YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
LLOYD I LET MY NIGHTMARES GO
OZONE AWARDS WRAP UP
KHIA BG& CHOPPER CITY BOYZ
SLIM OF 112 LIL SCRAPPY PRETTY RICKY FRANK LINI & more
OZONE MAG //
YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
OZONE AWARDS WRAP UP
CITY BOYZ LIL SCRAPPY PRETTY RICKY 28 // OZONE WEST
KHIA SLIM OF 112 FRANK LINI & more
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PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF // Julia Beverly MUSIC EDITOR // Randy Roper FEATURES EDITOR // Eric N. Perrin ASSOCIATE EDITOR // Maurice G. Garland GRAPHIC DESIGNER // David KA ADVERTISING SALES // Che Johnson, Richard Spoon PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR // Malik Abdul SPECIAL EDITION EDITOR // Jen McKinnon MARKETING DIRECTOR // David Muhammad Sr. LEGAL CONSULTANT // Kyle P. King, P.A. SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER // Adero Dawson ADMINISTRATIVE // Kisha Smith INTERN // Kari Bradley CONTRIBUTORS // Alex Cannon, Bogan, Charlamagne the God, Chuck T, Cierra Middlebrooks, Destine Cajuste, Edward Hall, Felita Knight, Jacinta Howard, Jaro Vacek, Jessica Koslow, J Lash, Jason Cordes, Johnny Louis, Keadron Smith, Keith Kennedy, K.G. Mosley, King Yella, Luis Santana, Luxury Mindz, Marcus DeWayne, Matt Sonzala, Maurice G. Garland, Mercedes (Strictly Streets), Natalia Gomez, Ray Tamarra, Rico Da Crook, Robert Gabriel, Rohit Loomba, Shannon McCollum, Spiff, Stan Johnson, Swift, Thaddaeus McAdams, Wally Sparks, Wendy Day STREET REPS // 3rd Leg Greg, Adam Murphy, Alex Marin, Al-My-T, Benz, Big Brd, B-Lord, Big Ed, Big Teach (Big Mouth), Bigg V, Black, Bogan, Bo Money, Brandi Garcia, Brandon “Silkk” Frazier, Brian Eady, Buggah D. Govanah (On Point), Bull, C Rola, Cartel, Cedric Walker, Chad Joseph, Charles Brown, Chill, Chuck T, Christian Flores, Clifton Sims, Danielle Scott, DJ Dap, Delight, Derrick the Franchise, DJ Dimepiece, DJ D’Lyte, Dolla Bill, Dorian Welch, Dwayne Barnum, Dr. Doom, Dynasty, Ed the World Famous, DJ E-Feezy, DJ EFN, Episode, Eric “Crunkatlanta” Hayes, Erik Tee, F4 Entertainment, G Dash, G-Mack, George Lopez, Gorilla Promo, Haziq Ali, Hezeleo, H-Vidal, Hotgirl Maximum, Jae Slimm, Jammin’ Jay, Janiro Hawkins, Jarvon Lee, Jay Noii, Jeron Alexander, JLN Photography, Joe Anthony, Johnny Dang, Judah, Judy Jones, Kenneth Clark, Klarc Shepard, Kool Laid, Kurtis Graham, Kydd Joe, Lex, Lump, Lutoyua Thompson, Marco Mall, Mario Grier, Marlei Mar, DJ M.O.E., Music & More, Natalia Gomez, Nikki Kancey, Oscar Garcia, P Love, Pat Pat, Phattlipp, Pimp G, Quest, Quinton Hatfield, DJ Rage, Rapid Ric, Robert Lopez, Rob-Lo, Robski, Rohit Loomba, Scorpio, Seneca, Shauntae Hill, Sir Thurl, Southpaw, Spade Spot, Stax, Sweetback, Teddy T, TJ’s DJ’s, Tim Brown, Tony Rudd, Tre Dubb, Tril Wil, Trina Edwards, Troy Kyles, Vicious, Victor Walker, DJ Vlad, Voodoo, Wild Billo, Will Hustle, Wu Chang, Young Harlem, Yung DVS SUBSCRIPTIONS // To subscribe, send check or money order for $20 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 // Lloyd photos (cover and this page) by Diwang Valdez; BG and Chopper City Boyz photo by Trevor Traynor; TV Johnny photo by Ben Rose. 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 2008 OZONE Magazine, all rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any way without the written consent of the publisher. Printed in the USA.
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interviews 68-69 PRETTY RICKY 70-71 SLIM OF 112 72-73 KHIA
monthly sections 14 17 17 22 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 50 66 74 78-79 80-82 81 18-21 40-48
FEEDBACK 10 THINGS I’M HATIN’ ON JB’S 2 CENTS MATHEMATICS CHIN CHECK CHAIN REACTION DOLLAR MENU SIDEKICK HACKING PRISON DIARY DJ BOOTH RELEASE THERAPY TATTED UP INDUSTRY 101 BOARD GAME CD REVIEWS END ZONE CAFFEINE SUBSTITUTES RAPQUEST PATIENTLY WAITING
ozone awards 25-47 PHOTO GALLERIES 52-57 OZONE AWARDS RECAP
LLOYD pg 58-60 62-64 pg Y T I C BG & CHOPPER
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Send your comments to email@example.com or hit us up at www.myspace.com/ozonemagazine
I really love your magazine, I get one every month. First I started reading XXL, but ever since you came out with OZONE, XXL was old to me. OZONE is the new thing. Your magazine is the only mag I buy because it’s real. It’s good for upcoming talent. – Jose, myspace.com/dazedfashions (Jacksonville, FL) Keep up the hot work. Those who hate will hate. Success breeds hate. You should rename your tagline “The mag you love to hate, but hate not to read!” – Kurt Kobane, firstname.lastname@example.org (Atlanta, GA) Your mag is tight but you gotta give more shine to I-4 corridor artists. There’s a lot more people out here than that nerd Jon Young that rep and spit hotter flows, from St. Pete to Daytona Beach and in between. OZONE, don’t forget where you come from. – Mooch Brown, moochbrown.com (Tampa, FL) I’m a fan of your magazine. I congratulate you on all your success and I wish you much more success for years to come. I attended the past two OZONE Awards for the past two years and I enjoyed both of them. They were both networking experiences that have elevated me within my career thus far and have had great influence on how I communicate with people throughout the music industry. – Courtney Aldridge, myspace.com/rimskeem (Memphis, TN) Thank you OZONE! Wendy Day’s “Mathematics” article dedicated to Mannie Fresh was one of the dopest articles that I have read in a long time. I’m currently involved with two different situations, Hustla Music Group’s artist Frank White and my own artist GT. Your article details the same information that Hustla Music Group’s CEO, Derek “L.A.” Jackson, has been sharing with me on how to break an independent artist. I’ve been sharing this same information with [my artist] GT for a while now. I’m glad that you’ve made this information available to other artists. Hopefully, the artists, managers, producers, and DJs out of my state of South Carolina take this knowledge that you have provided and run with it, as I am. Thanks! – Daytona, myspace.com/tona500 (Columbia, SC) I’m a fanatic of your magazine. I’m somewhat of an addict. You would think I would have a subscription by now, but I’m making the gas station rich. - Shakeria Brown, myspace.com/w2inc
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I think you forgot three letters on the OZONE West cover with Tech N9ne: MI-D! It should’ve been OZONE Midwest. We’ve had platinum artists and quite a few high-level indie artists like Tech N9ne coming out of the Midwest for years. You might as well start putting together OZONE Midwest. Great issue as always, though. – Jesse James, email@example.com (St. Louis, MO) Much love to all the OZONE Award winners, but what’s good with some Midwest categories? The South and the Midwest are like brother and sister in this music game, and I think we deserve to have a few categories in this award show. Just my 2 Cents and something I feel y’all should think about this for next year. – Young Deuces, myspace.com/streetznyoungdeuces (Milwaukee, WI) D-Ray, I just had to drop by and say that you were gassin’ on these beezys in the new OZONE. That’s real. It’s time for the ladies to reevaluate themselves and their relationships and see it for what it is. – Candyland (Houston, TX) What’s up Too $hort, your article about texting was so true! I feel so addicted to my Crackberry that I had to hit you up on it. I’m on the bus right now on my way to work, talkin’ to my cousin, and emailing you! I don’t know what I would do if I lost it. MetroPCS is my drug supplier, with all this unlimited texting! I’m about to get a new dealer though. Anyway, keep keepin’ it real. I love your $hort Stories! – Amarie, firstname.lastname@example.org (Bay Area, CA) Man, OZONE, y’all got me addicted! During the month of August, I searched every 7-11 in Orlando for the new issue. No one seems to have it. The only one they had was the David Banner and Three 6 Mafia issue, which I already had! It really had me mad! When my vacation time came and I went to Ft. Lauderdale, I still couldn’t find the August issue. Honestly, even though I wouldn’t want to admit it, I settled for less. I bought the newest Source. Please forgive me! Y’all should do an article on all the teen rappers on the grind. – AJG da Aviator, myspace.com/ajgaviotor (Orlando, FL)
Correction: There was a typo in the August issue’s Dallas/Ft. Worth Rapquest. The song “Dallas Girlz” is by Tum Tum, not Damm D. Also, the photo of Willis McGahee with Lil Wayne on page 39 of the July issue was mislabeled as Clinton Portis. Our apologies!
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jb’s 2cents T
wo things you probably don’t know about me: I’m (in real life) very shy around people I don’t know, and I’m one credit away from a college degree because I was terrified of taking the public speaking prerequisite. It’s taken me years to gradually get used to doing DVD drops and radio interviews. The first time I did a radio interview I was so nervous I threw up in the bathroom right before going on air and was still shaking the whole time. If you told me a few years ago that I would one day be producing an event with 5,600 rap fans attending, I would’ve laughed. I never wanted to be famous. I just wanted people to know my name and respect it. That’s all. Normally, I would rather crawl in a dark hole somewhere and hide than draw that much attention to myself.
10 THINGS I’M MOST HATIN’ ON
2. Female Viagra I’m hatin’ on the new female Viagra making me work all extra hard. Matter fact, I’m hatin’ on Viagra, period, ‘cause they ain’t came out with the kind you smoke yet.
OZONE Awards: page 2 of the Houston Chronicle (hi haters!)
1. Strippers that turn into prostitutes when the strip club closeS I’m hatin’ on all of them, but I’ll still give ‘em $25 for that thang. Remember, if you give a girl $25 for the nookie it ain’t trickin’ off. It’s trickin’ her.
by Shawty Shawty “What My Name Is?”
3. Yung Berg I’m hatin’ on Yung Berg ‘cause he don’t like dark skin women. The blacker the berry the sweeter the juice. I want a girl that’s so black when she lay down it look like a big, black hole in the middle of my bed.
4. High ass weed prices I’m hatin’ on these high ass weed prices. They’re higher than gas. I can’t smoke and ride no more, or even sit in the living room and smoke!
TJ, me, & Bun @ Dave & Buster’s for the TJ’s DJ’s/ OZONE weekend kickoff
J from Hoodz DVD & Chamillionaire @ Dave & Buster’s
6. My child support judge My child support judge told my baby mama that the state of Georgia is gon’ give her $980 dollars a month in child support. I said, “Whoo, thank you judge. I’ll put $20 wit’ it and make it a stack.”
5. Gucci Mane I’m hatin’ on Gucci Mane. He’s the hardest nigga on the street and you can’t understand a damn thing he’s saying.
Brisco, me, & Flo Rida at the TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel in Houston
8. Floyd “Money” Mayweather Everywhere he goes, he gives away like $30 grand. Hell, he could walk to store and pay my kids’ way through college. 9. Girls wit dirty houses I went to this girl’s house and she had roaches in the ‘frigerator. She had roaches on the wall. She had roaches in the TV. Shit, she had some roaches in her ashtray, but I smoked them muthafuckas. 10. Da Brat How you gon’ send a lesbian to jail? That’s like sendin’ a fat person to the buffet. She gon’ eat herself to death.
I hibernated for a couple days after the OZONE Awards in a far away land with no Blackberry reception and emerged to find it buzzing with 582 Google Alerts for “OZONE Awards” and “Julia Beverly.” Amazing. All I have to do now is lay around and tan and meanwhile everyone is talking about me. What’s that they say – all publicity is good publicity? But it is kinda discouraging to put every ounce of energy and time into a project and walk away from it with negativity ringing in your ears from people who didn’t even attend. People who have their own selfish motives; people who wish they could be in your position but aren’t, so they do their best to pick apart everything you’ve built and cast doubt on you so they can maneuver closer to your spot. People who spend all day plotting, building ideas based on the Art of War or 48 Laws of Power and playing mind games with their “industry friends” just for entertainment. I know how the game goes. People who have never met me calling me out for being “fake,” possibly the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. A fake what? Nobody hired me to represent the Southern rap community. I literally worked my way up and created my own place in the game. Hate all you want but you’ve gotta respect it. For Pimp C’s mom to call me and say that her son would’ve been proud, or for Bun B to call and thank me for bringing our event to Houston, or for Trae and Mike Jones to reach out the next day and apologize for their little skirmish that got blown way out of proportion by the bloggers, or for J Prince to say that we had a great turnout, I have to consider it a success. Those are people whose opinions I respect. As for you haters, as always, I appreciate you sooooooooooooooo much! You gave me the motivation to start working on the 2009 OZONE Awards a week after we wrapped ’08. It’s going to be fucking incredible! :) You’ll see. A word of advice: if you do an event in Houston, send the fire marshall a generous donation in advance and DO NOT hire Shabazz Security. But shouts out to Houstonians in the wake of Hurricane Ike; as a Floridian, I feel your pain!
7. Niggas wit tight ass clothes It’s okay if the clothes fit a little bit, but you ain’t supposed to be able to count the change in a nigga’s pocket. That’s Jim Jones tight.
It’s completely out of my character to produce something like the OZONE Awards. It’s amazing how a small idea can become a huge movement, and to be honest, it’s gotten bigger than I ever anticipated or imagined. I don’t like to brag, but one thing we never seem to get credit for is what we’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time with such a small staff. We’re able to accomplish what takes hundreds of employees at magazines like Vibe and XXL every month with a small group of less than ten key people. BET and MTV are television networks and they don’t even produce their own award shows; they hire production companies and fly in hundreds of people who produce live shows for a living. They also have multi-million dollar budgets. Trust me – producing (and, more importantly, funding!) a combination music conference/award show is the most stressful shit I’ve ever experienced in life. Anybody who wants to talk shit because they think they can do it better, I welcome you to try! If you can get 5,600 people to show up to your award show (not to mention dozens of celebs) I’ll give you a cookie.
OZONE loves MTV Jams!!
- Julia Beverly, email@example.com
T.I. f/ Kanye West, Jay-Z & Lil Wayne “Swagger Like Us” Lil Wayne, Drake & Kid Kid “Take Your Girl” Kid Kid f/ Lil Wayne & Mack Maine “Talk To The Pillow” Gym Class Heroes f/ Lil Wayne & Dre “Don’t Tell Me It’s Over” Charles Hamilton “Stay On Your Level” Asher Roth “I Love College” The Game f/ Nas “Letter To The King” Drake f/ Lil Wayne “Ransom”
firstname.lastname@example.org Young Jeezy “Vacation” B.o.B. “Lovelier Than You” Lil Wayne “Pussy Monster” Kid Cudi “Day ‘N Nite”
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MTV aired a special that featured Austin MC Loudmouf, an Iraqi war veteran. Kanye West and Sway visited him at home and gave him the opportunity to share his story and thoughts on the war, and how music plays an important role in his life. Same Struggle brought down Killer Mike (above) for a great show at The Parish Room. Snoop Dogg came through for a show at the Back Yard. Nuf Sed Ent brought Paul Wall, Soulja Boy, Lil Will, Lil Boosie and more to the 08’ Texas Heat Wave. Locked Down Inc. released the ATX All-Stars mixtape. DJ Rapid Ric and DJ LL just dropped Afta Da Relays 2k8. - O.G. of Luxury Mindz (www.luxurymindz.com)
ABILENE/SAN ANGELO, TX:
Dub-Tex Entertainment heated up the summer with Texas Legend Lil Mario and performances by Tha 325 Fam-Bam, Lil Matt, Bigga Boi Click, and Adrian Washington at The Backroom. Big Pictures and T-Jack-T Entertainment teamed up with Star 106 for an appreciation concert in the City of Lene with special appearances by First Class, A.M.I.G.M., Bad Biznezz, M T Clique, Dat Girl Famous, Baby Loc, Texa Rican and Legion Link. Lil Matt released his much anticipated mixtape Back Against the Wall mixed by DJ Castro with production by Crooked Activity Studios. - Christian Flores (email@example.com)
Gucci Mane, Shawty Lo, and 8Ball & MJG graced the stage at the Platinum. Modesty X.O. dropped a solid mixtape with DJ Smallz. Regional promoter Redd continues to do his thing around the city. Club Onyx’s popularity grows even more with the success of Tropical Fridays. Jay-I keeps pushing with his record pool. DJ C. Ross dropped Show Tyme 2 (above). Producers like Snipe, B-Phlat, M-16, Big Gunt, Twan Beatmaker and others continue doing beats for numerous acts from the South. The launch of www.bhammusicblog.blogspot.com will help keep the grind moving stronger for many acts in the Magic City and in the state. - K. Bibbs (AllOrNothingPromo@hotmail.com)
Albuquerque played host to Erykah Badu and The Roots and they put on a great show. Too Short and Plies came down to do a show that started late. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Big Cheese and the Legendary Spice 1 just performed as well. Stevie and Fat Fish are at it again and shooting more videos to support their local artists. DJ Noble is back in town putting it down on the production side and spinning on the radio. E Jones is back at Tha Lab full-time so make sure you stop by and get your OZONE Magazines there. - Beno (Beno@eadymusicgroup.com)
Ben 1 just signed with Universal Records off his bubblin’ single “Never Leave My Girl” featuring Shawnna. The Definition Showcase is a new monthly event showcasing emerging talents in and out of the city. Bo G, Versatile, Rio, Skooa Choose, The Boardroom and Peeda Pan are new artists coming from the city. DJ Bamn was just inducted into the Derrty DJs crew. We as a city have to get beyond the hate to really make a city movement happen. Everybody has to play the part even if they don’t want to. - Jamal Hooks (JHooks@tmail.com)
Kevin English, CEO of Southpaw Ent., put on an all female Hip Hop showcase featuring April Love, Nik Styles, the Get ‘Em Mamis, and Kia Calloway. It was a massive success. On a sad note, R.I.P. to Baltimore’s Club Queen DJ K-Swift who passed away after an unfortunate accident. K-Swift was the face of 92Q and was known for her parties and club CDs. The entire city of Bmore showed support as over 5,000 people attended her funeral. She will surely be missed. - Darkroom Productions (TheDarkRoomInc@yahoo.com) 18 // OZONE MAG
Young Kodak of Battle Proof Ent. is making noise with his new single “Swole” which is catching the ears of a few major labels. Up-and-coming producers C4 are kicking out some quality tracks and bringing a new sound to the industry. C Wakeley is promoting unity amongst Florida artists through the Gainesville Music Summit, bringing out big names such as The Iconz, Slip-N-Slide, Big Gates and many others. - Jett Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Macy’s Music Festival turned out positive this year. There was an after party on every corner. Gucci Mane, Keyshia Cole, and Juvenile came through, just to name a few. DB and JRodge Entertainment opened up Club Mixx with a show stopping performance by Raheem Devaughn. Sinonem’s new mixtape has a good response in the clubs and streets on the North side of the city. Jay Lii’s single “Juicy Juice” is a winner with the kids. Bootsy Collins still has haters – there were 3 fires at his un-opened restaurant in one night. It was reported as arson. - Judy Jones (Judy@JJonesent.com)
Has the city turned into the Wild Wild West? Two cops were brutally slain and a young man was burned to death? The city is facing problems reminiscent of the 70’s. The Russ Parr Bus Tour came through and the city came out in numbers. Deep 3 performed on BET for the third time and while their single “I Look Good” is still very popular, qP has banged the city on the head with his new hit “You Rollin Shawty (I Got $$$).” The single has caught the underground by surprise. - “X” Allah (X@NuBludManagement.com)
The first annual SC Music Awards was held in Greenville, SC. For a list of winners and pics from the event visit www.scmusicawards.com. Buck TV video show premiered on August 3rd and I caught an advance screening of it at one the hottest spots in the Metro, Pure Ultra Lounge. Speaking of hot spots, Club Level is still holding down the weekends and two new spots, Dreams and The Fever, just opened up. Snook won the Patiently Waiting Carolinas Award at the 3rd Annual OZONE Awards. - Rob Lo (RobLoPromo@aol.com)
