PUBLISHER/EDITOR: Julia Beverly MUSIC REVIEWS: ADG, Wally Sparks CONTRIBUTORS: Bogan, Cynthia Coutard, Dain Burroughs, Darnella Dunham, Felisha Foxx, Felita Knight, Iisha Hillmon, Jaro Vacek, Jessica Koslow, J Lash, Katerina Perez, Keith Kennedy, K.G. Mosley, King Yella, Lisa Coleman, Malik “Copafeel” Abdul, Marcus DeWayne, Matt Sonzala, Maurice G. Garland, Natalia Gomez, Noel Malcolm, Ray Tamarra, Rayfield Warren, Rohit Loomba, Spiff, Swift SALES CONSULTANT: Che’ Johnson (Gotta Boogie) LEGAL AFFAIRS: Kyle P. King, P.A. (King Law Firm) STREET REPS: Al-My-T, B-Lord, Bill Rickett, Black, Bull, Cedric Walker, Chill, Chilly C, Chuck T, Controller, Dap, Delight, Dereck Washington, Derek Jurand, Dwayne Barnum, Dr. Doom, Ed the World Famous, Episode, General, H-Vidal, Hollywood, Jammin’ Jay, Janky, Jason Brown, Joe Anthony, Judah, Kamikaze, Klarc Shepard, Kydd Joe, Lex, Lump, Marco Mall, Miguel, Mr. Lee, Music & More, Nick@Nite, Pat Pat, PhattLipp, Pimp G, Quest, Red Dawn, Rippy, Rob-Lo, Statik, Stax, TJ’s DJ’s, Trina Edwards, Vicious, Victor Walker, Voodoo, Wild Bill ADMINISTRATIVE: Melinda Paz, Nikki Kancey CIRCULATION: Mercedes (Strictly Streets) Buggah D. Govanah (On Point) Big Teach (Big Mouth) Efren Mauricio (Direct Promo) To subscribe, send check or money order for $11 to: 1516 E. Colonial Dr. Suite 205 Orlando, FL 32803 Phone: 407-447-6063 Fax: 407-447-6064 Web: www.ozonemag.com Cover credits: Pimp C and Baby photos by Julia Beverly; Bun B photo by Matt Sonzala. OZONE Magazine is published eleven times annually 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 2005 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.
Hate it? Love it? Send your comments to: email@example.com OZONE reserves the right to edit comments for clarity or length.
I just read your mag for the first time today, and I know I’m late. I read the second annual sex edition: November 2004! The first thing I turned to was the picture of Jasun Wiggins with his wet jocks on. My boyfriend got a little offended when I said, “Damn, brotha showing lots of dick!” and promptly snatched the mag outta my hand. I let that nigga know that the mag was now my personal property! Anyway, I really enjoyed this issue. I am from Columbia, SC and I am a single working mom and college student. I don’t have cable (sad, I know) so this mag helps me keep up with the entertainment world. I’m like a damn fiend. I still have aspirations for living the celeb life. I know I’m late, but I promise to be a faithful OZONE Magazine reader from now on. I actually did read this mag from cover to cover and I enjoy your writing. I can’t wait to see a recent edition! - Ms. Swizzle, firstname.lastname@example.org (Columbia, SC) Just wanted to say congratulations to OZONE for joining forces with MTV Jams. That is amazing, keep up the great work. It’s not often that you can start something from scratch and see it grow to such a level that OZONE has reached. It has to stay true and be about the music, and you have proven it with every issue. It’s a true insider’s guide to the industry. – Trey Wilson, email@example.com
a rapper breathing (that goes for North, South, East, West, Midwest) that can put together a better 16 than T.I.P., period. If it’s based on sales, Jermaine Dupri would be in the top 5, no doubt! Outkast would be a hands-down #1, and UGK ain’t sold that much throughout their careers. Ludacris’ career sales are more than triple UGK’s sales. If the list is based on money, J.D., Master P, and Outkast would be the top three. As far as contributions to the South, J.D. would still be in the top 5, along with Goodie Mob. This list needs an extreme makeover. Define the criteria of the list first and stick to it, please. The list has to be based on the personal opinion of the author. – Anthony Ingram, Uncle_Mann@yahoo.com Okay, I just read your 25 Greatest Southern artists list. Why is Pastor Troy #16? He started crunk music. He should have been higher, at least in the top 10 if not the top 5. I like Petey Pablo but he should have been lower. How in the hell was he higher than Pastor Troy? I’m glad 8Ball & MJG were on the list. – Abdullah Zakiya, firstname.lastname@example.org Whoa, you’re making the South look so horrible. Half the artists on your list sucked. Ludacris is supposed to be in the top five, at least. – Leuri Mejia, email@example.com
Your 25 Greatest Southern artists list is trash! First of all, UGK and the Geto Boys should not be in front of Outkast. None of them has put out as many albums as Outkast. It should have been 2 Live Crew/Uncle Luke first, then Outkast. No other rapper on the list has had as many Grammys as Outkast! Outkast revolutionized the game for all Southern artists! Outkast put the South on the map! Furthermore, there are other issues. Ludacris should be higher. Mystikal should be higher based on his body of work. Mystikal has done more than T.I.! 8Ball & MJG should be higher than UGK. – Ben and Shannon Shaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Y’all are on some bullshit. Just to let y’all know, I didn’t spend any money on your piece of rag magazine. I saw your so-called top 25 list on allhiphop.com. Tell me how Outkast is rated #4 when everyone knows ‘Kast is probably the greatest group in all of hip-hop. How the hell is Goodie Mob #19? Are you seriously saying the 69 Boyz, Pastor Troy, and T.I. had a bigger impact in the region than Goodie Mob? I’m highly disgusted at your bullshit and your audacity to try to rate something you obviously have no idea about. Fuck OZONE. I predict your magazine folds before you print out 12 issues. – Robinson Karanja, email@example.com
I read your 25 Greatest Southern artists list. I’m not hating on anybody on the list, I just hate the list itself. What was the criteria for this? Lyrics? Album sales? Money? Contributions to the South? This list is bullshit. If it was based on lyrics, then how in the hell is 2 Live Crew #2? And non-rappers like DJ Screw and DJ Magic Mike, why are they on the fucking list? I mean, 69 Boyz? Get real! Y’all put Mia X on the list but left off CMurder, Soulja Slim, and Fiend, the real niggas that were spittin’ on No Limit. If you’re basing it off lyrics, Goodie Mob and Lil Wayne would at least be in the top 10. Hell, Tip would be in the top 5 off lyrics alone. I don’t feel that there is
Editor responds: We’ve already printed 33 issues.
OZONE MAY 2005
Y’all are killing the game. When I first subscribed to OZONE, I was just trying to support another independent since you put the articles online. But man, nobody is really coming close to y’all with the quality of the material that y’all are putting out. I put y’all at the forefront of indie music magazines, so I just wanna say keep it up. This 25 Southern artists thing is off the chain. You and your staff are killing it right now. And for the groupie confessions, I want you to try to find some male groupies to confess.
