YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
TRILL N*GGAS DON’T DIE
BUN B, TOO $HORT, SCARFACE, BIG GIPP DAVID BANNER & LIL WAYNE REMEMBER THEIR FRIEND
MR.COLLIPARK LIL BOOSIE TRAPSTARZ THREE DEEP YOUNG CASH & MIDGET MAC
SOULJA BOY +
THE BOY BOY YOUNG MESS ICE CUBE | MITCHY SLICK
50 CENT’s PROTEGE
OZONE MAG //
YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
SOULJA BOY CRANKIN’ IT ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK WITH MR.COLLIPARK
JEWELRY FASCINATION TRAPSTARZ THREE DEEP
& MIDGET MAC
PIMP C’s LAST WORDS
BUN B TOO $HORT SCARFACE BIG GIPP DAVID BANNER LIL WAYNE FONSWORTH BENTLEY CORY MO 8BALL & MORE SHARE THEIR FAVORITE MEMORIES OF THE SOUTH’S FINEST
HURRICANE CHRIS +ozone west
THE BOY BOY YOUNG MESS ICE CUBE | MITCHY SLICK
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50 CENT’s PROTEGE
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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 // Bogan, Charlamagne the God, Chuck T, Cierra Middlebrooks, Destine Cajuste, E-Feezy, Edward Hall, Felita Knight, Jacinta Howard, Jaro Vacek, Jessica Koslow, J Lash, Jason Cordes, Jo Jo, Johnny Louis, Kamikaze, Keadron Smith, Keith Kennedy, K.G. Mosley, King Yella, Luis Santana, Luxury Mindz, Marcus DeWayne, Matt Sonzala, Maurice G. Garland, Mercedes (Strictly Streets), Ms. Rivercity, Natalia Gomez, Ray Tamarra, Rico Da Crook, Robert Gabriel, Rohit Loomba, Shannon McCollum, Spiff, Stan Johnson, Swift, Thaddeus McAdams, 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, Delight, Derrick the Franchise, 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, Music & More, Nick@ Nite, Nikki Kancey, Pat Pat, PhattLipp, Pimp G, Quest, Rio G, Rippy, Rob-Lo, Stax, TJ’s DJ’s, TJ Bless, Tim Brown, Tre Dubb, Trina Edwards, Vicious, Victor Walker, Voodoo, Wild Billo, Young Harlem 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 // Lil Wayne photos (cover and this page) by Julia Beverly; Flo-Rida and Brisco photos by Ray Tamarra; Ray J photo by Daniel Gonzales. 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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features 54-59 76-79 22-23 74
YEAR END AWARDS REMEMBERING PIMP C RAPPERS’ NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS DIRTY THIRTY: PIMP C’S GREATEST HITS
monthly sections 38 15 87 42-50 25-47 30 34 82 83 26 32 15 86 28 84 14 40 18-20 90
THE CHRONICLES OF PIMP C 10 THINGS I’M HATIN’ ON CAFFEINE SUBSTITUTES PATIENTLY WAITING PHOTO GALLERIES SIDEKICK HACKIN’ CHAIN REACTION BOARD GAMES INDUSTRY 101 MATHEMATICS DOLLAR MENU JB’S 2 CENTS CD REVIEWS CHIN CHECK DJ PROFILE FEEDBACK TATTED UP RAPQUEST END ZONE
interviews 60 MR. COLLIPARK 72-73 BRYAN LEACH 36 MIDGET MAC
64-66 pg Y O SOULJA B pg 68-70 S I R H URRICANE C
OZONE MAG // 13
Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us up at www.myspace.com/ozonemagazine
I never send anything to the feedback section, but after reading Roxy Reynolds’ sex issue interview I had to show some love. I read her article on How to Give Head when I was on the plane coming back to Denver. I’m not usually into porn, but she gave me the best visual ever. I got off the plane, woke my wife up, and made her read the article. – DJ K-Tone, email@example.com (Denver, CO)
zine! When I found out that this was the vision of a woman, I was instantly amazed. I attend college in Columbia, SC, so every month I try to get an issue from DJ B-Lord or Rob Lo. You have definitely become one of my favorite women. You are one person who has inspired many young women, as myself, to strive for the best! Thanks! – Miss Jay Trenae (Columbia, SC)
You get love in Sweden! I’m a big fan of the magazine because you interview almost every artist I’ve worked with, or am trying to work with. I’m C-Bo and Young Buck’s in-house producer; we’ve done a lot of stuff for the artists that you interview in your magazine, especially in the OZONE West section. Thank you for being the magazine that supports artists who deserve a shot. Fuck XXL and The Source. OZONE is the future. – David Hanna (Sweden)
The sex issue was excellent! I have no idea how y’all are gonna top this one. – DJ Scorpio (Atlanta, GA)
Keep doing your thing with the mag. I’m gonna mess with y’all on a West Coast ad for my kids’ project. Y’all are knocking Murder Dog out of the water. – Kontac, firstname.lastname@example.org (Bay Area, California) Being an avid reader of your magazine, I know that OZONE always provided a Pimp C a lane to express himself freely without holding back, and that’s what a lot of people respect about Pimp C. When I heard the news [of his death] I thought about his family, Bun B, and you at OZONE Magazine. While Pimp C was in jail, Bun B kept his name alive and made sure he was not forgotten, so I know he’ll continue to represent for Pimp C and make sure his legacy is not forgotten. Bun B is the true definition of a brother and friend, and my prayers go out to him and his family. And I know that although he’s gone, you’ll continue to remember and make sure that Pimp C’s name is never forgotten. Thank you for all the great moments and articles that you gave us through your magazine – allowing us to get to know Chad “Pimp C” Butler. – Rinarys Matos, email@example.com The OZONE Orlando Rapquest was a good write up. We appreciate you more than you know! You’re my favorite white girl! Just for future reference, I’m not on Slip N Slide Streets, just plain ‘ol Slip N Slide Records. – Wes Fif, firstname.lastname@example.org (Orlando, FL)
Julia, you are truly an inspiration. I was recently reading OZONE and was inspired by your passion for the Hip Hop music industry. I’ve never once in my life ever picked up a magazine and read it from the cover to finish, but you have such a way about your words and the types of questions that you ask our artists of today. Your magazine is like my mini Hip Hop Bible. I love it! You keep your readers wanting more and more. The reason I decided to email you tonight is because of the article on my soon-to-be-husband Lil Wayne in your December 2007 sex issue. I’m so jealous! You asked him every question that I’ve been wanting to know for years. Your interview made my life complete. Dwayne Carter is one of the greatest things that has come to the industry in a very long time and I wish I could have the opportunity to meet him so that he could fall in love with me on sight! – Kim, myspace.com/hellokittydotcom1 (Richmond, CA) The December 2007 issue of OZONE with Lil Wayne on the cover was my first time ever hearing about and reading the magazine! I started reading it in the grocery store and couldn’t put it down. I ended up buying it. I loved it! It’s so entertaining and more unique than most magazines. Keep doing your thing. You have definitely gained another loyal reader! – Annick, email@example.com (Miami, FL) What you do for us Southern entertainers is next to impossible. I’ve enjoyed both annual OZONE Awards and one day I want to be a part of it. The South is starting to look real good and many people are following us now. – Rob Dee (Nashville, TN)
I’m one of the many readers of OZONE. I also adore Lil Wayne. I think your interview was great and it gave us a chance to indulge. Did he seem serious about marriage? I think he and I could connect on so many different levels. I think he’s still looking because we haven’t had the opportunity to meet. I just wanted to ask that you keep the good interviews coming. – Jasmine Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
I read the November 2007 issue of OZONE but Milwaukee, Wisconsin was left out of the Rapquest section. I’m a local rap artist who also does journalism on the side. We have two major developments that need to be touched on. One, Baby Drew from Milwaukee got signed to a major label deal, and OZONE’s role by featuring him in Patiently Waiting should be acknowledged. Two, Lyfe Jennings had signed a young lady from Milwaukee by the name of La La Brown, who was shot and killed in a studio this past Friday. - Track Lacer, myspace.com/tracklacer (Milwaukee, WI)
JB, thanks for being such an inspiration! When I first gained an interest in the entertainment business, I wanted to know who was behind OZONE Maga-
Correction: The photo in the galleries last month that read “HK, Streez, & guest” should have read “HK, Young Deuces & Black Fred.”
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10 Things I’M Hatin’ On
ne of my favorite New Years memories was bringing in 2006 with the undisputed King of Houston, J Prince, in the VIP lounge of a downtown Houston nightclub. Pimp C had been released from jail the day before, the Houston movement was in full swing, and you could feel the anticipation building up in the city as All Star weekend approached. I’ve noticed two things about J Prince and other people of his status: they don’t carry around much cash, and they don’t talk much. Rich people don’t wave money around, and powerful people don’t tell you how wise they are. They just listen, leaving you to fill the silence with your own words, and whatever you choose to talk about reveals more than any question they could ever ask.
by Maurice G. Garland
4. Michael Jordan The new Jordans cost $185. Me myself, have never purchased a pair of J’s in my life, I refused to give dude my money like that (plus, I was always a ‘Nique fan). This nigga don’t even play anymore and his shoes cost the most? Anyone that’s hooped in Jordans before knows they are uncomfortable as hell. Fuck Jordan! He never used his money or influence to do anything in the community other than boost the crime rate. 5. Drive-Thru Liquor Stores I remember one being down the street from my school when I was growing up, but now, I’m starting to see these things pop up on the regular. Isn’t drinking-and-driving illegal? When I go to McDonald’s I end up eating all the fries by the time I get home. You don’t think people will do the same with a Heineken or a fifth of vodka? 6. Po-Po Why do the police need to call for back up when all they’re pulling you over for is an expired tag?
Me and Soulja Boy in New York
8. Hotel Room Service Speaking of which, they charge you a room service fee of $10, an extra service charge of $10, and an automatic tip of 30%, gotdamn! By the you realize you’d paid $45 for a glass of orange juice it’s too late. 9. Walgreens Fuck what these trap boy rappers are talking about. Walgreens has got the streets sowed up. They slang their drugs on every corner, open early and close late and the cops don’t even think about running up in their spots. And to top it all off, they’ve got snacks for your munchies too. 10. New Years Resolutions New Years Resolutions are complete bullshit. You probably broke yours by the time we compiled this list.
Me and Fonsworth Bentley @ TJ’s DJ’s in Tallahassee
A few months ago I wrote about how fake the industry is; how no one gives a shit about each other unless there’s money involved. But there are exceptions to the rule. Being in the music business is a lonely career. It’s hard to trust anyone, so you’re constantly paranoid, constantly on the road away from home, without friendly faces to rely on. It’s those rare occasions when you connect with somebody to the point where you really give a fuck about them and not just their music that keep you in this shit. Well, I gave a fuck about Pimp C. I first met him when he was locked up and I interviewed him for an OZONE cover story. For some reason we just trusted each other, on that other level beyond this rap shit, and by the time he came out we’d become friends.
Me, Plies, & Suga D @ FAMU Homecoming in Tallahassee
Often when people pass away, everyone writes glamorous, glossy descriptions of them, eliminating their flaws – well, I’m not cosigning the “Atlanta is not the South” controversies or the rumored beef between him and you-knowwho – but I do know that he always looked out for me. They say that people never remember what you said, but how you made them feel, and Pimp C always made me feel good when I saw him. I’ll miss his charisma and intelligence. I’ll miss his random, always-entertaining 4 AM phone calls. And, of course, I’ll miss his music.
7. Bootleg DVDs The bootleg man has gone up on his prices more than premium gasoline. With these prices it’d be cheaper to just to go to the movie theatre and bring your family. A bootleg DVD nowadays cost more than hotel room service.
For the next few weeks, it felt like I lived in Houston. I was like a permanent fixture in the Sonzala guest room. That’s how I found myself giving up shotgun in Pimp C’s silver Bentley to T.I., retreating to the backseat to eat lunch while the two rap legends reunited, rolling down the Houston freeway where we’d been filming the video for “Front, Back, Side to Side” on an unreasonably windy January afternoon. Behind us was Rasaq driving his brother Chamillionaire’s red drop top which he eventually gave Pimp as a gift (“Chamillion gave me the bitch, she was already a star / Now all these n*ggas wanna fuck my car”) and in front, a police officer who pulled us over to congratulate Pimp on his release and then escorted us through traffic with his sirens blazing so we could reach our destination quickly. I don’t remember the specifics of Pimp C and T.I.’s conversation (it was one of those moments where I knew I was supposed to be just a female companion, not an eavesdropping reporter) but the gist of it was clear. I’d never heard T.I. so humble, the admiration in his voice noticeable as he told Pimp, in his own way, how much of an influence he’d been. Even then it felt like a historic moment, and I kinda wondered if I deserved to be there; surely there’s other diehard Southern rap fans who would’ve killed to be present for such a private, honest conversation. They say Pimp C died yesterday morning in a Hollywood hotel room, but I don’t believe it yet. I’m still fully expecting to get a text back from his iPhone saying it’s all good, that it was just a bad rumor like the last one (it’ll say: “Naw I’m good!! Tell them internet gangstaz keep talkin’ dat bullshit!!! Chuuch!!”). It’s crazy that less than two years ago I witnessed a touching moment between Southern rap legends who’ll never meet again in this life; not to mention that T.I.’s currently on house arrest looking at significant jail time.
3. Hardee’s Have ya’ll seen these heart-clogging ass hamburgers they’ve been selling lately? If you’re eating and enjoying those things, the doctor should slap your ass when you end up in the ER.
Best. Picture. Ever.
2. Crazy Ass Texans Did y’all hear about this dude who killed his girlfriend and then boiled her body parts? Last year some teenaged Texans gave toddlers weed on camera, and then before that we saw a woman high off who knows what hit a man with her car, drive home, park in the garage…with the man STILL ON HER WINDSHIELD! They say everything is bigger in Texas, everybody is crazier too.
1. Black Folks Who Don’t Want to Vote For Obama Just Because He’s Black Forgive me if I sound naïve, but isn’t that the fucking point? We did all this complaining about wanting a Black president, now that the possibility is presented, some us wanna act like we can’t vote for him off GP. Its not like he’s preaching poison. Get off that bullshit man. If you think he’s inexperienced, just look at with the folks with experience have been doing. Scary.
UGK’s performance at the 1st OZONE Awards was a classic moment; me & Pimp C backstage
I hear that Pimp C recorded hundreds of unreleased songs in the past two years since his release, so fortunately for rap fans, his music won’t be dying out anytime soon. But I’ll still miss my friend. - Julia Beverly, email@example.com
DJ Drama f/ Outkast “Art of Storytelling Pt. 4” Shawty Lo f/ Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Plies, & Lil Wayne “Dey Know (remix)” Rocko f/ T.I., Young Jeezy, & Rick Ross “Umma Do Me (remix)” Lil Wayne & Juelz Santana “Always Strapped” Cunninlynguists f/ Devin the Dude “Wonderful” Jay Electronica “A Prayer For Michael Vick And T.I.” Alicia Keys f/ John Mayer “Lesson Learned” Playaz Circle f/ Phonte “Paper Chaser”
firstname.lastname@example.org Snoop Dogg “Sexual Eruption” Ill Tactics “Nikita 6” Lupe Fiasco “The Coolest” Lil Keke f/ Birdman “I’m A G”
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OZONE MAG // 17
T S E U Q P A R
’ , HIT US UP at JB@OZONEMA N I P P O P DETROIT, MI: SEE WOHR ANOTT’SREPRESENTED AT ALL O T The Ultimate Black Party went down at the Detroit Lions’ S T E E R , ED Ford Field. Cupid performed for a crowd of about 3,000. S THE ST EPRESENT Young Dro and Detroit’s own Deelishis hosted a party at OZONFEEEHL TIHTAT YOUR CITY IS MISR Club Evolution that banged out. T Woods is still the most IF YOU
Stevie and Bamboozle shot three videos in one weekend! Homie Marco left his position as P.D. at Hot 97.3 so the position is up for grabs. The Takeover Tour Concert was a smash, minus T.I. Naughty by Nature tore it down. Cooley Sha and David Wade continue to shine locally. Samuel Jackson and Eva Mendez were in town shooting a new movie called The Spirit. Club Fantasia is now the spot for upcoming local rap artists to perform and battle. Soulja Boy’s “Crank Dat” is the # 1 song on the air right now. - Beno (Beno@eadymusicgroup.com)
Trae came to town for an in store appearance and autograph signing at Music Mania for his album Life Goes On. DJ Rapid Ric headed back overseas to India with Chamillionaire for the VH1 Hip Hop Hustle concert series. Soon after, Koopa, Famous, and the Chamillitary Camp came back to Austin to host the ‘07 Hot 93.3 Fantasy Fest party at Paradox. DJ Grip hooked up with Eddie Deville, Trae, and Drojo to drop the 3-disc Screw State Heavyweights. Tosin of TheScrewShop.com and J-Kapone got together for the All In Yo’ Deck mixtape mixed by DJ Dinkie D. - O.G. of Luxury Mindz (LuxuryMindz@gmail.com)
BAY ST. LOUIS, MS:
consistent promoter in the city. Two of his recent successes were at Evolution and Confidential, which was attended by Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, and Keyon Martin. Hot 102.7’s annual Shoes for Shorties went down at Northland Mall and was attended by Gorilla Zoe, Hurricane Chris, and Twista. Home-grown artist Tone Tone shut it down when he performed his local hit “What Up Doe.” - Big Gryph (BigGryph_Ent@yahoo.com)
Stay Gettin Productions, known for bangers on albums by Cam’ron and Freeway, have gotten their artist Heavy Gold signed to Epic Records. Even with no radio play, he and his team have made a lot of noise in Harm City. Although the ink on the deal is still wet, look out for Heavy Gold’s major label debut real soon. Hometown favorite DJ Spontaneous has signed on to be Atlantic Recording artist Trey Songz’ DJ on Trey’s new tour. If you’ve never heard of Spontaneous, be sure to cop one of his Spontaneous Combustion mixtapes. - Darkroom Productions (TheDarkRoomInc@yahoo.com)
The Miami Heat along with the New Orleans Hornets came to play a preseason game at the Biloxi Coast Coliseum. Some of the players stopped by Nell’s Sports Bar & Lounge and kicked it. Plies came to da Sipp and rocked it. The ladies couldn’t keep their hands off him. It was almost a strip fest. It was a good look for poetry as Huggy Bear the Poet appeared on the Tom Joyner morning show. Mississippi is getting ready for the Bayou Classic, where the Feds will be taking pictures. - DJ Deliyte (email@example.com)
BrickLayer Entertainment reappeared with Shut Down Sundays featuring Gucci Mane at Villa Fontana. SOLO (above) opened up and showed his swagg to the public. H.O. Holla held down Hottest in the Ville for 5 days and A.R. is following the same pattern. Griff Jr. hosted Fresh Kicks Friday, a party by Famous Entertainment. Wild Wayne has been out of control lately performing in every venue the city has. Nova has a hot ass mixtape out called LouBreeze hosted by DJ Khaled. Lets Get It Entertainment brought through the I Can’t Feel My Face Tour featuring Lil Wayne, Juelz Santana, Fabolous, and Louisville’s own Mac-D. - Divine Da Instagata (OuttaDaShopEnt@hotmail.com)
The crime rate in Jacksonville sours as four murders occurred on the eve of the Florida-Georgia football game. One man was stabbed to death at Café Bolero’s and two others were injured. On a more positive note, Young Cash releases the video for his single “X” on Youtube.com. The song is also receiving some rotation on 92.7 the Beat. Synsha Models held a fashion show downtown at the Crowne Plaza. Local artist Dez Nado continues to make moves in J-Ville. If you’re in the area, stop by Groove City Music in the Town & Country Shopping Center.
- Ms. Rivercity (MsRivercity@yahoo.com)
The Mayor’s office continues to struggle as a teen stabbing and school shooting have been tagged to Frank Jackson’s resume. The female assailant was coached by mom and grandmother during the assault. Sam Sylk returns to ENZ. After stints in Chicago and Philly, the Sylk man returns to his familiar 2:00-6:00 slot. Local producer/engineer EQ, who achieved national fame, passed away recently. The local Hip Hop community mourns this pioneer. The Hot-Spot lists Gucci Mane and Lil Wayne as top CD sellers, The Alpo Story and BET’s American Gangster as top DVDs, and G-Spot’s You Can’t Feel Me as top mixtape. - “X” Allah (Supreme1@sprintpcs.com)
NEW ORLEANS, LA:
DJ Hollaback is on fire in the clubs right now. The Foxx album release party thrown by Here We Go Entertainment was classic and the 504 dimes were in the building. Wild Wayne does it real big with Wild Wayne TV. Flame has a new single called “Look Back at It” and it’s gaining momentum. The Street Team got back together after a brief falling out. Everyone is still waiting on Lil Wayne to come out of his bubble and drop the official Carter 3. - Derrick Tha Franchise (www.Myspace.com/DerrickThaFranchise)
The Mixin’ Vixen, a.k.a. DJ Dimepiece, from WIZF 101.1 is reppin’ Cincinnati everywhere. Somebody is always hitting me up from Cali, Vegas, or Miami telling me they saw Dimepiece and she is bad! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Kenny P. has been on the grind a long time and his song “Party Like My Birthday” is buzzing in the streets, in the clubs, on radio and mixtapes. It’s your turn Kenny P. The Cincinnati Bengals didn’t get off to a good start, but the city is very optimistic about their future with Coach Marvin Lewis. - Judy Jones (Judy@JJonesent.com)
TSU kicked off their Homecoming with a hot ass Lil Wayne, Yung Joc and Lloyd concert followed by an insane after party at 615. Eight years and stillgoing, PhatKaps has breathed new air into Nashville by raising the bar with a new and improved superstore. Get yo gear up! Speaking of new stores, Elite Men’s Boutique has just opened. AllStar and Paper battled it out (literally) to prove who was #1 and 92Q’s Community Day was a huge success, especially for the winner of a brand new car. Stevie Wonder tickets are now officially on sale. - Janiro (Janiro@southernentawards.com) 18 // OZONE MAG
After surviving a summer where the murder rate doubled within a month and a half, people have been partying and nightlife has picked up. DJ O3 from Foxie 105 teamed up with Incognito from 98.3 The Beat for Sunday nights at End Zone. Folks have actually been acting like they have some sense…I mean there was that one incident, but a broken bottle never hurt anyone. Chester’s Barbeque won the Steve Harvey Hoodie Award for Best in America. Since there was no drivethru in this East Columbus liquor store, some guy parked his Cadillac inside (at right). - Slick Seville (SlickSeville@gmail.com)
STREETBUZZ DVD magazine and the High Five Bar have the city on smash by exposing local artists. Q Nemis is also putting the city on the map down in Atlanta along with Blackbox Ent. Yellow Tape Gang will be in a hood near you too. Major Woody’s nightclub is always stacked to capacity. Even in the hood, hole-in-the-wall bars go down. - Jorden Martin (Mz_Emjay23@yahoo.com)
In the early morning hours, club manager/promoter DJ Rob Base was shot and killed in front of his home. He was returning home from work at the nightclub Grand Central Station when he was shot several times in the back. An investigation is still going on and no arrests have been made. Grand Central Station has hired DJ Marcus Kage as the new house DJ. DJ Pain will release his new mixtape entitled Pain Is Pleasure by December. The focus of the project is a new artist named Deuce. - DJ Akil (DJ.Akil@yahoo.com)
DALLAS/FT. WORTH, TX:
BC and Southern Fried Marketing is your promo outlet in the city. Hawatha and Shelly have the official after hours spot at Club One. Club Blue has re-opened its doors as Club Cirque. Aleesa is keeping Def Jam in the streets. Pegasus News is exposing Rapquest every month and model Nia Lynae is on come up. Young Maboda and Cutta C are building a buzz. The NAACP and UTA set up and bashed the local music scene with no warning. Veda Loca conquered the evening slot on 97.9 The Beat. Renzo from Big Wheel Records is on lockdown. Stay strong. - Edward “Pookie” Hall (www.urbansouth.us@ gmail.com)
Ft. Myers, fl
FORT MYERS/NAPLES, FL:
Birthday Bash 2007 was ridiculous. Groupies put on their shortest skirts to get backstage. The Big O (Omar), 105.5 The Beat’s MD, put together a lineup that included Ja Rule, Flo-Rida, Swizz Beats, Jagged Edge, DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Kat De Luna, and Playaz Circle. The bartender couldn’t handle all the smoke in the air backstage; he actually went outside and threw up. Speaking of smoke, a record 7 grow-houses were busted in Lehigh Acres in one day, so it’s going to be dry for a while. (Above: 105.5’s Jae Rae, Scrappy, & DJ Sway-Z) - Jae Rae (JaeRae1055@aol.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)
It was a big month in the Mac thanks to the Fort Valley Homecoming game. Plies and Shawty Lo blessed us with their presence at the major party courtesy of the Legion of Doom DJs. DJs Ric Flare (YBMFDJ) and Supa Dave held down the 1s and 2s. Young R opened up for Yola and his Mixtape 101 hits the streets soon. - Ali Roc (email@example.com)
Lil Wayne, Lil Boosie, 3 Deep, and Yo Gotti all hit the city this month with slammin’ performances. DJ Khaled and DJ Q45 took over the city at various clubs during Jackson State University’s Homecoming weekend. Project Pat gave some lucky listeners of Hot 97 a private dinner (Project Pat shown at left with Hot 97 crew). Peso the Don and the PCF (Paper Chasin’ Family) movement have taken the streets of Jackson by storm. Mississippi’s own Boo the Boss Playa has new music with Young Jeezy on the CTE Shield mixtape. - Tambra Cherie (TambraCherie@aol.com) & Stax (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lil Chappy pulled another hit out of his hat. “I Made It” got the blocks jumping harder than when he dissed Gucci Mane. But it’s neck and neck with Dem Dirty Boyz. The album The First Supper is beating down the street. The first single “Tryna Get It” features Lil Boosie and of course you know The Big Station had to be the first to bust it out, but now it’s playing on all stations. “Badunka Walk” featuring The Black Paris Hilton got tricks in the club trying to make up their own dance. Tyte Wurk is about to get it with Sound Load. DUMAS, AR: - Hot Girl Maximum Everybody is getting ready for the Southern (HotGirl.Maximum@ Entertainment Awards going down in Tunica, gmail.com) MS. UAPB’s Homecoming was major. Criminal
Manne from Memphis got the streets on fire. The local rap scene is ready to explode with shows hosted by Countyside Productions. Club Elevations is the number one spot for clubbing in Little Rock. The parties in Monticello have been off the chain. A female rapper named Memory is one of the tightest in the state. The club scene has been jumping in Pine Bluff along with The Cedar Cabin and PJs. - DJ Hiley (LamarHiley@yahoo.com)
Kia Shine is wrapping up his second video shoot of the year. He and all his fans met up on historic Beale Street to shoot the video for his latest single “WOW.” Some special guests included UFC champ Rampage, Rudy Gay from the Grizzlies, and Euro basketball star Scooter McFadden. Blink is putting together the second Memphis or Die DVD and promises to feature the hottest folks in Memphis, plus a touch of some American Gangster. Hot new artists Too Deep and Yung Flow are gaining local attention with their latest single “Feel Like a Mill.” DJ 007 is holding it down for our local artists. - Deanna Brown (Deanna.Brown@MemphisRap.com)
Vika, the R&B/Pop Queen of the city, shot her video this passed month and her single “Fantasize” is making some noise. Ophilia has graced the covers of Smooth Magazine and The Leak Magazine. She also has a photo spread in King Mag. Willie Hawkins, a.k.a. Dope Fiend Willie, is on the road with Mike Epps and also has a new comedy CD out. We must also mention Otis Brown (R.I.P.) whose life was taken by senseless violence. His barbershop The New Doo was a true cornerstone to find out what is going on locally and nationally. He will truly be missed. - Lucky The Promo King (email@example.com)
This pertains to all hoods across the map, stop the violence! (right) It’s getting so senseless. Milwaukee is hurting right now in so many ways statistically. The last thing we need to be doing is killing each other. R.I.P. to Yolanda “La La” Brown who had a popular hit song with Lyfe Jennings and her boyfriend/producer JeTannue “Kool-Aid” Clayborn. Both were murdered recently. Our whole city is affected. People need to stop and think. Let’s spread some unity via the music and media too. Guns down Mil-Town! - Gorilla Promo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
milwaukee, wi OZONE MAG // 19
RAPQUEST OKLAHOMA CITY, OK:
Your favorite HoneySiccle models, as well as Honey herself, are headed to Dallas, TX to perform at a video/DVD release party. They are also headed to Kansas to make major moves at club spots. Presidential Trap House is doing big things. They headed to Tallahassee, FL for the TJs DJs Conference and made an appearance at the Billboard Awards. - PL (BeatBrokers77@yahoo.com)
It was a star studded FAMU Homecoming. Ja Rule had an in depth interview on Blazin 102.3 (shown at left with Jay Blaze) about his career and 50 Cent. Now the streets of Tallahassee are buzzin’ and liking Ja Rule. Other guest celebrities included comedian Mike Epps, Fonzworth Bentley, Doug Banks and Dee Dee McGuire, Midget Mac (I Love New York II), Lisa Raye, Malik Yoba, and more. The highlight of the weekend was the sold out FAMU Homecoming Concert with Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Lil Boosie, Lil Webbie, Musiq Soulchild, and Plies. The song heard all weekend long was FloRida’s “Low” featuring T-Pain. - DJ Dap (DJDapOnline@gmail.com)
Haitian Fresh set Tabu on fire with his performance at his signing party in Orlando. Sho Boy causes more controversy with his new song “Orange County Truth” which addresses Orlando’s music scene. Pure Cash Entertainment debuts their latest project, Pure Cash Magazine. Producer Phil 4 Real leaves Mo Muzik Entertainment. Edgewater’s own Darius Washington is the newest member of the San Antonio Spurs. - Destine Cajuste (email@example.com)
Mad Linx came through to visit Tony Montana (bottom right) and the Shut It Down Squad family during the WMNF 88.5fm community radio marathon. The crew donated their time as they do every Saturday night to keep true Hip Hop flowing through our airwaves. BayBizness.com is doing their thing by giving the Bay area another flavor of Hip Hop in cyberspace. According to TampaHipHop.com and DJ Ekin, Tommy Gunz puts the word out that he is the hottest dude in town and he doesn’t battle unless there is real beef…any takers? - Mz T-Rock (MzTRock@yahoo.com)
We are approaching the Second Annual Get ‘Em Magazine awards. Greg Gates will be hosting a conference during that same weekend. Microphone Monday goes on every week at The Blue Bar. It’s designed for artists to promote themselves and network. It also gives artists the opportunity to perform and throw album release parties all under one roof. Choke ‘Em Out brought Wil-lo Week into effect in October. People are looking over Pensacola now, but in a minute we will be undeniable. - King Pen (KingPen252000@yahoo.com)
SAN ANTONIO, TX:
98.5 The Beat debuted the smash single “Whip Game” from San Antonio hard-hitters Tha Coalition. Now the song is being played everywhere and talks of their mixtape The Laws of Power (right) are circling. Ja Rule unexpectedly came to town and threw a concert at Club Rio. With both radio stations (98.5 the Beat and Power 106.7) in competition for who could throw the livest Halloween party, The Beat was clearly the winner. They brought an onslaught of signed and unsigned artists to perform at The WAMU Boo Bash. Artists performing and making appearances included Gorilla Zoe, Trapstars, Gemini, and Tha Coalition. - Bishop Maxx (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Soulja Boy dropped into Tulsa for a show and stopped by 106.9 KHITS for an interview. Local artist P.D.A. is currently on the Critical Bill tour and gaining more exposure since opening up for Akon at the 2007 Spring Bash. Young Ruccus released his new album Da Gutta Boy Family Block Music. Club Exclusive had its annual Rock the Mic Battle this month and MTV was in attendance. Ludacris and T-Pain will perform at a confirmed sold out show at the Expo Square Pavilion. I released my latest mixtape Certified Street Invasion Vol. 1. (left) - DJ Civil Rightz (email@example.com)
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA:
Frozen Paradise celebrated the SSU Homecoming this weekend with a packed house. Asia Black Entertainment kicks off Freak Em Dress Fridays at Frozen Paradise. Ladies in the hottest freak ‘em dresses get in free until midnight. 94.1 The Beat’s Nite Ryda Radio continues its search for the next Lady Nite Ryda. You can hear the show every Monday thru Thursday night from 7:00-10:00pm. Gucci Mane shut down the Black-Out Party and Gorilla Zoe did it big at Club 170. - Lucky (LuckyCharmsEvents@gmail.com)
Norfolk State University welcomed Lil Wayne and Lil Boosie to town for their Homecoming. Lil Wayne ripped the house down and Lil Boosie had everyone wiping themselves down. Gorilla Zoe stopped through Hampton and showed love. Old Dominion University and WODU are welcoming Bobby Valentino to town for their Homecoming. You can catch local super stars courtside at an ODU basketball game. Saturday nights are still on lock at Tribecca antonio, tx in Newport News with the baddest chicks in Hampton Roads representing every week. - Derrick Tha Franchise (www.Myspace.com/DerrickThaFranchise) washington, dc
Northwest collective The G.O.V. (left) is trying to move up in the D.C. music stratosphere. They’ve utilized a shameless grassroots promotions blitz of online blasts and local shows to push themselves beyond their fan base and into the pages of the Washington City Paper and Streetzmag.com. The trio, which consists of The Mayor, Jay the Gov-na, and Intrigue, recently released their new album Dollartic$ and their album-titled single has been getting some recent burn on WPGC. The G.O.V. also recently aired their new Hip Hop roundtable show The G.O.V. Report on Comcast. - Pharoh Talib (Ptalib@gmail.com) //
KMJJ just received notification from the Governor of Louisiana that it’s being named the 2007 Station of the Year by Radio & Records Magazine. J Holiday came through Shreveport and ripped the roof off of Gi-Gi’s Martini Room. In attendance were Carl Payne, Matthew Broderick, Sanaa Lathan, and Michael Williams from HBO’s The Wire. The National Black Rodeo Finals featured performances by Unk and Cupid. - C-Mac (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ST LOUIS, MO
Mr. Marcus Mixtape interviewed Julia Beverly on 89.5fm. Former Fyre Gyrl KK has been holding it down at Phat Tuesdays on the landing every first of the month. Ms. Kendra dipped to ATL and is now a Tigger Kitten. BGyrl has been holding the STL down for years at www. stlhiphop.com. Ms. Mary keeps dropping hot issue after hot issue of her Disclosure Newszine. Hot R&B duo Az One is killing the streets. Teenage trio SOSy (right) is making a lot of noise as well. Downtown Music, Culture Vibe, and Vintage Vinyl are the hot mom and pop shops in town. - Jesse James (JesseJames314@aol.com)
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st. louis, mo
The Laws Of Power For Urban Artists mathematics New Years Resolutions by Wendy Day of the Rap Coalition www.wendyday.com
This Year: “Just to see ‘08; that’s it. I don’t make resolutions—I had made one, I think I told Julia what it was, but I forgot it so I wasn’t too dedicated to it. I don’t do the resolution thing because I’m gon’ forget that bitch. I did make it—oh, I remember that shit, it’s to make $50 million. Make $50 million in 2008, I swear to God that’s what it is. I’m gon’ try my hardest to make $50 million in 2008.
