collective effort between you and Kwame? Dame Dash: I wish I could say I had more of a hand in the technical aspect and the creation of it but I really can’t. I’m not so savvy on the technical side or the digital side, but it just seemed like a really good idea. And when I was doing “Ultimate Hustler,” Kwame was doing the hologram technology and all these guys were presenting me with these ideas. He came to me and said, “Will you listen to mine?” Turns out his was better than any idea that was presented to me. I gave it to Biggs, ‘cause stuff that I don’t usually understand, I give it to him and he understands the computer stuff. He looked at it and was like, “Yo, this is hot!” He doesn’t like anything and he liked this, so I [figured] this was something we needed to do. What was it that separated Kwame from the others? Why did you listen to him and go through with his idea? Dame: Kwame is one of those guys that thinks in thirty layers. If this does this, then that does that, so on and so forth. The difference with him is he has the ability to execute it. So I thought it would be hot to be one of the first African Americans to crack this whole Internet explosion and everyone gettin’ a big check. Also, having the best technology, whether he’s African Amercian or not, it’s better than all these other social networks. And it just made sense, being the entrepreneur that I am. Did it surprise you, being with Kwame in the capacity that you were, that he came up with a better idea than anyone who was actually competing for that prize? Dame: That didn’t surprise me, no. What did surprise me was that he could execute everything that he said he was going to execute. I almost didn’t believe it, to be honest. What we’ve executed should take a hundred million dollars to invest but on a shoe string budget, we were able to do it. To me, that’s the best way to do things. And we can do things that myspace and all these other social networking websites can’t do. Kwame, were you thinking about this site particularly while you all were doing “Ultimate Hustler” or what was your creative process like? Kwame: While we were doing all that stuff, myspace happened. It was already happening, but it really happened. It was cool, but I just thought that there was so much more and they were leaving a lot on the table, so I had an idea
and I just went to Damon and Biggs. I told them I felt like we could do it better. I felt like if we could target who we were really going after, we could really blow this thing out and I think we did that. What I saw was a frenzy for all this social networking, but nobody had really figured it out. So I figured that even though we were smaller and we were just coming into the game, we had the same chance as everybody else. It wasn’t like myspace had mastered a revenue site or a business model side of it. They were just hot at the time, got a lot of people on there and it got sold. What’s different about this site? Obviously the concentration is on Urban America, but beyond that, what’s going to draw people to it? Kwame: I think the main thing about it is it’s multi-layered. It’s not just social networking. It’s not just a place where you can watch videos. It’s not just a place where you can meet people. I think it’s a lot of things in one. So I think we’ve taken the best of the web and put all the things you can do on the web and put it all in one place. Another thing that’s different is that it’s actually based on incentives. So you can actually get something back from being on the block. It’s not just, “I spend a lot of time on here and meet girls.” It’s I spend a lot of time on here and I can do multiple things, but while I’m on here, I’m earning something that can be translated to the real world. You can actually be virtually rich. If you have enough “savvy dollars” you can get that X-Box from our auction. So we actually give back. That’s one of the main things that differentiates us. Dame what do you think? Admittedly, you’re not the surfing/Internet type, but how do you see this in comparison to the other social networking sites? Dame: What he said. You get money while you’re working. That’s one of the things that’s along my point of view. Everybody knows that what I’m trying to be about at all times, is gettin’ some cake. So it kind of gives you that sensibility. If you’re going to be on the computer and you’re going to be doing some things, you might as well be getting some money while you’re doing it. Also, he keeps coming up with different things and different techniques like this green screen where we can have any artist or anybody walk into somebody’s virtual room. They just walk into your room and play whatever record is hot at the time and just so many different ways to interact. But also, just based on what Biggs told me, cause Biggs is on it all day long… if you ever wanna talk to Biggs, cause he doesn’t [really] speak you can talk to him and he answers questions. He talks more on that Internet site than he’s talked in the last fifteen years of our career in the music business. It just seems like when people start, they don’t wanna get off it. It’s so interactive and you just get the inside skinny on anything that you’re interested in. What exactly is the concept of the blocks? Kwame: You move onto the block. You choose where you want to live. We have three neighborhoods right now. We got the Ave, which is Hip Hop related. We got the Fashion District, which is more about what’s going on in that [world] and then we got Main St. that’s pop, you know, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, type stuff. So you basically get to choose where you want to live and when you log in it follows that content. You can visit the other blocks, but they determine the content that you’re going to see first when you log in. Then once you move in, you gotta build up your bank your world to do certain things. The more dollars you get the hotter your rooms get and the more access you get and the more auctions you’re available for. So it’s all about hustling and earning. It’s a little more targeted. It’s not like everybody’s in the same spot. And the savvy dollars? Can you actually purchase things in the world or is it exclusively for the site? Kwame: The whole goal of the savvy dollars is to give them real value. In the first phase we’re auctioning off real things for savvy dollars. Everything from Nintendo Wii’s, cell phones, speakers and all kinds of stuff. So you basically can take your savvy dollars and if you got enough cake, you can get the prize. Eventually we’re going to actually have an exchange rate from savvy dollars to real dollars. But that’s a work in progress. Right now we just allow you to get real things with them through our bidding process. //
OZONE MAG // 51
OZONE highlights family members of rappers who have turned the industry into a family affair. Because it’s not just about the fame or the money - this is Family Business. COMPILED by Eric Perrin, Julia Beverly, N. Ali Early, Randy Roper, Ms. Rivercity, and DeVaughn Douglas
anye West’s mom was riding in a cab when ‘Ye called and told her to quit her job of 33 years to become the CEO of his company. Pimp C’s mom, a retired schoolteacher, has been UGK’s road manager since day one and changes her name from Momma Pimp C to Momma Bun B depending on who she’s getting money for. Akon’s brother Bu is credited with having discovered the Senegalese singer he strongly resembles, and Kia Shine’s wife and business partner Alecia conceived the concept for “Respect My Fresh,” the song that got Kia his deal with Universal Records. David Banner’s hype man Sweetz is more like his little brother than his cousin (not only are Banner’s mother and Sweetz’ father brother and sister, but Banner’s father and Sweetz’ mother are also brother and sister). Lil Scrappy’s brother Chris worked the drivethru at Wendy’s before becoming Scrap’s hype man, while USDA member BloodRaw owes much of his success to the financial backing and business savvy of his sister Maja. The common denominator in all these stories is family. The rap industry is home to a surplus of stars who have chosen to keep it in the family, and in doing so, they have employed not just entourage members or career advisors, but people they have known and trusted their entire lives. //
52 // OZONE MAG
Abou “Bu”Thiam, 25 David “Sweetz” Smith, 29 David Banner’s lil’ cousin (“His mother and my father
are sister and brother, and his father and my mother are brother and sister too. He’s like my older cousin/big brother.”)
Hype Man/Promotions/Marketing/Street Team/Security (“Whatever the fuck needs to be done”)
Is this your full-time job or do you just help out on the side? I’m back in school now [at Jackson State University]. I didn’t start doing this as a fun thing, it was an escape route. I went to jail and dropped out of school, and no jobs were tryin’ to fuck with me because I was a felon. At that time, that’s when my cousin’s career started to jump off, so it was an escape route and a way for me to leave town and get paid. So it was out of love, but it got professional. Right now, I’m trying to finish school. I’m a Marketing major and I’ll be graduating in December, so hopefully then I can apply it with my cousin in some form or fashion and get some of this real money. When did you realize your cousin was going to be a star? To be honest with you, I always felt that way. Banner’s been doing the music shit all my life. It was just a matter of time, as far as I was concerned. Growing up, I always thought he was a star anyway, cause with all the niggas I grew up with, he was above their head with the shit he was listening to. But I really knew it was serious when he formed his own group and was doing shows around Mississippi when he was in high school. That’s when I felt like, damn, my cousin might really have something goin’ on with this music. Who would win in a fight? I wouldn’t fight Banner. I would try to talk him out of it, because he’s bigger than me and he’d win. But I don’t fight anymore; we’d have to talk it out or it’d be fatal. Do you have any entertaining stories from back in the day? Bonecrusher used to live in the house with us in Mississippi, like 13 years ago, when both of them was tryin’ to get on. I was on house arrest, Bonecrusher was broke, Banner was broke, and my uncle was a fireman - he passed away recently. Bonecrusher used to find old shit in the cabinets and make meals out of it. I didn’t know how to cook so I’d be looking at him crazy. The [food] was probably outdated but he’d make more meals out of it. [Banner] had this girl that he was involved with and we used to always call her psycho; we’d make up these scary stories about her and tell [Bonecrusher] these bullshit jokes. One night she was supposed to be out of town. It was 2 in the morning and somebody knocked on the door. Our carport was so dark and when we put the light on, it was her. We all started running and hollering and shit and she was looking at us like we were crazy. (laughs) What have you enjoyed the most about being on tour with your cousin? The tour I enjoyed the most was the Ludacris Chicken & Beer tour, but the one I feel like I learned the most on was the 50 Cent Beg For Mercy tour – I learned to be more professional because there’s a lot of money involved. // Words and Photo by Julia Beverly
Akon’s younger brother Co-CEO of Konvict Music What are your job responsibilities? Making sure all our albums are delivered by our artists which are T-Pain, Kardinal, Ray, Rock City. I’m more on the A&R side because Akon can’t really be involved and at the same time be the producer. He can’t really be in the studio every time with the artists. I make sure the right records get done, A&R his album, make sure he’s doing what he needs to do as far as performances. I’m on the phone with the labels making sure we have the right marketing for every artist, making sure the budget is right. I just make sure the business is right when we have an artist that comes out. What was your job before this? I used to road manage Loon from Bad Boy back in the day. That kind of gave me some insight on the music industry and how it works. At what point did you realize that Akon was destined to be a star? Honestly, ‘Kon always did music but he never let anyone hear it. He used to just do it as a hobby. He never really shopped a deal or none of that. He was just doing it ‘cause he liked doing his thing. He used to really be wild back in the day. He had a car ring but at the same time he always made music in his room. He had his own little studio. I really knew he was going to be a star when I heard the record he did with The Fugees on The Score album. He was on the remix to “Oh La La La.” When I heard that, I knew he was really going to be something in the game. Do you have a favorite tour memory? Probably when we were on tour with Gwen Stefani. My favorite memory with T-Pain was in Atlanta. He was on stage with T.I., Ciara, Yung Joc, and Lloyd, and in the middle of the show he stopped performing and was like, “Before I go any further, there’s some things I gotta say. I got to give it up to Bu – he was the guy that discovered me and if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here right now.” It meant a lot to me ‘cause a lot of times artists sell a bunch of records and forget who helped them get to that point. That was one of my favorite moments on that tour. What’s something interesting about Akon that the public might not know about him? He’s a real funny dude and a family-oriented guy. He’s also into golf. But he’s a real family-oriented guy. A lot of guys get into the hype of having a different girl every night, but he loves his wife and kids. He loves me and my brother O. He has our back 100%. Did you get along well when you were kids? Our parents are from West Africa and my father made sure we all looked out for each other. Growing up, ‘Kon used to be into stealing cars, robbing and shit like that. So me, as his little brother, everything he got into I got into ‘cause I thought it was cool to do. He always had the flyest cars ‘cause he would steal ‘em and hook ‘em up at the chop shop. So when I got into high school, that’s what I did too. Who would win in a fight? Back in the day, he would, but I’m getting my work out on so I think I might have him now. // Words: Ms Rivercity // Photo: Julia Beverly OZONE MAG // 53
Taquari “TQ” Hatch, 27 Lil Boosie’s older brother Personal Management What are your job responsibilities? I handle bookings, regular management duties, scheduling, and basically making sure he gets shit done. I’m also sort of like a financial advisor. With the money he makes, I show him how to spend it right. I’m helping him get his portfolio right and make wise business investments. I’m really proud of where he’s going and how his business mind is developing. He just closed on his first home today, a half-a-million-dollar home. For the first time, he stopped buying cars – so now we’re about to start buying homes. What were you doing before you started working with your brother? I graduated from Southern University in the spring of 2006 with a Bachelors Degree in Business Marketing. Instead of just taking a white-collar job, I decided to get more involved with my brother because I saw he was serious about [rap]. I feel like he just got serious about it two years ago. How has your degree helped you in the music business – do you think the college courses were relevant to the reality of your job? I think it’s very relevant in terms of building business relationships, knowing how to deal with people on the business side, and as far as marketing is concerned, just knowing who your target market is and coming up with a product for each of them. That’s how school helped me. I did a lot of things in college too; I did graphic design as my side hustle and I was involved with party promotions in the city, mainly through my fraternity.
Brandon “Yung B” Kindle Bun B’s stepson Rapper / Promoter What would you be doing if weren’t involved with Bun B? I probably wouldn’t be involved with music. Seeing him is what influenced me. I saw what he went through to create his career. I saw the amount of work it took and everything that you needed to do to be successful. If not for that I would probably still be involved in sports. When did you realize your father was a star? When I would turn on the radio and he was on everybody’s song, or when I started seeing him in everybody’s video. That was when they were going through their problems with Jive. I just saw everyone wanting him to be on their songs all of a sudden. Do you have a favorite tour memory? The first time I got to travel with him. Just getting to see what goes on in terms of putting together a tour and everything. Does Bun give you a lot of creative input on your music? It’s a lot of stuff that he hasn’t heard because I want to make sure it’s perfect before I bring it to him. I mean, he’s not gonna tell me something is jamming when it’s really not. I brought him a track one time and he was just like, “Nah, it’s not you. Keep grindin’.”
In one of his records, Boosie says he “shoulda took the good route like my brother.” What do you think he meant by that? Are you known as the cleancut, well-behaved brother? I’m just a well-rounded businessman from the hood. I feel that everybody’s supposed to make a change from doing the regular bad shit that you grew up doing in the hood. Everybody’s supposed to grow and find a natural maturity and make a natural change, but everybody doesn’t snap out of the ways of the hood. I took the good route. I snapped out at the right age and the right time. The biggest difference between me and Boosie was that we went to different middle schools. He went to the baddest school [in Baton Rouge] because he was good at basketball, and I went to a magnet school because that’s where my mama wanted me to go. I got to see different stuff and met people who were interested in stuff other than the ‘hood. That made it cool for me [to go to college] and take a different route. Who would win in a fight? We used to have physical fights all the time. Boosie stabbed me in the hand one time when we were fighting and I had to get stitches. I got stitches in my right arm one time when I tried to punch him and my hand went through the window. We used to fight all the time growing up but I guess once both of us accepted each others’ roles, that’s when we started to get along and respect each other’s lifestyles. I’ve gotten at least 60 stitches [because of Boosie]. At what point did you realize that your brother was going to be a star? When I first heard him on that “Do It Big” remix, that was the first time I realized he was meant to be nationwide and not just for our ‘hood. When he first started talkin’ about rappin’, he used to have this old tape recorder we got from my mama’s school. He’d do his raps and I’d be like, “I don’t wanna hear that shit.” He’d follow me in my room tryin’ to make me hear his shit. (laughs) But we used to always like performing, me and him and our cousins. When Jodeci was out we’d always sing Jodeci songs, like “Come And Talk To Me.”
Who would win in a fight? He’d probably get me. He can still get me. //
Have you had any crazy experiences being on the road with Boosie? It’s always funny to see the groupies lining up in the hallway; they’ll just line up and wait on him. I just remind him to always remember where home is at. //
Words: Devaughn Douglas // Photo: Intl K
Words and Photo: Julia Beverly
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Richard “Gu” Paul Wall’s cousin Road Manager/DJ (“Whatever needs to be done”)
Christopher “Lil Chris” Bell, 20 Lil Scrappy’s younger brother (“Scrappy and his
mama took me under their wing when me and my dad was going through some problems.”)
Hype Man/Artist on G’s Up Records
Is this your full-time job or do you just help out on the side? I do my thing at home but other than that, this is my only source of income. What was your job before this? I worked in the drive thru at Wendy’s before. (laughs) That didn’t last too long. I didn’t like that. At what point did you realize Scrappy was going to be a star? I never really realized it. To tell you the truth, it just happened. We always used to rap. We had shows in Atlanta that sold out before anybody else even knew us well. Scrap used to do shows with Trillville and they sold out before anybody knew the songs. I never really thought about it. It just came about. Do you have a favorite tour memory? When we were in Detroit, we did the Football Classic. I enjoyed that because I used to play football. We performed on the football field. Another blessing is being in the game and meeting everybody I used to look up to. Do you have any entertaining stories from back in the day that people would be interested to hear about Scrappy? Back when Scrappy had “No Problems” out, we got into it with the whole club called H20 in North Carolina. Somebody in the crowd said, “Scrappy, you crunk, but you ain’t that crunk.” They was on some hating shit. The whole club came and attacked us. They was shooting and everything. I don’t know if that’s really entertaining, but it was serious. How would you describe Scrappy outside of music? He’s got his times when he’s funny; he’ll tell a joke or two. Then there’s a time when he’s bucking out. He’s a well-balanced person. He don’t have a big head about coming out and selling these records. The game hasn’t got to him. He’s not an industry cat. He’s not arrogant. He’s 100% humble. He’s real. He looks out for his people. Who do you think would win in a fight? I’ll win! We’ve had our differences before but it was never nothing major. The closest we’ve gotten to fighting was having an argument.