Try to see if any female rappers done did they thang! Ha! Anyway, we wish you continued success. – Focus, firstname.lastname@example.org Y’all are holdin’ it down with y’all magazine. Y’all ask the real questions while most magazines beat around the bush, like that Lil Wayne sex interview! Somethin’ serious! – Jasmine Bentley, email@example.com I’m just writing to congratulate OZONE Magazine for your partnership with MTV Jams. God moves through people, and OZONE is quickly becoming hip-hop’s next big magazine. Coming from the South, it shows our entrepreneurial spirit and hustle. - Robert Robinson, robert3. firstname.lastname@example.org (Tallahassee, FL) I tuned into your Southern countdown on MTV Jams and was very disappointed at some of your positioning. I think you guys should do more homework before you try to have your own countdown. Jay-Z is from New York! My advice for any other countdowns you have is, Tighten up! - Jeremy Londergan, email@example.com Editor responds: Jay-Z wasn’t on our 25 Greatest Southern artists list. “Big Pimpin’” was used in the countdown because it’s the only commercially released video featuring UGK. Dirty Down Records would like to respond to your March 2005 interview with Khia: 1. Contrary to her statements, Khia was signed to Dirty Down Records as an artist and she was also signed to our management company, Ty Joyce Management. We “upstreamed” her to Artemis and retained our equity position with her album in the process. 2. Taz Williams, CEO of Dirty Down Records, produced and co-wrote Khia’s “My Neck, My Back.” Just check the album credits and the ASCAP registration; there are no other individuals mentioned as producers. With the exception of “K Wang,” Taz produced the entire Thug Misses album. 3. According to their last financial statement, Artemis/Sony spent over 2 million dollars marketing the Thug Misses album, and the video cost over $150,000 (noted video director Diane Martel has never shot a video for $20,000! Where does Khia get her information?). 4. Whatever happened to Khia in New York was unfortunate, but we had
nothing to do with it. However, that sad incident reminded us all that people should watch what they say (and who they say it to) when they are on the road. Bark on the wrong person, and it can go down, anywhere and at any time. Remember, the streets are always watching, so you can’t get caught slipping or run your mouth at strangers. Star or not, female or not, some folks just ain’t having it. Khia learned that firsthand that fateful night in NYC! Thank God she wasn’t seriously hurt, because she certainly might have been. 5. Khia has submitted countless demos and solicited deals from almost every major label in existence (the A&Rs call us every time she submits a new CD), but she has still not been able to get signed. She certainly is talented enough, but her reputation for being difficult and lack of business savvy precedes her everywhere she goes. Khia may be the only first-time “out the gate” who platinum artist can’t get another major record deal! 6. Regardless of the difficult times we had when she was signed to us, Khia is truly an extraordinary talent, and made us a lot of money as well. We’d gladly work with her again, with no hard feelings.
Fuck BET’s Spring Bling. Yeah, I said it. I’m not saying “fuck BET” because they play a full 24 hours of Gospel programming on Sunday to atone for the other six days of ass-shaking. I’m not saying “fuck BET” because the guys get eye candy like Free and we’re stuck with AJ’s boring dreadlocked/braided ass. I’m not saying “fuck BET” because they film College Hill with video cameras from the year 1874. I’m not saying “fuck BET” because they forcefeed us Omarion and Bobby Valentino. I’m not saying “fuck BET” because they thought Fatty Koo would be a good name for a show. I’m not saying “fuck BET” because they replaced Tigger with Mad Linx (sorry, Tampa). I’m not saying “fuck BET” because they charge people $15k to play their garbage videos on Uncut. No, the reason I’m saying “fuck BET” is because of two ladies in their “corporate communications” department who don’t know how to communicate shit. When will people learn, you DO NOT PISS OFF THE MEDIA? He (or she) who has the pen has the power. I’m not going to put their names out there, because that’s irrelevant. They’re on the bottom of the totem pole. They’re just mad cause they’re ten years older than me and still walking on eggshells to hold onto their bi-weekly paychecks, while I own my own shit. I know it’s not very politically correct to say “fuck BET.” But I’ve been holding it in for too long. Every year at Spring Bling, it’s the same bullshit. I kissed their ass last year; I sat in the hot media tent for three long days with potato chips and water and took pictures of the artists with cheesy poses in front of the corny BET poster. Never again.
7. We would like to offer Khia one million dollars to re-sign with us for three albums, which will be distributed and marketed by a major label. Since we parted ways with Khia, we have released two albums through major labels (DSD’s Play Wit It on Warlock/Sony and Tampa Tony’s Y Not on EmpireMusicwerks/BMG).
It all started about three years ago when these lovely ladies took over. In 2003 a BET staffer was escorting Killer Mike past the “media area” and he stopped. “Aren’t you JB from OZONE Magazine? I’ve been hearing about your mag. I want to do an interview with you.” What followed was an absurd twenty-minute exchange, in which Mike kept asking me and Noel to follow him to do the interview, and BET staff kept attempting to stop us from interviewing Mike. Since I am such a rebellious troublemaker, they’ve been watching me closely ever since.
Thanks, OZONE, for doing your part to keep Southern hip-hop alive and well. We look forward to every new issue. - G. Alexander Jenkins, Esq., COO of Dirty Down Records, firstname.lastname@example.org
So this year, 2005, the first performers for Spring Bling were Mike Jones, Slim Thug, PaulWall, and David Banner, all of whom have been featured in OZONE as far back as two years ago - so clearly we don’t need BET’s help to get interviews with them. In fact, Mike Jones was on our March cover. Alumni clothing made a nice shirt for Mike Jones to wear for Spring Bling with the OZONE cover and his phone number on it. So, five minutes after I arrive, PaulWall is standing near the “media room” and gives me a hug. We snap a few pictures. I show him the shirt for Mike. He says, “Mike is back here, c’mon,” and leads me back to their dressing room.
Thanks for your article on Yo Gotti and the Block Burners. Everything they rap about is some true shit. They speak the truth from the bottom of their hearts. Fuck what other folks think. I fuckin’ love Yo Gotti. He is like a role model to me. I’m 15 years old. Any song he made, I can rap it out for him no mistakes. – DatBigolepimp@aol.com I think artists like Lil Flip and B.G. should’ve been in the top 10 of your Greatest Southern Artists list. Lil Flip’s first album went gold with no video, and his second and third albums went platinum with only one video. He’s from HTown and he was named the freestyle king by DJ Screw, who you had listed at #5. As for B.G., his reputation speaks for itself. T.I. should be #25. His second album took four videos to go gold. What does that tell you? Come on. I love your prison diary, though. I think y’all should make that a monthly section, because there’s a lot of rap artists in jail that everyone wants to hear from, like Pimp C, Turk, and Mystikal. – Luis Reyes, email@example.com I’m a talented R&B female singer with no record deal yet. Why don’t you print record label contact info so that unsigned artists can call the record label of our choice and see whether they would like to sign us? – Jessica Ekeh, firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Responds: If it was that easy, everyone would do it.