Freeze is doing it big; check him out at www. freezedaworld.com. Celebrity Status is always in full effect with Playaz Circle, The Lox, Gucci Mane, Day 26, Donnie Lang, John Legend, M.O.P., Nice and Smooth, and Black Sheep stopping through. Dominique from America’s Next Top Model (above left) got signed and is moving to L.A. to do her thing on TV. We ended the month off with the biggest event in the city, my Celebrity Birthday Bash. It was crazy. - Yohannan Terrell (ImageInq@gmail.com)
DALLAS/FT. WORTH, TX:
King Ashoka and TheAutoGrafix.com wrapped the new OZONE truck featuring Carnivo Xo. Big Hood Boss Hood President hosted by Tum Tum and SHO’s 36 Ounces hosted by DJ Drop are hot on the mixtape grid. Immortal Soldierz are moving a lot of trunk units past Fort Worth. Primetime Click and B HamP are holding down Aggtown. The 4th Annual Hood Car Show from Byron & On a Mission was a success in Oak Cliff. I heard the On Air Divas are with K104 now. Trai’D’s video “Gutta Chick” is on the Top 10. Mychal Jeter in Collin County, stay strong. - Edward “Pookie” Hall (email@example.com)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL:
Nitro Tek’s 1 Dread celebrated his birthday bash at Club Xclusive with D4L’s Fabo in concert. R&B songstress Tarvoria was interviewed by BET for an upcoming appearance and performance on 106 & Park’s Wil’ Out Wednesdays. Bethune-Cookman University’s incoming freshman class came to Daytona for orientation and DJ Nailz, along with Wilin’ Entertainment’s Syco Ced, rocked the crowd at a campus party. Check out next month’s issue of OZONE for a check of Daytona’s Back to School Block Party, Trina’s Lingerie Party, and more. - DJ Nailz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mistah F.A.B., Webbie, Roccett, and Cee-Lo have all made their way to the Rockies this past month. Colorado Heavy Weights Young Doe and Hawkman locked down a deal with West Coast Mafia/Koch and will be dropping projects this fall. Innerstate Ike, Nyke Nitti, Hypnautic, Izm White, all recently dropped projects, as well as DJ Ktone, DJ Stupac, DJ Bedz, and DJ Quote. First Saturdays at Blue Ice is the hottest
night to hit the town in a while and Fridays at The Loft continue bring out the numbers every week. - DJ Ktone (Myspace.com/djktonedotcom)
The Murder City concert went down at St. Andrews Hall with artists like 7 Da General and Cash Out. The Warp Tour invaded Detroit at Comerica Park. Producer Symphony produced a couple tracks on Ice Cube’s new album. The Divine 9 held their annual step show with a special performance by Juvenile. The Red Bull Beat Battle took place at the Majestic Theater. P.L. dropped his latest mixtape Wit Out Warring Vol. 4. Obie Trice has been released from Shady Records. You gotta come to the “D” to learn about Belle Isle after dark. Look out for Hot Lava Records (Stretch Money), Dirty Glove Entertainment (K-Doe a.k.a. K-Deezy), 5th Ave Records (John Drama), and Demand. “It’s So Cold In Tha D” became a viral sensation on YouTube. - AJ (email@example.com) & Eric tha Crunk (Myspace.com/ CrunkAtlantaMusic)
Bishop Lamont and Glasses Malone headlined at the House of Blues Sunset to a sold-out crowd. The Confessional mixtape release party was hosted by Devi Dev (93.5 KDAY) and Hoodrat Miguel (Power 106), and had performances from Taje, Prime, Damizza, Butch Cassidy, and Warren G. Bishop premiered his new single “Grow Up” while Glasses ended his set with “Haterz.” Talib Kweli and Strong Arm Steady got down at the Sofitel Hotel with DJ EQ. Def Jam showed off their newest prodigy Karina at The S Bar, and threw Nas’ album release party at the Zune Lab. - Devi Dev (DeviDev.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Paul Wall and Chamillionaire are back recording together. ABN (Z-Ro and Trae) are giving the streets that raw. Big Pokey and Lil O are killing the clubs. Slim Thugga and Devin the Dude are dropping soon. The new cats on the scene like Dre Steel and HISD are all prepping takeovers. Can’t forget the Latinos like Chingo Bling, Juan Gotti, and the Street Grindaz. For the real party spots, you gotta hit the new Mayka Mayka on the north or Venue on the south. - Jay Gamble (My.Upclose@gmail.com)
The Huntsville scene was featured in a few UK publications courtesy of Rob Breezy and David S. The Green Room won the club battle with the Split Personality campaign. QCDJ’s is gearing up for another record pool meeting. G-Side just released the Starshipz and Rocketz preview. PRGz were featured in national publications along with the Block Beataz. DJ Majesty is holding down the club scene. DJ 7-11 and JRock are holding down Shoals. Bigg DM is the new PD at V101.5 in the Shoals. XO, Bipola, and Obvious Obsession did shows at Crossroads. G-Mane repped hard at the Handy Festival. - Codie G (email@example.com)
Zack Randolph from the New York Knicks threw the birthday party of the year. Bun B represented his birthday to the fullest at Club Industry. Indiana Black Expo was another success this year bringing a lot of industry heavyweights to Naptown for celebrity basketball games, promo, and after parties. Gee Twinz Barber Shop is keeping the city freshly faded, and Naptown Music is sewing up the eastside with all the new music releases. Monty and crew at Hangtime are also pumping out fresh fits, kicks, and hits in one stop. Pretty Ugly was chosen to host the highly anticipated all Naptown mix. Fuck B-N-Local dragged by DJ Black is coming soon. - DJ Black (firstname.lastname@example.org)
JACKSON, MS: Lil Wayne packed in nearly 10,000 people at $40 a head in Hattiesburg. Although it’s an hour from the bold new city, Jackson showed up in numbers. Our mayor, who was featured in OZONE as “the real Hip Hop mayor?” recently caught a federal indictment. Stax and Lil Boosie showed up to pay their respects at a Jackson street prodigy funeral (R.I.P. Slo). Lil C is dropping his mixtape Welcome To The Battlefield real soon. David Banner threw a hell of an album release party for The Greatest Story Ever Told at Freelon’s, during which he gave the ultimate speech and a heartening performance. - Tambra Cherie (TambraCherie@aol.com) & Stax (email@example.com) OZONE MAG // 19
MANATEE COUNTY, FL:
Mob Boss of Hustle House was shot in front of the studio, but is making a full recovery. Although Midget Mac was kicked off of VH1’s I Love Money on the first damn episode, he can still be seen in clubs across the country due to his popularity from I Love New York 2. Young Cash is expected to release a digital album with T-Pain. The Duval County Mixtape Vol. 4 featuring P.I.T. and Dirt Diggla is still scheduled despite criticism from those who think an interracial mixtape is cliché, instead of encouraging unity within the city. Alju Jackson recently signed to Interscope Records. - Lil Rudy (LilRudyRu@yahoo.com)
LAS VEGAS, NV:
For a city that never sleeps, it’s becoming difficult to find things to do when you’re not sleeping. The club scene is extra bogus, for the locals. Don’t get me wrong, there are still wild nights, but not as much as before. Only a few months back, there were several clubs to choose from to have a fun night out. I’m not sure what happened, but the banging clubs have dwindled down to about two. I suppose if you’re coming to visit, it’ll suit you; but if you live here, it’s not suitable. Get it together Vegas! - Portia Jackson (PortiaJ@sprint.blackberry.net)
LOS ANGELES, CA:
Strong Arm Steady’s Krondon, Phil The Agony, and Mitchy Slick brought the true West Coast Klak Klak spirit to DJ Warrior and DJ Envy’s Cali Untouchable Radio 17 mixtape. A mega-deal went down on the MLB trade deadline day which brought the Boston Red Sox’ Manny Ramirez to Los Angeles. The DUB Carshow & Tour hit the L.A. Convention Center. Pacific Division took the stage at Crash Mansion, a prime spot for new Hip Hop acts. Akon, Ray Lavender, Kardinal Official, and Rock City took over 93.5 KDAY for full day of Konvict programming. Myspace.com stepped their bars up with their Secret Show series, bringing Dwele to the Temple Bar and Nas to the Roxy. - Ant Wright of Swag, Inc. (www.Myspace.com/antsandg) & Devi Dev (DeviDev.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Whiteheads World Ent. released the Frisco 2 The Ville DVD which showcases talent from San Francisco and Louisville like San Quinn, Mistah F.A.B., Static Major, HurraSeason, and many others. Make It Rain Ent. brought Rick Ross to The Ville for a live performance. B96.5 had Three 6 Mafia come through for a promo/appreciation show at the newly opened Club 26. B Simm is back with his single “Hustlin’,” produced by Chri$ Rich. HurraSeason’s “I Can Make It Work” and SOLO’s “Lace Me Up” are both on radio. I’m promoting Nuvo, a new liquor. - Divine Da Laison (OuttaDaShopEnt@hotmail.com)
R.I.P. Mista Lonestar and Slam of Fedtyme Records. Sparkdawg is working his new album The Lonestar Kid. MYLYFE Records got production from Kooley, who co-produced Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” with Jim Jonsin. Black Sound Ent., Playa Made Texans, and Nappy Town joined Tito and the Wego Carshow World Tour. Russell Mack and Gutta of Mack’s On Tha Rise opened up for Big Rat Loc at Bayou Lounge in ATX. Lil ZA of Balling Outta Control Records released a mixtape with DJ Drop. Rick Ross, E.S.G., and Big Pokey were all at Club Nico’s. Lotto of Tha Co Ent. went to Florida to get DVD footage. - Tre Dubb (Myspace.com/mackonthariserecords)
Word on the street is Young R’s single “Shawty Off the Chain” may be getting some ATL love via the Dirty Boys’ Battle Ground on Hot 107.9. Bohagon and DJ Rick Flare made their way to the A for the Crunk in HD album release (it’s in stores now). PPC dropped the Raw Material Press Play Vol. 2 mixtape. Don’t be surprised if you see some Macon cats in an area near you real soon. - Ali Roc (email@example.com)
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I had the opportunity to interview CTE artist BloodRaw for the Hollywood Red Vibe on WSLR 96.5 FM, and his interview touched on why most rappers claim to sell dope. I also made a visit to AMV Studio in Tampa while Tango (I Love New York) fine tuned his Hip Hop album. In other news, Lakewood Ranch High School’s quarterback has been charged with murder of a 19 year old over marijuana. All Floridians be on the lookout for the GOTCHA newspaper. It features everybody arrested within the past month. Cartel4Life artist Cane was recently featured in an issue. - Hollywood Red (firstname.lastname@example.org)
White boy lyricist Kaz is nothing but entertaining when it comes to music. From playing harmonica to rapping on his own tracks, this boy is all over the place. He just released his new single “Dirty on Purpose” featuring 8Ball. Playa Fly is slowly releasing singles from his much-anticipated album. His latest single “Moo-Lah” is catching a big buzz here in the city. Mista Ian just dropped a new mixtape called Tokyo Diamonds featuring the Ying Yang Twins, Too $hort, and 8Ball. - Deanna Brown (Deanna.Brown@MemphisRap.com)
C-Hall and Deuce Komradz were nominated for an OZONE Patiently Waiting Award. Everybody in Alabama is waiting on Deuce’s album to drop; it’s titled Drofessionals. Boomerang’s is on fire Saturdays with DJ Shadow. Napalm the Bomb had a crazy album release party and “Work That” has the females dancing. 1610 has Bird Flu Friday blowed out at Club Fusions. Jay Dee Ent./DJ Swift got the streets locked with Dope Boy Fresh the mixtape. Konvict Music signed on to the Maxximum Exposure Conference November 1-2. Eldorado Red’s mixtape is on fire with the hottest song in the streets “Stack of 1’s.” - Hot Girl Maxximum (Maxximummp3@gmail.com) & DJ Frank White (Myspace.com/DJFrankWhite96)
Mint Condition closed out the summer with a special live performance. Some of the Nashville nominees for the Tennessee Music Conference (right) and Hip Hop Awards are: Haystak, All Star, GRITS, Young Buck, Paper, Cowboy, 615, Lil Bizzy, Smoke, Rip, C-Wiz, Sir Swift, Don Juan, Crisis, Rage, Bigg DM, Bryant D, Ron C, Latino Saint, Stiz-Izza, Kyhill, Pistol, Quanie Cash, Dolowite, Scooby and more – visit www.tmchiphopawards.com for more info. DJ Ty and Club Fuse began their quest to bring Vegas-style entertainment to Nashville. They also feature a Vodka locker that chills their Vodka to 20°. - Janiro (Janiro@southernentawards.com)
NEW ORLEANS, LA:
Since Curren$y’s departure from Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment, he’s been hotter than ever. He’s dropped back-to-back classic mixtapes like the Chicago Bulls of the 90s. Mack Maine’s “Bitch I’m Mack Maine” is off the chain and people need to give him more credit. The Show and Lil Wayne have a new joint called “Imma Get Mine” and it’s really tight. Raw D.I. released his new digital album On the Inside Looking Out and it’s a certified New Orleans classic. C-Murder has a new album out called Screamin’ 4 Vengeance. - Derrick Tha Franchise (www.Myspace.com/DerrickThaFranchise)
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA:
The Clipse have re-branded themselves as the Re-Up Gang and they just dropped their digital album online via Myspace. Young C Da Slaya and Yung Thugz Ent. are making noise online and in the 757. Fam-lay’s Dirtyway should be hitting the streets sometime this decade. DJ Babey Drew, fresh off tour with Chris Brown, is back doing it big in the streets. Plies, Rick Ross, Young Steff, Pretty Ricky and T.I. all came through the 757 this month. Sevens, the hottest Hip Hop club in the 757, was shut down due to the city’s goal of “cleaning up” Granby Street. - Young Fame (email@example.com)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK:
Mista Cain, a.k.a. Mr. I-35, is shining in the Oklahoma City area. He joined forces with renowned producer James Elliot, a.k.a. BrokBundlez, with tracks such as “Get In Between” and “The Middle of the Map.” Mista I-35 is a bad man on stage. Infamous is a busy play these days. His “Hustle Til I Die” track says plenty. Infamous recently performed for a two-night show alongside Bizzy Bone. - Marshlynn (Marshlynn.Bolden@uscellular.com)
BloodRaw, Rocko, and Three 6 Mafia all stopped through the city to kick it. Fetti of Haleraza Records signed a major production deal and Black J is back and hitting the streets with “Y Not.” Vonn Treez released his new single “See You Later” and the Fast Lane Tour is gearing up for another run across the north and south. Hardcore Ent., Lady Homi, Freeze, F-Block, and G. Money are still making big moves while Crakk King is still producing that fire and working with major label artists. DJ Nitro got some things cooking and GQ continues to drop all the hottest new music every night of the week in the clubs. - Lola Sims (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PORTLAND, OR & IDAHO:
DJ Reg West and the Future Star DJs helped DJ L-Nyce celebrate his birthday at The Soda Shop. KRS-One (above), Doug E. Fresh, and Special Ed rocked Jannus Landing for The 4th of July Kings of Hip Hop show. During his stay, K.R.S. granted The Hip-Hawk Hour an interview and lectured at Crossover Church for 5 hours. DJ Headbussa dropped multiple mixtapes including Call the Fire Marshall with TREAL. Jer-Z became Slip-N-Slide DJs’ next artist. He gave a memorable performance at Aych’s King of the Stage Performance Battle. 3LG debuted The Sunday Session on Wild 98.7fm. - Slick Worthington (SlickWorthi813@gmail.com)
Octavius Miller spearheaded the West Coast Hip Hop Awards at Portland’s Roseland Ballroom. Miller has been a fixture in the Northwest Hip Hop scene for years as a promoter and business man with Next Level Promotions. The awards were well attended and included tributes to local and national artists alike. Seattle’s D Sane was awarded producer of the year – he’s been perfecting his craft for years. Kool Boy won the Pop Locker of the Year award – it ain’t Hip Hop without the B-Boys and B-Girls. - Luvva J (Myspace.com/luvvaj)
DJs Roc’Phella and Topspin hold down one of the longest running club nights on the West Coast. The Blast at Contour (1st and Columbia) in Seattle is still alive and has literally been “boosted” by a partnership with Boost Mobile and Seaspot Magazine. Also, look for Olympia Dahwud’s album Basement Sessions. It is a tribute to the 2nd Golden Era of Hip Hop – the mid-90s. The Price of the Game double CD out of the Devastator Camp is coming soon. It’s a concept project that tells all sides of the D game – it’s not all bling, fame, and glory. - Luvva J (Myspace.com/luvvaj)
SAN DIEGO, CA:
Rock Hill Ent. keeps the Diego party scene revved to full throttle. Seedless Clothing just launched and looks to have you thinking green and growing your mind. Z90’s DJs Rich E Rich and D-Rock (a.k.a. The Tight @ Night Boyz) received a nomination for R&R Industry Mix Team of the Year. Check out their #1 night show Monday thru Thursday 8 PM - 10 PM. NFL football season cranks back up and our Chargers have Superbowl or Bust goals for ’08. See you in Tampa! - Ant Wright of Swag, Inc. (Myspace.com/antsandg)
PDA did the damn thing at Tulsa’s annual Diversafest. The 2-day conference brought out an epic Hip Hop group: The Roots with Questlove on the drums stole the show. The “My Swag Party” went down at club Barcode. DJs Goodground and Ramal from Fresh Jamz 105.3 were spinning the wheels of steel. Tulsa’s own Dangerous Rob is standing tall as the General of the DPGC Next Generation. DJ Civilrightz in is the lab mastering the I-44 Street Bangaz. Primetime Tulsa is on and popping. Come and party at Club Fusion located at 16th and Sheridan Ave. Also check out Tulsa’s newest hotspot, Ladies First Sports Bar on Pine Street. - Marshlynn (Marshlynn.Bolden@uscellular.com)
OZONE MAG // 21
Day (www.RAP-COALITION.COM) SIGNING TO A LABEL OWNED BY AN ARTIST | By Wendy
n my experience, there are two ways to get signed to a deal that could possibly lead to a successful career in the music industry. One way is to put out your own CD and sell enough CDs regionally to create the leverage to entice a major label into signing you to a deal that will lead to success, and the second way is to sign to an already established platinum recording artist, and come through the deal he or she has worked out with a major label that wants to be in business with that artist. There are both upsides and downsides to signing underneath an already signed artist or producer. There are more artist owned or controlled labels than at any other time in the history of the urban music business. Some of those current opportunities are: Artist examples: • Young Jeezy’s CTE (formerly known as Corporate Thugz) through Def Jam • 50 Cent’s G Unit through Interscope • Eminem’s Shady through Interscope • T.I.’s Grand Hustle through Capitol or Atlantic • Ludacris’ DTP through Def Jam • Nelly’s Derrty Entertainment through Universal Producer examples: • Mr Collipark’s label through Interscope • Polow’s Zone 4 through Interscope • Dr Dre’s Aftermath through Interscope • Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music through Sony • Pharrell’s label Star Trak through Interscope DJ examples: • DJ Drama’s Aphilliates label through Asylum • DJ Khaled’s We The Best label through Def Jam or Koch When a major label has an established artist with a strong sales track record of success (platinum or better), they’ll sometimes offer a label deal to the artist to keep him or her happy. In some cases, it’s a real label (such as DTP, Shady, CTE, G-Unit, etc) with real offices, with their own dedicated staffs. And in some cases, it’s just a logo printed on the back of a CD to appear that the artist has his or her own label. If one of the ways to get established in this industry is by coming up underneath an established, successful artist, you should consider the pluses and minuses. Downside: • The money, if and when it comes, passes through the hands of middlemen. If 50 decides to sign you to G-Unit, the money eventually goes from Interscope through G-Unit and then (hopefully) trickles down to the artist. • There’s often a long wait--most artists already have their friends that they want to put on through their deal. Therefore, if you are an outsider in that camp, you’d have to wait your turn to come out. • Compilation albums are usually the first release from a major artist who has just been given his own label deal. Often, this is because the label has too many artists, and compilations allow one artist to stand out from the rest. • If the major artist pisses off the major label, your project will suffer. • If the major artist’s next release doesn’t do very well, the label deal will often suffer because the need to keep that established artist happy is no longer as strong.