Where did you get the name Gu? I had an older brother at school that everyone called Gu. He was the O.G. of the school and people called me Lil’ Gu. When he left the school the name Gu just stuck with me. It’s part of my last name but you probably wouldn’t even be able to spell my last name. Is this your full-time job or do you just help out on the side? Paul was always on the road and kept trying to get me to go with him. I always told him no. I was doing my own thing. He asked me to manage him but I was always like, “That’s your thing.” He was doing a show out in Texas and sent me a ticket to fly out so I finally said okay. He probably though I wasn’t going to show because so many other times I told him I would be there but I would drop out at the last minute. This time I was kind of stuck because he bought a plane ticket. I enjoyed it and I’ve been on every trip since then. What would you be doing if you hadn’t taken that trip and gotten involved with Paul’s career? Honestly, I have no idea. I had so many different jobs. I would probably be doing something for myself. I know it wouldn’t be a nine to five because that’s just not me. My attitude is kind of bad so that just wouldn’t pan out. At what point did you realize that your cousin was going to be a star? It was right before the album dropped. I knew he was a local celebrity but it never hit me that Paul was as big as he was until we started leaving Texas. We did a show in Denver and there were people lined up outside trying to get into the club. I know clubs so I figured they just had everyone lined up outside so the place would look packed, but when we got inside the club was packed. People couldn’t even get in. The way people were reacting to [Paul] made me look at him like he was on another level. Who would win in a fight? I’m not ever gonna say that I’ll lose at anything. Paul is way stronger then me and way bigger than me but I’ll never admit defeat [laughs]. Do you have any entertaining stories from back in the day that people would be surprised to hear about Paul Wall? We’ve been through a lot of shit together. We’ve been caught up in some shit that I care not to even mention. I do remember one time we had to do a show in Louisiana. We needed to get the car fixed and, you know how it is, we had a dope fiend work on it. He would work on cars in the neighborhood for cheap so we had him fix it. We get on the road and drive to Louisiana. We get there, about a mile away from the hotel, and all the lights in the car shut off. It was pitch black and we can’t see anything. We got the car to the hotel and did the show. The next morning the car was working again and we head back home to Houston, and what was supposed to be a five hour trip turned into about a ten hour horror story. We must have stopped at every Wal-Mart between Louisiana and Houston getting the car jumped and trying to figure out what was wrong with it. It was 105 degrees outside with no A/C.
Do you plan to do any songs with your brother? I got a new single called “Whip Game” featuring Lil Scrappy. On the flip side, I got a song called “Gettin’ to Da Money.” I’ma drop two songs at the same time and see which one picks up first. I’m on the Trillville/Scrappy CD “Diamonds In My Pinky Ring” and Scrappy’s new CD Bred 2 Die Born 2 Live. //
Have you though about branching out to work with other artists? At first, no. I won’t work with another rapper out of respect for Paul but I am working with an R&B artist. Paul was actually the person that convinced me to work with other artists and he’s been instrumental in helping me out. //
Words: Ms. Rivercity // Photo: Julia Beverly
Words: DeVaughn Douglas // Photo: Julia Beverly OZONE MAG // 55
Derrick “Marquis” JOHNSON, 27 Webbie’s older brother (“We have the same mother, and
Charles “Chuck” Young, Jr., 35 Trick Daddy’s older brother Manager/CEO of Dunk Ryder Records Is this your full-time job or do you run the label on the side? Well, I also manage Trick and I’m the CEO of Dunk Ryder Records. What was your job before this or what would you be doing if you weren’t managing Trick and Dunk Ryder Records? I also own a private investigating and security company. I still do that. I’ve done that for years now. I just started managing Trick four and a half years ago but I was successful with what I was doing before that. At what point in your life did you realize your brother was going to be a star? When he started sending me his raps from jail, I noticed that the things he was saying and his ideas were hot. I used to rap back in the day. I was the only one in the family that was a rapper. I owned my own studio. I was very popular in my neighborhood. I was known as that dude. Trick was never a rapper but I guess I inspired him to do it. He became really good at what he was doing. When I heard him deliver a record for the first time, that’s when I knew he was going to be a star.
I’ve lived with [Webbie’s] dad since I was 3 years old”)
What are some of your job responsibilities as Webbie’s manager? I don’t really look at myself as a manager. That’s my brother, so I’m gonna do whatever needs to be done. If we need a DJ, I’ma do that. If we need a manager, I’ma do that. If we need a security guard, I’ma do that. We started a label called Savage Life Records, which is a branch of Trill Entertainment. We also have a promotional company down here in Baton Rouge called Savage Promotions; we throw parties and do shows. Savage Squad is the group signed to our label and they dropped their first mixtape on the fourth of July. Savage Squad is Webbie’s group; it’s him, Slugga, and Fresh. So I handle a lot of things on the business side. I’m also doing a little modeling right now and trying to see how that’s gonna go; any way I can get money. At what point did you realize your brother was gonna be a star? Boosie was on before Webbie, and one day Webbie came to me in the room like, “Hey, man, listen to this,” and he started rappin’. I was like, “Damn, you just as hot as Boosie.” That was always his dream, to fuck with Boosie. And his dream happened, you know? From them on I knew he had the talent. I never doubted him. Do you ever feel overshadowed by having a famous brother? Yeah, sometimes, but I’m not trippin’ cause that’s my brother. Whatever I’ve got he’s gonna have, and vice versa. I’m here for him. He’s got talent out his ass, so I’m just here to pick up the fumbles and handle the business.
Do you have any entertaining childhood memories that people would be surprised to hear about Trick Daddy? He was always the bad kid, always into trouble. I’ve always been the mature one. Trick moved in with us in Junior High. He got kicked out school, that’s why he moved down with us. Something we did that we could have made millions off of, something we didn’t realize could have been big, was that we were YouTube before YouTube was big. We used to always film ourselves lip synching. We would do other niggas’ records like N.W.A., Too $hort and Cube. We would have on all black and film ourselves. It was crazy. I still have some of the videos. Maybe one of these days I’ll let muthafuckers see it and laugh at us.
Does having a famous brother benefit you with the ladies? I ain’t gonna lie, I’ll keep it real. It does. But I had women before [Webbie got famous]. And I still get more women that he does. Jay-Z’s girl could get knocked off right now. Will Smith, he’d have problems. Anybody in the business would have problems with me if their girl sat down and talked to me. All the women like me.
Do you have an interesting tour story? We did a Midwest tour. Trick’s an artist that hasn’t traveled much and just to see how much he’s accomplished was interesting. When I was managing his Midwest tour, I was surprised to see how many white people really loved his music for him to be so gutter and street. As CEO of Dunk Ryder Records, where do you guys hope to see the label years from now? The music industry is changing and is continuing to change right now. It’s going to be hard, to be realistic, if we’re still trying to do the same street music, the same ol’ shoot ‘em up-bang bang music. We plan on trying to keep it real but maybe bringing it to you from a different angle. I think that we can make it happen but I don’t know if we’re trying to go major. We don’t need the fame. We already have an artist that understands fame. We’re out here trying to build a foundation and a future for our artists and their families. //
What was Webbie like when y’all were growing up? Webbie always was a hardhead. I hear a lot of rappers talkin’ about beef and all that bullshit, but he basically was a hardhead his whole damn life. He stayed suspended out of school. He’d always get into trouble and he was like, “Damn, man, they caught me this time,” and dropped out in the 9th grade. He was always beatin’ somebody’s ass at school. Back when he was in school, I was hardheaded too. I was in the streets, but now I know that’s not where I want to go. I guess when he gets to be around my age he’ll start seeing that too, but me being his brother, I’ma try to push it on him before then so the money can be laid out for him [once he’s my age]. It’s going pretty good now and what he’s done is a big accomplishment because he’s only been in the game for a couple years, and he’s so young. Nobody’s there to guide [Boosie and Webbie]. They’re just hitting the road hard; they got shows every day of the week. If an artist was there to guide them and mold them it’d be crazy right now. They’d be like the Jay-Z and the 50 Cent of the South. //
Words: Ms Rivercity // Photo: Julia Beverly
Words: Julia Beverly // Photo: King Yella
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Who would win in a fight? C’mon now. Me! What do you think? I’m the big brother. We argue sometimes, but we know what it is. Whatever’s mine is his, and whatever’s his is mine. But if we go out and shoot ball, he knows who’ll win.
Alecia “Wifey” Coleman
“Everybody calls me Wifey; that’s me. My name and my position.”
Kia Shine’s Wife of five years Business Partner/Wifey/Assistant/President/ Song Developer/Sample Audience
Roberta Shields Ludacris’ Mother President of the Ludacris Foundation and CEO of Disturbing Tha Peace, Inc. Previous Job: I worked for a Fortune 50 corporation, Freddie Mac. I have 20 years of experience in the financial industry, so he asked me to take care of all his non-entertainment operations.
As “Wifey” what does your job entail? What do you do from a business standpoint? To be honest with you, I don’t put a label on what I do, because that’s my husband, that’s my other half, so whatever he has to do, I’m there. Anything he needs, I’m there. We’ve been through it from the ground up. When I first met him he was doing the music thing and he was pretty well off, and he literally had a bus full of guys all on his label, and then it got to a point where there was no money and it was just me and him. We did what we had to do to get here, we’ve come a long way, and we still have a long way to go. You’re gonna see me with me everywhere, with him at every level. Whatever he has to do I’m there. My job is ever changing depending on the levels that we’re at, because when we didn’t have any money we were selling mixtapes hand to hand, and now of course we don’t have to do that, but I do whatever is necessary. And I’ll still sell somebody a mixtape, but we aren’t doing that to eat anymore [laughs]. Kia Shine interjects… “Yeah, she assists me, but you can’t really call her just an assistant, she does so much more. She came up with the term ‘Respect My Fresh’ and that was the song that got me my deal.”
What are your responsibilities with the Ludacris Foundation? Strategic planning, management oversight and supporting my staff that includes an executive director of programs and a regional program director, a communications coordinator who is responsible for our website presence and our branding.
How do you separate being a business partner and Wifey at the same time? We really don’t split it up. What we do with the music has everything to do with our family life, so it really goes together. He doesn’t have to lift a facade when he’s doing his music; he’s still the same person. There has to be a balance, so of course there’s a time when he’s not working but it all has to go together. But how do I balance that? I respect when he has to get work done, and he respects when he has to stop and put it down. I think we both make an effort to balance.
What are you responsibilities with Disturbing Tha Peace? Financial and operational oversight with respect to the different businesses that we have. We have a jet travel business. We have a real estate portfolio. We have numerous different businesses under [Disturbing Tha Peace Inc.].
How do you deal with groupies that might try to interfere with your man? When we didn’t have anything, I prayed for favor, and for him to have fans and people that appreciate his music; mostly, I look at it like that. I appreciate that girls love his music and wanna be near him, and take pictures with him; that’s a blessing to me. I think with anything other than that, you can have fantasies all day long; it’s all good. But this is real life, and my husband knows it’s real life and he respects the fans, and I do as well. I appreciate the fans, but it doesn’t go any farther than that. But I’d have to say that 90% of the fans are very respectful of our marriage. When you guys get into a fight, who wins? Kia Shine: She usually wins. You know how it is. You really can’t beat no woman in an argument. You just gotta pick your battles. Editor’s Note: On the day we interviewed Wifey, she and Kia had just found out two hours earlier that they were expecting their first child. Congratulations to Kia and Wifey. //
What exactly is the mission of the Ludacris Foundation? Our mission is to help young people help themselves. We do multiple things with respect to youth. We support over 30 different organizations that are already doing wonderful things in the neighborhoods. Some we have partnerships with, such as United Cerebral Palsy, the National Runaway Switchboard and we support them by bringing awareness to the issue of runaways. We also have several programs that are near and dear to Ludacris and his team. During the holidays we feed families and visit hospitals. We also have our back to school program. This is our second annual year of proving young people with books, backpacks, sneakers, haircuts and health care checkouts, prior to them going back to school just to get them ready and equipped for their school season.
At what point did you realize your son was going to be a star? At 8 years old he told me, “Mom, I love music. And whether I’m in front of the microphone or behind the microphone, I’m going to be in the music industry.” However, I think it was at his first video shoot for “What’s Your Fantasy” when Kevin Liles said to me, “You know your son’s gon’ be a star,” that I realized it. He said he was extremely impressed with Chris’ talent and business attuning, that he just had a tremendous amount of talent on both sides of the business. Do you have any entertaining stories from his childhood? When he was in kindergarten, his kindergarten teacher told me, “Your son is definitely a leader.” She said everyday she would tell a kindergartener, “Come with me,” and they would go out and get the milk [for the class]. And when it came time for her to ask Chris, she said, “Chris Bridges, go stand by the door.” He looked at her he said, “Okay, where are we going?” And she had to explain to him exactly what they were doing. Then he slowly got up, pushed his chair in and went over to sit by the door. She said every other child just kind of ran over there. She said, “I don’t ever think he’s going to be just a follower.” And I think he shows that today. He makes sure he’s clear in the direction he’s moving in prior to him making his move and I think that’s why he’s so successful. // Words: Randy Roper
Words: Eric Perrin // Photo: Julia Beverly OZONE MAG // 57
Dulon “Mugzi” Stevens E-40’s lil bruh bruh VP of Sick Wid It and CEO of 3030 Records Is that a fulltime gig for you? Do you devote more of your time to sick wit it or your own label 3030? No I do them both. It’s full time. What are your job responsibilities at Sick Wid it? I make sure all the projects are being put out properly. I make sure the research is right. Basically I handle everything and make sure the projects go out. What would you be doing if 40 hadn’t popped as an artist? If I wasn’t involved in music, I’d probably be playing professional baseball.
Johnathon “Jay’ton” Trae’s younger brother (“We got the same mom and we were raised in the same household.”)
Artist on Trae’s A.B.N.
Where did you get the name Jay’ton? That’s just always what they’ve called me since I was young. What would you be doing if you weren’t working with Trae? No telling man. It’s already been a hard life. I just got out of prison on April 3rd. I’ve been doing alright since then but without this a nigga could be anywhere.
How far along did you make it before Sick Wit It popped off? I made it to City College. I need a couple of classes to go to state level. I made it to city, but once I was at city I had a baby at eighteen. I’d already been rapping since sixteen. I was doing little shows, getting money. I’ve been rapping since I was fourteen. Once I turned eighteen and went to City College and got to that level, I was like, man, I gotta get this bread. I gotta mess with this rap game. At what point did you realize 40 was destined to be a star? The summer “Mr. Flamboyant” started taking its course. Everybody was just on “Mr. Flamboyant.” I’m hearing cars drive by at a young age. “Mr. Flamboyant” and the FEDERAL album. I was like, “We here. My brothers is here.” I was still in high school all the little high school cats were singing my verse. We went out of state and everybody were singing the whole song. They were always just attracted to 40.
Anything you want to let people know out there? Yeah. Free Dinky and free Pyrexx. //
Give me two entertaining stories from your childhood years with 40 that people would be surprised to hear. When we were first coming out, we got a gig and this is when “Mr. Flamboyant” was out and the gig happened to be at the post office. I think it might have been the Richmond Post Office. A friend was like, “40, why won’t you come perform at the post office? The people really digging you.” So 40 packed me up, and me and 40 go there. I used to groove, like Master P had did my groove before, Mary J. Blige; I used have this “Tired Being Stepped On” groove that was real sick. So we go to the post office and it was twenty, thirty people. We turn on the little radio. We just started turning it out, doing what we do. That story right there stayed with me all my life. We was performing in front of like twenty or thirty people [with the] little radio and we was rocking it! 40 rappin’, I’m grooving; it was just real beautiful real successful. People still remember that til this day. And when I was like fourteen they started me out drinking tall cans. We ride down the streets and go to the store. They get they 40, I get a six pack of tall cans and they in the back with me. We pick up some more homie’s, we kicking it. I’m always trying to be grown myself, so I’m talking shit to them, battling them talking bout, “Y’all drink up! Nigga yall drink up.” 40 and me had a drinking contest, cause I’m always having a drinking contest with the older cats. I be burping cats! So we having a drinking contest and we go to Nations. Next thing you know we walk out to the car and pass out in the bushes! I’m right behind him passing out. 40 used to have me having drinking contest with these cats, so that’s how I got the name “Mr. Burp a Nigga.” //
Words: DeVaughn Douglas // Photo: Intl K
Words: N. Ali Early // Photo: D-Ray
At what point did you realize that your brother was a star? To me he’s always been a star. He’s been popular since back in the day when we was in school. Who would win in a fight? Man…I still got pride so I’ma say me. You got any stories about Trae from your childhood years? Ay, he used to be a real fly cat for the ladies. He used to have the flattop. Whatever the style was that year he always had it. When [clothes] came out with Bugs Bunny on it he had it [laughs]. Overall we just keep it real with each other. When he moved out ofmy mom’s house I moved out with him. I’ve been with him my whole life. Do you have a favorite tour memory? To be honest with you, the first time they went to the OZONE Awards I was locked up. They sent me pictures and shit but that just made me want to get my act together so I could go with them. This is my first year getting to see the OZONE Awards in person so that was exciting. I was out there loving it, having fun. Since I got home it’s been lovely. It was my first time in Miami.