Once inside the dressing room, I hand Mike the shirt. Before he can put it on, BET staff tell him he can’t wear it onstage because his phone number will get blurred out. They begin filming for Access Granted. I’m sitting in the back corner, not bothering anyone, minding my own business, waiting til they’re done filming so I can get a quick picture of Mike with the shirt. But no, here comes the Wicked Witch. Knock, knock. “IS JULIA BEVERLY IN HERE??? MEDIA IS NOT ALLOWED TO BE IN THE DRESSING ROOMS!” I am dragged outside and savagely beaten (just kidding) where the bitch has four huge security guards to take my media pass and escort me “off the premises” into the Hilton lobby. So I’m sitting in the lobby on the phone, trying to straighten things out. A security guard and three cops circle around me and tell me I’ve been asked to leave the premises. If I’m not a registered guest, I will be arrested for trespassing. I talk a little shit, head for the sidewalk. After a few quick phone calls, I’m now a “registered guest.” As soon as I step inside to pick up my room key, I’m surrounded by nearly a dozen (seriously) security guards and cops. During BCR weekend, the city of Daytona always brings in fourteen million police officers who have nothing better to do than harass people. They couldn’t argue with my room key, though, and I got better pictures hanging out in the Hilton lobby than if I’d been stuck in BET’s boring media room anyway. How ironic that BET treats OZONE like shit and their closest competitor, MTV Jams, aired 3+ days of OZONE programming that same week! So BET, what’s up? Let’s do an OZONE TV show and all will be forgiven. I got the last laugh already, but I can’t discuss that part. - JB the Troublemaker (email@example.com)
Guilty pleasures: Natalie “Goin’ Crazy” & Maceo “Hoe Sit Down” Boo Rossini f/ Young Jeezy “Rap Shit” Keyshia Cole “I Just Want It To Be Over” Chamillionaire f/ David Banner “Talkin’ That Talk” Mike Jones f/ Lil Bran “Scandalous Hoes” Juvenile f/ UTP “Sets Go Up” Jody Breeze f/ Jazze Pha “Stay Fresh”
T-Pain “Sprung” Rich Boy “D-Boyz” OHB “Paralyzed” Pastor Troy “Murda Man” Young Jeezy “We Jook” Ludacris “#1 Spot”
3 YEARS and counting W
hen T.I. filmed his first low-budget video for “Dope Boyz” in Bankhead, OZONE was there. Back when Mystikal was free to perform at grimy hood clubs, OZONE was there. When Camoflauge was alive and roaming the Savannah projects, OZONE was there. When the Ying Yang Twins first dropped the novelty hit “Whistle While You Twerk,” OZONE was there. Back when Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz shows didn’t pull a crowd, OZONE was still there. When David Banner signed his reported $10 million deal with SRC/Universal, OZONE was right there with him on the Mississippi border, shooting his cover photos. Remember when Coco Brother confronted Khia with a magazine printout of her 19 mugshots on How I’m Livin’? That was OZONE. When T.I. brought out the “Game Over” posters and dissed Lil Flip at Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash, OZONE was in the front row. Back when no one had heard of Ciara, OZONE was on the set of “Goodies.” When Young Buck brought the entire G-Unit crew through the ‘hood in Nashville and nearly caused a riot, OZONE was there. When B.G. and Lil Wayne reunited on-stage in Tampa, OZONE was there. Pitbull. Akon. Mike Jones. Lil Scrappy. Slim Thug. Young Jeezy. Jody Breeze. Lil Boosie & Webbie. Jacki-O. Trillville. PaulWall. Check our back issues: OZONE has a history of featuring artists long before they get signed and become household names. Don’t be fooled by all these folks jumping on the Southern bandwagon. Over the past three years, OZONE has covered Southern artists and events that no other media outlet thought was worth mentioning. It’s the original Southern magazine, up-close and personal. For us, by us. Don’t believe me? Let’s revisit the past year of OZONE:
May 2004 (Pastor Troy / BloodRaw)
Memorial Day 2004 (Pitbull)
June 2004 (Pitbull)
BloodRaw dropped by the OZONE office with a slab of raw meat for his cover shoot for our two year anniversary edition. Mike Jones, Jody Breeze, Young Jeezy, and Boo Rossini all made their OZONE debuts in this issue.
For this special mini-Memorial Weekend edition of OZONE, we hung out at Lil Jon’s mansion on South Beach, caught up with David Banner on the road, and featured two of Miami’s finest: Pitbull and Jacki-O.
In this hustler’s edition, Pitbull explained everything you need to know about the dope game and Jacki-O broke down the strategies of a Miami booster. We had to seriously edit both interviews to prevent them from getting indicted.
Memorable quote: “Andre 3000 got up at an awards show and said, ‘The South got something to say.’ That inspired me and kept me rolling. The South still got something to say, and nothing is gonna stop us. Nothing.” - Dirty States of America DVD producer FLX
Memorable quote: “Every time [people in my hometown] turn on the TV and see the ‘Mississippi’ on my back, that’s what means the most. It’s hard to compete with people that stay in New York or Los Angeles because they can bump into a camera anytime.” - David Banner
Memorable quote: “There are a lot of artists out there who don’t care about ownership and control. A lot just want fame. And any major deal can give you fame, without the money, as long as they work you properly.” - Rap Coalition founder Wendy Day
July 2004 (Terror Squad / DJ Khaled)
Aug. 2004 (Don Yute / Birmingham J)
September 2004 (Temmora)
OZONE spent Memorial Day at the Eden Roc for these dual Terror Squad covers. We conducted a very scientific Pimp Juice vs. Crunk! Juice taste test at TJ’s DJ’s, and chased down both Lil Flip and T.I. to get the real story behind their beef.
Birmingham J took us on a tour of the city’s grittiest spots, while Don Yute brought the Jamaican vibe. We checked in with Jadakiss, Twista, former Terror Squad reps Triple Seis and Cuban Link, and DJ Drama of Gangsta Grillz fame.
Memorable quote: “Everyone always wondered what it would be like if Cash Money and No Limit worked together. Soulja Slim actually brought B.G. to me...so his death has been real hard for both me and him.” - former Beats By The Pound producer KLC
Memorable quote: “[The success of Southern music] is a testament to how smart these artists have become. They’re stepping their game up to have a bigger piece of the pie. To control your career, you’ve got to prove that you can handle it.” - TVT’s VP of Urban A&R Bryan Leach
Damn near every bubbling Southern underground artist appeared in our second annual “Patiently Waiting” edition, including Chamillionaire, DirtBag, Grandaddy Souf, Mr. Magic, Kamikaze, Play-N-Skillz, P$C’s Big Kuntry, Miss B, and Rasheeda. By popular demand, we checked in with Mike Jones and Chamillionaire to find out if they really had beef.
OZONE MAY 2005
Memorable quote: “[My label] doesn’t give a fuck about me. It’s a savage industry.” - Grandaddy Souf
Oct. 2004 (Mannie Fresh / Tom G)
November 2004 (T.I. / Chingy)
Dec 04/Jan 05 (Trick Daddy/Young Cash)
In addition to the cover features on Mannie Fresh and Tampa’s Tom G, we checked in with Lil Wyte, West coast representative Guerilla Black, and reggae artist Tanya Stephens. TJ Chapman, owner of the South’s largest record pool/networking function, kicked some industry knowledge.
Ah, yes. The sex issue. A true classic. The groupie confessions landed in the New York Post and blew up from there. We learned that Lil Scrappy likes to get his ass licked, Jacki-O wants Lil Wayne, Larenz Tate used to fuck Halle Berry, and Mr. Magic and Mike Jones are good boys.
