RAW, UNCENSORED WEST COAST RAP SHIT
the boy boy young mess gunning for clarity Ice Cube
Full off Hip Hop
Your Favorite rapper’s Favorite moment...or not
TheYear End Awards
Too Short Remembers the Pimp Mitchy Slick Blood In, Blood Out
50’s Protege mobbin’ in the fast lane
e ibl h r r ’ Te j Fres n i ore h D m t s & ’ Sum KC OZONE WEST //
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Publisher Julia Beverly Editor-In-Chief N. Ali Early Art Director Tene Gooden Music Editor Randy Roper ADVERTISING SALES Che Johnson Isiah Campbell Contributors Big Fase 100 D-Ray DJ BackSide DJ E-Z Cutt Eric Johnson Jessica Essien Joey Colombo Keita Jones Luvva J Regi Mentle Shemp Todd Davis Ty Watkins Wendy Day Street Reps Anthony Deavers, Bigg P-Wee, Dee1, Demolition Men, DJ Jam-X, DJ Juice, DJ KTone, DJ Quote, DJ Strong & DJ Warrior, John Costen, Juice, Kewan Lewis, Maroy, Rob J Official, Rob Reyes, Sherita Saulsberry, Sly Boogy, William Major COVER CREDITS Messy Marv photo by Bogan
always wondered what it would be like to make a record. What the hell would I talk about? It’s not like I have any shortage of experiences to share with the world, but would anyone want to hear that shit? Like, would anyone care to know what I do every damn day? That’s why a nigga gotta give it up to the artists out there that stay in the booth. I get a little twisted from time to time and find myself, just like most of you that read this magazine, rappin’ over my favorite beats. You know, freestylin’ on my way to the club and whatnot. And you never truly know how wack you sound until you try that shit with a nigga who can really rap (my nigga AD had me feeliln’ like a chihuahua in a room full of pitbulls the other night!!). Now, I did make an attempt at a song once. It happened spontaneously. I walked in the makeshift studio that I used to call my bedroom and there was a beat playing that I thought was kinda fresh. I found my way to a corner and zoned out. Next thing I know, I was contemplating spitting over the track and before I knew it, the producer had up the mic, encouraging me to find a pen and pad to relay my thoughts on. So I did and before I knew it, there were four bars in front of me, then eight and ultimately sixteen. And the shit made sense! I got a rush ‘cause I thought I was on to something. “Man, I could really do this shit if I want to!” I hallucinated... At any rate, I banged out a hook and an intro the next night and then there was: a blapper! Only thing about it was we had to bring in some extras to finish it. For one, I thought so highly of the track that I wanted as many rappers (ones who actually practiced the art) as we could find to contribute. The other reason was I didn’t want to have to go about making up two more verses. That shit was hard! And that’s where you have to respect anyone who can do that shit for a whole album. I
really feel like the people who grace these pages (well, a good majority of them) are modern day authors, poets and philosophers all at once. To be able to pen your thoughts on a blank sheet of paper, then ride to a specific cadence, fuse the two AND talk about something relevant?? Then, to think some have the mental capacity to pull off complete songs without even penning them at all? Wow. You deserve a hand clap. So after attending the first annual Regional Hip Hop Awards in Los Angeles and meeting a lot of the cats who have graced these here pages in the past year, it’s good to know how alive the art is on the Coast. However disappointed I am that the Bay’s only representatives were D-Ray, Backside and I, I salute SKG for putting together a momentous event with tremendous potential. I commend the writers, photographers, videographers, publicists, pimps and homies who showed supported not knowing whether it would crack or not. And last of all, I applaud all those modern day authors, poets and philosophers for repping the West without incident. For that, you deserve a standing ovation! Peace 2 fingers,
N. Ali Early West Coast Editor Ali.firstname.lastname@example.org
R.I.P Pimp C
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rapqwest PHOTO GALLERIES short stories ice cube Dj Profile: Dj Fresh Bangin’ 101: Mitchy Slick year end awards patiently Waiting: Sumthin terrible Patiently Waiting: Hot rod
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Slap - Cd Reviews end zone
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(above L-R): Glasses Malone & Hot Dollar @ Facades for the Nu West Movement party in Los Angeles, CA; E-40 & Snoop Dogg @ Poetry Nighclub for E-40’s birthday party in Las Vegas, NV; Tank & Tyrese @ Club Shag in Hollywood, CA (Photos: D-Ray)
01 // Sumthin Terrible & Show Biz @ KDON 102.5 (Salinas, CA) 02 // Pimp Snooky, BG, & Pimpin Ken @ Club Karma for Snooky’s birthday bash (Minneapolis, MN) 03 // Chico & Tyrese @ Club Shag (Hollywood, CA) 04 // Haji Springer & Sean Kingston on the set of “What Is It” (Los Angeles, CA) 05 // Kuzzo Fly & Tito Bell @ 1015 Folsom for Freeway’s album release party (San Franscisco, CA) 06 // DJ D-Wrek & Baby Bash on the set of “What Is It” (Los Angeles, CA) 07 // G. Malone, Omar Cruz & Homeboy Miguel @ Aqua Lounge for Power 106 party (Los Angeles, CA) 08 // Acktup, Mistah FAB, & Tantrum @ Hiero Studios for DJ Vlad’s Butcher Battle (Oakland, CA) 09 // Tasha, Kevin Hart, & Melyssa Ford @ Club Republic for Melyssa Ford’s costume party (Hollywood, CA) 10 // Young Bleed, C-Bo, BG & Chopper City Boyz @ Club Karma for Snooky’s birthday bash (Minneapolis, MN) 11 // Echoing Soundz & E-40 @ Poetry Nighclub for E-40’s birthday party (Las Vegas, NV) 12 // Timatheez & The Jacka @ Fat City for the Mob Trial party (San Francisco, CA) 13 // D-Ray, DJ Backside & Art @ Aqua Lounge for Homeboy Miguel’s 1st Anniversary party (Los Angeles, CA) 14 // Rob Lo & Eddi Projex @ Fat City for the Mob Trial party (San Francisco, CA) 15 // Brandy & DJ Backside @ Club Republic for Melyssa Ford’s costume party (Hollywood, CA) 16 // Traxxamillion, Homeboy Miguel & Goldie @ Vanguard for Black Eyed Peas show (Hollywood, CA) 17 // Eastwood & Taje @ Facades for the Nu West Movement (Los Angeles, CA) 18 // Battle winner Tantrum & DJ Vlad @ Hiero Studios for DJ Vlad’s Butcher Battle (Oakland, CA) 19 // Lil Jon, Droop-E, Echo Hattix, & E-40 @ Poetry Nighclub for E-40’s birthday party (Las Vegas, NV) Photo Credits: D-Ray (01,03,04,05,06,07,08,09,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19); Malik Abdul (02,10)
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> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > city >>>> Don’t see your ?
SEA-TAC, WA (The 206/253/360 & The 604 Too!)