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• Many artists sign other artists who are not as talented so they will not be upstaged. Very few major artists are secure enough with themselves to sign artists who are better than they are or who can out-rap them. • Most artists do not have strong business sense and not many have the business acumen to hire professionals with a strong track record of success to run their companies for them. Your career could end up in the hands of the artist’s best friend, who has no music business experience. • Most releases under a major artist’s label are seen by consumers as just “friends” of the artist and are rarely taken as seriously as unknown artists. Murphy Lee will always be seen as Nelly’s boy, D-12 will always be Eminem’s buddies, P$C are T.I.’s friends, and Tony Yayo will always be seen as 50’s childhood friend. Whether they have this kind of history or not, that is the perception—admit it, you were thinking that when those albums dropped. • You will never have a better deal than the deal your artist label-owner has with his label (unless you sell more CDs than him and can renegotiate). For example, if you are signed to an artist who received 18 points from Def Jam in his deal (that’s 18% of the retail selling price of each CD, after you paying back all of the expenses), you will likely get a lesser percentage than 18 points. He can’t give you more than he gets. • You will most likely have to use newer, less established producers for your beats—or even the in-house producers, because there’s rarely a budget for you to record with the A-list hit makers like Mannie Fresh, Jim Jonsin, Dr. Dre, etc. In a hit-driven, radio-focused industry, that could be somewhat challenging. Upside: • If the artist who signs you is a priority at the label (like Eminem, Ludacris, T.I., 50 Cent, etc), there is a better chance that your project will be a priority at the label as well. The level of effort the major label makes on your project is in direct proportion to the level of financial value of the artist to whom you are signed. • You gain immediate recognition in the marketplace when a major artist gets behind you and co-signs you. • You are signed to a label that is run by an artist, so the understanding of the music and artform is much stronger than if you are signed to a label run by a lawyer or an accountant. • Your first release is almost guaranteed to feature the platinum recording artist because you are signed to him or her, and there is a financial stake in being promoted (and co-signed) by that artist. • You are thrust into a career that starts at a mid-level. You get to tour with an already established artist, you get to learn the industry through the eyes of a platinum recording artist, and you gain part of an already established fanbase. The opportunities for exposure for you are immediately greater. • You get to see the inside view of a superstar’s career. You can learn from the mistakes or successes of that artist who comes before you. It is next to impossible to get such an insider’s view without being right there to live it firsthand. This education is invaluable if you are smart enough to apply what works to your own career and not experience those same mistakes and pitfalls yourself. While there are upsides and downsides to every deal, each artist must weigh the options for themselves. Signing to an established artist may not be good for everyone, and it may be the best route for others. The trick is to know all of the pluses and minuses of any opportunity and then make an informed decision based on what is best for your own career and your own situation. Signing any record deal is usually a commitment of 5 to 7 years of your life. In most cases, this is the life span of a rap career, so choose very wisely. //
OZONE MAG // 23
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The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): Shawty Lo & his daughter @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards (Photo: J Lash); The Geto Boys & J Prince @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards (Photo: Ben Rose); Young Jeezy & Boo backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Photo: Trevor Traynor)
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // Jus Bleezy & Tonya Terelle @ Grooves for Capitol Records’ TJ’s DJ’s Tasties Fashion Show 02 // Green City & Scarface on the OZONE Awards red carpet 03 // Lil Flip & Kaspa the Don @ the OZONE Awards 04 // Mr Pill, Derek Jurand, Tony Neal, & DJ Impact @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge 05 // FloRida & Freezy @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 06 // Jibbs & Trae @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 07 // Paul Wall & Alfamega backstage @ the OZONE Awards 08 // OZONE fans @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge 09 // DJ Quote, Willy Northpole, & Playaz Circle on the OZONE Awards red carpet 10 // Matt Daniels & Wendy Day @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 11 // Ladies reppin’ Myko @ Koch dinner showcase during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 12 // Malik Abdul & Randy Roper @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 13 // KBXX The Box crew @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 14 // DJ KTone & Pookie of Urban South @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 15 // Gunplay, Geter K, & Torch @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel 16 // Princess & Art @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 17 // New Money Twins @ Koch dinner showcase during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 18 // King Yella & Hoetester @ Grooves for Capitol Records’ TJ’s DJ’s Tasties Fashion Show 19 // LEP @ Koch dinner showcase during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Photo Credits: Ben Rose (17,19); D-Ray (06,14); J Lash (02,04,05,09,11,13,15); King Yella (01,08,12); Ms Rivercity (07); Terrence Tyson (02,10,16,18)
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CHIN CHECK By Charlamagne Tha God T
o Cheat and not get Caught, that is the method. Before anyone out there gets offended, I’m not condoning cheating. I’m not even saying that cheating is right. All I’m saying is, think of when you find out your kids are having sex. You may not want them to. You will even let them know they should wait and you don’t agree with their behavior, but you have to explain to them how to protect themselves. You’re going to caution them about STDs and pregnancy and everything else you want them to know about sex. Even though you’ve told them it’s wrong to have sex you know they’re going to do it anyway so you might as well school them on doing it right. Ladies, I hear you. “Why the hell do you men have to cheat in the first place? If you have a good woman at home, why can’t you be satisfied with what you have?” First of all if I do decide to partake in some extracurricular activities it is not a reflection of what I’m not getting at home and it is not a reflection of not being satisfied. In fact, it has nothing to do with my wife, girlfriend, or main chick at all. It has to do with the fact that for a brief moment in time I was attracted to a member of the opposite sex, which is highly natural. No emotions, no mental or spiritual connection, just a straight physical encounter that can’t and won’t hurt anybody if you do it correctly. What is doing it “correctly,” you ask? Correctly is to Cheat and not get Caught. I believe that it wasn’t the extramarital affair that John Edwards had with his former campaign worker Rielle Hunter that caused him to lose his political career and it wasn’t the cheating that made Bill Clinton lie to America by denying any sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky back in 1998. It is also not the cheating that made Morgan Freeman’s wife leave him after 30 plus years. If it wasn’t the cheating, then what was it? Ladies and Ghettomen, boys and girls, and even all you crackheads, pimps, and pedophiles, the reason all these situations went down is because the men got caught! Cheating doesn’t hurt, because what you don’t know can’t hurt you! If I don’t bring any STDs home, if I don’t get any other chicks pregnant, if you don’t feel like you need to look through my phone and stress me about where I go or where I’ve been, we have a happy home. No harm, no foul. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see it fall, who gives a fuck? It’s the getting caught that causes the problems! Men, we don’t take this cheating
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thing seriously enough. When you are cheating you have to act like you are making a major, major drug transaction. You have to move like you have 80 kilos of cocaine and one of George W. Bush’s daughters tied up in your trunk. You have to treat it like you can’t afford to get caught. The last thing you want is to face the consequences of your significant other! Men, we have to start moving like women. But hold up: all of you half-fags with your tight jeans, Mohawks, and v-neck t-shirt, don’t get excited. Put your eyeliner away. What I mean is that women move in the shadows. I really believe women would make better drug dealers than men. I’m not promoting the selling of drugs; I am just trying to use an analogy that my hood figures can understand. A woman can get up at seven in the morning, work until five, come home and cook, clean and put the kids to bed. That is her everyday routine. She’s not on her cell phone texting in the middle of the night, never taking her phone in the bathroom to make a call. But somewhere in that 9 to 5 she had some cock for lunch, homie. She told you she was going to get a 12 inch and you thought she was talking about a Subway sandwich! Men do the opposite. Texting all the damn time, taking your phone in the bathroom and whispering, not realizing the sound is magnified times ten in a bathroom. When men jump-off, they have a tendency to change their patterns, making up dumb ass lies, like, “I’m going to the barbershop.” Homie, there are no fades being given out at midnight on a Sunday. You swear you’re getting away with something, but your woman is not stupid. Truthfully your girl is probably fucking that same barber you claim to be going to see. He is cutting your hair and cutting your woman and you don’t even realize it. Men are dogs, women are cats. Dogs fuck in broad daylight; they get stuck together looking all crazy in the yard at 12 noon when the sun is at its highest. Everyone can see them and they even say, “Look at them dumbass dogs.” That’s why whenever men get caught cheating women say, “Look at that dumb ass dog!” But women move like cats; mysterious and sneaky. You have never in your life seen two cats fucking. You always see the kittens though, so you know they’re getting it in. As a matter of fact, when cats mate, multiple male cats will be attracted to the one female cat in heat. The males will fight over her, and the victor wins
the right to mate. At first, the female will reject the male, but eventually allow the male to mate. After mating, the female will give herself a thorough wash. If a male attempts to breed with her at this point, the female will attack him. Once the female is done grooming, the cycle will repeat. Women go through the same process. If a woman is in a relationship, she is not just going to give herself to any man trying to get at her. They have to fight for her attention and the one who moves less like a dog and more like a cat is the one who will win the right to sleep with her. When they are finish getting it in, the woman goes into her zone like the female cat when she is grooming. If the male tries to get at her during this period she attacks him by demanding that he not call her. “I’ll call you when I need it,” and that is the way it should be. Men want to lock everything down and control everything. Homie, did you not forget you have a main chick at home? You can’t be doing all the extra shit, brother! Know when to hold them and when to fold them. Getting all emotionally attached, taking your side chick out on dates, eating in the same restaurants you take your main chick to and sending your side chick to shop in the same stores as your significant other. You’re about to get caught and fuck it up for the rest of the men who know how to properly cheat! And all you dudes with main girls, if you have a side chick don’t kiss her, don’t hold her hand, don’t eat her pussy, please don’t bang her raw, and please don’t be texting her and calling her to ask how her day was. You are not her man, and she is not your woman. Those things I just mentioned are only for your main sugar stain. If you are violating any of these rules you might as well turn yourself in because you are about to get caught. It’s almost over. Aretha Franklin a.k.a. the fat lady is singing, that upper room is being prepared for you, somewhere someone is buying fresh flowers to put on your grave cause you’re about to kill your whole beautiful situation at home. It won’t be because you cheated, but because you got caught. Now that I have shared with you my jewels, apply them to your life properly. For the record, all this research I have compiled on cheating was done on a strictly secondhand basis. I have not experienced first-hand any of the things I have talked about. Smart men learn from their own mistakes and wise men learn from the mistakes of others (translation: ’m not fucking up my happy home cause of an OZONE Magazine Chin Check). Remember: To Cheat and not get Caught, that is the method. Until next time, The Sinister Minister Charlamagne Tha God
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): Bun B & Mama Wes @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge (Photo: Edgar Walker); Lil Keke, Paul Wall, & Drumma Boy backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Shawty Lo & Ace Hood @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference (Photo: J Lash)
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // Julia Beverly, Ms Rivercity, Wendy Day, & Papa Duck @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 02 // Grouchy Greg & Paul Wall @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 03 // Hurricane Chris & Cory Mo backstage @ the OZONE Awards 04 // Break Tha Bank & TJ Chapman @ TJ’s DJ’s A&R panel 05 // 1st Lady El, Nina Chantele, & Storm @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 06 // Play & Skillz backstage @ the OZONE Awards 07 // Eric Perrin, Kerisha Smith, Kisha Smith, Cordice Gardner, Kenny Brewer, & Malik Abdul @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 08 // Rarebreed & Papa Duck @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 09 // Slim Thug & Gotti @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge 10 // Rock City on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 11 // Dee Sonoram & DJ Montay @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 12 // Mz Jae & Ms Rivercity @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 13 // Ladies, Young City, & Micha Porat @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 14 // 1st Lady El & DJ Drama backstage @ the OZONE Awards 15 // T Farris, Steph Jones, & Paul Wall @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 16 // DJ Lil Boy & TayDizm @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 17 // Bankroll Jonez & Paperchase @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 18 // OG Ron C & DJ Hi-C @ Bar Rio for Rap-A-Lot’s Welcome to Houston party 19 // Papa Duck & Lil Duval @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference Photo Credits: Ben Rose (09,10); D-Ray (02,11,13,14,17); J Lash (04,15); King Yella (05,12,19); Ms Rivercity (01,03,06); Terrence Tyson (07,08,16,18)
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She Liked my NECKLACE and started relaxin’, that’s what the fuck I call a… A lot of my clients are rappers or athletes so they always want to upgrade the diamonds. They don’t use no cheap diamonds, so my piece had to be the same way; it has almost 5,000 BVS diamonds, and 150 carats. If I made this piece for anybody else it would cost them like $170,000 to $180,000—except for my homie Paul Wall of course, it would only cost him like $150,000. Everybody that sees this chain always wants something similar. I was at a video shoot with Fat Joe in Miami and he was like, “Man, I want you to do my cartoon face like that!” So I’m going to make another big piece for Fat Joe. I’m always in the hood, and I always do music video shoots, so I always have
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bviously the design for this piece came from my face; it’s a cartoon look. And I made it out of white gold and different color diamonds: blue, black, white, pink and yellow diamonds. I figured since I make all these nice pieces for other people I should make one for myself, and I never had a big piece of my own.
TV JOHNNY my personal bodyguards with me whenever I wear the piece. I have to have protection because it’s really expensive and it took me a really long time to make it. It took me 2 weeks just to make the mold and almost 6 weeks to finish it completely. This piece was hard to make, but the most difficult jewelry I ever had to make was the big So So Def piece I did for JD. It was too big for my cutting machine. It was a really big chain, but it came out real nice. Every piece I make has a different look and a different meaning. Because I’m the jeweler, every piece I make, whether small or big, is important. A lot of people think if they come to me they gotta spend $50,000 or $70,000. Hell no! I can make a piece for a thousand. I just love to make jewelry, and I don’t have an all time favorite piece, but this is definitely one of them. // www.tvjohnny.net As told to Eric Perrin Photo by D-Ray
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): Sean Paul @ Asylum Records studio suite during TJ’s DJ’s (Photo: LeJaurean Hailey); Lil Boosie, Webbie, & Paul Wall backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Photo: Ben Rose); Bun B & Killer Mike @ TJ’s DJ’s Big Boi listening suite (Photo: King Yella)
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // Joe Anthony & Nelly @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel 02 // Kerisha Smith & Cordice Gardner @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 03 // DJ Q45, DJ Ron Love, Malik Abdul, & Slim Goodye @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 04 // Bay Bay, DJ Q45, & Jabber Jaws @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ Panel 05 // DJ Christion & DJ Nasty @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 06 // Julia Beverly, Mama Wes, J Prince, & BG @ Bar Rio for Rap-A-Lot’s kickoff party 07 // Rick Ross & Bun B @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel 08 // Shawty Lo & guest @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 09 // Too Short & ladies on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 10 // Stephanie Brooks, Lutoyua Thompson, & Natalia Gomez @ the OZONE Awards 11 // G-Mack, Myko, Lil D, & ladies @ Grooves for Capitol Records’ TJ’s DJ’s Tasties Fashion Show 12 // Lil Boosie & crew @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 13 // Killer Mike & DJ Princess Cut on the OZONE Awards red carpet 14 // Brandii Johnson & Terrence Tyson @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 15 // BJ & Jim Jonsin @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Producer Panel 16 // Hanif Sumner & Steph Jones @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 17 // DJ Demp & Tonya Terelle @ Grooves for Capitol Records’ TJ’s DJ’s Tasties Fashion Show 18 // Bobby Dash @ TJ’s DJ’s A&R panel 19 // Bun B & OG Ron C @ Dave & Buster’s for UGK Pool Tournament Photo Credits: Ben Rose (04,07,09); D-Ray (06,08); J Lash (13,18); King Yella (01,12,15,16); Terrence Tyson (02,03,05,10,11,14,17,19)
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By Eric Perrin This is story of Climax, a stripper who cheats--at least when selecting her stage name. “On my first day dancing I was so nervous I couldn’t come up with a name or anything, she confesses. “The club gave me a piece of paper that had sample dance names on it, and the name Climax was on the list. I guess I kinda cheated.” But regardless of where her name was derived, the Long Beach-born beauty has been causing climactic episodes in the minds of her many fans at Strokers for almost eight months, and she acknowledges her name has a lot to do with her success. “People just seem to love my name,” says the 21 year old. “Whenever I introduce myself as Climax they instantly start smiling.” And while her name and 34-24-40 physique obviously brings a smile to her customers’ faces, nothing can make the 4’ 11” stallion as content as the fast money her career creates. “I’ll be honest, I only started dancing for the money,” she states. “But I definitely enjoy the environment at Strokers. They really have made it a nice atmosphere.” Before she decided to serve the crowd at Strokers, Climax served drinks at Jermaine Dupri’s Studio 72. Then, she studied to be a paralegal, but became frustrated with the amount of schoolwork involved. Finally, after being heavily influenced by some of her veteran dancer buddies, Climax decided to climb up on the pole herself. She began dancing at private parties, but quickly pivoted to the limelight of a real strip club. However, real strip clubs, often entertain real passionate patrons. “The craziest thing about this job is how nasty people can be,” she exclaims. “Guys have tried to offer money to eat me out on stage, and I’m like, ‘Are you crazy? I’m a stripper, you don’t know me.’ But females can be just as bad, and even some of the other dancers.” Admittedly a single black female addicted to
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retail, Climax has two passions in life: shopping and reading. “I love to shop,” she gushes. “But the one thing I like more than shopping is reading. I try to read as much as possible.” The bi-racial bookworm has a large collection of literature, including her favorite, The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah. While most people probably wouldn’t expect Climax to be as wellread as she claims, she still fears the biggest misconception of her pertains to her personality. “For some reason people tend to think I’m stuck up when they first meet me,” she says. “After they get to know me they realize that I’m a really cool person. I’m real humble, and I just like to chill.” Unfortunately for Climax, she may not be able to chill for long. This winter the ATL-dwelling dancer will relocate to desert of Las Vegas where she plans to finish school. Climax is definitely a “Dollar Menu” item available to Atlanta for a limited time only. //
Booking: www.myspace.com/strokersatl 770-270-0350 Website: www.strokersclub.com Photographer: Sean Cokes 404-622-7733 Make-Up Artist: Mike Mike 678-732-5285 Hair Stylist: Baby Boy 404-396-2739
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): Scarface & J Prince @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards; Chamillionaire, Paul Wall, & David Banner backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Photos: King Yella); Mannie Fresh & Drumma Boy backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Photo: Ms Rivercity)
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // Juju of Harlon’s BBQ & his daughter @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 02 // Bigga Rankin & Lil Boosie @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 03 // Jim Jonsin & Lil Duval @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 04 // Rob Gold & Kim Ellis @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 05 // Tony Neal & Jus Bleezy @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge 06 // Summer Walker & DJ Drama on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 07 // Shawty Lo & Jibbs @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel 08 // Nelly giving some love to Mama Wes @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge 09 // Foxx & Alfamega @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 10 // Queen & Bun B @ TJ’s DJ’s Big Boi listening suite 11 // Haitian Fresh & King Yella @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 12 // Loaded, guests, & Pookie @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 13 // Go DJ Damon, Bankroll Jonez, & DJ Chill @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 14 // Ladies @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 15 // Papa Duck & Grind Mode @ TJ’s DJ’s A&R panel 16 // Certified & Wendy Day @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge 17 // Ashley Smith & Eric Perrin backstage @ the OZONE Awards 18 // Dr Teeth & Alfamega on the OZONE Awards red carpet 19 // D Red & Lil Flip backstage @ the OZONE Awards 20 // Brandii Johnson, Hanif Sumner, & Teka @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel Photo Credits: Ben Rose (16); D-Ray (01,04,06,08,11,12,19); J Lash (10,14,15,18,20); King Yella (02,05,07,13,17); Kurtis Graham (09); Terrence Tyson (03)
OZONEMAG MAG////31 31 OZONE
JULIA BEVERLY & TJ CHAPMAN 3 Days after the 2008 OZONE Awards JB: Hey TJ, where should we have the awards next year? TJ: Listen Julia, I’m not doing this award show shit wit you no more. Fuck that. I just got back from my doctor and found out I got high blood pressure because of this shit. JB: What are you talking about? TJ: I mean no hard feelings or nothing, but I can’t have B.o.B associated with that shit no more. We’re trying to get him on TRL one day. JB: You’re trippin! Can you at least do the Tastemaker’s Conference? TJ: Naw, I can’t do anything, to be honest with you. That shit was a fuckin’ bloodbath. Niggas was smoking weed on the elevators with AK 47’s, Rick Ross was outside pullin’ muthafuckas over, B.G. fell asleep in the bathroom and pissed all over himself. And nobody even knew who the hell B.o.B was. I’m sweating just thinking about that shit and I still gotta figure out how I’m gonna pay this speeding ticket Ross gave me. JB: Calm down, TJ. TJ: Don’t tell me to calm down. You don’t understand! T-Pain was running around stealing pillows and shit outta people’s hotel rooms, Haitian Fresh’s mascot was in the lobby cooking fried plantains and cotton candy, and Boosie and Webbie was shooting craps with B.o.B and took all his money. WTF?
OZONE EXCLUSIVE Textin’ is no longer safe now that OZONE’s dangerous minds have hacked the system.
JB: Hold on. T-Pain’s the one who stole my pillow? TJ: Fuck yo’ pillow, B.o.B caught a cramp in his neck. You know he can’t sleep on a flat bed. JB: You are really trippin’ right now. This year’s show was crazy. We had Bun B perform, Big Boi from Outkast, Shawty Lo, David Banner. Jeezy was there, Too $hort, T.I., Chamillionaire. Mike Jones. TJ: Who? JB: Yeah, you’re right. But we had all three Geto Boys on stage at one time, that’s a hell of an accomplishment. TJ: But the only reason security let Bushwick Bill on stage was because they thought he was the midget from Hell Date. Who the fuck did you hire to do security anyway? YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO GET PRIVATE SECURITY FOR B.o.B.!!! I CAN’T TRUST YOU FOR SHIT, JB! JB: Well, next year is gonna be crazy. It’s gonna be bigger than the Grammys. TJ: Fuck that! I told you I’m not doing this shit next year. JB: If you won’t help me do it again next year I’ll print all those “Groupie Confessions” girls sent in about you. TJ: FUCK! - From the minds of Eric Perrin and Randy Roper (Photos by Eric Perrin & King Yella)
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The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): Queen & Mama Wes @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge (Photo: Edgar Walker); Chamillionaire & Willie D @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers (Photo: D-Ray); Lil Boosie & DJ Q45 @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse party (Photo: Terrence Tyson)
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // TayDizm, Young Cash, & Bigga Rankin @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 02 // 3 Deep, Lil Boosie, & Webbie on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 03 // Pitbull, guest, & OG Ron C backstage @ the OZONE Awards 04 // Grit Boys on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 05 // Bun B & Kaspa the Don @ TJ’s DJ’s Big Boi listening suite 06 // Chamillionaire & Bun B @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel 07 // Hot Stylz & Killer Mike @ the OZONE Awards 08 // Slim Thug & the Boss Hogg Outlawz @ Koch dinner showcase during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 09 // Bay Bay & Ace Hood @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ 10 // DeRay Davis, J-Mac, James Posey of the Boston Celtics, & Madd Hatta @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference 11 // Ron Stewart, Chad Brown, & OG Ron C @ Dave & Buster’s for UGK Pool Tournament 12 // E-Class & DJ Khaled @ the OZONE Awards 13 // Malik Abdul, Kerisha Smith, Terrence Tyson, Kisha Smith, Cordice Gardner, & Kenny Brewer @ Koch dinner showcase during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 14 // G Dash & his wife @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 15 // TV Johnny & Big Bank Hank @ the OZONE Awards 16 // Bizzle & ladies on the OZONE Awards red carpet 17 // Yung LA, TJ Chapman, & Clay Evans @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 18 // Myko & Archie Eversole @ Koch dinner showcase during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 19 // Rasheeda & Kirk @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference Photo Credits: Ben Rose (02,04,08,11,18); Edward Hall (19); J Lash (03,12,14); King Yella (05,06); Terrence Tyson (01,07,09,13,15,16,17); Tre Dubb (10)
OZONEMAG MAG////33 33 OZONE
Baby and Slim’s younger brother Terrance “Gangsta” Williams’ clique of New Orleans gangstas and heroin dealers was the original inspiration for the name of the Hot Boys’ rap group (the world’s introduction to Lil Wayne, Juvenile, B.G., and Turk, in case you don’t know...). He checked in with OZONE from a Federal Correctional Institution in Jesup, Georgia, where he is serving a life sentence.