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Maja Sly,“30ish” BloodRaw’s older sister Financial Advisor/Business Partner (“Slave”) Is working with your brother your full-time job? No, I have my own company. I’m a real estate broker. About 20% of my day is spent handling [BloodRaw’s] financial affairs. I handle his household expenses, payment arrangements for support of his child, and his business. Everything that has to do with promoting a record – t-shirts, DVDs, flyers, wrapping trucks, posters – I wire everybody their money so he can have receipts for everything. I consult him on what would be the best way to spend his money. My degree is in finance, so that’s always been my niche. I’ve always been fascinated with watching money grow, and I’ve tried to teach him that. It’s a challenge because he likes to spend money. I show him how to build a nest egg, because the music is not always gonna be there. At what point did you realize your brother would become a famous rapper? No matter what I tried to do to deter him from [rap] he would never give up. Our mother died when we were very young, so I’ve always been more of a mom to him than a sister. I’m a very straight-and-narrow, “go to school, get an education, stay out of trouble,” type person. Music is great, but how are you gonna pay your bills? No matter what I would say – I bribed him a million times – music is what he wanted to do. He’s always been the kind of person that people were drawn to, and the music was just an extension of his personality. Now, when I see people react to him, I think it’s funny; I don’t look at him like [a star], I look at him like my brother. He’s been involved with music since he was 10 or 11 years old. He was in a million groups as a kid. Bruce [BloodRaw] is real reserved. He keeps to himself, doesn’t curse or anything. And when I saw him perform on stage at talent shows when he was about 13 or 14 years old, he was a totally different person. When your brother was going through some legal troubles, the financial records you kept for him helped with his acquittal on Federal drug charges. It’s very important to document your expenses. You can’t just be out here haphazardly throwing money around. This is a means to an end. If keeping good records is not your niche, you need to have someone that will do it for you. If you don’t have paperwork to back it up, no one will believe you. And in the music industry, there’s so much money that has to be spent before you ever make it. I’ve invested probably $100,000 of my personal money in him. The money I spent was a gamble. I may never get it back, but I did it because I believed in him. Most people don’t drop that kind of money without expecting something in return. Artists need to surround themselves with people who care and are going to look out for their best interest. Aside from rims and clothing lines and such, what are some wise investments that you would suggest artists put their money into? Invest in the only thing in America you will never lose on, and that’s land. Not a building, not construction, but raw land itself. That’s what I really want to see more artists doing: purchase land and then invest in real estate. Those are two different things. Real estate is physical, tangible things you can touch and feel, but land will never depreciate. Every place is always growing. You could buy a piece of land for $5,000 - $10,000 that could be worth a million if the zoning is changed. [Investing in] a clothing line or a rim shop means you have to purchase a product and resell it. You’ve gotta be too involved for it to [make money]. You’ve gotta put your money in something that’s not getrich-quick. Buying land is a solid investment for you and your future. A lot of people don’t know that Lionel Richie owns half of Rodeo Drive. He bought that land 30 years ago and nobody thought it would be worth that much money. Time is gonna pass, so put your money somewhere with minimal risk.
Brian “Papa” Reed, 40
(“I’ve had that name since I was young and I just stuck with it cause the nickname fit my personality”)
Mannie Fresh’s older cousin Security Do you have security training or did it just come naturally to you? It just comes naturally to me. There’s certain instincts I have just from growing up in the streets in New Orleans. I have gut feelings and instincts, and on top of that, that’s family. Mannie’s my lil’ cousin and I’ve been with him for years, so I was taught to take care of family. I just keep my eye on the surroundings. I used to go [on the road] with him when he was doing things with Cash Money, but now, it’s more regularly and more of a permanent position. I’ve been with him regularly for about a year now. What were you doing before you started working with him permanently? I was a painter, among other things. In New Orleans, you just do whatever work you could find. It was always kinda rough, even before [Hurricane Katrina]. I did a lot of labor work and painting work, things like that. I really enjoy being with Mannie regularly now. I get to see a lot of people that I’ve always wanted to meet in person, like T.I., B.G., Juvenile, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Lil Jon, a whole lot of stars. Mannie’s worked with some of the best, and I get to watch him work all the time which is very exciting to me. It’s a lot of fun but it’s also a lot of hard work and a lot of hours. You’ve got to be ready at any given time, that’s the main thing – I have to be ready whenever he calls. Since you’ve known Mannie for so long, was there a time when you realized he was going to be a star? Him and Wop used to always be in his room with the turntables. I was into music too, but I wasn’t at that level. I started listening to them and was like, Mannie is real good. When he was in high school, I started bringing my friends from my neighborhood over and we’d just sit in Mannie’s room and listen to him mix and scratch. It wasn’t overnight; Mannie’s been doing music for as long as I can remember and I’ve known him all my life. Since you’re responsible for security, have you run into any situations on the road where you had to prevent something drastic from happening? Not really. Mannie’s not a confrontational person. He’s loved by many people but there’s still a few out there you have to watch out for. There hasn’t really been anything serious I’ve had to worry about, or anything where I’ve had to rush him out of the place. But you always have to expect the unexpected.
Are you looking for other rap clients to work with as a financial advisor? In bold letters: NOT AT ALL. This is just a dream for my brother, and I want to make sure when it’s all said and done he’s going to be self-sufficient. We have a trucking company and a freight brokering company together and he’s made solid real estate investments. //
What was Mannie like when he was younger? When we were in school, Mannie always DJed the school dances. He always did his school work and the rest of the time it was always something to do with music. He always did music and he was a damn good DJ. He was always real smart in school just like he is now. He hasn’t changed a bit. He’s humble, he’s cool, he has a great sense of humor, and he loves what he does. I can’t explain it any better than that – he’s the same as he’s always been. //
Words: Julia Beverly
Words: Julia Beverly // Photo: Eric Perrin OZONE MAG // 59
Dr. Donda West
(a.k.a. The Louis Vuitton Mom, Mama West)
Kanye West’s Mom CEO of Super GOOD (“the mother of all Kanye’s companies”) What are your responsibilities as CEO of Super GOOD? As CEO of Super GOOD it’s my responsibility to make sure that management is done as efficiently as management can be done. There are so many parts to the entertainment industry, and so many wheels rolling. We have attorneys, agents, managers, road managers, and so many other different people who are a part of Kanye’s career. My job is to make sure all of these parts work well with each other and that everybody is working in Kanye’s best interest. I heard you were riding in a taxicab in Manhattan when Kanye called you and told you quit your job to come work for him. Kanye called and was telling me he all the things he needed my help with, so I sort of jokingly said, “Kanye, do you want me to just quit my job?” I had no idea that he would say, “Yeah mom, call ‘em right now and tell ‘em you won’t be back.” I said it just jokingly, but he was very serious, so that’s what I did. The instant I got off the phone with Kanye I called my Dean and let her know that I would be resigning. I actually retired early from Chicago State University so that I could go to work full time with and for Kanye. How do you separate being Kanye’s mother and business partner? I realize that I work for Kanye. My role is not to parent when I’m at work. My role is to be Chief Executive Officer. I am actually an employee of the company, so in a sense, it’s a little bit of role reversal, but certainly he respects my opinion. When there are things I don’t agree with, I have to treat it just how I would if I had another boss who I wasn’t the mother of. When I called your cell phone, your caller tune was [Kanye’s] “Hey Mama” song. How did you react when you first heard that song? Tears were streaming down my face. He performed it at a club in Chicago and he called me to say, “Mom, I want you to come to this club tonight.” And by that time I had stopped going everywhere with Kanye because he was over 18. I used to have to go to all kinds of clubs with him when he was a minor. So I called one of my friends and said, “Girl, we’ve gotta go to this club because Kanye wants me to come, and you know, we’re gonna be the only 50 year-olds there.” So we went to the club and when he did that song, I swear I couldn’t believe it. I was just in tears. I looked around, and all these Hip Hop fans were wiping their eyes, too. I regard it as a tribute. I’m really honored by it, and the fact that we can have that kind of relationship is just a blessing. What made you decide to write the book Raising Kanye? There are a lot of things about Kanye that you don’t get from the sound bytes and interviews in TV and magazines. Generally in those interviews, you are responding to questions that the interviewer wants more clarity about, but if you write a book, you get to tell the whole story from your perspective.
Weslyn “MOMMA C” Monroe, 60
(“My name changes depending on who I’m getting money for. Sometimes it’s Momma Pimp C, or Momma Bun B”)
Pimp C’s Mom Manager/Road Manager/Doctor/Nurse/ Cook/Psychiatrist Is this your full time job? Oh yeah. It’s something that I love to do. I love just taking care of people, being a momma. Pimp C is my son and Bun is just like my son. I started out as a road manager and I have been managing them since they started. Right now I take care of them and take care of their upstart artists. This is something I love to do. I would have never envisioned doing this, but it is something I love to do. When did you first realize your son was famous? We did a show in St. Louis and it was one of our first times being a headline act. We went to this club and there were 8,000 people waiting to see them. That was back around ’98. Did you see Pimp and Bun becoming stars? [Pimp] C had music in his bones since he was a baby. He wouldn’t even go to sleep unless music was playing. He has always been musically inclined. He was in the band at an early age and was gifted at playing the trumpet. Bun, on the other hand, was an academic scholar. He was an excellent student. That’s why he writes so well. We used to joke that Bun rapped on an intellectual level and C broke it down so the niggas could understand it. I think Bun is the best rapper in the country today. Did I want them to do this at first? No. Did Bun’s momma want them to do this? No. I’m a retired school teacher. I taught for 25 years and I wanted them to go to school then college and go out in the world. Once they started working on this music I eventually just gave up fighting them and started helping out. How do you separate being his mother and his business manager at the same time? I thank God because there has never actually been a real conflict for us. I’m not saying we’ve never disagreed, but I always tell them, “You’re grown. It’s your career and it’s your life. I will advise you, but at the end of the day it’s your decision.” What would you be doing if you weren’t involved in the music industry? I have three grandchildren [and] I watch the middle child. I’m very involved in my grandchildren’s lives so that’s probably what I would be doing, just being a grandma. Like I said earlier, I had already taught for twenty five years so I had already [finished] my career.
Last question - how much Louis Vuitton do you own? A lot. I didn’t necessarily like it at first, but now I purchase quite a bit of Louis myself. I like the designers and the quality. I’ve got handbags, luggage, headgear, jewelry, and scarves. Hey, I’m a Louis Vuitton mom.
Your son is no stranger to controversy. What is your opinion when he makes certain statements like the ones that have been in this magazine? I always tell people C didn’t get any of that from his father. He got all of that from his mom. (laughs) He got all of his musical talent from his father but the mouth and intelligence comes from me. C is highly intelligent. Not as smart as Bun, but he’s highly intelligent. I was fiery as a young person but I’ve mellowed out as I’ve got older. C will mellow out too. A lot of the time what C says is right but he just hasn’t developed the tenacity to dress it up. He’s gonna give it to you straight. He got that from my mom. I’m not gonna say he’ll never develop it but my momma is 91 and she’ll still give it to you straight. I’ve been with C and Bun since the beginning. I know what they do and what their friends do. I’m closer to these kids then a lot of their parents. I remember I saw someone I used to know in a store one time. She came up to me and said that her son bought one of my son’s records, and that my son has the filthiest mouth that she had ever heard. I told her, “I saw your son the other day in the cut, cussing for free and being a D boy. When your son makes as much money as my son, holla at ya girl.” I’m proud of my son and everything he does. //
Words by Eric Perrin // Photo by Richard Liraino
Words by DeVaughn Douglas // Photo by E of Trill Images
Are there any stories you tell people about him that he’s embarrassed by? No, not really. There were stories that once upon a time he didn’t want me to tell, especially as he was trying to make it as a rapper. He used to not want me to tell what I talk about in the book, on not allowing him to ride the [public] L train in Chicago. That was not cool. You want to be a rapper, but your mama says, “No, you can’t ride the L”? At this point, however, I can’t think of anything that he discourages me from talking about. What has been your favorite gift that Kanye has given you? I appreciate all the material things he’s given me, like the convertible Mercedes and the house near the ocean, but there’s nothing that would replace the love.
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Big Fase, 31 The Game’s older brother Former Overseer of Black Wallstreet Records
NELWYN THOMAS, 30
What was your job title with The Black Wallstreet? I called myself the overseer. Basically, putting everything together from the beginning was my job and I never got a job title from the company when everything got going.
Slim Thug’s older sister Personal Assistant/Manager
What were your job responsibilities? Blowin’ him up, gettin’ his name out there, getting’ Black Wallstreet out there, advertising, marketing and shit like that.
What are some of your job responsibilities? I basically do whatever needs to be done on Slim’s behalf. I take care of all his finances, label correspondence, even [buying] groceries for his house.
You’ve obviously ventured elsewhere since severing ties with your brother, but while you were there, was that a full time gig for you? From the time I woke up in the morning until I went to sleep, that’s all I did. Nobody else got nothin’ out of me pro’lly for three years straight while I was grindin’ with him.
What were you doing before this? I was a Document Controller for Dynegy Marketing & Trade. If I wasn’t doing this I would probably be working as an Administrative Assistant somewhere. When did you realize that your brother was going to become a famous rapper? Around the age of 14 when he started rappin’ on his karaoke machine. Can you tell us an entertaining story from back in the day that people might be surprised to hear about Slim Thug? When Slim was in junior high, he bought a hearse and fixed it up. He couldn’t even drive. It was scary. // Words by DeVaughn Douglas
What were you doing before that? It was a full time hustle with me. The day that Game popped was the day I decided it was time to stop. I had planned that for a couple months ahead of time. I was like, “When it really get live I’ma just kick all this to the curb.” And he was well aware of it. And that’s what I really thought it was all about: “gettin’ big bruh” up off these streets. When did you realize that your brother was destined to be a star? He didn’t really wanna share the music with me until he thought it was right. But once I heard it I knew we had something to work with. But mainly, the night he called and told me he had signed to Dre, I definitely knew it was big time. That was him really, really makin’ it. Tell us an entertaining story that people will be surprised to hear about Game. One thing that comes to mind is the fact that I was always into music and I always wanted to be a Hip Hop artist my muthafuckin’ self. I always wrote my shit. I always did whatever it took, but it ended up fallin’ on deaf ears I guess, and nothing ever came of it. But once he was out there, it came to me it was just my God-given place. Once I saw him on stage from my point of view, everything I did wasn’t for nothin’. I just felt like everything I had done for him was all written.
RONELL “GATES” LEVATTE, 32 Plies’ older brother co-CEO of Big Gates Records Check back next month for an exclusive interview with Gates, who has been incarcerated since a July 2006 shooting incident at a Plies show in Gainesville, FL.
If you were to compare your role in The Game’s rise to a body organ, what would it be and why? It would have had to be the mu’fuckin’ brain. To me it’s self evident because of the way the nigga’s losin’ it out here. It’s not like he doesn’t have one. It’s just that Fase was always there to take it a little bit further for him. He’s quick to do something and might not think in certain instances, where I’m more of a thinker. I wanted him to be the best at everything he was doin’, so if I saw him strayin’ a certain way, I’d try and pull him to the side. That’s kinda where everything got fucked up, when I couldn’t talk to him no more. I just kinda threw my hands up and gave up. I ain’t sayin’ he ain’t doin’ good, but shit ain’t the best and that’s what I expected out of the whole shit. And for the record, you two are still at odds with each other right? At odds, yeah. “At odds” is probably a good way to put it. I ain’t spoke to the dude in a long time. A lot of promises was made and he never came through on ‘em. I’m kind of over it, just tryna push on and make the best of what God gave me and what I still got to work with. I ain’t holdin’ no grudges. // Words by N. Ali Early OZONE MAG // 61
WORDS BY ERIC PERRIN
Everybody’s gonna have their own opinions toward me, you know? Some people say I’m the king, some people say I’m the pawn, [so] it’s whatever the case may be. I just do me, no more, no less.
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carface doesn’t like to do interviews. In fact, the only way he will stand for an interview is if he’s standing on a golf course with a nine iron in hand. During our interview, the H-Town rap legend was on the golf course getting ready to tee off. During the entire phone conversation, the Godfather of Houston rap would answer a question and then excuse himself to take a shot. Sometimes he’d be answering a question in mid-sentence and then abruptly, “Hold on for a sec. I gotta take he shot.” A faint “kuack” sound would follow, and then Scarface would return to the phone, back in work mode without even slightly losing his train of thought. It’s been 20 years on the job for Scarface, and his focus on the music remains as strong as his golf game. A year ago, however, turmoil at the label led him to declare that he would never release another CD — ever. Thankfully, he changed his mind. Scarface’s dedication to the fans and love of the music wouldn’t allow him to let his faithful following down. This December, ‘Face fans will be blessed with the first Scarface-approved Scarface album since 2002, and with Made he promises, “I’m going back to some old ‘Face shit.” A year ago you said you would never release another CD again. What made you change your mind? I had put my personal shit in the way of the music, and that’s something I said I would never do. When me and my record company had a problem I shouldn’t have put that in the way of my fans, the people who love my shit. So I’m refusing to let the dispute between me and my label get in the way of how I handle my music. How do you think the label could have handled your situation differently? I just don’t like shit coming out with my name on it that I don’t have nothing to do with. That’s my only dispute right there. You know that My Homies shit, that Balls & My Word shit, that wasn’t me. All that shit was cut and put on the floor; that was shit that didn’t make the albums. And then Rap-A-Lot put out another fuckin’ album, My Homies, with a bunch of muthafuckas I didn’t even know, and I don’t even like. Them niggas ain’t my muthafuckin’ homies. With those unauthorized albums, did Rap-A-Lot at least inform you ahead of time that they would be putting them out? Naw, I just found out the shit was coming out when I started seeing ads being ran. What was your reaction when you started seeing ads for a new Scarface CD that you had nothing to do with? Oh, I disputed it all the way, but it still came out, and that’s my big fuckin’ argument. Is that what inspired you to release your new album, Made? Yeah. Now you’ve got the real Scarface. This is my first album since [2002’s] The Fix. I want everybody to listen to my shit and know that this is me, not that other shit. I understand you’ve been doing a lot of production work lately. Did you produce any of the tracks on Made? I didn’t produce anything on my new album. I just did a lot of musician work; I played a lot of instruments, basses, and guitar licks, shit like that. I played all those instruments, but I didn’t produce anything on the album. You’ve recently been quoted as saying “When it comes to this rap game, I’m untouchable.” Can you explain that? Where’d you read that shit at? Who said that? It was a quote supposedly from you in an article on your Myspace page. I don’t believe that. I don’t even talk like that. It ain’t no arrogance [in] me at all, but I’m smart then a muthafucka, though. Like I tell everybody, I’m a student of this music shit. After 20 years in the game, what kind of new things are you learning about the music industry? Shit, after 20 years you done seen it all. Is there anything that still surprises you about the music game? Naw, I done seen it all, homie.