Keep DJ DV One in your best thoughts and prayers… the positive brother and Rock Steady Crew OG was found guilty of assault on a Seattle Police officer and is facing up to five years – no priors on his sheet either. Whack! Seattle is holdin’ down the Hip Hop with a fresh release from hometown playboy T-Love entitled Grown Manish. Rakim and Ghostface tore the house down with a legendary performance at the Showbox. Check out Seattle music and media industry professional Kitty Wu’s upcoming project The Free Hill-B Mixtape featuring er’body from The 206 and The 253 (Tacoma, WA). - Luvva J (myspace.com/luvvaj)
artists clubs, DJs and t us know which ag.com Hit us up and le esenting: Ali.Early@ozonem repr are worthy of
PORTLAND, OR (503)
Portland is hosting a gang of rap cats to close the year. Cool Nutz is ushering in a 503 favorite, E-40. Lil’ Wayne is said to be coming to town as well as an encore birthday visit in early 2008 from Bay Area legend, Andre Nickatina with special guests. When in Portland, make sure to tune into KBOO FM 90.7 FM. Congrats to SP, an Olympia, WA cat who calls PDX home, because he was just added to the reputable list of MCs to be in The Source’s Unsigned Hype. All love, respect and peace to Dr. Donda West. - Luvva J (myspace.com/luvvaj)
DENVER, CO (303, 720)
DJ K-Tone and Hawkman of Elite Ent collab on one of the most highly anticipated mixtapes of the year, Bond Money. Innerstate Ike is set to drop his 10th and 11th project of ‘07 with Bullets, Blessings, and BlackTop Music and a mixtape with DJ Big Spade. He lives up to his handle “10 songs a day.” Denver’s R&B group LG performed on 106th & Park. Club Paradise is shut down, and The BoneYard is going to start jumping every fourth weekend of the month. One love to the Colorado Rockies for getting to the World Series. Hip Hop ain’t dead, its rising in the Rockies! - DJ K-Tone (myspace.com/kdjktonedotcom)
Oakland, CA (510)
The remix of “This My One” with Too $hort and E-40 (produced by Traxamillion) is definitely slappin’ in the Town. Kuzzo Fly’s video for “Don’t Spill It” is on MTV Jams! Mistah FAB has a new slapper featuring Snoop Dogg called “Party On.” The nightlife is fighting to stay alive but 1st Saturdays @ Geoffrey’s is still the livest night in the town with DJ Juice in the mix. Reggae? Karribean City or The Oasis. Grown & Sexy? Kimball’s, Maxwell’s or Yoshi’s. Hood Club: Pat’s. - DJ Juice (email@example.com)
Las Vegas, NV (702)
Sacramento, CA (916)
San Jose, CA (408)
After Wild 94.9’s crazy ass Boo Bomb featuring T-Pain, Rihanna and Ne-Yo at the HP Pavilion, clubs remain the backbone of San Jose. Club Abyss is back in action with DJ Don Lynch (party for $2 on Tuesdays!). DJ Tito Bell and DJ Rah2K keep things lit at Club Wet Friday and Saturday, and DJ Solarz with J Guzie (BKA Rock-it Scientists) keep it poppin’ at the Fahrenheit Ultra Lounge with Promoters Klubstar. San Jose native producer Traxamillion dropped a few heaters featuring himself, San Quinn, Mistah FAB, Too $hort and E-40. Pick up his newest mixtape Ridin’ High. - Dj Backside
Phoenix, AZ (602,623, 480)
West Up Wednesdays At Club Silk, Azukar Lounge is now showcasing Hip Hop artists in downtown Sacramento. Recent performers include Mistah FAB and Clyde Carson. Sumthin Terrible’s mixtape Modern Day Stoners, featuring “U Stupid” and “Bottles of Patron,” is worth picking up. Doey Rock and Sic Wit it present the new album 916 Unified featuring the single “So Sac Wit It.” J Gibbs’ Still on the Grizzley Volume 2… Look What You Made Me Do is another slapper, featuring the hit single “Rolling Through The Hood.” Sacramento/Omina Labs hottest Hip Hop producer J-Synth is dropping J-Synth the Resume, featuring “Smashmatic” with B-Legit and Turf Talk. And Mackramento’s own Bueno is hosting the new BlockStar DVD with Jim Jones, Mistah FAB and Yukmouth. - Zay (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thousands of DJs descended on Las Vegas for the annual Mixshow Power Summit. The three day event, held at the Palms Hotel, included daily festivities, major networking, extravagant hotel suite parties, and a special advance premier of the movie American Gangster. Appearances by some of the West Coast’s hottest DJs included DJ Franzen, the Demolition Men, DJ Big Dee, DJ Vlad, DJ BackSide and DJ Karamel. Freeway, the Jacka, Mitchy Slick and producers Alchemist and Traxamillion also attended. Supporting the DJs in the music industry was a primary focal point. Where would the industry be without the DJs?! - Portia Jackson (email@example.com)
San Francisco, CA (415)
The new “San Francisco Anthem” (off the All City comp) is buzzing in The City streets featuring Big Rich, Boo Banger, San Quinn and produced by Traxamillion. Messy Marv drops Draped Up & Chipped Out Part 2. FTC Skateboard Co. has put out a San Quinn Western Edition Skateboard. First 500 buyers get a FREE San Quinn & DJ Juice mixtape. Be on the lookout for G-Man & Doza’s (from the Geneva Tower) album dropping soon. The City’s nightlife heart is still beating at Icon, Whisper, Club 6, 330 Ritch & Fanatics. For the urban strip club experience, try Club Vixen. - DJ Juice
HMF Entertainment and The Hindu Mafia Family All-Stars flooded the city with West Coast stars, national celebrity hosts from BET and more for their recent album release party. Over 2000 people showed up. The Bella Models are throwing ultra star-studded mansion parties attended by Suns forward Boris Diaw, DTP’s Willie Northpole and more. Soulja Boy “Cranked That” in the gym of Phoenix College and Amare Stoudemire and Lebron James recently hosted separate sold-out events at Club Rain promoted by Urban AZ. Phoenix is preparing for the 2008 Super Bowl at the brand new $355 million Cardinals stadium. Also, just confirmed All Star 2009. We on the map! - Jasmine Crowe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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(above L-R): Ray J & Brandy @ Club Republic for Melyssa Ford’s costume party in Hollywood, CA; David Banner & Damani @ Club Sugar in Hollywood, CA; Punk rocker disrespecting the yellow carpet @ Poetry Nightclub for E-40’s birthday party in Las Vegas, NV (Photos: D-Ray)
01 // Lil Jon & DJ Quote reppin’ CRUNK!!! Energy Drink (Tucson, AZ) 02 // Jae Synth & Turf Talk @ Omina Labs (Sacramento, CA) 03 // Willie Joe, AP9 & Traxxamillion @ 1015 Folsom for Freeway’s album release party (San Francisco, CA) 04 // Guest & Too $hort @ Poetry Nighclub for E-40’s birthday party (Las Vegas, NV) 05 // Mistah FAB & Faahz @ Power 106 (Los Angeles, CA) 06 // Pimpin’ Ken & Pimp Snooky @ Club Karma for Snooky’s birthday bash (Minneapolis, MN) 07 // The Federation on the set of “What Is It” (Los Angeles, CA) 08 // Baby Bash & Sean Kingston on the set of “What Is It” (Los Angeles, CA) 09 // Chaz, Droop-E, Mrs. E-40, & E-40 @ Poetry Nighclub for E-40’s birthday party (Las Vegas, NV) 10 // Freeway & The Jacka @ 1015 Folsom for Freeway’s album release party (San Francisco, CA) 11 // John Costen, Network & Kafani Da Ice King @ Paulo’s for Rick Lee’s industry party (Hayward, CA) 12 // Slo & Pimp Snooky @ Club Karma for Snooky’s birthday bash (Minneapolis, MN) 13 // Echo Hattix & Toccara @ Club Republic for Melyssa Ford’s costume party (Hollywood, CA) 14 // Biaje & G. Archer @ Raw Hide for his album release party (San Francisco, CA) 15 // Taje & DJ Backside @ Facades for the Nu West Movement (Los Angeles, CA) 16 // Hard Hitters & Alex Thomas @ Aqua Lounge for Homeboy Miguel’s 1st Anniversary party (Los Angeles, CA) 17 // Colby O Donis & Felli Fel @ Aqua Lounge for Homeboy Miguel’s 1st Anniversary party (Los Angeles, CA) 18 // Drew Deezy & San Quinn on the set of “I Bet Cha” (San Jose, CA) 19 // DJ D-Wrek & Celly Cell @ Poetry Nighclub for E-40’s birthday party (Las Vegas, NV) 20 // Terricka & DeRay Davis @ Club Republic for Melyssa Ford’s costume party (Hollywood, CA) Photo Credits: Ace Black (01); D-Ray (03,04,05,07,08,09,10,11,13,14,15,16,17,19,20); Jessica Essien (02,18); Malik Abdul (06,12)
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ver since I met Pimp C, he treated me like a big brother. I could fill every page in this magazine with stories about our adventures. We’ve traveled all over the country doing shows. We’ve spent endless hours in the studio. When we talked on the phone or hung out together, we rarely mentioned the music industry. We’d usually just chop up the game and analyze how some folks have it and some don’t.
if Scarface, The Geto Boys, Luke Skywalker, Trick Daddy, 8Ball & MJG, Outkast, the Goodie Mob, and all the other rap artists from the South had to fight their labels like UGK did.
Anybody who knows both of us should know how wild we used to be. Before he passed, he would tell me stories about crazy shit we did back in the day that he remembered, and I’d tell him what I remembered. Other people in the room would be looking at us like we really were crazy.
I just hope the Southern artists that are enjoying success these days give credit where credit is due. Ask Lil Jon, T.I., Mike Jones, Rick Ross, T-Pain, or Plies what they were doing when “Pocket Full of Stones” came out. Ask ‘em how many times they listened to the Ridin’ Dirty album and how many UGK songs they memorized. Ask ‘em about Pimp C’s production skills, or how many memorable hooks he came up with. Ask ‘em if Pimp and Bun influenced or inspired them in any way.