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The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): BG & TI @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Lil Boosie & Bun B @ OZONE Awards rehearsal (Photo: King Yella); Pimp C’s mom, wife, and kids: Mama Wes, Chinara, Corey, & Christian on the red carpet @ the OZONE Awards (Photo: Ben Rose)
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // Cordice Gardner & Kenny Brewer @ Koch dinner showcase during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 02 // Carlos Cartel, PIMP, & DJ Chuck T on the OZONE Awards red carpet 03 // DJ Nasty, TJ Chapman, Keith Kennedy, DJ Christion, & DJ Impact @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ 04 // Meshah Hawkins & Big Bubb @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel 05 // Young AC & Turtle @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 06 // Shawty Lo & his family on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 07 // Brandi Garcia @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 08 // Rick Ross & Killer Mike @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel 09 // UGK Bunnies @ Dave & Buster’s for UGK Pool Tournament 10 // Q-Ruff & Marlon @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 11 // TOE & DJ B-Do on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 12 // Haitian Fresh & crew on the OZONE Awards red carpet 13 // Kim Ellis & Wendy Day @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 14 // Presidential Traphouse on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 15 // Big Bubb, Ashley, & Hezeleo @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 16 // Jibbs & Jim Jonsin @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 17 // Lil Corey & Pookie from Urban South @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference 18 // Maurice Garland & Killer Mike @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 19 // Snipe, Gar, & Shell @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference Photo Credits: Ben Rose (03,06,08,09); D-Ray (05,10,13,14,18); Edgar Walker (04,15); Edward Hall (17,19); J Lash (12); Kurtis Graham (11); Ms Rivercity (07); Terrence Tyson (01,02,16)
OZONEMAG MAG////35 35 OZONE
City: Chattanooga, TN (via Trinidad) Website: Myspace.com/duttylaundry Mixtape Series: Hood Classics Affiliations: Senate DJs/So Icey Entertainment DJ 3 Songs In Current Rotation: Gucci Mane “I’m a Dog,” OJ Da Juiceman “Kop a Chicken,” Big Stackssss “Born To Ball”
Dutty Laundry the Game talks about helping break Gucci Mane and the problems within large DJ crews. I helped break Gucci [Mane], OJ [Da Juiceman] right now, Big Stackssss coming up; I’d say those are the main ones. I started the Senate DJs. Of course, I’m part of the Hittmenn, the CORE, and the Fleet, but I was realizing that after a while, being in all those different crews, [artists] don’t get broke no more. The bigger the crew gets, the focus changes. In the beginning, with the Hittmenn, it was more personal. It was just DJs with a common core. As [the crew] gets bigger and bigger, it’s not about the same thing anymore. As the DJ crew starts getting bigger, it starts getting out of hand and [eople start losing focus. In the beginning it’s more [about] family; everybody’s close knit, trying to do something together to help out new artists. But when you start hitting 80, 90, 100 people, how are you really helping anything? It’s about money then. For a lot of new artists [who] don’t have relationships with DJs, all they’re going to do is pay the head of the crew to play a record because nobody really knows you. I like how the Aphilliates are, and DJ Jelly and the Southern Style DJs. They’re keeping themselves small and keeping real DJs that’ll actually play records. That’s why I started the Senate DJs. It’s like twenty-five to thirty DJs in there, cats that are in the streets that break records. DJ Rell from Florida, 007 from Memphis, Cool Breeze from Atlanta, DJ Frogie from Atlanta, Whitey from Nashville. That’s my crew. Everyone’s handpicked. They’re cats that are in the streets, that do what they do in the clubs or the mixtape scene and break records. They don’t get props cause they don’t have the best publicist in the 36 // OZONE MAG
world, or maybe they don’t have a big budget like other bigger DJs. Sometimes the dudes that really break records don’t have that big stuff behind them. Prime example would be OJ [da Juiceman]. OJ is one of the biggest underground acts right now. We’re doing shows four or five nights a week with no video, no radio. No one person can break a record by themselves, but if you have a good team, at the end of the day, you can make it. As a DJ, I know that you’re only as good as there last record you broke. There are a lot of cats out here that take credit for stuff they didn’t do. I ain’t never been the type to take credit for taking that man’s album and putting it on the internet, or taking credit for breaking a record that’s on the radio. Gucci [Mane]’s the hottest guy in the South right now. Nobody was touching Gucci when he got out of jail. We got Ice Attack 3 coming out real soon. So, there’s a lot of work that goes into this. Real record breakers put in a lot of work. They do a lot of stuff in the trenches that a lot of cats don’t see. I’m the #1 [mixtape] supplier in the South. Nobody moves more units than me. Ain’t no other DJ in the streets got as much respect as me, except maybe Bigga Rankin. Put that in the magazine. I’m cocky as hell when I say that. Ask anybody in the streets, they’ll tell you. I’m in the flea markets. I’m in the stores. I’ll go in your city and post up at your car wash. // As told to Randy Roper
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): Bun B & J Prince backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Photo: King Yella); Paul Wall & Shawty Lo backstage @ the OZONE Awards; Killer Mike & Chamillionaire backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Photos: Ben Rose)
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // Staye Down & J Prince Jr @ Bar Rio for Rap-A-Lot’s Welcome to Houston party 02 // G-Mack @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ 03 // DJ Dimepiece & DJ Backside on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 04 // Michael Watts, Brandi Garcia, & OG Ron C backstage @ the OZONE Awards 05 // Shane, Bigga Rankin, Brisco, & Torch @ Grooves for Capitol Records’ TJ’s DJ’s Tasties Fashion Show 06 // Princess & Killer Mike on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 07 // Lil Duval & TI @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 08 // Kisha & Kerisha Smith backstage @ the OZONE Awards 09 // Ace Hood, Shawty Lo, DJ Q45, & Roccett @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 10 // Bushwick Bill & his wife @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 11 // Gutta Twins, guest, & Stax on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 12 // Big Amp, Certified, Big Cee Jay, & J Holla @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 13 // 8Ball & Wickett Crickett @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 14 // Purple & Big Teach on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 15 // J-Mac & Brandi Garcia @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 16 // Yoko, Alfamega, DJ Princess Cut, & Tony Neal @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 17 // Clay Evans, Wendy Day, & Snake @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 18 // JayTon, Trae, & DJ Impact @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 19 // TJ Chapman & Lil Boosie @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 20 // OG Ron C & DJ Black @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference Photo Credits: Ben Rose (06); D-Ray (01,03,07,09,11,14,16,19); Edgar Walker (15); J Lash (10,13,18); King Yella (08); Ms Rivercity (04,17); Terrence Tyson (02,05,12); Tre Dubb (20)
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Following a well-publicized Atlanta incident in which he was stabbed during a fight with his sister’s boyfriend (and subsequently arrested), LIL SCRAPPY vents on his “problem,” defending his younger sister, and getting released from his Warner Bros. contract.
smoke at least a pound of weed a day. That’s because I have a lot of muthafuckers around me. My niggas just smoke and smoke and smoke. But when my [daughter] is around, it’s a non-smoking zone. No tolerance. But I do smoke a pound a day. I have a problem. I can get a pound for $55, but that’s still like $20k a year [spent on weed]. I can’t live without it. But it’s some doctors and judges that can’t live without it. It’s some lawyers and some nurses that can’t live without it. We all have a problem. It’s a recession, ladies and gentlemen, but stay on your grustle! I basically raised my little sister. My mom was out in the streets [while we were growing up] and my dad was nowhere to be found. Before I had a baby, [my sister] was my baby. When I heard that [her boyfriend] had been beating her, that shit just struck a nerve. He had been doing it all week and she ain’t said nothing. That ain’t even in my family; my mama don’t breed babies like that. She was a little timid of him because she ain’t never been in an [abusive] relationship. I was on my way out of town and my baby mama called me and was like, “Nigga, I been calling you,” and I was like, “What you want?” She said, “Nigga, it ain’t me. You ain’t been answering this phone all day and this nigga been over here beating on your sister’s ass and dragging her, pulling her by her hair. He dragged her up the street.” She said he had been doing it all week. I was on Jonesboro Road and I made a U-turn. It took me thirty minutes to get [to my sister’s house]. The police had been there the whole time so I was thinking everything would be cool [by the time I got there]. But I got there and everything was still crazy. The police ain’t got no control over this bastard. He’s still walking up and down the stairs talking about what he’s gonna do to people. I saw the police when I got out of the car. I had my shirt off. I didn’t come to hurt nobody, I just wanted to see my sister. When I went in the house, I saw the police, and I’m lookin’ at all these people that don’t belong in there. I’m pointing in their faces like, “Who are these people?” My baby mama was like, “Oh, that’s his folk.” I said “Oh, yeah? Where’s my little sister?” The police were like, “Who are you?” Then I saw [my sister’s boyfriend] coming down the steps. We got into a real bad fight; no holds barred. I can’t really go into detail about what happened [for legal reasons] but I told the police, “Either you get him up off me or you might as well just take us both to jail right now.” I beat him down so bad that when I was on top of him he grabbed a knife and stabbed me in my right chest, right on my tattoo. The police let him go and locked me up. They were giving him lemonade and shit, letting him walk around. It was some groupie-type shit. The policemen were calling their other homies, like, “I got Lil Scrappy. He’s in some shit,” and it wasn’t even no racial shit, because [the police] were black. It’s always some black on black crime, even in the police station. I don’t know what’s going on now [with the crunk movement]. I kinda backed off of it when I saw [Lil] Jon backing off of it. If the leader ain’t standing on top of it, then I ain’t finna stand nowhere near it. I guess Jon is on some other shit; he’s trying to expand. He’s not trying to stay with the same sound forever, but that’s what they labeled him: “crunk.” He’s the King of Crunk. He kind of labeled himself. Jon is always trying to expand and I’m always trying to find ways to expand. I’m trying to keep Hip Hop alive and keep this shit going down here in the South. I’m trying to let everybody 38 // OZONE MAG
know that there’s always going to be something new; something fresh. I was just in a predicament where I couldn’t put my shit out. Now I can put my shit out and let people hear me and lead my own destiny. I finally got out of my solo deal with Warner, so I’m by myself now. G’s Up. My plan is to hit the streets hard once again with this new grustle movement. That means “grinding” and “hustling” put together, if you don’t know what that mean. It’s not 24/7, it’s 84/7. You never sleep. You’re always up grustling. Whether you’re a nine-to-five nigga or an on-the-block type nigga, or you’re a rappin’-ass nigga or an acting-ass nigga, whatever the hell you do, you’ve gotta be on your grustle. It’s a new movement. G’s Up. [My joint venture with BME/Warner and] the whole G-Unit thing was a one-time project, but we’re still family. Niggas still show me love, with a long spoon. Niggas call and see what’s up with me. Even Buck holla’d to see what’s up with a nigga. I’m staying out of the whole [Young Buck vs. 50 Cent] situation. Niggas ain’t paying me enough to get in the middle of their situation. My daughter’s got to eat, so I stay dolo. Ain’t nobody helping me right now, so I stay dolo. They don’t owe me shit and I don’t owe them nothing. Buck and 50, if it was me, I would have just played my position and got my money. That’s just me. I ain’t never had three or four million dollars. I ain’t never seen that much money, so if you offered me something like that, I’d take it. As long as you ain’t the police. [50 releasing the personal recorded calls with Buck] was like the Art of War. Niggas are at war right now, I guess. When niggas are at war they’ll do all kinds of shit. I see where Buck was coming from, he was like, “Damn, nigga, I wouldn’t even hit you that low.” But 50, on the other hand, he’s like, “Damn, nigga. I looked out for you.” Niggas are going off emotions right now. I don’t give a fuck, I’m just trying to get my money. Like I said, I ain’t getting into they shit. Much love to everybody. If you don’t like me, fuck you. I’m getting money anyway. They don’t pay my bills. Nobody pays my bills. I pay my own bills. Matter of fact, my lawyer needs about $20k right now. Can anybody help me? No, they can’t, so I got to get it. Crime Mob broke up because Princess and her brother and her dad all think they run shit. They think they made Crime Mob. They actually have a publishing company where their money goes. Everybody thinks that it comes to me, but I had nothing to do with their publishing. I’m the one that gave them their publishing back. What record label does that? What record label gives their artists their publishing back? All of it? Here, have it! They are signed to my label. I gave them their publishing back and they still bitch. I don’t know what Princess is doing now, but Diamond has a deal. We have papers and proof, so whoever wants to know, Diamond has a solo deal [with Warner]. We’re working on getting Psycho Black [from Crime Mob] a deal too. [The group] has a deal under Warner, but we’re talking about solo deals. I tried to be the best guy in it, but they tried to make me into the bad guy. What the fuck? I’m out making money, so I’m the bad guy. I’m tryin’ not to get into any more trouble. CEO status. I am a CEO; G’s Up Records. We’re doing it real big. Love to the A-Town all day; shout out to DJ Holiday. // As told to Julia Beverly
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): OJ Da Juiceman & Bigga Rankin on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards (Photo: Ben Rose); Big Boi & 8Ball @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover (Photo: King Yella); DJ Smallz & DJ Drama @ TJ’s DJ’s (Photo: Terrence Tyson)
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // Playboy Tre, BOB, & B Rich on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 02 // Bun B & Tuma Basa @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge 03 // DJ Smallz & Tum Tum on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 04 // Grouchy Greg, Chuck Creekmur, & TJ Chapman @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 05 // Big Bank Hank serving drinks @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 06 // DJ 151 & Big Boi @ TJ’s DJ’s Big Boi listening suite 07 // The entire Miami Movement on the OZONE Awards red carpet 08 // Killer Mike & Slim Thug @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge 09 // Rick Ross & Brisco on the OZONE Awards red carpet 10 // Nelly & Sky reppin’ KBXX The Box @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel 11 // Seventeen & Big Bubb @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 12 // Lil C, Fat B, & George Lopez @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference 13 // RawLT, Meshah Hawkins, & guest on the OZONE Awards red carpet 14 // Intl Red & Tony @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge 15 // BOB, Yung LA, & Stay Fresh @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 16 // DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, & DJ Nasty @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 17 // Suthun Boy & Gorilla Tek on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 18 // Rock City & DJ Princess Cut @ the OZONE Awards 19 // Adero Dawson & DeRay Davis @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover Photo Credits: Ben Rose (08,17); D-Ray (03,11,19); J Lash (06,07,09,13); King Yella (10,14); Ms Rivercity (02); Terrence Tyson (01,04,05,15,16,18); Tre Dubb (12)
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rank Lini has had run-ins with the law. He grew up in a single parent home and spent time in the street. But this rapper’s story is far from typical. Yes, like most rappers, he calls his brand of rap reality music, but his message is a little different. “A lot of young niggas out there in the streets really don’t understand or know why they’re out there,” he says. “I actually tell niggas that shit ain’t sweet out here. It’s a lot of shit out here niggas don’t know and I [help] show him that the street life is a dead end route. You can’t hustle forever; it’s consequences [to your actions].” With his new project on Radar Entertainment, I’m All In, the Ft. Myers native speaks to his experiences, growing up in a single parent household and the effects that followed. “I knew my daddy [but] he just wasn’t an at-home daddy,” says the 26-yearold. “I really didn’t have anybody to look up to [at home], so I looked up to niggas I admired in the streets. I eventually started running in the streets and seeing a lot of real shit a lot faster then I should have seen it.” Although his mom worked and went to school to ensure that her kids had a good upbringing, Frank Lini still found himself involved in street life. The les40 // OZONE MAG
sons that he’s learned from time spent traveling down a dead end path are sprinkled throughout his album. Already garnering critical acclaim from his five earlier mixtapes, he’s fully focused on delivering his brand of truth. “My best attribute as an artist is that I’m real,” reasons the father of four, mentioning that as a youngster he wanted to be a DJ. “I experienced a lot coming up, just being tied into the justice system and being black and coming from where I’m from. You have no choice but to be real.” Pushed by tracks like “I’m All In,” his album is a culmination of the hard work he’s been putting in over the past 12 years. He just hopes that people give his music an honest chance, despite a saturated rap market. “I can honestly say my biggest influence is God,” he acknowledges. “He blessed me with the talent to be able to spread this good music.” //
Words by Jacinta Howard Photo by Terrence Tyson
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): Nelly & Trae @ Dave & Buster’s (Photo: King Yella); BG, Alfamega, & Big Kuntry @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover (Photo: D-Ray); Congresswoman Sheila Lee & TJ Chapman @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ Panel (Photo: Ben Rose)
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // Guest & FloRida @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 02 // Rick Ross & the Carol City Cartel on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 03 // Bobby Dash, Bun B, & Glasses Malone @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 04 // Chad Jr & Mama Wes @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 05 // TV Johnny & Spiff on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 06 // Hurricane Chris & DJ Drama @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 07 // Sean Paul, Big Boi, Jim Jonsin, & Pitbull on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 08 // Stay Fresh, Shawty Putt, & Bun B @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge 09 // Memphitz, Trai D, & Huey @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ 10 // TMI Boyz on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 11 // First Lady of Green City, Michael Watts, & Cory Mo @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference 12 // DJ Drop & the Definition DJs @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference 13 // Spark Dawg & Quentin Brown @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 14 // Terry Ross, Slim Thug, Gotti, & Chris Ward @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 15 // Bizzle & Lex @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ 16 // Clay Evans, Princess, Lil Duval, Ron White, & Killer Mike @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 17 // Derek Jurand, CORE model Lonice aka Ms Dallas, & Tony Neal @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 18 // LeToya Luckett & guest @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 19 // BG & Chopper City Boyz backstage @ the OZONE Awards Photo Credits: Ben Rose (08,10); D-Ray (02,03,05,07,13,17,19); J Lash (01,06,14,18); King Yella (04,16); Ms Rivercity (09,15); Tre Dubb (11,12)
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go Trip’s The (White) Rapper Show single-handedly made it hard for Hip Hop heads to take white emcees seriously. But in the case of Asher Roth, those “white kids from the suburbs can’t rhyme” myths are quickly being put to rest. The 22-year-old emcee has already received praise from the likes of Akon, Don Cannon, DJ Drama and Ludacris, while building a fan base that has many calling him the best white boy to touch the mic since Marshall Mathers. “If I’m going to get compared to anybody, it’s cool to get compared to the #1 selling rap artist of all time,” Roth says of his Eminem comparisons. “I’m a white emcee, so comparing me to Eminem is way too easy. We’re really two completely different artists. I’m 22 years old. I’m a voice of an entirely different generation.” Raised in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, Roth grew up in a household that didn’t exactly accept rap music. Instead of Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys, his parents opted for Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits, the Temptations, and Earth, Wind & Fire, while his older sister played New Kids on the Block and Tevin Campbell. But during his teenage years, Asher developed a different taste in music, as the beats, rhymes and life of Hip Hop drew him in. “When I started deriving my own opinions, I started getting into Hip Hop,” he says. “It was different, it was edgy, there were points to it.” The first rap album Asher purchased was Jay-Z’s Vol.2…Hard Knock Life, and from there, his admiration for Hip Hop spawned into rhyming, a hobby he started in high school and continued through his college years at Westchester University. “[Rapping] was a hobby for me,” he explains. “It was never like, ‘I need to get a deal. I wanna be a famous rapper when I grow up.’ I just like releasing myself and speaking my mind through Hip Hop.” Expressing himself through Hip Hop led to a buzzing Myspace page, meetings with Hip Hop executives like Jay-Z and Steve Rifkind, and a bidding war between Universal, Atlantic and Def Jam, in which Asher decided to sign his John Hancock to Rifkind’s SRC/Universal imprint (home to stars like Akon and David Banner). Although he didn’t dream of becoming a famous rapper, Asher is well on his way to becoming just that. His introductory mixtape, The Greenhouse Effect, hosted by Don Cannon and DJ Drama, and first official single “I Love College,” a feel-good ode to college life and a representation of his frat boy image, have garnered critical acclaim. “[Hip Hop] is also in the ‘burbs, but you can’t just ignore the fact that Hip Hop is definitely for the streets,” he says. “Getting the cosign from DJ Drama and DJ Cannon, and having everybody respond real well to the mixtape, was another boost of confidence. I’m still learning. I’m not going to pretend like I got it all figured out. I’m just making this up as I go along, following my heart and making good music.” //
Words by Randy Roper Photo by Mario Panebianco
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The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): Big Boi & Killer Mike @ the Jive listening suite (Photo: Maurice Garland); DRANK models @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel (Photo: King Yella); 8Ball & Scarface backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Photo: Ben Rose)
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // DJ Q45, DJ 151, DJ Drama, & DJ Cool Aid @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 02 // Lil Larry, LA, Summer Walker, DJ Drama, & Willie the Kid on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 03 // Grouchy Greg & Shawty Lo on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 04 // Avery Storm, City Spud, Murphy Lee, Nelly, & Kyjuan @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge 05 // Lil Boosie & TQ @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 06 // Trae & Hurricane Chris @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 07 // David Banner & DJ Black backstage @ the OZONE Awards 08 // J Prince with his Living Legend Award @ the OZONE Awards 09 // BOB & TI @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 10 // MJ, Mike Hee of Green City, & Magno @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 11 // JV of 2 Dog Records, C Wakeley, Big Cee Jay, Big Amp, J Holla, & guest @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 12 // Bun B & Avery Storm @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge 13 // Justice League & Ms Rivercity @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Producer Panel 14 // Ed of Miskeen & Gully @ Grooves for Capitol Records’ TJ’s DJ’s Tasties Fashion Show 15 // Ladies @ TJ’s DJ’s Big Boi listening suite 16 // Ms Rivercity, Malik Abdul, Julia Beverly, Matt Daniels, & Eric Perrin @ the OZONE Awards 17 // Playaz Circle on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 18 // DJ Impact, DJ Nasty, & DJ Christion @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ Photo Credits: Ben Rose (02,17); D-Ray (03); J Lash (04,06,08,14,15); King Yella (12); Ms Rivercity (07,13); Terrence Tyson (01,05,09,11,16,18); Tre Dubb (10)
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victim of drugs and violent crime. “My parents had me in school outside of the Cliff at Cedar Hill High School. They just tried to keep me outta trouble under any circumstances. But I was always cool; I stuck to my own and did my thang, so I was good.”