We chased down Trick Daddy for the cover story, and got the real story behind Young Cash’s “hustler” tattoo. This issue also featured interviews with Jazze Pha, Devin the Dude, Lil Wayne, Fabolous, Cuban Link, Do or Die, Yung Wun, and Slim Thug.
Memorable quote: “I just try to do songs that people can relate to. I think that right now, saying, ‘I’m rich, bitch!’ is something that everybody can relate to.” - Mannie Fresh
Memorable quote: “[Jay-Z] is boring in bed, but he has the biggest dick you will ever see in your life. Huge. Like a one-liter Pepsi bottle...It’s beyond huge. It could block the sun.” - Anonymous Jay-Z groupie
Memorable quote: “As long as you have something to fall back on, you’re never gonna go 200%. If you put your life on the line, you’ll find a way to succeed in whatever you’re trying to do.” - Bad Boy/Power Moves Shawn Prez
Super Bowl 2005 (Ms Cherry)
Feb. 2005 (Ms Cherry / Boyz N Da Hood) March 2005 (Mike Jones / Nivea)
When the NFL headed to Jacksonville, so did OZONE. This special mini Super Bowl edition featured 50 Cent, David Banner, Mike Jones, Young Jeezy, Webbie, and Ms Cherry along with Jacksonville favorites like Young Cash, Cool Runnings, and Kashus Deniro.
ATL’s female pimp Ms. Cherry and the Southern version of N.W.A, Boyz N Da Hood, graced the cover of this “pirate radio edition.” We reluctantly interviewed the much-overhyped 50 Cent and asked Akon how it felt to be “Locked Up” and “Lonely.”
Memorable quote: “I mostly play gangsta music in the clubs, and with all that killing on the record sometimes you get caught up. When [my son drowned], it opened my eyes.” - Cool Runnings’ DJ Bigga Rankin
Memorable quote: “Hip-hop is our CNN. That’s why there’s a big fight to get rid of it. Our communication, man. They can’t take this shit. We need a new form of the underground; another form of independence.” - Uncle Luke
April 2005 (Pitbull / Out Da Cutt)
BCR 2005 (Tigger)
May 2005 (Pimp C / Baby)
Classic issue. If you missed this one, go read it on our website (www.ozonemag.com). Our 25 Greatest Southern Artists of All Time edition was also a feature on MTV Jams, hosted by our cover artist Pitbull. We paid homage to the groundbreakers and showed love to the newcomers.
Tigger and his Grand Lenare cognac models attracted a lot of attention on South Beach during our cover shoot for this first annual Daytona Beach BCR special edition. In addition to our features on Pimp C, Trillville, and Pastor Troy, we featured some up-and-coming Central Florida artists like Bedo, Wes Fif, and Slim Goodye.
For this current issue (our 3 year anniversary), we headed out to Texas to visit Pimp C behind bars and stopped by the Cash Money offices in New Orleans. We had lunch with Michael Watts, roamed South Beach with Tigger, and spoke with the most slept-on artist in Georgia, Bohagon.
Memorable quote: “Without the Geto Boys, people like me wouldn’t even be here. They paved the way for all these rappers.” - Chamillionaire
Memorable quote: “[I dissed Lil Jon because] as he got bigger, I felt like the ATL movement became more like a competition.” - Pastor Troy
We headed out to the Swisha House to interview Mike Jones, and and spoke with a very pregnant Nivea by phone for the March edition. C-Murder contributed the very first “prison diary,” and we learned a little too much information about Noreaga in the fourth installment of “groupie confessions.” Other features included Trillville, the Outlawz, and Slim Thug’s live performance back home in Houston. Memorable quote: “It’s definitely 90% grind, 10% sleep.” - Mike Jones
Memorable quote: “If ‘Pac hadn’t got out of prison, he might still be alive today. Maybe there was a worse fate out there waiting for me.” - Pimp C OZONE MAY 2005
01: Bedo and video models @ Firestone on the set of his video shoot for “Go Head” (Orlando, FL) 02: RegReg, Mario, and Young Cash @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 03: HellaFlow Records and Cool Runnings @ Kartouche (Jacksonville, FL) 04: Street Grinderz and Strictly Streets reppin’ OZONE @ Firestone for Jamlando Record Pool Meeting (Orlando, FL) 05: Antonio Tarver, Baje, and Karate Mac @ Heroes for Grandaddy Souf’s video shoot for “Run It” (Orlando, FL) 06: GhostWridah, Smilez, Southstar, and Viper @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 07: Mel and J-Kwik @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 08: Lil Jon and Yo Gotti @ Webster Hall (NYC) 09: New Edition and Nicole Robinson @ Hot 104.5 (New Orleans, LA) 10: J-Deezy and DJ Walgee reppin’ OZONE @ JJ Whisper’s (Orlando, FL) 11: Tony Sunshine and Terrell D. Jones @ Madison Square Garden (NYC) 12: Lil Scrappy and MiMi @ Webster Hall for Lil Jon’s AOL concert (NYC) 13: Wyclef and Jerry Wonder @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 14: Carol, Kim Brennan, and Kelli Shaw @ Purple City album release party (NYC) 15: Trae and Jayton @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 16: Krunch One, Wiz, Big Al, and 5th Ward @ Grandaddy Souf’s “Run It” video shoot (Orlando, FL) 17: Three 6 Mafia’s Juicy J, Grandaddy Souf, and DJ Paul @ 102 Jamz (Orlando, FL) 18: Tiny, T.I., and Lil Mo @ Bed for Baby’s Lugz Rock Star shoe launch (NYC) 19: DJ Enuff, Mike Jones, and D-Roc of the Ying Yang Twins (Daytona Beach, FL) 20: Joe Pro reppin’ OZONE (Daytona Beach, FL) 21: DJ Demp, DJ Nasty, and Freestyle Steve @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) Photo Credits: General: #14 Julia Beverly: #02,04,05,06, 07,08,12,13,15,16,17,19,21 Malik Abdul: #10,20 Marcus Jethro: #09 Ray Tamarra: #11,18 Sophia Jones: #03 Spiff: #01 14
OZONE MAY 2005
Disclaimer: These interviews are anonymous, so we cannot verify if they are true or not. All details (cities, club names, hotel names) have been removed. These stories do not necessarily represent the opinions of OZONE Magazine. These stories did not necessarily occur recently, so if you are currently seeing one of these fine gentlemen, no need to curse him out. These stories are from different women.
me to come see him perform. He had us on stage, it was awesome. I’ve always been real attracted to him, especially when he was younger. That night was the first time we had sex. How was the sex? It was cool, especially since he’s an older guy. He ate me out. He was real passionate; kissing me all over. Loving it. He was real into me.
If you have a celebrity confession, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply with a phone number where you can call anonymously to be interviewed.
Is he married? No, but I heard he’s living with his kid’s mom.