I was proud of my lil’ bra when he got out of prison a much more mature and wiser man. He did a lot of good things for a lot of people. I remember when him, Bun, and Mama were going through it with Jive Records. I wonder
I’ll never forget Bun B’s “Free Pimp C” campaign. He put it on t-shirts and said it in damn near every verse he spit. When Pimp was in jail, Bun kept Pimp’s name alive in the rap game. I personally feel that as much as Bun did all the
I just hope the Southern artists that are enjoying success these days give credit where credit is due. Ask Lil Jon, T.I., Mike Jones, Rick Ross, T-Pain, or Plies what they were doing when “Pocket Full of Stones” came out. Ask ‘em how many times they listened to the Ridin’ Dirty album and how many UGK songs they memorized. right things for UGK while C was locked down, every time he said C’s name in a song or an interview, that helped Bun as much as it helped C. I know little kids that know exactly who Bun B is, and say they’ve never heard of Pimp C, but if you know the whole story, folks thought he couldn’t make it without Pimp C. Bun is a better lyricist but Pimp had that swagger. By Bun doing all those guest appearances on other rapper’s songs, he not only saved both of their careers but also elevated them to a level they’d never been on before. When Pimp got out of prison, he was immediately driving a Bentley and wearing big diamonds. My lil’ bra was in a good mood every time I talked to him and every time I saw him after his release from prison. If you read this, thanks, Bun. Chad could have come home to nothing, but instead he came home and lived his last days like a Trill UnderGround King. The Saturday right before he passed, he came to my show, got on stage with me and had a good time. Backstage we joked and laughed like always. That’s how I’ll always remember him: Dedicated to the hustle, always making funky music and having fun all the way. He told everybody how much he loved his big bra Shortdog. Love you too, Pimpin’. // Photo: Alexander Sibaja/Getty Images
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(above L-R): E-40 & Lil Jon @ Poetry Nighclub for E-40’s birthday party in Las Vegas, NV; Jackie Long, Melyssa Ford, Tocarra, & Ray J @ Club Republic for Melyssa Ford’s costume party in Hollywood, CA; AP9 & Freeway @ 1015 Folsom for Freeway’s album release party in San Francisco, CA (Photos: D-Ray)
01 // Pretty Black & Young City @ Club Shag (Hollywood, CA) 02 // N Ali Early & Crooked I @ West Coast Regional Awards (Universal City, CA) 03 // DJ Big Dee, guest, & DJ Franzen @ Poetry Nighclub for E-40’s birthday party (Las Vegas, NV) 04 // Joe Breezy, Homeboy Miguel, David Banner & J. Espinosa @ Aqua Lounge for Homeboy Miguel’s 1st Anniversary party (Los Angeles, CA) 05 // Baby Bash, J Diggs, & Boss Hogg on the set of “What Is It” (Los Angeles, CA) 06 // Tank, Melyssa Ford, & DJ Mark Da Spot @ Club Shag (Hollywood, CA) 07 // E-40 & Mugzi @ Poetry Nighclub for E-40’s birthday party (Las Vegas, NV) 08 // Willie Joe & DJ Juice @ 1015 Folsom for Freeway’s album release party (San Francisco, CA) 09 // C-Bo & Pimp Snooky @ Club Karma for Snooky’s birthday bash (Minneapolis, MN) 10 // DJ Quote reppin’ CRUNK!!! Energy Drink (Tucson, AZ) 11 // International P & Cakemixx @ MTV 2’s Fight Klub (Fresno, CA) 12 // Guest, Dem HoodStarz, Clyde Carson, & guest @ Poetry Nighclub for E-40’s birthday party (Las Vegas, NV) 13 // G. Malone & D.J. SourMilk @ Aqua Lounge for Homeboy Miguel’s 1st Anniversary party (Los Angeles, CA) 14 // Bishop Magic Don Juan and Kam @ West Coast Regional Awards (Los Angeles, CA) 15 // Homeboy Miguel, guests, & DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia @ Aqua Lounge for Homeboy Miguel’s 1st Anniversary party (Los Angeles, CA) 16 // E-40, B-Legit, D-Ray, Snoop Dogg & D-Shot @ Poetry Nighclub for E-40’s birthday party (Las Vegas, NV) 17 // Streets Of The Federation & his wife @ Aqua Lounge for Homeboy Miguel’s 1st Anniversary party (Los Angeles, CA) 18 // Band Aid Of Dem Hoodstarz, Chuck & E-40 @ Poetry Nighclub for E-40’s birthday party (Las Vegas, NV) 19 // Model & Spider Loc @ West Coast Regional Awards (Los Angeles, CA) 20 // King Tech & DJ Revolution @ Power 106 (Los Angeles, CA) Photo Credits: Ace Black (10); D-Ray (01,02,03,04,05,06,07,08,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20); Jessica Essien (11); Malik Abdul (09)
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...if you got a ghost writer, I’m not fucking with you anyway— period. I don’t care how many records you sell, if y’all doin’ lyrics by committee I’m not fucking with that because that ain’t emceeing to me.
WORDS BY N. Ali EARLY
Ice Cube never changed. The game did. If you were him you would have had the
vision too. You would have seen how shady it was becoming and would have opted for the silver screen. You would have had your cake and ate it too. You would have gone from the no nonsense thug Dough Boy to the fun loving sports fanatic Nick Persons and you still would have come home. That’s because home is where the heart is and no matter how many movies you made and how many roles you pretended to be, you would always yearn for that homecooked meal. Figuratively speaking, Ice Cube’s had the ability to eat off rap since he was a teenager and by all accounts, he loves it just the same now as he did then. So with his album Raw Footage due next June, he’s opted to test the waters and deliver an Internet friendly EP before the official release date. That’s just to see if it’s something you’re interested in hearing. But you are, because you can appreciate mature Hip Hop. That’s why you’re here. He knows. You’re one and the same. 12 // OZONE WEST
You say First Sunday is more in the vein of a Barbershop as opposed to a Friday. How is that? Friday movies are straight, pretty much a simple story and just laughing at everything. Barbershop is like a good story to tell, meaningful story and you laugh through it. And I think this is one of them same things. It’s a good story, but you’re laughing all the way through it. So what’s the premise behind the movie? Basically, two niggas are stupid enough to rob a church. I mean, I don’t know how I could put it any plainer than that. Emphasis on the “stupid enough.” What’s cool is, I don’t wanna give away the movie, but the church ain’t like the nicest church in the hood. They basically takin’ the money and ‘bout to move away and build a bigger church in a whole different neighborhood. They done sucked the community dry and basically wanna just take the money and run. And now the people that done built the church can’t even go to it now. So it’s on that tip. So, ain’t nobody a saint in this movie, but it’s funny. It is truly comedy when it’s all said and done. You didn’t have anything to do with writing it, but what involvement does Cubevision have? Producing it, making sure it made it to the screen and that it is done well. Who wrote it? A guy named David [Talbert]. He does a lot of plays and that’s where he kinda made his name; doing a lot of black plays around the country. This is his first feature. What does it take these days for you to want to be involved in a movie, or produce it or write it? First of all, it’s gotta be something that I think that we can make good and make it to where people enjoy it. And then, of course, the story, the story’s gotta be good; good actors and people who just know how to make good movies. I don’t wanna deal with a lot of amateurs. Even though I’ve dealt with a lot of first-time directors, I believe [Talbert] has mastered his field when it comes to plays. It’s just basically converting it into a film and helping him make that transition. And then with other people, I think they’ve mastered videos and they were just ready to make that transition. So we’re still grabbin’ people who are real talented. You mentioned that you don’t like to deal with amateurs a whole hell of a lot in certain respects, but how much have you transitioned? Do you ever look back and trip off your own progression in the movies and where you’ve come from? Yeah, it’s a trip but I never take movies as serious as people do; especially when I just act in them. Those are just parts. My records to me are when I really get to do what I do. Movies are just acting roles. I never really weigh it out. Some people say, “Well, shit, you done came from N.W.A to doing a movie like Are We There Yet?” and I’m sayin’, “Shit, when I was in N.W.A, I wished I had a family like Are We There Yet?” That’s the whole thing. We want a piece of this so-called American dream. It ain’t like everybody in the hood wanna be Scarface. What happened with “Black.White.”? I think the network FX was just kinda scared of it. It was a good show. That’s why I wanted to be involved, because it was something that was just gonna test the waters of racism in America, gauge where we are, and it flunked the test. America flunked the test in a lot of respects. I guess FX didn’t want to expose that no more. Even though the show was successful, even though the show at that time was the highest-rated cable show as far as the premiere of the show, it was strange not to do another one. It was real successful ‘cause it had everybody talking all through America about it. I figured they were just scared to do it again. Given the success that it had, how did they go about telling you and everybody else that there wasn’t going to be a second season? Shit, they bought like six or seven episodes and when they don’t buy six or seven more, you know. It’s like going to the grocery store—you pick out a sixpack of soda and if you don’t go and pick out another six-pack of soda—you don’t want no more soda. That’s kinda how it goes down in Hollywood, especially with a show like this that’s basically reality TV. It ain’t like a series or sitcom, where they will probably be a little more tasteful, just a little—they will actually let you know they ain’t doing it. But this [is] the game, that’s just the TV game. I trust in the movie game and the record game—those are the ones that I know best. TV [is] a whole new animal. Is your approach to music any different now? Dealing with movies I would