It seems like there is a growing trend of veteran artists coming out of retirement that aren’t being received well by their fan base. Are you worried at all that you don’t have the same impact on the game that you once had? I don’t know. It all depends on what type of fan base the artist got. I, for one, have a loyal fan base, and I’m not gonna let ‘em down. All my shit is gon’ be up to date. [Other artists] suffer ‘cause they shit is dated. I don’t know what artists you’re referring to, but even if I’m not putting records out, I’m continuing to be active in the neighborhood. I’m active in the hood, so I’ve always got some shit I can talk about. With Made, what direction are you going? What’s the focus of the album? Like I said, I’m doing the same shit I been doing. I’m back to the old element. I’m going back to the old ‘Face shit. A lot of people have labeled you the King of the South, but you’ve never embraced that title. Why is that? Because when you become the king of something you have to defend your crown — me, I’m just defending Brad Jordan. I don’t wanna defend being Brad Jordan and also being the King. I’m not a King, I’m just a nigga. I’m a real ass nigga. So are you bothered when— I don’t give a fuck. T.I. that’s my nigga, he can be the King all he wants; that’s the King. Actually, I was gonna ask if it bothers you that people label you with a title you don’t want to defend? Oh, I’m not bothered by it. Everybody’s gonna have their own opinions toward me, you know? Some people say I’m the king, some people say I’m the pawn, it’s whatever the case may be. I just do me, no more, no less. A few years ago Houston was the place to be in Hip Hop. It seemed like every artist that dropped become a nationwide success, but that’s not the case anymore. What happened? Well, Houston always had that shit. You’re forgetting about Suave House, and Screwed Up Click, Lil Keke, and ESG. We always had it. We ain’t never lost shit. We stay true to what we stay true to, you feel me? Every city gon’ get their turn. You remember when Luke came out, and then it got quiet in Miami after that? That didn’t mean Miami wasn’t making noise anymore. Miami was making fuckin’ noise. They had kids out there that was acting bad in Miami. OutKast emerged from Atlanta and then Goodie Mob, and Lil’ Jon, and Jim Crow, but once you stopped hearing from them don’t you think it was some other kids out there that was making noise? These muthafuckas is making noise all over the country. You think that just because Bone Thugs ain’t actin’ a gotdamn nut right now that it ain’t nothing else happening in Cleveland? Naw, man, it’s a lot of shit that’s being overlooked because of major record label politics. Don’t you for once think that Houston ain’t got that shit; we got that shit, homie! It’s some shit out here! How do you feel about the new age of Houston rappers? I just want them to be successful, man. Without them there would be no me. Without them putting out their music it wouldn’t be a hunger for mine. I want everybody to be very successful at what they do in every aspect of the game. You’ve been kind of below the radar the last few years. What exactly have you been doing in your absence? Playing poker, coaching Little League football, playing golf, and making music. I’ve been finding myself. What did you find? That I’d rather be hated for what I am than loved for what I’m not. I’m always gon’ be me. Fuck it; if you love it, you love it. If you hate, you hate it. My wife said the best thing about me; she said, “It ain’t no in-betweens with him. Either you love him to death, or you hate him.” Do you think there will ever be a time when Scarface is no longer relevant to the game? I doubt it very seriously, ‘cause I’m so fucking into what’s going on. I know what’s happening everywhere, I’m so connected to the streets. And when the streets become irrelevant that’s when I’ll become irrelevant. //
OZONE MAG // 63
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rocko dadon WORDS BY RANDY ROPER // PHOTOS BY ERIC JOHNSON
OZONE MAG // 65
sually, when OZONE offers to write a Patiently Waiting feature on an artist, the last word we expect to hear is “no.” But for, Rodney “Rocko Da Don” Hill, “No, I’m not patiently waiting for nobody,” were his exact words. Granted, the Southwest Atlanta native did renounce his initial stance, as he graced the pages of last month’s Patiently Waiting issue, but it was evident from the jump that the last thing he lacked was confidence. After spending his first six years in the music business behind the scenes as CEO of his own record label, Rocky Road Records, Rocko has taken the mic into his own hands. His lead single, the Drumma Boy-produced “Umma Do Me,” spread through Atlanta faster than news of Michael Vick’s arrest. Now, he finds himself touted as ATL’s next big thing and graces the cover of the very magazine you hold in your hands. Want to know how he did it? Well, he just does him.
When did you start making a career out of the music industry? I started getting into music and pursuing it as a career around 2000-2001. My cousin had a studio; I was infatuated by the way the buttons and everything lit up. And how people go in, rap and record, and come back and listen to it. I was fascinated by it. So I started hanging around, learning more about it. Started learning how to work the boards, how to work Pro Tools. And I really loved doing the behind the scenes type of stuff at first. An opportunity came about where I could run the studio, so that’s what I did. I was just seeing how the music industry works, sitting back, peeping game, taking notes on how this work, how that work. Then I decided to start my own record company, Rocky Road Records. What were your expectations in starting your own record company? Initially, when I started the company, my goal was to sell 50,000 records. 50,000 records independently at $10 a wop, that’s a lot of money. So we went in with the intentions of trying to do that and shit just took off from there. Within my first year of having of my own company, I had a major deal with Universal Records. That deal took place in 2002. Then I came across this artist that I grew up with named [Young] Dro. I developed him and took him under my wing. We just had a few differences and we weren’t really seeing eye to eye. So I worked out something with Grand Hustle on him. I’ve been doing a lot of behind the scenes stuff for the past few years. I’ve been producing, writing, doing real estate. I got a trucking company, just staying busy. I’ve been looking for artists for the longest, but I couldn’t find nobody that I wanted to put my money into. So I was like, man, you know what, none of these guys’ swag is stronger than mine. I got a crazy swag. On top of that I can write better then these guys. Fuck it. So I woke up one morning and gave myself a deal. I went in, started recording and working with different people. Here I am, the hottest thing in Atlanta on the street right now. What year did you jump in the booth and first start rhyming? It was in 2003. When you’re in the studio with your artist, it’s a collective effort, everybody trying to come up and make something out of nothing. You know how it is in the studio. He may have an idea, you may have an idea. We were trying to put them all together. So what happened to your Universal deal? Basically the artist wasn’t ready. It was an old artist, he been around forever. Who was the artist? Hitman Sammy Sam. I wrote and produced his song “Step Daddy.” He just wasn’t ready, and then it was all riding on Dro. At the time Dro got locked up. I had other artists but I was developing them. They weren’t at that point where they were ready to go, so I lost the deal. Now you’re the featured artist. And when you approached OZONE, we offered you a Patiently Waiting feature but you said “I’m not patiently waiting for nothing.” Most new artists are featured in Patiently Waiting first. So what did you mean when you made that statement? Basically, when I came in, you guys said we got the Patiently Waiting edition. [That’s] just me. If I make up in my mind that it’s something I want to do, I’m not waiting. I used to get into it with my mother all the time. She used to say, “You just act off impulse. You don’t put no thought into it, you just go.” I guess that’s just how I was, the way I came up. We call it “train the goat.” Okay, that’s the move, let’s go. I made up my mind I’m going to rap, that’s what I’m going to do. It’s going to be a lot of people in trouble just by me doing that. I don’t say it in an offensive way. I’m going to make a lot of people step their game up, cause I’m coming.
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Your single “Umma Do Me” is really buzzing right now. Can you explain what that song is about? Man, it’s really a swag song. It’s a lot of people that are out, a lot of people that rap, that’s not them. I’m not hating on what you do. Whatever you do, do it times ten, be the best at it. Do it however you gotta do it but that’s you. I’m going to do me. I’m going to have the flyest whip, the freshest clothes. That may be stuff you’re not into. I’m not dissin’ you because you are not into that stuff. But that’s what I’m into, I’m going do me. I’m not trying to offend anybody. I’m not trying talk down to anybody or nothing I’m just doing me. So, how does Rocko do him? I’m the type of person, if it’s something I decide I want to do, then that’s what I’m going to do. I had a friend who did real estate, and he said it was promising. So I woke up one morning and said I’m going to try that. That’s how I do me. I do what I want to do, when I want to do it. Now you’re watching your song create a buzz around Atlanta. What’s your reaction to that? It’s shocking in a way but, at the same time it’s not. I knew for a fact that everybody pretty much fucked with me. I didn’t realize it was going to catch that fast. I leaked the song on Saturday; I went to the club Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, by Wednesday the song was on the radio. Not even in a whole week, the song made it to the radio. I never heard anything like that. In a week’s time, I went from my office, or in the studio, to the next week, getting calls from every label in the industry. You actually threw a release party for your single at Body Tap Gentlemen’s Club. Most people throw album release parties, so why did you decide to throw a single release party? I was in the club promoting the single and there was a promoter in the club who was like, “I wanna promote a single release party for you.” I’m like, cool, let’s do it. It really wasn’t my idea. Shout out to Rich Life, it was their idea. They wanted to promote it and it was a smash. Outkast, Andre 3000 and Big Boi, Jermaine Dupri, and Cassidy, came through. I don’t even remember [who was there] because I was so drunk. Shout out to everybody who came, thanks for the support. But when I’m in my zone I don’t see nobody, I just do me. Now that the single is out what is your plan for an album? We are scheduling the album for February of next year. I’m working on two [mixtapes]. Right now I ‘m working on a mixtape, Swag Season. Swag Season is like the introduction. That’s the one that’s going to have all the features. I got Jim Jones, Rick Ross, Yo Gotti, Jazze Pha, I got Monica on the Swag Season. It’s really like an album before the album type of thing. Then Respect, Connected is like an album but I’m introducing my own artists. All original tracks. I’ve been just staying busy, doing shows; I’m all over the place. I got new artists, I got the Future, he’s on his way. He is in the studio right now. I got a few producers I just signed to the company. We’re going it make this a real movement. It’s not common for an unsigned artist to appear on the over of OZONE. What do you think it is about you that’s so special that you’re on the cover, before signing a major deal? Not to toot my own horn, but I confidently say I got next to take flight out of the city. I feel like that’s a good look for you guys. It makes it seem like you’re on top of your game, because you got the hottest dude coming out of Atlanta on the cover of your magazine. At that particular time, when I’m on the cover, my mixtape going to be the hottest mixtape in the street. My video probably gonna be on BET. So that’s going to be a good look for you guys. I’m not even going to charge you guys for that. You’re working with a lot of big names, so how did you hook up so many artists so soon? I’ve been in the music business since ‘01, that’s like six years. Do you know how many people you meet in six years? It’s all about maintaining relationships and networking. That’s what I’m strong on. I’m strong in that department. Speaking of relationships, we heard you have a child R&B singer Monica. Do you care to talk about that? I really let my publicist do that. I don’t want people to get it misconstrued. Right now it’s all about me and my music career, business, professionally. I’m trying to keep it separate, my personal life and my professional. I choose to keep it separate. The city of Atlanta is dropping artists left and right. What’s going to keep you in the game and not be a one hit wonder? I am my own boss. I don’t let anyone dictate when to put my records out. I’m not going let anybody do that. I’m going to make it my job to get my records
heard. I’m going to make it my job to make sure my record gets played in the club. I’m gonna stay busy. I’m not getting a deal and sitting back, getting the check and going to buy a car. Go buy this, that, and the other. Be sitting back, waiting to do a show, waiting for the label to drop my next single. No, I’m going to put out my own single. The labels have no choice but to kick in on it. That’s what separates me from the rest of these guys. I’ve seen it all before. I know what they do. They get comfortable and think the label is supposed to do everything for them. I’m the total opposite. What is your style of music? I know you ain’t heard a lot of my music; I would call it astronaut music. Its out of this universe, my style is so crazy. One minute I can be on Southern Atlanta rap and then I take over here, over there. I can tell a story, I can go to Africa, collaborate with Sierra Leone. I can go to Mexico, collaborate with reggaeton or whatever. If I had to classify it, I would call it astronaut music because it’s out of space. How much street influence is in the music? I’m not the type of guy to glorify all the negative things that take place in the street. Of course I speak about it because sometimes that’s the only way to reach certain people. I tell people about both sides of the game. I got cousins that are in the penitentiary right now, I got guys I know, went to school with that’s in prison, ain’t never getting out. I try to tell everybody the game from both aspects. I would classify it as 100% street music. Anything else you want to say? I really want to salute OZONE. I want to salute the whole ATL, DJs, radio personalities, anybody who supported me, who been supporting me since day one. Anybody who believed in me, anyone who kept it 100 percent G with me. I want you to report to the top with me immediately. That’s where we going, baby, straight to the top. //
Rocko 10 Ways I Do Me
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
A-1 talk game
I can have a conversation with anyone. I have an A-1 talk game, it’s through the roof.
Hustle Hard with this real estate game
I grind hard. I’ma hustlemaniac. I do the real estate. I got a trucking company. Gotta have other investments besides music.
Steak from Morton’s
I like to eat. I gotta have a steak from Morton’s Steakhouse on Peachtree at least three times a week.
Get up and collect checks from the mailbox everyday
I get up everyday and I gotta check the mailbox for checks. You never know when they’re coming.
I keep it turned up. Never turn it down.
I keep it turned up to the maximum. My radio, it goes up to 50, I keep it at 50. I’m swagtastic. My swag, I keep it turned up. I make music for the streets and everyone who likes it, keeps it turned up. Go ham.
My ol’ skool cost more than your new skool
I collect ol’ skool cars. I love ‘em, man.
Alloys on whips. No more chrome.
We don’t ride chrome anymore, that’s old news. Its alloys, man. Get your swag up.
Swag Season Everyday
Shoes match the hats, hats match the bags. The necklace match the watch. The ear match the ring.
Chill with the family/kids
I chill with fam, the kids. Gotta spend Q.T.
Umma do me! OZONE MAG // 67
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gorilla zoe Words by Randy Roper Photo by Zach Wolfe
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lock Entertainment rookie Gorilla Zoe took the long road before falling into the rap game. After leaving home at 14, later entering Job Corps and returning home to fall into the streets, the Southwest Atlanta native found refuge in the studio. Shortly after, the song “Hood Nigga” which he recorded with local producer Chris Flame, landed in the hands of Block Ent. CEO Russell “Block” Spencer. Zoe soon inked a deal as a solo artist and newest member of Boyz N Da Hood. On the day his debut album, Welcome to the Zoo, dropped, OZONE sat down with the “Hood Nigga” to discuss his rise through the Block Ent. regime, his debut album and the reason he could care less about expectations.
Can you explain how you got with Block Ent., because it seems like you came out of nowhere. I was doing my independent thing on the streets. And after Block got my music, we linked up and, he shot me an offer. Everything [looked] real good. I signed it. A couple months later, I got the Boyz N Da Hood deal. Then, I stayed in the studio for months, just recording, recording. Then I went on the road for months, just doing shows, doing shows, until I got the concept of doing both of them at the same time. Over the past, it was like practice and training, because when the time came, which is now, I’m professionally ready. I do this and I never lost who I was. What did Block see in you that made him want to sign you and add you to Boyz N Da Hood? Block has his own way of doing his thing. He said he saw something in me. I’ve been grinding all my life, it might have been that. Ain’t no telling. I trust the man. He’s been a real man since I first met him. He kept it real. He never told me a lie. He never played, nothing. So when he says something to me, I take it serious. I listen to him. “Hood Nigga” was the breakthrough record for you. What can you tell me about that song? “Hood Nigga” started right here in the streets of Atlanta. From the cars to the booty clubs to the regular clubs. Then it grew outside of Atlanta slowly. Then to Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and it just kept growing. It never stopped growing and it’s still growing. The album dropped today and I’m up 300 something spins. It’s #9 on Billboard. [It’s getting played] thirty, forty times a week on Top 40 stations, with Coldplay and Rihanna. Your album drops today. What can we expect from it? Welcome to the Zoo drops today. It’s in stores now, it’s doing real well. There weren’t no expectations on Zoe anyway. So for me to come out and do what I’m doing, it’s the streets, the people. I want to thank the people. Thank God first, thank Block Ent., thank Bad Boy for being there. And thank the DJs. Welcome to the streets, the concrete jungle. Your album doesn’t have many guest appearances outside of the Block Ent. family. Was that the route you wanted to go on this project? Basically, we wanted to make it about Zoe. We didn’t wanna make the album a mixtape. I put out eleven of them this year. We just wanted to make a classic album, so that’s what we did. You were featured on three tracks from Yung Joc’s Hustlenomics album, including his first two singles. Was the label trying to place you on his records in preparation for your album? Nah. Me and Joc did so many songs together. Really, it was just friendly competition within the label. Speaking of competition, you got Gee, Duke and Jody Breeze, who were in Boyz N Da Hood before you came and they’re all waiting to drop solo albums. But you dropped your album before them. How are they taking that? They’ve been supportive. They ain’t no haters. And I worked hard. I deserve it. The Boyz N Da Hood album is coming out later this year, right? Everything’s going good with that. I’m able to balance both of them. The Boyz N Da Hood project is very street, very gutter and it comes out one week after my album drops. So it’ll be out next week. How do you plan to have longevity in the game and not end up being a one-hit wonder? Stay focused and don’t change. This is the same way I was dressing when you first met me, wasn’t it? And this is how I’ll be dressing next year. Joc’s sophomore album had high expectations after going platinum the first time but he didn’t do big numbers his first week out. But your album, like you said, there weren’t expectations for Zoe. What expectations do you have for yourself with this album? It’s definitely going multiplatinum. It’s not going to stop selling. And what if it doesn’t live up to those expectations? What expectations? I don’t care. Bruh, I did something in my life. Something legal that I wanted to do and I succeeded. I’m happy. But I’m not confined in my actions. I want more. Gotta go hard next year.