or Dallas newcomer Trai’D (short for Traidmark) it was hard to believe that an after-school pastime could turn into a lucrative deal with Hitz Committee/Jive Records – especially when he wasn’t technically even an adult yet. “I actually inked the deal when I was 17, back in February,” he says. “It was a process getting the deal right or whatnot, but I remember the day when they flew me out there. They had a driver waiting on my doorstep at like five o’clock in the morning. It was crazy. I mean, I just did my thang, gave 110%, came back, and inked the deal. The first thing I did was quit my job.” This story took place shortly after Memphis DJ Freddy Hydro discovered the new talent and contacted Memphitz, VP of A&R at Jive Records. At the time, Trai’D was making some noise with a song he’d self-recorded in his bedroom at his parent’s home. “Gutta Bitch,” which was later renamed “Gutta Chick,” was a powerful display of Trai’D’s potential and Memphitz deemed it suitable to receive the Hitz Committee co-sign. On Trai’D’s Myspace page (Myspace.com/Traidmark) is a large gallery of photos from his deal signing day, with his mom and dad proudly by his side. When asked about their thoughts on his career choice, Trai’D says, “They didn’t really care ‘cause it kept me in the house. With my brother always out and about, whatever kept me in the house and away from the streets they were cool with it.” Raised in the notorious Oak Cliff area, Trai’D could have easily become a 44 // OZONE MAG
Trai’D had been “doing his thang” since the age of nine, when he became consumed with the Hip Hop culture. Later, in high school, he discovered how to earn a living from rapping. He explains, “I would drop a CD like every year at school, get that quick school money from the students. I’d go out and buy my clothes and all the shoes and I’d be good for the rest of the school year. So that was really my objective. I always wanted to rap but I had no idea that it was gon’ take off this fast, before I even graduated. It was crazy.” With a major label machine now backing the single, “Gutta Chick” is picking up speed in every new market it rolls through. Following the super-remix trend, Trai’D and his label enlisted DJ Khaled, Ace Hood, Bun B, Trina, and Hurricane Chris for the latest version of the song. In addition to the energetic, forceful sound of “Gutta Chick,” Trai’D released a slower tempo record called “X-Pill (Sex Pill)” that’s also a fan-favorite. When comparing the two songs, it’s evident that this young rapstar has a wide-range of abilities. “The album’s gonna be fire, front to back,” he says, obviously excited. “All my music is gonna be good. It’s gonna be one of those CDs where you can play every record.” To keep the listeners in tune between now and the release of his debut, Trai’D is promoting his music with Traidmark the Mixtape and a southern promo tour. And just in case the female consumers are wondering, yes, Trai’D is still looking for a Gutta Chick. //
Words by Ms. Rivercity Photo by Diwang Valdez
ly The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): Ace Hood & Princess @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ (Photo: Ben Rose); Nelly & Mama Wes @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge (Photo: King Yella); Bun B & Big Boi backstage @ the OZONE Awards (Photo: Ms Rivercity)
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // Bun B & the UGK Bunnies @ Dave & Buster’s for UGK Pool Tournament 02 // Shawty Lo & crew on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 03 // DJ Q45 & Playaz Circle @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 04 // TJ Chapman with the creators of DRANK & the DRANK models @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel 05 // BG & 8Ball @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 06 // Rick Ross & Julia Beverly @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel 07 // 8Ball & Willie D backstage @ the OZONE Awards 08 // Paul Wall & TV Johnny @ the Galleria for the grand opening of TV Jewelry 09 // Slim Thug & BOB @ the OZONE Awards 10 // Byron & DJ B-Do @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 11 // Randy Roper, Malik Abdul, Terrence Tyson, D-Ray, & King Yella @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 12 // Chopper City Boyz & Yung LA @ Bar Rio for Grand Hustle Takeover 13 // Malik Abdul & Slim Goodye @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 14 // DJ Impact, Rick Edwards, DJ Rip, Derek Jurand, Malik Shabazz, Tony Neal, TJ Chapman, Julia Beverly, & guest @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 15 // Hoodz DVD crew @ Dave & Buster’s for UGK Pool Tournament 16 // Bigga Rankin, DJ Q45, & DJ Ron Love @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ Panel 17 // Orlando McGhee, Vince Phillips, Shawty Putt, & Stay Fresh @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 18 // Steph Jones, G Dash, Lil Twist, & Jas Prince @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty Photo Credits: Ben Rose (01,02,16); D-Ray (08,15,17); Edgar Walker (10); J Lash (04,05,14,18); King Yella (07,11,13); Terrence Tyson (03,09,12)
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ith so much ice-grill grammar and mean mugging metaphors in most rappers’ lyrics these days, some could make the argument that Hip Hop takes itself too seriously. Not since the days of Shock G pulling double duty as Humpty Hump have heads really dared to have fun in their verses. But the Chicago trio of Raydio G, Meatball and Krayzee, better known as Hot Stylz, is hoping to change all that. After blowing up their homegrown single “Lookin’ Ass Nigga” on both YouTube and Myspace, Yung Joc heard the record at an Atlanta strip club and found the guys on the internet, resulting in them inking a deal with his new Swagg Team imprint through Jive Records. Now with the spotlight on them, the fellas are out to prove that they’re much more than just a one-hit wonder. “Joc saw something new and refreshing in us, something that the game needed right now,” says Krayzee, explaining how they took the concept of “roasting” or what’s commonly known as playing the dozens and turned it into a hit. “That’s what we wanted,” adds Raydio G. “Thanks to the haters, it just turned into something bigger.” Now preparing to release their debut album, Yo Mama Got A Mustache, at
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summer’s end, the group is hoping to usher in a new era of carefree music that can be appreciated by everyone. “Chicago is so diverse. People look at Common or Kanye or Lupe and think that it’s just all conscious [rap]. We don’t want people to think that’s all it is,” explains Meatball. “We’re turning everybody on to a whole new style. There’s always somebody that comes in and changes things, and we’re that turning point.” Knowing the finicky nature of the rap game, if Hot Stylz dreams of platinum plaques don’t work out, rest assured that they have a back up plan. Having done commercials for brands like Kraft and Apple before they got on and with plans to start their own Yum Yum Gimme Gum bubble gum brand, the three college-educated emcees will be good no matter what. But with their present focus firmly on the mic, the Chi-Town collective is not looking to reinvent the wheel, just keep it rolling. “Hot Stylz is not a rap group. Lighten up,” Raydio G tells the critics. “We’re not trying to be Nas; we’re not trying to be the next Jay-Z. We just trying to have fun. If you don’t wanna have fun, don’t listen.” //
Words by Anthony Roberts
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): Roccett @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers (Photo: Ms Rivercity); TJ Chapman, Trae, & Julia Beverly @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel (Photo: King Yella); Spark Dawg @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers (Photo: Tre Dubb)
The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // Mistah FAB @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference 02 // Playaz Circle on the OZONE Awards red carpet 03 // Sean Paul @ Asylum Records studio suite during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 04 // Killer Mike @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel 05 // Nova, DJ E-Feezy, Julia Beverly, & Malik Abdul @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 06 // Trai D @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference 07 // Bun B @ TJ’s DJ’s Big Boi listening suite 08 // Jus Bleezy @ the OZONE Awards 09 // J Holla @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 10 // Rob Gold & Cuntry Boy Records @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference 11 // J Capone @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ & Music Conference 12 // Guest & J Money on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 13 // Ms Rita & Tre Dubb @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ 14 // Hurricane Chris & guest @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference 15 // Hot Stylz @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 16 // Tre Dubb & BOB @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ & Music Conference 17 // Mouse @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 18 // Sweetness & Candy @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ 19 // MC Fatal, Boomtown, & Trill Images on the OZONE Awards red carpet 20 // Bay Bay @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ Panel 21 // Roccett @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 22 // Cellski @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 23 // DJ Impact @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 24 // Rarebreed @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 25 // Laroo @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 26 // Quentin Brown & Spark Dawg on the OZONE Awards red carpet 27 // Dr Teeth on the OZONE Awards red carpet 28 // Haitian Fresh @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 29 // Cory Mo & DJ Princess Cut on the OZONE Awards red carpet 30 // Will Hustle @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference 31 // Vital @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 32 // Tre Dubb & Jim Jonsin @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Conference 33 // Clip D & Jay Ton @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ & Music Conference 34 // 4-Ize & Aleshia Steele @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference 35 // 1st Lady El & D-Ray @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ Panel Photo Credits: D-Ray (17,21,22,23,24,25,31); Edward Hall (01,10,14,30,34); J Lash (04,12,26); King Yella (20,35); Kurtis Graham (03); LeJaurean Hailey (15); Loaded (06); Ms Rivercity (07); Terrence Tyson (05,09,18,28); Tre Dubb (02,08,11,13,16,19,27,29,32,33)
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but promises that there’s more where that came from. And even though he’s currently riding the wave of momentum that he’s received from the bounceheavy, club friendly “Hot Topic,” he explains that the full-length project won’t be restricted to only one type of sound.
“As an artist, I’m really focused on this music right now, but I wanna be more than an artist. I wanna be a mogul,” he explains. “I’m hungry. When I get up on that stage, I sweat it out. I don’t care if I just bought the outfit, I’ll sweat it out so that people feel that passion. It’s important to me how people perceive me. It’s not all about getting a check. It’s about that respect too.”
With subject matter ranging from classic block beaters to his own personal letter to the president, Bullet Proof is determined to not only make a name for himself in the game, but make a legacy.
ith haters throwing shots these days like never before, having a name like Bullet Proof definitely has to come in handy for 20 year old Justin Marshall. Though still a youngin’ in the game, the Shreveport, LA representative has been honing his skills since the age of 12 and has recently made some noise with the remix of his single “Hot Topic” featuring Bun B. Now officially receiving the RapA-Lot stamp of approval and being welcomed into the clique, Bullet Proof is setting his sights on being more than just another rapper coming out of the boot-shaped state.
Bullet Proof is hoping that his as-yet-untitled debut album on 5 Entertainment/Rap-A-Lot will help him gain that level of respect that he’s seeking. Tight lipped about the LP’s guest appearances, he only reveals that fellow Southern rhyme sayers Trae and Z-Ro will peek their heads in on the action,
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“I told people not to get too comfortable with ‘Hot Topic.’ You really gotta pay attention to what people wanna hear. I’m showing diversity. I don’t have a problem with trying nothing new. A lot of artists don’t do that,” he says. “I don’t want people to say ‘Yeah, he’s got nice beats, but the substance and content ain’t really there.’ I sit up with my pad and pen and really get to it.”
“I want people to know this is the making of something special,” he says emphatically. “What separates me from other artists is, basically, I’m not playing. I’m consistent and persistent. I believe I can be one of the next greats.” //
Words by Anthony Roberts Photo by Jack Thompson
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Now that the dust has settled from the 3rd Annual TJ’s DJ’s/OZONE Awards (TOA’s), it’s time to look back at what made this event so spectacular. If you missed it, you should be very upset with yourself. But, if you were one of the 7,500+ people who participated in this historic function, we thank you and let this serve as a reminder of one helluva weekend! It kicked off on Friday with Jive Records’ UGK Pool tournament @ Dave & Buster’s (right), hosted by Bun B. It was a great look seeing Bun B, Mama Wes (Pimp C’s mother), and Pimp C’s wife Chinara mingling with DJs while the Tastemakers did their thing on the pool tables. Willie D (below), Slim Thug, Chamillionaire, Killer Mike, and other celebs came through.
3rd annual recap August 8-11th, 2008 Houston, TX:
DAVE & BUSTEr’s
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Nelly (right), Murphy Lee (far right), and Chamillionaire (above) all made appearance on the lanes while being cheered on by Ashanti to showcase the new album, Brass Knuckles (above right). DJ 151 kept the party live with the latest from Universal’s catalogue. Meanwhile, Tony Neal (founder, The CORE DJs), Slim Thug, and other Tastemakers had a ball celebrating Wendy Day’s (founder, The Rap Coalition) birthday by the bar.
OG Ron C held it down in style on the turntables (above), spinning all the hits that made UGK an international phenomenon. The DJs arrived in style on the conference buses, courtesy of the TMI Boyz & Lopez Graphics (left). After the pool tournament, everybody headed to the bowling lanes (below) for Derrty Ent./Universal Motown’s Brass Knuckles Celebowl hosted by Nelly and the St Lunatics.
by Keith Kennedy
TERRENCE TYSON D-RAY
Bar Rio played host for Friday night’s Welcome to Houston party, presented by Rap-ALot. J Prince oversaw the festivities that had BG in the building along with performances by Z-Ro, Trae (below), Glasses Malone (below right), and Kinfolk Thugs. Mad you missed it? Don’t worry; MTV Jams was on hand to capture the moment. Anyone who couldn’t get into the over-capacity club stuck around to parking lot pimp in true Houston style (right).
3rd annual recap August 8-11th, 2008 Houston, TX:
THE AFTER PARTIES!
by Keith Kennedy
On Saturday night, we took it downtown to Club Glo (left) for the official TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers afterparty. This party was on swoll! Given that Shawty Lo, Lil Boosie, Webbie, Slim Thug, BG, Paul Wall, LeToya Luckett, Big Boi, and even Bushwick Bill were in the building, it was no wonder there were hundreds still outside trying to get into the sold out spot! Michael Watts and J Que kept the crowd rockin’ all night.
Swishahouse’s Paul Wall (right), Lil Keke, Slim Thug and the Boss Hogg Outlawz (below), BG and the Chopper City Boyz, Shawty Lo (below right), and many more took the stage. Lil Boosie and the Trill Fam as well as Big Boi from Outkast were spotted in Glo’s ultra-exclusive upstairs VIP Lounge.
Sunday night, the Tastemakers headed back to Bar Rio for the Grand Hustle takeover/OZONE Awards pre-party. T.I. brought the entire Grand Hustle family to Houston! Lil Duval hosted while DJ Drama and Q45 supplied the music. Grand Hustle artists Big Kuntry and Yung LA (left) and 8Ball and Alfamega (below) performed, in addition to surprises like Big Boi and Hurricane Chris. BET’s Rap City was in the building filming while B.o.B. and T.I. (right) kicked it in the VIP. And you already know OZONE’s Carnivo XO and CRUNK!!! Energy Drink wrapped trucks were posted out front (below left)!
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3rd annual recap August 8-11th, 2008 Houston, TX:
TJ’s dj’s panels
DRANK (above right, TJ Chapman and Julia Beverly reppin’) presents the Artist Panel (above) with panelists including Flo Rida (far left), Mya (left), Bun B and Trae (above right), Willie D and Shawty Lo (right), Killer Mike and Chamillionaire (right), Rick Ross, Mistah FAB, Brisco, The Jacka, B.o.B., and Princess.
BEN ROSE BEN ROSE
by Keith Kennedy
TERRENCE TYSON TERRENCE TYSON
Who better to learn the ins and outs of the game as an artist than from the ones who lived the life? The artist panel did not disappoint as the artists told the truth and whole truth about the industry. DRANK was on-hand to make sure everybody slowed down enough to enjoy the information.
Lydia Harris of Lady Boss Entertainment presented the Management Panel (below) with panelists (pictured below l-r): Rico Brooks (Gorilla Zoe, formerly Yung Joc); Johnnie Cabbell (Shawty Lo, Fabo, Crime Mob); Clay Evans (TI, Young Dro); TJ Chapman; moderator Wendy Day; Snake (Czar Ent./BloodRaw); E-Class (Rick Ross, Brisco); Charles Chavez (Rob G, formerly Chamillionaire).
Ruthless Records presented the DJ Panel (above) with moderator Tony Neal of the CORE DJs (pictured above left) and panelists (pictured above l-r): DJ Hi-C (Houston club DJ, GO DJs), Mz Kitti (XM Radio); Leo G (XM Radio); Brandi Garcia (KBXX The Box Houston); DJ Q45 (Rap City/Jacksonville club DJ); The Bigg DM (CORE DJs, Albany PD); Bay Bay (K104 Dallas); Jabber Jaws (KBTT Shreveport); TJ Chapman; Madd Hatta (KBXX The Box Houston); DJ Ron Love (Jacksonville/Orlando); Bigga Rankin (Jacksonville/Atlanta mixtape/club DJ); Kaspa the Don (founder, Hittmenn DJs).
The true power brokers of the industry, the A&Rs taught about what is necessary to have a successful project, the pros & cons of being on a major label, and what they look for in order to sign an artist.
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If you don’t understand the dynamics of a DJ or what it takes to have your record played after attending this panel, then you’ve wasted your time. The Producer Panel (below) featured panelists (pictured below l-r): J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League (2 Pistols “She Got It”), TJ Chapman, BJ (Webbie “Independent”), Cory Mo, Jim Jonsin (Lil Wayne “Lollipop” & TI’s “Whatever You Like”), moderator Dedra Davis, and Mr Lee. Break The Bank Entertainment presented the A&R Panel (left) Producers provide the heartbeat of today’s records you know and love. with panelists (pictured at left l-r): Here, they explained how to get paid for production work, how to get Orlando McGhee (Warner Bros.); placements, and more importantly, how to get inspired. Anzel “Int’l Red” Jennings (RapA-Lot); Shawn “Tubby” Holiday (Interscope/Geffen); Dave Lighty (Jive); Jean Nelson (Atlantic); Dee Sonoram (Koch).
The knowledge presented in this panel focused on not only how important a manager can be to guide an artists’ career but also how much an artist plays a part in their own success.
The Koch dinner/ showcase featured performances by the Boss Hogg Outlawz (right), L.E.P., Rob G (below), KOB, Jewman, Young AC (below), Archie Eversole, New Money Twins, Myko, & Keelow.
Wow! Thanks to Koch Records, the Tastemakers enjoyed a delicious spread while tasty sounds trickled in their ear from the next wave of artists.
BEN ROSE BEN ROSE
by Keith Kennedy
The Capitol Records/TJ’s DJ’s Tasties Fashion Show @ Grooves (left) featured performances by Hot Stylz (below left), Glasses Malone (below left), Trai D (below), Jus Bleezy (below), Chop Chop, and Alfamega (below right).
TJ’s Dj’s TASTEMAKERS
3rd annual recap August 8-11th, 2008 Houston, TX:
TERRENCE TYSON TERRENCE TYSON
The fashion show (right) assembled by Tonya Terelle mixed the game’s hottest artists with the flyest fashions available.
panelists Box ws (KBTT son-
The host Stay Fresh (below) had folks on the floor rolling while Alfamega (right) was kind enough to comp drinks and food for the DJs in the VIP room.
Houston’s own Harlon’s Bar-B-Que (below) provided the tasty dishes that had DJs and media alike lined up under the tents. Although Young Jeezy didn’t make it until the OZONE Awards later that night, his presence was felt at the BBQ with plenty of posters, flyers, and music playing from his upcoming album The Recession (left).
Island Def Jam presented the BBQ in the Park (below) @ Discovery Green (across the street from Hilton Americas host hotel). It was hosted by Ace Hood, Playaz Circle, Willy Northpole, and Roccett, with DJ Christion (right) spinning some fresh records.
The Tastemakers started off the last glorious day with some fine BBQ. Too $hort, Mistah FAB, and Pastor Troy were among a few of the artists who came out for some good food and music provided by Island Def Jam.
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Hurricane Chris (right): Every time the OZONE [Awards] pops off I got to be there, because this is where our black folks meet up. A lot of us won’t see each other for years but we meet up out here. If you ain’t representing for OZONE, you ain’t nothin’.
BEN ROSE BEN ROSE
AllHipHop.com snagged some artists on the red carpet to find out why they came to the OZONE Awards:
3rd annual recap August 8-11th, 2008 Houston, TX:
OZONE AWARDS RED CARPET
Slim Thug: Julia pulled a real good move when she brought [the OZONE Awards] to the H-Town. Chamillionaire: Honestly, [the OZONE Awards] is where I need to be. I started out in the mixtape game and now I’m back down to the ground level. All the big artists come back here because these are the people who make it happen.
(below l to r): DJ Drama, DJ Q45, Princess, Lil Flip, LeToya Luckett, & Big Boi
Mike Jones: It’s big for OZONE to want to bring the party out here [to Houston].
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Lil Flip: I saw Julia take [OZONE] from 50 pages to 200 pages, and I’m proud of her.
Lil Boosie (right): I really love OZONE because they were the ones that really put my face with [my] name. I got love for Julia.
Pitbull (above): OZONE is something that I’ve been involved with some day one, and it’s something that helped launch my career. OZONE Magazine and TJ’s DJ’s is the epitome, to me, of hustling, working hard, and staying unified; fighting to get in [the music game]. Now that we’ve got our foot in the door, obviously, you can see what OZONE’s been doing for years. This is the third year and it’s in H-Town. Last year it was at the crib [in Miami], and to me it’s just a blessing to be a part of it.
B.G. (above): It’s the OZONE Awards ‘08. In with the old, out with the fake.
Trae (below): Half of the media that commented on shit wasn’t even at the awards. Any real muthafucker that was there had the most fun, period. Even with the incident [between me and Mike Jones] – which wasn’t a reflection on OZONE, it was personal between me and him – I had fun. The media can kiss my ass. If you weren’t there, how can you criticize? Half of them couldn’t put together no shit like this. Everything wasn’t perfect, but nothing will be 100% perfect. Everybody got something productive done. I think people were just happy when the weekend was over just to get a couple hours of sleep. Niggas didn’t sleep that weekend.
3rd annual recap August 8-11th, 2008 Houston, TX:
Houston legend ESG (below left) kicked a classic freestyle before presenting the Best Lyricist Award.
BEN ROSE BEN ROSE
BEN ROSE BEN ROSE
Comedian DeRay Davis (left), the host for the evening, kept the crowd entertained between sets. Bun B and his choir (right) headlined the touching Pimp C tribute, performing “Angel In The Sky.”
3RD ANNUAL OZONE AWARDS After a well-publicized backstage incident with Trae, a bandaged Mike Jones (below) insisted that what doesn’t kill him makes him stronger by appearing on stage with Alfamega as scheduled to present the DJ of the Year Award.