assume that it is. Do you get in the mode and just go there with it? Yeah, you know I still have the most fun doing records. At a certain point movies get boring—shooting them. They cool when they come out and they edit it—the finished work, but shooting them is boring. It ain’t nothing like being in the studio. It was a different way of recording when I first came out. ProTools wasn’t the norm. People [were still] recording on two-inch tape, so you had to basically sit down and have sessions with a lot of people to get what you want. Now with ProTools, with MP3s, shooting beats over the Internet and all that, it ain’t really necessary. You had some choice words for today’s generation of gangsta rap on Laugh Now, Cry Later. Do you feel the same about the industry? It seems like it’s taking an extreme turn for the worst. A lot of people like the fun in it, like the dancing and all that shit, but how do you feel? I hate the industry for a lot of reasons. It ain’t got nothing to do with old, new, none of that. It has to do with how the West Coast is always treated. We’re always treated like the stepchilds of the industry so our music is straight underground, because we’re not recognized nowhere in mainstream music as a force at all. We’re just kinda out here hangin’. If we do get a hit it’s because the record is just so overwhelmingly better than anything else out there. Our moderate records or records that are not with this big-ass machine behind it don’t even get looked at by the industry. They’ll have award shows in L.A., but won’t have one West Coast artist on the bill. So that’s why I don’t like the industry. As far as the new jacks, the youngsters that [are] coming out, if you got a ghostwriter, I’m not fucking with you anyway—period. I don’t care how many records you sell, if y’all doin’ lyrics by committee I’m not fucking with that because that ain’t emceeing to me. I’m only worried about people that write their own lyrics and I try and spit game to ‘em. I don’t know some of these dudes to be able to just talk to them face-to-face, but I could do a record and if they hear what I’m trying to say, then so be it. If they take it as a nigga being sour, so be it too. But for the most part, these new dudes just gotta figure out if they love the money, if they love the music, or if they love their fans. ‘Cause if you in love with the money, you gon’ play out—straight up. If you in love with the music and your fans, you’ll have longevity, even if you don’t sell a lot of records. Look at Dub C. He’s been eatin’ off rap music just as long as me, but ain’t really never had a gold or none of them big numbers. But he still here. People still want to hear what he gotta say. So that’s what I look at. With the last album you kinda put movies and everything else to the side to do it. Is the process the same this around? Well, between Laugh Now… and this new record Raw Footage, we got a lot of songs that could go on the album. But I wanna do more before I say, “These are the ones.” So right now, I’m ‘bout to do a movie, but I’m still workin’ on more records, ‘cause I figure we should just do as many as we can until it’s time to stop. So this process is a little different. When do you sleep? I sleep good. I sleep good every night. I got a lotta good people that work with me and work for me. And I just know how to allocate power and know how to put people to work, motivate them to work at a high level. So I got a lotta shit goin’, but I don’t wanna go crazy tryna do this. I wanna have fun, stay creative and keep my mind clear. “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It” is the single, right? Or was it leaked? We still don’t know how that got out, cause that ain’t even a mixed version of the song. It’s just a rough. But it’s out and it is a song that’s going on Raw Footage. It ain’t the single, but it is one of the songs that’s on there. When it’s out you just gotta roll with it and that’s what we’re going to do. We’ll probably end up puttin’ out a better version of it. It’s just little shit the producer [Maestro] wants to do. What’s the focus of Raw Footage? This is the first time I did a record that’s not worried about no kind of airplay or none of that. I’m not worried about what the industry says on this record. I’m saying what I think needs to be said. I’m doing Hip Hop that makes you think, makes you realize what’s going on around you, that’s true street knowledge. So that’s what this record is full of. I got a song on there called “Why Me?” You hear about a lot of dudes gettin’ murdered. What if that person that got murdered had a chance to talk to the dude who did it? It’s that kind of record, basically saying, “Why me? I don’t even know you. I could be part of your family and you smoked me.” So it’s them kind of records that’s against the norm. ‘Cause most people gon’ be like, “Where yo Soulja Boy shit at?” But nah. It’s a record for mature Hip Hop fans. // OZONE WEST // 13
twenty two year vet has probably seen it all, experienced it all and imaginably so, would be done with it all. Kansas City’s DJ Fresh, however, seems to be in perfect stride and more or less at his peak after two decades in the game. As the chief turntable conduit in one of the most violent cities across the nation, he truly has the best of both worlds. In essence, he’s traveled outside his own city in an effort to network with other notable DJ’s/artists and coincidently made a name for himself in a smaller market in the process. Needless to say, through his ingenuous travels, he’s made ends meet by wearing more hats than a baseball team. Hence, the promoter/DJ/host/producer not only has a lot on his plate, but tons of game to spill. “We pretty much get looked over as a city, state, whatever,” Fresh tells, offering the reality of being underestimated as a native planted West of the Mississippi. “The labels look over us and everything, but that just makes these artists out here more hungry.” From Cash Image, Money G & Southside Posse, The Poppers, Toothpick, Mad Marlin, Lee Joe, Rich the Factor and Tech N9ne, the list is long and impressive. But for reasons unbeknownst to him, they’re not the most accepted group on local radio. However, as a consistent voice on Hot 103 Jamz, where he holds down a weekend mixshow called Underground Heat: The Radio Takeover, DJ Fresh has the unique opportunity of showcasing worthy talent.
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And Fresh doesn’t stop there. Beyond the recognition and exposure, his next most immediate goal is “taking this DJ thing to the next level.” Appropriately dubbed “The Gift,” he boasts upwards of 600,000 views on YouTube for his single “Double Dutch” and remains one to watch by industry standards. In association with New Jersey’s Kenyon Entertainment, Fresh takes an active role in distributing his own brand. “When I first started DJin’ it was more raw Hip Hop,” he reminisces on his triumphant and impressive run. “It was a focus on more skills in the DJs. It was more contest music. It was more fun music. It wasn’t so much about glamorizing everything. I mean rappers always were flamboyant, but now they make it like reality. So it’s like, when you turn 16 you’re supposed to get 28” rims on your car. So the kids have started doing everything to get that.” Unsurprisingly, Fresh is keeping busy, most recently finishing his second DVD/Mixtape entitled The Ultimate DVD Mixtape Part 2: In the Basement. He also takes the time to organize lunch time middle school events with his own son as guest host and DJs in every capacity available to him. Says Fresh, “I DJ parties for 70 year olds, black, white, Jamaican parties, African parties, kids parties, clubs… everything.” A CORE DJ, Shadyville DJ and Derrty DJ, Fresh says holla at him for hosting mixtapes. He’ll put the Hip Hop back in it. // www.myspace.com/djfreshlive - DJ Backside
(above L-R): Topic in the studio in Hollywood, CA (Photo: D-Ray); E-40 on the set of ‘5000 Ones’ in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly); Lil Uno of The Pack @ Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco, CA (Photo: Remy Allums)
01 // DeRay Davis @ Club Sugar (Hollywood, CA) 02 // Willie Joe @ Fat City for the Mob Trial party (San Francisco, CA) 03 // Sean Kingston on the set of “What Is It” (Los Angeles, CA) 04 // Young Gasz @ Fat City for the Mob Trial party (San Francisco, CA) 05 // Rick Rock @ Mission Rock (San Francisco, CA) 06 // Nikki @ Club Karma for Snooky’s birthday bash (Minneapolis, MN) 07 // Mistah FAB @ 1015 Folsom for Freeway’s album release party (San Francisco, CA) 08 // San Quinn on the set of “I Bet Cha” (San Jose, CA) 09 // P-Cise, Birdie L’s, Lil Derell, & Liq M1 @ Godlike Studios (Sacramento, CA) 10 // Alex Thomas @ Aqua Lounge for Homeboy Miguel’s 1st Anniversary party (Los Angeles, CA) 11 // Sauce of Sumthin Terrible @ 1015 Folsom for Freeway’s album release party (San Francisco, CA) 12 // Baby Bash & ladies on the set of “What Is It” (Los Angeles, CA) 13 // Rick Lee & Mr. Kee @ Paolos for Rick Lee Industry Tuesdays (Hayward, CA) 14 // Lil Jon @ Poetry for E-40’s birthday party (Las Vegas, NV) 15 // PSD Tha Drivah @ (Las Vegas, NV) 16 // Glasses Malone @ West Coast Regional Awards (Universal City, CA) 17 // Danny Salas & Eddi Projex (Fresno, CA) 18 // The Jacka @ Fat City for the Mob Trial party (San Francisco, CA) 19 // Snoop Dogg @ Poetry for E-40’s birthday party (Las Vegas, NV) 20 // Shawnna @ Club Karma for Snooky’s birthday bash (Minneapolis, MN) 21 // Goldie of The Federation on the set of “I Bet Cha” (San Jose, CA) 22 // Young L of The Pack @ Bottom of the Hill (San Francisco, CA) 23 // Freeway @ 1015 Folsom for Freeway’s album release party (San Francisco, CA) 24 // Lee Majors @ 1015 Folsom for Freeway’s album release party (San Francisco, CA) 25 // DJ Mike Smooth & DJ Backside @ Club Shag (Hollywood, CA) 26 // BG, Anjal, Queen Bee, & Shawnna @ Club Karma for Snooky’s birthday bash (Minneapolis, MN) 27 // Big Rich @ Fat City for the Mob Trial party (San Francisco, CA) 28 // Jonathan Wesley @ Club Republic for Melyssa Ford’s costume party (Hollywood, CA) 29 // DJ Big Dee @ Poetry for E-40’s birthday party (Las Vegas, NV) 30 // Dem Hoodstarz @ Poetry for E-40’s birthday party (Las Vegas, NV) 31 // Damani & DJ Backside @ Club Sugar (Hollywood, CA) 32 // Eddi Projex @ Fat City for the Mob Trial party (San Francisco, CA) 33 // Chance @ Club Republic for Melyssa Ford’s costume party (Hollywood, CA) 34 // DJ Skee @ West Coast Regional Awards (Universal City, CA) 35 // AP9 @ 1015 Folsom for Freeway’s album release party (San Francisco, CA) Photo Credits: D-Ray (01,02,03,04,07,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,23,24,25,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35); Jessica Essien (05,08,09,21); Malik Abdul (06,20,26); Remy Allums (22)
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lamed up, comin’ straight outta San Diego is the man known as Mitchy Slick. Representin the “B” to the fullest, Slick is here to shed a lil light on his hometown, Hip Hop and of course a lil Bangin’ 101. Start off by telling us where the name Mitchy Slick originated? Well, my last name is Mitchy. I got Slick from being a thinker. Put those together and you’ve got Mitchy Slick. Can you tell me a little bit about the San Diego Hip Hop scene? San Diego’s Hip Hop scene is fucked up, and it’s for the same reason the whole West Coast Hip Hop scene is fucked up. There aren’t many outlets. There aren’t any major street record labels out in San Diego. We don’t have any hood representatives. All of our outlets come from corporate company people that don’t know how to market street acts. Tell me how big of a part gang and street life plays in San Diego’s Hip Hop scene. Gang and street life plays a part in mostly everything. Building a name begins in the hood. If you don’t have a hood that supports you, it’s gonna be pretty hard to survive in San Diego’s Hip Hop scene. Every rapper that’s known in San Diego is a known member of a particular neighborhood. San Diego is a place where it’s all about your reputation and if what you say is real. That’s basically the only way you’ll get respect for your music out here.