Diamond of Crime Mob:
Last Year: “This year is gonna be the happiest year of my life. I’m on some positive, successful shit.” This Year: “To have longevity in the game. Make more money, more money, and more money, and buy an even bigger house. Last but not least, get closer to God!”
Last Year: “To acquire $6.7 million dollars in a three-month span between movies, production, and shows, and to write Mississippi: The Movie.” This Year: “In 2007 I set my plan into motion, and although I didn’t reach it, I’m very proud of my progress. My 2008 New Year’s Resolution is to do a better job of seeing my family. My dad and grandmother both died this year. God bless Kanye.”
Last Year: “To work harder on my American Dream album than the last one.” This Year: “I did pretty good last year. My 2008 New Year’s Resolution is to shine harder in ’08 than I did in ’05.”
Last Year: “For my new album We The Best to be the #1 album in the country, and to have good health!” This Year: “I did great on my ’07 New Year’s Resolution! I got the #1 independent album in the country, and I’m in good health! My 2008 New Year’s Resolution is to have another #1 album, to have good health, and launch my record company: We The Best Music!”
Last Year: “Stop letting white girls be my weakness.” This Year: “Man, my New Year’s Resolution only got worse. The white girls got the best of me in ’07. In 2008 my mission is to work 10 times harder than the top cats in the game, stay focused, and keep gettin’ money the legal way.”
Last Year: “To move the culture forward by any means necessary.” This Year: “I did great on my 2007 New Year’s Resolution! They tried to attack Hip Hop by stepping on my back, and I didn’t let them stop the movement. I pledge allegiance to feed the streets for the rest of my life! In 2008, I’m gonna make the world pay even closer attention!”
Pimp C (R.I.P.):
Last Year: “No more fuckin’ with negative people, no matter how much I care about ‘em.” This Year: “I did great in ’07, stayed busta free! This year I’m gonna stand on these fake d-boy pussy ass rap niggas’ and internet gangsta hoes’
Last Year: “Stay away from broke men and take more overseas trips.” This Year: “I did good. I stayed away from the broke men. In 2008, I’m gonna work out more and get a flat stomach!”
This Year: “My 2008 New Year’s Resolution is to be better than I was last year, as a whole. To be a better person.”
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Last Year: “To finish my fucking album!” This Year: “My album is almost done. In 2008 I’m gonna stop making everybody else get as drunk as I do. Sometimes they can’t take it.”
necks until they beg me to stop! If you call Pimp C a snitch, you’re a bitch for life! Don’t get mad at me cause the math don’t match. Tennessee is 23-a-key, bitch! ATL 20 to 27! Eat my dick if you don’t like that and say my name when you diss me! Preach! Chuurch!
Last Year: “[My partner] Mayne’s resolution is to eat healthier’ mine is to hit the gym every day.” This Year: “We did great with our resolutions last year. We wanted to make more hits than last year, and we succeeded. We did two singles for Young Jeezy and gave DJ Khaled a Top 20 record on teh Hot 100. To wrap the year up we provided Rick Ross with his new single “Speedin’” featuring R Kelly. This year we want to blow up our artist Bali because he speaks what he lives. We have major [joint venture] offers from every record label. We also want to break into pop music. We’re working with Janet Jackson and many more!
Last Year: “Continue to grind the only way I know how.” This Year: “I’m still grinding, so I did good in ’07, and as far as the game, this is the year I start to take over. It’s a three year process.”
Last Year: “To let that dumb shit go and get this money!” This Year: “I did great on my last New Year’s Resolution! This year, my resolution is to be great at what I do, the way I envision myself, and also to give the underground mixtapes they’ll never forget!”
Last Year: “My New Year’s Resolution is to do a song a day.” This Year: “I didn’t do so good on my last year’s resolution. This year my resolution is to work out and get in shape, and try to be more organized.”
Southstar of Smilez & Southstar:
Last Year: “Hit the gym and get on a healthier diet, and cut back on my drinking.” This Year: “I started off good with my 2007 New Year’s Resolution, but didn’t stick with it. This year I definitely wanna hit the gym up and get in shape and grind harder than ever! It’s now or never!”
Last Year: “To get business right and take over in 2007.” This Year: “To stop smoking cigarettes like Boosie did last year.”
DRU BRETT OF The Runners:
Last Year: “To stay humble and continue to become successful.” This Year: “I think I did a good job on my last New Year’s Resolution; I remained humble and focused, and my success has grown in many ways, so I’m proud of myself. My 2008 New Year’s Resolution is to continue to better myself and continue to work hard and become more successful in ’08 then I was the year before.” //
Last Year: “Teach young people how to get money in the music business. Hip Hop has to be passed on as both art and a source of income.” This Year: “That’s been my main mission for ‘07 and next year too. I’m making a lot of progress with The Pack and the kids at the youth center [Youth UpRising] but I have a long way to go, cause I want to see more of them get [record] deals and get money.”
Last Year: “Make the whole world become an Asshole By Nature, and get rid of fake industry niggas.” This Year: “I did good on my last year’s resolution because I’ve got a lot of niggas tryin’ to be street and I’m still alive. My New Year’s Resolution this year is to bring the world the truth and make an impact in the hood for ’08, and to work harder to bring Dinkie home.”
Last Year: “In 2006 I ain’t do shit but get money, so by 2007 I’ll be putting out my own niggas.” This Year: “My New Year’s Resolution is Dunk Ryde or Die! I’m finally famous, finally free!
OZONE MAG // 23
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(above L-R): Shawn Jay of Field Mob & Midget Mac on the set of Young Cash’s “X” video shoot in Jacksonville, FL (Photo: Terrence Tyson); DJ Khaled & DJ Drama on the set of DJ Drama’s “5000 Ones” in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly); LL Cool J gets some love @ The Last Damn Show in Tampa, FL (Luis Santana)
01 // Trey Songz & DJ Kut on the set of Jus Bleezy’s “Like Me” (St Louis, MO) 02 // Teddy T, Haitian Fresh & his mascot @ Chef Creole for World AIDS Day concert (Miami, FL) 03 // Wickett Crickett, DJ Chill, & Slim Thug @ Party 104.9 (Houston, TX) 04 // Guest, Attitude, Countri Boi, & guest @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 05 // Chubby Baby, Jim Jones, Freekey Zekey, & Juelz Santana on the set of DJ Drama’s “5000 Ones” (Atlanta, GA) 06 // Big Gipp, DJ Q45, & Kia Shine @ The Globe for DJ Q45’s birthday bash (Jacksonville, FL) 07 // DJ Nasty & Christina Milian @ Mansion for DJ Khaled’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 08 // Slimm Calhoun & Fonsworth Bentley @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 09 // Pleasure P & Jas Prince @ White Diamonds for Trina & Pleasure P’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 10 // B5 @ Kwanzaa Fest (Dallas, TX) 11 // Slim of Loose Cannon & Laurence Maroney of the New England Patriots get ready to make it rain @ Society (St Louis, MO) 12 // JR Get Money & Anne Williams @ BET College Tour (Houston, TX) 13 // Roccett & Terrence Tyson @ Sobe Live for Bigga Rankin’s party (Miami, FL) 14 // Webbie & crew @ Hush (Houston, TX) 15 // Studio & G Mack @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 16 // DJ Montay & Unk @ The Globe for DJ Q45’s birthday party (Jacksonville, FL) 17 // BloodRaw & Slick Pulla @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 18 // Rich Boy & Big L @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 19 // DJ Drama & Willie the Kid @ SF2 (Houston, TX) Photo Credits: Carl Lewis (02,16); Intl K (03,12,14,19); Julia Beverly (04,05,08,09,17); King Yella (01,11); Malik Abdul (06); Ms Rivercity (13,15); Terrence Tyson (07,18); Tre Dubb (10)
OZONEMAG MAG////25 25 OZONE
mathematics The Laws Of Power For Urban Artists by Wendy Day of the Rap Coalition www.wendyday.com
Law 1: Never Question or Outshine The Person With Control
Law 6: Keep People Dependent On You
If you are signed to a label owned by an established artist or producer, or an indie regional label, be careful you don’t outshine or overrule the person putting up the funding for your career. If they hold the money or the access to the industry, it is key that you never embarrass, outshine, or piss them off. It will be just as easy for them to shift focus to another artist, and the truth is they do not care about backing the most talented or the most gifted artist (presumably you). They care about backing the one that will listen to them and follow their lead. To have attained success as an artist (if they are a rapper or producer) or to control the finances (meaning they made the money they are putting up to fund your career), they have earned a degree of power and influence—to question that, or to try to take that from them, is a guarantee that you will be replaced by someone who doesn’t try to make them feel inferior or question their authority. People, in general, are hugely insecure, and if you make your “leader” feel insecure in the slightest way, you will be replaced by someone who doesn’t.
If they don’t need you, they will discard you. Labels have been controlling their artists through money (advances) since the inception of the music business. Artists do what they are supposed to do because they need to get that next check before they go broke.
Law 2: Protect Your Reputation With Your Life
Law 9: Know Who You Are Dealing With—Do NOT Piss Off The Wrong
This is a “who you know” industry. That means to make any positive moves forward at all, you need to have strong relationships. Without a good reputation for being fair and honest, you will get blocked at higher levels without ever knowing why. This industry seems big, but it is very small. It is common knowledge who all of the scumbags are, and those people are either avoided or used to do dirty work (without them even realizing they are being used). In order to succeed at a level you will want to achieve, your name has to ring with a good positive connotation. Once people begin to gossip about what a scumbag you are, or your past misgivings, your career will begin to hit the skids. Guaranteed. The same goes for the folks who represent you. If a member of your team is shady or inept, then you are shady or inept. Choose carefully. They represent YOU.
Law 3: Seek Attention At All Cost
Stand out from the din. Attract attention by appearing larger than life. It doesn’t matter what people are saying about you, only that they are saying something about you. All publicity is good publicity. Make sure that whatever you are doing is being discussed publicly. Hire a publicist to promote you. Self-promote at every turn. If you have not learned how to control the media yet, get media training so you can speak in soundbites. Build relationships with public figures and the media. Opportunities come to those who are in the forefront of people’s minds. Be that person.
Law 4: Use Absence To Increase Respect And Honor
If you are everywhere, you burn yourself out. When you appear on everyone’s remix or are the producer of every other song on the radio, the initial perception is that you are hot. But this opinion rapidly changes as fans grow tired of hearing you on everything. You become commonplace and oversaturated, driving down your value in the marketplace. This is also true for label executives and owners who can’t stay out of the limelight. I even noticed this with my appearing on panels—at first, wherever I showed up to speak people thought it was the place to be because I was there to speak. Then, after folks realized I was everywhere, I was no longer special and no longer brought an aspect of “special” to the conference. Now people even talk through my panels so they can approach me at the end to hand me a demo (even though I just got done saying that handing anyone a demo is never a way to get on in this industry).
Law 5: Avoid Negativity
If there is something negative going on that attracts media attention, there is no upside to getting involved. The short burst of fame from being seen everywhere will not overpower the fact that fans see you in a negative light now. Your image is everything. Those who want to see an artist take a stand don’t buy CDs. If you want to make a difference, stop trying to sell CDs or entertain and become an activist.
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Law 7: When You Need Help, Appeal To Other’s Self-Interest Or Greed
No one is stupid enough (except maybe me) to want to help someone without getting anything in return. Rather than asking for help based on a freebie, why not show the person you are asking for help from, how they can benefit themselves by doing the right thing and helping you. Always show them what’s in it for them.
Law 8: Be Unpredictable
If people don’t know what you will do next, they can’t block your moves. Your seemingly odd and unpredictable behavior will keep people guessing and talking about you (see Law 3). Person It is important not to piss off people who have power or who are next to the people with power. There are folks in this industry who can make a phone call and stop something from moving forward for you, and you will never even know what hit you—your deal or opportunity will just quietly dry up and go away. The real power players are not stupid enough to let you know it was their doing to fuck up your shit. They will just take pleasure in doing so.
Law 10: Do Not Isolate Yourself, Build Bonds With Others
People who have no movement, or no support, are easy targets. Make sure you have a team or enough powerful friends to help move your career forward. Aside from needing the help to build success, you also need powerful friends to cut for you in case you hit a rough spot.
Law 11: Always Be The “Good Guy;” Let Your Manager Be The Bad Guy
Artists must be loved by the label’s staff at all cost. If the people in power and the everyday staff don’t love and respect you, they will NOT go hard for you to build your career. This industry is NOT about talent. It’s about lazy people doing whatever’s easiest to collect a paycheck. If they like you and respect you, they will want to help you succeed. If you yell at them, insult them, or in any way disappoint or piss them off, you have already lost the battle.
Law 12: Make It All Seem Effortless
If people know you struggled to complete a task, you don’t look like as much of a genius if it all seemed easy. Never let your fans or co-workers see you sweat. It’s a sign of weakness. Most opportunists prey on weakness.
Law 13: Acts Of Kindness and Helping People Will Not Be Rewarded
When you help a fellow artist or a team member, you will eventually be shit on for doing so. No one likes to admit they needed help, so in order to keep their self esteem intact, they will either shit on you or grow away from you so they can avoid the constant reminder that you were there for them when they needed you. If you put someone on in this industry, they will step on you as they try to grow bigger themselves (even though when they needed you they promised they’d never forget you and swore their allegiance to you for life), and they will never reach back to help you. In fact, if they can screw you out of paying you for your services, they will. No good deed ever goes unpunished. Depressing, but true. //
(With a grateful nod to Robert Greene for writing the hugely important book 48 Laws of Power, from which this article is wholly based.)
(above L-R): Scarface practicing his golf swing @ his listening party in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K); Gil Green & Plies on the set of Plies’ “Hypnotized” in Miami, FL (Photo: J Lash); Rasheeda & Nelly on the set of DJ Drama’s “5000 Ones” in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // Guest & Young Jeezy @ Mansion for DJ Khaled’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 02 // Rick Ross, Tony Neal, TJ Chapman, & DJ Dr Doom @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 03 // Mario & Brandii @ The Globe for DJ Q45’s birthday bash (Jacksonville, FL) 04 // Lil Keke & T Farris @ BET College Tour (Houston, TX) 05 // DJ Nasty & J-Dawg @ Firestone during Florida Classic weekend (Orlando, FL) 06 // Hurricane Chris, Soulja Boy, Mr Collipark & crew @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 07 // James Prince Jr & Scarface on the set of Scarface’s video shoot (Houston, TX) 08 // The Runners, Bali, DJ Q45, & M-Geezy @ The Globe for DJ Q45’s birthday party (Jacksonville, FL) 09 // Slim Thug, Chamillionaire, & Killa Kyleon @ Mike Jones’ American Dream movie premiere (Houston, TX) 10 // TMI Boyz, Stephanie, & Wendy Day @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 11 // Creep Boyz @ Club Lagoon (Winter Haven, FL) 12 // DJ Green & Showtime @ White Diamonds for Trina & Pleasure P’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 13 // Grand Hussle, Mannie Fresh, DJ Wop, & Chunch @ Lil Wayne’s Bayou Classic jam (New Orleans, LA) 14 // Bigga Rankin & Rick Ross @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 15 // DJ Demp & Lil Boosie @ Firestone for Florida Classic block party (Orlando, FL) 16 // Trey Songz & Ashlei on the set of Scarface’s video shoot (Houston, TX) 17 // RukaPuff & Beauty @ Onyx for OZONE talent search (St Louis, MO) 18 // Prince Markie Dee & guest @ Industry Secrets seminar (Miami, FL) 19 // Young Dro, DJ Khaled, Pimpin Ken, & Paperchase @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) Photo Credits: Carl Lewis (08,18); Julia Beverly (01,12,14,19); Intl K (04,07,09,16); King Yella (17); Malik AbdUl (03,15); Marcus DeWayne (13); Ravi Angard (05); Street Grindaz (11); Terrence Tyson (02,10); Thaddaeus McAdams (06)
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by Charlamagne Tha God
am the type of person who wants this wicked system of things to come to an end. I would love for Allah to tell me to start building an ark and have me go out and spread the word that God is fed up with everybody! Black people, white people, Latinos, Mexicans, Native Americans (if they still exist); we all are not in God’s good graces right now. I have been slipping spiritually lately, I can’t lie. I find myself waking up some mornings and I am so focused on what I have to do in this world that I forget to thank Allah for waking me up! The other day at like 10:30 PM I realized that I hadn’t said a prayer all day! Now, that’s crazy to me, because all my life I have been into religion. My grandmother was a church-going, Bible-thumping Baptist. I was never allowed to go to church with her because my mother is a Jehovah’s Witness and for whatever reason Jehovah’s Witnesses will not step foot in a church or any place of worship if it doesn’t have something to do with their religion. They won’t even go in a church for funerals and weddings! One of the things I regret to this day, especially now that my grandmother has passed, is not going to church with her one of those Sundays because of some bullshit rule that the Jehovah’s Witnesses have. As I got older and could make my own decisions about how I wanted to worship I was feeling like all organized religion is garbage and the different practices that each religion followed had nothing to do with your individual spirituality. It doesn’t matter if you knock on doors every Saturday as a Jehovah’s Witness or walk around in a Kufi as a Muslim, as long as you believe in God! Anybody that is in tune with the Creator and knows they are connected to something far greater than their mind, body, and ego has truly found their purpose in life. Now I said all of that to say that it was sort of an epiphany to realize that I hadn’t said a prayer all day, because my whole life has been rooted in spirituality! I don’t call myself the God because I’m some conceited, arrogant, big headed prick. I call myself the God because Genesis chapter 1 verse 26 said God created man in his image according to his likeness, which means that when I look in the mirror I see the image and likeness of God. We get caught up in this worldly way of doing things so much that we forget we are not human beings trying to live a spiritual existence, but we are spiritual beings living a human existence. The ways of this world, and especially this industry, should not take precedence over God. We give this world and this industry the glory when we should be giving that energy to our creator. I find myself treating God like a woman I know is going to be there, like I can just do whatever I want. I can stay out all night, smoke, drink, party, bullshit, and fuck with other women because I feel I can get away with it. You think to yourself: God isn’t going anywhere because he or she loves me. That’s the wrong mentality to have. You can’t constantly do the wrong things because you think God is going to forgive you. If God created us in his image, think about this: It is against our nature to let someone constantly shit on us! If you’re an employer
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and one of your employees was not following the rules they may get a couple of warnings, but after that you have to fire that ass. God is the same way! Don’t act like you don’t remember how he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, or the aforementioned flood in the days of Noah. When God is fed up, God is fed up. I’m not trying to preach, I’m just relaying to you my personal struggle. When I do pray lately it isn’t heartfelt, it’s more of a routine and I’m not fooling anyone but myself because God knows. I find myself praying when something is wrong, like, “God, please make it right,” but when something is going good I’m giving myself the praise, like, “Yeah, I bust Stupid Dope Moves.” I have to stop and ask myself, who is giving me the power to bust Stupid Dope Moves? Not the world, the radio, the television, the mixtapes, or the record labels. Nah, brothers and sisters, it’s God himself! I had to get that off my chest and “Chin Check” my damn self just to get everything back in order. Now, the moral of the story is this: All my hood figures, d-boys, trap stars, rappers, athletes, radio personalities, DJs, lawyers, engineers, employees at Rainbow, fry cooks at Burger King, skrippers (that’s not a typo I spell it how I say it), college students, and regular everyday ordinary people living this thing called life, in 2008, no matter what you do or how you do it, be a host to God. That means always see your authentic connection to your Source. Know that it is impossible to ever be disconnected from the Source from which you came and please don’t allow the ways of this world or this matrix we call the industry to break your divine bond with the most high. Peace Almighty..... Charlamagne Tha God
(above L-R): Yo Gotti showing off a Trae bobblehead in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K); Nelly, DJ Drama, & Greg Street on the set of DJ Drama’s “5000 Ones” in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Eric Perrin); Young Chris & Freeway @ Compound for Def Jam’s pre-BET Hip Hop Awards party in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // Lil Hen & Ms Asia @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 02 // Julia Beverly, KK, & RukaPuff @ Onyx for OZONE talent search (St Louis, MO) 03 // TJ Chapman & Khia @ Central Florida Fairgrounds for DME’s annual Florida Classic car show (Orlando, FL) 04 // Kid Capri & K-Foxx @ Mansion for DJ Khaled’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 05 // Chris Johnson, Webbie, & Dreadlocks @ Hush for OZONE’s Webbie concert (Houston, TX) 06 // C-Ride & Hurricane Chris @ Vibe & McDonald’s Yardfest on FAMU campus (Tallahassee, FL) 07 // T-Pain & Ja Rule on the Rickey Smiley morning show on 97.9 The Beat (Dallas, TX) 08 // Trae & Bun B @ KBXX’s car show (Houston, TX) 09 // Young Cash & Shawn Jay @ The Globe for DJ Q45’s birthday bash (Jacksonville, FL) 10 // Lloyd & Willie Joe @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 11 // LeToya’s grandmother Ms. Williams, Slim Thug, & Brandi Garcia @ LeToya Luckett’s party (Houston, TX) 12 // J Holiday & Dr Teeth on the set of Fat Joe & J Holiday’s video shoot (Miami, FL) 13 // Guest, J Lash, & Ted Lucas on the set of Rick Ross’ “Speedin’” video shoot (Miami, FL) 14 // Wickett Crickett & Polk @ Roxy (Houston, TX) 15 // Santana & Bigga Rankin on the set of Young Cash’s “X” video shoot (Jacksonville, FL) 16 // Pat Nix & Ja Rule @ The Roxy (Orlando, FL) 17 // Kiotti & Webbie @ KBXX’s car show (Houston, TX) 18 // DJ Walgee & DJ Nasty @ The Roxy (Orlando, FL) 19 // Trae, Lil Jared, Lil Duval, Chamillionaire, Famous, & Playaz Circle @ KBXX’s car show (Houston, TX) Photo Credits: Bogan (12); BRE (07); Carl Lewis (13); Intl K (05,08,11,14,17,19); Julia Beverly (03,06,10); King Yella (02); Malik Abdul (09); Terrence Tyson (01,04,15,16,18)
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dj khaled and diamond DJ Khaled: YO DIAMOND, THIS IS IMPORTANT, LISTEEEEEEENNNN!!!!! Diamond: Who’s this? DJ Khaled: THIS IS THE DON DADA!!!!! THE BIG DAWG PITBULL! TERROR SQUADIAN A.K.A THE BEAT NOVOCANE A.K.A. I MAKE HIT RECORDS A.K.A. THIS WHAT I DO A.K.A. WE TAKIN’ OVER A.K.A. I’M SO HOOD A.K.A. GOD LOVES ME!!!!! I REPRESENT DIAMONNNND!!!!! Diamond: Who? DJ Khaled: DJ KHALED!!!!! WE THE BEST!!!!! Diamond: Ooooooooh, what’s up Khaled? DJ Khaled: YO’ I’VE BEEN FOLLOWING YOUR WORK!!!!! AND I THINK YOU DA BEST AND I THINK WE CAN MAKE THIS A MOVIE TOGETHER!!!!! Diamond: Hell nah, nigga. I’m not making no movie with yo ass!
Diamond: I’ve been thinking about that too. But I’ve been with them my whole career.
Textin’ is no longer safe now that OZONE’s dangerous minds have hacked the system.
DJ Khaled: BUT U THE BEST!!! U CAN BE BIGGER THAN TRINA!!!!! U CAN BE BIGGER THAN EVE!!!!! U CAN BE BIGGER THAN BEYONCE!!!!! U CAN BE BIGGER THAN OPRAH!!!!! U!!! U NIGGA!!! U THE BEST!!! Diamond: U r right. Have you been talking to Lil Scrappy? That’s the same thing he said. DJ Khaled: LISTEEEENNNN!!! I REPRESENT UNITY!!!!! I REPRESENT THE HOOD!!!!! I REPRESENT THE GHETTO!!!!! I REPRESENT U! BUT NOT CRIME MOB!!!!! HATED ON MOSTLY, THAT’S NOT A CLASSIC ALBUM! BUT WE THE BEST, THAT’S A CLASSIC ALBUM!!!!! Diamond: I do got 32 flavors of that bootylicious bubblegum, I probably should go solo. I do think I’m best! Khaled: NO!!! WE!!!! Diamond: Who? Khaled: WE, NIGGA!!!!! WE DA BEST!!! AND THAT’S WHY I THINK YOU SHOULD BE ON MY NEXT ALBUM. IT’S CALLED….IT’S CALLED….I DON’T EVEN KNOWING WHAT IT’S FUCKING CALLED YET!!!!! BUT IT’S GONNA BE DA BEST!!!!! Diamond: Ummm. Ok. Can Scrappy be on it too? Khaled: NO! HE’S NOT THE BEST!!!!! WE DA BEST!!!!! GOD LOVES ME!!!!! - From the Minds of Eric Perrin and Randy Roper
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*This is just a joke. No, we didn’t really hack into anyone’s sidekick.