Clockwise from bottom right: OZONE Award winners included DJ Khaled (DJ of the Year Award); J Prince (Living Legend Award); David Banner (Trillest Artist: The Pimp C Award); Shawty Lo (Breakthrough Artist Award); Young Jeezy accepting the Best Rap/R&B Collaboration Award for Usher’s “Love In This Club”; and T-Pain (TJ’s DJ’s Tastemaker Award)
As our thoughts and prayers are descending upon Houston after Ike’s wrath, we offer our thanks to the city of Houston, the people of Houston, and those that took the time to come to Houston that made all of the hard work worthwhile. Stay tuned to tjsdjs.com or ozonemag.com to find out about the 4th Annual TJ’s DJ’s/OZONE Awards Weekend! BEN ROSE
David Banner (below): One thing that separates OZONE from other award shows is that at other shows, you see the same damn people get the same damn awards. At the OZONE Awards, you really get to see the real grinders and the artists that people listen to in the streets get the opportunity to get heard and get acknowledged. That means the most to me. For artists who have $40 or $50 million dollars the [OZONE Awards] might not mean much, but for some artists this award show acknowledges their hard work and gives them motivation to keep going.
5,600 DJs, artists, and fans (left) packed into the George R Brown Convention Center’s Assembly Hall to see performances by Rick Ross, T-Pain, DJ Khaled, B.o.B., Lil Boosie, Webbie, Too Short, Mistah FAB, David Banner, Big Boi, Bun B, and plenty of others.
media wasn’t eal ere Even en me wasn’t was d him n kiss re, how hem shit like erfect, % perething people e o get a ggas d.
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loyd insists he is ready to leave his “comfort zone,” but today you’d never know it. He is sitting at a table on the outside patio section of his favorite breakfast restaurant, J. Christopher’s, and he couldn’t look more at home. Every morning he walks two blocks from his suburban Atlanta apartment to this trendy breakfast spot (imagine Waffle House meets The Four Seasons Brunch) and orders the exact same meal — a grilled chicken breast, cheese grits, scrambled eggs, bacon strips, and one pancake. He knows all the waitresses by name, and they all know exactly what he wants when he asks for “the usual.” Sitting at a table across from his closest friends and manager on a sunny Wednesday around his way, there is no reason Lloyd shouldn’t be comfortable—but he’s not. In fact, he is far from it.
hands down. I feel like I’m building a nice catalogue of music. One day I’ll be able to rock for 2 hours straight on they ass, but I do think that top 5 ain’t good enough.
The 22-year-old singer has recorded chart-topping singles, and sold records all around the world, but he still feels uncomfortable with his position in the game. Plagued by an insatiable hunger which can’t be cured by any bacon and eggs, the Lessons in Love instructor is longing for more. He won’t be full until his song catalogue rivals The Beatles, and he is looked at as the greatest performer since Michael Jackson or Bobby Brown.
What is the main thing you’re uncomfortable with? Me being uncomfortable is based on where I’m at compared to where I want to be. You know, me not being there, and wanting to get there. Until I make it there, I’ll be uncomfortable.
But right now it’s time for him to eat. “We some country boys,” he says casually, right before he orders his carnival of calories. “We gotta start the day off with a little pork on our forks.” And for Lloyd it’s always pork, never beef; and perhaps that’s what has hindered his career thus far. “This music [industry] is all about drama,” he laments. “That’s probably why I haven’t sold those 2 or 3 million albums—I don’t really like to deal with drama.” Today is a little different, however. His third album, Lessons in Love, has just been released, debuting at number 7 on the Billboard 200 chart. Although Lloyd is content with the song selection and overall album, he still desires to grow as an artist, and even suggests that his label, The Inc., has hindered this growth. Lloyd is more than ready for his robust musical taste, which includes such genres as alternative and electronic to reflect more in his own work, and maybe it’s time, he feels, to stop being so damn cool with everybody. When I was pulling up to the restaurant your single, “Girls Around the World,” had just come on the radio, so that must be a sign that this is going to be a good interview. (laughs) Every time I see you, man, something crazy happens, like the time we did the interview at the hotel, and my cousin wrecked the Benz right as we were pulling in. So hopefully nothing too crazy will happen today. Yeah, hopefully. That song is a hit though; it propelled you to a top ten debut, man. You can never go wrong singing about the ladies. Yeah, and I really do want all the girls. I wanna make all the girls my girls. I wanna have 3 million girlfriends at one time and have all of them be cool with each other. Seriously, when I walk in the club, I want all these other R&B dudes to be irrelevant. All these other niggas shouldn’t even matter. My shit should be the hottest. Damn, so right now, at this point in your career, do you feel like you’re the best? I feel like I’m top five in the game for R&B singers,
How do you plan on taking that number 1 spot? How do I plan on proving I’m the best? By taking my hands and choking the shit outta m’fuckas until they get it, until they understand what I’m talking about and where I’m coming from. Not literally choking m’fuckas, but really giving them the most incredible music they ever heard. To be more precise, I just want to stay innovative, making sure I strategize with how I’m going to market my projects and concepts. I want to stay creative with the concepts for albums and videos and keep people guessing, and make sure I don’t get comfortable. I’m real uncomfortable right now.
Are there any non-music related aspects of your life that you’re more comfortable with now than you were a year ago? Women. For a long time I had a problem getting women, because they would all be like, “Damn, my little sister likes him. I can’t really fuck with Lloyd, because my little sister is crazy about him. She has a picture of him on her wall.” I’d have to say it all changed the first time I got to step and let people know who I really was with the song “You” with Lil’ Wayne. I think that before then a lot of people saw me, but didn’t hear me. I had other singles that people enjoyed, but I think “You” definitely took it to different heights as far as crossing over into suburban America, and having people of all different walks of life recognize it was hot. Now, I go to Texas and I get all Latina girls coming up to me telling me they love my stuff. And then I go to New York and I got older women in business suits coming up to me, and come home to the A and I’ve got beautiful black girls coming up to me, so it’s great because everybody is starting to take heed to my music. But before then I couldn’t get the girls I wanted because their little sisters all liked me and that made them not take me seriously. So that really prevented girls from dealing with you? That was one of the issues; the other issue was that people didn’t really get to see who I was. They saw who I was with, and who I’m with ain’t necessarily got all the momentum in the world right now. So I got that working against me.
At one point in time So So Def was the sexiest thing in music. If you came out and said you were with So So Def people were automatically going to listen. Bad Boy at one point was the sexiest thing. The label I’m at was once the sexiest thing, but it’s lost a lot of its sexy due to poor performance from its artists. It gets frustrating when you have someone like me, who dedicates everything and comes up with this great music that everyone loves, but since it doesn’t have the sexy brand behind it. So it makes it more challenging. I kinda work independently at times; it’s definitely harder that way. So are you looking to get out of your situation with The Inc.? Am I looking to get out of it? Ah, the only thing I’m looking to get out of isn’t the situation of where I’m signed to, it’s the situation of what I’m confined to, as far as the type of music I can make. I like a lot of different music. I listen to everything: electronic, rock, alternative, blues, jazz—I listen to everything, man. It’s tough when you like that kind of music, and you try to make something that’s creatively challenging and it doesn’t really fit the mold. Have you discussed that concern with them? Yeah, I talked about it, and we constantly talked, but I think the best solution is to just stay true to myself and what I’m doing. I got to stay true to my music; make sure my music is strong, and make sure it’s the hottest shit out. Is that what you did on your new album, Lessons in Love? Are you happy with all the songs on the album? It’s not rocket-science. It’s pretty much finding a groove, and once you’ve found a groove just trying to ride it out. Just making music that feels good to you. I make music that feels good to me. When my friends and I are in the studio, what we’re working on feels good to us. We don’t really know if it’s gon’ connect, but that’s where it starts. Do you still communicate with Irv Gotti? (Lloyd pauses and looks to his manager, Noonie Lee, who is having a conversation two tables over) Hey Noonie, do we still talk to Irv? Noonie: It’s like a weird situation. We’re still cool with Irv, but we haven’t talked to him in a while. It’s kind of a mutual reason behind it, but it’s not like we’re beefin’ or anything.
With the females, or just in general? Just in general.
I’ve never heard about you having beef with anyone. Yeah, I mean it’s cool to be cool, but sometimes shit ain’t cool, and that’s when you gotta stop being so cool. That’s where I’m trying to get to. That’s where I’m kinda almost at. My homie over at CTE was like, “Nigga, stop being so gotdamn cool with everybody all the time! You da shit, act like it!” But I don’t know, I guess I’m just too nice. Outside of music, hell yeah, I’m cool. I’m one of the coolest dudes you’ll ever meet, but when the shit ain’t where it needs to be, it ain’t really so cool no more.
How is the situation right now with you and The Inc? It’s cool. I do my thing. I’m at a point now where my music is me. It’s dope.
Are you at the point now, where shit ain’t cool no more? Naw, man. I love where I’m at. That’s why I’m so cool.
It seems as if you’re The Inc.’s flagship artist now. It used to be Ja Rule, then Ashanti, but now it’s Lloyd. How do you feel about that? It’s just like anything in life. People attach themselves to brands because it’s sexy to do so.
So how many more albums do you left in the contract? I think, two. But what makes me feel the best is that I have my guys backing me. I got myself, I got Noonie, I got D-Day, I got Reese, and I got
Who you’re with as in...? Who I’m associated with, who I’m signed to, the label I’m on, and all of that stuff. So you think your label has hindered you? Yep.
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Jasper. I got my immediate crew. Without all of us, really nothing transpires. I feel good about that because we’re at a place where we control the tempo, and we determine what is trendsetting. We’re not relying on no one else’s opinion. And I think every artist wants to get to that point. It would help to have everyone’s involvement be a little bit more, but hey, it is what it is. You just gotta embrace what you got. When I first came in, I was really unpolished. I had other people writing some of my songs, I had other people producing my records, and I was pretty much taking direction. Now I know the direction; I produce my shit, I write my shit, I’m doing my thing. What tracks did you write on Lessons in Love? Just to name one, I wrote the single, “Girls Around the World.” I wrote and produced the track. I’ve been producing quietly for some time. My homie Matty P used to let me push buttons on his machine, but it wasn’t until we started making the album that I finally gained the courage to go in there and ask for permission to just try something. I didn’t wanna waste nobody’s time, but I thought I had something that would be dope and it came out nice. Why’d it take you so long to finally get on the board and start producing? I didn’t want to intimidate anybody. Sometimes it’s intimidating to people who have done their thing in the past for someone new to come along. It’s just like with Barack Obama. Why should any respectable black leader before him speak down on him, and not support him, and not be in his corner? When he first started running a lot of the old black leaders were supporting Hillary, maybe because they felt that he’s a threat to 60 // OZONE MAG
their significance in American history. Maybe he’s just doing some things that they couldn’t do, so they feel threatened. So when you’re dealing with somebody who has been producing for a long time and is used to getting all the credit, and now they have someone younger who can do all of that and more, they might feel like they’re losing significance. But what they should do is embrace that young person and make them better, because that would only make them look better for what they’ve accomplished in the past. How much time do you spend in the studio? I’m always in the studio. I’m totally dedicated to the studio. At this point ain’t nothing outside the studio for me, and if I’m not in the studio I go crazy thinking about the studio. I’m either in the studio or I’m with a girl. Now, you worked with Jasper on Lessons in Love as well, right? Of course. I like working with Jasper, he’s like Luther Vandross meets Cee-Lo. He’s from the A, and he’s influenced by Atlanta music, but he’s also influenced by soul music, so when you mix that together you get Atlanta soul. So if Jasper is Luther meets Cee-Lo, then who are you? I’m like Bobby Brown mixed with Michael Jackson. Damn, that’s a hell of a statement. But I will say that after last year’s OZONE Awards we got a lot of positive feedback about your performance with Wayne. Yeah, Doug E. Fresh came up to me after last year’s show and told me that I put on the best show; that was dope. Performing is part of me.
I mean, who doesn’t want to get on a stage and just rock that shit? I grew up watching movies like House Party, Crush Groove, Purple Rain, Moonwalker; it was inspiring to be able to generate that kind of excitement when you touch the stage. You and Wayne seem to work well together. How do you have such good studio chemistry? We have a lot in common. We both grew up fatherless, we’re both from New Orleans in one the worst hoods in American history, and we both got into music real early. More importantly, we both have a real respect and appreciation for what we’re doing, which is making music and making people move. Anytime you have two people who are in it to be the best, and not just for the bread, it’s bound to be something special. It’s like Kanye said. “I don’t do it for my health, man. I do it for the belt.” What does your family think about your career? My mom always knew I had music, but she always stressed having a Plan B. She was heavy on the school thing, so for her to see [my music] turn into something that’s real, something that is helping to support her now, and is helping my sister get through medical school, it’s just a trip, man. I mean, who expected this to be something real? What do you consider to have been your big break, or has it not come yet? I haven’t had it yet. I think I’ve had a few breakthroughs, but naw, I haven’t had the biggest breakthrough yet. It’s still coming. But the secret to success is always giving people more than they expect, and that’s what I plan to do. // www.myspace.com/lloyd
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(l to r); Snipe, B.G., & Gar
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It’s been three years since the most infamous storm in U.S. history, and still, the first thing that comes to most minds upon the mere mention of New Orleans is Hurricane Katrina. The FEMA trailers still litter the lawns of the once-proud neighborhoods, mold continues to engulf the interior of many abandon homes throughout the city, and the crime rate remains through the roof; comparing New Orleans to a jungle is still a very fair interpretation. And while most of the New Orleans rap community has left, the Chopper City Boyz are still there, and they’re still hungry. B.G., Gar, and Snipe are hunters in the jungle, and like it or not, they’re at the top of the food chain. The three essentially solo artists, who hunt in a pack, have seen more success in the game than most would imagine. Their first project, 2007’s We Got This, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart and made it to #21 on the Hot 200 chart. The Koch release sold almost 30,000 copies in its first week, and led to a new deal with Asylum. One unique element that certainly attracted Asylum to CCB is that while many veteran artists such as B.G. attempt to form a group with lesser known emcees, Gar and Snipe can actually hold their own on the mic. The Chopper City Boyz have become a respected collective, drawing comparisons to many of the legendary rap groups from New Orleans’ past. However, not all the news surrounding the Chopper City Boyz has been positive. Following the release of We Got This, the group experienced a rather ugly divorce with longtime member VL Mike. Mike had accused B.G. of being dishonest and unfair financially, and had just begun a solo career when he was gunned down in New Orleans on April 20th, 2008. B.G. and the rest of the group maintain that regardless of their situation, VL Mike was family and they have mourned his passing. “We looked at him as family,” says Gar. “We made history together, so of course it hurt when we lost him. But now we’ve gotta focus on the future.” And in focusing on the future, the group is gearing up to release Life in the Concrete Jungle this fall. Fueled by the catchy club anthem “Bubblegum,” featuring New Orleans artist Lady Dolla, the Chopper City Boyz are looking to eat again, and this time they have a bigger appetite. The world has been familiar with B.G. for a long time, but most people aren’t as familiar with Snipe and Gar. Can you guys tell me what it is that you bring to the group, and why people should pay attention to you? Snipe: I bring myself to the table, that’s what makes me unique, you know what I’m sayin’. I’m a different individual, everybody’s not the same. I bring my originality to the table. Gar: I’m the same nigga that be in every hood. Same nigga, different story, same struggle. I just bring my heart and my authenticity to the group. I’m a real nigga, I’m real loyal, and every circle needs a nigga like me. I’m gonna display that and show that to the world. What made you do a song like “Bubblegum”? It’s a hot track, but it seems like a deviation from your normal style of music. B.G.: Honestly, we already got the streets on lock, we already know that the album is gonna be gutter-gutter-gutter, so we really just wanted to show another side of the Chopper City Boyz. So we decided to give ‘em a club record, a female record, a radio friendly record, but at the same time have it G’d up. Do you find it frustrating that artists like yourself, who usually rap about street life, are somewhat forced to do “Bubblegum” rap to get mainstream success? B.G.: Don’t for a second get it twisted, man. “Bubblegum” is just the name of the song, but if you listen to it, you gon’ see, it’s a G song, and it’s full of swag. I guarantee the real niggas gettin’ money gon’ love that song. Snipe: Like Gizzle said, don’t get it twisted. We just decided to give the club something, but the album is a bag full of gangsta shit.
B.G.: New Orleans ain’t nothing but lions and tigers and bears. Lions, tigers, and bears; if you go to Nola.com or if you check the news down here, it’s really, really, really a jungle. Life In The Concrete Jungle is what we represent. Besides the three of you, who else is featured on Life in the Concrete Jungle? Gar: Aw man, we got a whole lot of features on that thang. We got features from Grand Hustle with Alfamega, to BloodRaw from CTE. We got Rocko on there, C-Murder, Skip from UTP, Hurricane Chris, 6 Shot, and then of course the homie B.G. And Lady Dolla is on the single “Bubblegum.” What’s the biggest difference between this new project and your first group album We Got This? B.G.: Honestly, man, this album is like 20 times better than We Got This. On We Got This we were going through a lot, you know, rest in peace to VL Mike. We were dealing with VL Mike, and he was going through his situation. He was going through a lot. So on this album we’re just going ‘til the wheels fall off. You mentioned VL Mike, and unfortunately he passed away in April, but before he died he was making a lot of allegations toward you, B.G. He was comparing you to Baby and saying that you were dishonest in dealing with the money. B.G.: I never really much entertained it because I know in his heart he ain’t mean it. People do and say that type of shit just to get on, and just to get a name out there or whatever. But it is what it is.
What are your personal favorite tracks on the CD? Snipe: My personal favorite is “Maintain.” It’s a real heartfelt track for niggas that’s going through the struggle. It’ll tell you, at the end of the day, how to maintain.
I saw that you were paying tribute to him on your Myspace page, so I’m assuming you still looked at VL Mike like family? Gar: We made history, so how could we not treat him as a family member? We took one when he left. Despite anything that was going on, it was still real nigga shit. Decisions were made but you can’t fake how you feel in your heart. Snipe: But now it’s Life in the Concrete Jungle, September 16th.
So, how are y’all maintaining? I know you guys still stay in New Orleans. Has the city rebounded from a musical standpoint? B.G.: If you can make it in New Orleans, you can make it anywhere. It is what it is. We’ve gotta work around all the rebuilding, like real niggas supposed to.
It hasn’t been a very good climate for rap groups lately. What makes you feel that you will be able to succeed where so many other groups have failed? Gar: We feel really confident now about this new project. We got everything sounding the way it should. I think people will definitely support it.
Is that what you meant by the album title Life in the Concrete Jungle?