Words by Big Fase 100 Photo by Barry Underhill
Jayo Felony is one of the biggest names in rap to come out of the San Diego area. He is a Crip. Do you have a relationship with him? Our hoods are separated by one street. Me and plenty of his homies done did all the shit that active gangbangers do to each other coming up, but never anything between me and him. Our hoods haven’t got along since way before I was around, so it’s really hard to do anything together.
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What’s your take on the artists who represent Bloods across the map in Hip Hop today? Are they representing it the right way? San Diego is the Blood capital of the world. It’s been Bloods in San Diego since the 70s. When I go to Compton, Pasadena, Watts, I’m gonna look for the Damus just to break bread with some Bloods in another part of the world. It’s like a fraternity. They give me plugs and provide whatever they can. From Inglewood to San Diego it’s Blood love. Some niggas understand that in other places as far away as Harlem, Minnesota and Oklahoma. [They] got Blood love. Niggas come to the Blood capital of the world and don’t even reach out to the President of the Hip Hop Blood movement in San Diego. That’s not what a Blood would do. A real Blood that had his shit crackin’ would feel he got a responsibility to at least acknowledge some other real Bloods when they’re around. I ain’t mad, I’m just waitin’ on some phone calls from my brothers. I remember when Bloods had little to no representation in rap. What do you think this sudden shift is due to? I don’t know why. I always felt like maybe it was because of how the L.A. niggas just banged so hard for years with the Crippin’. Maybe it was just natural for the other cities to feel like they should be on the other team. I couldn’t really see New York niggas wanting to be like Snoop after kickin’ down the buildings in the “New York New York” video. What do you say to a youngster coming up in your home town who idolizes you and wants to be just like OG Mitchy Slick: a dope rapper/street gang representative? Be careful of who’s in your circle, because once you get a lil’ fame a lot of niggas are going turn on you. Everybody wants to be a rapper. When niggas want what you got, you’re going to feel the heat. Also, make real music. Don’t be wasting time doing songs with bullshit production in bullshit studios. It’s too late in the game to be trying to make shit for your circle of friends. Go big. Invest in yourself or nobody else will! If at all, how do you go about delivering a positive message to your young fans? If you listen to my shit, you will see I don’t glorify the gangbanging shit. I tell the real side of the life. I educate them about paying taxes and other ways to get money besides pushing dope. Any lil’ dude listenin’ to my music is most definitely gonna learn
how to be slick and make it in the real world. I show them the statistics and everything. Do you see gang violence ever coming to an end in your hometown? Why or why not? I really don’t see shit changing in San Diego because these gang laws got us separated. The lil’ homies are teaching themselves because the big homies will go to jail just for being around them. I just lost two homies this week. Too much anger from dead homies. Niggas don’t forget. What’s up next for Mitchy Slick in 2008? Me and my group Strong Arm Steady are about to put out a real masterpiece through Black Smith Warner Brothers. I’m also releasing my third solo underground project on my label Wrongkind Records. It’s called 48 Hours on Gangstreet featuring: 211 Spider Loc, Big Wy, The Wrongkind, Messy Marv, Strong Am Steady, G. Malone and more. //
Compiled by: N. Ali Early | DJ K-Tone | Mark Cook | Kay Newell
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THE KEEPIN’ IT PUSHIN’ AWARD Winner: Clyde Carson Runner Up: Jay Rock A major deal on Capitol, 2 hot singles, and a whole lot of street cred from one of the toughest markets to get respect from, Clyde Carson still wasn’t at the top of the major label’s priority list. But it didn’t stop him from doing shows, dropping freestyles and being everywhere across the U.S. this year.
DON’T RAP, JUST RAISEYOUR KIDS AWARD Winner: Marvaless Runner up: Luni Coleone Marvaless was a prime example of hard female gangsta rapper who didn’t take no shit... but that was also early 90s when she still looked up to par. Based on the looks of her latest album cover, she needs to hang up the mic and concentrate on picking up the kids from school.
THE BARRY BONDS AWARD Winner: Dr. Dre Runner Up: Bishop Lamont Didn’t know dude from BALCO had a connect in the City of Angels… At any rate, after Dr. Dre’s guest appearance onstage at the VMAs, it’s clear why Detox didn’t come out last year (as if it ever will). Dre’s on ster— er uh, he’s been in the gym.
DAMN NIGGAYOU OLD AWARD Winner: Too $hort Runner up: Trey D To his credit, Short has continued to make hits on time (listen to “Blow the Whistle”), introduce new talent (see The Pack) and create new avenues to rep the Bay (purchase the I Love the Bay compilation). We love and respect you for doing your thing for so long, but damn nigga you old!
DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY AWARD Winner: Keyshia Cole an ‘em Runner Up: Thizz Ent Let’s see, the mother’s a convicted felon, the sister is an obsessive wreck and the rap prodigy isn’t really worth mentioning. The Addams family ain’t got shit on the Coles and that’s just “The Way It Is”!
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SHOWYOU HOW TO GRIND AWARD Winner: Mistah F.A.B. Runner up: Innerstate Ike Being signed to a major deal doesn’t always mean you’re a star. Atlantic Records doesn’t push FAB on their roster, acts like they don’t know him at conferences and MTV banned his “Ghost Ride It” video. Through it all, the Prince of the Bay manages to stay relevant and visible at award shows, in magazine articles, on mixtapes, MC battles and usually outshines any artist in the room with him. AND, he still gets his show money on a consistent basis. Now that’s a grinder.
GHOST RIDE IT AWARD Winner: J Diggs Runner Up: Mistah FAB Mistah FAB was the poster boy for everything hyphy and rode the yellow bus from the Bay to the Big Apple, but J Diggs remains the originator of the Turf Dance. Known specifically for ghostriding his own Range Rovers, Diggs is the definition of a self-made daredevil.
THE“ENGLISH NIGGA, ENGLISH!” AWARD Winner: Keak Da Sneak Runner Up: Tech N9ne Keak speaks less and less English with every album he drops. With lines like “bada bop ba byyyy” and “yadadaaadaaaaaaaameea”, Keak is definitely the nigga that makes you rewind the track and turn it off to wonder what the hell he just said. THE STICK TOYOUR DAY JOB AWARD Winner: Tyrese Runner Up: Katt Williams The transition from music to movies was a good and graceful one, but that Black Ty shit was not the business! Bruh, you’re multi talented and all, but leave the rappin’ to the rappers. R&B stands for “Rhythm and Blues,” not “Rap and Bullshit!”
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CANT STAY OUT OF JAIL AWARD Winner: Messy Marv Runner up: Askari X With all these damn albums and compilations that Messy Marv is presenting and doing, you start wondering how they are getting done with him going in and out of jail. Mess will be out for a month and next thing you know, he’s right back in. We know Mess is a gangsta, but enough is enough.
HOW LONG WILL THEY MOURN ME AWARD Winner: Mac Dre Runner Up: 2Pac Never truly appreciated for his accomplishments and contributions while he was alive, Mac Dre supporters and mourners popped up more than a little bit after his untimely demise. Heavy radio spins, various collaborations, vids, etc. of the charismatic rapper would follow. SHINE LIKE ME AWARD Winner: Fabby Davis Jr. Runner Up: Kafani Da Ice King From the A’s to the Yellow Bus and the now infamous Mistah Fab “Skittles Kid” piece, the son of a pimp stayed true to his roots, investing in a new chain every six months. Wouldn’t be surprised if he has the whole damn Yay on the next one. BOSS UP AWARD Winner: E-40 Runner Up: Snoop Dogg Since he cinched the deal for the long awaited vitamin water (his own company, not Glaceau), appropriately dubbed “40 Water,” it’s kinda easy to forget that Feasible still owns his own company (SickWidit), bought into Fatburger and Wingstop franchises, has a book (Dictionary of Slang) coming, his own liquor (Cloud 9) and a cartoon on the way! KING OF THE COAST Winner: Ice Cube Runner Up: The GAME Fuck what you heard. Cube went from Dough Boy to Nick Persons, stopped abruptly to drop an album that reminded us all who started this gangsta shit and produced a top rated television show that exposed the racial divide. With a forthcoming album (Raw Footage) and two more movies (First Sunday, The Comeback) to chock under his belt in ’08, Cubevision is clearer than ever.