TRACY McGRADY: What’s Tracy McGrady like? He’s real boring. He’s a jerk. He’s a fucking asshole, actually. When I really needed help from him he didn’t help me out. He wanted me to come see him anytime, I was always sneaking over to his house wasting my gas, time, and energy. But when I needed money, Oh well. He was like, “If I was in town, I got you,” just giving me the runaround. I was like, Are you serious? Your boy? Western Union? Nothing? I been fucking you for [a long time], and you can’t hook me up with a thousand dollars? That’s crazy. How did you meet him? I met him at a club. I was there by myself. He had somebody come up to me and ask if I dated black guys. I just looked at them like, “Yeah, why?” He said his friend wanted to meet me and he brought me into VIP. I was standing next to Tracy. He was real corny. He was like, “Oh, so you like black guys? How old are you? Do you have a man?” I was kinda ignoring him. I was dancing and looking at [a rapper] in VIP. He got behind me and was dancing all up in my ass. I hate that. He stopped and was like, “What, are you scared?” I had to wake up early the next day, but he kept inviting me to this party or to breakfast and I was like, “No thanks.” He said he had to go somewhere and was gonna come right back and talk to me. I figured he was trying to diss me cause I didn’t want to leave with him, but he actually did come back about a half hour later and asked for my number.
He says it makes his skin soft. He’s real, real boring. Watch TV, start kissing, turn around, from the back, turn around, cum. Every single time. Same thing. I used to give him head just cause I was bored. He’d make me stop cause he was gonna cum. Were you attracted to him? Yeah, I was physically attracted to him. I liked his lips. He looks cool. But he’s kinda a square. Were you dating him or just fucking? He used to give me tickets to his games, but when I started asking he’d say he didn’t have any left or some bullshit. It was just a fuck thing basically. I asked him if he had a girl and
How’s his size? He’s okay. He’s not big, just average. But he’s real good, real active. He’ll flip you, turn you over, eat you, kiss you, everything. He’s all over the place. I liked it. How long did you stay in contact? I ended up talking to him for a while, but he isn’t doing too many shows right now so I didn’t see him that much. Every time he comes to [my city] he still calls me. I didn’t like going out with him place though. He gets real drunk, starts fighting with people, and then he wants to drive. He thinks everybody’s out to get him. He tried to play me; he disrespected me. We lost touch. I think I’ve still got his number, but I don’t have any reason to call him. Are there any other rappers you’ve slept with? No, but I’ve got a story about Nas. Nas was supposed to be at [a club] and me and my friend wanted to meet him. I went to the club by myself, and I’m sitting inside the VIP waiting. My friend comes into VIP and sits next to me and says, “Guess who I’m leaving with? I’m going with Nas!” I’m like, “What? Nas isn’t even here yet!” She’s like, “Girl! I’ll tell you later!” and points to this guy that was coming in with him. So, she told me the whole story later. She was outside, trying to get into the club to meet Nas, and his bodyguard or whatever asked her what she was willing to do. He took her to the van or bus or whatever and started playing with his dick. He took it out, and she started sucking it. He said the head was whack and he was getting annoyed, so he told her to stop. He got her in, though. He took her all the way inside the VIP area and sat next to Nas. She kept smiling or whatever, and when it was time to go she’s like, “Nas says he’ll let you come too.” I was like, “Oh my God, no. Are you crazy?” She was acting like Nas was doing her a favor, to “let” her come. I told her everybody was looking at her crazy for leaving with them. She called me the next day and told me what happened. She left her car there at [the club] and when they got back to the room they had sex. He just hit it from the back. She said his size was okay. She said she tried to kiss him and he was like, “I don’t kiss.” After they finished having sex, she went in the shower. When she came out, he took a picture of her naked. She was like, “What are you doing?” and he said, “That’s it.” She gave him her number and was like, “Whassup, let me get your number?” and he’s like, “Nah, I don’t give out my number.” She was telling me all this shit; too much shit. She was complaining to Nas that she couldn’t get back to her car, and he gave her $100 to catch a cab.
“[Nas’ bodyguard] said the head was whack and he was getting annoyed, so he told her to stop.”
Did he call you? Yeah, he started calling me every night. I really wasn’t feeling him at first. He was corny on the phone. I didn’t know who he was until my brother told me. He would call me and talk bullshit, ask me if I knew how to cook. When he came back in town I met him and his boys at [a restaurant] and rode with him to his house. We didn’t do nothing that night, just chilled. He tried, though. He had me in his room, talking about my butt and this and that. We had sex for the first time a few days later. It was quick. It was fast, rushed. He didn’t use protection, either. Most of the time he used a condom but not the first time. There were a few times he didn’t. He’s real arrogant; he likes to do things his way. How was the sex? His dick is thin, like regular length. He’s real boring. I could tell you what he’s gonna do before he does it. I fucked with him for a long time. At first we used to tongue kiss but after a while I didn’t even wanna kiss him no more. We’d watch TV first, while he put baby powder on his bed.
he said no. I went to his house all the time, and I never saw anything in his room [from another girl]. When I heard he was engaged, I asked him about it. He was like, “If I had told you, I never woulda got it,” and I was like, “Yeah, you’re right.” So it was just a fuck thing. Why did it end? He changed his numbers and we just stopped talking. He said he didn’t wanna fuck with me after he found out I had a man. He would want me to come over at random times; he’d call me in the middle of the night or in the morning and want me to meet him at his house. I didn’t want to tell him I had a man so I’d just lie. Eventually I told him, “I got a man so I can’t just be leaving whenever you tell me to.” He was like, “I don’t fuck with anybody that got a man.” He wasn’t really callin’ me too much at the end. GURU: What is Guru like? He’s got a drinking problem. When he gets drunk he’s a fucking asshole, but he’s really a sweetheart. When he drinks he’s out of control. I ‘m not in touch with him anymore, though. How did you meet Guru? He was doing a show a few years ago. I love Guru. He was one of my favorite rappers. When I met him I was just starstruck. He was like, “That’s crazy, a female like you liking me? You’re my type!” I was like, “Really? I love you! I listened to you growing up!” he thought I was fuckin’ with him. We exchanged numbers and kept in touch. We didn’t hook up that first night. The next time he performed in [my city] he wanted
OZONE MAY 2005