DJ Khaled: NOOOOOO!!!!! NOT THAT KINDA MOVIE!!!!! YOU KNOW, A MOVIE, BABY!!! LISTEEEENNNNNN!!! I KNOW YOU’RE WIT’ CRIME MOB BUT I THINK YOU SHOULD GO SOLO!!!
(above L-R): T-Pain & his mother @ the Dirty Awards in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly); LeToya Luckett with her grandmother and mother in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K); Lil Scrappy & his mother @ the Dirty Awards in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // C Murder & his cousin Gordon & Lil Gordon (New Orleans, LA) 02 // Young Cash, Malik Abdul, Julia Beverly, TJ Chapman, Midget Mac, & Bigga Rankin @ Onyx for OZONE talent search (St Louis, MO) 03 // Tony Neal & G-Mack @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 04 // CO, Trina, & Money Mark @ Mansion for DJ Khaled’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 05 // Pretty Todd & Paul Wall (Houston, TX) 06 // Young Dro & DJ Toomp @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Yo Gotti & Rich Boy @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 08 // Young Yo & Lil Wayne @ House of Blues for Cash Money Millionaires’ 10 Year Anniversary (New Orleans, LA) 09 // Trey Songz & DJ Drama @ Velvet Room for DJ Drama’s album release party (Atlanta, GA) 10 // Eric & Casey @ Primetime (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Z-Ro & Young B @ Mike Jones’ American Dream movie premiere (Houston, TX) 12 // Valarie & Freda @ Club 300 (New Orleans, LA) 13 // TJ Chapman & Keith Kennedy @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 14 // Pleasure P & Tarvoria @ White Diamonds for Trina & Pleasure P’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 15 // Rapid Ric & Mohawk @ BET College Tour (Houston, TX) 16 // BloodRaw & DJ Demp on the set of “26 Inches” (Atlanta, GA) 17 // BF & Unk @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 18 // Papa Duck & Red Dogg @ Roxy for Frontline’s Florida Classic weekend (Orlando, FL) 19 // Slim & Mack Maine @ House of Blues for Cash Money Millionaires’ 10 Year Anniversary (New Orleans, LA) 20 // David Banner’s Heal the Hood Christmas Eve toy giveaway (Jackson, MS) Photo Credits: Eric Perrin (09,10); Intl K (05,11,15); Julia Beverly (04,06,14,16,17,20); King Yella (02); Marcus DeWayne (01,08,12,19); Terrence Tyson (03,07,13,18)
OZONEMAG MAG////31 31 OZONE
Amileyon Words by Eric Perrin
his is the story of Amileyon—a massage therapy student at the Academy of Healing Arts whose current customers wish they could be the ones touching her. 20-year-old Amileyon was once hampered with bills and student loan payments so she decided to take on another major, the art of the pole at Strokers University. “I love pole tricks,” she says. “When I was 17 one of my cousins danced and I used to go in with her after work and learn how to do pole tricks and everything. I would lift myself up and all that other mess. I was in training at 17 but I never thought I would become a dancer.” But growing up in Atlanta, its not too surprising that Amileyon would look to the pole for employment. There are more strips clubs in ATL than Church’s Chicken and Popeye’s Restaurants combined, and they serve up more tasty breasts and thighs as well. “Strip clubs in Atlanta are just part of the culture,” admits Amileyon. “But ever since I was a little girl I’ve knew [that] the best strip clubs in Atlanta were Strokers and Magic City.” The perfect Puerto Rican and Creole creation chose Stokers, and before her first night on the job she received her stage name from the other girls. “One of the girl came up to me and said, ‘You look like your name should be Amileyon, like Christina Milian.’ I just ran with it,” she says. But one obvious difference between Amileyon and the singer she was named after is, although Christina is cute, she lacks one obvious asset that Amileyon proudly possesses. “I’m most proud of my ass, I must admit,” she confesses. “To be so small up top and to as skinny as I am from the front, I have a big ass on me, and I’m proud of that.” Despite the fact that she displays her unclothed culo every night at the club, Amileyon highly values her body and rejects any request from customers that involves more than just a lap dance. “I’ve been offered $5,000 to go home with somebody. I looked at him and started laughing,” she explains. “He was serious. But I just continued to give him dances until he got tired of me ignoring him. I feel like my body is worth way more than that.” www.myspace.com/amilleyon Website: www.strokersclub.com 770-270-0350 Photographer: Sean Cokes 404-622-7733 Make-Up Artist: Mike Mike 678-732-5285 Hairstylist: Baby Boy 404-396-2739
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(above L-R): C.O. & Trick Daddy’s wife Joy @ White Diamonds for Trina & Pleasure P’s birthday party in Miami, FL (Photo: Julia Beverly); Bun B with his stepdaughter Breneshia and wife Queen @ Breneshia’s birthday party in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K); Buckeey & her brother @ the Dirty Awards in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // Lil Duval, DJ Q45, & T-Roy @ Central Florida Fairgrounds for DME’s annual Florida Classic car show (Orlando, FL) 02 // Yung Berg, Pleasure P, & Keith Sweat, KD, & Jas Prince @ White Diamonds for Trina & Pleasure P’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 03 // WyldBoyz @ Onyx for OZONE talent search (St Louis, MO) 04 // Midget Mac, Beauty, & Young Cash @ Onyx for OZONE talent search (St Louis, MO) 05 // Young Jeezy & Young Buck @ Velvet Room for DJ Drama’s album release party (Atlanta, GA) 06 // Bigga Rankin & Wes Fif @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 07 // Willie the Kid & Yung Joc @ Velvet Room for DJ Drama’s album release party (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Wild Wayne & Lil Boosie @ Battle of the Bands (New Orleans, LA) 09 // Z-Ro remembers DJ Screw @ Mike Jones’ American Dream movie premiere (Houston, TX) 10 // D Glover & D Ward @ Hush for OZONE’s Webbie concert (Houston, TX) 11 // Willie Fisher & Carl Bosse @ Central Florida Fairgrounds for DME’s annual Florida Classic car show (Orlando, FL) 12 // The Show, Mannie Fresh, & Carl Thomas @ the Kool Experience (New Orleans, LA) 13 // Rex & KD @ White Diamonds for Trina & Pleasure P’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 14 // Rovella Williams & JR Get Money @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 15 // Stephanie & Hoetester @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 16 // Derrick & the Glam Squad of Savage Promotions @ Elite (Baton Rouge, LA) 17 // Traffik, Garfield, Krazy Yogi, & Disco @ Firestone for Florida Classic block party (Orlando, FL) 18 // Slim Thug, Matthew Knowles, & Madd Hatta @ Music World Entertainment’s Hoops for Hunger (Houston, TX) 19 // Trae & Crisco Kidd @ Party 93.3’s Toy Drive (Houston, TX) Photo Credits: Eric Perrin (05,07); Intl K (09,10,19); Julia Beverly (01,02,11,13,14); King Yella (03,04,16); Lamont DeSal (18); Malik Abdul (17); Marcus DeWayne (08,12); Terrence Tyson (06,15)
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She Liked my NECKLACE and started relaxin’, that’s what the fuck I call a…
m fascinated with this jewelry shit. You know I like to shine. When people see me and see all this shit, they be like, “You made it, nigga!”
The “B” stands for “Boosie,” that’s why I got my name with diamonds and the crown on top of it, which stands for the King of the Ghetto. I’m the King of the Ghetto. If any ghettoes get onto Boosie, I’m the King of it. Holding my piece up is a 144-carat diamond chain; all diamonds. Just the chain by itself is $35,000. And my piece is like $30,000, so that’s about a $70,000 piece all together. My ice is designed by Emmett out of Houston. He designs all my jewelry; I stick to one jeweler. You can find him outside the
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WIPE ME DOWN
Galleria on Westheimer [in Houston].
lil boosie The I-10 piece, I paid $40,000 for that. It represents how I used to make money before I started rappin’. All these other diamond chains, these are like $10k, $20k, $10k, $15k, you know, my bracelet is $40k cause it’s $20k times two. I got one added onto it. My watch is $40k. I’ve gone one of the biggest bezels in the game. I’ve got the four-row bezel. Plus, several rings, and I’ve got the Bentley chain to match with my Bentley car. // Words by Malik Abdul Photo by Terrence Tyson
(above L-R): Yung Joc & T-Pain @ the Dirty Awards in Atlanta, GA; Young Dro & Too $hort @ the Dirty Awards in Atlanta, GA; Trina & Pleasure @ White Diamonds for their birthday party in Miami, FL (Photos; Julia Beverly)
01 // DJ Q45 & E-Class @ Hush for OZONE’s Webbie concert (Houston, TX) 02 // Disco & Chef @ Firestone for Florida Classic block party (Orlando, FL) 03 // Spiff, Kaye Dunaway, & DJ Nasty @ The Roxy (Orlando, FL) 04 // King Ron & Shot Out @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 05 // Freeway, Young Sav, & guests @ Compound for Def Jam’s pre-BET Hip Hop Awards party (Atlanta, GA) 06 // Lloyd & DJ Drama @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Alesha Renee & Chamillionaire @ BET College Tour (Houston, TX) 08 // Famous & Rapid Ric @ Mike Jones’ American Dream movie premiere (Houston, TX) 09 // G Dash & Paul Wall’s son Will Wall (Houston, TX) 10 // K-Foxx, KRS-One, & Jacki-O on the set of DJ Khaled’s “I’m So Hood” remix (Atlanta, GA) 11 // EZ & Birdman (Houston, TX) 12 // Chise & Bun B @ Bun B’s step daughter Breneshia’s birthday party (Houston, TX) 13 // A Dub & Playaz Circle @ KBXX’s car show (Houston, TX) 14 // Beauty & TJ Chapman @ Onyx for OZONE talent search (St Louis, MO) 15 // E-Class, Rick Ross, & DJ Khaled @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 16 // Black & Webbie @ The Globe for DJ Q45’s birthday bash (Jacksonville, FL) 17 // DJ Demp & Mob Boss @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 18 // Cool & Gil Green on the set of Fat Joe’s video shoot (Miami, FL) 19 // Malik Abdul, Young Cash, & Lil Hen @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 20 // DJ Star & C-Ride @ Vibe & McDonald’s Yardfest on FAMU campus (Tallahassee, FL) Photo Credits: Eric Perrin (10); Intl K (01,07,08,09,11,12,13); Julia Beverly (05,06,15,20); King Yella (14); Leon Lloyd (18); Malik Abdul (02,16); Ms Rivercity (04); Terrence Tyson (03,17,19)
OZONEMAG MAG////35 35 OZONE
young cash & midget mac
Although you might recognize Midget Mac as the shit-talking “small person” vying for New York’s love on the hit VH1 show I Love New York 2, he is no stranger to Jacksonville, FL (Duuuuuuval!!!) natives. As the hype man for SRC/ Universal signee / local celebrity Young Cash, Midget Mac is already a permanent fixture in the Florida music scene and has appeared in music videos (including T-Pain’s “Sprung” and Young Cash’s “Freeze” and “X”). Thanks to the hype generated by his memorable appearance on VH1, he can barely walk through the mall without attracting a flock of squealing female fans.
Did you get down and dirty with New York? Nah, we didn’t get down and dirty, but she tongued me down. They ain’t show all the extra stuff. You have to go to VH1.com to see it. When we were all eating dinner we went to take a smoke break, me, her, and The Entertainer. He rushed over there with her and I played it like a G. Two minutes into the conversation New York told him she wanted to spend some time with Midget Mac and sent his ass right back to the dinner table. Next thing I know, she attacked me. Swear to God.
What’s your career goal? I always wanted to be on TV cause I knew I had the talent. I’m different than everybody else. I’m a midget, but I’m a fly-ass midget. I always wanted to be on TV, I just had to be in the right place at the right time. When they were doing the casting for the show [I Love New York 2] I flew out to California nad did a one-on-one audition with the casting dude. I knew once the muthafuckin’ world saw me it’d be all good.
Were you offended by New York’s mom’s reaction to you? Nah. That bitch was acting. You’re fifty years old and you ain’t never seen no midget? And you look like Grace Jones, so why are you scared of me? Bitch, you look like black Godzilla, with a wig on. I should’ve been scared of you! But I had to keep it G cause I was there for her daughter. But on the reunion show I let her ugly ass have it.
Was there anybody in the house you got along with better than the others? I got along with It. That’s my dawg, the crazy ass muthafucker. Buddha’s my nigga; he saved me when I was about to drown. Pretty and Punk are straight. The Entertainer, we had got into it, but he hit me about twenty times on Myspace dick-ridin’. I didn’t get along with 20 Pack because he hated on me on a date and he got sent home the same night, but he hit me on Myspace and apologized, so really I ain’t got a problem with nobody. Going into the competition, did you feel that you were at a disadvantage being a midget? Nah, I just went in with straight attitude. Man Man was like, “I thought you would be a straight dickhead because when you first came in the house you had your arms crossed, mean muggin’.” I was like, “I ain’t know y’all fuck niggas.” But a couple days later they knew what time it was cause they started bowing down, dick-ridin’. Do you normally date regular-sized women? I ain’t ever dated no midget. I’ve met midgets, but on some real shit, I have never seen a midget in person that fit my standards. I know I don’t look funny looking. I’ve seen a lot of midgets but they be looking funny, for real. How is that gonna look if two short muthafuckers walk in the mall? Everybody’s gonna be lookin’ at us. But nah, I fuck with girls that are like 5’ 2” and up. Are your parents midgets? Nah, they’re regular size. I’ve got three brothers too that are regular-sized. I guess somebody back in the day was short in my family. I’ve got two girls. One is regular sized and one is short like me. The doctor said that basically every time I have a kid, it’s a 50/50 chance [of them being born short]. It’s like rolling dice. My older daughter is regular-sized and my other daughter, she’s short. 36 // OZONE MAG
I see you have a lot of female fans now. They all say the same shit. Corny lines. “If New York don’t want you, I’ll take you.” “Who won?” “Is you Midget Mac?” Naw, bitch, what the fuck do you think? And, “Did you fuck New York?” I love all my fans cause I’m a humble nigga, but for real, the niggas be acting worse than the hoes. What else are you working on? I’m doing a lot of hosting from state to state, $5k bare minimum. But you could shoot me four and owe me a stack. But there’s a lot of rumors going around VH1. People say I made the show and I’m getting my own show, but I don’t believe it til it’s on paper. People all across the world told me the same thing: “You funny. You dressed head to toe.” Wipe me down. That’s just me 24/7. I act like that anyway. I just kept it G and everybody loves me for that. If you get your own show, is it going to be like Flavor Flav’s? It’s just been rumors, but VH1 made history by putting Midget Mac on. If you had 20 women competing for you, what kind of challenges would you put them through? Bend over and touch your toes. (laughs) Naw, just playin’. I probably would have them do some crazy shit. I might be 50,000 feet in the air and have them climb up butt naked on a ladder to rescue me. Midget Mac don’t discriminate. I like ‘em white, black, Chinese, Japanese, whatever, as long as they got a pretty face, a slim waist, and a moon pie. I ain’t really a titty man. You could have A’s or D’s; as long as you’ve got that drop top, Mac’s down, straight up. You’ve gotta be fire though and you’ve gotta have a good attitude, and they’ve gotta have that mizzle [money]. I could do bad by my damn self, that’s fo’ sure. I just keep it real; that’s what the bitches like. And I’ll cuss they ass out, too, when I got to. Bitch, you ain’t ‘bout to walk all over me. // Words by Julia Beverly // Photo by Terrence TYson
(above L-R): BloodRaw & Mannie Fresh @ Patchwerk in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly); Chingy, Ludacris, & Gorilla Zoe @ Club Society in St Louis, MO (Photo: King Yella); David Banner’s Heal the Hood Christmas Eve toy giveaway in Jackson, MS (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // DJ Khaled, DJ Nasty, & DJ Demp @ Mansion for DJ Khaled’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 02 // DJ Secret, Spade, Lisa Walker, & C-Rena @ The Drink for DJ Secret’s birthday bash (Lakeland, FL) 03 // Guest, David Banner, Alfamega, Gorilla Zoe, Big Kuntry, Stix Malone, DJ Sense, Damien Lemon & friends on the set of DJ Drama’s “5000 Ones” (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Jha Jha, & DJ 151 @ MonEG’s video shoot (Jacksonville, FL) 05 // Maddog, Midget Mac, & Mr Wyze @ Sobe Live for Bigga Rankin’s party (Miami, FL) 06 // David Banner & DJ Drama on the set of DJ Drama’s “5000 Ones” (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Kyjuan & Murphy Lee reppin’ the Greedy Genius shoe @ Lucky’s (St Louis, MO) 08 // Carol City Cartel & R Kelly on the set of Rick Ross’ “Speedin’” video shoot (Miami, FL) 09 // Wendy Day & Jacki-O @ Jack da Juice music conference (Atlanta, GA) 10 // B-Rich, BOB, & TJ Chapman @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 11 // Ashanti & Headkrack @ 97.9 The Beat (Dallas, TX) 12 // Benji Brown & DJ Irie @ Mansion for DJ Khaled’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 13 // Ivory & ladies @ The Globe for DJ Q45’s birthday bash (Jacksonville, FL) 14 // Big Amp, Big Cee Jay, Charles Wakeley, & J Holla @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 15 // Bigga Rankin & Kaspa the Don @ Body Tap (Atlanta, GA) 16 // DJ Element & DJ Q45 @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 17 // Dawgman & Khia @ Central Florida Fairgrounds for DME’s annual Florida Classic car show (Orlando, FL) 18 // DJ Blak & Pleasure P @ Stankonia Studios (Atlanta, GA) 19 // King Yella & Malik Abdul @ Onyx for OZONE talent search (St Louis, MO) Photo Credits: BRE (11); Carl Lewis (08); DJ Who (09); Julia Beverly (01,03,06,12,17,18); King Yella (07,19); Malik Abdul (13); Ms Rivercity (04,05,10); Street Grindaz (02); Terrence Tyson (14,15,16)
OZONEMAG MAG////37 37 OZONE
Disclaimer: These are my opinions and my statements. They do not reflect on Bun B or UGK as a group. Editor’s Note: This is the last column Pimp C did for OZONE before he passed away (R.I.P.). This is a dangerous industry. It’s foul. With as many devils and vultures and hogs and wicked people that are involved in [the rap game], I think every [artist] ought to have a license to carry guns – felons or no felons. So off top, if [the police] pull a rap nigga over and he’s got a gun, shit, he’s probably got a gun because he’s scared somebody else with a gun is gonna try to do something [to him]. Most likely, he’s not gonna take his gun and go do something to somebody. It’s very probable that somewhere around every rapper, there’s going to be some weapons, especially if you’re in a position where your homeboy was murdered right in front of you. So it’s unfortunate that [T.I.] got caught up. He wasn’t the first one and he ain’t gonna be the last one, either. The only details we’ve heard so far [about T.I.’s case] were from the media. We haven’t really heard the tape [recordings]. Even the affidavit, man, if you read nigga’s affidavits, that shit says anything. Muthafuckers will write anything in that shit. I don’t believe that shit until a muthafucker proves it to me. Play [T.I.’s] voice. Let me hear his voice asking a muthafucker for a “silencer” and then I’d ask him, “What do you need a silencer for, nigga?” I know at this stage in the game, with as much paper as this man’s got and as many other business ventures he’s got, he ain’t on no mission to go trying to snipe niggas. Do you really think T.I. is a hit man? The shit don’t make sense. So for us to be able to judge [his] situation and get down to the bottom of it, we’ll have to wait and see how this comes out. It’s unfortunate that at this point in his career, some shit like this would have to go down. And he ain’t gonna be the last one. A lot of niggas are getting twisted up with these gun charges and shit. I read shit about a lot of people – I mean, I just flip through these magazines – but I don’t believe nothing they say. Muthafuckers be lying all the time. All the time I was [in prison], nobody ever wrote the way my case went down the right way. So I know the rest of these nigga’s cases ain’t being written out right either. Didn’t [Lil] Wayne just get a gun charge in New York? [The Feds] like fuckin’ with us. We’re public enemy #1, the rappers are. Bunch of niggas, bunch of money, nice cars, we rap about shit they don’t like, we wear a lot of jewels – hey, mayne, you’re a target. If you’re shining, you’re the nigga they love to hate. And what’s so cold about it is that the executives making all the money [off us] just sit back and let it go down because they’ll have a new [rap] nigga next year. We shouldn’t condemn or support anything until we know all the facts about the T.I. case. Do we know that T.I. asked [his bodyguard] for all that shit? During the recordings, did they actually use the street terms or did they use undercover terms? I ain’t finna take no phone call from a muthafucker talking about “silencers.” I’ma hang the phone up. Were they talking straight up or were they talking in undercover terms? If a muthafucker calls me saying, “I got some shit,” he could be sayin’ anything. I don’t know; I wasn’t there and I didn’t hear that shit and I don’t know what they’re charging him with. But in my mind and in my heart, I know that young nigga [T.I.] ain’t that dumb. I know he ain’t went out there to do no dumb shit like that, and if he did, why would he want to do that? At this stage in the game, why would he want to do that? He ain’t no hit man. He’s a rapper. That ain’t in him no more. [The details of my case] don’t matter no more. What matters is that I’m home now with my family, and that shit is over. I did four years of an eight year sentence and I’m on parole. I’ve done two years of my parole. The facts of my case never really came out, so if the facts of what I would consider to 38 // OZONE MAG
be a small case, a bullshit case, never came out and I was able to get as much time as I got, think about how they’re gonna blow this [T.I.] shit out of proportion. It’s already being blown out of proportion, shit. Man, fuck all that. Did T.I. actually get on the phone and call a muthafucker and ask him for some gotdamn guns and silencers? If you can’t prove that to me, throw that case out. They said they went to his residence and found guns at his house, and found guns on him, right? He’s gotta deal with that – with having weapons on him, and whatever was at his house – but I mean, shit. A lot of rappers have been caught with weapons on them. If you ask me my opinion, if you’re a rapper in this game, you oughta have a license to be able to carry a weapon. If every other muthafucker in the street is trying to do something to you because they feel like you’ve got money and you’re a target, shit. If you’ve gotta tell on your own people to get yourself out of trouble, you’re a snitch. The only reason a person would ever want to spill the beans on somebody else is to (a) destroy them, or (b) get themselves out of trouble and put somebody else in hot water. The only reason a person would snitch is to save their own ass. Sounds to me like [T.I.’s] bodyguard was caught already, so [the Feds] needed a bigger fish to fry. So he fried T.I. I haven’t read all the police reports and all that ol’ kind of shit. I’m in the studio. I ain’t with that hoe-ass shit. But from what I’ve heard, it sounds like a snitchin’ situation. If you’re a nigga and you get caught doing a whole bunch of wrong shit and you’re going to jail and the Feds got you, if you go and start telling on your whole city and get a whole bunch of people’s dads and uncles and brothers and shit locked up so you can get a two year sentence and come home quick, you’re a snitch-ass nigga. That’s like when a bitch-ass muthafucker comes at me for some time for a funky-ass bitch case that ain’t really hold no merit and talked about it like it had a bunch of merit, but when you really read the paperwork, it ain’t got no merit. And a muthafucker says, “We don’t want you, Chad Butler. We really want James Prince. Just tell us something about James Prince and we’ll let you go.” Yeah, okay. Fuck you. Do whatever it is you say you’re gonna do to me, and I’ll come home one day. I’m gonna take my time and come home, because you’re trying to make me out to be a bitch or a snitch. That’s what “snitching” is, to me. Whatever a muthafucker is doing next door doesn’t have anything to do with me unless it involves me and my family or endangers me and my family. If my next-door neighbor is making bombs that can blow the whole neighborhood up, yeah, somebody needs to tell somebody about his muthafuckin’ ass or he’s gonna blow us all up together. But just dry snitching for no reason? Shit, I don’t see too much of that. I didn’t read [T.I.’s] police report but the shit ain’t adding up in my mind that he would be buying the type of shit they said he was buying. I’m sure when this shit is over with and it all comes to a head, we’ll see the truth. The truth will come out and everybody will understand what this shit is really about. If this shit is really about one muthafucker getting caught up and getting his own people caught up because he couldn’t handle his own case, that’s some snitch-ass shit. I’m supporting T.I.; that’s all I’m saying. He’s innocent until proven guilty, and we should take it that way. We shouldn’t go with what the media or what these muthafuckers are trying to say about him until we know exactly what’s going on. It sounds like some ol’ snitching shit went on, so let’s support the man and don’t condemn him until we find out what’s really happening with his case. // Photo by Julia Beverly
(above L-R): Diamond & Rasheeda @ the Dirty Awards in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly); Z-Ro & Trae @ their photo shoot in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K); Christina Milian & Dre on the set of Fat Joe & J Holiday’s video shoot in Miami, FL (Photo: Bogan)
01 // Block, Rico, Greg Street, & Yung Joc @ Russell Simmons’ Financial Empowerment Hip Hop Summit (Atlanta, GA) 02 // DJ Trauma & BloodRaw @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 03 // Lil Scrappy, Willie the Kid, & DJ Drama @ Mansion for DJ Khaled’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 04 // Big Du & 8Ball @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 05 // School Boyz Entertainment @ FAMU Homecoming concert (Tallahassee, FL) 06 // Keri Hilson & Polow da Don @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Erik Parker, Killer Mike, Princess, David Banner, & Diamond @ MTV Jams taping (Atlanta, GA) 08 // J Prince & Mike Jones giving out Thanksgiving Turkeys @ Prince Gym (Houston, TX) 09 // Lil Boosie & Mouse @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 10 // Young Cash, Mob Boss, & M-Geezy on the set of Young Cash’s “X” video shoot (Jacksonville, FL) 11 // DJ Aaries & Tony Neal @ Powerball Mansion party (Atlanta, GA) 12 // 3 AM @ Central Florida Fairgrounds for DME’s annual Florida Classic car show (Orlando, FL) 13 // B Star, Jas Prince, & guest @ the Houston premiere of This Christmas (Houston, TX) 14 // E-Class, Wyclef, & D’Lyte @ 97.9 The Beat (Dallas, TX) 15 // Ja Rule & J-Deezy @ The Roxy (Orlando, FL) 16 // Foxx & Mone @ Phat Phat & All That for Foxx’s in-store (New Orleans, LA) 17 // Disco, Howard Ringer, & DJ Demp @ Firestone for Florida Classic block party (Orlando, FL) 18 // K Foxx & E Class on the set of Fat Joe & J Holiday’s video shoot (Miami, FL) 19 // Bigg D & Trina @ White Diamonds for Trina & Pleasure P’s birthday party (Miami, FL) Photo Credits: Bogan (18); DJ Who (11); D’Lyte (14); Intl K (08,13); Julia Beverly (03,04,05,06,07,12,19); Malik Abdul (17); Marcus DeWayne (16); Terrence Tyson (09,10,15); Thaddaeus McAdams (01,02)
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40 // OZONE MAG
(above L-R): Seventeen & Pimp C (R.I.P.) @ Belle Noche in Baton Rouge, LA (Photo: King Yella); T-Pain & DJ Khaled @ Mansion for DJ Khaled’s birthday party in Miami, FL (Photo: Julia Beverly); Willie D & Trey Songz on the set of Scarface’s video shoot in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K)
01 // G-Mack, DJ Q45, & guest @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 02 // Hustle House Records & Rich Boy @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 03 // Guest, Pitbull, & Sheek Louch on the set of Fat Joe & J Holiday’s video shoot (Miami, FL) 04 // Russell Simmons & Jermaine Dupri @ Russell Simmons’ Financial Empowerment Hip Hop Summit (Atlanta, GA) 05 // Young Jeezy & Block on the set of DJ Drama’s “5000 Ones” (Atlanta, GA) 06 // Gucci Man & Yo Gotti @ KBXX’s car show (Houston, TX) 07 // BloodRaw & his son on the set of “26 Inches” (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Diamond & Lil Scrappy @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 09 // Pimp C & Raw LT @ KBXX’s car show (Houston, TX) 10 // Kim Ellis, Erica Bowen, Asha Blu, & Jade Abercrombie on the set of BloodRaw’s “26 Inches” (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Beat Boy, DJ Q45, guest, & Swordz @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 12 // Keith Kennedy & Grand Prix @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 13 // KJ Hines, Latin Prince, & Wu Chang (Houston, TX) 14 // Steve Bellamy, Pimp G, & Papa Duck @ Upstart Record Pool (Jacksonville, FL) 15 // Foxx & Lady Nell @ Club 300 (New Orleans, LA) 16 // Jerry Clark & Big Oomp @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 17 // 8Ball, Young Bleed, & Pookie from Urban South (Dallas, TX) 18 // Lil Duval & Stix Malone @ Velvet Room for DJ Drama’s album release party (Atlanta, GA) 19 // Lil Ru & Foxx @ Vibe & McDonald’s Yardfest on FAMU campus (Tallahassee, FL) Photo Credits: Bogan (03); Edward Hall (17); Eric Perrin (18); Intl K (06,09,13); Julia Beverly (05,07,10,16,19); Marcus DeWayne (15); Ms Rivercity (01,11,12); Terrence Tyson (02,14); Thaddaeus McAdams (04,08)
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AITING W Y L T N E I PAT
e k a Dr
e to mind and Melyssa Ford all com old weather, ice hockey fan Hop Hip e rag ave the . But when Canada is mentioned original members of the Wu e nin all e nam ly could probab per ld name one Canadian rap Tang Clan before they cou year-old 21if But e. gam rap the act on that’s had a significant imp g to do with it, ake” Graham has anythin Toronto emcee Aubrey “Dr nt. things will soon be differe , and that’s the lacking an icon right now “Canada is a place that’s ins. “Canada just beg ke Dra fill as an artist,” door. I guess void I’m really trying to the ugh to get their foot thro really needs that person
Toronto, CANADA t dude.”