CAN’T SHUT THE FUCK UP AWARD Winner: Kobe Bryant Runner Up: The Game After an asswhoopin’ that would drive most competitors like him to a seething post game rant, Kobe regained his composure… so we thought. Less than a month after his second first round departure, the Lakers wunderkind flip-flopped more than a dead fish out of water as to whether he would to leave the only organization he’s ever played for. BEST WEBSITE Winner: www.rapbay.com Runner up: www.dubcnn. com Easily the most consistent, unbiased and informative West Coast Hip Hop site on the Internet, rapbay.com is the first to receive everything from all West distributors. More importantly, they are all about the Coast. With everything on sale from mixtapes and energy drinks to bobblehead dolls and OZONE magazines, there’s no shortage of product here. BASED OUT AWARD Winner: The Pack Runner Up: Keak Da Sneak For different reasons, this one was hard to decipher. But any group from the Bay who can honestly claim to ride skateboards and shoulder the scrutiny therein deserves to be commended. Quietly, The Pack has inspired a new generation of mavericks unafraid to test social norms.
MOST PLAYED OUT CLOTHING ACCESSORY Winner: Stunna Shades Runner up: Gold teeth Yeah, the rest of the country finally caught up, but what else is new? The Bay has been settin’ trends since pimpin’ been pimpin’. Go ahead and continue to live in 2005 if you want to, but understand this: Stunnas are officially a fashion faux pas in Northern California. Gotta keep it pushin’. MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT Winner: Fabby’s thrashing of Royce Da 5’9 in NYC Runner Up: Bigfase 100 gettin’ socked on the set of Spyder Loc’s video The asswhoopin’ Mistah FAB administered to the “battle tested” Detroit vet was almost as bad as the one Kobe was dealt at the hands of the Suns… Okay, it was worse. If dude had any momentum toward mounting a comeback, it vanished suddenly in three rounds at New York’s SOBs allhiphop.com freestyle battle. TOO HARD FOR THE RADIO AWARD Winner: Mitchy Slick Runner Up: B Legit An admitted Damu in the Blood capitol of the world – San Diego – Mitchy Slick is the definition of a gangsta rapper. While he earns decent spins on local radio, his socio-political fire is at times too much for the airwaves. Even after a dominant PG-rated showing on BET’s Rap City, Slick still can’t catch a break. Independence is golden.
BEST BURGER JOINT Winner: Fatburger Runner Up: In And Out It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and you need something to soak up all that liquor that you consumed. Your conflict is naturally whether you want a $10 burger or a $6 burger. Given the fact that it’s so late/early, the idea that Fatburger can slap a fresh egg on your sandwich is the midnight snack/breakfast combination that puts them (Fatburger) over the top... shit does cost hella much tho. BEST DANCE Winner: Hyphy Dance Runner Up: Crumpin’ Yeah, yeah, we know, gangstas don’t dance, they boogie and 40s keep you hard, but nuthin’ beats a good time. From the Bay to LA, all the way to the 5280, this Mac Dre inspired dance kept the clubs crackin’ and the mood festive all the Yay around the country. RIP Furl. BEST ENERGY DRINK Winner: Hunid Racks Runner Up: Hyphy Juice Most people across the country drink Red Bull or Crunk Juice when they need some real energy, but across the western region Hunid Racks is the turf’s drink of choice. With the release of the Mac Dre and 2Pac versions, an assortment of accessories – shirts, bags, socks, jackets – and more surprises for ‘08, Hunid Racks is easily the hustler’s drink of the year, if not the decade. SUPER HYPHY AWARD Winner: Golden State Warriors Runner Up: Los Angeles Clippers After a mouth-dropping performance toward the end of the 2007 season and a seven game upset of the number one seeded Mavs, the Warriors ran out of gas against the more methodical Utah Jazz. With decided roster changes and some new-booties in the mix it’s up to BD and Captain Jack to hold down the fort. Don’t sleep. These fools got heart. BEST ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE Winner: Patron Runner-up: Louis 13 The ultra-premium Tequila has never tasted so good, and as the top shelf drink of choice Patron has surpassed the popularity of Belvedere and Hennessy. If you think you can handle yo’ liquor and wanna step it up from the popular Patron Silver, give these flavors a shot: Burdeos, Platinum, Reposado, Citrónge, XO Café and their rums Pyrat Cask and XO Reserve. Drink responsibly. BEST WEST COAST VA-CA SPOT Winner: Honolulu, Hawaii Runner-Up: Anchorage, Alaska Surrounded by the warm waters of the North Pacific Ocean, Honolulu is known for its volcano attraction (Diamondhead), 80 degree year-round weather and is easily accessible to Asian countries, Australia and Antarctica. Plus it boasts the best in shopping malls (Macy’s, Burberry, Gucci), restaurants (The Cheesecake Factory, Orchids, 3660 On The Rise) and nightlife (Dave and Busters, The W). Bring a bathing suit, plenty of cash and an appetite for destruction! //
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e l b i r r e T n i h t m Su STRICTLY BUSINESS
rtists who had the privilege of working under Mac Dre before his passing originally got their start as members of groups the Bay Area legend created and signed to his label Thizz Entertainment. Such is the case for Sacramento-based quartet and Thizz alumni Sumthin’ Terrible. Before the group was formally established, solo rappers Show, Sauce and Malen were all working on solo projects. Malen initially recorded with Mac Dre, then Show and Sauce on collaborative efforts for a few songs on his upcoming release. The chemistry between the four of them was perfect so they continued recording more songs for Show’s album. Unfortunately, Malen passed away and his untimely demise left Show and Sauce without direction and/or approach for their own albums. Mac Dre stepped in and took the rappers under his wing forming the group, which included rappers Bad Bizness and hype man Stupid Swoop. “We got our name ‘cause we all wild! We Sumthin’ Terrible. Our whole group is something terrible. We got one of us that is always in jail. You got two of us that sometime s can’t make it to shows,” Sauce laughs before Show interjects, “Don’t get it twisted. We got it all together, it’s all business now.” Personally named by Furl in 2000 under the moniker Sumthin Terrible, an appearance on Mac Dre’s Thizzelle Dance (2002) worked to brand them as a group on the rise and their self-titled debut Sumthin Terrible followed. The song’s ode to “going dumb,” “popping thizz,” and “ghost-riding whips” was
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an instant hit, and it was released during the height of East Oakland’s notorious sideshow era and months before the “hyphy movement” kicked off. To avoid being typecast in the hyphy genre and perceived as just another Thizz Nation group, Sumthin Terrible parted ways with Thizz Entertainment in 2005. Adopting the Bay Area tradition of the do-it-yourself independ ent hustle as well as applying what they learned about the rap industry while signed to Thizz, the group then founded their own label Stupid Entertain ment and released their sophomore album Turf Tested, Hood Approved in 2006. “We serious,” says Show. “We hyphy too, but we don’t wanna be sounding just like Keak or The Federation. When you think of Stupid, you think of Mac Dre and you think of Sumthin Terrible. We got our own ‘Stupid Movement’ going on.” Seven years, two albums and two mixtapes later, Sumthin Terrible is preparing to release their second project – You Stupid, the Compilation, boasting features from the likes of E-40, San Quinn, Bueno, J-Diggs, Ryda J Klyde as well as production courtesy of Sean T and Zaytoven. “We gonna get the buzz back,” Sauce promises. “We’ll give [the fans] the compilation so they can have something to sit on, make them ask for the album and then we can hit them with the album.” // Words by Keita Jones // Photo by D-Ray
Hot Rod In the Driver’s Seat
goes without saying that every young starving rapper would dream of being called to join one of the biggest franchises in Hip Hop. Such was the case when 22-year-old Phoenix rapper Hot Rod got a phone call from 50 Cent. Since absorbing the shock of being told personally by the G-Unit boss that he was signed, Rod has gone back to the business of representing the better portion of a growing Hip Hop scene in Arizona’s capitol. Says Hot, “It was like hearing them read off the numbers on your lottery ticket.” Born and raised in Sacramento, CA, Hot Rod began his Hip Hop career in the late 90s, innocently making beats during his leisure time. Influenced by the likes of Swizz Beatz and Pharrell, he soon turned from “making beats” to compiling bona fide songs for himself and others. Rod took it a step further when he learned that his brother was leaving Sac for Phoenix. He too packed his bags and starting a slow grind musically, releasing his own mixtape and appearing on numerous others. He battle rapped, continued to produce and worked a day job as a loan officer, all while working on a full length album which he planned to distribute independently. Hot Rod’s hard work paid off sooner than later when he responded to a Craigslist posting that called for a G-Unit industry engineer. With nothing to
lose, he sent his demo, changing his course indefinitely. “Everyone at these music conferences will tell you demos don’t work, but that’s a lie because it worked for me,” says Hot. “G-Unit listens to everything whether you’re a rapper or a producer. They don’t rule out anything.” Currently recording the sophomore G-unit album (Shoot to Kill) with Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, and 50 Cent, Hot Rod continues to break new ground. Also touring overseas with his own record label ISO Entertainment, he’s entered a joint venture with his brother to create a clothing line – “Blue Pistols Denim” – and anxiously anticipates the release of his debut solo album, Life In the Fast Lane. Hot Rod’s rap influences include Fabolous, Biggie and Tupac, but it’s 50 ironically who he sounds the most like. “You’ll hear some rappers that sound the same on every song, but me and 50 actually listen to the beat and adjust the flow to the beat,” he explains. “My goal in my music is for people to listen to the music, have fun, and laugh at the lyrics. I show personality in the music, which is something that is hard to find these days.” // Words by Jasmine Crowe // Photo by Shareif Ziyadat
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“i’m changing my name.
needs to sit down for a minute. I’m changing my name to
The Boyboy Young Mess.”