01: Young Capone and the So So Def crew @ Jamlando Record Pool meeting (Orlando, FL) 02: Cool Runnings and Grill @ Kartouche (Jacksonville, FL) 03: Lil Scrappy and Pooh Baby @ Webster Hall (NYC) 04: Melinda, Mike Jones, and Anna reppin’ OZONE (Daytona Beach, FL) 05: Chaos and Lex showing off his Hustler Award @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 06: Jae Millz reppin’ Big L at his video shoot for “Who” (NYC) 07: Mykel Myers and crew reppin’ OZONE (Daytona Beach, FL) 08: Mr. Magic reppin’ OZONE (Daytona Beach, FL) 09: Fats and Ron Browz on the set of Jae Millz’ “Who” (NYC) 10: DJ Paul and DJ Black @ 102 Jamz (Orlando, FL) 11: Fiend and Slim Thug @ House of Blues for Stiletto Sundays (New Orleans, LA) 12: JD Hawg and Mike Jones reppin’ OZONE (Tampa, FL) 13: Jeffery and Jill Strada @ Power 95.3’s Brooke Valentine promotion (Orlando, FL) 14: DJ Chubby Chubb reppin’ OZONE @ Club Rumors (Boston, MA) 15: Melyssa Ford and Tigger (Daytona Beach, FL) 16: Mr. C, Get Cool, Dre, and Zay @ Heroes for Grandaddy Souf’s “Run It” video shoot (Orlando, FL) 17: Bun B, Jacki-O, Pitbull, and Julia Beverly @ Webster Hall (NYC) 18: Three generations: Bobby, Damon, and Boogie Dash @ the Apollo for the premiere of Death of A Dynasty 19: Phifty-50 @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 20: Rahiem Shabazz, Dylan, and cast members on the set of The Sun Will Rise (Atlanta, GA) 21: Ed the World Famous, J-Kwik, and DJ Q45 on the panel @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) Photo Credits: Julia Beverly: #01,03,05,07,0 8,10,15,16,19,21 Julia Schell: #06,09 KG Mosley: #12 Malik Abdul: #04,13,14 Marcus Jethro: #11 Rahiem Shabazz: #20 Ray Tamarra: #17,18 Sophia Jones: #02 16
OZONE MAY 2005
If you have a comment or question for C-Murder, email it to email@example.com or write him (do not send CDs): Corey Miller #58815110 P.O. Box 388 Gretna, LA 70054
01: B.G. and Tampa Tony @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 02: Treal and ADG reppin’ OZONE @ Firestone for Jamlando Record Pool meeting (Orlando, FL) 03: Purple reppin’ Crunk Juice @ Webster Hall (NYC) 04: Stat Quo, Pitbull, and Juelz Santana @ 102 Jamz (Orlando, FL) 05: Dapa with Hittmen DJs Frank Luv, Kaspa, and Crazy T @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 06: Mike Jones and cheerleaders (Tampa, FL) 07: Power 95.3’s Brooke Valentine promotion (Orlando, FL) 08: Fiend, KLC, and Young City (New Orleans, LA) 09: Pastor Troy reppin’ OZONE @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 10: Stephanie and Shiest Bub @ the Green Room for Purple City’s release party (NYC) 11: Jim Jones and his son in Harlem on the set of Jae Millz’ “Why” (NYC) 12: Averi-Minor reppin’ OZONE (Chicago, IL) 13: Hell Rell reppin’ OZONE @ the Green Room for Purple City release party (NYC) 14: PaulWall reppin’ OZONE (Daytona Beach, FL) 15: O-Eazy and Slim Goodye @ Icon for Slim’s mixtape release party (Orlando, FL) 16: Rob Jackson and GMack reppin’ OZONE @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 17: P$C’s C-Rod, Mac Boney, T.I., Big Kuntry, and A.K. @ Bed for Baby’s Lugz Rock Star shoe launch (NYC) 18: Pretty Ricky, Pitbull, and Cubo @ Webster Hall for Lil Jon’s AOL concert (NYC) 19: Killa Kyleon, Mike Jones, Slim Thug, and Ray Face @ Club Fuel during BCR (Daytona Beach, FL) 20: The Ying Yang Twins and Tigger reppin’ OZONE (Daytona Beach, FL) 21: Shaheed, Grimlock, and DJ Killa Groove @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) Photo Credits: Averi-Minor: #12 General: #10,13 Julia Beverly: #01,02,03,05,1 4,16,18,19,20,21 Julia Schell: #11 KG Mosley: #06 Malik Abdul: #07,09,15 Marcus Jethro: #08 Ray Tamarra: #17 Spiff: #04 18
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How are you affiliated with Jazze Pha? It’s more of a production situation. Everybody thought it was some label shit, but it wasn’t. I mean, it was a situation we was working on, but it didn’t work out. You’ve already got a good street buzz as a solo artist and a deal with Def Jam, so how does it benefit you to be a part of the group Boyz N Da Hood which is signed to Bad Boy? The group shit helped me get radio play. I was getting blackballed on the radio and shit with a lot of my music. Doing this shit with Puff just brought to light that I was an artist. Why were you getting blackballed? Just because of some street shit. Niggas knew me in the city before I got in with the rap shit, so that was the whole big thing. I was a real street nigga. I really don’t know what it was. I guess a lot of industry cats don’t like to let street niggas in. I see that now. It’s they world. They figure, once you let a couple street niggas in, they’ll all come in. With the buzz that you have as a solo artist, do you think it somewhat hurts the other members of Boyz N Da Hood? Like, you overshadow them? Nah. My buzz is more of a street thing. Puff is gonna take it to another level, to some household name type of shit. I don’t think it hurts the group, because every group needs someone that’s really visible. Do you agree with the description of Boyz N Da Hood as the “Southern N.W.A”? If it’s accurate, shit, I’m gonna be Ice Cube. That’s how I feel. But I don’t like to be compared to nobody. I love and respect everybody’s music, though. I think that’s what it is. I don’t think you should or could compare it. It’s two different types of lifestyles. As a consumer, though, I’m a big fan of N.W.A. When do you plan to drop the solo and group albums? My solo album drops June 28th, it’s called Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101. The Boyz N Da Hood album comes out on June 7th. Since you rap so blatantly about the drug game, are you worried about any backlash? Are the hip-hop police after you? Nah, I’m just tryin’ to survive. You got niggas talkin’ about killin’ niggas on records all day long. Being an American, I’ve got the right to freedom of speech. For me to connect with my people, I’ve gotta speak about what I’ve seen. I get that harassment, too, if that’s what you’re asking. I mean, that’s all I know. What I’ve seen and what I’ve come across. I couldn’t possibly rap about anything else right now. You talk about making money from the drug game, but what about the flip side? Do you plan on talking about the negative aspects? I think that’s something I’ll grow into. It wasn’t something that was on my mind at that time; I was in a different frame of mind. I do talk about the ups and downs of the game. It ain’t glorifying the drug game, I just speak on what I know and a lot of people can relate to the ups and downs. Right now is just the beginning for me, so I’m gonna get the chance to do all that. I can’t come out and give them everything at one time. I gotta get them caught up in the movement.
If you didn’t have money, would you consider yourself a failure? I’m a hustler, so I couldn’t see myself without anything. I’ve always been able to provide for myself and my team. That’s a big thing for me; weathering the storm and maintaining. That’s what I think about every day: mathematics. Speaking of mathematics, why did you decide to get into the rap game? Are you making more money than you did in your previous career? I think it’s a different feel. In the street shit, you could be that nigga in your city with the cars and the whips. But with this, whenever I’m out of state, I’m Jeezy. People I don’t recognize approach me and tell me they appreciate my music, so it’s just a different feel. Any features on this album? Definitely. I got my man Young Buck, T.I., Trick Daddy, Akon, my man Slick Pulla, and USDA. I didn’t want too many features. I wanted to hold it down myself, but I still wanted to work with a lot of the other artists that I respect. I’m a fan of a lot of indie music. I’m diggin’ Mike Jones, too. Are there some more personal, in-depth songs on your album? Yeah, all that. With my mixtape shit, it was just street swagger. With your album, you can get a lot more personal. I’ve got a song called “Let Me Talk to Them” which is talking to my homeboys, my grandmother who’s deceased, and a lot of people I ain’t get the chance to talk to. It’s a dedication. I definitely got some personal songs on there but I still did my street thing. Since you have such a hardcore sound, when you signed the group deal with Bad Boy were you worried about P Diddy controlling your sound creatively? Nah, Puff knows me so he knows I wasn’t going for that. For real, before we even sat down and did business I let him know that I stood on my own. I’m a real nigga, so I can’t make those type of [commercial] records. I can only make the type of records that I feel.