I’m going to try and be tha
star in his own ions, Drake is already a Despite his rap star aspirat wn as an actor. He has played seven kno right. To many, he’s better Brooks, on the disabled character, Jimmy seasons as a physically Next GeneraThe si: ras vision series Deg n, much like Canadian teen drama tele ssio pre ther form of self-ex tion. “I love acting. It’s ano music,” he says. tent and hopes cess, Drake is far from con que reception Even with his thespian suc -es non le avoiding a Nick Can to be taken seriously whi “I believe in my ry. ust ind sic mu the from says. “One thing talent in a major way,” he that my music is t fac the is I’m confident in ple doubting me. peo to great. I look forward cessful transfer suc a de ma lly rea has No one na be the wan just I sic. mu to from acting .” und aro allit s first dude that doe e (his father wrote With music in his pedigre yed bass for pla le unc and en for Al Gre en the necestak tly nes ear Prince), he has ustry’s undivided sary strides to get the ind mixtape, Room For attention. His first major DJ Smallz, caught by ted hos , ent Improvem fans and insiders. us ero num the attention of Girl” featuring ent cem His first single “Repla ’s 106th & Park, BET on d ute deb gz Son Trey igned Canadian making Drake the first uns t. fea t tha h plis artist to accom
eback Season has His follow-up mixtape Com ngthened his stre and z buz his d accelerate ently ranks as sist con He ng. internet followi st on Myspace. arti an adi the #1 unsigned Can independent album an ase rele to ns pla With gs Fresh imprint, in 2008 through his All Thin st to become que his in ted Drake is undaun t of the fron in from the best to ever step . mic the ind beh to era cam says confidently. “Just keep an eye out,” he hard or listen too k loo “You won’t have to definitely patiently I’m re. the be I’ll d. har too ut to come to waiting but the wait is abo is going to be a 8 200 k thin an end. I really for music and und aro phenomenal year alla fan of Drake, let t’s tha y bod Any . eer car my // them know, I’m coming.” rake www.myspace.com/thisisd Words by Randy Roper
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(above L-R): Polow da Don & Mike Jones @ the Dirty Awards in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly); Lil Wayne & Mannie Fresh @ Lil Wayne’s Bayou Classic jam in New Orleans, LA (Photo: Marcus DeWayne); R Kelly & Rick Ross on the set of Rick Ross’ “Speedin’” video shoot in Miami, FL (Photo: Carl Lewis)
01 // Gorilla Zoe, Big Teach, Derek Jurand, Tony Neal, & Emmanuel @ Emmanuel’s “Swagga” video shoot (Miami, FL) 02 // DJ Quinn, Laurence Maroney, & DJ Sir Thurl @ Society (St Louis, MO) 03 // Lil Wayne & DJ Raj Smoove @ House of Blues for Cash Money Millionaires’ 10 Year Anniversary (New Orleans, LA) 04 // Malik Abdul & Alju @ Roxy for Frontline’s Florida Classic weekend (Orlando, FL) 05 // DJ Khaled, Gorilla Zoe, & Leo G @ Mansion for DJ Khaled’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 06 // Bun B & Block @ KBXX’s car show (Houston, TX) 07 // Freda, Lil Boosie, & Cupid @ Battle of the Bands (New Orleans, LA) 08 // DJ Chino, DJ Drama, Wililek the Kid, Spiff, & DJ Nasty @ Firestone during Florida Classic weekend (Orlando, FL) 09 // DJ Q45 & Project Pat on the set of DJ Drama’s “5000 Ones” (Atlanta, GA) 10 // The Morton Sisters @ Plush for Young Cash’s “X” video shoot (Jacksonville, FL) 11 // Dr Teeth & Gil Green on the set of Fat Joe & J Holiday’s video shoot (Miami, FL) 12 // Raekwon, Don Cannon, LA, DJ Drama, Willie the Kid, DJ Sense, Rick Ross, & the Carol City Cartel on the set of DJ Drama’s “5000 Ones” (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Big Red & Michael Watts @ BET College Tour (Houston, TX) 14 // Brittany, Mike Frost, DJ Chill, & Teresa (Houston, TX) 15 // Elora Mason, Jullian Boothe, & Tarvoria @ White Diamonds for Trina & Pleasure P’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 16 // Lex & Big Teach @ Vibe & McDonald’s Yardfest on FAMU campus (Tallahassee, FL) 17 // Birdman, guest, & Horseman (Houston, TX) 18 // Midget Mac, Maddog, & DJ Demp @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 19 // Hollywood Chuck & Kisha Smith @ Primetime (Atlanta, GA) Photo Credits: Bogan (11); Intl K (06,13,14,17); Julia Beverly (05,09,12,15,16,19); King Yella (02); Malik Abdul (01,10); Marcus DeWayne (03,07); Ravi Angard (08); Terrence Tyson (04,18)
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WAITING Y L T N E I T PA
e r T y o b Play Atlanta, GA
their music sts who are serious about ost patiently waiting arti for Atlanta but ft, cra ir the at ng ghi lau for. In wouldn’t want listeners gs lon he e ons resp er is the much , rapper Playboy Tre, laught Hop Hip in s e of the most comical skit fact, as the voice of som his ability to make from e com has ry ust ind of Tre’s success in the rap people laugh. pay attention to my s, and that makes them people to listen, “Some people hear my skit get to me for way a is edy day needs to music,” says Tre. “So if com ry Eve gh. lau to ts rybody wan that’s good, because eve laugh,” he adds. in rap to mimic the ds is for his own career But what Playboy Tre nee Jon, E-40, and Lil (Lil d nte me aug skits have artists whose albums his you shouldn’t cont tha s sse And while he stre Scrappy, to name a few).
ability of rapping substance, Tre has a unique real life issues fuse his humor for lack of ing mix r, nne ma ry icto contrad about serious topics in a with humor. humor in it at the serious song, but also find “I’m able to write a real gon’ get bad times, you es, tim d goo get ’ u gon line that they same time,” says Tre. “Yo one said I like ling k away fee day, I’m doing but as long as people wal the ugh thro helped them get could relate to, and maybe my job.” teen-year rap vet quite a while now. The thir ing CDs out of the Rap has been Tre’s job for sell s: per rap like many other way, the Stone began his career in music this ts r selling over 3,000 uni of Jim Crow and trunk of his car. Soon afte me (ho w Cre c Atti The h up wit Mountain resident linked Bohagon. Together, r befriended BME rapper The YoungBloodz), and late decided to start a Tre and ‘Hagon ir own—Georgia the of movement our own Durt. “We decided to make Georgia movement, so we started foundaDurt. And that’s been the r since eve g ldin bui n bee tion we’ve then,” says Tre. g to Tre has also been helpin combuild the career of up and st B.O.B. ing Atlantic Records’ arti eting Three years ago, after me ich at B-R er nag ma cos .B.’ B.O Tre a Playstation tournament, at of a began serving as somewh per from mentor to the young rap mature .B. B.O ing tch “Wa r. atu Dec of my one n bee has as a rapper being in best experiences as far a lares Tre. the music industry,” dec and God nt tale ble edi incr has “He Just to sic. mu his ugh speaks thro influence know that I’ve had a big ment of on him is a real proud mo e.” min Playboy Another proud moment for career Tre will be when his own it’s desgets to the point he feels na enwan just “I ch. rea tined to “Music is tertain,” he emphasizes. of what definitely the foundation na act, wan also I but do, to t I wan tever wha sue pur and , vies write mo for up n ope y ma other doors God me.” also For now, the rapper who er” will claims to be a “drunk lon e of continue to make his typ ience. “I music, for his type of aud who gets e dud t tha for sic make mu n dow les sett just off work and ughts with a beer to get his tho hard together and reflect his I’m able ce ien aud the at’s day—th to reach.” // Words by Eric Perrin
44 44////OZONE OZONEMAG MAG
(above): Lil Wayne @ Hot Beats Studio in Atlanta, GA (Photos by Eric Perrin)
01 // T-Pain @ Mansion for DJ Khaled’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 02 // Trina @ Mansion for DJ Khaled’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 03 // Tyra B @ Party 93.3’s Toy Drive (Houston, TX) 04 // Wendy Day @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 05 // Slim Thug on the set of Fat Joe’s video shoot (Miami, FL) 06 // Trey Songz @ Velvet Room for DJ Drama’s album release party (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Young Cash @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 08 // Trae & Tre Dubb @ Block Ent. Show (Dallas, TX) 09 // Yo Gotti @ FAMU’s homecoming concert (Tallahassee, FL) 10 // Tum Tum @ Kwanzaa Fest (Dallas, TX) 11 // Pimp G @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 12 // Rovella & Randy Roper @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 13 // Smilez on the set of Fat Joe’s video shoot (Miami, FL) 14 // Rich Boy @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 15 // Malik Abdul & Keyona @ The Globe for DJ Q45’s birthday bash (Jacksonville, FL) 16 // Ms Dynasty & T-Roy @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 17 // Roccett & Rick Edwards @ the Lyric Theatre (Jacksonville, FL) 18 // Lil Duval @ Velvet Room for DJ Drama’s album release party (Atlanta, GA) 19 // Jesse James & County Brown @ Club Society (St Louis, MO) 20 // Star & Slim @ House of Blues for Cash Money Millionaires’ 10 Year Anniversary (New Orleans, LA) 21 // Pastor Troy @ Velvet Room for DJ Drama’s album release party (Atlanta, GA) 22 // Madd Hatta, Scooby, Buddha, & Gu @ KBXX’s car show (Houston, TX) 23 // Matt & Big De @ The Globe for DJ Q45’s birthday bash (Jacksonville, FL) 24 // Mami Chula @ Primetime (Atlanta, GA) 25 // Tity Boy & Lil Wayne @ Hot Beats Studio (Atlanta, GA) 26 // Tony C @ Dragon Room (Orlando, FL) 27 // Eclipse & Mississippi Fatz @ Club Nashville (Hattiesburg, MS) 28 // Flo Rida @ Venecian (Houston, TX) 29 // J-Kwon @ Intercontinental airport (Houston, TX) 30 // Lil Boosie & Q Dog @ Firestone for Florida Classic block party (Orlando, FL) 31 // Julia Beverly, Keith Kennedy & Dior George @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 32 // Papa Duck @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 33 // Kelley Williams @ Club Crossroads (Chicago, IL) 34 // Kaye Dunaway, TJ Chapman, & guest @ Club Whispers for record pool meeting (Orlando, FL) 35 // K-Foxx & Jacki-O on the set of DJ Drama’s “5000 Ones” (Atlanta, GA) Photo Credits: Eric Perrin (04,06,09,12,18,21,24,25,31,33); Intl K (03,22,28,29); Julia Beverly (27,35); Malik Abdul (15,23,26,30,34); Marcus DeWayne (20); Ms Rivercity (14,32); Tammie White (19); Terrence Tyson (01,02,05,07,11,13,16,17); Tre Dubb (08,10)
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AITING W Y L T N E I PAT
q a l B y t Dir HOPE, AR
pses into the hoods of Arkansas or a lot of people, the first glim In mous documentary “Bangin’ infa now the d came when HBO aire es to the urban stat 49 the of rest the sed Little Rock,” which expo it, it’s been try. But let Tecero Muldrew tell underbelly of Razorback coun like that from the jump.
es that are world down here. You got plac “It’s really like a whole other ains. expl he ,” time e sam the at er beautiful but they’re still gutt to ent is quite possibly what lead Being a product of this environm l struggle, which has taken him to utifu bea ’s, Muldrew, a.k.a. Dirty Blac to make a position as one of the favorites the proverbial “next to blow” e coming scen Hop Hip l ona nati dent in the out of the AK. that shine is “The reason Arkansas ain’t got . Everybody here n dow y unit no t because ain’ they and on get to one wanna be the first ’re trying ain’t even got deals yet but they and step on to stop the next man’s blessing . says he each other,” iously the Not an elected official but obv poised to be is Blac e, tativ esen repr e’s stat his region with the first to give that shine to ind, which term Mas m albu the release of his uary of 2008 is slated to be released in Febr an album on Keep It Pushin Records. With he calls h whic d soun e atur sign full of his the multi“rangin’” (rappin’ and sangin’), self to bring faceted artist is positioning him ng that he ethi som e, gam the to ness a new t now. righ ds nee ely erat desp ic feels mus clarifies. “It ain’t like T-Pain do it,” he something for ng ami scre n bee e hav s “Fan a whole ging brin I’m y. corn not new that’s y’all of rest the for e styl different kind of ‘em to jock. Evto mimic. Something new for The way I spit, erywhere I go, they accept it. something it’s , sing I way the r, my swagge totally new.” l sales of Not worried about the potentia it, “they puts he as use, beca ind Masterm is more Blac Dirty ”, way gon’ bootleg it any a project concerned with putting together the formulaic that is a refreshing break from to. used me beco e hav y man tunes that It’s new music. “This album is not like others. m and one albu an get you how w kno You ? This ain’t rest the of all like ds song soun they’ve got like feel to ple that. I want peo hear this. their money’s worth when they n done in a bee ’t hasn It bar. the ing rais I’m // it.” do to ut abo I’m while, but Words by Anthony Roberts
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(above L-R): Lloyd @ Velvet Room for DJ Drama’s album release party in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Eric Perrin); Plies @ Plush in Jacksonville, FL (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Andre 3000 @ Stankonia Studios for Outkast’s Christmas party in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Eric Perrin)
01 // Deelishis @ White Diamonds for Trina & Pleasure P’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 02 // Cubo @ Mansion for DJ Khaled’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 03 // C-Ride & Joe Hound @ Mansion for DJ Khaled’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 04 // Huey @ Club Society (St Louis, MO) 05 // G-Mack @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 06 // Chamillionaire @ Music World Entertainment’s Hoops for Hunger (Houston, TX) 07 // Jas Prince @ White Diamonds for Trina & Pleasure P’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 08 // 4-Ize @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 09 // 3 AM @ Club Whispers for record pool meeting (Orlando, FL) 10 // D-Lyte, Young Jeezy & Ebony @ The Beat (Dallas, TX) 11 // Charlie Chan & DJ OK @ AJ’s Martini Mondays (St Louis, MO) 12 // Dreamer @ Stankonia Studios for Outkast’s Christmas party (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Doug E Fresh @ Q 93.3 (New Orleans, LA) 14 // Cee-Lo @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 15 // DJ D-Tec & Lucky Leon @ Stankonia Studios for Outkast’s Christmas party (Atlanta, GA) 16 // DJ Ro, Sonny, & Foxx @ Club 300 (New Orleans, LA) 17 // DJ Black N Mild & Foxx @ Phat Phat & All That for Foxx’s in-store (New Orleans, LA) 18 // Bibi Guns @ Velvet Room for DJ Drama’s album release party (Atlanta, GA) 19 // DJ J-Hustle @ Club Cirque (Dallas, TX) 20 // Eclipse & DJ Marcus D @ Club Nashville for OZONE party (Hattiesburg, MS) 21 // BloodRaw, Slick Pulla, & Wild Billo @ Club Miami (Mobile, AL) 22 // DJ Drama & Alex Gidewon @ Velvet Room for Drama’s album release party (Atlanta, GA) 23 // Haitian Fresh & his mascot @ MonEG’s video shoot (Jacksonville, FL) 24 // Bay Bay @ Kwanzaa Fest (Dallas, TX) 25 // Benisour @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 26 // 8Ball (Dallas, TX) 27 // Black & Currensy @ Club 300 (New Orleans, LA) 28 // Big Gipp & Khujo Goodie @ Stankonia Studios for Outkast’s Christmas party (Atlanta, GA) 29 // J Xavier @ Music World Entertainment’s Hoops for Hunger (Houston, TX) 30 // DJ Chino & Ricky P @ Dragon Room (Orlando, FL) 31 // DJ Khaled & Dee Sonoram on the set of DJ Drama’s “5000 Ones” (Atlanta, GA) 32 // Big Koon & Hollywood @ Plush for Ghetto Diamond Awards (Jacksonville, FL) 33 // DC & Sean Mac @ Club Crossroads (Chicago, IL) 34 // DJ Trauma @ the Dirty Awards (Atlanta, GA) 35 // Jazze Pha & Gangsta Boo @ Stankonia Studios for Outkast’s Christmas party (Atlanta, GA) Photo Credits: D’Lyte (10); Edward Hall (19,26); Eric Perrin (08,12,15,18,22,25,28,33,35); Julia Beverly (01,07,14,20,31,34); King Yella (04,11); Lamont DeSal (06,29); Malik Abdul (09,30); Marcus DeWayne (13,16,17,27); Ms Rivercity (23); Terrence Tyson (02,03,05,32); Tre Dubb (24); Wild Billo (21)
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AITING W Y L T N E I PAT
z r a t s p a r
what inhibited about expressing ’s appers have never been m Biggie Fro lly. sica phy st lea at they want in a woman, That,” Cream” to Webbie’s “Like “Dreams” to Raekwon’s “Ice t. wan y the t about listing wha Hip Hop artist aren’t shy las-based added to that list. The Dal up affiliates Now The Trapstarz can be gro th (wi Y.T. and h ers J. Hig g noise kin group comprised of memb ma n bee has B, and Bingz) Pacman, T.E., Big B, Double The single, describing a h.” Bitc It t “Ge le sing locally with their new ead from the Daland an ass like Trina, spr girl with a face like Mya l with Universal, dea a up gro earned the las airwaves so quickly it more to come. ch mu re’s ir fans that the and the group assures the gonna hear ng soon,” says Y.T. “You’re “The album will be droppi with just our um alb up gro a be gonna nothing but street hits. It’s na make the album have a different is gon style. Being from Dallas up, our style, , our swag, how we grew sound in general. Our talk it’s all on the album.”
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ne the Dallas album will help them defi The Trapstarz believe this rn,” they say. the Sou w, kno you , ntry y cou of people sound. “Our sound is ver lot a t wha n the nt lf is differe “Just our grammar by itse are use to hearing.” ng with other album will help them, alo The group also expects this shine the spotlight on their Texas , to Dallas artists like Tum Tum city. n doing this for sts in Dallas have just bee sic but we “Up until now a lot of arti mu the g kin ma d “We just like sts like Tum fun,” says The Trapstarz. arti an see you pushing it. Then weren’t really out there k that we might as thin to rted sta we so it, Tum come out and do see someone something for fun and you gonna work well do it too. If you try ’re you l, sfu ces suc e becom is about. else do the same thing and ent vem mo this t sful. That’s wha harder to become succes in Dallas.” // e her out st arti d nte There are a lot of tale s // Photo Words By DeVaughn Dougla
by Jeremy Cowart
OZONE MAG // 49
WAITING Y L T N E I T PA
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le mark ne Katrina left an indelib hile the tragedy of Hurrica Gulf Coast, one the on s ilie fam ss ntle on the lives of cou he was e out of such a catastrop positive aspect that cam a name g kin ma n bee e hav who the forming of the group Deep. ee Thr as ape thern Hip Hop landsc for themselves on the Sou ll, one-third of She ive nat ans Orle New ne, Displaced by the hurrica partner in rhyme up with his Baton Rouge the group, would later link history. Since is , say y the as and, the rest in work as the Fat and producer Mouse put tly gen d, the trio has dili securing their musical bon if you’re expectBut sts. arti of ily fam l Tril newest additions to the bigger names, sion of some of the label’s ing to hear a recycled ver coming. you’ve got another thing one group,” exswaggers put together in but then Mouse “We’re like three different rd, hea ya day all club in that Fat will take plains Shell. “We’ll do ya and me and shit a of that gangst will come up with some ya down that alley too.” produced breakout er Mouse (the man who Having in-house produc n,” and Webbie’s Dow Me pe ,” Foxx’s “Wi hits like Lil Boosie’s “Zoom king their mark ma of s t the group’s chance “Bad Bitch”) doesn’t hur The three plan on er. eith ne sce Hop Hip of November on the crowded Southern First Six Months at the end serving up the mixtape The
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from the group fans hungry for material to act as an appetizer to lves. And while they she hits s Day 365 ut deb until their February 2008 over industry beats ed route of just spitting could’ve taken the overus a step in the n bee e hav ld ls that wou for their mixtape, Shell fee wrong direction. the hottest prory tracks when we’ve got “Why would we use indust always cooking is se Mou up? gro ady in our says, recalling ducer in the industry alre he re,” the t Mannie Fresh righ Boys. up something. That’s our Hot the up to a 2008 version of people comparing the gro but it does gotta just jiggin’ and bouncin’, “Our sound is more than ’t know,” Shell don k…I trun ’t beat in that Pimp C (R.I.P.) beat in that trunk. If it don sh, Fre ts from the real Mannie continues. With guest spo 365 Days will t tha ing hop is up gro the and the entire Trill Family, stardom. jumpstart their journey to that we’re just l. We got so much music “We’re that new shit at Tril We just showin’ . now t righ on tati sen pre trying to put together the ing.” // com We ut. abo e is gon’ be everybody what the gam Words By Anthony Roberts Photo by King Yella
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Compiled by: Randy Roper | Eric Perrin | Matt Sonzala
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will be remembered for some of the worst moments in Hip Hop history. From the RIAA raid of The Aphilliates’ office to the Feds arresting T.I. on his way to the BET Hip Hop Awards to Pimp C’s untimely passing, it’s been a very tragic year, to say the least. However, there were some highlights of the year in which we saw album sales hit an all time low and ringtone songs prevail. For instance, Lil Wayne was somehow able to solidify his “best rapper alive” claim even without releasing an album. Kanye West and 50 Cent’s 9/11 showdown produced one of the most anticipated rap moments in years, and Andre 3000 returned with a vengeance.
The Love & Basketball Award < Lil Romeo What could make Romeo put his career in music and movies on pause to play ball at USC? Pussy. He’s obviously in love just like Q from Love & Basketball and we’re not hating on him; it’s a beautiful thing. Just don’t leave school early to play in NBA and break your knee, ‘cause your career as a rapper was never a long-term option.
R. Kelly Award < Akon We’re not giving Akon this year’s “R. Kelly Award” for his onstage antics with a fourteen year-old Trinidadian girl; of course not. Don’t believe us? We don’t either. Sorry Akon, blame it on us.
Dick in the Booty Award < Ne-Yo Pimp C had the world questioning NeYo’s sexuality in the August 2007 issue of OZONE where he poetically referred to the singer/songwriter as “dick-in-the-booty ass Ne-Yo” in addition to taking shots at Russell Simmons and the whole city of ATL. He also pointed out that the singer wears enough lip-gloss to put Lil’ Mama to shame. We’re not saying Ne-Yo is gay, but the Pimp C appointed nickname is just too funny to leave alone. Get ya finga out ya bootyhole, dawg!
Deuce Bigelow Male Gigolo Award < Ray J Ray J stressed that he made far more money in 2007 than he made his throughout his entire career. But aside from fucking Kim Kardashian on film, what did he do? No music, no books, no (non x-rated) movies—nothing. He received a reported $1 million for his sex tape with Kim K., but unless he earned less than that for all that singing and acting he’d done in the past, Brandy’s lil’ brother obviously made a killing fucking old hoes like Whitney Houston—what else could have earned him the kind of money he claimed to have made? Either way, he gets the Deuce Bigelow Male Gigolo Award for that proving men can be prostitutes also.
PullYour Fucking Pants Up Award < Kia Shine Every time you see Kia Shine he has his pants sagging so far down that his entire ass is exposed. Not a good look. He recently moved to Atlanta, which is probably the sole reason the city deemed “sagging pants” illegal.
Shawty is Da Shit Award < Alicia Keys Runner-up: Robyn Thicke’s wife
Alicia Keys got thick as hell this year, and add one of the best soul R&B albums since…her last album, and she easily wins the “Shawty is the Shit Award.” This category was pretty easy to decide however, there weren’t very influential female singers, emcees, or anything else for that matter in ’07.
Get On My Level Award < Soulja Boy Say what you want about Soulja Boy, but he probably sold more than three of your favorite rappers this year. Not to mention he influenced the culture more than anyone else in Hip Hop with his simple song and dance—and he’s only 17.
Worst TV Show: Tie: BET’s Take the Cake/Hot Ghetto Mess BET should have never got rid of Uncut, especially if they plan on continuing to replace it with programming that does more to demoralize the black race than Uncut ever did. Hot Ghetto Mess (the title was changed to We Gotta Do Better in a weak attempt at make it appear more positive) was not even entertaining, and Take The Cake somehow managed to be even worse. BET has got to do better.
A Video [almost] Resurrected My Career award < Ja Rule Ja Rule was fed up with failing at every other attempt, so he decided to go the “sex sells” route and load his “Body” video with a plethora of fine-ass, half naked women. The only problem was, Ja Rule was also in the video, and we all know Ja can no longer sell shit. The song wasn’t that bad, but it still wasn’t enough.
Welcome to our 3rd Annual Year End Awards. Crank that Soulja Boy, party like a rock star, and wipe yourself down one more time, ‘cause 2007 is officially over, and we’re poppin’ champagne like we just won a championship game.
Video Hoe of theYear < Angel aka Lola Luv She look guud…But she’s a hoe! Yep. We’ve seen her following around numerous rappers and R&B artists this year, so we can only imagine how busy Angel’s drawers have been. OZONE MAG // 55
and tell him to blow his nose. Advice to Gucci: leave the X alone for a day and try poppin’ some cold pills or some nasal decongestion spray. Yeaaaa! Gucci Mane is also nominated for Best Beer Gut Award and, since he’s still not speaking to us because of last year’s “Year End Awards,” he is also an honorary recipient of the Most Sensitive Rapper Award.
Damn, Nigga, Make A New Song Award < D.G.Yola Not only did Yola perform “Ain’t Gon Let Up” at the first OZONE Awards in 2006, but he rushed the stage and stole the mic to perform “Ain’t Gon Let Up” at the second OZONE Awards a year later. Damn, nigga, make a new fucking song.
Face for Radio Award < The Dream
He Don’t Be in the Streets Award OZONE Music Editor Randy Roper Certain Corporate Thugs don’t feel that Randy Roper (not pictured for his own protection) has sufficient street cred. Upset about their OZONE album review, Jeezy and CTE complained, “He don’t be in the streets,” and reportedly found a picture of Randy in one of OZONE’s photo galleries. Now they have placed a bounty on his head and Randy chooses to spend most of his Friday and Saturday nights at home or in the office. Oprah Winfrey Honorary Achievement Award < Karrine “Superhead” Steffans Karrine managed to overcome last year’s “14:59 Award” by writing another book, publicizing her relationship with this year’s Hip Hop MVP Lil Wayne, and sleeping with Bill Maher and Eddie Winslow from Family Matters. Superhead wins the Oprah Winfrey Honorary Achievement Award for being such an inspiration and positive role model to young black women all across the world.
RAY KAY JEREMY COWART JULIA BEVERLY
I Feel Like Slappin’ My Boss Today Award < Killer Mike During the first annual “ATL Day” rapper Killer Mike apparently got into a slight scuffle with his former labelhead Big Boi. Varying reports emerged from both sides, but according to those in Mike’s camp, Killa Kill from the Ville gave Big an Idlewild-style slap to the face. We can’t confirm any details, however.
Runner-up: T-Pain, Sean Kingston
Won the Battle But Lost the War Award Cam’ron Yeah, Cam had everyone on the net mocking 50 Cent by yelling “Currtissss,” but for the rest of the year the only place we saw Cam was on 60 Minutes. Good move, Cam, now get my fuckin’ pool in the back.
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God Loves Me Award < DJ Khaled With the worst ad-libs since Jazze Pha, the only explanation for Khaled’s success is the man upstairs. At least Khaled knows it and screams it out every chance he gets. Dammit,This Fuckin’ Cold Won’t Go Away! Award < Gucci Mane Is it just us, or does Gucci Mane always sound like his nose is stopped up? Every time you see him you just wanna hand him a Kleenex
Once upon a time, R&B singers had to have sex appeal. But lately it seems to be the opposite. With The Dream, Sean Kingston, and TPain all topping the charts this year, it looks like the new demand in R&B is for brothers that are fat and ugly as ever. One Hit Wonder Award < The Shop Boyz Was that not the fastest 15 minutes ever?!? The next time you see the Shop Boyz they’ll be asking if you want fries with that, and offering you a 35-cent upgrade to a larger size. They weren’t even around long enough to earn an audition for a future has-been show on VH1. (Should have returned our calls/emails for interviews and show bookings when you still had the chance) I Can’t Feel My Face AWARD < Chaka Zulu Chaka was a corporate thug for standing up to T.I.P and telling him that he wasn’t shit, but as a result his bold statements got him socked in the mug. Now he can’t feel his face. Ouch! Sorry, Chaka. Facebook Fiend AWARD < Lil Jon
COURTESY OF LIL JIZZEL’S FACEBOOK PROFILE
I Shoulda Signed With Koch Award < Foxx Adding insult to injury (his hit song “Wipe Me Down” was virtually stolen by his labelmates) he only sold 5,000 units first week. With those kind of numbers he would have done better signing a ringtone deal with Koch.