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Free and Clear Words by N. Ali Early // Photo by Bogan
The doctors told him he’d never walk again. Task force tried to railroad him. Drugs tried to subdue him and life in general tried to beat his ass to death. Regardless of his circumstances, told ‘em keep tryin’. Real Gs don’t die.
The Boyboy Young Mess
week away from shooting the video for the first single (“Sie Luv”) off of the second volume of Draped Up and Chipped Out, Fillmore native Marvin “The Boyboy” Watson Jr. is at peace. Known to the world West of the Mississippi as Messy Marv, he epitomizes every bit the real life version of Menace II Society character O Dog. This adaptation of course is from the Bay Area, sans the plats, plus a rap catalogue more than a decade deep.
A self-proclaimed “dinosaur,” Mess’ dropped his first album in the tenth grade and two years later teamed up with his cousin San Quinn to deliver one of the Bay’s more historic efforts in Explosive Mode. His most acclaimed work came on the classic DisoBayish (2004), which featured a bevy of guest appearances, including E-40, Too $hort, Yukmouth, Nate Dogg and Rich the Factor. During the height of the hyphy movement, Mess scored with the smash single “Get On My Hype” (2005) and then “So Hood” along with Bullys Wit Fullys member Guce a year later. As much as he’s accomplished in the past two years (17 projects since 2006), The Boyboy keeps his foot on the gas. Not even a four story jump that saw him break both his legs in 2001 could keep Mess from moving forward an unthinkable seven years later. It’s been a little over a month since Mess was released from jail on his second count of weapons charges and Fillmore’s finest is Missing In Action. But who in his situation wouldn’t be? After maintaining his label, Scalen LLC, from jail, where he managed to drop an impressive five albums (Guerilla Red, Messy Slick, Fillmoe Nation 1 & 2 and Draped Up and Chipped Out 2) Mess walked directly into a firestorm, forced to address two more projects that he hadn’t knowingly approved. One was a bootleg album – Messy Marv Presents: Slangin’ At the Corner Store – illegally bearing his namesake. “They gon’ have to deal with me when we bump heads,” Mess promises. “I got my lawyers on that. That was basically a matter of me being in jail, cause a nigga would never have dreamed about doin’ no shit like that if I was on the street. But we gon’ keep it all the way business and we gon’ move accordingly.” From there he and his Bullys Wit Fullys comrade moved to resolve matters stemming from the Urban Life release – The Free Messy Marv Movement – which according to Mess, was nothing more than mere miscommunication. “Me and Guce,
we Blood brothers, we’re inseparable,” Mess tells. “It’s like whatever me and Guce got broke, we’ll fix. Guce was tryna raise some money for me at the time and I was back and forth between different facilities – Modesto, Dublin and whatnot. We [weren’t in] contact, so when he did it, I didn’t know what was goin’ on. Once we finally talked, we did as brothers would do – we put that shit to the side and we still pushin’.” Even after clearing the air, Mess needed to breathe, and Miami is now where he finds that much needed solace. After a brief visit to the 305, where, among other things, he aimed to break bread with fellow bosses Rick Ross, Fat Joe and DJ Khaled, The BoyBoy stumbled upon a business opportunity that he couldn’t pass up. Signed to a confidentiality agreement, he won’t spill all the beans, but will lend that he’s currently filming a reality show loosely based on his own life. More specifically, the plot is “about a nigga gettin’ a record deal and movin’ up out the ghetto to the suburbs of Miami,” he explains. “You can guess what happens next… “I’m just tryna turn my negative situation into something positive. I’m fresh out. I’m broke and dangerous,” he continues. “I’m pushin’ right now. I’m one of the hottest niggas in the Bay right now. My street credibility’s been stagnating my career for so long, a nigga finally gets to sit down and do a real interview and focus without no distractions.” How much work did you do while you were in jail, in terms of prepping yourself for your next solo album? I did a lot of reading, catching up on my literature – 48 Laws of Power, Art of Seduction – feel me? I didn’t do too much writing. I did a few songs, but I was basically working on my mind game and my health. I fasted the whole month [of August] for Black August just to get my mind and my spirit together. What did this experience do for you this time around, considering this was your second gun charge? The first one, they cut a nigga some slack. They was talkin’ somethin’ cool in the penitentiary, but my legal team worked it out. Plus I got a lot of letters of recommendation. This second time, I think the offer was like five in the state pen and I had a lot of letters of recommendation this time too. But what happened was they didn’t actually find the gun on me. It was in my car and the car was registered to me. My pahtna was drivin’ and they found the 40 caliber under the seat and they just gave it to me because of my priors. So I took it. Was your move to Miami intentional in the sense that it would relieve you of the pressure you face as a real street nigga or was it more about the reality show? I actually came out here for vacation. When I came out here, my manager spoke to me briefly about it. They were going to do it in LA. Since I was already out here on vacation, I told them we might as well just do it in Miami. So we switched the script up a little bit and now we’re doing it in Miami. And I got some family out here, so it’s good. I’m tryna tap into this Southern OZONE WEST // 23
market. I’m working on this new album, Cake and Ice Cream. It’s a double disc. It’s some good shit. I’m tryna put it together. I’m tryna put Keyshia Cole on the joint, got Trick Daddy, Short, FAB, KC and Jo Jo of Jodeci, Lil Webbie and Snoop. I heard you were kinda salty about how your name got affiliated with so many projects while you were down. How much of an issue was there between you and Guce when you got out or while you were in? It wasn’t about a nigga bein’ salty, but when a nigga in jail, a nigga kinda focused on a lot more other shit. When shit hit the fan like that as far as business is concerned – if a nigga don’t get word, lawyers get involved. Cease and desist orders get put out and shit gets snatched off the shelf. It was just about a lack of communication. That’s all that was. How difficult is it for you to make the transition from being a real street rapper to finding the kind of clarity you seem to have found? Actually I had to steer myself clear of those old situations. Me coming to Miami and vacationing was one of those things that I had to do in order to get my mind clear. Being out there and being in the streets, one thing leads to another and before you know it, you end up right back in the same place. I didn’t see my kids for a year. All that was weighing on me. I lost my grandmother while I was locked up. I lost my auntie a week after that. My family was tryna go after my estate, thinkin’ a nigga would get all day. It was just hella shit that I was goin’ through, so when I got out I told myself that I was goin’ on vacation and that was one of the things that got my mind clear. That made it to where I could concentrate, cause when a nigga out there, you can only concentrate on one thing: do or die, kill or be killed. That’s how it is when you in that life and it don’t matter. Whatever you do you become a target. From a 9-5, to whether you on the block sellin’ dope, to if you a rapper – whatever you doin’. If you’re successful and you still out fuckin’ with your people, you become a target. You gotta carry them big thangs and move accordingly. It was one of those situations where I didn’t turn my back on these kids once I got my position in the music industry. I was still in these streets ridin’ around in these $50-$70k cars, jumpin’ out with my people. But at the same time, the murder rate is so high, a nigga got to ride around with that thang to protect his well being. So I got to miss that for a minute and focus in on my personal life and my career. [All this] turned into a business venture for me.