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Gar: Aw man, it’s 300 times better [than Koch]. We feel appreciated over there. We still puttin’ our work in as a label, so it’s not just Asylum working. Snipe: We not shittin’ on Koch, though, they did what they could, ya feel me? Gar: But we appreciate Asylum, man. They upped our salary. Okay, that’s always a good thing. So where do you see yourself in comparison to the many historic Hip Hop groups from New Orleans? Gar: I can see the world comparing the Chopper City Boyz to the Chopper City Boyz. We get compliments all the time, and people try to compare us to the Hot Boys, which is an honor and a compliment, because they’re legends. But please don’t compare the Chopper City Boyz to any groups beside the Chopper City Boyz, because there is no other. If you come to New Orleans there’s a Chopper City boy everywhere, so the streets are loyal. Do you think one day the Chopper City Boyz will be bigger than the Hot Boys were? Gar: They’re legends, man. The Hot Boys were like the Beatles for real. You can’t in no way compare us to the Hot Boys; it’s only our second album. But I got the game from one of the Hot Boy generals. I came up listening to the Hot Boys so I’m honored to even be here. Being that this is your second album, do you have any sales goals or expectations you’re looking to meet? Gar: The sky is the limit, man. Snipe: We’re just trying to do better than the last time, you know? B.G., you’re also working on your solo project, Too Hood 2 Be Hollywood, right? How is that coming? B.G.: Yeah, it’s done. I turned [the album] in. The release date is November 25th. I’ve got production from Mannie Fresh, Cool & Dre, Scott Storch, and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, just to name a few. Really and truly, I got the best of the best of ‘em. It was really difficult to pick the hardest 15 records because I had so many hot songs done. The hard drive was so full. T.I. executive produced your album, correct? B.G.: Yeah, he executive produced the album with me, but I’m not signed to Grand Hustle. I’m signed to Atlantic, and Chopper City Music, but Tip most definitely put his input and his stamp on it. He kinda runs the [Atlantic] building, and he believes in me. He knows what my potential is. I had a couple of
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deals on the table, man. But when the Atlantic deal came across my desk I was like, “It’s time to get it!” Now Gar and Snipe, I know you two are both solo artists as well. Are you planning on dropping any individual projects in the near future? Gar: The sky is the limit. Snipe: Oh, of course. I’m already halfway finished with my album. We came in this as solo artists and we ain’t never forget that. Everything else is in the making, but right now it’s Chopper City Boyz. We’ve got our group album, we’ve got Too Hood 2 Be Hollywood, we’ve got another group album, and then our solo albums. Chopper City is in the building. B.G., are you finding it challenging to promote two albums at one time? Life in the Concrete Jungle and Too Hood 2 Be Hollywood are dropping pretty close to each other. B.G.: I multitask. I’m a multitasking individual like that, so it doesn’t bother me. Okay, so everybody has been talking about the possibility of a Hot Boys reunion. Is that going to ever happen or what? B.G.: My first single off my new album is featuring Juvenile, Lil Wayne, and Trae. We’re ‘bout to shoot the video for it next week. It’s all good. How is your relationship with Baby right now? B.G.: We cool; we swept our situation under the rug. It ain’t no big deal. How did you work that situation out? B.G.: He was looking for me, and he sent for me, and I went and met up with him. He just was like… I don’t want to go into the full details of what he was saying, but I could tell that he missed me, and I can admit that I missed him. Like I said, we were one big, happy family. Well now that it’s all about the Chopper City Boyz, is there anything that you want the world to know about you? Snipe: We just want the world to know that Life in the Concrete Jungle drops September 16th! // www.myspace.com/choppercityboyz
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Industry 101 rico brooks 9196 Management
If you’ve ever seen the clean cut bald cat who’s always running with Block Entertainment and wondered, “Who is that?” the answer is Rico Brooks. For the last four years Brooks has been one of the guiding forces behind Block Ent.’s success. Manager for Boyz N Da Hood, formerly Yung Joc and now Jackie Chain, Brooks has built a reputation of being dependable and thorough. OZONE caught up with him to get some words on his uprise, status and what the future holds. When did you start 9196 Management and what was its original goal? It started in 2004 right before Block Ent. put out Boyz N Da Hood. The company was started because Block wanted to have management for the artists on the label. This is way before 360 deals, mind you. It was a situation where you wanted to know what’s going on with your artists. Since then it has grown. Did you have prior experience in management? I come from a management background. I started off working in a record store as a clerk in 1995 to third key to assistant manager to manager. Before that I worked at Kroger’s and in customer service. All of those jobs gave me skills I use today. When dealing with promoters, I treat them like customers. Most other managers say they hate [promoters]. I treat them like customers, I follow up with them. These are the people that keep my lights on and my artists paid. You have internal customers like the promoters, labels, agents; those are the people you please first. Then you have the external customers like the fans. Internal customers get the external fans hyped for the project. How long were you involved in the record store? I worked in music retail for 10 years. I started in ‘95 after graduating from Morehouse. My mom said she wasn’t taking care of me anymore so I had to get out on my own. I started working at a record store and fell in love with it. I started reading trades and figured this is where I needed to be. I started consulting labels like Dan Brown’s with the Bonecrusher “Neva Scared” record. Then I helped BME with Scrappy and Trillville’s first single. I started retail in the Greenbriar Mall Peppermint 66 // OZONE MAG
Music, then West End, then I wound up managing 5-6 stores in between Georgia and Alabama. It gives you management skills, but managing an artist is a little different. It’s more intricate. Coming from a background that includes going to Morehouse and working in a 9-5 setting, how has that meshed with artists who come from a different background? It’s the perfect fit. Hip Hop already has bad connotations. When me and Joc go to meetings in L.A., they’ll be so surprised that we’re on time and don’t have 10-15 people with us. I want to break the connotation of “homeboy management.” The things you need to be management material are passion, connections and money, not necessarily in that order. A lot of street cats can’t talk to corporate people. They have the talent but not everything else. A guy like Block might walk into a place trying to rent a studio, but a white [owner] might be thinking, “He might sell drugs. I cant do it.” With a guy like me, I’m not as threatening. I get in the door first, and then I bring the hammers and rough cats, so it actually works better. My artists are represented by someone who knows how to handle themselves in a professional manner. What have been some of the highlights of you career so far? No one had heard of Boyz N Da Hood at the time, so having their album come in at #1 on the Billboard charts was a highlight. Joc was nominated for a Grammy. I’ve been able to go to Africa, Japan, and the Caribbean, places most people only dream of going. Hip Hop has taken me all over the world. Listening to the music and then getting engulfed in it has changed my life. It’s always a thrill for me. The industry is like, “What have you done for me lately?” So I always try to break new acts every year. Boyz N Da Hood in ‘05, Joc in ‘06, [Gorilla] Zoe in ‘07. Do you become real cool with the artists you manage, or try to keep things professional as possible? Each manager/artist relationship is different. Me personally, I don’t smoke weed with the artist. I don’t smoke weed, period, actually. I don’t drink with the artists; maybe some wine at dinner. I
don’t go out trying to holler at girls. It has to be a respect level. I definitely see managers hanging with artists and the respect goes down. You can’t be the one partying; you have to be the one who wakes them up for a 6 AM flight. I’m like a coach. I have to motivate you, be someone to talk to. You don’t see Phil Jackson hanging with Kobe [Bryant]. I try to keep the relationship as professional as possible. You recently took on managing Jackie Chain, the first artist outside of Block Ent. Explain that move. I always had cats wanting me to manage them, but I’d turn it down because I’d rather do a couple jobs well than many half-assed. But then I started looking at strategy and wanting more leverage to take things to the next level. I’m taking my time, though. I thought Jackie would be different, and if it works it could be another market. If I had never visited Asia I wouldn’t have seen it or developed the vision I have for him. I wouldn’t have thought to try and do business with him. It could be major. What’s the biggest mistake you see managers make? You have to stay grounded. When you’re grounded you make better decisions. Sometimes I see artist make it to certain levels and, nothing is wrong with feeling good, but you have to stay centered. They make mistakes because they get so many people in their ears. I’ve seen it so many times. I go home and see my mother, grandmother, family, and try to give back. Artists live in a fantasy world because they have so many people catering to them. They get caught up in the life. Do you think it’s a manager’s place to offer their artists personal advice outside of money and music? I was talking to Chris Lighty once and he said he’d tell guys not to go down “that path.” Management doesn’t always have to be about music and money. I talk to them about health insurance and life after music. I bet half the cats who have big chains ain’t got health insurance. That’s a problem. But you can’t tell them that when they’re in the club; you can’t talk to them about paying their mortgage up for a year or two before buying up jewelry. // Words by Maurice G. Garland
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(l-r): Slick ‘Em, Baby Blue, Spectacular, 4Play
WORDS BY ERIC PERRIN PHOTOS BY ROXANNE LOWIT It’s been three years since the 4 Brothers from Miami salaciously grinded their way to the top of the charts wearing sparkles and sequence. And though their 2005 debut album Bluestars didn’t exactly meet sales expectations, the group followed up with 2007’s Late Night Special and reached gold status behind the 106th & Park lingering single “On the Hotline.”
Okay, your first album was called Bluestars, and it’s also the title of your company. What is the significance of the name Bluestar? That was our father’s nickname back when he was still in the street. It came from him being a black-ass nigga. He was so black they called him “Blue,” and the name stuck and it just kinda got passed down. So we ran with it.
In the last three years, Pretty Ricky has encountered a multitude of ups and downs in the industry; from complaints regarding their raunchy onstage antics, to the recent departure of lead singer Pleasure P, this group of former “Toys R Us” kids has witnessed its share of E! True Hollywood moments.
How is your new album Eighties Babies different from your last two albums? We just wanted to take it back to when the music was real. Right now the music is over-saturated with people who are caught up with the trends, so we just wanted to take it back to when Hip Hop and R&B first came together; you know, late 80s early 90s, right after Babyface and LA Reid had their run with Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton. Uptown Records came through and they had Mary J. Blige and Jodeci—that whole era spawned a bunch of R&B groups that were straight out of the hood, and Pretty Ricky is straight out of the hood like that. Eighties Babies symbolizes when the music was wet, real, sexy, and it wasn’t about games or gimmicks.
Now, assisted by Pittsburgh-born vocalist 4Play, the rap/R&B group is prepping the release of their third album, Eighties Babies, which promises to deliver a much more mature sound. In hopes of proving they can adapt to the ever-changing, often-fickle industry, Pretty Ricky has been forced to grow up. Here, the group’s unofficial spokesman Baby Blue describes the process. How have you been able to tackle the stereotypes of a traditional boy band? I think the stereotypes of most boy bands are that they are real pop-ish and tailor-made to fit a certain demographic. But not Pretty Ricky, we’re real, we’re the top ten kings. Every time we drop a record it’s gon’ pop at radio and on BET, and that’s ‘cause we cater to our fans. Our fans make sure our records stay at the top of the charts. They vote for them and request them. We ain’t a boy group, we’re more of a clique; it ain’t about the music. We’re that clique that’s rough and tough in school, that hangs on the corner in front of the liquor store. So if it’s not about the music, what is it about? It is about the music, but it’s also about the Bluestar brand with us. 68 // OZONE MAG
You guys were little kids back then, but are there any artists from the that era who you were trying to emulate with this new project? Naw, it’s not so much that we want to emulate. We respect all music, not just music from the 80s, but music from all different generations and genres. We love music, and we appreciate music for what it is and what it’s worth, but we understand it’s a business at the end of the day as well. A lot of times the artist doesn’t get to represent themselves the way they want because the record labels have a vision for them that they don’t agree with. We’re one of the few acts whose vision is what we make it. We run our own show. It’s our record label; we do what we wanna do. You have a track on the album called “Knockin’ Boots ‘08” which definitely has
a grown sound to it. Is that what you guys are going for now? The industry put this title on us like we’re the risqué group of the industry, so we just wanted to hit ‘em with something that was a little bit different. We’re talkin’ about cuddlin’ up now instead of making love, and [our female group] Buttercream was on the record, and they’re some straight hood chicks. They sound like they came from that era when female groups were thorough, like SWV, En Vogue, and TLC, but Buttercream are straight thugs. They’ve got 4-inch fingernails, weaved out to the booty cheeks, but they represent something that’s missing in the game right now. All the other girl groups are like TVmade and structurally put together strategically, but these are four chicks that grew up singing in the church that are really a group. Are they signed to Bluestar? Yeah, they signed to Bluestar Records. [Former Pretty Ricky member] Pleasure P is signed to Bluestar Entertainment International and we just turned down over a half a million for his contract. At Bluestar, we’re doing it big this year. As far as our album, we’re doing all the writing and production in-house. We ain’t like these artists that go in the studio with same writers and producers that everybody else uses, and all the records come out sounding the same. If you turn on the radio everything sounds alike. But Pretty Ricky, we go in the studio, dim the lights down low, light an incense, light a candle, and talk about us. We talk about real-life situations; we talk about things we know about: women. Pretty Ricky loves the ladies and the ladies love Pretty Ricky. We’re in the front row of basketball games with our girlfriends, and we ain’t on no cover of magazines wit’ wedding rings. Pretty Ricky is single, ready to mingle lookin’ for baby mamas, girlfriends, and wives on the side. You mentioned Pleasure P still being signed to Bluestar. What happened that led to his departure from the group? It ain’t even really a departure from the group. We’ve been together for 11 years doing this music thing, so everybody wants to grow and do other things. Me, Baby Blue, I’m the CEO and president of a company, Spectacular is a sex symbol, Slick ‘Em is the complete artist, a rapping monster; and 4Play is a R&B sensation. Pleasure P is also an R&B sensation who wants to grow as an artist, and it ain’t nothing wrong with that. He’s still signed to our label, so whenever he makes bread, Bluestar Records is makin’ bread. Whenever his record gets played on the radio, Bluestar Records is gettin’ paid.
So there are no ill feelings between Pleasure P and the rest of Pretty Ricky? It’s all love, nothing but love. Do you talk regularly? I mean, it’s a business. In order to conduct business you gotta maintain a line of communication. Okay, so now that the group has replaced Pleasure P with 4Play— Naw, he’s not replacing, he’s just a new addition to the clique. Next time you see Pleasure P, tell him to pull his sleeve up. He’s got Pretty Ricky tatted on his arm. He’s a part of Pretty Ricky for the rest of his life. You didn’t see New Edition coming and saying that somebody came and replaced Bobby Brown, or replaced Ralph, it’s just that they took different roads and different paths, but they still united. It’s still New Edition to this day. Okay, so let me rephrase that. Now that 4Play is a new part of the group, how does the dynamic of the group change, and how is the sound different? The sound is definitely a more mature sound. 4Play has a more mature voice. He has a give octave range, versus the Pleasure P records which were more monotone. This new Eighties Babies album is more harmonic, it’s more musically inclined, and it’s got a lot of musical elements to it that we didn’t do before. Every year in this game we learn and grow more, so of course the music is going to grow as well. What initially made you guys put together a rap and R&B group as opposed to just a rap group? It just happened. We weren’t put together like a lot of groups. We just came together and it ended up being something unique. We’ve been grinding for a long time. We did everything from the thug music to the teenybopper Nickelodeon music, so it just ended up that “Grind on Me” was the first single that popped off nationally. It blew us up, so we had to maintain the style and that whole lane in the game. We were the first cats in our generation to put the Hip Hop with the R&B, and we hear a lot of cats who try to emulate us. It’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just artists paying accolades to us, showing that we actually have a spot in time, in music. The same way Boyz II Men had a time, Jodeci had a time, and Dru Hill had a time; Pretty Ricky definitely has a time. //
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BY RANDY ROPER
He’s a member of a Grammy winning R&B quartet that sold millions of records. Now, Slim of the R&B group 112 tells OZONE why going for self is “So Fly.” It’s been about three years since 112 dropped their last album. What have you been up to since that last album? We’ve been doing tours worldwide and I’ve been getting my label together, M3 Productions. It’s a great work in process. I just made history with Asylum because I’m the first R&B singer that they signed. Basically, I’m working from the ground up, bracing myself to be the next Def Jam and Arista. I’m trying to do the same thing with M3 Productions. How did you decide to become a solo artist? I didn’t want to do a solo project actually. I wanted to start my own label, and I looked at it as a business. It’s easy [for me to be the first artist] ‘cause I already have a sound and a brand with 112, and it’s easier to get the ball rolling with my label and build equity so I can pave the way for other artists who I’m about to sign. It’s a good look. Even though I really didn’t want to do a solo project, I’m happy I did because the first single is doing real good. Why didn’t you want to do a solo project? I felt like I sang enough with 112. I was very comfortable with the role I played in the group, I just never had that desire to be an solo artist. But businesswise I did want to be the CEO of my own company and I wanted to do something I hadn’t done before. With 112 we’ve been in this for 12 years, we’ve won every single award there is: Grammys, MTV, BET Awards, everything, so what can elevate me to the next level? It’s about challenging yourself and growing from being an artist to a young CEO. Is everybody in the group still cool and supportive? How are the relationships now? I was actually the last person that wanted to jump out and do it [solo]. It’s just that my situation rose faster. I was the last person to start on it and the first person to have it grow a little. Why you think your situation rose faster? I don’t know. I put that in God’s hands right there. I just feel blessed that I’m not making a bunch of mistakes. Whatever he wants to happen, I put it in his hands and let it happen. So what do you think is the difference between your solo music compared to 112? With 112, we all played roles to make sure the 112 brand and sound was developed. When I’m performing it’s definitely a significant difference, because [in a group] you’ve got three other guys out there that got your back. They dance just as well, that can sing just as well and it’s all love. But with the solo project I had to find my own niche and almost reinvent a sound, I didn’t want to go out there and pick the same producers as everybody else uses and sound carbon-copied. I wanted to stand out. For “So Fly,” I found producers that were fly and fresh and had the next type of swag. With the group, you know you have the guys’ backs. With myself, I have to put on more helmets. But I’m more than up to the challenge. I’m in cruise control right now.
In the state of R&B groups right now, it seems like there aren’t many groups like 112 back in the day. Why do you think that is? It seems like the love for the groups has kind of went down, and I think the love for the game has gone down. The game has changed, too. When we came out it was more raw talent as far trying to perfect harmonies and sounds. Today, there’s a lot of talent relying on technology. It’s just a different sound. When four guys get together and practice a song over and over again, they are doing more than just perfecting that song. You’re coming together as a group. It makes you closer in all aspects: mentally, spiritually, and physically. I think that is lacking [in today’s industry], I have to say that. For all the 112 fans out there, we’re still together, so you can expect another project. In Hip Hop right now you have everybody trying to use the T-Pain effect, and rappers trying to be singers. How do you feel about that? I’m not angry at it. If that’s the way they want to come and that’s how artists want to be perceived, its all good. I think T-Pain really mastered the sound of the vocoder. I don’t think everybody can do it like him. But I do feel there are a lot of artists that rely on technology so much. And relying on that type of technology, the vocoder and computer stuff, it takes the character out of people’s voices. If you have three songs back to back, three different people with the same vocoder on there, you don’t know who’s singing. And that’s where things get lost. With that somebody’s going to take the fall. If I put vocoder in my voice, I might play with it for one second in the next three songs. But if my song comes on you’ll know exactly who’s singing. It’s all love, I don’t have anything against it. I think it’s just the sound of 2008, 2009, or of this millennium but there are pros and cons with it. What’s the title of your new album? The title of my album is Love’s Crazy. I named it that because everybody knows love makes you do crazy things. But my whole thing with the situation with love is like, it makes you go through a whole bunch of situations. I like to highlight the solution more than highlight the problem. This is not going to be one of those albums where I’m going to be bashing people or begging “take me back,” that’s not my swag. It’s not one of those CDs where a couple is gonna get inside of a ride and beat each other up if they’re going through some rough times. It’s like music therapy. If you stick in the Love’s Crazy CD, I might answer a lot of your questions. It’s gonna be really, really hot. It’s definitely going be one of those joints where guys and girls will be able to say they know exactly where I’m coming from. I never made any babies but I put down a few chicks to your records over the years. So, how does that make you feel to have somebody like me who grew up on 112 and grew up on your sound? It makes me feel real good. I’m going tell you right now, I’m not responsible for child support. But it’s all love. Wrap before you tap, especially when you stick this Love’s Crazy album in. Why did you choose to go with “So Fly” for the first single? People usually get paid on the 1st and the 15th [of the month], and the first check pretty much goes to most of the bills. But that second check, other than gas, you got some leeway with that one right there. Friday you get that check and your folks are calling you like, “What club we ‘bout to go to?” I feel like everybody deserves an anthem, and so when I say, “I just stepped out straight out the shower,” I don’t mean I’m waking up, I mean I just got home from work and I’m taking off my work clothes and ‘bout to go do my thing with my folks. That’s what you feel, “I’m so fly,” and it has nothing to do with materialistic stuff, it’s how you feel within yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re a CEO of a major company or flipping burgers at a fast food chain. It’s your swag. “So Fly.” That’s who I am. //
OZONE MAG // 71
BY ERIC PERRIN
Reality Show Reject, Queen of the South, or One-hit wonder? You could say what you want about Khia Chambers, but chances are she won’t give a shit. She’s heard the “one-hit wonder” allegations regarding her 2002 charttopping single “My Neck, My Back,” and she not only brushes them off, but blissfully responds, “There’s nothing wrong with being a one-hit wonder. There are a million artists, male and female, who wish they could make one hit.” She battled the legion of haters who labeled her a reality show reject after her brief stint on Vh1’s Miss Rap Supreme, where she was disqualified for reciting pre-written rhymes (the infamous “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” rhyme) during a freestyle battle. Still, however, Khia emerged victorious. She not only robbed the show’s ratings upon her departure, but also landed her own reality show on Vh1 set to film this fall.
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The Tampa femcee has also dealt with two “shady” record labels that she claims “dropped the ball,” and has done everything from finance her own music videos to plaster her own posters. She’s had storied beefs with most of her fellow female rappers and has also squared up with the likes of Trick Daddy, Jermaine Dupri, and a slew of others. But amidst all the controversy and drama surrounding her neverdull career of making Nasti Muzik, the self-proclaimed “Queen of the South” has always succeeded by her own standards, and she’s always been independent. Why should people care about Nasti Muzik? It’s all original thug misses [music], and it’s nasty, and sexy, and it’s just a real hot album. I mixed Hip Hop and R&B on the album, and I really took it to the next level. I sing before I rap. I just rap because I can, but it’s time to take it back to the music. The Thug Misses and Gangstress albums were just street [albums]. They were all about grindin’ and getting my name out there, but now that I’m comfortable and established, I’m able to take it back to the roots and do melodies
and harmonies. I make classic songs that will stick like grits. You’ve always made nasty music, so it’s kind of appropriate that you would name your album that, but when you first started were you ever embarrassed to put out such explicit records? No, no, not at all. The first track I ever put out was really “Fuck Them Other Hoes,” but when “My Neck, My Back,” came out it just took over and that kind of put the signature on the nasty music, because it was so big and had so much crossover appeal. Shit, sex sells, but really I make music for the club. I heard you used to bartend in the club back in the day, also. Yes, in Tampa. I worked at mostly every club in Tampa, and it was definitely my introduction to the music game, just being in the club and meeting all the DJs and the managers at the clubs. Of course there is a connection between the music and the club scene, so that really helped me get my foot in the door. What was your favorite drink to mix? Hmm…I guess it would be a “Blue Muthafucka.” For some reason I had a feeling you were going to say something like that. (laughs) Yeah, we used to make it with Cuervo back then, but it’s much better with some Patron. That drink is off the chain!
Khia’s Blue Muthafucka recipe: You can use whatever kind of vodka you prefer, but I like Absolut. So you would mix Absolut, sweet and sour mix, Blue Curacao, and I like to add a little tequila to give it a little extra kick. Obviously your music career has gotten you to the point where you don’t have to mix drinks anymore. What enabled your success in the industry? I think it’s the fact that people can relate to my music, and it’s me. People feel like I’m talking directly to them, and I am my music. I’m not a performer; I don’t just get behind the mic and let people dictate what I say or what music I put out, or what producers are hot. When people get my music, they get me, and that’s why my fan base is so large and why people stick to me. When you have a signature sound people respect your music and look forward to hearing your music and the new stuff you put out. A lot of the other female artists have so many different writers that they end up have multiple personalities on the album and people never know who they really are or where they’re coming from. I can be so real because I write and produce my own stuff, so people respect the art. I make sexy, nasty music. People like to listen to music they can relate to, and people can relate to nastiness. But it’s not only nasty on a sexual level. Nasti Muzik also means being real, and blunt, and straightforward. Yeah, your music is definitely straightforward. (laughs) People want the real, and that’s what I give them. So, what’s the nastiest, realist line on Nasti Muzik? My favorite nastiest line on the CD is “fix your breakfast butt naked while you eatin’ me out.” That’s on [the single] “Be Your Lady.” That’s not even that bad. I was expecting something a little more graphic from Khia. Well, you gotta pick up the album if you wanna hear more nastiness.