Since you signed to Def Jam, they’ve been going through a lot of internal changes. I’m a team player, so I just weather the storm. Things are looking good right now. Everybody’s excited with the project. I’m working with my man Jay-Z, he’s excited about the project. He’s a businessman, like me. We both businessmen and we don’t like to fail. Have you been getting love beyond Atlanta? Yeah, cause I’m a street nigga. For all street niggas, it ain’t about where you from. We got the same vibe. When I’m at the crib I listen to Dipset shit, and they all the way in Harlem. I hear niggas talk about my shit in Compton. It’s that love; it’s the streets. We cut from the same cloth with that gangsta music. Do you think your lyrics are too gangsta to reach a mainstream audience? My whole shit was thug motivation, so I wasn’t really worried about that. I mean, the numbers do matter. Of course I want to be successful, but at the same time I can’t sell out to sell records. I’m gonna stay true to what I do and let that take me wherever I’m supposed to go. Everybody ain’t supposed to crossover like that. You see what happens to some cats when they try to hard to crossover; they lose their whole fan base, even the ones they was tryin’ to reach. What are you working on besides the music? I’ve been working on this book for a minute, it’s called “Thug Motivation 101.” Def Jam is tryin’ to find me a publisher right now. It’s about the struggle, and there’s a couple of good messages in between. There’s a lot of niggas locked up, reading books they can’t relate to. I’m working on my clothing line, Snowman. I love clothes. I always wanted to wear my own shit. Anything else you want to say? Plug that album, baby, all day long. June 28th: Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101. Get one for the car, one for the house. - Interview and photo by Julia Beverly OZONE MAY 2005
01: Maceo, Kaspa, and Rich Boy @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 02: Lonnie Ferguson, Cheryl BrownMarks, Bryan Leach, Rob Mac, and Michael Sterling @ Webster Hall (NYC) 03: Viper, Smilez, and Southstar @ Grandaddy Souf’s “Run It” video shoot (Orlando, FL) 04: Stat Quo and Spiff @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 05: Purple City’s Shiest Bub and Agallah @ The Green Room for their release party (NYC) 06: DJ Prostyle and Tigger @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 07: Grandaddy Souf and the Gutta Boyz @ his video shoot for “Run It” (Orlando, FL) 08: Bun B and Grafh @ Webster Hall (NYC) 09: Geezy, Felisha Foxx, and Dawgman @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 10: Garfield and D’Ville @ Bedo’s “Go Head” video shoot (Orlando, FL) 11: JC Crunk and DJ Will @ Webster Hall (NYC) 12: Greg G and J Love reppin’ Slim Goodye @ Icon (Orlando, FL) 13: Averi-Minor and Three 6 Mafia (Chicago, IL) 14: Stat Quo @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 15: Stax, Benz, and Janky @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 16: Vickie Charles, Baby, and OJ Wedlaw @ Bed for Baby’s Lugz Rock Star shoe launch (NYC) 17: Piccalo and Trick Daddy @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 18: Jay-Z and Audemars president Francois-Henry Bennahmias at their press conference introducing his 10th Anniversary timepiece (NYC) 19: Greg G, Slim Goodye, and Malik Abdul @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 20: Big Cee Jay, Marco Mall, and DJ Dap @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 21: Lil Jon and his publicist Joe Wiggins giving each other the finger @ Webster Hall (NYC) Photo Credits: Averi-Minor: #13 BrightStar: #04 General: #05 Julia Beverly: #01,02,03,06,07, 08,09,11,14,15,17,19,20,21 Malik Abdul: #12 Ray Tamarra: #16,18 Spiff: #10 20
OZONE MAY 2005
So you guys are all blood brothers? Yeah, we’ve got the same daddy. Did he come up with the idea to form the group? Yeah, it was our daddy. He came up with the idea and we ran with it. He kinda put it together about seven years ago. You see how many pictures you got of us in OZONE, so you know we been at it for a long time! Yeah, and we always tease you guys about the glitter outfits you wear in the photos. Who’s idea was that? Basically we just tried to be unique and different, cause all the other artists are wearing their little white tees. We just wanted to be known everywhere, to be seen. Everywhere we go, the glitter gets stuck in their heads. Well, the glitter caught everybody’s attention. But what’s the next “look” for you guys? Are you going for a more grown-up image now? We gonna do it all. We got like a hundred looks. We ain’t nothing to be expected. The glitter got us where we at right now, but we gonna try a bunch of stuff. One day you might see us in some army fatigues and a bulletproof vest. I don’t know how to explain it; we just do what we do. Right now there’s a void in the music industry as far as “boy bands,” like, now that B2K has broken up, there’s no groups really filling in that slot. Is that your goal, to appeal to the younger female audience? We targeting girls like you. We targeting everybody; we tryin’ to get you freaky-deeky super wet. Everybody in the group got a different category. If a girl don’t like the pretty boy, she can get the lil’ wild thug. But, we make music for everybody, and our album comes with two versions: clean and dirty. You know how politics are. [Our single] “Grind On Me” is kinda explicit, so we recorded two albums so everybody could listen to our music. I first heard you guys when you had the song “Flossin’” out a while back. It seems like you have real songwriting abilities. Where do you think that came from? We make feel-good music, and evyerobyd in the group is talented. We write our own music. Our daddy had a record label back in the day with Piccalo, Black Haze, and everybody in Miami, so when we was growing up, we learned a lot just from being around them. Pitbull and Trick Daddy are like our uncles. We got a strong leader, old boy, so we just focused. We already know what we need to do. Pitbull and everybody from Miami done taught us the game, so we just moving like that. We gonna stay focused regardless.
(l to r): Slick ‘Em, Spectacular, Baby Blue, and Pleasure
ventures you’d like to do in the future? We gonna be the next Russell Simmons and the next Puff Daddy. We got our own clothing line coming out, it’s called Marco de Bleu. We’re gonna have a cartoon coming out, and we got a reality show on MTV we’re working on. We’re gonna be the next sex symbols out of the South. What’s the name of your album? Blue Stars. Do you have a release date? Blue Stars comes out on May 24th. Is most of the material on the album similar to “Grind On Me”? Everything we do is for the ladies. We got a couple joints for the fellas, though. We try to cover everything. We’ve got love songs, hate songs, sex songs, everything. We’re trying to bring slow music back to the club. We try to cover everything, though. We got other records for the freaks out there, we got some club records, and we got some thug records. We just try to cover the whole nine yards. What label are you signed to? We got our own label, Blue Star Entertainment, and we’re on Atlantic.
Did you have any formal music training in school? Nah, we just learned everything on our own. It’s basically natural. This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what we can do. Everything in music is just common sense for us. If it’s a guitar, drop it in the studio and give us a month or two to learn how to use it and we gonna learn how to play that shit. Back in the day, it wasn’t no instructions, we just had to figure it out.