You reference your battle with cocaine from time to time in your music. Where are you with that now? I was in and out of an addiction. A lot of people deal with addictions and I was just opening up the world to something that was going on in my life. I was turning a negative situation into something positive and making it fun. But what it did was it brought out a lot of the people who were dealing with their addictions out of the closet. For them to have fun with it and kinda see what I was doin’, it was like, “Mess can come out and say this, then maybe I can come out and deal with my addiction.” That’s all that is. When I talk or speak about something on my albums, that’s what I’m going through at that point and time and if I can share that with the world and make the world come out of their shell, they can look at me as hope and feel good about dealing with it. You’ve got a clothing line called Scalen comin’, right? Yup, we got the clothin’ line comin’ this summer. I got the energy drink All Gas No Brakes comin’ this summer. We got the films division; just shot the movie Closing Statement. That’s comin’ a little later. What can we expect from the clothing line? I’m trying to target three markets: the East Coast, the West Coast and the South. So it’s gon’ be San Francisco, then Miami, then New York. We’ll probably start with the t-shirts and the denim, then wherever it takes us after that, that’s where we’ll go with it. I’ma get a couple storefronts in those three locations and then push from there. And the energy drink? Well, you know I got partnership in Hunid Racks, so now it’s time for Scalen to come with a beverage. All Gas No Brakes is the name of it. 91 Octane, premium unleaded. Feel me?
“I didn’t turn my back on these kids once I got my position in the music industry. I was still in these streets ridin’ around in these $50-$70k cars, jumpin’ out with my people.”
In light of your personal struggles and the overall pressure that you face, you were doing a lot of positive things before you went in. San Francisco was a warzone of sorts, you came with the Fillmoe Nation project and right after that, went to jail. I did. I went to jail right after that. Some of the proceeds are going to a couple of the community gyms. I’m tryna get that together. I’m tryna put some money together to put some programs in the gyms for the kids. I wanna put the compilations together to bring the two sides together. We really one hood, but over the years our turf divided in two sides and I just try to play my part in bringing both sides together with these compilations and then with the future as far as them lookin’ at me so they can have something to do and somewhere to go, instead of bein’ in that bullshit. Not only that, but every year, all the Bay Area artists get together and we drive around and do the Rock The Vote thing. We go to all the hoods and try to encourage the bangers and the d-boys and the African Americans who don’t vote to get out and vote. I got my hands in a lot of community-based organizations. Will the content of your music change in light of this new transition? The content doesn’t really change. It’s just what you’re saying. It’s like you go through something and you’re able to talk about it. That’s the way you express yourself as far as the content, but what you’re saying is what matters. So me being in jail for a year gave me a chance to see who was really with me. It gave me a chance to see how the police was really on my line. Then family just tryna fuck a nigga over, it made me realize how much my son needs me on these streets. So this album right here is going to be real personal. I’ma have fun, but the content ain’t gon’ change. It’s gon’ be the good times, the bad times, the inspirational songs with the message; same Mess, same content, but a whole lot more clarity as far as what I’ve been through. It’s going to be personal, a lot more personal than the rest of the albums. I’m changing my name. Messy Marv needs to sit down for a minute. I’m changing my name to The Boyboy Young Mess. That’s been my handle for a minute, but I’m finna go all the way with that and kinda reinvent this whole Messy Marv thing and [just] come with the new Mess. 24 // OZONE WEST
Fa sho. How exactly are you working the Draped Up and Chipped Out volumes? The push behind the Draped Up and Chipped Out albums was that it was supposed to be two 30 minute movie shorts that came with both of them. But I went to jail while I was in the process of puttin’ that together, so I just had to go ahead and put ‘em out. So it’s really like a soundtrack. We not pushin’ it like an album. It’s real good listening all the way through, but the first single is “Sie Love” with me and J. Valentine. I’ma kinda catch y’all off guard cause y’all used to the strictly street bangin’ Mess. This one right here I kinda took it somewhere else. You can prolly imagine with J. Valentine, so we finna get out here on these beaches and make it look real good for the Bay.
Why is it so important for you to connect with the South right now? Because the South is where our people are at. It’s like all of these other cities and states and coasts are multicultural. Basically it’s just more support in the South where blackness is concerned and I need to get out here and get in touch with my roots. I need to be around my people. You can go platinum just in Texas or Miami, Atlanta, cause everybody’s supportive. It’s black and they support. These other states are really like catch-on states cause it’s multicultural. That’s why it ain’t no support. A South artist could sell 2-300,000 and you don’t even know who the fuck he is until you see him on TV. And he did that just in Texas! So I got to get out here and interact with my people. I’m finna buy me somethin’ in Miami. I’ma prolly buy somethin’ in Jersey and I got the spot in Cali, so I’ma keep it pushin’. East Coast, West Coast, nigga worldwide! Before you went in you were in a position where you were really preaching independence and didn’t necessarily care whether the majors came and got you. Are you still in the same place? I really don’t give a fuck. I do good. Every time I come out if I can sell $3040K at $7 a disc and I do five albums a year. That’s damn good! Of course, anybody’s company wants to venture out and do bigger and better things. Everybody wants to grow. But it’s like, when that time happens, it happens. You can’t just stop everything, searching for a deal, dreaming and hoping that I get this big deal that I’m searching for. I got to keep it pushin’ and keep it independent. One day they’ll catch on. Anything else you wanna add? Yeah, give ‘em my office number 510-830-7141 or you can check me out online at Myspace.com/messymarvonline or Scalenllc.com. //
Bishop Lamont and Black Milk/Caltroit/Cali Untouchable Radio With the recent Golden State/Motor City brouhaha, the timing on this DJ Warrior mixtape would seem to make for an emotionally charged album. And it does. Dr. Dre understudy Bishop Lamont and Detroit mainstay Black Milk lead a balanced attack over original beats, while everyone from Dr. Dre (“On Top Now”) to Busta Rhymes (“Mouth Music”), Lady of Rage (“Ret 2 Go”), Glasses Malone (“Juggernats”), Ras Kass & Tash (“I Need It”) contribute. Lyrically charged from the beginning to the end, the surplus of emcees, new and old, makes for sporadic listening, nearly void of the rapper/producer combo (Lamont and Milk). – N. Ali Early Guce/Tell Me When Ta Stop, Cause I’m Still Going…/Git Paid Music Group The second installment of Tell Me When Ta Stop… (…Cause I Already Go…), finds the Bullys Wit Fullys impresario back in tow with Messy Marv, who hosts the street album. The bouncy “Git It Started” and Nitti-produced “Get Ya Hustle Up” (featuring Lil Wayne) do just that, making way for nineteen solid tracks. Bouncy as they may be, Mess and Guce stay with the theme, reminding throughout that they are NOT hyphy. “Caint Fuck Wit Us,” “I Don’t Give a Fuck” (featuring Young Buck) and “My Life” (featuring Lil Flip, Killa Kliese, Munip and C. Dot) confirm as much. – N. Ali Early Messy Marv/Draped Up and Chipped Out 2/Scalen/SMC/Fontana As active as he’s been it’s hard to believe that a whole two years have passed since Messy Marv’s last full length solo album (Bandanas, Tattoos and Tongue Rings). Even more incredulous, is how this compilation came together as Mess served time behind bars. Dubbed as an appetizer for his next project, Draped Up… is more like a meal. Collabs with Mac Dre (“My Life is a Movie”), New Orleans’ Juvenile and Skip (“Lil Daddy”) and Mike Jones (“Body Rock”) confirm Mess’ dexterity is still intact while cameos by BLegit, V White & The Politician and PSD the Drivah round out a solid effort in support of the “Millionaire Gangsta.” – N. Ali Early
Hot Rod, DJ Woggie, & Big Mike/The Hitman
Hot Rod’s debut album has found a comfortable spot on the G-Unit shelf, but the Arizona MC makes his presence felt on The Hitman mixtape. The 50 Cent-assisted “The Lights,” “Weather Man” featuring Willie The Kid and “Bitches They Love Me” show Rod’s versatility to release both street and club records. Although Rod proves his worth on “Superman” with G-Unit incumbents Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo, “Don’t Like Me” and “Getcha Money Up” are strikingly too similar in style to the G-Unit boss, leaving one to wonder why we need Hot Rod when we already have 50? Still, this 22-track project is a solid effort. — Randy Roper Goldtoes/The Gold Rush
The debut album from Thizz Latin CEO Goldtoes starts off strong with the hit “Blow It,” followed by the ghetto glorying “Still In Da Hood,” and a lyrically ferocious Mistah FAB on “The Show Must Go On.” But weak flows and ineffective hooks from Goldtoes and company on “On My Level,” “I Go” and “That’s His Name,” start to take its toll on The Gold Rush. And while there are a few more standouts like “Paypa Chasa,” “City Boyz” and “I Want It All,” Goldtoes’ attempt to go for self, even with a long list of guest appearances, doesn’t quite pan out. — Randy Roper M Dash/Keep Smoke Alive/Platinum Bound
A pupil of the late great Mac Dre, M Dash does the slain rapper proud on Keep Smoke Alive, his sophomore solo album. Game related efforts such as “Cock Blockers” and “It Goes Down,” both featuring Prohoezak, go over well with pimp inspired tracks like “All I Want” (featuring Tilt and Marsh Nut) and the self explanatory “Pimp Musik” (featuring Lee Majors and KMX). Bound with a bevy of features that includes The Game, Mistah FAB, Husalah and Jacka, the Vallejo native accomplishes the daunting task of balance on an album that does its part to reclaim the glory days of Mob music. – N. Ali Early
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Goldie of The Federation Venue: Mission Rock City: San Francisco, CA Date: November 3rd, 2007 Photo: Jessica Essien
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Ozone West #63 - Jan 2008