Okay, that sounds fair. But let’s talk about your Myspace blog—you have some pretty opinionated entries. I saw a post where you were talking about the “Queen of the South” title. What are your current thoughts on that topic? I think I am the Queen of the South, and I earned that title just by being an established, successful, independent artist, and a female in the game that’s had the level of longevity I’ve had on my own. I think people are finally gettin’ it, so I take that title hands down, because all the other women that were claiming it are falling apart as we speak. I’m still standing, independent, and I’m always gonna be able to stand above people that claim to be Queen of the South. That title is mine. Give me an example of how the other females who claim to be Queen of the South are falling apart? These women are fucking for tracks! That’s the reason why it’s so hard for me in this industry, because I’m not going to the table fucking for tracks; I’m going to the table with straight talent. How are they gon’ claim the Queen of the South title when they juggling nuts? The truth always comes to the light. Wow! So in your opinion, what percentage of female rappers entertain tricks for tracks? All of ‘em! And it’s so hard to say because there are so many other talented female artists that are getting blocked and are wondering why. A lot of these women are giving us a bad name, but I’m trying to clean it up so we can try to get the respect back that female artists need. A lot of them are of selling their souls just for the fame because they know they’re not talented. It’s sad because there are a lot of people that are real musicians or artists. I was in chorus, I was in the band—if you didn’t play no instrument, and you wasn’t dancing at the football game, you’re not [into] music. There are real musicians, artists, and songwriters out there that aren’t getting a chance to shine because there are so many characters that jump in front of the mic and play roles. The real artists need to just stand up and make it do what it do, because I’m showing them that independently you can have success without having to lay down or get on your knees. For the people who don’t see you as the Queen of the South, how do you plan to change their minds and solidify your status? I think Nasti Muzik is going to do that. A lot of people that it was just about “My Neck, My Back,” but with Nasti Muzik they’ll be able to see the talent and they’re gonna have to respect me as an artist, and as a critical artist that’s here to stay. I’ve had a hit record, and it’s a lot of artists male and female that are just trying to find that hit. I tell people all the time, “It’s nothing wrong with being a one-hit wonder, because that’s a title in itself,” but this is my third album and people are starting to see the talent. What’s up with your label situation? I did a joint venture with Big Cat. Hated it! Hat-ted it! We did a one-album deal, and I really had respect for Big Cat Records. I really thought they were gonna come in and take Nasti Muzik to the level it needed to go. No, I didn’t think they were Universal, Atlantic, or a big label, but I felt like we could keep it independent and make money together. But they were just looking to make easy money; they weren’t as dedicated as me. And I know nobody believes in my music the way I believe in my music, but I thought they could at least help market and promote the album. They’re broke as hell! They were just trying to capitalize off my
fan base, because they figured I would sell at least 50-60,000 with no promotion, and that’s not at all what I had in mind. They were supposed to finance the video for the single, but they were writing people bad checks, bouncing checks and shit. They owe everybody. So I ended up funding the video for “Be Your Lady” myself. It was low budget, but it still came out cool. On the internet you referred to Jacki-O as WackyHoe. Do still feel that way about her? I feel sorry for her. I feel sorry that Brisco almost slapped her at my husband Weezy’s video shoot, I don’t think she deserved that. She need to come over here. I tried to tell her all along, she shoulda came over here with the Queen and she wouldn’t be crying right now. I don’t wanna kick nobody while they’re down, but it’s a shame because Hip Hop is laughing at her situation right now. I’m not trying to dwell on the negative too much, but I’ve also gotta ask you about Jermaine Dupri; you were comparing him to Chris Stokes on your blog. Why exactly do you two have problems? Jermaine went on HOT 97 in New York saying that he felt that I was ungrateful with the situation of me being on Janet’s single, even though she was being moody and didn’t want me in the video. But out of all people, I thought Jermaine would understand where I was coming from. They reached out to me, and I showed love, even though they didn’t put me in the video. How am I being ungrateful? They called me and asked me to do them a favor, I wasn’t calling them asking for a favor. But karma is a bitch, because Miss Janet isn’t doing too well right now. Is it true that you used to be a gospel singer? Yes, I do everything. I write gospel, I write pop, I’m so ready to write something for Britney [Spears] or Madonna. I’m a songwriter, a real song-write-er. I’m ready to one day win a Grammy for songwriter of the year award, because Hip Hop will get you caught up in the drama and the beef. I want to go back to the music; to the pop, the R&B, the rock, real music, because Hip Hop is turning into a façade. Do you think that you contradict yourself by doing nasty music after starting off as a gospel singer? I think it’s really just art. To me music is just about bringing your experiences to life. Sometimes my emotions might be where I’m leaning on God, sometimes I might be with my man, or want my man to tease me, or sometimes I might be hater walking. It’s just like poetry with harmony and melodies, so you can’t categorize musicians or songwriters in one category. You were recently featured on the Vh1 reality show Miss Rap Supreme. Is there anything you want to say about that experience? I have nothing bad to say about Miss Rap Supreme, it did what it did. I got much love the show. I’ve actually got my own show coming to Vh1. We’re gonna start shooting this fall, but it probably wont air til’ around Christmastime. It’s basically following me around showing the process of making Nasti Muzik, and my life. People just wanna see Khia. I got big things poppin’, and everybody knows I am Miss Rap Supreme.
Editor’s Note: Khia later called us back with a few words for fellow Miss Rap Supreme contestant Ms. Cherry: “Tell her don’t promote me in her interviews, promote her music. She needs to put some music out and find her baby daddy. I don’t need all her free promotion, but thanks anyway.”
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//Production Credits Young Jeezy “Crazy World,” Blood Raw “Louie,” Plies “Who Hotter Than Me,” USDA “Throw This Money,” Mr. Bigg “Check My Footwork.” Also worked with 8Ball & MJG, DG Yola, Slim of 112
I stayed off the radar for a minute on purpose, but I owe this to the gangsters. I was born and raised in Adamsville, in Westside. I was a [premature] baby so Grady [Hospital] had to get me in the helicopter. My mama was an R&B singer in the 70s when she had me, and she wasn’t gonna do anymore secular music. Her prayer was for me to be successful in music, so it’s like I’m living her dream too. I started playing the drums when I was three years old. In school, the band teacher would put me in front of the school with the drums, in first or second grade. I used to be the highlight of the moment. I was popular in elementary school until I got kicked out for fighting. My first placement was the remix to Sammy’s “I Like It.” I got that from knowing Jasper [Cameron] (Sammie, Lloyd, Nelly), who I grew up with from Adamsville. We were downtown and Jasper asked me what I was doing, and I told him I was in the music shit. He introduced me to Dallas Austin. They gave me the job, but I got distracted. I was trying to be a rapper then, when I first came in. Niggas didn’t want me rapping, but they wanted my beats. This style of music niggas [are] making, I lived that shit, so it’s in my blood. Sort of like an obsession. One of the new Jeezy singles I produced is called “Crazy World.” We cut some other records too, like “What They Want.” That shit was a straight classic. I ain’t just talking about the beat, I’m talking about what he said in the verses. It’s one of those verses you put in the greatest of all time. Working on that shit, I was trying to go in and make this King Kong monstrous trap shit, I was busting my brain. I took everything I learned and took my all and went above and beyond the call of duty. I was trying to create a whole new song. I wanted a beat that a million people could appreciate, but have everyone else trying to do the same thing.
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With BloodRaw’s “Louie” beat, me and Jeezy were working on his project and BloodRaw’s project came up. I had my shit hooked up in the back, and I’d make beats before he got to the studio. I’d have two by the time he get there so I’d have beats stacked up on his ass. He caught up with me. He said he needed a single for BloodRaw right now. While I was making the beat, they were making the hook, and 8 hours later it was the official single. With Plies “Hotter Than Me,” me and Plies were getting ready for his second album and he wanted a club record. I sent him 4 or 5 beats. Me and Plies pretty much work via phone or satellite. I got into R&B and pop [by] fucking with Sean Garrett. We became friends through my brother and cousins. They had been cool for a long time; my brother was a part of 112’s staff from the beginning, since the Puffy days. R&B and Pop is the reason why got a 3-room studio built. I was doing Yola, Jeezy and USDA projects and at the same time, me and Sean were in the studio with Slim from 112. I ended up having to do 3 things at one time. If you got one system, you can only do one thing at one time. People thought I was crazy. The contractor said I only needed one [room], but we ended up using all 3 rooms because we do so much shit. I still need to use another studio downtown. Midnight Black is innovative. Midnight Black is the best thing since air. I need the music game and the music game needs Midnight Black. When people come to me, it’s for my sound. I’m a hands-on producer. When you go in the studio with me, you’re getting some dope shit and hit records. I’m constantly working. When I make beats for Jeezy, they’re just not any beats, they’re beats for Jeezy. Same with Plies, Slim, everybody. When I make a beat I always know where I want to put it. That’s why it’s better to go in the studio with me. // As told to Maurice G. Garland (Photo by Maurice G. Garland)
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Lloyd/ Lessons in Love The Inc/Universal Southern R&B prince Lloyd is back on the scene with Lessons in Love, an album dedicated to “the Year of the Lover.” But with inexplicably high gas prices, among other things, some may ask, “What is there to love this year?” Worry not, though, because Lloyd serves up an album full of tracks to love. Lloyd laces seductive lyrics over carefully crafted beats, creating an R&B album which flirts with perfection and then some. — Rohit Loomba
ABN/ It Is What It Is Rap-A-Lot The only thing holding back Trae and Z-Ro from being the best duo out of Texas since UGK are themselves. But even though the cousins/rhyme partners don’t get along in real life, they still manage to make quality music together. While most of the songs on here have both emcees delivering quality verses over equally dope production, a deeper listen makes you wish the the chemistry they show on songs like “Rain” and the already-used song “No Help” was more prominent. — Maurice G. Garland
MJG/This Might Be The Day 404 Music With his first solo album in over 10 years, MJG proves that he’s still one of the most potent lyricist below the Mason-Dixie line, but his words get watered-down with sub-par production. Typically, the album goes in a different direction from No More Glory, although he does use similar themes with “What Would You Do?” The album’s highlight “Jungle” is one of the rare occurrences where the beat runs parallel with the lyrics. — Maurice G. Garland
V.I.C./Beast collipark/Interscope V.I.C’s debut album Beast isn’t much to yell and holler over, but I’m sure his teenybopper fans will beg to differ. Beast consists of many catchy hooks and silly rhymes, but V.I.C. does decide to stop goofing off on some tracks. He expresses his love for his brother on “Do You Know” and on “By Faith” he justifies why he lives by faith instead of the cliché thug life that most rappers live by. V.I.C. shows much affection for the ladies on numerous tracks but other songs may cause an ear infection. — Jee’Van Brown 78 // OZONE MAG
Yung Berg/Look What You Made Me Do Young Boss/Epic/Koch Yung Berg, self proclaimed Chi-town prince, delivers a fairly impressive debut. The album offers more than just “Sexy Lady” and “Sexy Can I” with YB teaming up with fellow Chicagoan, Twista, for “Where Do We Go” and songstress, Casha, for “Business.” Good production helps YB forge a solid debut and brings him slightly closer to being the star he already seems to think he is. While not the most lyrically talented or captivating, Yung Berg does prove to be entertaining. — Rohit Loomba
Frayser Boy/ Da Key Hypnotize Minds With DJ Paul and Juicy J on the boards, the beats on Frayer Boy’s third album are what make this project memorable. Frayser Boy’s rhyme flows are a favorable fit for Hypnotize Minds’ signature Memphis sound throughout the album’s 17 cuts. This LP is exactly what you’d expect from a Three 6 affiliate: dark beats, simple-yet-catchy hooks and gritty street rhymes. — Randy Roper
Khia/ Nasti Muzik Big Cat Ms. “My Neck, My Back” returns with Nasti Muzik, an album packed with mediocre rhymes and secondhand beats. Khia sticks to her regular format here with tales of getting licked and sucked, tricked and fucked. The standout track is “Be Your Lady,” a hornand-bass-heavy track where Khia lets us know how she takes care of her man. “I fix ya’ breakfast butt naked, while ya’ eatin me out.” Tempting, I know. The main drawback with this CD is lack of diversity and the poor beat production, which unfortunately often outshines Khia’s rhymes. We know Khia’s hustle is there; now we just need to hear the flow. — Anthony Burgos
Re-Up Gang/Clipse Presents: Re-Up Gang Koch Back again, The Clipse and their Re-Up Gang counterparts supply us with their latest volume this year reminding us that they’re still grind’n. The first track, “Million Dollar Corner,” sets the tone for this street sweeper album. There are no frills, no gimmicks, no fillers or chasers; just raw, unapologetic rhymes. Even though the content is familiar, you don’t get too bored with this group. They deliver every time. “We Know” is a swagger banger that keeps the energy moving on through 12 tracks. “Money” is gritty and a perfect record for this Philly/VA connect. — Jared Anderson Bohagon/ Crunk In HD Cyberwerks Bohagon’s above-average dirty South flow constantly makes track after track on this album worth a listen. Songs like “Yeah She a Freak” featuring Yo Gotti, “In The Bedroom” with Jagged Edge and the Nitti-produced “There She Go” are standouts, but most of the production sounds dated as if Hagon’s been saving these beats since 2004. Still, with production from The Runners (“Get It Off Yo Chest”), appearances from Twista (“Jack Frost”) and Freeway (“Bright Lights”), and Bohagon’s catchy rhyme style, Crunk In HD deserves some spins. — Randy Roper
Green City/ Brand New Money Underground Railroad/ SMC Brand New Money is the debut album from Green City, the Killeen, Texas, rap group cosigned by Scarface. On this album, Spark Dawg, Yung Texxus, MJ, J. Scott, Mike Hee, G-Ni and Big Spade prove they can rhyme (some better than others), but listening to seven different rappers throughout 12 tracks comes off more like one big cypher than an album. “Gotta Shine,” “Dope Game,” “Good Enough To Eat,” and “Major Grind” showcase the groups potential, but while their money may be brand new, their music is the same old. — Randy Roper
La Chat/Da Hood Home Girl Dime A Dozen Entertainment For her fifth solo album, former Hypnotized Mindz affiliate La Chat releases her album Da Hood Home Girl on her own label, Dime a Dozon Entertainment. Even though she’s on her own, La Chat’s music is more of the same gutter chick tracks that you’d expect from her. Lord Infamous, Gangsta Boo, Murphy Lee and Pastor Troy all make guest appearances. And while La Chat fans are sure to be satisfied, more than likely, everyone else will be less than impressed. — Randy Roper
Young Cash/ Scared Money Don’t Make Money It should be noted M.O.E. Entertainment that this project was allegedly released without Young Cash’s consent, because it doesn’t sound like his best work. “The World Is Yours,” “She Ain’t Scared,” and “Freeze” are arguably the most notable tracks, but subpar beats, hooks sung by Cash himself and singers that don’t sing well, along with Cash’s limited rhyme skills, make this album a lukewarm effort. Hopefully, T-Pain’s Nappy Boy signee will have a better showing on his forthcoming major label debut. — Randy Roper
D-Boyz/ Life of a D-Boy 404 Music Life of a D-Boy is exactly what you would expect from the D-Boyz, stories about moving work from here to there and blowing money on clothes, cars, and women. “Ballin’ In My City” is a definite party anthem for all balling dope boys. On the soulful track “Streets Keep Callin’ Me” the D-Boyz explain the struggles of trying to get out of the game that any hustler should understand. Features from artists such as B.G., Juvenile, Mannie Fresh, and Jazze Pha gives the album’s creativity and sound an incredible boost. As lyricists, the duo could use some help. — Jee’Van Brown
DJ Drama & Ludacris/ The Preview On The Preview, DJ Drama provides just that, a preview to hold over fans until Luducris’ next album. This duo keeps the entertainment and laughs coming with witty punchlines and hilarious skits like “The Vocalizer,” where they take a stab at your favorite rappers that use the “Robot Thing” on their voice. The Preview offers some notable tracks such as “So Thoro,” the controversial “Politics As Usual” and “Throw It Up,” featuring Lil’ Wayne and Busta Rhymes. This mixtape is a winner; what else could you expect from a Drama and Luda collabo? — Jared Anderson
DJ Scream & Gorilla Zoe/ I Am ATLanta Gorilla Zoe and DJ Scream bring everyone I AM ATLanta, a mixtape which unfortunately doesn’t do much to live up to its title. While the tape has plenty of bass laden beats, Zoe falters in creating memorable records with them. Even guest appearances by Shawty Lo, Rocko and Jody Breeze don’t elevate this mixtape. Zoe fails to step aside from the standard Hip Hop formulas at a time where he could’ve really set himself in a league of his own by establishing his own style. — Rohit Loomba
Curren$y/ Fast Times At RiDgemont Fly Another solid effort from this New Orleans native, Curren$y keeps the music coming with his swagger and flow in full effect. With enough references to rename this mixtape Jet Muzik, Curren$y provides a track to what appears to be his favorite football team’s newest player on the song “Brett Favre.” This mixtape has an interesting combination of beats but Curren$y holds his own, proving why Weezy signed him in the first place. “Modern Day Hippie,” “Navigation Pimpn” and “Jets Muzik” stand out on this 15-track offering. While this mixtape has its ups and downs overall, it’s consistent to what we’ve come to expect from Curren$y. — Jared Anderson
Charlamagne Tha God/South Crack: The Album /SDM Instead of waiting to for someone to hit their state with a magic wand, South Carolina emcees are staying true to the Southern independent Hip Hop spirit by dropping their own music on this 22-track compilation. While hunger and personality can be heard on most of the tracks, too many of them sound like dated Crunk music, overshadowing the rappers’ talents. Fortunately, the songs turned in by SC vet Mac-A-Don stand out the most, making the album worth at least one more listen. The album ends with a strong outro from the Charlamagne, but unfortunately, the music that precedes it doesn’t fit with his message. — Maurice G. Garland
DJ Drama, Gucci Mane & Yo Gotti/ Definition of a G Here, DJ Drama offers up a new edition to his mixtape catalog, joined by both Gucci Mane and Yo Gotti. Although both Gucci and Gotti offer a handful of quality verses, some tracks fall flat like the duo’s interpretation of “Put On.” Memphis native Gotti outshines his counterpart on some tracks, but the two complement each other nicely and offer fans a healthy dose of their music. — Rohit Loomba DJ Smallz & Jackie Chain/ Fear The Future Jackie Chain’s latest DJ Smallz endorsed effort is a well-produced mixtape that deserves to be called an album. Featuring production from J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and future stars BlockBeataz and Kids With Machine Guns, Chain doesn’t disappoint, floating over the tracks spitting his own brand of playa ish. Although at times he’s guilty of sounding like he’s giving his best Pimp C impersonation, Chain still manages to keep enough of his own personality in the music to make himself a burgeoning star. — Maurice G. Garland
DJ Laz/ Category 6 VIP Music/Limp-A-Lot Category 6 is a tropical storm full of different sounds and genres. The overall album is basically a mix of reggaeton, pop, and Hip Hop music. If you had no clue where DJ Laz is from, as soon as you press play it’ll be clear that he’s representing South Florida. “Move Shake Drop” will definitely get the reggaeton fans out of their seats and “Morena 08” will get the girls bouncing to the beat. The storm does start to die down on some tracks, making the album not worthy of a category six. But with a little more thunder and lighting it could reach serious hurricane status. — Jee’Van Brown
OZONE MAG // 79
Trae Event: Rap-A-Lotâ€™s Welcome to Houston party Venue: Bar Rio City: Houston, TX Date: August 8th, 2008 Photo: Terrence Tyson
80 // OZONE MAG
DJ Frosty.com, Charlamagne Tha God & DJ Drama 1. DJ Chuck T “The Heart of the City” www.djchuckt.com 2. DJ Black Bill Gates & DJ Scream “King Shit: Madden/NCAA 09 Mixtape”Part myspace.com/4045405000 myspace.com/theblackbillgates 3. DJ Sean Mac “Sold Out Vol. 10” www.myspace.com/djseanmac
4. DJ Teknikz “Georgia Muscle 9: The Grand Hustle” www.myspace.com/djteknikz 5. DJ Spinz “Southern Swagger 10” www.myspace.com/dj_spinz 6. DJ Bobby Black “Down & Dirty 31” Hosted by Gucci Mane www.myspace.com/theofficialdjbobbyblack 7. DJ Rhude & 2520NYC.COM Presents “Flagrant Cops” www.myspace.com/djrhudemusic.co m 8. DJ Chief Rocka “Rocka Radio 6” www.myspace.com/djchiefrocka2 9. DJ Stupac “Southland Tales Vol. 3” www.myspace.com/djstupac 10. DJ Snatch –1 “The Immense Music Squad” www.myspace.com/imsdjs 11. DJ Delz Presents: “Philly Massacre Volume 1” www.myspace.com/djdelz 12. Rapmullet.com & DJ 2 Mello Presents: “Summer Breeze Slow Jams” www. myspace.com/supa_dj2mello 13. DJ 2 Mello “Burn Notice” www.myspace.com/supa_dj2mello 14. DJ E-V Presents “Bitch I’m From Cleveland Vol. 2” www.myspace.com/djev 15. The Screw Shop Presents: “Tosin & April Renae Log On For Love” www.thescrewshop.com
16. DJ Hella Yella MGMT & AAE Presents: “Fetti Kings 3” www.myspace.com/aae 17. DJ Bobby Black “Crack Addiction: Rick Ross & T-Pain” www.myspace.com/dj_holiday1
“South Crack 9: S.D.M. & A.M.G.: Initials You Can Trust” Hosted by DJ Drama, D. Woods & Crooked I www.myspace.com/cthagod www.myspace.com/djfrostydotcom For the second month in a row, DJ Frosty and Charlamagne Tha God hit the streets and the net with another stupid dope mixtape. This time the Aphilliates’ DJ Drama, Danity Kane’s D. Woods and West Coast rhymer Crooked I host as Frosty provides the mix with new music from T.I. and Ludacris (“Wish U Would”), Young Jeezy (“Vacation”) and Scrappy featuring Lil Wayne (“Stand Up”).
DJs, send your mix CDs (with a cover) for consideration to: OZONE Magazine 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318
18. DJ Holiday “Holiday Season Volume 2” 19. DJ Princess Cut “Bout to Blow Vol 3” www.myspace.com/princesscutatl 20. DJ Chief Rocka Presents: “After Party 3 Get Naked Edition” www.myspace.com/djchiefrocka2
OZONE OZONE MAG MAG // // 81 81
Rick Ross, Flo Rida, & T-Pain Event: 3rd Annual OZONE Awards Venue: George R Brown Convention Center City: Houston, TX Date: August 11th, 2008 Photo: King Yella
82 // OZONE MAG
Published on Sep 2, 2008