Runner up: Julia Beverly
If you’re still wondering what happened to that long-awaited Lil Jon Crunk Rock album, don’t place all the blame on Steve Gottlieb. Just check out Lil Jon’s (a.k.a. Lil Jizzel’s) lengthy Facebook profile and you’ll see where he’s been spending most of his time lately. When he’s not drinking actual shots of Patron, he’s sending his online-socialnetworking friends “Booze Mail.” And when he’s not multi-tasking between multiple AOL Instant Messenger conversations, he’s adding silly Facebook applications like “Drunkometer,” “Addicted to Chappelle’s Show,” “Will Ferrell Quotes,” and “Puff Puff Pass,” or taking quizzes like “How Romantic Are You?” (OZONE editor Julia Beverly, now also a semiFacebook addict, adds: “The only reason I signed up for this shit is because Lil Jon sent me a email invitation.”) Best Dude in Rap AWARD < Bun B There’s no one in this game who has taken the time and the effort to help young rap artists progress in the past 20 years that Bun B has. Bun is not only the greatest lyricist and performer in rap, he’s a mentor to many of your favorite artists and a man who stands behind his words 100%. This is hard to find in the rap game where so many people are out to get each other. While everyone else fights, Bun teaches the youth and entertains his fans and keeps kosher with all aspects of this Hip Hop shit. He is definitely the most complete and real dude in this game hands down and should be respected as such. The man needs to teach a class.
Realest Rhymers AWARD Tie: < Grit Boys & Killer Mike In the immortal words of astronaut Jack Swigert, “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” Atlanta has too. This entire generation seems to as well. “Hip Hop, we’ve had a problem.” But like the nether regions of our universe, there’s still plenty of shining stars to marvel at, they’re just not always visible as often things obscure their radiant light. Killer Mike and the Grit Boys are Hip Hop’s shining stars at the moment. While most of Atlanta is trying to figure out new dance moves and the bulk of Houston is still obsessed with their cars and sizzurp, Killer Mike and the Grit Boys are taking time out to speak to the people about what’s really going on in the world, from a perspective that young kids in the street can grab a hold of and understand. Problem is, the powers that be keep them off the radio and out of the video shows and all the youth really knows about these days is Soulja Boy and a bunch of lame R&B. These two real rap stars are receiving this award this year for holding down the underground and keeping the hungry masses of real Hip Hop fans, people who appreciate great art, satiated until the next big renaissance hits. Hopefully it’ll happen before the oceans swallow us up. Passport Pimpin’ Award Chamillionaire Five years ago I was sitting at my kitchen table with Chamillionaire and his then-partner Paul Wall talking to them about how no southern rap artists ever go to Europe and never exploit any territories outside of their native regions. I told them that they had the potential to hit all over the world, but the only way to make that impact was going to tour those places and touch the fans. I remember my analogy, I said, “You guys have gone and done free shows and tons of promo in places like Birmingham, Alabama and look at you now. You can go there and do shows for $5,000 and sell a ton of mix CD’s to boot. You’re gonna have to go do some promo runs to places like Birmingham, England and do the same things you did in Alabama to make that world wide impact. Chamillionaire obviously listened as he has performed all over
Europe and Canada and recently even went to do three shows in India. What other rappers are doing shows in India? Chamillionaire’s Victory might not be as Ultimate as he had hoped, but he’s still winning this game on so many levels. Big respect.
Activist Rapper Who Should Respect His Elders But Has A Point AWARD < David Banner Although it’s silly that Congress is taking time to discuss rap lyrics at a time when our nation is ass deep in a war that means nothing but woe to anyone who doesn’t have stake in an oil company, it’s equally silly for David Banner to direct so much energy to attacking Al Sharpton and Oprah Winfrey. We all know that Banner has a point (they aren’t in the community and don’t do all that much to help the situation so they really shouldn’t speak on it) but Banner’s energy could be put to better use attacking much greater problems. Al Sharpton saying that rap music is vile and obscene means almost nothing to anyone, so there’s really no need to call for his head. And although we might not see these rich TV-activists doing all that much right now, people like Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were on the front lines way before any of us were born and should be respected for the progress they did bring. You wanna attack someone, fine. Stay focused bro, you’re too smart for this shit.
Most Anticipated Texan < Killa Kyleon Come on, man, even your Boss Hogg Outlaw partner J-Dogg has a hit now. We’ve heard countless freestyles and flows that blow the pants off of just about every one of your contemporaries, but I can’t remember a real, genuine, Killa Kyleon official solo song. Is there one? Does it exist? The man spits straight fire and genuine reality on the mic every time he hits the booth, but it needs to stop being over other people’s beats. We need an album, man. Killa Kyleon is a soldier in the fight to save Hip Hop, but real talk, he ain’t gonna save shit without an album. We love you a lot Slim Thug, but it’s time to change your lane for a minute and get your boy the hell out there. Time is now. < The Pimp C Fanga In The Bootyhole Award Tie: Viacom and The Recording Industry as a Whole We know that most of y’all calling the shots in the music game are extremely out-oftouch evil white men who don’t know shit about music or art and only care about the bottom line. We know. We know that kids buy CD singles and ringtones and we know that as a business you have to do something to keep your ship afloat. All that being said, there’s still great art out there that needs to be heard and legions of people who want to hear it. If you keep stifling genuine art, if you keep spitting on the streets, if you keep portraying black men as nothing but coke dealers who can barely complete a sentence, then we’re gonna come to your offices, rip the fangaz out yo’ bootyholes and replace them with bombs. For real. Muthafucker, we gon’ rip your suit up and stick a bomb up your ass if you don’t get it straight. Bitch! Editor’s Note: This is the opinion of one freelance journalist and we here at OZONE Magazine love the Viacom-owned MTV Jams. Look out for OZONE’s Rapquest airing soon as well as reruns of the first and second annual OZONE Awards. :) City Under Siege Award < Houston, TX Two, three years ago it was the “it” city for Hip Hop. The whole world seemed to become obsessed with Houston’s “culture” of putting diamonds in your mouth and buying a big, gas guzzling car. The cartoonish imagery provided a lot of attention for a short period of time and as soon as the masses began to tire of said “culture,” magazines, newspapers, gossipy bitch radio hosts and corny, lowquality DVD makers began announcing that Houston was over. Houston is not over, we’re just back to where we were before the media came down here for lap dances at butt nekkid clubs and sex with “publicists.” Houston is an independent city and its Hip Hop scene is incredibly dynamic when you look past the surface and really dig in. Real will always recognize real and the cream will always rise to the top. It might not go triple platinum again for a while, but who is? Instead of hollering about how Houston has fallen off (XXL) OZONE MAG // 57
just shut the fuck up and go back about your business. You don’t have to like it, but you gotta respect it.
like Usher is like winning the lottery. Usher could have chosen any woman in the world, but he chose her (we’re still puzzled too). Congratulations, Tameka, you won.
Bitch Better Have My Money Award < Remy Ma After a close friend allegedly stole $2,000 from Remy’s purse, the former Terror Squadian was accused of putting two bullets in her companion. I guess the saying is true, money over bitches.
Worst Trend In Rap The “Rockstar” Phenomena We don’t care how you dress, the tight shirts and jeans and shiny belts, all good, whatever. But please don’t pretend to know anything about real rock and roll. Some artists might, but not the ones who made “Party Like A Rockstar” and all their followers. First of all, glam rock died quick. It had a vibrant, but fairly quick run. Played out licks and lackluster chops looped on a computer will see the same fate. Maybe some of you will score a VH1 reality dating special 15 years from now, but 15 minutes from now your fake ass sound will be dead and your career will be relegated to the frat boy bars who still book people like Vanilla Ice and bill them as “nostalgia acts.” Do your homework you lazy asses, this is art, not Wal-Mart.
JULIA BEVERLY COURTESY OF SAIGON’S MYSPACE PAGE JULIA BEVERLY
Lamest Thing About The Ozone Awards Litter Have some respect for your city, someone else’s city, wherever you may be when attending an event you plan to promote at. It ain’t your home so you have no right to throw your posters, flyers, stickers, promo pens, hats, t-shirts, and whatever else into the streets as if someone else should clean it up. The destruction of the earth IS your problem, dudes. Have some respect when you step into someone else’s home or work. The good folks at OZONE spent a long time and a lot of money to produce an event that for all intents and purposes should catapult this culture to a whole ‘nother level. But no, that doesn’t matter to you. As long as people saw your six hundred 6-foot tall posters, all of which ended up on the ground in a big mess, then I guess you have succeeded. But real talk, I haven’t heard shit from any of the artists I saw posters for all over every inch of that area since I left Miami. I guess you haters lost, again.
Weedcarrier of theYear Award < Gorilla Zoe Zoe began his career carrying weed for Block and Yung Joc, but things changed for this hood nigga in ’07. One hit record and solo album later, Z-O-E has his own weedcarriers. Their names are Jody, Gee and Duke.
Worst Hip Hop Flick Award < Who’s Your Caddy Who’s Your Caddy wasn’t just one of the worst Hip Hop films of the year, it was one of the worst films, period. Big Boi starred in this Caddyshack knock off that grossed nearly $3 million in its first box office week, but it would have been better off going straight to DVD. And The Winner Is… Award Tameka Foster Getting impregnated and wed to a pop icon 58 // OZONE MAG
Internet Gangsta Award < Saigon No other artist has utilized the internet this year like the Yardfather. Saigiddy used his Myspace blog to bicker back and forth with his album’s producer, Just Blaze, tell his side of the Mobb Deep scuffle story and release a retirement statement. And he still hasn’t released his highly anticipated debut album. Even as this article is written, Sai’s Myspace page reads “Online Now!” And we have no explanation for his profile picture. Hate I That LoveYou Award Limewire As much as illegal downloading is taking a toll on the music industry, most of us can’t stop using Limewire downloading softwares. As much as it hurts to download songs and albums, why would someone pay $17.99 for an album with one good single when Limewire has all the songs available for free? You Should Kiss Weezy Award < Playaz Circle It took most rap fans a few months to realize “Duffle Bag Boys” wasn’t a Lil Wayne single. Because of Wayne’s hook, Dolla Boy and Tity Boi didn’t have to rhyme on the track and it still would have been a smash hit. For giving PC the jumpstart their careers needed, these two should kiss Weezy just like his daddy. Umma Do Jeezy Award < Rocko We know the song is called “Umma Do Me” but from listening to his song, minus a few adlibs, it sounds more like Rocko Da Don is doing the Da Snowman.
Best Hip Hop Flick Award < American Gangster Hip Hop superstars T.I. and Common starred alongside Denzel Washington in the story of drug kingpin Frank Lucas. The movie captivated Hip Hop culture and single-handedly inspired Jay-Z to release an album.
The UPS Is Hiring Award Grand Hustle With T.I.’s impending trial and the possibility that the Grand Hustle meal ticket could face a very long time behind bars, Jason Geter and company may need to get their resumes together, just in case. Like Big said, “don’t be mad, UPS is hiring.”
Website of theYear Award Youtube.com Last year’s runner up for Website of the Year had to be the most visited, viewed, shared, linked and uploaded site of 2007. If you missed anything in pop culture, chances are you can find it on youtube. Want to see the new DJ Khaled video? It’s on youtube. Want to see people make complete fool of themselves? It’s on youtube. Soulja Boy became a household name through it and any average Joe or chick with a nice rack and a camera can use it to do the same. //
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Mr. Collipark Hate It or Love It Words: Randy Roper // Photo: Eric Perrin
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e discovered two of 2007’s biggest successes (Soulja Boy and Hurricane Chris), yet Mr. Collipark (better known as DJ Smurf to some) has felt more hate than love this past year. Still, the former Ying Yang Twins producer hasn’t let the critics stop his plans to turn his Collipark Music imprint into the next LaFace. And with Soulja Boy riding high on the charts, Collipark is crankin’ dat Supaman all the way to the bank. For anyone resenting the music he cosigns, be careful, this ATL impresario may take offense to that. You helped build the Atlanta Hip Hop scene to what it is today. How do you feel about the game when you first started, to where it is right now? It’s good to see it’s the focal point of the industry right now. I just think we’re the heartbeat of not even just Hip Hop, like music right now, it’s coming from here. You’ve got a lot of R&B writers and producers coming out of here now too. I never thought it would be where it is now. I think back to my high school days, listening to Luke and all those cats from out top, you just never would have thought we would have the opportunities that we have now in the game. You were also very instrumental in the snap and whisper music a couple years ago. What were your thoughts at the time you were making that music? Just trying to do something new, man, and get out that whole crunk movement that we never really considered ourselves apart of. Even when I started with the Ying Yang [Twins], the stuff that I did with them wasn’t really popular at the time. The music down here was going a little more street. That’s when Pastor Troy and that whole Master P movement was real big. And we just came with something different. It wasn’t popular to have a booty shake record like that. Fast forward seven years and now you gotta have a strip club record on your album. I think we were very instrumental in putting that in the game, cause I come from bass music. But to take it from that and make it a part of Hip Hop, it’s everywhere now. Everybody from the East to the West, even gangsta, street cats from down here gotta have that strip club record. Let’s talking about your label, Collipark Music. You’re doing it real big right now with Hurricane Chris and Soulja Boy – Actually, I found Hurricane and he was like a gift to my man, Bryan Leach, over at Polo Grounds. I executive produced his project. But Bryan had left TVT, he did my deal over at TVT with Ying Yang, and he left and started his imprint over at J [Records]. I told him, “I’ma give you your first artist.” He actually wanted to do something with P. Stones, who was my first Interscope signing, but he wasn’t settled in at J yet. So I found Hurricane and it was like a perfect jump off situation for him over there. You saw the “A Bay Bay” record from the beginning, so – A hit record is a no-brainer to me. Some people hear the records that I’m affiliated with and they frown on them. My thing is, I make records for the people. I never was into myself. As a DJ, you have to service other people and I think that’s what separates me from a lot of people that consider themselves Hip Hop heads. That’s self-serving almost, you feel me? I grew up listening to everything, but when I hear hit records it’s a no-brainer. It’s almost like I’m missing out if I don’t be a part of it. When I heard “A Bay Bay,” even before I knew I was gonna have anything to do with it, I was like, “That shit’s outta here.” And the same thing with Soulja Boy, I didn’t hear in his song what I heard in Chris’ song but I saw it on his Myspace. When I saw it, I was like, “Oh my God! This is it!” Cause he was serving the masses. Those kids, they were loving him. Whether I liked it or not, he had already generated this whole following. I saw those little girls holding up “I Love Soulja Boy” signs and painting it on their chests and all that, I was like, “There is no way. I have never heard of this kid.” And no adult I asked knew about him, but every kid, every kid, one hundred percent, here in Atlanta knew him and they knew about four, five of his songs. You said, “whether you liked it or not.” So does that mean you didn’t like Soulja’s music when you first heard it? Nah, I ain’t gon’ lie, man. “Bapes,” that was the first record I heard. And I
think it was moreso for the quality than anything. I couldn’t get over it. It was like a bad demo. I didn’t get it. I was like, “I don’t care who likes this, I can’t do nothing wit’ this.” But when I saw it, it made me go back and listen to it with a different ear. And I said, ain’t nothing wrong with it, it’s just poor quality. So how do you feel about Soulja Boy as an artist now? He’s the best. He out-hustles these cats. He out-thinks these cats. He’s outperforming these cats. And he’s so young. He was 16 when I found him. He don’t even have the vocabulary to be competing with these cats. At a time when the game is so messed up, there are very few success stories in rap music right now and he’s one of them. And he’s winning big. So you gotta give credit to that. I don’t care if you hate every song you hear from him. In the climate of what’s going on, you cannot front, it’s hard to sell a record right now. And he’s going up. He did his numbers, then he took his drop and he’s going back up right now. This is wit’ no tour. It’s beyond a ringtone thing, its people buying into him. Hurricane, it’s a lot to him, talent wise. He’s more of a talent than Soulja Boy. Soulja Boy is a movement. A lot of critics – Julia Beverly came to me and she said, “How do you feel about people calling Soulja Boy’s album whack?” I said, “I don’t care about nobody who called Soulja Boy’s album whack. If they’re over 17 years old, I could care less.” I said something about the numbers, he did like 117,000 the first week and then she asked me again, like, “What do you think about people saying the album is whack, though?” “I said, “I don’t care!” I didn’t expect Soulja Boy to appeal to anybody of out high school when I signed him and the fact that it’s this big is phenomenal to me, cause I didn’t get it. But I knew that Soulja Boy had the potential. Is he an artist that has longevity, as he gets older and his fans get older? He learns so quick. He asks a lot and he observes a lot. He’s crazy about 50 Cent, not just his music, but how 50 took the game over. So he watched everything that he did. That’s the aspect about him that lets me know he’s gonna [have longevity]. Because he actually looks at what’s going on around him. He looks at Kanye. And when those kinds of cats meet him, they see it. They see that it’s bigger than “Crank Dat” the dance when they meet him. He’s a student of music. Anytime you got an artist that produces himself, that does his own beats and puts songs together like that, it’s something special about him. And he’s able to go in and make records. There’s a lot of artists that can’t make records. He’s a young Kanye in his world. If you look at the variety of subject matters, the lifestyle records that he put together, they’re very primitive but it’s a lifestyle thing that he’s done with the “Bapes,” the “Yahh,” the “Crank Dat,” the “Shoot Out,” the “Just Got My Report Card.” It’s a bunch of different themes that appeal to those kids. So as he grows and the things that he sees expands, he’ll be making records about that stuff. Do you do the “Crank Dat Soulja Boy” dance? I said if we go platinum I’m doing the dance. I ain’t seriously cranked the dance. But I’m waiting on the record to go platinum. Do you have any last words for the Soulja Boy haters? I get real defensive when I talk about Soulja Boy, cause I’m passionate about it. If I don’t like something but I see someone who does like it, I take it as just that. I say, “I don’t get it but I see why it’s working.” The thing with Soulja Boy is, the people that don’t like him, they don’t like him passionately and I catch a lot of that because I found him. So a lot of times I lash out. He’s gonna easily get a gold album. You tell me the last new artist that got a gold album, period. Joc might be the last one. And he’s three million ringtones, so he’s got that too. And three million digital singles, so that’s six million digital downloads. So that success story is humongous. For Hip Hop heads, if you like “real Hip Hop,” I’ll use somebody like Talib Kweli [as an example]. People can say he’s dope but he doesn’t sell cause the so-called “real Hip Hop community” doesn’t support him. So what good does it do him to be dope for y’all? For y’all who are out here criticizing, you don’t even support him. He ain’t even sold 200,000 records. You gotta look at the game for what it is. This is how I eat, that’s how [my son] goes to school. It gets emotional to me in the sense that this is what I do for a living. And for somebody to sit back-somebody who doesn’t contribute in a positive way-and just sit back, critique and run their mouth, I have a problem with that. Yeah, I have a serious problem with that. //
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soulja Boy Words by Julia Beverly // Photos by Anthony Cutujar
Clown Soulja Boy all you want, but he’s making more money than you. Among the millions of aspiring rappers, producers, singers, and models flooding the internet with their novice creations, Soulja Boy went the gangsta route and launched his song “Crank Dat (Supaman)” into cyberspace with filenames like “50 Cent - In Da Club” that eventually led thousands of curious fans back to his website. Thanks to Google, Mr. Collipark, and Interscope Records, 17-yearold DeAndre Way’s catchy tune launched him into stardom virtually overnight. Now, faced with critics labeling him a “ringtone rapper” and a “one-hit wonder,” Soulja Boy faces the challenge of growing with his primarily young audience and turning his massive hit into a career with longevity. Have you graduated from high school yet? Yeah, I already graduated. We did a back to school special with BET and I went back to my high school and all my teachers and the principal were tellin’ ‘em my situation, letting all my fans out there know how it all went down with my education. So I’m good on that tip. Are you the hometown hero now? Yeah, I guess you could say that. I went back to my ‘hood and everybody was like, “Souja Boy! Soulja Boy!” Once you make it out the hood you’re the person everybody looks up to. They’re just glad somebody came and did it, and everybody was showing love because they already knew what I was about before I made it and blew big. I’m just holding it down like I always have. I’ve always been rapping, so back in school everybody knew me as Soulja Boy. I always had songs out and I had a couple local hits or whatever, so I was signing autographs and stuff back before I signed my record deal when I was just in high school. So it’s mainly all the same to me; just more money. When you started out, did you really think you’d end up having the #1 song in the country or were you just playing around with rap for fun? It was just something I was doing. It wasn’t just to have fame or whatever. I just wanted to have everybody jumpin’ in the party. When I hit a party, I’d be putting my CD in and everybody would go ahead and “Crank It Up.” That’s what it was about. But as far as the point I’m at now, I ain’t know it was ever gonna get to this point. I thought I was gonna get big, but I ain’t know it was gonna be this big. I’m on a whole ‘nother level. Sometimes when people become famous at such a young age it’s hard for them to stay grounded and they end up getting a big head. How do you stay humble and keep that same hunger that you had for it in the beginning? I’m good. I always look at it like, this is just something else I want to do. This ain’t really nothin’, you know? It’s just having a goal or an accomplishment or
something that you want to do. I wanted to have the #1 song in the country and now I’ve done that. I want to have a platinum-selling album and I’m still working on that. I still wanna have my own cartoon and I’m trying to do that. I wanna be in a movie so I’ma go do that. It’s just something else to do, so there’s no reason to get big-headed from it because it could be gone tomorrow. Plus, whoever’s hot, you’re not gonna stay hot forever. You’re not gonna be able to do this forever. When you’re hot you’re hot and when you’re not you’re not; all this could be gone tomorrow. What is your cartoon gonna be about? The cartoon is called Bad Lil Homies. It’s really just based on my life, with a twist to it. I’m gonna have superpowers. It’s funny though, it’s not too kiddy and it’s not too grown. It’s for everybody. I created the cartoon and I’ve got my homeboy Arab doing the illustrations, so once that cartoon releases it’s gonna be crazy. That’s just something else I want to do with my career as far as promotion, doing TV. It’s gonna be airing on a network but we haven’t chosen an official one yet. Of course the story goes that you got your main fanbase through the internet, but there’s millions of people trying to rap and promote on Myspace and YouTube and all that. What do you think you did that was different enough to make your music stand out from everybody else’s? I know a lot of people who log onto the internet and just spam people and post their link everywhere, like, “Listen to my music!” and nine times out of ten, that’s not gonna work. That ain’t gonna get you nowhere. I never really did that cause I knew nobody was tryin’ to hear that. When I started recording songs I wasn’t getting no love from the radio stations or DJs. I was a nobody. So when I recorded “Crank Dat (Supaman)” I’d take whatever was the #1 song in the country at the time or the song everybody was listening to that was on BET – like 50 Cent’s “In Da Club,” for example, that was a huge record. Everybody was downloading music for free off the internet and there’s websites where everybody goes to get new music. So when I recorded “Crank Dat (Supaman),” I’d rename it “50 Cent – In Da Club” and I’d upload it to [websites] where people could download it for free. Then I’d copy it and rename it as a Justin Timberlake song, a Master P song, a Jay-Z song; every big artist you could think of. So every time you got on that site and tried to download a 50 Cent song or a Jay-Z song, you’d get the “Crank Dat” record. Everybody was like, “Who is this dude right here?” Did you plug your Myspace page or something in there? Or how did they know how to look you up? Nah, my name wasn’t on there nowhere. It was just the song, I guess. That’s
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where the buzz came from, because everybody was Google-searching “Supaman” and “Crank Dat” and “Soulja Boy” or whatever, and as soon as you typed that in [Google], my Myspace page would come up. I had SouljaBoy.com and that’s when all the hits started coming in. To capitalize on it, I did the “Crank Dat” dance and put it on YouTube. It had 15 million total views before I signed my deal, and the MySpace page had 20 million total plays before I signed my deal. I was doing shows every weekend and getting $10k a show before I signed my deal. Then when I signed my deal and started doing promo shows, I was like, man, why am I doing shows for free now that I’m signed if I was getting ten stacks before I was signed? It was a change, but it was cool though, travelling across the country and selling out shows. Was Mr Collipark the first person that reached out to you about getting a major label deal or was there a lot of labels reaching out to you? I had lost like three deals. [The labels] would reach out to me like they wanted to sign me, we’d be in contact or whatever, and then I guess they weren’t interested anymore. I guess they thought it was a joke. Now, all those people [that tried to sign me] are like, damn. They’re mad now. (laughs) But as far as the situation with Collipark, he hit me on my Sidekick [SouljaBoyTellEm@ tmail.com] and gave me a number to call. I hit him up and I signed with him that same week. He signed me in my house, in my living room. Then I went to L.A. and I signed with Interscope. Did he help you put your album together, musically, or was it basically done at that point? How did he help you take it to the next level aside from signing the deal? He’d already seen my fan base and my following. It was strong. I was on a Bow Wow level before I was signed. He told me, “Do everything how you’ve been doing it, and I’m gonna just sit back and let you do you. I’ma let you go in the studio and do you, and when you’re finished, turn in your album.” He told me, “You’ve proven yourself. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. You’ve already proven that this is what the people want to hear, so do what you’ve been doing and we’re just gonna master it and I’m gonna come in at the end and tell you what’s up.” So I did my whole album, turned it in, and Interscope loved it. He told me we needed to do the “Soulja Girl” record. He made the beat and we put it out. I had full creative [control] over everything but he gave me a lot of good advice, and I thank him for that. He steered me the right way and gave me full control and it just made a monster. The girl from the “Soulja Girl” video was introduced to me as your real-life girlfriend. Is that true? Nah, nah, that’s not my girlfriend. “Soulja Girl” is a song for my female fans. How do you respond to the critics that say your music is a gimmick or people that don’t take you seriously? I really don’t care what people think. That’s where most rappers mess up: Caring about what people think. Who cares, you know? I had the #1 song in the country seven weeks straight and sold over 3 million ringtones. I’ve had critics all my life. When I first started doing my shades, in high school, I had written “Soulja Boy” on them in white out and everybody was talkin’ about me like, “Man, that’s stupid.” Today, I’m selling a hundred pair of ‘em a day on SouljaBoyTellEm.com. So when I just sit back and think about it, man, I don’t really care what nobody says. Once you get that in your head – do what you do – you’re gonna be straight, feel me? I’ve got that mindframe where I can make a song about anything I want to make a song about. I ain’t got no limits and if it’s a couple people who think that, who cares? So? I don’t care. Who are you supposed to be anyway? So if I put out my album and I don’t get the reviews that I wanna get, who cares? I don’t care about reviews, I care about sales. As long as my album sells more than that other rapper, it’s all good. As long as my fans are happy, I’m straight. I don’t make music to make the critics happy cause they’re not gonna be happy anyway. I make music to please my fanbase who’s been down with me before the deal. Everything that’s happened after the deal is people who don’t really care about me. Everybody who’s been riding with me since before the deal and has gotten me to where I’m at is the people who I’m making this music for. Everybody who’s been rockin’ the white out on their shades or the rubber band necklace and knew about who I was before this deal, that’s who I’m making music for. And for the down raters that are haters, who cares. Once you start trying to please people, that’s where you mess up at. I don’t care about what nobody says. Do you plan on using the same formula for your second album, or working with some different producers and adding features to change it up a little? After a while, once you do hear a lot of criticism, it does get to you. Going into my second album, I might come with a couple tracks where I’m just gonna step it up a notch. I might just give ‘em that one track and be like, BAM! And then the rest of my album might be on that same vibe as the first album. I might just do a whole mixtape and the critics hearing that would be