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the equivis hat hop nowadays a murder. T loving hip committing alent of hop policeâ€™] is subliminal is on TV who record [â€˜hip anyone at artists. op H ip H and is directed down trying to tear
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Words // DeVaughn Douglas | photoS // ty watkins
ovember 2005 brought the major label debut of Chamillionaire to the rest of the world. Aptly titled The Sound of Revenge, it appeared to show the rapid fire Houston rapper with a chip on his shoulder. He had long since split from collaborator Paul Wall and neither artist appeared to want to reunite. Chamillionaire also did not associate with the H-town go-to label Swisha House which was bringing the Houston sound to the masses. Although the problems between Chamillionaire and Swisha house were said to be dead and gone, he did spend a fair amount of time attacking the label’s marquee artist, Mike Jones, on wax. Fresh off the heels of releasing Mixtape Messiah, a three disc mixtape with over half the first disc dedicated to dissing Mike Jones, the rapper released The Sound of Revenge with the catchy first single “Turn it Up” featuring Lil’ Flip. But while Swisha House’s rise could be described as a big bang Chamillionaire’s was more of a slow burn. The album sold steadily until the release of “Ridin” featuring Krayzie Bone, which catapulted Cham to the forefront. The single about police profiling and brutality earned the rapper a Grammy, a VMA, an OZONE Award for Best Video, and went on to sell well over three million ringtones. Now, he returns with Ultimate Victory. Although it sounds like an attempt to finish what Revenge started it actually presents a new, calmer Chamillionaire. Not so much focused on proving something to the world, and more concerned about proving something to himself, Chamillionaire sits down with OZONE to talk about the new album, his thoughts on the state of Hip Hop, and possible reuniting with old collaborators. Since the last album you’ve released two mixtapes, Mixtape Messiah 2 and Mixtape Messiah 3. Any more coming out? I would drop a whole bunch more before the album but I can’t do too much right now because I don’t want to confuse the marketplace. The goal is to focus on the album. I’ll definitely put out some more [mixtapes] once the album comes out. You’re an artist that uses the internet heavily, giving away your last mixtapes
for free online. Why release so much music right before the album? One, it’s a marketing tool. Two, it’s just about supply and demand with the fans. I’m trying to supply them because my album was pushed back a couple of times. That’s why I put out the mixtapes. Also, it’s about giving the fans something that they’re comfortable with and to show the consistency in my work. The reason I gave the DVD away for free with the album is just to help the fans connect. Nowadays, people want to connect with the artist and I just wanted to show fans more of my personality. Your first single off of the album features Slick Rick and addresses the Hip Hop task force. What made you want to address that particular topic? It’s crazy because a lot of people think that the song is about the police but it’s actually not. It’s about the controversies surrounding Hip Hop: the N word, the F word, the B word. People are basically policing Hip Hop, and loving Hip Hop nowadays is the equivalent of committing a murder. That record is subliminal and is directed at anyone who is on TV trying to tear down Hip Hop artists. I was just telling a story and trying to think of who would be good on the song. The first person I thought of was Slick Rick. I reached out to him and he said he would do it. What was it like doing a record with an artist considered one of the greatest storytellers in Hip Hop? Man, it was real cool. I felt honored. We talked about Hip Hop and how it has changed from back then to now. He showed up at the studio by himself, no boys, no bodyguards, no jewelry. He’s just a real humble guy. It’s inspiring to see that and you just have to respect it. Especially from someone who has been in the game for so many years. What do you think is the big difference between Hip Hop now and the Hip Hop you grew up listing to as a kid? It’s just a big generation gap really. That’s all anyone is really talking about. That’s why some of the people from the older generation are so serious about the N-word. They came up in a time when the racism was much more prominent. OZONE MAG // 73
You spoke earlier about your recent single and people who criticize Hip Hop. What are your thoughts on people involved in Hip Hop, or the black community, trying to censor certain words, as in the case of Russell Simmons or Al Sharpton? I think a lot of that stuff is confused. I don’t think their whole agenda is focused on Hip Hop. I do think when you hear stuff about the N-word being buried it’s just people ignoring the root of the problem. They’re not addressing the problem, they’re trying to hide it but the problem is still there. They need to go to the seed of the problem and nobody wants to do that. This is a moral issue with the people because right now people’s morals are messed up. Do they think that if they bury these words little kids in the hood are going to stop saying them? There will still be white folks saying it. A funeral for the N-word is not going to stop it. Is censorship a topic you plan to address on your album? There’s a whole bunch of stuff going on in the world that I plan on addressing. Gas prices, Bill O’Reilly, I mean, just issues. I have two tracks on the album called “Evening News” and “Morning News.” On “Morning News” I’m talking from the standpoint of someone watching the news and seeing the world is messed up, and on “Evening News” I’m speaking from the standpoint of a newscaster delivering the news. There’s a lot of real social commentary on there but at the same time I don’t want to be too preachy. The tracks have a club beat but there’s something on there. I try to do stuff like that to make it flow, to make it interesting. Why do you feel other Hip Hop artists don’t delve into other political or social topics? I understand why they don’t. One - the industry is a certain way, and if you’ve been on top doing it one way, you’re messing with your bread and butter changing your style. Two - music is so club oriented that if you put a message in a club song they’ll ignore it. People aren’t trying to hear the message because they’re trying to have fun. I’m just trying to balance it out a little. I don’t want to do what everyone else has done before; I had to switch it up and do something else. I think so many people appreciate me because of that, but honestly I think someone should have done it before me. There were plenty of people in a better position to do it. A lot of fans do appreciate the change, but what do you say to the fans that miss the old Chamillionaire in the King Koopa days? The truth is a lot of people don’t know me. The people that think they know me say, “This is what you are, you should talk about rims and earrings being bigger than a golf ball.” They don’t want you to grow and the truth is I’ve grown into a man. They want me to be that old person. I did lot of things when I was younger. I came into the mixtape circuit a long time ago, like 1998. They want me to still wear the colorful shirts, or the shirts that come down to my knees, but I’m older now. I can’t keep doing the things I use to do. I need to feel comfortable with myself. I look around and see that the world is messed up so I’m going to speak on it. I would be crazy to have a voice this big and not use it. I just do it in a way that’s entertaining. You’ve managed to entertain mainstream rap audiences without cursing in your lyrics. Why have you made such a conscious effort not to curse on your albums? I’m just doing me. I know the whole Hip Hop world is getting ruffled over who says curse words and who doesn’t. I’ve heard about interviews where 50 Cent is making comments [about the fact that I don’t curse]. I really don’t care. A lot of that stuff is just instigated by magazines and fans. I mean, even if 50 Cent meant to disrespect me I really don’t care. I’m in another place right now in life. Little stuff like that can’t even bring me down right now. I’ve run into 50 Cent plenty of times and he’s never shown me disrespect so I have no reason to think there’s any disrespect. You tend to stay away from beef nowadays. I’m finally getting to a point where people are listening to me and I’m not going to waste it. I can only do me. It wouldn’t look right if I was lying about drug stories or making myself look tougher than I am. Real hustlers would see through it, which is why I think real hustlers respect me. I’m just doing me. I’m not going to pretend like I’m something I’m not. It’s all Hip Hop. Raw material to me is Hip Hop. I’m not asking for a change. There’s a lot of music I like with curse words. I’m not asking for a change in rap; that’s up to every individual and they morals. I’m just sticking to the code when it comes to me. How is this album going to differ from you previous effort? This album is more consistent. It’s more creative. I don’t think anyone can tell me it’s not more lyrical than my last album. The ideas, in my opinion, are fresh and innovative. I think you’ll get more of me on this album because I have more control. I’m the A&R, I’m the executive producer.
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Aside from Slick Rick, who else can we expect to hear from on your album? J.R. Rotem, Krayzie Bone, Devin the Dude, my artist Famous, Lloyd plus a lot more. The last time you and Krayzie Bone worked together you won a Grammy. How have things changed for you since winning the award? Respect. When you get that Grammy, you get respect. People work their whole life to win that award so for me to finally get one is real big. People just look at me different now. Recently Paul Wall spoke to OZONE and talked about how he congratulated you on your Grammy success. He also said he was open to doing another album. What are your thoughts on reuniting? It’s nothing to really think about right now. I feel like the pressure is coming from people that want to see me be the old me. I can’t pay attention to that right now. A lot of people want a group to get back together. Then when the group gets back together and puts out an album the fans say, “Awww, That’s whack!” The truth is [the fans] want the group to get back together and create that sound that everyone is used to hearing them make. Paul and I are older. We’ve grown up. I mean, Paul has a kid. We’re a lot different now. Getting back together to create a chemistry that you haven’t had with someone for a long time is hard. I don’t even want to try to prove it. I don’t even want to pretend it’s like that. Let’s move from old business to new business. Are you planning on releasing a CD from your new artist soon? Famous? Definitely. He’s a cat from San Antonio, and I’m working with him and another artist. I also just signed and R&B artist named Tony Henery to Chamilitary Soul. You’ve always been a business minded artist. Which do you prefer, the artistry side or the business side of the music industry? I think in the future I’ll start moving more towards the business side. I think I can help a lot of people working on the business side of the music industry. I would much rather sit back and watch my artist grow and become more successful. I don’t think I’ll be rapping ten or fifteen years from now. I don’t want to rap forever. I’m trying to branch out into acting and other things. There are movie roles on my desk right now that I’m picking through trying to pick out what’s best for me. Why did you title your album Ultimate Victory? Ultimate Victory to me is knowing what is important in the world. I spent my last album worrying about what everyone else thought of me. I went all around the world and I didn’t even enjoy it because I was trying to prove myself to everyone. But for what? I needed to sit back and enjoy it. Life is short; life is precious and you need to enjoy it. I went bowling for the first time recently. I went swimming in my own pool and realized that I’ve never gone swimming in my own pool. I’m just focusing on what’s important. //
do. I can’t keep .. man a feel to I’ve grown intoI use to do. I need around ing the thingswith myself. I look up so comfortable the world is messed be crazy and see thatspeak on it. I would use it. I’m going atovoice this big and not to have
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C K project pat
aptain of the Hoo
roject Pat must have secretly studied the 1990’s PBS show “Lamp Chop’s Play-A-Long,” the kid’s show with the painfully unforgettable songs. What else could explain his masterful art of infecting listeners with such contagiously catchy lyrics? With a resume that includes the mind meddling melodies “Sippin’ On Some Syrup,” “Chickenhead,” and “Good Googly Moogly,” among many others, Project Pat has irrefutably seized control your vocal cords and had you singing along at one point or another. His hooks are impossible to eradicate from memory, and just like “Lamb Chop’s” closing theme song, “Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they’ll continue singing it forever just because...” And Pat is certainly hoping it never ends. With his 6th studio album Walkin’ Bank Roll set for release this fall on Koch Records, the North Memphis emcee is looking to continue his reign as not only the Captain of the Hook, but also as Hypnotize Minds’ most successful act outside of DJ Paul and Juicy J. You have a new album you’ve been working on. How’s that coming? Great, it’s called Walkin’ Bank Roll. It’s through Hypnotize Minds coming off Koch. I just did the video for the new hit single, “Don’t Call Me No Mo,” and that’s the number 1 ringtone in America right now. I’ve just been out here staying blessed, staying focused. Having the number 1 ringtone in America is huge! Nowadays it almost seems like a hit ringtone is bigger than a hit radio single. Yeah, ringtones, that’s just what’s going on right now. But if people start doing concerts at gas stations, you’ll catch me at the gas station. I just roll with the flow. I don’t make the rules, I just get in here and get what’s mine and keep it moving. But I noticed people are doing a lot of dancing nowadays and that’s one thing I’m not gon’ do. I ain’t got nothing against it - if that’s yo thing, that’s yo thing — but dancing really ain’t my thing. Unless we gon’ do a pistol dance. (laughs) Even without dancing you’ve managed to stay relevant to rap for a really long time. What’s the secret? Man, I ain’t got no secret. God is my secret; he’s been blessing me, man. God is my edge, I’m keeping it real. It has to be God keeping me in the game this long, because I ain’t that smart. There’s no way I could be doing this on my own. But in terms of what I do, my main thing is always stay true to your immediate fan base. If you pop a crossover hit, cool, but don’t try to be pop and 78 // OZONE MAG
crossover, because if you become a pop artist then you just lost everybody that was riding with you at first. Do you feel you have any crossover tracks on your new CD? Well, I really stuck to same formula. I’ll let the people be the judge on that. But the album is fire. I got the hit single “Don’t Call Me No Mo,” but there’s some other songs that’s really some fire and could be singles. I got a song on there called “Walking Bankroll You Can Rubber Band Me,” and I got another song on there called, “Hate My Swag.” But you’ll see, it’s some flame on there. How many units do you feel you need to sell in order to be successful with this project? God blessed me so good, man; I don’t never wanna put a number on that. But I believe its gon’ do good. No, actually, I know it’s gon do good; I know that. This new album is more in depth, because that’s the new trend going on right now. People are starting to get more in-depth, more personal. I’ll put it like this: instead of making songs about Frisbees, people are making songs about how they hit somebody in the head with a Frisbee, or how they missed catching the Frisbee, and things of that nature — you know, more personal, in-depth subject matter. And that’s good, but it’s also a challenge, because a lot of times when you’re dealing with street elements you don’t really wanna talk too much because you don’t wanna incriminate yourself. One thing that doesn’t seem like a challenge for you is coming up with catchy songs. How do you consistently do that, and what process do you go through when writing a song or a hook? I used to sit around and think about that same question myself, and what I got is this: I just have the gift of gab. In all seriousness, some people are just blessed from God himself with a voice that the world can’t help but listen to, and I consider myself one of them people. I never really looked at it like that, but I do a lot of praying and I read my Bible, and God kinda revealed some things to me. It’s a gift. That’s got to be what it is, because I don’t consider myself [to be] big time. I was raised in the projects for real. This is just something I was born with. Preachers have it; they use it for they thing, business people who run corporations have it too. And me, I’m using mine in the rap game, but it’s the same voice. Some people just have the gift of gab. // Words by Eric Perrin
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blood Raw Too Raw For TV Words by Anthony Roberts Photo by Julia Beverly
fter playing his part as a member of Young Jeezy’s group USDA, BloodRaw is stepping into the spotlight and going for self with his debut album, My Life: The True Testimony, due out in February. With guest appearances from Young Buck, Lyfe Jennings, Rick Ross, Trina and CTE cohorts Young Jeezy and Slick Pulla, Raw is making sure that the world hears his message loud and clear on his freshman offering. OZONE caught up with the Corporate Thug and he waxed poetic about learning lessons from the Snowman and why he’s the next to fill Tupac’s shoes. Being down with Jeezy and the whole CTE crew, what have you learned about the industry by being a part of USDA? I’ve always been a solo artist, but I look at the group situation as a major plus because it’s made me better as an artist, more of a people person and a better businessman. Coming up under Jeezy, I got a chance to see the world and meet people that I wouldn’t have been able to meet without him. The group situation is only making my solo situation even bigger than I could’ve imagined. Has Jeezy himself ever pulled you to the side and gave you some game? Jeezy taught and showed me different ways to keep it in the family and still make money. Jeezy wasn’t the only one trying to sign me. T.I. wanted to sign me to Grand Hustle, Trick [Daddy] wanted me, Jazze Pha, Universal and Asylum all wanted me. I was a well sought after guy. I wasn’t just no local joker. So what was it about Jeezy and his movement that made you sign your John Hancock to the dotted line? I’m a real observer. I’ve seen his moves in the street. I’ve come to realize that loyalty is real limited in this industry and I’m a loyal and genuine cat. I sat down with him and he told me what he wanted to do with the label, his goals and his vision and I told him what I wanted to do as an artist. As a business person, I was looking ten steps ahead. I knew that he’d need a franchise after he blew up as a solo artist. After we sat down and looked each other in the eye, I felt like what he was saying was the truth and that’s all I needed to go off of. And to this day, everything he’s told me has been the truth.