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like, “Oh my God, Soulja Boy’s a beast!” But that’s not my style, you know? I’ve got talent and I’ve got the ability to do what a lot of people don’t think I can do lyrically. They think I’m just a snap artist or whatever, but that’s what I do. I don’t come on a track trying to sound hard or be like Nas or Jay-Z. I mean, I can do that if I wanted to, but that’s just not what I intend to do. I might just drop a mixtape or whatever and kill all the talkin’ on that level and still do my album the same way I did the first one, cause that’s what my fans want to hear. Whatever they say they want, that’s what they’re gonna get. I overheard some DJs in Las Vegas talking about you after you’d done a radio interview, and they felt kind of insulted by one of the comments you made. How important do you think DJs are to your career? Well I’m not too familiar with that situation, but I understand that the DJs are just as important as the emcees because without the DJs, people wouldn’t get to hear your record. DJs are very, very important, and if they feel like that [about me], I don’t know why. I feel that DJs are a big part of Hip Hop. Shouts out to all the DJs. Y’all need to keep spinning my record for real (laughs). Y’all don’t need to be talking like that, man! (laughs) All the DJs out there, Soulja Boy is with you! Why do you go by the name Soulja Boy Tell Em? I heard that somebody already had the name Soldier Boy trademarked? The reason I call myself Soulja Boy Tell Em is because every time I did a song, my hook would come on and then before I’d do my verse, I’d holla out “Soulja Boy tell ‘em!” That was my trademark, and my fans started saying it so much I just used that as my name. We did a rapper survey last month for the sex issue and we asked rappers what “supersoak that hoe” means. What does it mean to you? Supersoakin’ that hoe, man, that’s a dance. It’s not sayin’ “supersoak that hoe” as in, a female. It’s just like if you’re playin’ basketball, you could say, “Slam dunk that hoe!” It’s just a dance. However they took it, it isn’t intended to be meant that way. Since you’re representing the youngest generation of music lovers, where do you see music headed from here on out? Do you think snap music and dance music is where it’s at? Nah, I don’t think snap music and all that is gonna take over. I feel like it’s just gonna be some stuff that I can’t even predict. I think there’s gonna be new music coming out every day, not just snap music or whatever. I know there’s gonna be a lot of Frooty Loop beats comin’ out. But I think everything’s gonna go digital; I don’t think there’s gonna be anymore albums being sold. You know how they had the 8-Track and then that went away? Then they had the cassette tape, and then that went away and they had CDs. I think CDs are finna die out too and they’re gonna just have iTunes. Everything’s gonna go digital; ain’t nobody gonna buy albums no more. In the beginning, you made use of digital technology to benefit your career, but as you become a bigger artist, does it concern you that people can get your music online for free? The only thing you can do about that is capitalize on it. Ain’t no way you can fight that; you can try, but it isn’t gonna work. The main thing I wanna get across is that everyobdy’s talking about “ringtone rapper,” but I think you should try to capitalize on the digital market by selling ringtones and digital downloads. I know it’s good to sell albums, but you can see that ain’t nobody selling albums no more. What would you rather do – sell 3 million ringtones and no albums, or no albums and no ringtones? See what I’m sayin’? So instead of trying to fight it you’ve gotta capitalize on it and get some money. Instead of selling 50,000 [albums] your first week and no ringtones, if you sell 50,000 your first week and 4 million ringtones you’re straight. So capitalize on the digital market. Don’t fight against it or you ain’t gonna have no money. You mentioned your cartoon; are there any other projects coming up that your fans should look out for? The album is in stores right now. I’ve been out to L.A. and I met with Nickelodeon, Disney, Paramount Pictures, and a lot of casting directors to do auditions. So y’all might see Soulja Boy Tell Em on the big screen in 2008. I want everybody to look out for that SOD Money Game mixtape in the streets, hosted by DJ Scream, that’s gonna be hard. Y’all look out for Arab coming in 2008 on Stacks On Deck Entertainment, that’s my label. Any unsigned artists reading this right now, y’all can hit me up at www.SouljaBoyTellEm.com or SouljaBoyTellEm@Tmail.com. We’re looking for new artists so if you’re trying to get your shine on, come holla at me. Stacks On Deck: it’s no discrimination, we’re just looking for talent. //
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Words by Randy Roper
urricane Chris isn’t exactly the easiest interview subject. You would think that questions about meeting Alicia Keys, groupie love and addressing haters would lead to interesting commentary, but the 18-year-old rapper from Shreveport, Louisiana seems disinterested in such juvenile debates. Instead, the artist discovered by A-Town impresario Mr. Collipark and signed to Bryan Leach’s J Records subsidiary, Polo Grounds Music, has other things on is mind. His “A Bay Bay” single shot up the charts and sold millions of ringtones but critics were quick to write him off as another song-and-dance Southern Hip Hop act. So Hurricane has something to prove, which probably explains the reason the teenaged rhymer barely ever cracks a smile. With his debut album 51/50 Ratchet in stores and the Shreveport ratchet music movement thrown upon his young shoulders, Chris is focused on running the game. Whoever feels differently can holla at Hurricane. You’re from Shreveport, Louisiana, which is the home of “ratchet music.” Can you explain what ratchet music is and the music scene in your city? I’m from Ratchet City, you know what I’m sayin’? Come to Shreveport, Louisiana and go to Club Cocoa Pevis. We got a movement behind it. We dance ratchet. Everything we do is ratchet. Ratchet is our culture, ya heard me? What exactly is ratchet? The ratchet movement is the movement I got coming out of Louisiana. It’s a lot of people that are a part of the ratchet movement. I’m putting it to the forefront. Ratchet is our culture, how we dance. Atlanta got crunk. The bay area got hyphy. We got ratchet. Your single “A Bay Bay” took off this year. What’s been your biggest adjustment to the success and fame? I ain’t had no big changes. I’m financially better. But for the most part I’m still the same dude. Can you explain the whole concept of “A Bay Bay?” The “A Bay Bay” ratchet movement comes from Shreveport, Louisiana. My OZONE MAG // 69
dawg, Hollywood Bay Bay, they used to holla his name in the club every time he wrecked it. It became so popular I made it a hit. I heard DJ Hollywood Bay Bay was going through some legal issues with rape charges. Nah, nah, nah. That ain’t true. I heard people were thinking that but ain’t none of that true. Are you sure he doesn’t have any rape charges? So where did that come from? I don’t know. I seen it on the internet though. He was in Cali last night, he’s on the road, we’re doing shows. He’s on his way to Atlanta right now. So what exactly does the phrase “A Bay Bay” mean? It’s positive vibe. Whatever you’re rockin’ wit’, you holla “a bay bay.” Like you, hittin’ the club tonight, “a bay bay.” It’s just another word for “fa’ sho’.” You’ve taken a lot of heat for “A Bay Bay.” A lot of people say it’s a simple, bubble gum song. 50 Cent even took shots at you and the song. How have you taken all of the criticism? Man, whoever said “A Bay Bay” ain’t what it do, can kill themselves. (laughs) I’ve seen you freestyle and you really do have skills. How important do you think it is to show people those skills? Come get on the microphone wit’ me. I’m a beast over here, ya heard me. It’s real important to show your skills. That’s what it’s about at the end of the day. You gotta make the club bangers and the dance songs to keep the clubs going and keep them dancing. But at the end of the day, you gotta have it in ya. You gotta be reckless and be able to go tit for tat. What are you going to do to prevent yourself from being a one-hit wonder? Since “A Bay Bay,” we done hit ‘em wit’ the remix, the “Hand Clap,” we done hit ‘em wit’’ the “Hand Clap” video, the remix video, we put Game, Baby, E-40, Boosie, Jadakiss on it. The album just dropped October 23rd and we’ve got my new single blazing the streets, “Playaz Rock.” On the “A Bay Bay” remix, you have a line on there where you said, “Ever since I dropped ‘A Bay Bay’ I’ve been running the game.” Do you actually feel like you’ve been running things? Do you think you’ll be the next King of the South? I don’t dib and dab in all the king and queen [talk], I was through playing like that when I was in preschool, ya heard. It is what is. Ever since I dropped that “A Bay Bay” I’ve been running the game and whoever feels different can holla at Hurricane. You had a lot of big names on the remix. Were you nervous at all doing a song with cats like The Game, Lil Boosie, Jadakiss and the rest of them? Nah, nah, I wasn’t nervous. It’s what we do. We’re all big musicians, we’re all big fans of music and we all grind real hard. We was all on the same level wit’ it. It wasn’t hard to get them to work. They came to the video shoot. They worked wit’ us. They created a good vibe, so we rolled wit’ it. Your album is entited 51/50 Ratchet. What is 51/50? 51/50 is 101 percent real. Add it up, 101 percent real. What can you tell me about your album? The album is off the meat rack. It’s all the way versatile. I got club bangers, something for the females to listen to, something for the white folks, gangsters and the thugs, ya heard me. Tell me about the “Hand Clap” single. We started clapping our hands on the “A Bay Bay” video. That’s why we came back with the single, that’s where it comes from. We shot the video in L.A. The video is off the chain. We rode around in a drop top, made the whole Hollywood go crazy, ya feel me. That’s the single we’re pushing now. It’s hot in the streets, got the clubs banging. You have a new single with your labelmate Boxie, right? I got a new single called “Playaz Rock.” The Earth, Wind and Fire [sample]. It’s slowed down for the grown and sexy, but we’re using words so the youngsters will be able to feel like they’re involved too. Who’s the kid in the beginning of the “A Bay Bay” video? Baby Three. He’s with Go Live Entertainment. Wherever you see me, you see him. That’s my artist. Four-years-old, in the game. Can you tell me about your label? I got an independent record label called Go Live Entertainment. That’s really one of the only record labels that helped me get on. That was the only resource I had in the beginning, my own label, Go Live Entertainment. Hopping 70 // OZONE MAG
in our own vehicles, hitting the road, just making it happen the best way possible. Now I’ve got an artist coming out by the name of Big Red and a lot more artists that’s coming out of Ratchet City. You gon’ see Go Live Entertainment all over in the future. The game has changed a lot over the past few years. Things seem to be more about ringtone sales. I mean, it’s crazy. Ringtones are selling, albums [sales] are decreasing. We gotta start getting back out here and selling albums. That’s why I dropped my album October 23rd, 51/50 to show ‘em that people still buy albums. That’s why I want people to go out and support who they’re jammin’. If you’re jammin’ them, go buy their album. What do you have to say to people that think you’re just a “ringtone rapper?” Kill yourself. Can you explain your relationship with Polo Grounds CEO Bryan Leach? I met Bryan Leach through Smurf [Mr. Collipark] when I was getting radio play in Atlanta. We basically got our relationship off of him coming to my hometown and seeing the movement and him believing in the movement. He signed me to Polo Grounds, the Hip Hop department at J Records. And me and him have been making it happen ever seen then. Got a real good vibe over there, ya know what I’m saying. We both know what we want. What have you been able to learn from him? He’s a real good dude. I’ve been able to learn a lot from him. Just being around him and seeing how he handles certain situations. Being with J Records is a whole different level, period. Since I’ve met him, I done met Clive Davis and a lot of other people, just off knowing him, so it’s all good. Let’s talk about your relationship with Mr. Collipark. How did you meet him? I met Smurf because I was pushing myself through my independent record label. I was getting record play in Atlanta through King Arthur; he was spinning us real, real, real hard. Smurf heard it on the radio and he caught a plane, came to my city and saw the movement and believed in it. Me and him been rocking ever seen then. That’s who took me to Bryan Leach. Another artist that Smurf brought in was Soulja Boy. What’s your relationship like with him? I know him from being around the Collipark scene. We got signed at two different times. We do two different types of music. We have two different crafts. But we’re still affiliated with the same person. Smurf found me, Smurf found him. What do you think it is Smurf saw in you that made him want to sign you? From what Smurf said, he saw the whole package. From being able to spit to being able to drop a club banger to being able to battle. Just the whole package. Let’s talk about battle rapping. I heard you were big in battling in Shreveport. Yeah, that’s how I started out. When I first started getting my name up, I was in battle rap competitions. So that’s how I got my name out there, from battling. That’s how I got the name “Hurricane” cause I used to leave my opponents silent and after a storm it’s silent. Battle rapping isn’t big in the South. Why don’t you think a lot of rappers aren’t down for battle rapping here? I don’t know. There used to be this spot called Crystal Palace, it was a skating ring but they put a stage in there and we used to do our thing on the stage. It was like the only spot you can come showcase your talent. It wasn’t so much as we were on battle rapping, but you already know, you get a bunch of rappers and you put them all on a microphone on a stage, somebody’s gonna spit something in somebody’s direction. So you know it’s gon’ be a battle. Every time I see you, you look dead serious. What are you so serious about? I don’t know, people say that because I guess I don’t have no facial expressions. I don’t know. (smiles) So what do you having going on right now? I’m on the Chris Brown tour. Soulja Boy’s on there. Sean Kingston’s on there. Lil Mama’s on there. It’s supposed to be a lot more acts added on. It’s supposed to be real hot. Things seemed like they’re moving real fast for you, from your album dropping to be on the Chris Brown tour. How do you feel about the industry as a whole and how fast things are moving for you? It’s a blessing, ya know what I’m sayin’? We’ve been grinding for a real long time. We’re taking it all one step at a time. We love the fans. We give the fans the same energy they give. We gon’ ride it ‘til the wheels fall off. //
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the “ratchet” movement now; do you think ratchet is the “new crunk”? I think the argument that crunk is dead is a stupid argument. If crunk was dead, you wouldn’t be able to have a ratchet movement. Did you sign Hurricane Chris with the idea in mind of having him lead the “ratchet” movement in the same way that Lil Jon led the “crunk” movement? I primarily signed Hurricane Chris because I believed in Hurricane Chris as an artist; same reason I signed Lil Jon, Pitbull, and the Ying Yang Twins. They weren’t popular signings when I signed them. Anybody who really knew, and was there, including yourself, knows that at that time in 2001 it wasn’t a popular signing. You knew Pitbull before I signed him, and it wasn’t a popular signing. It wasn’t like I was competing against labels or there was a bidding war. It wasn’t like people were patting me on my back when they heard that I signed him and were like, “Yo, you did a great signing.” They weren’t popular signings. Neither was Hurricane Chris. I don’t consider myself an arrogant person, but it’s crazy to me that people doubt my consistency. I’m one of the most consistent A&Rs in the game. Hurricane Chris was penalized because he had such a huge record that people weren’t really able to look at who he was as an artist. Maybe they still haven’t decided whether they like him or not for the long run, but I signed Hurricane Chris because I thought he was a tight artist. The thing that made me really invest in the project was because he had a hit record. I felt he was part of a movement that Hip Hop music was missing. But without crunk music there would be no ratchet music. Did you leave TVT more because of a desire to start your own thing or because of differences you had with Steve Gottlieb? It came to a point where I made Gottlieb a lot of money and I didn’t feel like he paid me what I was worth. I decided to make a move so that I could control my own destiny and make money. Steve Gottlieb, real talk, is a fucking genius and a very innovative person. He’s an asshole, and I mean that with affection. Gottlieb is an asshole but half of what I know, I learned from working with him, and vice versa when it comes to urban music. You know, there’s people that say Julia Beverly is an asshole. The decisions you need to make to build your brand aren’t always popular decisions.
he average clubgoer might not recognize Bryan Leach’s face, but chances are he played a key role in many of the hit records they’ve grown to love every night on the dance floor. Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz, the Ying Yang Twins, and Pitbull are just a few of the artists who have Bryan to thank for helping to develop and bring their trademark sounds to the masses. He recently departed his longtime post at TVT Records to form his own label, Polo Grounds Music, which is distributed by J Records. With a promising lineup and decades of experience in the music business under his belt, in 2008 Bryan plans to show the world that Hurricane Chris (of “Ay Bay Bay” fame) is much more than a ringtone artist and unleash several new acts. What was your role at TVT Records? I created the Urban department. I’m the reason why people know who the fuck TVT is. I mean, it sounds arrogant, but it’s the truth. When I got to the label in ’95, TVT was a rock label. They had Nine Inch Nails, Sevendust, industrial rock music and soundtracks like Mortal Kombat. Hip Hop was a hobby. They had a bunch of bullshit [Hip Hop] acts. Irv Gotti worked there for a year and I watched as [TVT owner] Steve Gottlieb passed on [signing] DMX, passed on DJ Clue, passed on Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella. Irv went on to Def Jam, but I stuck with the shit and took five years of catching bricks before I signed Lil Jon and Naughty by Nature in 2001 and then went on to sign the Ying Yang Twins, Pitbull, and Jacki-O, and started to create an identity. For six years in a row, we were the #1 independent Hip Hop label on the Billboard charts. We built the company together, me and Steve Gottlieb. Through your work with Lil Jon and the Ying Yang Twins, etc., is it fair to say that you were one of the main catalysts in the whole “crunk movement”? I was one of the main catalysts in commercializing crunk music. So what’s your thoughts on the people who say crunk is dead? You’re pushing 72 // OZONE MAG
Being an “asshole” in terms of paying artists? Lil Jon was pretty vocal about the issues he had – I’m talking in terms of how he built his company. Those are separate issues; those stories are very real, and they’re sub-stories so to speak. But in terms of what he built his company on – I’m sure you’ll learn that when Lil Jon built [his label] BME, he borrowed from his experiences with TVT, and there are definitely things I borrowed from TVT [when starting my label Polo Grounds]. For instance, the way we’ve got to operate nowadays in the business, these so-called 360 deals where you sign an artist and you participate in the publishing, merchandising, touring, and management in addition to the record side – Gottlieb was doing that back in 2001. The industry is more conscious now in terms of how they market and promoter records and how they spend money investing in projects so that they can project their profits so that there’s a better chance of making money, and that’s how Steve has operated since 2001. When I left TVT and went to J Records, a major label, they were kind of new to this business model but it was something I was already used to because that’s how Gottlieb had been operating since 2000. He’s a smart guy. He’s not a great people person or a pro-artist person, but he is a good businessman. I’m a pro-artist person and Gottlieb is not. But anybody who was a part of that period from 2000 to 2005 knows that me and Gottlieb made a great team because we balanced each other out. Why did you choose the name Polo Grounds Music? Polo Grounds is named after the housing projects I grew up in. When I decided to make a move and do my own thing, I just wanted it to be something that was personable so I just decided to name it after the place where I grew up. How did you initially come across Hurricane Chris? Smurf. Short and sweet. I wouldn’t have known about Hurricane Chris if it wasn’t for Mr. Collipark [a.k.a. DJ Smurf]. I was in L.A. having drinks at a Beverly Hills hotel and I got a call at 1 AM Los Angeles time which was 3 in the morning in Shreveport from Smurf, saying, “I found your first artist for Polo Grounds.” So it was a gift hand-delivered and packaged by Smurf. I flew out to Shreveport on Smurf’s word, saw it for my own eyes, and signed him up. Who else have you signed to Polo Grounds? C-Ride came to us through Cool & Dre out of Miami, and he has an ability to make big records. Nina Sky is my urban pop act; they came to us through Cipha Sounds in New York. Boxi is an 18-year-old singer/songwriter/musician and a ball of energy. Ratchet City is another extension of the whole ratchet movement. We manage Diamond from Crime Mob and Avery Storm, who is signed to Nelly’s Derrty Entertainment through Universal. We manage Phunk Dawg, who produced “Ay Bay Bay” and “Hand Clap.” We manage Los Vegas, who produced “Soulja Girl” for Soulja Boy. We have a publishing division
where we handle the publishing for all those people. Our business model at Polo Grounds is exactly what the major labels are trying to figure out: management, touring, merchandising, publishing, and the label side. So we’ve got a pretty good spread. And I’m still a consultant; I’m a co-executive producer on the Lil Jon project on TVT Records. What do you look for in the people that you hire for Polo Grounds? I look for people who put in as much work and passion as I put into the company. I look for people who do what you and I did when we were building our companies. I look for people who are doing what you did when I met you in 2001 and what I was doing in 2001; the passion and the hunger and the grind that I had and that you had. That’s what the fuck I look for. If somebody ain’t got it, then it ain’t worth fucking with them. Nowadays it’s so hard to make money in this business that if you ain’t ready to hustle, you might as well just not fuck around with it. What about when you sign artists, aside from the obvious? I need artists who are humble, but confident. Artists that are talented and have the ability to synergize with all kinds of industries, whether it’s film, TV, music, or the corporate world. Kids just want to buy music from the artists they love. It’s not really about songs. They’ll buy the songs, but in terms of the artist that they really want to be a part of, they’ve gotta have all those things. I think I was a little spoiled by being involved with some of the artists that I was involved with. Pitbull is one of the hardest working artists I’ve ever worked with. If I could take one artist from TVT, I would take Pit. [Lil] Jon is one of the smartest artists, and one of the most creative and diverse people I’ve ever worked with. Smurf is really underrated. He’s a hard-working, humble executive. So now that I’m looking at all kinds of other artists, it’s hard to find somebody who can measure up to that shit. You look for artists who could either do [what Pitbull and Lil Jon do] or get as close to hitting that mark as possible, but there ain’t too many of them left. You mentioned that back when you signed Lil Jon and Pitbull they weren’t popular signings, but these days, as soon as a Southern artists gets a slight hit record the major label start bidding wars. Do you think the fact that the major labels are on the South so hard right now actually works against us and decreases the quality of the music because artists don’t have to work as hard to get a fanbase and get deals? I think all of those arguments are suck-ass arguments. People start crying about how the labels only sign artists who have a sales base and radio play and a story, well, yes, you do need to have all that, because the artists have raised the bar. It’d be different if the labels got smart and had something to do with it, but the labels didn’t have nothing to do with it. David Banner, Bonecrusher, T.I., Ludacris, Three 6 Mafia, all these artists learned the indie game and decided to be entrepreneurs. They decided that. Labels ain’t have shit to do with that shit. We just play catch up. So when people started crying and saying, “Oh, all you do is sign artists that have got a story,” well, you’re muthafuckin’ right. We didn’t have nothin’ to do with it but we’re smart enough to follow the artists’ lead. When people criticize ringtone artists, to me, that’s just another form of hating. They act like it’s easy to sell 3 million ringtones. Selling 3 million ringtones is a sign of popularity. People put the stigma on Southern artists, and they put the stigma on ringtone artists. Stop hating. Stop crying because you can’t do it. Hurricane Chris’s album sold 30,000 units the first week. So people ask me, “What makes you continue to pump money into a project like that? You believe in the artist?” You can believe in the artist all day, but that’s not enough. The fact that he sold 3 million combined ringtones and digital downloads allows you, financially, to continue to invest in that artist you believe in. So now that he’s passed the first week of sales and that pressure is gone, and he has another record [“Playaz Rock”] that’s potentially a big record, that allows us to continue to make sure he never goes away. We can invest in this artist that we believe in and break him on the second record, which is no different in terms of the artist development process then how we did it a few years ago. So you felt like Hurricane Chris’s lead single “Ay Bay Bay” kinda overpowered him as an artist? People are surprised when they hear his album. They’re like, “Dude can rap.” We’re already working on a second album. With Polo Grounds I’m coming from an indie background, so this whole grind mode, I’m used to it. We’re dropping another album in June with remixes from the first album. We’re going to remix the album and put it out with new artwork. He’s on Mike Jones’ first single that Smurf produced, the cover of OZONE Magazine, the cover of the Source Magazine, he’s on the Chris Brown tour, so he’ll never leave the market. He’s got a whole lifestyle campaign that’s about to kick in to make sure that he never goes away. That’s how you develop an artist. So stop hating. Stop talking shit because homie sold 3 and a half million downloads and ringtones. T-Pain sold 5 million ringtones off “I’m In Luv (Wit’ A Stripper)” and people were saying all types of criticisms with dude on his first album, like he was done. Now all of a sudden everybody is riding his dick and they want him on
every fucking single. How many times have we seen this happen? I saw it with Lil Jon. I saw it with the Ying Yang Twins. People said, “Them niggas are half retarded.” All of a sudden we put them in suits and give them a hit record and Lil X directs the video and now you want them on your red carpet. Pitbull? Oh, “His pants are too tight,” blah blah blah. But he was part of all these big records like “Shake” that influenced music. It’s just hate. Call it what it is: It’s hate because you can’t do it. Do I want a fucking Pitbull, or do a want a fucking Saigon? No disrespect to Saigon, but you do what you do, and let them do what they do. Stop trying to be the judge and jury about who’s hot and who belongs. It’s hate. That’s the way I look at it. It’s like Source and XXL and King and Vibe telling you that you don’t belong because you’re OZONE, when you’ve got a better relationship with all these artists and tastemakers and executives than all of those other magazines combined. You can walk into studios, walk into places with the artists and you ain’t gotta go through the publicists, the marketing people, none of that shit. Artists want you involved with their career. It’s all hate and bullshit and I just thank God that I come from an independent background so I don’t get caught up in that bullshit. Do you see Hurricane Chris being at the point T-Pain is at in a couple years? I’m gonna make sure this nigga never goes away. And if niggas don’t believe me, they need to do their homework. My history and my muthafuckin’ consistency rate is solid. You’ve had a lot of success with Southern artists even though you’re from New York. Do you see the Southern movement continuing for a long time or are you looking into other parts of the country? Louisiana is poppin’. Atlanta’s always poppin’ not just because of the artists but because of the producers, the songwriters, the music, the energy, the lifestyle. Do your homework; don’t be ignorant and think that the South ain’t been around. If you do your history you’ll know about Stax Records [in Memphis] and Motown and the origins of this music. It didn’t all start from New York. In the South there are places that could stand to have a rebirth; new energy. New York can stand to have new energy. L.A. can stand to have new energy. The Midwest needs something that just kinda ties everything together. There are places that do it and do it well, and people just need to follow up and educate themselves on why they’re able to do it and just stop hating. Hate is a fucking disease and if you buy into that shit you’re going to end up broke and irrelevant. Do you think the album format will eventually go away and music will only be sold by ringtones and digital downloads? I have no idea, but usually in any industry there’s a minority group of people who are responsible for actually being the first to make those changes and pave the way. I may not know where the next change is, but I am smart enough to know what my limitations are. I’m 38 years old, but here in this studio I can point out five kids that are 19 or under, and I’m smart enough to follow their lead about certain things. Smurf is smart enough to follow the youth. We don’t need a think tank and all that other research to figure this shit out. I’ve got a 20-year-old daughter, another 13-year-old daughter, and a 7-year-old son, and honestly, I’ll listen to him before I’ll listen to one of these suits. We’ve got a challenge and a responsibility to be kind of unbiased about what we report and really try to make sure that we get people who are hot and put it out there. That’s all nigga’s tryin’ to do. Hurricane Chris’s album got 90% good reviews and 10% bad reviews, and everything he’s done has created a reaction. He had a hit record out of the box that a lot of artists struggle their whole career to have. Most artists may not have a hit record like that til their second or third album, and this kid is still only 18 years old. Will C-Ride be the next artist dropping on Polo Grounds? C-Ride is a huge priority for us. He has a lot of the things that he needs and he’s missing a lot of the things that he needs, but those other things are going to come. We’re going to go back to artist development. A lot of the reasons you liked SWV and Xscape and some other artists is because they grew up right in front of your eyes with all their abilities and inabilities. You saw Bow Wow grow up from being a kid to what he is right now. This is an experience; music is an emotional experience. I believe in him as an artist. What’s up with Lil Jon’s album? Working on Lil Jon’s Crunk Rock album is exciting. A lot of people are wondering what this dude is coming with, and it kinda makes me laugh. If there’s anybody that counts this dude out and questions whether or not he can bring it, to me, that’s personal. I started my career with Lil Jon and he started his career with me. We were both influential in each other’s careers. I still get paid by TVT [as a consultant], but I would do it if I wasn’t getting paid. I’m still involved with Lil Jon’s album and with BME, Rob and Vince and everybody else over there. That’s where the creativity and the direction came from and that’s what it is. // Words by Julia Beverly OZONE MAG // 73
Y T R DI
Y T R I H T
RSES E V C IMP P C I S S 30 CLA
Compiled by Maurice G. Garland, Eric Perrin, Randy Roper & Wally Sparks Photo by Julia Beverly
ide dirty is exactly what Pimp C did on every track he made, rapped or sang on. When was released from prison we sang “I’m Free” right along with him. But now that he’s gone, we can’t seem to get his verse from “I Miss My Homies” out of our heads. Here are thirty of his most memorable recorded moments, in chronological order. UGK:“Something Good” One of the standout cuts on UGK’s national debut album Hard To Swallow. With a syrupy Rufus & Chaka Khan sample providing the musical backdrop, this record showcased two fresh voices in Hip Hop unlike any other. It also showed that Pimp C as a producer was as on point as his peers in regards to sampling old soul records and making them sound new. UGK:“Use Me Up” Another gem from Hard To Swallow, with Bill Wither’s song of the same name serving as the foundation for some the most influential Southern Hip Hop ever made. This was also one of the few commercial singles from the UGK catalog. Straight pimp game is being laid out here. Lames, pay attention. UGK:“Pocket Full of Stones” This was the first UGK song that many diehard Pimp and Bun fans ever heard. “Pocket Full of Stones” was the third single on 1992’s Too Hard to Swallow album and its placement on the Menace II Society soundtrack introduced them to more ears across the nation. It foreshadowed the career to come for UGK; it was vintage, real, and loved to this day by all fans of the Texas movement. UGK:“It’s Supposed To Bubble” The lead single and video from 1994’s Super Tight. Long before rappers were drinking Cristal, Pimp and Bun, along with a bottle of DomPerignon, showed the world how the boys P.A. boys popped bottles, had a good time and still kicked street knowledge. UGK:“Front, Back and Side to Side” An ode to candy cars never sounded so good. Those organs, snapping-ass drums and wonderful use of the Eazy-E voice sample equaled musical greatness. Easily one of the world’s favorite UGK records, T.I. paid homage to the original Kingz by remaking the record with Pimp and Bun for his King album.
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UGK:“I Left It Wet For Ya” This is the pinnacle of shit-talking. It’s one thing to say you’ve got somebody’s chick, but it’s another thing to tell ‘em that you left it wet for them. Sonically, this is one of Pimp’s most hypnotic beats. OZONE is raw, but, the lyrics here might be too explicit for even us to reprint. Big Mike f/ Pimp C:“Havin’ Thangs” By producing this track, Pimp laid down the epitome of what Southern Hip Hop is supposed to sound like. Boom-bap drums blended with gospel organs and wah-wah guitar riffs made for a syrupy instant favorite. This 1994 classic was remade in 2006 for C’s Pimpalation album with both Pimp and Mike (who were both recently released from prison) trading bars. UGK, Master P & Silkk the Shocker: “Playas Down South” With this song, the South was given a phrase and self-identifier wherever they set foot: “Playas down south stack Geeeeeee’s.” Master P f/ UGK:“Break ‘Em Off Something” If you ever owned a car with some beat in the trunk, then you already know the deal about this one. Recorded and released in 1996 when UGK was on top of the underground world, Pimp gave an entire region something to either smoke, ride or bounce too, often all at the same time. Of course P’s verse is the one that everybody remembers, but this song wouldn’t be the classic that is without UGK’s verses or Pimp’s production. UGK:“One Day” This track originally belonged to Mr. 3-2 but wound up on Ridin’ Dirty. The last lines of Pimp’s verse, as usual, speak for themselves: “I asked God why he let these killas live and take my homeboy’s son away / Man, if you got kids show ‘em you love ‘em cuz God jus might call em home / Cuz one day you here but baby the next day you gone.” UGK:“Murder” Everybody remembers Bun B’s verse on this blood-curdling classic, but it was Pimp who really set the song by off opening with “I’m still Pimp C, bitch! So what the fuck is up?” In interviews, Pimp always said that he emulated Run from Run-DMC, and he shows it throughout what is perhaps the most energetic verse he’s ever recorded. Before he said “no record ‘til whitey pay me” on “Big Pimpin’,” he warned you here that “I ain’t rapping shit until my money in my hand!”