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What’s your relationship like with Jeezy now? It’s crazy you ask that because I was just listening to that Kanye record [“Big Brother”] and I’m in the same situation. People are saying, “Jeezy ain’t gonna let Blood Raw do this and do that,” but that’s my brother. And at the end of the day, he knows people are saying these things and I don’t know no other artist, other than Kanye, to be as big or bigger than the number one artist on the label that helped them to get in the game. We’re gonna show and prove them wrong. We had that conversation from jump. When you’re really from the street, you want for your guys what you want for yourself. You want them to shine like you. He said, “I want for you what I want for me.” He told me, “If you don’t go platinum it’ll hurt me,” ‘cause he knows my grind and what kind of artist I am. So with your debut album about to drop, how would you describe your sound to people who might not know BloodRaw? No one has been in my lane with the type of music I do since ‘Pac. I’m not afraid to tell you my mama died from a bad dose of heroin, about me going to jail at 15-16 years old, just beating a Fed charge in a state with a 98% conviction rate. I’ll tell you that I didn’t meet my dad until 2003 and hating him all my life but being man enough to put that behind me and tell him I love him and that I want him in my life. Nobody is doing that. I ain’t gotta sell a million. If I touch just one soul, I’m good. My music is more than just music. It’s more than just putting it in the car and riding. It’s going to help you get through some of those bad situations. I guarantee you’re going to get something from this. What is it you want people to take away from your music? My album, if you think of Martin Luther King, it’s like that. We shall overcome. “We” as in the hood, the streets, people in poverty. Keep God first and we’re gonna be alright. Everybody’s not aware, but I’m a real spiritual dude. How God really used me, I had to complete all of those tests to see if I could bear the worst of the worst and I passed with flying colors. Now he can use me to reach somebody. I’m somebody they can believe in. I’m gonna change the lives of a lot of people. //
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big kuntry Words by Jacinta Howard // Photo by Eric Perrin
ine times out of ten, rappers signed to other rappers’ labels don’t make it, for a number of reasons. T.I.’s self-proclaimed big homie Big Kuntry found himself falling into the rapper label trap a few years ago. But unlike too many dudes who are comfortable eating from another man’s plate, Kuntry wasn’t content to stay in the shadows. So, he did what he knew best — made good music and got on the grind, dropping several mixtapes which moved over 60,000 units in less than two years. Now Grand Hustle/Atlantic is finally ready to release his debut album, My Turn To Eat, in early 2008, lead by the catchy single “That’s Right” featuring T.I. And with it, Kuntry King is daring everyone to pull a Tim Donaghey and place their bets on him. After dropping your mixtapes do you think your core audience is going to be able to relate My Turn…? My core audience is gonna love the album [because they are] built like a rock star’s core audience. You remember how rock stars used to come out, like Blink 182? They used to tour and do shows way before they got signed and way before they came out. I’ve been working on my fan base for five years now. You pushed your mixtapes independently of Grand Hustle. Why? Tip is a big artist so when you got a person like that you gotta try to dodge that big ol’ overgrown shadow. Everybody knows me as Kuntry King around here, so I had to put out my own stuff. I had to put it out to let them know that I’m a big enough artist to push. How long were you signed before you realized that’s what you needed to do? When you’re from the streets, you have nothing, right? You makin’ money, you doin’ this, doin’ that. You hangin’ with ya boy, he’s makin’ money, doing music. So I’m learning the music game as I go. The more I learned, the more [I realized] it’s like the streets. The transition was hard, but as soon as I made that transition, I understood the business of the music game. I shine from my own light, ya dig. I stand on my own two. A while ago T.I. said that when everyone else is moving to the left, you’re moving to the right. I’m the outcast. They wear Air Forces, I wear Vans…I’m the outcast, but I’m
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the big homie. I can’t do what they do, that’s not me. Y’all my friends and all but I ain’t fixin to be following y’all. They’re more than friends, they my brothers. I’ve known these boys for almost damn near 15 years, so they’re my brothers, they my younger brothers. But I can’t even rock how they rock. The way I’m rockin’ is something special. I’m just a little rebellious, I guess. Would your album be coming out now if you hadn’t done your own thing with the mixtapes and building your own buzz? Of course not. A label like Atlantic, all they can see is what’s in front of them. What’s in front of them is T.I. T.I. is definitely gonna sell this many records every year and we gonna make this quota every year. So that’s all they can see. I had to show them. Like, “Look mayne, if you come down here then you’ll see what’s poppin’.” The fans be like, “Yo, when’s Kuntry’s album coming out?” It got to that point and I don’t have to open my mouth to say anything. Now I got the label looking at me, saying, “What about Kuntry?” I’m like, hell. Open up the budget baby! You don’t have a problem smiling. I mean, baby, let me tell you something. We’re from the streets. If you ain’t ever had nothing and you get something, you need to smile. I’m 300 pounds, what I gotta mean mug at a person for? I ain’t gotta mean mug, if I need to handle my business, I’m gonna handle it. And after I handle it I’m gonna go back to smiling. What would make this album successful for you? I’m trying to sell a million records. I need more duckets in the pocket. But mostly I want to be a part of history. I’ve been working my whole life to sell records. So in order to do that I gotta stay my ass in the studio and make it happen. You can’t be half-assin’. You can’t be like, “Oh, I got a hit song so I’m the shit.” Nah, once you get a video, it’s time to work. Niggas get a song and they stop workin’ and then you get the album and it’s like, “Damn! What happened?” I’m tryin’ to top my song every time I’m in the studio. These rappers get one chain around they neck…look, they possessed. The label call and they do whatever the label says. I don’t do that. I tell the label what we gonna do because I made this name. You didn’t make this name. I ran these streets. You didn’t run these streets. I know these people. You don’t know these people. So follow my lead. //
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HU STL IN’
By Wendy Day
lay Evans is the Vice President of Management at Grand Hustle. On a day to day basis he focuses on management and artist development at Grand Hustle, a label owned by T.I. and Jason Geter. Clay has his hands full managing Young Dro and road managing T.I.P., but still makes time to talk about his hustle.
Clay got into the industry years ago as a writer with Bobby Brown, and then proceeded to learn the industry through the school of hard knocks (trial and error). It was a great training ground for Clay, and many successful people came out of that Bosstown camp. In fact, it eventually led Clay to where he is today at Grand Hustle, and educating the young people in this industry so they would never have to go through what he did. Grand Hustle has a family mentality and treats everyone as family. No strangers to adversity, when TIP was incarcerated just after the release of his first Atlantic recording, P$C had to step up and keep the Grand Hustle brand alive. They went out on the road and kept the buzz going for the label. Of course, it was hard having the biggest artist incarcerated at the height of his career. Clay reminisces about the struggle, “Big Kuntry and P$C had to really step up. TIP and J Geter had laid such a foundation that they were able to lay a blessed foundation.” Geter and Clay went into the small markets themselves and promoted their own shows waiting for the day when TIP got out of jail. “Because we all pulled together as a family during the rough times, that is why we are able to stay together as a family now,” Clay believes. “Because TIP went to jail, it forced others to step up and grind instead of waiting for him to experience remarkable fame and then live off of it. Everyone in the camp stepped up. We have the ultimate team players — everyone plays their own position. This increased their opportunities,” Clay informs me, thinking about his favorite football player. “I’m inspired by Deion Sanders. He played the corner position and locked his whole side down. This gave others more opportunities to excel. They look like superstars because they played their own position and they became great at those positions. It enable each player to get more shine and negotiate bigger contracts. Grand Hustle did the same thing: while other labels have laid in the cut and waited for the main artist to blow up, the rest of our guys were forced into positions that they created for themselves, without knowing they created them. This system was built by each individual in the system. Each person has licked stamps, promoted on the streets, hung posters, pressed up CDs, etc. Every member of Grand Hustle knows what it means to grind.” “TIP is a label owner but knows to play his position as the artist. Everyone else is in position to play off TIP’s quarterback position. That’s why it’s a successful situation over here,” Clay tells me. Grand Hustle does seem to be one of the most successful label in Atlanta. “Not only does everyone play their positions, but we all started at the bottom and worked our way through every position. Jason Geter started as an intern at Patchwerk; we all met at Patchwerk. I worked with BJ at Patchwerk — I was head of A&R (Bob Witfield started Patchwerk Records),” Clay recalls. In early 2000, BJ and Clay left Patchwerk and started Rubicon Entertainment. “We started doing events around town like Sippin’ On Sundays (an industry event that attracted the local tastemakers). Then, Jason Geter left Ghettovision/Arista and started Grand Hustle with TIP. I came aboard right away. I’ve been down since Day One planting seeds,” Clay says, as he’s in it to build something, not to take credit. “This is TIP’s and Jason’s vision and they invited me into their vision.” This is an industry of building stars. “We create a demand by building the stage presence, how the artist conducts himself in interviews, developing the artist and building image and swagger. We believe in the grind. Big Kuntry has been getting paid shows yet has barely had a record on the radio. He has a solid base and foundation. The artists can provide for their families,” Clay mentions as we discuss the importance of artists understanding the business. “We help them learn the business side, which is the side that keeps them in the game. We help them select their attorneys and allow them to grind so the can provide a strong revenue from being on the road,” Clay says. Most artists want to perform and care little about anything else. That is where Monday nights at Crucial come in…
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(left): Clay and Young Dro rock the crowd at a T.I. vs. T.I.P. release party in Atlanta
Before I moved to Atlanta, I heard about Monday nights at Crucial. I ask Clay about how it started. He tells me,“I started a club night back in the day over by Strokers, called Lyrical Gym. It was set up to help artists get their weight up. It wasn’t for financial gain, it was to help artists hone their skills. Artists would come to showcases long before they got signed, so I always knew Hustle & Flow Mondays would have need and blow up.” “Crucial is T.I.P.’s club and it’s in Bankhead. First of all, it tells people: Hey! Look, we did it, so you can do it too! We expose artists to the key industry folks they’d normally walk by, like a retailer, an attorney - the business side, so the next generation is informed properly. It changes the system and advances the artists. They can become label owners, they find out how to deal with retailers and learn why to do an in-store. They learn to own their own masters. Hustle and Flow Mondays exposes them to other things beyond just the performance aspect. It’s a contest where the winners get to come on tour with us and open for TIP. They stay in same hotels as I do, eat the same food I eat. This is how they learn,” Clay informs me with excitement. “I put them in with signed acts, new acts — show them that everyone is still hustling, no matter what level they are at. It’s so much more than ‘Hey! I rap and make songs.’ I show them why songs should be between 3 and 4 minutes long. I show them why one person in the group has to be in charge of the CD, rather than it just being a bunch of artists who step on stage. It’s not that it’s just a competition, it’s a networking system for them to commune with each other. Learn who can help you get to the next level and who can supply the piece to the puzzle you may be missing. All of this is done in a showcase environment since that’s their most comfortable environment. We helped break Shop Boyz, Unk, and B.O.B!” As he talks about Monday nights the passion exudes from him and his words speed up to match his level of intensity. “Malachai is a perfect example of Hustle and Flow Mondays. He did so well one week that we had him back the next week. He’s even gone on to promote his own Thursday night showcase. He created his own all-around package to stand out. I’m not soliciting you to Grand Hustle, I’m soliciting you to your own hustle. It’s my obligation. Luda, Jeezy, everyone has graced that stage. It’s about the community.” Clay has even brought the next generation of management into Hustle and Flow Mondays. Snake runs Czar South for Jimmy Henchmen (Czar manages the careers of Game, Guerilla Black, BloodRaw, Trillville, and others). Snake is a partner in Hustle and Flow Mondays. Clay talks about Snake with much animation as if he’s passing the baton to the next generation. “I put him on the road with Dro — he’s now Dro’s road manager. You see all angles of the business as a road manager. Snake stands out because he wants to know all angles of the music industry. He refuses to miss anything.” So what’s next for Clay as Hustle and Flow Mondays refuses to end? In fact, they just enlarged the club recently to allow for the increase of folks who fill the club on a weekly basis. “I do the same thing on Tuesday nights for comedians — Trippin’ On Tuesdays, where I give the young comedians a place to hone their skills and learn that industry inside and out. It’s just as challenging as the music industry, if not more…” Clay informs me. As Clay continues his goal of teaching the next generation, he preaches “Emulate what the heroes of this generation are doing, so the next generation can follow. Meanwhile, I’ll keep managing the next generation with Lil Duval, Straight Drop, and Alley Boy.” //
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Top 10 medical issues in
the Family Practice By Dr. Rani Whitfield a.k.a. the
Hip Hop Doc 10
Sexual Transmitted Diseases/Sexually Transmitted Infections (STD’s/STI’s) Chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HPV, syphilis and HIV are on the rise again. One out of every 2 Americans will have an STD/STI by their 25th birthday. The reasons are many and include lack of education and awareness, having unprotected sex and substance abuse. If a person is infected with one STD/STI, then he or she is at risk of getting another. The concept that oral sex is safe sex or not sex at all is garbage. Herpes, HPV, and gonorrhea can be spread via oral sex. The likelihood of being infected with HIV is very low in someone receiving oral sex compared to the “giver.” However, there is still some risk. Abstinence is still the best way to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, however, this method is not always practiced. If you choose to have sex, protect yourself.
“Staph” Infections Community acquired methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (CAMRSA) infections are on the rise! What the hell is that, you ask? Well, if you have ever had a boil that was hard to treat and it came back to visit you on several occasions requiring multiple doctor visits, drainage by a physician and sometimes hospitalization and antibiotics through an IV, chances are you had a staph (pronounced “staff”) infection. Staph infections can be very dangerous and are now being associated with pneumonias in healthy individuals. MRSA can kill! If you develop a painful to the touch, red and swollen area on your body that produces pus (drainage), you could have a staph infection. See your doctor right away so that this can be treated quickly and effectively.
the United States. 23% of high school students and 8% of middle school students in this country are regular smokers. There are more deaths each year from tobacco use than by HIV, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders all combined. The active ingredient in cigarettes and smokeless tobacco is the very addictive substance called nicotine. Cigarette smoking is associated with cancers of the lung, bladder and cervix, heart disease, low birth weight babies, sudden infant death syndrome and chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD).
Anabolic Steroids Steroids are illegal and are associated with short and long term effects which can be very damaging to the body. Don’t get it twisted; they do help to build muscle mass, however, with side effects like elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, balding in men, breast development in men, facial hair in women, and mood swings, just to name a few, there is no way I would recommend to anyone using them.
Cervical Cancer Cervical cancer, a disease of the female reproductive system, is more common in young women. It accounts for 6% of all cancers in women and is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) in 90-95% of the cases. The virus is passed from person to person usually by unprotected sex and in most cases, the woman has no symptoms. Risk factors for HPV include multiple sex partners, cigarette smoking, and unprotected sex. The key point is that all women who are sexually active need to have a pap smear at least once a year, whether you wear condoms or not.
Substance Abuse Despite what some might try to convince you, drugs of abuse are mind altering and can put you at risk for STD’s, accidents and time in jail. The trends of abuse have shifted in young adults somewhat from the gateway drugs marijuana and cocaine, to designer drugs such as ecstasy and the date rape drug, GHB. There are more potent forms of marijuana, which make them more addictive, and crystal meth is slowly becoming a drug of choice for many young Americans. The results of substance abuse are quite evident: mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, incarceration, STD’s including HIV, destruction of families, and untimely deaths due to accidental overdose, suicide, or crimes as a result of the drug’s influence. Suicide Suicide is the end result of severe depression that is untreated or under-treated. In general women attempt more suicide than men, but men are more “successful” in suicide attempts. Signs of depression include disturbances in sleep, loss of interest in things the person normally does, guilty feelings about a situation or situations, decreased energy, decreased concentration, decreased or increased appetite, abnormal and unintentional weight loss or weight gain, decrease sex drive, and suicidal or homicidal thoughts. These symptoms have to be present for more than two weeks for the diagnosis to be made. The challenge is to recognize these signs and symptoms and to get help for the affected person before a suicide attempt(s) occurs. Suicide is the permanent answer to a temporary problem.
Mental Disorders Mental health is just as important as physical health and everyone should be comfortable discussing these topics with their doctor. The most common mental health issues seen in my practice are anxiety and depression. Approximately 25% of young adults experience depression by the time they are 24 years old, but very few seek help. This is alarming and depression, if left untreated, can lead to suicide. Anxiety, the most common form of mental disturbance in the U.S., affects approximately 28 million Americans each year.
Cigarette Smoking Cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of death in
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Obesity In the past 20 years, there has been a significant increase in over weight and obese individuals in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that almost two-thirds (64%) of all Americans are overweight; almost one third are obese. Childhood obesity is on the rise and we are now seeing shocking increases in diabetes, heart disease and hypertension in this previously active and healthy population. Today, approximately 17% of young people are seriously overweight.
HIV/AIDS According to statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): an estimated 38,500 young people (age 13-24) in the United States received a diagnosis of AIDS; African American youth were the largest group of young people affected by HIV, accounting for 56% of all infections; young women, especially of African American and Hispanic decent are at increasing risk. Risk factors for infection with HIV include unprotected sex, multiple sex partners, use of IV drugs, the presence of an undiagnosed sexually transmitted disease, lack of awareness and poverty. // For more information visit my website at www.h2doc.com or shoot me an email at Drrani@h2doc.com. It’s “Tha Hip Hop Doc or “H2D.” Let’s get Hip Hop Healthy. Peace, I’m out!