UGK:“Diamonds and Wood” Classic beat. Let’s let some of the lyrics speak for themselves: “…I got a baby but it’s momma act like he ain’t mine / Wicked women using children to live on / When I hurt and try to hate ‘cause she knows the thrill is gone…” “...Niggas talk a lot of shit in a safe place, I know cause he can’t look me eye-toeye when he in my face…” “…Niggas frown when you up and smile when you down / And when you make a change for the better shife fools stop coming ‘round…” “…Got to the point where I could not decipher day from night / She say she love me but all we do now is fuckin’ fight / My conscience fuck with me so much I can’t eat or sleep / The other side of sellin’ dope and out there runnin’ the streets…” UGK:“Bumper and Grill” This became instant vintage the minute it dropped. All of the usual Pimp C production suspects are here: sweaty drums, light cymbals, jook joint guitars and church organs. He knew it was tight, and if you weren’t convinced he demanded that you “tell your bitch ass brother he can’t fuck with my beats / so if you wanna be bangin’ nigga the good shit don’t come cheap.” He also reminded you that “down in Texas nigga, we got our stars, we got the baddest bitches and we ride the freshest cars.” The beat reappeared as “Simply Beautiful” on Sleepy Theme’s The Vinyl Room. C-Murder f/UGK:“Akickdoe” Co-produced by Beats By the Pound, this is another example of Pimp’s penchant for working guitars into Hip Hop production. His opening verse is also another example of his unique braggadocio, setting the tone for rest of the song. The hook, also courtesy of Pimp, came from his verse on Master P’s “Break ‘Em Off.” UGK:“Hiside” One of Pimp’s more jazz influenced productions sounds like it could have been conceptualized during the Super Tight era, but it actually appeared on Sic Wit It Records’ 1997 compilation Southwest Riders. One of UGK’s many songs when they call a bitch a bitch, but the song’s most poignant moment comes when Pimp says, “The preacher got the clothes and the hoes with his dick on swoll / Trickin’ off my peoples’ bank roll / I peep that shit, I read my Bible at home / ‘Cause I ain’t payin for that nigga’s brough’m.” PSK-13 f/UGK:“Like Yesterday” One of the highlights of Pimp’s production career, this song (and others he did with Adamshame, Critical Condition and X-Mob) is a testament to his Underground King status, showing that Pimp and Bun were truly dedicated to the streets and independents. Pimp’s trademark drum sounds and live guitars make this song an equally dope rap track and instrumental. UGK:“Take It Off” When he got the chance, C would justify the meaning of the “Pimp” in his moniker and on this track that originally appeared on The Corruptor soundtrack, he had strip clubs buzzing. “Take it off chick, bend over, let me see it / If you lookin’ for a trill-type figure, let me be it.” Even though the video was a bit comical (UGK pimping in Chinatown?), Pimp’s charisma coupled with his straightforward lyrics made “Take It Off” a standout. Pimp C:“Top Notch Hoes” This song first popped up on the infamous 1999 Dirty Money bootleg and later appeared on Trill Azz Mixes. Bluesy guitars and synths served as a smooth bed for Pimp C’s voice as spoke on everything from BET not playing Southern Hip Hop artist videos to serving a slight diss to The Roots in response to their “What They Do” video. This verse also appeared on his collabo with Meen Green “Deep In the Game.” Save for the hook and last verse, the song didn’t really say much about hoes at all. UGK:“Piece and Chain” This song has Pimp C coining the phrase “country rap tunes” for the first time on record, asking people to “separate us from the rest.” An unfinished version of the song first appeared on the Dirty Money bootleg while the final one was placed on The Wood soundtrack. UGK:“Woodwheel” Appearing on Rap-A-Lot’s 1999 compilation Realest Niggas Down South, “Woodwheel” helped UGK fans through the drought between Ridin’ Dirty and Dirty Money. “Hoe niggas scream and talk, trill niggas bust and leave / How the fuck you gonna go to war when you bitch ass niggas ain’t go no cheese?!” will go down as one of Pimp’s trillest lines ever. Crooked Lettaz f/Pimp C:“Get Crunk” One of the highlights on Crooked Lettaz’ (David Banner and Kamakaze) criminally slept-on Grey Skies album. Another example of Pimp’s ability to make a
beat, write a verse and sing a hook on one song. Banner’s line: “Pimp done told me, ‘Vell, these niggas ain’t nothing but hoes / You make most of your cheese off production and shows,” shows the impact Pimp had on his peers. UGK f/Jay-Z:“Big Pimpin’” This was a song Pimp C was very hesitant about doing. Bun told MTV, “He didn’t want to do [the Jay-Z collaboration] ‘Big Pimpin’,’ but he rolled with me on that.” The song rolled all the way to the number 3 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 1 on the Rap/R&B chart. It was the biggest track of UGK’s career and in the June 2007 issue of OZONE, it was declared that UGK’s outshining of Jay-Z was one of the 25 most important moments in southern rap history. Pimp and Bun upstaged Jigga on his own track long before Em’ proved who the real “Renegade” was. Three Six Mafia f/UGK:“Sippin’ On Some Syrup” “Take that monkey shit off, you embarrassing us.” Enough said. Hopefully the right ears will take heed to that suggestion. UGK:“Let Me See It” In 2001 when Dirty Money was released, UGK was witnessing a growing fan base beyond the South, but for some reason this album didn’t translate into the commercial success that was due. “Let Me See It” debuted with little fanfare but still became a classic UGK record. It was a strip club anthem before strip club anthems were standard on rap albums. UGK f/ Devin the Dude:“Ain’t That A Bitch” The highlight of the long-awaited but slightly disappointing Dirty Money album. Sampling B.B. King’s “Chains & Things” for the beat, Pimp dropped some life game on what happens when you think with the head in your pants. Only thing wrong with this instant vintage was Jive’s bonehead decision to alter the song’s flow and blur out the curse words. Bun B f/Pimp C,Young Jeezy, Z-Ro & Jay-Z: “Get Throwed” After serving nearly four years in prison, Pimp C was reunited with his UGK counterpart on this single from Bun B’s solo debut album Trill. The song was the first time Pimp C worked with Young Jeezy and his first time working with Jay-Z since “Big Pimpin’.” Hearing him start off the track “Pimp C P.A. trill nigga / Polo fuck that Hilfiger / Made myself a ghetto star / On the slab, sippin barre,” seemed to breathe life into the South. Pimp C f/P.O.P. & Lil Keke:“Knockin’ Doorz Down” Pimp C was never one to hold his tongue. On this single from Pimpalation, Pimp speaks out on the state of rap music in Houston, urging Lil’ Flip and T.I., Paul Wall and Chamillonaire, Z-Ro and Slim Thug to end their feuds and make their money together for the betterment of the rap industry in H-Town. Many rappers took heed to his words, proving the influence and respect that Pimp C had amongst his peers. UGK:“Swishas & Dosha” Underground Kingz could not have had a more appropriate opening track. Lines like “I remember when a rapper was a go getta, now all these rappers are some hoe niggas / Hide behind the guards at the show nigga, don’t want no pussy, homosexual on the low nigga” and “I’ma tell you pussy niggas once again, ain’t had no friends since I left the pen / It’s some niggas I respect in the rap game and it’s some niggas I bet’ not hear saying my fucking name” let you know that the original Trill Ass Nigga was back in rare form. UGK:“Quit Hating the South” When critics started taking shots at Southern rap, UGK spoke up to defend the South’s movement. A boisterous Pimp C spoke up for country rap tunes and the South’s place at the top of Hip Hop charts, screaming, “Fuck how you feel, country rap tunes NIGGA! Let’s put all y’all records on one side of the store and put all the country rap music on the other side of the store, and see who sell out first!” UGK f/Outkast:“International Player’s Anthem” This single, produced by Three 6 Mafia and featuring Outkast, was a sample of the 1970’s hit “I Choose You” by Willie Hutch. It was the last official UGK single of Pimp C’s life, and fittingly the most commercially successful song to ever appear on a UGK album. The video, with cameos by Bishop Don Magic Juan, Pimpin Ken, DJ Paul, Juicy J, Chamillionaire, David Banner, T-Pain, Big Gipp, and Fonsworth Bentley, among others, became an instant hit. At the 2007 BET Hip Hop Awards, Kanye West refused to accept his Best Video Award for “Stronger,” instead offering the honor to UGK for “International Player’s Anthem.” This bold statement from the notoriously award-hungry Kanye is even further proof of the lasting influence Pimp C left behind for both fans and peers for many years to come. // OZONE MAG // 75
Chad “Pimp C” Butler 12/29/73 - 12/04/07
issue was supposed to be out a month ago. I’ve been stalling, partly because it’s hard to get anything done in December while everybody’s gone for the holidays. But mostly, when Pimp C passed right before this issue was supposed to go on press, I knew I’d have to add a Pimp C tribute, and I couldn’t do it. Because doing a tribute makes it real. Nobody involved with Southern rap wants this to be real because he was one of our most vocal proponents. So I put it off as long as possible. Of course, it was easy to type in “Pimp C” on the search window of my computer and find hundreds of pictures. It was (somewhat) easy to email a few of his friends asking for quotes and call a few others and record them reminiscing about their favorite memories of Chad…except when their voices started cracking. There’s nothing easy about hearing a grown man cry. So I sat and stared at this “Pimp C Tribute” folder on my computer and the blank pages in the layout and did nothing. I really tried to psych myself up for it, knowing that he wouldn’t want us to stop hustlin’ on his behalf. He’d want us to take it as a reminder that life is indeed too short and use it as motivation to work that much harder and enjoy it that much more. But I still couldn’t make myself do it. 76 // OZONE MAG
Back when Pimp C was in prison I started sending him copies of OZONE religiously. After he got out he always wanted to see the new issue, especially when it had one of his interviews or articles in it, and would text me impatiently until they arrived. I’d feel bad if they weren’t ready yet and would personally send a Priority Mail package as soon as they came off the press. It’s a lot of work to put together a magazine. It’s like any other artistic endeavor; the finished product is what makes all the sweat and tears worth it. The appreciation of others–especially coming from a legend in the game, someone you look up to–is priceless. As OZONE has grown over the years, the main thing that’s kept me going is the feedback from our readers, and it always amazes me to find out that artists like Pimp C appreciate my art form as much as I appreciate theirs. With everything he contributed to the culture and to OZONE both directly and indirectly, the least I can do is finish a feature commemorating his life and the memories he left behind with some of his closest friends and collaborators. So here it is. Hopefully he’ll be able to find a copy up top. // - Julia Beverly
I people don’t know that show in Houston. A lot of n’t even know did He w. [KBXX The Box annual] car sho car the to Pimp into going was the one that talked ng to the car show?” , I was like, “Pimp, you goi n so much he didn’t about it. The night before tow of car show?” He goes out there, Slim [Thug], He was like, “Man, what be na gon y’s bod ery like, “Ev w your face.” He was even know about it. I was sho ta got ’ve you everybody, I said, “Cmon’, man, .” Chamillionaire, Paul [Wall], shit t tha to show, I ain’t going t he really needed tha like, “Man, fuck that car him I was really stressing to or nothing, I was you owe that to the city.” form per to him tell n’t did face. I y see you.” So he the to be there and show his if out trip will face. Everybody He saw Bun ge. sta just like, “Go show your on get to was begging him n, let’s get ma it, showed up and everybody “Sh , was comin’. Pimp was like y did in Houston the there; Bun didn’t know he w sho last the was t ing.” Tha on stage. Let’s do someth Houston is concerned, and ching moment as far as together; that was a tou UGK as a whole. Shit. getting choked up again. Damn, I can’t believe I’m n, forget Pimp C. I lost most. Put the music dow I lost a friend, first and fore ch me a lot. We’d sit tea a brother. He used to Chad Butler as a friend and d show me things and he’ and rd boa key the and down at the mixing board of people. He’d tell me t he didn’t really tell a lot , and he’d tell me when teach me little secrets tha ass my on s me out and get me to do bigger and when I was wrong and cus ted the back. So that motiva ont, [right near] Port I was right and pat me on um Bea in ege d. coll use to foc go re to I be mo My brother Mike Mo used rs before I knew [Pimp]. better things and really l with Pimp and Bun yea nager too dio. I had a little stu Arthur, so he was real coo the to p Pim g brin brother was his road ma all the time to ged [of] that dude, man. My beg I out thing. I y. any shit ged n the rag tha s l used to beg my brother ily rea mis I fam was re it rd in the garage; Pimp than I was. It’s mo den, to sud er a clos of torch n all the eve ht, ry nig was car studio in my mom’s backya he one and so have to hold his head about a year straight and Bun because he’s gonna nitely not gonna studio and did a song for him to bring Pimp by for defi l the fee I’m in . e die cam er nev and na ala gon gold Imp t shit ain’t ks are Pimp pulled up in a little mories I have of him. It now. It’s UGK for life. Tha t’s what the history boo of the first and fondest me or name die. I guess if tha t to jail. acy wen leg he UGK ore with me. That’s really one bef the let ’99, in r Money.” That was ody do shit about it. was a song called “Get You supposed to say, can’t nob the did just y the n whe mories I have of Pimp was One of the recent good me
LIL WAYNE My favorite Pimp C mome nt was when he called me personally and told me that I’m killing the se these niggas out here. And niggas out here, and to keep killin’ he how I’m doin’ all these mix [also] told me to watch out [with] tapes out here because I could be makin’ money off that shit, and I could also be makin’ bet ter songs then the ones I put out on my alb um if I put the songs from my mixtape on my album. And I what I tried to explain to him was that nothing, so it just be how I feel, and that just be how I don’t write [particular] song. But I told I felt on that him, I was like, “9 times out of 10 I’m on the original song anyway ,” so when he heard that he laughed with me, and that was a cool moment. Ya dig?! Ain’t no nigga in the game real like Pimp C, and eve ry nigga in the game will tell you that. Reality-that’s what we gon’ miss the most about Pim p C. Reality.
in Milwaukee for my Pimp C was when he was The best time I had with to make it and I said, ng goi n’t was he t me tha party. He called and told the people that love all and , ing com you’re not or my girl JB down. “okay, I’ll just tell OZONE you let ’t can was like, “Man, I ht cost him $1,100 flig you the same thing.” He the et; He bought his own tick he was if he I’ll be there in 2 hours.” son . That’s just the type of per Pimpology: The k because it was last minute boo my t tha me told r time, he had love for you. Anothe ’s [book]. I said, “Man, better than Iceberg Slim 48 Laws of the Game was YouTube.” The next day on feel like that, put it you’re just BSing me. If you the top of his MySpace on me put had p Pim said r for all he has done Paperchase called me and the bro t tha e lov I . said to me page saying what he had C. be another Pimp for me. There will never
8BALL I have so many memories of Pimp C. We kicked it a lot when I used to live in H-Town. He has always been brutally honest, love him or hate him. Rest in Peace Pimp! You will be missed!
DIAMOND I’m really fortunate to have known him personally, and as a fan of UGK. Working with him in the studio was phenomenal, and anybody who knew him would know that he was always trying to give others knowledge about the game and life itself. It’s always a hard thing to accept when our fallen soldiers leave. God bless and may he Rest in Peace! OZONE MAG // 77
nels. Everybody’s playing his music now. I remember when they wouldn’t play [UGK records] and now they’re gonna do it when he’s dead? Why can’t we see [the success] while we’re alive? Pimp C had just called me right before he came to L.A. and I was asking him if he needed me to come pick him up from the airport. That’s the kind of relationship we got. “Dude, if you need me to come pick you up from the airport, I got you, homie.” And regardless, I’m still a fan. In the back of my head I’m like, “Damn, C is my homie?!?” Yeah, I am David Banner, but I’m still a fan of the music. So to have that kind of relationship and be able to call him – you know, Snoop and Pimp C really talked me through a lot of the bad shit I was going through. I remember when I really thought everything was over for me. I thought my career was done. Pimp C called me up and he was like, “Banner, you ain’t did nothing wrong. You made a few mistakes, but if you go back to doing the David Banner [music] that everybody loved, people will forgive you.” That’s how I got focused. Pimp C said, “Dawg, I know you wanna change music, but niggas don’t wanna hear that shit. Go back to the niggas that [loved] ‘Like A Pimp.’” He had just told me, “I want you and Three 6 Mafia and a couple other producers to really help me out on my album.” He wanted me to be a big part of his solo album. Pimp would call me and talk about politics. When I got into it with Al Sharpton, Pimp C was like, “Whatever you want me to do; if you want me to jump on the ‘So Special’ song, dawg, whatever you want to do on the political side, I’m here. I’m ready. Just call me. I got you, Banner.” You know? Pimp would call me and talk about his children. It was really crazy, but I would see Pimp C act ways around me that he wouldn’t act around nobody else except his family or Bun. The conversations we had were never really about rap; it was more about life and the shit he was going through. That’s really what I want people to see out of Pimp. He was “Pimp C,” that part was real, but there was a whole lot more to the man. It’s sort of like when ‘Pac died. ‘Pac had a whole ‘nother vision of what he wanted to do for black people. Honestly, Pimp had that too, but Pimp knew that he had to take care of his UGK fans, the people that always supported him for all his life before he branched out and did anything else. He had to make sure that the core UGK fans were happy, and [not doing] that was a mistake I made in my career and Pimp saw that. He’d tell me, “You gotta take care of your fans, the ones that were down with you before ‘Play’ and before the lights and the glamour. That’s the people you’ve gotta take care of. Once you know they’re good, then you can do some other shit.” That’s what I remember from Pimp C. The joking, the laughing, the warnings and the shit to watch out for in the music industry, the big brother that had a lot of respect for his lil’ brother. Pimp wasn’t afraid to show me that he respected me too. It was a mutual respect and kinsmanship.
DAVID BANNER Instead of a specific moment, I think my best memory was when me and Pimp C started forming a friendship. It was crazy for me to see the joking Pimp C, the laughing Pimp C; to get to know the political Pimp C. The voice of Pimp C changed my career. [The hook of my breakthrough single] “make them girls get down on the flo’,” you know, that was his voice. Pimp told me I was one of the few people that looked out for him and wrote to him while he was in jail. When he was in jail, I really didn’t know him like that. The reason I wrote him while he was in prison was because his voice changed my life. Well, the beat [to “Like A Pimp”] was jammin’ too; I gotta give myself some credit (laughs) but you know, that sample from his voice changed my career and changed my life. Most people are not blessed with the opportunity to become friends with a person that helped change your life. UGK and Pastor Troy were really strong influences on the way David Banner represents the South. When Pimp C said, “We don’t do Hip Hop music, we do country rap tunes,” and when Pastor Troy said he ain’t worried about the rest of the world because as long as he’s got GA, he’s cool; that kind of mentality really changed the way that I do music. I had always felt that way in my heart; but when Pimp C and Pastor Troy said it [it made sense]. And the reason I’m mentioning Pastor Troy is because I want to give him his props before he dies. Everybody wants to give praise and buy records and play songs and play videos [after an artist dies]. Pimp C is finally now getting what he deserves. He’s nominated for a Grammy. Everybody’s playing his videos on all the chan-
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Look at what happened to Kanye [with his mother dying]. I just lost my daddy and my grandma. Look at Spice 1. Look at all the shit that’s happening with Lil Wayne and T.I.’s [arrests]. We’re getting blatant signs every day that there’s something else we’re supposed to be doing with this time that we’ve got here on earth. Pimp C’s passing is a sign to me to keep my health up and keep myself out of bullshit and unnecessary drama. You just don’t know how long you’ve got. I just finished talking to Pimp C. And he [died] in L.A. He was close to me. We were in the same fuckin’ city. In my head I’m thinkin’, maybe if I had tried to get him close to me or somethin’, maybe that shit wouldn’t have gone down the way it went. You tell somebody, “Aight, we gonna get together as soon as I finish doing this,” well, you don’t know if you’ve got that time to call somebody back or get right with somebody. Pimp was a good dude. Pimp had a certain way of sayin’ shit, but you’ve gotta take the emotion out of it when you’re listening to Pimp C. The dude really had some shit to say. There was a bigger man there than what the world had the opportunity to see. I hope that people can dig just a little bit deeper and see what I saw. I want people to know that it was more than the jewelry and the mink coat. The nigga was smart. But he didn’t try to act like he was above nobody, he’d put it to your ass exactly the way he felt it. It was more than the pimpin’. It was so much bigger than pimpin’ and hoes. It was so much bigger than that, and that’s the tragedy to me. Just like ‘Pac. Our people get taken away from us before they’re able to blossom into what they actually are or what they have the capacity to become. // As told to Julia Beverly Photo by Marcus DeWayne
things they say about being a good leader is that in order to be a good leader, you have to be an excellent listener. He didn’t have any ego. I would call him and say, “I don’t know, this is what’s going on with the label, what do you think?” and he would give me advice. He would call me sometimes- I remember when he first did [“The Chronicles of Pimp C”] in your magazine, and I was like, “Pimp, you need to have a freakin’ radio show, because I’ve got your radio interview [on Atlanta’s Hot 107.9, responding to the controversy caused by the magazine article] on my iPod and I listen to it almost every day just to get me in a certain mood.” People still talk about that radio interview. He did several interviews around that time, but that one specifically in Atlanta, literally, anybody you talk to can give you at least three quotes out of that. That’s the type of guy he was. I said, “Man, you need a radio show.” He said to me, “Y’know, Bent, one more of my people just said that, and I’m thinkin’ you right. I’m ‘bout to start workin’ on it, man, this makes sense.” I was like, “Man, you ain’t gotta overthink it. If you need any assistance, I’ll help. I don’t want no money. I just wanna hear you on the radio. I want to listen, to be completely honest and tell you the bold truth.” (laughs)
FONSWORTH BENTLEY My fondest memory of Pimp C was the first time I actually got an opportunity to see him produce a record. UGK is definitely known for being classic emcees and their quality music has inspired so many artists, but I don’t think a lot of artists really knew what a producer he was and how much producing he actually did. I’ll never forget this; I was in L.A. and he was like, “Come up to the studio,” and when I walked in it was like watching a chef. I worked in a fine dining restaurant in New York for almost three years. When you see a real chef–there’s line cooks, maybe somebody on the fish, somebody on the meat, somebody working on the different sauces, somebody making the appetizers–the executive chef just walks around and he’s working on different things for the salads and stuff that you’ll get before the entre comes. That’s how he was producing. He had several musicians, probably about six musicians. The gentleman on keys, he was keeping him in pocket and telling him the way he wanted him to play. The gentlemen that was on bass, he was like, “Naw, that ain’t the funk I want,” and he told him how he wanted it. Sean Paul [of The YoungBloodz] was in the other room; it was several emcees there. I came by because if Pimp is cooking, you wanna be around. He’s cooking for somebody because the session is booked, but let me tell you, ain’t nothin’ like Pimp C leftovers. These were legendary musicians, and he had all these gentlemen in pocket. And when he jumped on the organ it was amazing, cause the man can play! Like, he can for real play! He had horns and when he got on that organ and started going on the organ, he just went off into a vibe and completely went off on a tangent. I know that’s exactly what instrument he’s playing upstairs in heaven right now. I know he’s on that organ. He’s probably got the angel Gabriel with a trumpet and he’s like, “C’mon now, I need that trumpet to blare a lil’ more like this,” y’know? Our Father’s up there and I know Pimp is up there right now on that organ directing right now with all of our other fallen soldiers. People are thinking he’s up there with just the Hip Hop artists, but he’s probably up there with Marvin Gaye and Miles Davis on trumpet too. He had a real love for music. His musical catalog and the vast knowledge of music that he knew was so impressive.
Obviously I’m a rookie in the [music] game but I’ve worked in other forms of media so I have some knowledge, and he would holla at me about some of the other things. It’s just a really sudden, ill calm for the South. We all know he had so much more to offer. I feel very blessed to have known him and been a part of the classic video [for UGK’s “International Player’s Anthem”] which was nominated for a Grammy two days after his unfortunate “transition,” as I like to call it. I don’t say “Rest In Peace.” I say he’s Resting in Paradise. I want people to really understand that life is too short. As much as he was a real dude, like even when he’d say, “We can pop it out, we can stab it out,” and all that, at the end, he’d always say, “We can talk it out.” Anybody that knows him, the very fabric of who he was, that’s really what he wanted. He was very much about the proliferation of the Hip Hop culture and wanted to see it continue to flourish. He wanted people to continue to do different things, and he really thrived off it. Life is too short, and these little things that people sometimes get so frustrated over, sometimes you’ve just gotta calm yourself down and say, “It’s a good morning, and I’m thankful I’m here.” Everybody who loves Hip Hop music needs to own the [UGK] album Ridin’ Dirty and they need to understand that the song “Murder” is one of the top five hardest songs in the history of Hip Hop, period. I’ve been saying that for the longest, and that’s how we became friends. [Pimp] had just got out [of prison]. I had never met him, never spoke to him, and I asked my man Cory Mo [with the studio where] he did a lot of his recording, “Could you please put me on the line with him. I am a fanatic fan.” Cory put me on the phone [with Pimp C] and I spit his entire 16 bars from “Murder.” I ain’t even say “hello” first, you know? He was like, “Y’know what, Bent’, I knew you was a real dude. When I was in [prison] I was holding you down and I didn’t even know you. I saw you on Access Hollywood with all the fashions for men and fashions for women and you were representing for Hip Hop. I told them fools, ‘That’s grade A pimpin’ goin’ on.’” So he was one of those few people that saw some of the things I saw, and he didn’t even know me. God bless his family. I just feel fortunate that he’s on the title track of my album. We were literally about to shoot [the video for “C.O.L.O.U.R.S.”]. He was like, “I’m gonna fly in all my different color cars, and I’ma fly in all my different color minks and all the color furs. We gonna do it big, Bent’, ‘cause we got something with this one, boy, I’ma tell ya.” So somehow, I definitely wanna do a tribute with him because it’s the title track on my album. I told Kanye a long time ago, “The second verse on my album, period, is going to be Pimp C.” I’m fortunate and blessed to have worked with a legend. // As told to Julia Beverly Photo by Julia Beverly
[Our relationship] was like an interesting type of mentorship. One of the
ay. We lost a Marvin Gaye. We lost a Donnie Hathaw to ker, man. Chad marched fuc tha mu bad Chad was a say, “Tell ays alw d he’ like m, dru the beat of his own rching to the beat of my them muthafuckers I’m ma first , I remember when Chad own drum,” y’know? Shit for ot sho eo vid e to the got out of jail and he cam Music.” He had on a mutha [Ray Cash’s] “Bumpin’ My in’ like am gle , tley Ben a ing fuckin’ mink and was driv
was n, that was my boy. That a muthafucker. Chad, ma e. hom e when he had just cam g was when me and him san I think the greatest shit and swangin’ ins cha and es “Ho e. tim for the first that Big Mike song, yeah, thangs,” that was Chad on g “Look Me In My Eye,” san he sang that shit. He also . k, on the Scarface album that was him on the hoo I love him, man. re. the t righ ler But d That was Cha e, a real close friend of min That was my homie. I lost // ds. wor the dawg. I don’t even know As told to Julia Beverly //
Photo by Richard Flood
OZONE MAG // 79
BIG GIPP We met Bun and Pimp right after “Pocket Full Of Stones” had started really blowing up, just by us being in contact with Rico [Wade] from the Dungeon. We really didn’t know them, we were just fans of theirs because [their] single was on the Menace to Society soundtrack. We were recording Outkast’s album at the time and they just showed up at The Dungeon [Studios] one day. That was the beginning of me and Pimp’s relationship. Me and Pimp were together for all of the first album, when their stuff was blowing up and our stuff was blowing up. In the early 90s we did all our tours together; UGK and Goodie Mob, all through Louisiana, Texas. I developed a real brotherly relationship with him and Bun. Pimp was always wild. He was always wildin’ and he always loved us for doing what we did. It’s really hard to talk about it, man. I was the last person to talk to him [before he died. Me and Bun always were together the whole time Pimp was locked up. When Pimp went through all the wars with Master P; when he moved out to Atlanta he was with me for like five years. He had the mansion out in Alpharetta. That was the first time I met Lil Boosie, when he was like 14 years old, I think it was his first time coming to Atlanta. We were at Pimp’s house and he was talking about Trill Entertainment. This was right before [Pimp] went to jail, so it was a real bad time, man. When they dropped “Sippin’ On Syrup” that shit blew up. I remember when Bun called me one night like, “Yo, man, Jay-Z wants us to rap on his album.” He had flown to New York but Pimp was like, “Fuck that.” Bun told me, “This is crazy, Gipp. You gotta call him and let him know how important it is for him to rap on this record.” I called Pimp and we talked about it. He was like, “Gipp, I just want people to respect us for what we do, dawg. I don’t wanna feel like we’ve gotta go and do records with everybody for people to respect how we do it.” He was always on that shit, and I really felt him. In the early days, it was hard to still be putting time and energy and everything into the album and not get the results or the certification or the industry recognizing what you did.
that music, man, Pimp was the nucleus of that shit. He was like Dr. Dre. That’s like Dr. Dre dying. Can’t nobody ever make the music that he created again because he was the nucleus of that shit. Niggas can only copy that shit and come up from that shit. Niggas are getting rich off the shit he created. He watched niggas around here eat off him and never say his name. There was a lot of things he wanted to say to the niggas that got rich off him, but he had to be cool about it and be like, “This is a new era, Gipp.” In the 90s we wouldn’t allow people biting our style. We’d step to ‘em. That’s what he was saying about these niggas hiding behind bodyguards. He said the whole game right now is on some show shit. That’s what he’d say. He had so much to say about everybody. He’d say, “I remember all you guys when y’all was in second grade with this shit. I was in Atlanta.” He watched the whole Atlanta scene and ould tell you what they were doing in the 90s before they reached the world. It was a whole lot of faking going on. He was like ‘Pac because he always told the truth, whether it hurt your feelings or you didn’t agree with it, he’d still say something in there that touched your nerve. There ain’t too many people out there that can do that. Most of these niggas are see-through. You take the paper away and the people that’s kissing their ass away, and what are they standing on? Nothing. We’re dying for nothing all over again. All the things the first generation put in work for, all the money and attention [Southern rap] is getting now, there ain’t no worth to it no more. That’s why people are dissing us and saying we ain’t shit no more. They’re like, “Aw, man, fuck them niggas from the South.” They’re starting to say that all over again because we ain’t saying nothing [in our music]. It’s just like ‘Pac. Nobody will be like him. They won’t tell the truth about the game. The way the game is set up now, it’s all about the person with the most money. To me, it’s like, damn, we lost another one that’s gonna tell the truth in this music. These other niggas are just gonna keep doing what they feel like is gonna bring them the most money, and that’s what’s making us [look like] clowns again.
As soon as he came home he called me. I don’t know where I was; I just jumped on a plane and went there [to Texas] to meet him. We jumped in the car and he was all fresh. He was fuckin’ with J [Prince]. We went to the jewelry store and shit. The song we did on the Kinfolk album was the first verse he laid after he got out of jail. It was so important to me, because it was like I had something for him to do when he came home.