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Boardgame Words by Ms Rivercity // Photo by Joe Magnani
j.u.s.t.i.c.e league Production Credits: Young Jeezy “Bury Me a G,” Mary J Blige “No One Will Do,” B.G. f/ Young Jeezy “I Hustle”
Tampa Bay Area producers Colione, Rook & Kenny Barto have brought home some pretty impressive accolades over the past few years – including a Grammy. Together as the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, the trio can be found on the credits of Mary J. Blige’s platinum selling album The Breakthrough. Their diverse creations have also appeared on platinum projects by Young Jeezy and Juelz Santana, making J.L. a hot commodity in the beat market. How did you form the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League? Colione: We were doing music individually in Tampa. We met at some places and decided to bring together what everyone was doing on their own. Did any of you have any formal music training? Kenny: I did. I studied Music Theory and had some formal training in the past. Mostly the training I had was from playing live and doing instrumental music in the Bay Area. Colione: You hear people doing music and you want to get into it so you start researching for yourself and going to music stores. You end up purchasing a keyboard and pursuing it. You spend time on it and figure stuff out and then all of a sudden, as time goes by, you’re making music. What are some of the biggest records you’ve produced? Rook: I would say Mary J. Blige’s “No One Will Do” on The Breakthrough.ugh album. Young Jeezy’s “Bury Me a G”. Colione: We’ve also produced for Young Buck, J. Holiday, Shareefa, Juelz Santana, Shawna, Rick Ross, B.G. It’s hard to remember everyone. How would you describe your sound as a collective? Kenny: It’s hard to describe being that all three of us come from different musical backgrounds. We have different influences. We cover a pretty wide 88 // OZONE MAG
range of genres like Southern Hip Hop, West Coast, R&B, pop, and rock. You can describe it as quality music. There’s no way to pinpoint our direct sound. Rook: We’re the only ones producing for [both] the Boosies and Hillary Duffs. Colione: If you listen to J. Holiday’s album, we’ve got a track on their called “Ballin’” and it’s like got a rock/blues vibe and then we turn around and do “Bury Me a G” for Jeezy and that’s really Hip Hop and then we do an R&B song for Mary J. Blige. We listen to every type of music. I listen to rock. We don’t really have any boundaries, except for country; I don’t listen to that much country. With three producers on the team, how do you decide who will produce for which artist? Colione: We all come together and create the music. We all individually go in the studio and come up with something. We might come together on a track. Two of us might work on a track or all three of us or someone might do something by their self. It’s always different. However it works great, if it don’t work we’ll try something else. There’s not any conflict. We’re made to be a team. A lot of producers have artists they develop. Are you guys working with any artists like that? Rook: Yeah, we’re working with three artists right now. 2 Pistols has a song called “She Got It” that’s getting big. Another one we’re working with is Ja$; she’s the 106 & Park Freestyle Friday Champion. Also, we’re working with a kid from Tampa named F.A.M.E. We’re wrapping up his Real Nigga Radio mixtape with Bigga Rankin. All three of these artists are signed to J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. What’s been your biggest accomplishment to date? Colione: Being a part of the Mary J. Blige album was a real blessing. I’d really like to work with Mary again in the future. Rook: We won a Grammy for working on her album. //
SeanMac Words by Eric Perrin // Photo by Julia Beverly
fter years of being overshadowed by the rappers they helped create, the DJs are finally striking back. Turntablists all across the country are now becoming stars in their own right, and reaping the benefits of the financial dividends. In Chicago, prominent DJ’s have historically been elusive - until Sean Mac. Known as the “Youngest in Charge,” the 25 year-old Shadyville DJ decided he wanted to be the best (sorry, Khaled), so he took his campaign to the streets — literally. With a self-financed promotional budget rivaling some major label artists, Sean Mac and his 10 man street team canvassed Chi City with Sean Mac t-shirts, water bottles, throw towels, and mix CD’s. Soon, every hood in Chicago knew the name Sean Mac, and when the city discovered he could actually DJ, mayhem ensued. Now touted as the King of the Midwest, Sean Mac isn’t satisfied with regional success. He wants the flashing lights, he wants the glory. How long have you been DJing? It’s been about four or five years now. A lot of people are surprised at that, like, “It’s only been four years, nigga? Damn!” Yeah, I’ve grinded a little bit too hard. You’ve been getting a lot of national recognition, which doesn’t happen very often for DJ’s from Chicago. How have been able to cross that threshold? I’ve just been going as hard as I could. When it comes to this music shit, you gotta go above and beyond. Being a DJ, you don’t get as much recognition as an artist or producer, but my determination was a little bit stronger than others. I go extra hard on everything. One of the biggest things for me is promotion. My promotion and marketing is a little bit advanced. I started making T-shirts, Sean Mac throw-out towels to pass out at parties, Sean Mac water bottles. I did everything: mixtapes, poster boards, wrapped trucks, clubs, parties. Instead of the things DJs typically do for promotion, I was more focused on doing everything an artist could possibly do for promotion. You gotta go hard, you can’t just stand still and play records, that shit ain’t gon’ work. Talk about some of the work you’ve done in the industry. Aw man, I’m all over the place.
I’ve propped and hosted some of the biggest mixtapes in the Midwest, hosted by just about every artist from Tony Yayo to Jeezy, to damn near anybody you can think of. I’ve worked with a lot of people. I’m affiliated with Shadyville DJs, which is a DJ coalition created by DJ Whoo Kid. They picked me up as one of the biggest DJs in the Midwest and gave me that crown. Other than that, I’ve been touring with Twista, doing shows after shows, party after party. I DJ seven nights a week some weeks, some nights I do two parties in one night, so it’s crazy. My all time record is DJing four events in one day. The movement is going good right now, rapid pace. At the end of the day it all starts from dedication and determination. You gotta really want that shit. You gotta believe in yourself, and you gotta believe in God; that’s what got me landed on BET, that’s what got me in all the magazines I’ve been in. God is the best! So how would you classify yourself as a DJ? Would you say you’re more of a mixtape DJ, a club DJ, or what? I’m all around. I’m doing a new mixtape once a week at least, sometimes two at a time. Right now I’m doing clubs all the time, and I gotta make sure my street team is intact. I have a ten man street team, and I make sure they’re supplied with mixtapes, promotional and marketing tools. So on top of me being a DJ, I feel like I’m more of the full package. My all around game is crazy. I can’t label myself as a mixtape DJ, or a club DJ, or anything like that because I’m conquering and killing every market. I’m the ideal DJ, I’m cornering every market. Why do you think more DJs from Chicago or the Midwest in general haven’t followed your lead? People ask me that shit all the time, “What are these other DJs problems?” See, in Chicago, everybody has an ego issue and they don’t even have shit to validate having an ego issue. That’s just how I feel personally, and I’m not saying they’re not skillful. I’m not saying they’re not capable of getting it poppin’, but they’ve got a problem with going outside the box. They’ve become complacent. What do you see for yourself in the future? I’m on some Khaled shit. I’m on some Drama shit, and shouts out to them, too; those are my niggas. I’m trying to be on some shit to where I can get an album deal. I’m trying to come out with Twista, Lil Wayne, and T-Pain on a record for a single and debut the video on 106th & Park and have a national album released. I’m trying to do big shit. Niggas tryin’ to drive Phantoms and be straight financially in the future. I’m trying to be one of the iconic DJ’s of the world, like Clue and Kay Slay, and Whoo Kid and all them. I wanna be one of the biggest DJs in the world, and I’m gonna do everything I can to make that happen. // OZONE MAG // 89
They thought cause we had the ‘Laffy Taffy’ song and Fabo did the dance that shit was sweet, . I’ll deal with the money behind it.
but I don’t dance
Lo Life Words and Photos (at left) by Eric N. Perrin
90 // OZONE MAG
elieve it or not, Atlanta’s Bankhead district was once a scary place. It was a community full of hate, animosity, and permanent police presence — but that was back when it was an all-white neighborhood. In 1953, two black families attempted to move into the once peaceful area, and violent protests ensued. Today, the scene in Bankhead is a little different; it is still the least diverse part of the city, but its demographic is drastically dissimilar. ATL’s Zone 1 is riddled with crime, infested with drugs, and crawling with crackheads. But despite its bad rep, Bankhead is beloved. Perhaps more than any hood in America, residents of Atlanta’s far Westside are profoundly proud of their home. And recently, the historic district has been made famous by the plethora of pushers who rapped their way off of Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway and beckoned the masses to do the Bankhead bounce.
from Bankhead. I’m planted here, and I’m that nigga from Bankhead. How has Bankhead influenced your sound? Everything about me is Bankhead. Everybody be saying they love my style, and they be saying, “Shawty Lo, you don’t sound like anybody else, you got your own swag,” and when I did that song, “Let’s Get It,” that’s when I really feel like I broke outta my shell. I was doing that song at like 5 or 6 in the morning and I was when I was spitting it in the booth, it just hit me that I had found my swag. I found my style and after that it just clicked. And if you go to any of the clubs on Bankhead, Club Crucial, or The Poole Palace, or whatever, I got it sewed up, man. Those are like my clubs. Is D4L — you, Fabo, Mook B, and Stuntman — still together as a group? Do you plan on releasing any projects together? Yeah, we’re still together. That’s what D4L stands for, Down 4 Life. Everybody is just doing their solo projects now. I guess we’ll come back and do another album once we get out solo shit done, but I’m looking forward to it.
Rapper Shawty Lo has been living in Bankhead his whole life, and he is adamant about staying put in the place he feels most comfortable. As CEO of D4L Records, Lo witnessed his group’s 2005 smash “Laffy Taffy” reach the number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Though many rap fans harshly criticized the group, the only other rap acts from ATL to ever reach the number 1 spot were Kris Kross, Outkast, Lil Jon, and Ludacris (recently Soulja Boy accomplished the feat). Now, Shawty Lo has established himself as a prominent solo artist and has crafted several of Atlanta’s hottest club tracks. But even with all of his success, Lo and his Down 4 Life Record label refuse to bounce from Bankhead.
How is your relationship with Fabo currently? We’re great. Fabo stay outta town right now, but we talk everyday. It’s family.
If you had to rank yourself among all the other rappers in Atlanta, what would you say your place is? Until recently I had never really thought about that, but that’s been coming up Atlanta is home to a seemingly endless array of plush million dollar studios a lot lately. This girl I know was asking me that same question and I told her nestled in nice neighborhoods and hidden in high that it never crossed my mind, because I just do me. society. D4L Records, however, is located across the But she was like, “Shawty Lo, you definitely one of the street from a coin laundromat, in an anything but lavish top rappers in Atlanta.” And a couple more folks done strip mall. It’s a few blocks away from the Bowen Home told me that, too. Some people say I’m the best rapif the camera crews was Projects. Outside of their humble home office, Bankhead per in Atlanta, definitely top three. They feel I got the to come to Bankhead like couldn’t be more alive. An animated legion of white Tee realness behind me. They know my story is true. They OZONE is right now, you’ll wearing stragglers is congregated right out front. Two know that I’m from Bankhead, and the city can vouch of them are arguing about women. “Naw, nigga. I’m for me. I’m like the underdog, but if the camera crews see that way more of a pimp than you,” the first voice blurts out. was to come to Bankhead like OZONE is right now, You won’t find nann you’ll see that D4L is Bankhead. You won’t find nann “Every hoe you fuck you wanna marry,” he adds. other group or nann other other group or nann other rapper that say they from “Fuck you!” the second voice replies, and just when Bankhead besides Parlae from Franchise, The Shop rapper that say they from the conversation appears to be growing violent, out Boyz, or D4L. The rest of those rappers and groups Bankhead besides Parlae of nowhere the entire group busts out in laughter and just be hollerin’ it on they records trying to get credit. from Franchise, The Shop everything is cool. A few feet away, an unfazed older woman in a floral dress is sweeping the front entrance; Are you saying that other rappers aren’t really from Boyz, or D4L. it’s Shawty Lo’s mom. Moments later her son arrives; he Bankhead, or that they just don’t come around and Bankhead? acknowledges the stragglers, gives his mother a kiss on the cheek, and heads into a studio surprisingly less groups just be hollerin’ it in They ain’t from here. impressive than the outside storefront. This is Bankhead they records trying to get life, and Shawty Lo wouldn’t have it any other way. So you’re saying that Tip and other rappers that rep credit. Bankhead aren’t really from Bankhead? How did you become a rapper? You said it yourself. I’m telling you who’s from here: I wasn’t trying to be a rapper; I was really just trying to Parlae from Franchise [Boyz], The Shop Boyz, and D4L. stay behind the scenes. When I first formed D4L back in You can put it however you wanna put it. 2003, I wanted to be kinda like Baby with Cash Money. I was just trying to be the man behind the scenes. I might do a verse here or there, but nothing big. I Well how does it make you feel when rappers that you say aren’t from Bankhad got arrested back in 2004, right before we had came out with “Betcha Can’t head scream out Bankhead on their records? Do It Like Me,” and I was incarcerated for a whole year. I didn’t know if I was See, I wouldn’t mind, but my thing is, how can they mention Bankhead and gonna get out or not. I was facing about four years, but with good lawyers and not acknowledge Shawty Lo? I don’t understand it. They try to blackball me, God, I ended up getting back out. But about three months before I had got out, man, but I’m coming. I’m here. I got my own situation, and they finna see. That the group had did this song called “Laffy Taffy,” and let me hear it from jail. I Raw Report finna drop in October and it’s called Shawty Lo: The Real Bankhead didn’t think it was a hit, but they pushed for it, and you know what happened. Story. They gon’ see the movement. They thought cause we had the “Laffy I ended up getting out right of jail before we got the deal with Asylum and Taffy” song and Fabo did the dance that shit was sweet, but I don’t dance. I’ll Atlantic, and I had did a song called “I’m The Man.” That was the first solo deal with the money behind it. I’m the movement. I’ve been doing my thing in song I had ever did, and people from my hood in Bankhead were hearing it and the hood; everybody know me. bumpin’ it in the club, and everybody told me it was a hit. They were like, “We wanna hear more of you, Lo.” And that was the first solo song I did by myself For a while, Fabo was the only member of D4L that mainstream fans really without no help, so I thought it was luck, but I kept writing new songs. I put a knew and were talking about, but now, you’re kind of emerging from the shadmixtape together with DJ Scream and it was a hit; the streets loved it. Now, I’ve ows. How do you feel about that? been doing shows for over a year just off of mixtapes, and I’m bubbling in the That’s what kind of inspired me to do more music. I used to hear stuff in the streets. streets like, “D4L ain’t shit without Fabo,” and people were always saying that. I used to hear that shit, and it gave me a challenge — I’m not saying that I’m So now do you consider yourself more of a rapper or a CEO? trying to be better than anyone else, but it makes me work harder when folks It’s all business with me. Rap is a dirty game, and I knew the streets were a doubt me. It makes me work harder and look where I’m at today. dirty game, but I didn’t realize just how similar they are. You got a new album called Units In Da City coming out soon, right? You stay in Bankhead and your studio is in Bankhead. Why haven’t you moved Units In Da City is basically stories about me; it’s all about Shawty Lo. I ain’t out the hood like everybody else with a little bit of success? trying to be nobody I’m not. It’s really like the life story of Shawty Lo. I’m This is where I feel comfortable at; this is my home. I’ve been here since I was giving you all the adventures, and everything I’ve been through and still go a baby. I was born at Grady Hospital, man. No matter what kinda money I get, through today. I got the whole group D4L on there. I got Gucci Mane, Yola Da I’ll be here. You can bring the camera around me and everything, but I stay in Great, and Miss T on the album, and some great producers on this album. It’s Bankhead. There’s a lot of rappers saying they’re from Bankhead, but they ain’t going down, man. //
D4L is Bank-
The rest of those rappers “
OZONE MAG // 91
Various/Young Cesar Codeblack/Visual Ent Initially set in the mid ‘80s this tale takes off full blast when Young Cesar’s (Dominic Daniel) father Ali Dean (Clifton Powell) murders a man during a failed robbery attempt. It picks up shortly thereafter with Young Cesar popping up from his sleep in a cold sweat. The dream/nightmare is short lived, as he steps out onto the cold streets where he’s become the mirror image of his old man. With his own crew in tow, Cesar bullies and negotiates with the precision of a licensed barber, ready and willing to cut a foe at the drop of a dime. However, once ratted out by one of his boss’ scorned victims, Young Cesar becomes a walking target for a pair of detectives that stick to him like pollen on an unwashed car. The faithful capo’s problems escalate when his brother Tariq (Sam Sarpong) is courted by his boss, Luther Turner (Sean Blakemore). In addition to being the biggest fight promoter in the city, Turner is also its biggest bully. After setting up both of the Dean brothers, Turner catches Cesar’s wrath, but not before boisterously claiming the young mercenary as his own. A victim of his own stupidity and bloodline, Cesar ultimately meets his destiny in prison as his father completes a 20+ year bid. – N. Ali Early 92 // OZONE MAG