I don’t do music for the money, man. I do music for what it means and what it stands for. These other niggas came in [the game] during the era of music being a hustle, and that’s what [Pimp C] understood: Music ain’t no hustle. This is not a hustle. See, music and hustling are two different things. And that’s why the game is so fucked up; it’s more fans in this shit than it is artists. //
It’s hard, man. There ain’t never gonna be nothin’ like him. What UGK did with
As told to Julia Beverly // Photo by Julia Beverly
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BUN B There are surreal aspects to [Pimp C’s death]. I’ve likened it to trying to hold onto a bowling ball with silk gloves on, it’s the only way I can explain the process of how I’m trying to wrap my head around this. It doesn’t process in the normal sense that things logically process. It’s an entirely different grieving process as opposed to every other time that I’ve ever had to grieve anyone’s passing. My father passed recently. I took it pretty hard but this is still a little bit different. I’m not saying that I hurt more for him than my dad, it’s just different. I’m stronger than I think I am but I’m not as strong as I would like to be... [Because] I’m doing a lot of [interviews], or talking to The Box [KBXX 97.9 FM in Houston], the assumption is, “Wow, this guy is really strong for him to be able to do this right now.” But the true reality is that I’m weak, and that’s why I’m doing it. Because I need to talk about it, I need to think about him amongst people that loved him. Not just by myself and with family, but his fans loved him unconditionally. His family loved him unconditionally. Even all the artists that have called into local radio, and XM and Sirius, we’re aware of all of that. The tribute that you guys made [on Damage Control Radio], I got calls from London, Canada, Amsterdam, Nigeria, and when I was at The Box this morning a guy emailed in from The Virgin Islands. It’s just incredible, not just the extent that the music reached, but the extent of the acceptance and the admiration and honor and the respect and love that transcended as well. I’m in awe. We were just starting to understand the full range to which we had been accepted. It took a long time to realize that internally in just this country that people in North Carolina could love you as much as people in Texas. People in Washington state and Nebraska can love you as much as the people in Louisiana and Mississippi. We really didn’t get to see it like that, we didn’t get to feel it like that. But you go out to these shows and sing a song from 1997, you sing a song from 1995 and even “Pocket Full of Stones” from 1992, and they knew it all. We were just starting to understand the acceptance. Now I’m just starting to see the extent of the admiration and love and how close people felt themselves connected to UGK internationally. When Pimp was locked up, I really began to understand what we meant to people. The way people reached out then in that respect. But to really just start to see it internationally with the different places that we have been to and just the interaction with Germany and shit like that.
We were really lucky to have [people like] Scarface, Willie D, Too $hort, and J. Prince to really pull us to the side in parts of our lives, not only in our musical lives but in our everyday lives, and just give us different game on different things. And some of the shit was really life altering and career altering. It made such an impact that we felt it was only right to give whatever we had learned to others. We were never selfish about that. Anything I could talk to a cat about lyrically, I would try to talk to them about that. Pimp C mentored a very large percent of the people who are doing it and making a lot of noise right now. Not just producers, but lyricists as well. We wanted everybody from here to win, and that was something that was really instilled in us by J. Prince. He instilled that in us a long time ago. He said, “No matter what you do or where you go or how far you get, you remember where you came from.” And for us, it was the South. Don’t let anybody make you feel that you can’t be who you are. We took that shit to heart, man, Pimp more than anybody. And we were determined to make it on our terms and we wanted other cats to understand that and we wanted them to make it on their terms so they wouldn’t owe anybody. So they could really be able to take pride in their success or feel comfortable in their failures. Pimp was very gracious in that respect, a lot more than people would ever know. You have to think like, people like Crazy C, he gave Pimp C his organ sounds. So whenever someone would ask Pimp where he got his organ sound from, Pimp would give it to them because he had gotten it from somebody. How could he claim the right to that when somebody gave it to him? Different little things like that. He’d show people different little ways to program, different ways to sequence, just different things. It’s still too early to speculate on how he died. To be honest, we don’t know yet. We haven’t gotten results back from toxicology, we haven’t gotten the autopsy results yet. Everything is based on the condition he was found in and the condition of the room. Pimp was never one to bite his tongue about things. Sometimes in life it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. I think that the way Pimp phrased things was a little more off putting than what he was saying. It was just his blunt honesty about things. Pimp didn’t really have a filter, he wasn’t really good at sugar coating things for people or being PC about things. If it was something he felt strongly about, he had to say it. He just could not hold it back. Keep in mind he had a lot of positive things to say too, like “Knockin’ Doors Down.” I would hate to try and even guess what his mental state was in that sense. You know he had been in the studio with Paul, he had been on stage with Paul, when we know for sure we will let it be known. These things are public record. Why lie on someone who wouldn’t lie on himself? One thing that people respect about UGK is that we were always so honest with them. We let them know about our ups as well as our downs. And we tried to let people know that no matter how big we seem, we’re human. Pimp C did a crime, he had to go to prison, like everybody else. We’re human.
When he did his interviews while in prison, he said I did this, it was my mistake, it wasn’t anybody’s fault and I’m paying for it. He stood up as a man, he did his time in general population and he came home to respect, love and admiration. We were together last at the Jeezy concert here in Houston at Bar Rio, you know, we went there, jammed Jeezy. He wanted to go there and let it be seen that he had nothing against Jeezy and that he enjoyed Jeezy’s music, which he did. And he wanted Jeezy to see that as well. People think that a lot of that was personal, but it wasn’t. I talked to Jeezy at the Dirty Awards and he wasn’t trippin’, and Pimp wasn’t trippin’ and I don’t want anybody to think that he passed away with any issues with anyone. Anyone he had a problem with he had already rectified all those issues. Even if I don’t say it out loud, I ask myself, “What happens now?” I remember going to Dallas, actually it was in Arlington, with DJ Whoadie and doing some of the first shows prior to Pimp being locked up and how hard it was to get on that stage and do a dedication. “This gonna be for Pimp, y’all gonna rep with me for Pimp.” That was hard enough and I knew that was temporary. I just can’t even say what this holds. I know I have to carry on this tradition. I know that I have to get back up on that stage, I gotta get in and finish this album, I gotta get out and promote this album, I gotta get out and honor his memory and lift him up and maintain the legacy of this group as well as Pimp C the individual. It’s just, I can’t even see that far right now. You know like I know we were mid stream on that thing, hell, he was midstream on his solo album and we had another album we had to do and turn in this year. We were trying to get it back together, he was getting his equipment together and we were trying to figure out what we were gonna do respectively on each others’ albums, but before I can be a strong artist again, I have to be a strong man. I’m not gonna put myself under any pressure to feel like I gotta go in [the studio], but eventually I got to get back on it. I’m gonna give myself some time to heal. We still haven’t buried Pimp C yet and I’m not sure what the after effects of actually seeing that will be. I can’t tell you how I’m gonna be until that happens. At this point it’s still somewhat surreal. I can honestly say that it still hasn’t really washed over me. You would be surprised at the outreaching that has occurred [since his death]. Like, I’d never expect to get a text from the RZA, only because you would assume that our worlds are so far apart and that we’re so on different tangents as far as artists. But as men, as brothers, he’s already been where I’m at. ODB wasn’t just a member of his group, he was his cousin. When you’re poor and cousins, y’all use the same spoon and shit for cereal. These are people that probably started building things at the same time in their lives. I had people like that reach out to me, just to say they care. And for him to see my pain, you never know who cares. But so many different people are calling in, telling their Pimp C stories. Because you know anytime you met Pimp C there was a story. If you met him three times, you had three stories to tell. Literally, that’s no joke. That’s just how hard he was on people’s minds. He was just un-fuckin’-deniable. You was gonna know he was in the room. That’s my motherfuckin’ brother. You was gonna know he was in the house, man. Square business. // As told to Matt Sonzala Photo by Julia Beverly
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Words by Jared Anderson
very now and then something new comes along that changes the way companies or people do things. It’s been said that great businesses provide a simple solution to a complicated problem, and the founders of PMPWorldWide.com are proving just that. Anthony Merchante, the CEO of PMP (Production MarketPlace), had his first vision of things to come in 1998 not long after he and good friend Ainsley “AZ” Nicholas started looking into the success of internet communities that provided networking and socializing. After studying how the web communities functioned and generated money, they started a blog site and online record pool. Several comments were left on the message boards of their websites addressing a need for a virtual marketplace where producers and artists could showcase, buy or sell their music directly to record labels.
to do.” PMP is providing that arena. Unlike Taxi or Digiwaxx, the Production Marketplace is a hyper competitive market that is not for the faint of heart. There is no one to critique your work or anyone to provide production advice, it’s just your songs competing against other high caliber peers. “Competition is a valuable tool to let you know where you stand,” Merchante says. “PMP puts their quality above their name. You come to PMP because you feel you’re ready to compete.” Presentation is important too. Each producer is given a profile, which includes a picture, a bio, and your music. The PMP administrators stress the importance of keeping your profile fresh and updated. “You can be talented but your presentation is critical to your success, give your music a chance to be heard,” advises Dimanche.
Once the groundwork for PMP was completed AZ reached out to a former high school classmate, Conrad Dimanche, who is the Senior Director Of A&R at Bad Boy Entertainment, to structure a system that would benefit A&Rs or label representatives interested in purchasing music. Merchante, AZ and Dimanche began to pool their resources to bring A-list producers and A&Rs to the site and establish an instant quality to their marketplace.
Each song submitted for a “track dump” is screened for quality assurance and to make sure each song matches the track description given before going to an artist or label representative. Once a producer has demonstrated a “stand out” ability to create good music consistently PMP will feature them on their site putting their own personal stamp of approval on the producer. Another way to stand out is to send in a video, a producer or artist can send a video in of their production process as long as they credit PMP on the video.
PMP has grown to over 500 subscribed users without much fanfare or advertisement. Merchante credits PMP’s user expansion to the idea that “People who have the right resources will be in the right arena to do what they need
PMPWorldWide.com is setting itself apart from any competition and is growing rapidly. Upgrades and new features will be added within the coming year to go deeper in the many different needs that go into making an album. //
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Robert “Kaspa” Smith Words by Eric Perrin
obert “Kaspa” Smith has been influential in the Atlanta music scene for a quite a while. Nearly ten years ago, the Los Angeles native began interning at ATL’s Hot 97.5 radio station on the exact same day as MTV’s LaLa, Coco Brother, marketing executive Marsha Meadows, and a man who used to be known as Cris Luva Luva. Since then, Kaspa has gone on to become one of the most instrumental industry execs in Atlanta. He cofounded the highly successful Hittmenn DJs collective (which reaches an audience of over 50 million), formed promotional strategies for countless label heads, and has become a notable community servant, annually donating time and toys to children in need. But now the man who prides himself as being “a pioneer in all facets of the Atlanta music industry,” is goin’ back to Cali. Not literally, but he does have Hollywood aspirations. “I was born in Hollywood, CA, so it’s expected for me to do movies,” says Kaspa. And as he juggles his many industry jobs while attempting to create the first and definitive Atlanta street movie, Robert Smith is focused, because to him, the industry may be rewarding, but he knows that it’s NADAGAME! You seem to pop up at every event in Atlanta. What exactly do you do? Basically, I’m a pioneer in all facets of the Atlanta music industry, ever since the first Hip Hop artist ever popped off in Atlanta. I’m influential in terms of the music industry tastemakers around Atlanta. I have a lot of different titles, so I just try to break all my tasks down so I can try to take care off all my business throughout the day. I’m the President and Founder of Hittmenn DJs; we’re a national DJ organization that was founded here in Atlanta by me, Greg Street, and Bigga Rankin. I’m also the VP of Marketing for Zone 4, which is Polow Da Don’s label on Interscope. And I have my own label, a joint venture with a guy named Yung Sean. Recently I’ve started writing, directing, and producing movies. If you had to compare your role in the Atlanta music scene to a human organ, what would that be? The heart—definitely. I’m where it all starts. When a person comes up with an idea and they wanna start a label and they wanna go in the studio and cut a record, I’m the one that actually forms the whole marketing and concept of how the music should be implemented in the market once that record is done. I’m like the heart, and the DJs are like my branches. I have a staff of 6 people, but with so much work, sometimes it feels like only two. But we get it done. I’m the get-it-done guy. How important are the Hittmenn DJs to an artist’s success in the industry? People overlook relationships. Relationships are immensely important to an artist’s success, and The Hittmenn DJs have incredible industry ties. We have like 80 DJs across the country, 38 markets, and we reach an audience of 50 million. We consist of radio DJs, on-air personalities, mixers and mixtape DJs, and also club DJs. I see a lot of DJ Crews, but this particular DJ crew is differ-
ent. It’s not just about being part of a group. We’re more family oriented. We do a lot of stuff in the community, and we try to give back. Do you ever beef with other DJ crews? No, I think it’s just plain competition, and that’s healthy. It’s just like a football team or baseball team. Off the field everybody is cool, but on the field you’re gunnin’ and runnin’. It’s not war, it’s just competition. How do you gauge success as a DJ crew? How would you win? As far as DJ crews, being successful is just being noted. For instance, when the 50 Cent’s “I Get Money” video was out, we were noted. The Hittmenn DJs were listed right after they showed Shadyville. So, I won that one. But when Tony [Neal] came into our city for the BET Hip Hop Awards and got nominated and we didn’t, he won that one. It’s just competition in different lanes. Speaking of 50 Cent’s “I Get Money” video, it was a good look how they spotlighted many of the DJ crews. It seems like more artists are giving shine to the DJ’s, would you consider that a true statement? Definitely, I think that throughout the past three years, DJs have gained more respect. I think the DJs have taken it to the next level. The labels are realizing that even if you have a good relationship with a [radio station’s] program director, and you have a hit that’s played 200 times a day, that doesn’t ensure good sales. Artists and labels realize that mixtape DJs or club DJs can have just as much, if not more, power than a radio DJ. Take Bigga Rankin, for example. He’s not on the radio, but he’s the biggest DJ in Jacksonville. I think people now see the importance of DJs. You have to have the DJs on your side in order to sell. It’s not gon’ happen without the DJ—period. Let’s change topics a little. What’s going on with your movie? I’ve actually written three movies. One of the movies I wrote in only two days. My movies are a lot of reality dialogue, but I’m really trying to build and show-off my writing skills. We’ve been doing a lot of filming, and our website is getting around a million and a half hits a month, so I’m really trying to take it to the next level. Being that I work so in in-depth with music, I’m always aware that rappers and R&B artists, or just artists in general, are always looking for a new lane to get their music heard. I feel like this is a time now where we have to change the game, and give the artists more visuals with the songs that they’re writing. Movies can give the music a lot more than a music video being played for five minutes on 106 and Park, because movies can create a household name with a story along with it. Atlanta has yet to have a street movie, a movie that’s just all about the streets of Atlanta, so [my first movie Off Da Hook] will serve that purpose, but it’s also dealing with the Delta in Mississippi. This movie is giving the entire South a great look. I’m really trying to take it to the next level. // www.hittmenndjslive.com OZONE MAG // 83
lease don’t ask US Virgin Island native Benny Demus what part of Jamaica he’s from. That question is his pet peeve. “A lot of times people hear the accent, and the first thing they identify with is Jamaica because Jamaica has been on the scene for a very long time, so you can’t take nothing away from them. But I’m from the Virgin Islands, and I’m here to really make a name for us,” says Benny. And since moving from V.I. to ATL in 2001, the St. Thomas-born Benny D. has done just that. As the personal DJ for R&B superstar Akon, Benny has traveled the world displaying his unique and immensely entertaining DJ skills. Aside from his distinctive appearance (he rocks a Mohawk and a kilt onstage) he has equally intriguing onstage antics, which has led to his title of “The World’s Most Entertaining DJ.” But Benny wants it to be known that he is much more than just a DJ. He is an all-out entertainer that can do it all. You’re a pretty unique DJ. I’m so much more than just a DJ. I’m a full-fledged entertainer: I DJ, produce, rhyme, write, act, and pretty much everything else that goes along with the music industry. I’m always trying to look for something new to bring out and to give people their money’s worth plus more. I want to make sure that they want to come back the next time after seeing me on stage. How did you get started in the game? My brother was a DJ before me, and he decided to start teaching me how to spin on the one’s and two’s back when I was in the 4th grade. At that same time I started playing saxophone, and he saw the potential in me at that time. He knew I wanted to do music. I was very musically inclined so he decided to start showing me how to work on my techniques and everything just started moving from there. What is your trademark as a DJ? My trademark is really my persona, what you see. I wear a Mohawk, which is pretty much like a half Mohawk ‘cause it’s just on top of my head, and of course when I get up on stage I don’t look like the type of person you might see walking through a mall. I wear a uniform, and my uniform is a kilt. I rock the kilt on stage and then my antics on stage is what really gets people going. I’m not just behind the turntables. I jump out in front of the tables, I jump on top of the table, I may jump off the table. I go down and do a couple of things with Akon. I get on top of the speakers, I dance on top of the speakers, jump off the speakers. I spray fire onstage, I do break-dance moves on stage. I stand on my head; I do all types of different things. Like I said, I’m an entertainer. That’s why I got the name now as being the “World’s Most Entertaining DJ.” I’m out there, and I’m not afraid to do extra stuff. A lot of the big name DJ’s out there give me so much props. They tell me, “You’re doin’ things I wish I could do.” But they’ve got their own lanes, and I’ve got my own lane. I’m just always looking to entertain myself as well as the people who come to see me perform. I imagine your energy and persona is what attracted Akon to solicit your services, but how did you two link up? I moved to Atlanta from the Virgin Islands back in 2001, and I was a member of the Virgin Island super-group Rock City. We had already put out three albums in the Virgin Islands, and we decided, we’re so big here [in V.I.], why don’t we take it to America and see if we’re really cut out to be in the music industry? So decided to move to Atlanta, and we came and just started going to all open mics we could find. Every open mic from 2001 to 2003, we were just killing ‘em. Everybody started talkin’ about these three island guys, two guys on the mic and then this crazy DJ. This was right around the time Akon was getting looked at by different labels for his music, and he was saying to himself, “Man, I really need a DJ for what I’m gonna be doing.” So once Akon heard about this crazy DJ from islands he decided to come to one of our shows. One of my guys introduced us, and I was like, “Hey, Akon, nice to meet you.” Akon told me, “Yo, be easy. I’m here for you. Do your show, come back, and we’ll talk.” I did my show, and after that he told me needed a DJ, and that he wanted me to DJ for him.
benny d Words by Eric Perrin // Photo by Sophia Jones
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What’s next for the “World’s Most Entertaining DJ?” I want to get into a lot more production. I did tracks on both Akon’s Trouble album and the Konvicted album. I’m one of the main producers for the Rock City, the super group out of the Virgin Islands. I’ve produced for Fishscales from the Nappy Roots, Sonny Valentine, and Willie Joe; all of them are tentative with their albums coming out. Also, I’m trying to get into the acting. I can definitely see myself on the silver screen, because my personality is so there, and I’m outgoing, and I’m daring, and I’m ready for any challenge. I get a lot of encouragement from my industry friends like Busta Rhymes, Doug E. Fresh, and Fatman Scoop. All these people are telling me I’ve gotta do it. // www.myspace.com/supervillainbeats
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J.R. Writer/Writer’s Block 5 Diplomat/Babygrande Records
Pitbull/Boatlift/TVT Records Pitbull returns with the follow-up to his gold-certified debut album M.I.A.M.I. with The Boatlift, offering 18 tracks in which Pitbull gives fans a mix of club tracks, storytelling, and introspective tracks, displaying his ability to take on various roles as an emcee. The album starts off with an intro that leads into the club favorite “Go Girl” featuring Trina. Deeper into the album, Pitbull enlists Twista on one of the highlights, “Candyman”, where the two boast about their masculinity over an Echo-produced track. Lil Jon also makes a production appearance with “Sticky Icky” featuring Jim Jones. R&B crooner Lloyd lends his vocals for “Secret Admirer” which is making a successful climb at radio, and Pitbull wraps the album up with an English remix to his Spanish radio hit “Tell Me” which features Frankie J and Ken-Y. While Pitbull shows his unquestionable versatility on Boatlift, a fair scattering of mediocre tracks keeps the album from really taking off. — Rohit Loomba
Freeway/Free At Last Island Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella
First Jay and Dame break up, then Freeway wakes up and finds himself caught in the middle of one of Hip Hop’s biggest splits, leading the Philly MC to take a hiatus from the game. Now, over four years since his debut album Philadelphia Freeway was released, Freeway finally returns with his sophomore LP, Free At Last. Still down with the Roc, Free and Jay-Z go toe-to-toe to show listeners how big spenders operate on the Dame Grease-produced “Roc-A-Fella Billionaires.” Another standout cut features Freeway going for radio play with a ladies jam featuring Curtis and his patented sing-along serenade on the “Take It To The Top” produced by JR Rotem. Scarface, Rick Ross, Jadakiss and Busta Rhymes all make appearances but Free still shines for dolo on “Still Got Love,” “Reppin’ The Streets” and “I Cry.” This follow-up album was worth the wait.
Cassidy/B.A.R.S. The Barry Adrian Reese Story J Records/Full Surface A car crash and an involuntary manslaughter conviction after Da Hustla, Cassidy comes with B.A.R.S. Cass pits his “Barry Adrian Reese” persona versus his “Hustla” persona on the boxing match-esque battle intro, with “B.A.R.S.” predictably claiming victory. “Drink N’ My 2 Step” has already made an impact on the club scene. A few tracks later, Cass brings the obligatory anti-snitching track, “Will Never Tell,” which deserves nothing short of the skip button. Cass share his side of the story about his legal troubles on “Innocent,” snug over a constantly changing, no-loop Swizz Beatz effort. One of the strongest tracks is “Cash Rulez,” which showcases the entire Full Surface family sharing their more rapid flows. Other standout tracks include “Damn I Miss the Game” and “I Get My Paper”. B.A.R.S. proves to be a strong effort but, at the most, gets a split decision and leaves hope for a knockout the next time around. — Rohit Loomba
Grit Boys/Ghetto Reality Mobetta Musik/TVT Records On Ghetto Reality, the slept-on Texas trio mixes introspection and real life struggles with the codeine and candy painted ways of the streets of H-Town. Whether they’re trading lanes and switching verses with Paul Wall and Killa Kyleon (“Now N’ Later”), doing what ballers do along with Trey Songz and Lil Keke (“In The Mix”), or keeping it trill with B.G. and Yung Redd (“Still Trill”), the Grit Boys’ album is filled with banger after banger. During a year when Texas hasn’t garnered much mainstream attention, the Grit Boys have crafted one of the better albums of the year as their ghetto realities can relate to hoods from Houston to the A and Chicago to the Bay. — Randy Roper
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With Cam’ron, Duke the God, and Jim Jones all releasing mixtapes the same month as Writer’s Block 5, fellow Dipset emcee J.R. Writer has been relatively overshadowed. Though J.R. debuts the 5th installation of his popular Writer’s Block series with little fanfare, WB5 is still a solid offering. At times throughout the CD, fans who are not diehard Dip heads may get somewhat bored with J.R.’s New York heavy flow. Outside of Slim from 112, Writer does it dolo, but despite the lack of guest appearances, WB5 does display the trademarked true lyricism Writer is known and revered for. Overall, the 14 track disc does good by those anticipating Writer’s Block, but probably won’t garner too many new fans. — Eric Perrin
Sham Pain/7 Figga Pimpin
On 7 Figga Pimpin, UK emcee Sham Pain tells the tales of a true pimp on songs like “Thick Chickz,” where Sham shows his admiration for voluptuous women and “Let’s Roll,” where Sham testifies to loving women of any and every color. 7 Figga Pimpin is a double disc, although with just 18-tracks the reasoning behind two discs is elusive. The album isn’t all about macking hoes, though. He takes a page of out Chamillionaire’s book and addresses the rap task force on “Hip Hop Cops.” Sham Pain isn’t the best rapper but this album lets listeners know pimping ain’t dead, it just went international. — Randy Roper
USDA & DJ Folk/The Shield Gang: All Eyez On Us
There used to be a time where artists had to show and prove themselves through mixtapes, trying new things on the mic to persuade people that they weren’t the average emcee and that they deserved to have their album bought. For Young Jeezy and the rest of the USDA roster this doesn’t seem to be what was on their mind when they hooked up with DJ Folk for All Eyes On Us. Old flaunts of money and the street life placed over mostly recycled beats prove nothing but the complacency that USDA feels with the style Jeezy has developed. Recent USDA arrivals Roccett, 211, and Boo show face on this album but don’t do much to build themselves up other than a few respectable attempts by Boo. USDA seems happy with mediocrity and leaves the lyricism far behind to deliver yet another mixtape just good to ride through the trap with the bass turned up. — Rohit Loomba
Chopper Young City & DJ Obscene Money Over Everything
After going through label issues and legal problems, Young City proves to be resilient on this DJ Obscene mixtape Money Over Everything. Through 29 tracks, Chopper’s flow is impressive as he doesn’t back away from his controversial past on tracks like “Money Over Everything” and “How You Like Me Now.” The majority of the mixtape consists of freestyles over tracks like Playaz Circle’s “Duffle Bag Boy” and Kanye’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and may have been better with more original tracks. But City’s hunger throughout is enough to shake his days of walking to Brooklyn for Diddy’s cheesecake and be taken seriously as a MC. — Randy Roper
DJ Smallz & Wes Fif Dead Presidents
Don’t get it twisted: Orlando, FL isn’t all about Disneyworld and Sea World. And on Dead Presidents O-Town newcomer Wes Fif hooks up with DJ Smallz to put sweet notions of the O to rest. Tracks like “G-Code,” “Freaky,” and the bubbling Southern banger, “Haterz Everywhere” with ATL rookie B.O.B. is evidence enough why Fif received a Patiently Waiting Florida nomination at the 2007 OZONE Awards and recently inked a deal with Slip-N-Slide Records. The mixtape could have gone without some of Fif’s freestyles, like remakes of the Shop Boyz “Party Like a Rockstar” and T-Pain’s “Buy U A Drank,” but judging from the overall quality of this project, Fif will be stacking plenty of dead presidents in the near future. — Randy Roper
Super & Fame Return of the 601 Kings
David Banner made it out of the 601 but if Jackson, MS duo Super & Fame, want to know why Banner hasn’t put anyone else from Jackson on, their mixtape is a good indication why. Neither artist is extremely talented but there is a noticeable difference in skill level between the two. Super outshines his counterpart, Rob Fame, track after track. Jacking for beats is a common trend but this mixtapes doesn’t have one original song and if it does, I can’t tell. Nevertheless, Fame does have content within his lines. Couple that with Super’s flow and Return of the 601 Kings mixtape is something to ride to in the whip-if there’s nothing else in arm’s reach to pop in the deck. — Randy Roper
1. DJ Sean Mac “Sold Out 9” | www.myspace.com/djseanmac 2. Will Hustle & DJ Knowledge “Hustlemania” Hosted by Trae | www.willhustle.com
3. DJ Frosty and Charlamagne Tha God “Trap Boys Love Us Vol. 3” Hosted by T.I.P. | www.myspac e.com/djfrostydotcom | www.myspace.com/cthagod
4. DJ Chuck T “Down South Slangin’ Vol. 46” |www.myspace.com/djchuckt 5. DJ 1Mic, DJ DVS-1 & DJ 2Mello “American Gangster” | www.myspace.com/dj1mic 6. DJ 2 Dope Dave “Getting Krunk On Tha Border” Hosted by Lucky Luciano | www.myspace.com/dj2dopedave 7. Funk Boi DJs “Funk For Ya Trunk” | www.myspace.com/funkboidjs 8. DJ Bobby Black “Down & Dirty 28” Hosted by Chamillionaire | www.myspace.com/theofficialbobbyblack | 678-851-0479 9. Makell Bird “ATL Classx Vol. 1” | www.myspace.com/angelicdestroyer 10. DJ Rondevu “Dirty Business Vol. 3” www.myspace.com/djrondevu 11. DJ BNasty “King of Blends 12” | email@example.com | 317-490-7664 12. DJ Frogie “Club Sexxy” | www.myspace.com/djfrogie | 888-318-7918 13. Pace the Kid “Southern Swagga” Hosted by Durty Boyz | www.myspace.com/southernswaggamusic 14. Mr. King T “Southern Smothered & Covered Pt. 11” Hosted by Magno & Sparkdawg | www.myspace.com/djmrking 15. Evil Empire “Be South 18” www.myspace.com/evilempiremixtapes
DJ Scream & DJ Drama “Heavy In The Streets 12: The Thanksgiving Edition” Two of the South’s biggest mixtape DJs hook up to feed the streets with more exclusives just in time for Thanksgiving. This edition of Scream’s “Heavy In The Streets” series is packed with new music and world premieres from Shawty Lo (“Dey Know Remix” featuring Lil Wayne and Plies), Jay-Z and Swizz Beats (“Baby”) and Soulja Boy (“Go Ham On ‘Em). With Hoodrich setting the table for Drama’s Gangsta Grillz album, Mr. Thanksgiving is in a position to win. DJs, send your mix CDs (with a cover) for consideration to: Ozone Magazine 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318
16. Supastar J. Kwik “No Pad No Pencil” | www.myspace.com/supastarjkwik 17. DJ Drama & Katt Williams “All Hail The King” | www.myspace.com/djdrama 18. DJ Cool Breeze “K-Ville Vol. 1” 19. DJ Big Mike & DJ Thoro “Soundtrack To The Streets Pt. 7” | www.myspace.com/djbigmikeofficia l | www.myspace.com/djthoro1 20. DJ LRM “The Roc Boys” | www.myspace.com/superdjlrm
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Pimp C Venue: Belle Noche City: Baton Rouge, LA Date: October 20th, 2007 Photo: King Yella
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Ozone Mag #63 - Jan 2008