Cheddar/Ozone Weekend Special Edition Fittingly, Cheddar’s first special edition DVD was filmed during the second annual OZONE Awards in Miami, FL. As controlled as mayhem can be, this disc gives the viewer a direct look into the successful four-day industry frenzy. Up close and personal drops from the likes of “The Baddest Bitch” Trina, Fabo, Yung Joc, Lil Scrappy, Mannie Fresh, and a bevy of others comes in quick installments, supported by music effects that work to transition from artist to artist, venue to venue. When the crew finds its way out of the James L. Knight Center/Hyatt (host hotel/venue), the streets of Miami are ready and waiting. Cover boy “Double Deezy” a.k.a. “Diamonds and Dollars” a.k.a. Ferrari Dee is a willing and fitting navigator. With his 2005 Ferrari 360 Modena ($210k, fully paid) boasting a blazing 225 MPH on the dash, the Cheddar crew amazingly keeps the pace. The exclusive continues with clips of OZONE’s own Julia Beverly sharing bits and pieces of her journey with the viewer. Cheddar also poses questions about the Pimp C comments in OZONE - aside from Lil Scrappy, who admits to being hurt by Pimp’s spill, a good variety of artists are mum on the topic. Pimpin’ Ken closes out the exclusives while promoting his new book – Pimpology – bringing this very special edition of Cheddar to an end. – N. Ali Early
Jamie Foxx Presents: America’s Funniest Comics, Vol. 1 Codeblack Entertainment Jamie Foxx’s Laffapalooza series has worked to set a trend, that which declares one should always be able to find funny in the ATL. Hosted by Cedric The Entertainer, this first volume of a three set disc features a healthy seven young comics outrageous and hilarious all the way down to the funny bone. Handpicked by the “In Living Color” original, the series is appropriately entitled “America’s Funniest Comics.” Highlights include a spirited performance by “Wild’n Out” mainstay DeRay Davis and another Chicago native, Damon Williams. As established performers, the two move to set the mood for oncoming comics while engaging the crowd with sharp, witty and most importantly, original content. Taped in front of a live audience, the most flagrant flub finds one of the comedians mentioning “Comedy Central” during his set before a timely recovery. Lo and behold, that isn’t the surprise of the night. Save for a throwback performance by Morris Day and the Time, that distinction belongs to Bill Byrne – “one of the funniest caucasians Cedric the Entertainer knows.” He tackles children’s obesity, Dubya and NBA violence to the delight of the crowd. While Foxx pokes his head in at the onset of this sixty five minute explosion, he doesn’t allow the fiery response from the crowd to bury his hosts’ shine. – N. Ali Early
OZONE MAG // 93
Soulja Boy Tell Em/Www.SouljaboyTellem.com Collipark Music/Interscope Records Soulja Boy may very well be the worst rapper to ever grace the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 — or the best, depending on what decade you were born in. For most rap fans born before 1990, Mr. Collipark’s newest signee represents everything that’s wrong in rap, but for the millions of 17-year-olds and under, Soulja Boy truly is Superman. He is their long-awaited savior, and for them, this album doesn’t disappoint. But for the rest of us “old haters” Www.SouljaboyTellem. Com is more like kryptonite. It’s filled with repetitive and predictably juvenile raps. Most of the album sounds like Soulja Boy snuck in the studio after school and just started pressing buttons. The best tracks on the album — by far — are his two singles, “Crank That (Superman)” and “Soulja Girl,” but giving any Soulja Boy song a sober listen is an agonizing experience. Www.SouljaboyTellem.Com is the first album in OZONE history to receive zero blunts. We were worried we might get indicted for giving a blunt to a minor; besides, he’s too young to be smoking anyway. Instead, we are giving Www.SouljaboyTellem.Com a rating of 4 lollipops; ‘cause like Trick, OZONE loves da kids. — Eric Perrin
Twista /Adrenaline Rush 2007 Atlantic Records Adrenaline Rush 2007 is a ten year anniversary disc containing all new music from Chi-Town’s longest tenured relevant rapper. While many fans and critics were disappointed with Twista’s last release, the pop heavy The Day After, AR2K7 is a return to the rawest form of Twista, pure and uncut. It’s fresh work for the streets. Though the 19 track offering has a few too many skits (4) and lacks a big radio hit, overall Twista proves he’s still got it. Initial sales reports haven’t been too favorable for Mr. Tung Twista, but with guest appearances from T-Pain, R. Kelly, Lil Wayne, Bone Thugs N Harmony, and many others, this album is easily one of Twista’s best to date. — Eric Perrin
The Alliance/Goin’ Digital/Asylum If you’re looking for something with lyrical prowess or complicated metaphors and punchlines, The Alliance’s Goin’ Digital probably isn’t for you. However, if you’re just looking for something to ride to on your way to the club, Goin’ Digital is a decent mix of club anthems and the superficial tracks that are often necessary on Saturday nights. The leadoff single “Tattoo,” featuring Fabo, and the title track, “Goin’ Digital,” are by far the two best tracks on this Asylum offering. The Alliance’s biggest weakness is that Goin’ Digital lacks even the slightest bit of substance. There are 19 tracks on the CD, and virtually all of them are themed around one adolescent topic or another. Overall, the CD is not bad, but it’s far from good. The Alliance should expect that instead of hitting the record store to purchase this album, most fans will probably just “go digital” and download it. — Eric Perrin
Foxx/Street Gossip/Asylum/Trill Ent. Mr. Wipe Me Down’s debut album isn’t all bad but the standout tracks are few and far between. Foxx’s sound is saturated with Webbie’s womanizing, strong-arm style as opposed to Boosie’s ghetto stories. A Webbie-esque performance on “Air It Out” goes wrong as Foxx throws approaching the opposite sex smoothly out the window. But on “Bounce,” T-Pain’s hook saves yet another rapper from pitiful sexually charged rhymes and Trey Songz does the same for the Trill newcomer on “She Said.” Unfortunately, Teddy Paine and Songz aren’t around to rescue Foxx from the same faults on “Know It’s Good” and “Beat It Up.” While “Leanin’” featuring Paul Wall never made codeine sound so refreshing, “I’m On” is a failed attempt to recreate “Wipe Me Down” (which, surprisingly, is nowhere to be found). All in all, the streets won’t be gossiping very much about this album. — Randy Roper
94 // OZONE MAG
Trey Songz/Trey Day Atlantic RecordS Looking at the production credits on Trey Songz’ Trey Day, it would be easy to confuse the crooner’s sophomore set for a rap release instead of an R&B album. With top notch production from The Runners and Drumma Boy, Songz stays true to his rap heavy roots. But as a singer, Trey proves to be considerably better than most of his counterparts. He takes a page from R. Kelly’s cookbook on the Bryan Michael Cox produced “Grub On,” where asks a girl to be his “IHOP Baby,” and sings “Now gimmie that rutti tutti, that fresh and fruity, that big ‘ol booty, now come and do me.” Standout tracks include his second single, “Can’t Help But Wait,” “Role Play,” and “Store Run.” Trey Songz’ first album was a classic that was criminally slept on; let’s hope Trey Day doesn’t suffer the same fate. — Eric Perrin Hell Rell/For The Hell of It Dipset/Koch Records After spending years in the mixtape circuit, Durell Mohammed tries his best to prove he’s the “hardest rapper out.” Despite the fact that Hell Rell’s Koch debut For The Hell Of It has basically received no promotion and little radio play, it’s a much better than an average 16-track album. Ruga Rell releases an extremely well-rounded CD that you can either take to the club or listen to at the crib while reflecting on life. “Life in the Ghetto” is surprisingly introspective, while “Show Off” may very well be the most slept-on swag song out. Outside of Dipset’s usual suspects (Juelz, Cam’ron, and JR Writer), For The Hell Of It also features Young Dro and Styles P. Hell Rell proves he’s more than just a Dipset weedcarrier with his first studio album. — Eric Perrin Yung Chill/Stop Talking and Listen Big Business Records Houston representer Yung Chill is out to prove Kanye West isn’t the only producer/rapper that can deliver quality music. But on Stop Talking and Listen, Chill’s 50% bars, 50% beats formula should probably lean towards less rapping and more beats. It’s not that he isn’t a decent rapper, but it’s obvious he’s a better beatmaker. Chill is consistently outrhymed by Bun B (“Posted at the Store”), Trae (“Ghetto”), Chamillionaire (“Claiming They Gangsta”), Snoop Dogg (“Crusin’”) and many others throughout the album. He’s managed to put together a solid album, but all in all, he should probably chill on the rhymes. — Randy Roper Young Bleed/Once Upon A Time In America Da’Tention Home Ent. Once upon a time in Hip Hop, Young Bleed was somewhat of a relevant MC in Southern rap (back when he and Master P had the South screaming “How You Do That”). But over the years, Bleed has become a forgotten soul in the game. On his latest return, Once Upon A Time, tracks like “Bac Road Mississippi” with Money Waters and “Top Back” with 8Ball possess the sound of timeless music. Other standouts like “Doin’ Me!” featuring Rich Boy, “N’ Da’ Street” and “Life Ain’t Change” make this album something worth checking out. Although “Shake Sump’N” with Choppa and “Bounce It” featuring Juvenile sound like club songs leftover from Bleed’s No Limit days, his blend of soul and street music is something fans can appreciate. — Randy Roper
UTP/Back Like We Left Something Rap-A-Lot After making a noise with their smash hit “Nolia Clap,” UTP members Wacko and Skip return, this time without Juvenile. Although Juve only makes appearances on a few tracks, the duo still represents New Orleans properly on their follow-up album. Lil Wayne appears and bodies another track on “Do What You Wanna” and the duo fires up the green with Devin The Dude on “Sticky Icky.” Even though the album would have been better with Juvenile all in, Skip and Wacko still dropped an album that will have the Nolia clapping in approval. — Randy Roper
Lord Infamous/The Man, The Myth, The Legacy/Black Rain The Man, The Myth, The Legacy is the long-awaited second album from former Three 6 Mafia member Lord Infamous, and the album sounds how you’d expect an artist that began his career under the Hypnotize Mindz camp would sound. Memphis crunk is prevalent throughout, where production on songs like “Where Iz Da Love,” “These Hoes” and “You Don’t Want None” are the album’s strongpoint. Tracks like the ice flossing of “Frost” and the money and power themes of “Bank” are bonafide bangers, but others like “Pussy Stank” and “Parking Lot” add nothing to his legacy. The album would have been considerably better if a few tracks were left off but it’s still an ascertainment to Infamous’ ability to continue without the most known unknowns. — Randy Roper 40 Cal/Broken Safety 2/Koch The second album from Dip Set member 40 Cal won’t strike listeners as the most memorable album in the Diplomat’s catalog but Cal’s wordplay on “The Big Boys” featuring Jha Jha and “Neva Neva” with A-Mafia and Ru Spits are noteworthy tracks cut straight from Dip Set cloth. Another noticeable cut is “Stick ‘Em” where 40 brings Cam’ron out of hiding, as the two trade versus along with J.R. Writer. Broken Safety 2 isn’t an album that average rap fans will love but Diplomat fans will find a few joints to ride to. — Randy Roper Gucci Mane/Trap-A-Thon Big Cat Records Despite his beef with Young Jeezy and legal issues prior to the release of his 2005 debut album, Trap House, Gucci Mane has been able to bounce back with his hit single “Freaky Gurl” and street smash “Pillz.” And on Trap-A-Thon, Gucci’s easy sing-along hooks on tracks like “Bling Bling” and “Aw-Man” make this album fairly entertaining. But Gucci’s lack of mic skills makes this a difficult listen. You may need to pop some pills to make through the entire album. — Randy Roper (Ed. Note: Gucci is also releasing an album through Asylum Records and has released a statement saying that this album was unauthorized)
Bohagon & DJ Swatts/Black Cartel: Da New Beginning By now, the question isn’t, “Who is Bohagon?” But since fans haven’t seen much of the Georgia emcee since the “Wuz Up” video, the question is more like, “Where is Bohagon?” He resurfaces, BME-less, with DJ Swatts for Da New Beginning to introduce his new label, Black Cartel. And whether he’s kicking Georgia Durt tales (“Country Rap Shit”) or drooling over strippers (“Pussy Pop”), ‘Hagon is as lyrical as ever. Da New Beginning features guest appearances from Lil Scrappy, Young Dro, Yo Gotti, Bun B, Pimp C and a strong showing from newcomer Playboy Tre. Despite a few filler tracks on this mixtape, Bohagon’s brand new start sounds promising. — Randy Roper Billie Jean & DJ GQ/Billie Jean Vol. 1 With female emcee an endangered species, Miami newcomer Billie Jean makes her claim as the South’s new queen on Billie Jean Vol. 1. Through 29 tracks her flow is as mean and vicious as The Legend of Billie Jean character she adopted her moniker from. Notable tracks include “Whut Tha Bidness Is,” “Ring Tha Alarm” and “Half a Brick” with Rick Ross. After listening to this mixtape, Billie Jean is a female artist to get familiar with. — Randy Roper Jody Breeze & DJ Teknikz/Best Kept Secret 3: Patiently Waiting Jody Breeze may be a member of Block Ent. group Boyz N Da Hood but on the solo tip, he’s been patiently waiting his turn. Although his album A Day In The Life of Jody Breeze has been on the shelf longer than a pack of extra small snugger fit Lifestyle condoms, Breeze has been making his mark on the mixtape circuit through his Best Kept Secret mixtape series. On part three of the series, he rips through tracks like “Won’t Let You Down” featuring Gorilla Zoe, “Let’s Ride” produced by Cool-N-Dre and “Hard Out Here” with Trae, leaving listeners wondering why hasn’t he dropped a solo album yet. The tracks on this mixtape are enough to be pressed up, packaged and distributed and they’d probably sell more than the majority of Southern artists this year. — Randy Roper
Playaz Circle, Black Bill Gates & DJ Teknikz The Saga Begins Riding high off the success of their hit single “Duffle Bag Boyz,” Dollar Boy and Tity Boi put together a mixtape displaying what the Disturbing Tha Peace duo is capable of. Songs like “Everytime” with Rick Ross, “Bitch Chill” featuring Eightball and MJG, and “2nd To None,” with Raekwon are standouts where Playaz Circle shines next to rap veterans. And although songs like “Get Doe” and “I Love Money,” “Duffle Bag Boyz” and “Gucci Bag,” “We Workin’” and “We Are The Ones” have similar titles and recycled subject matters, the DB Boyz prove that they’re worth a listen even when Weezy F. isn’t spitting the hook. — Randy Roper
DJ Chuck T & Tum Tum/More Is Never Enough Although Tum Tum released his album Eat or Get Ate, the T-Town rapper still takes it to the streets with DJ Chuck T for a follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2006 Tum-Thousand Six mixtape. Freestyles over Shop Boyz’s “Party Like a Rockstar” and Young Buck’s “Get Buck” are weak, but songs like “Showtime” with Jim Jones, “TBG Thang” and “Bring It Back” make up for Tum’s occasional lackadaisical bars. Eat or Get Ate can be called a flop commercially but on the mixtape circuit, Tum Tum and Chuck T continue to eat on the streets. — Randy Roper
Big Mike & Remo Da Rap Star/One Hit Away The streets have been calling Remo Da Rap Star a name to know coming out of New York. And listeners find out why when Remo and company get busy on “Fresh (Remix)” as producer Doe Boy flips a Mannie Fresh adlib and rappers Ru Spits, S.A.S., and fallen emcee Stack Bundles take turns kicking rhymes. Some tracks like “Oh Yeah” sound like contrived radio play attempts or lame chick records like “Get It On” featuring Nina B, while others like “Larger Than Life” and “Like This” are oozing with the New York sound that’s not exactly hitting on much right now. The Bronx rookie shows some skills over Common’s “The People” and Cool-N-Dre’s “Be Somebody” and continues to shine on the Hi-Tek produced “I Just Wanna” and Stack Bundles dedication “Hard To Move On.” While Remo does show some mic skills, judging from this mixtape, he’s a little more than one hit away from being a contender to bring New York back. — Randy Roper
Below Zero, Big V & DJ Slikk/Street Fame Vol. 2 The music scene in Kentucky has been bubbling heavily over the last few years and 2007 Patiently Waiting Kentucky nominees, Below Zero, and Nappy Roots member, Big V, use Street Fame Vol. 2 to showcase the Bluegrass State’s talent. By far Big V is the superior MC on this mixtape but Below Zero show glimpses of star quality. If anyone doubts what these artists are capable of, V’s passionate bars on “Bowling Green” and the bounce and flows on “Get Down” will quickly convince listeners otherwise. — Randy Roper
Mixtape Man/New Orleans is the City of God Featuring new music from Young City Chopper, Magnolia Militia, Bayou Boy and Manny Lee, this mixtape is 21 tracks of New Orleans representation. Young City proves to be the sharpest of the emcee featured, as he rocks mics on tracks like “I Feel Like,” “Everyday” and “Rude Boys.” Magnolia Militia isn’t blessed with the most talent but the New Orleans group does contribute a couple notable tracks to the mixtape. Bayou Boy and Manny Lee drop a few 16s but neither of them stand out, both sounding exactly like every other rapper to come out of the N.O. — Randy Roper
OZONE MAG // 95
DJ Screw fans Event: Screwfest City: Houston, TX Date: September 30th, 2007 Photo: DJ Who
96 // OZONE MAG
DJ Chuck T “Down South Slangin’ Vol. 44” www.myspace.com/djchuckt
01. DJ Scream & MLK “Hoodrich Radio: Most Requested Six” www.myspace.com/40
02. Bobby Black “Atlanta Home Of the Brave” www.myspace.com/theofficialdjbobbyblack 678-859-3303 03. DJ 24 & Cheddar DVD “Cheddar Ozone Weekend Special Edition” www.mysp ac.com/djgrind24 www.cheddardvd.com 800-670-6221
04. Funkadelic Muzik & Confucius Jones “House of Funk” Hosted by Da New Kid www.myspace.com/funkadelicmuzik 05. DJ E-V “Bitch I’m a Rockstar” www.myspace.com/djev 06. Mr. Underground “iHustle 4 This” Hosted by Smoke 07. Street Pharmacy & DJ Lil Steve “Interstate Traffic” Hosted by Blood Raw www.streetpharmacy.com 713-899-0392 08. DJ Bounz & Eddie Deville “Harder Better Faster Stronger” www.myspace.com/bounz07 www.myspace.com/eddiedeville 09. DJ Mixx “Hyt Me In The Hamptons” www.myspace.com/djmixx305 10. The Empire “Southern Slang 8” www.myspace.com/evilempiremixtapes 11. DJ 31 Degreez “Georgia Bulldogs 8” www.myspace.com/31degreez 12. DJ Smallz “The Future of Florida” www.myspace.com/southernsmoke 13. DJ Bobby Black “Down & Dirty 27” Hosted by Attitude www.myspace.com/theofficialdjbobbyblack 678-859-3303
14. DJ Scream & MLK “Hoodrich Radio: Most Requested Five” www.myspace.com/4045405000 www.myspace.com/mlkng 15. DJ E-V “Spinfest” www.myspace.com/djev
DJ Chuck T is 44 volumes deep into his Down South Slangin’ series but the Carolina DJ continues to deliver new and exclusive music from the South’s best MCs. Vol. 44 features new bangers from the likes of Lil Wayne (“In My Mind”) and Plies (“I Swear I’m the Realest”), unreleased album cuts from Yung Joc (“Poppin’ Rubberbands” and “Hold Up”) and exclusive freestyles from Rick Ross, Tum Tum and Slick Pulla. DJs, send your mix CDs (with a cover) for consideration to: Ozone Magazine 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318
16. DJ Mars, Bobby Black & DJ Skillz “Because of Us: Essential Ne-Yo reMixtape” firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 17. DJ Cheese & DJ Trigga “Down South Lowridin Vol. 2” www.myspace.com/dj cheeseproductions www.myspace.com/whoisdjtrigga 18. DJ EFX “Got Hits Vol. 2” 19. DJ Hitz “Grand Theft Auto 4.5” www.myspace.com/djhitz79 20. Big Mike & DJ Thoro “Soundtrack to the Streets 4” www.myspace.com/djbigmikeofficial www.myspace.com/djthoro1
OZONE MAG // 97
T.I., Baby, Slim, Rick Ross, & more toasting Lil Wayne Event: Lil Wayneâ€™s 25th birthday party Venue: Biscayne Lady yacht City: Miami, FL Date: September 28th, 2007 Photo: Julia Beverly
98 // OZONE MAG
Published on Nov 1, 2007