How did you get your deal with Atlantic Records? “Grind With Me” ended up being the #1 most requested record in the history of Miami [on Power 96] and Craig Kallman from Atlantic Records came down to see us. We performed for him at the hotel. We ain’t really know who he was. That was during Martin Luther King weekend. We invited him out to our show, and the girls were chasing us. They were breaking down the barriers and screaming. We had to get police escorts because the girls were tryin’ to get to us. When we got in the van we had them running like four blocks chasing us. After that, it was a done deal.
Aside from music, do you have any plans for other companies or other
The screaming girls convinced him? He was like, “It’s unbelievable that you aren’t
signed yet.” Yup, the glitter did it for us. So for everybody who didn’t like the glitter, y’all can keep hatin’. Do you have a second single picked out to follow up “Grind With Me”? The crazy thing is that we can’t decide on the single. We’ve got so many songs. We’ve been doing it for so long, any song that we pick out of all of them could be singles. Are there any major features or producers on your album? We work with Jim Jonsin a lot as far as production. He did “Let’s Go” for Trick Daddy and “Dammit Man” for Pitbull. That’s about it. We tried to keep the album hometeam. We gonna let everybody know that we could do it in Florida the same way ATL and New York are doing it. You be everywhere, so you know how it is. It’s time for all of Florida to come together and do it. We tryin’ to keep it hometeam. We did a record with Pitbull, too. We got another feature from Static, he wrote a lot of songs for Aaliyah and Genuwine. And there’s gonna be an international album. What’s gonna be different about the international album? It’ll have the reggaetone version of “Grind With Me” and stuff like that. Do you have a tour planned? Where can we see Pretty Ricky over the next few months? On the road, on the road, on the road. That’s how they got us right now. We just workin’, goin’ from city to city. Anything else you wanna say? Check out www.prettyricky.com and make sure you go get that album on May 24th. Check out Soul Train on May 7th. You can catch us in the May edition of Vibe Magazine, and OZONE, of course we all over that. Julia, we wanna interview you for the next sex issue! - Words & photo by Julia Beverly OZONE MAY 2005
There’s many opinions when it comes to the origins of Southern rap music. But one fact that can’t be denied is that two brothers from the swamps of Port Arthur, Texas, had a huge influence on many other rappers from the South. UGK was formed in 1987, while Bun B and Pimp C were still in high school. At the time, both were involved in fledgling groups and decided to come together because the rest of their partners couldn’t keep up with their relentless work ethic. After a chance meeting with a man named Russell Washington at the famed Big Tyme Record Shop in Houston, the group recorded their first release on cassette tape, The Southern Way. The album spawned the hit “Tell Me Something Good,” and things skyrocketed from there. The duo signed to Jive Records, which was home to hip-hop heavyweights like Too Short and KRS-One. Unfortunately, the New York-based label couldn’t really get a grasp on their Southern sound. Nowadays, everything’s a bit different. Or is it? We sat down with Bun B to find out the real deal behind UGK & Jive and his impending solo release. UGK was one of the first Southern groups to score a major record deal. How did you get signed to Jive? Our record [The Southern Way] sold almost 50,000 copies independently. There wasn’t a movement for that type of shit at the time. We were selling gangsta music independently. The only people doing it at that time was us and Top Authority. This was a few months before 8Ball & MJG’s first project. The labels had a little bidding war going on so we were high-balling. We kept putting Peter against Paul, and then one day neither Peter nor Paul called. We thought maybe we’d fucked it up by playing ball too hard. So we were like, “Fuck it, the next people who call, we signing.” The next people who called was Jive. Why do you think the Jive situation didn’t turn out to be as fruitful as it coulda been? There just wasn’t a respect for the Southern region at the time. They didn’t want to spend a lot of money on us because they thought we probably wouldn’t break through. It was all based on assumptions. We’d say, “Why don’t we do promo in New York? Why don’t we do promo in L.A.?” And they’d say, “New York is not gonna buy your stuff, and in L.A. they don’t like your music.” They had all these excuses to not do anything for us, and yet you had people who weren’t selling half of what we were selling getting two or three videos. The system wasn’t built to really reflect and promote street-oriented music. Everything over there before had been dance music: Whodini, Billy Ocean, Samantha Fox, shit like that. Do you think that’s changed? Do the labels understand the South now? Somewhat. I think when No Limit came along, they started realizing that maybe there was something to it. We were the backbone behind all that, but when they wanted to start coming into the Southern market, we still had issues from the past that we were trying to rectify. Record labels don’t want to talk about the past. They don’t want to admit mistakes. They’re like, Fuck it, just cut a check and keep it moving.
Do you think y’all were a little too stubborn? We were extremely stubborn. There was a lot of shit we could’ve let slide, but think about the people we represent. We couldn’t just let these people keep stepping on our toes and not say anything about it. In Texas, you’ll get called on that shit. If you’re acting like you’ve got money, somebody’s gonna ask you where your money at. It don’t make sense for us to even front. We were stubborn, but I don’t regret any of the moves we made because it made us stronger as a group. It gave us a stronger sense of solidarity with our fans, because once we let them know business wasn’t right, we had people calling in and faxing Jive like, “PAY UGK.” You know what I’m sayin’? When Pimp got locked up, is it fair to say that you guys were at your highest point? Absolutely. It was gonna be our first project since “Big Pimpin’.” We had more eyes looking at us than we’d ever had before. We had a Grammy nomination, #1 on TRL, #1 on BET. There was a million and one good looks in our corner. Even now that Pimp is locked up, UGK is getting more promotion than ever before. Ever! We never really had anybody interested in us like this. It’s just the persistence of the group and the fact that we worked together for ten years as a team to keep the name alive. I’ve worked three years myself to keep the name alive. Pimp is doing his share, too. It’s hard for him to be sitting in prison, being who he was, where he came from. Anybody who knows Pimp knows that he could be getting into trouble, doing stupid shit or whatever. But he’s doing his time like a man’s supposed to. He’s been doing his time 100% inside so I gotta do everything 100% outside. When Pimp comes home, I feel like it’s as good a look if not better than “Big Pimpin’.” Two-thirds of the team isn’t even moving right now. Pimp wasn’t only my rap partner, he was the music behind UGK. I’m just trying to do everything I can. I have to be on all these songs to make up for the rhymes that Pimp ain’t writing and make up for all the beats that Pimp ain’t making right now. I had a little trouble the first
couple months, because I wasn’t really sure. I’d never done this by myself. Will UGK release another album on Jive? I have no problems with them personally, it’s just a matter of unfair compensation. I think honestly that our deal with Jive has been fulfilled. I don’t want to be ugly about the situation, but we’ve got a deal for five albums and one greatest hits album. We’ve given them four albums, and they put out a greatest hits album and two other albums. They put out a chopped & screwed album. There’s no clause in my contract for a chopped & screwed album. When I signed my deal, Screw wasn’t making Screw tapes. This was back in 1992. I would actually like to stay in the Jive system. They’ve got an incredible system now, an incredible machine for putting music out and promoting it and marketing it. Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of one of the largest music systems in the game? But I wouldn’t want to do it just to say, “I’m on Jive.” Fuck that. Those days are over. I’m not doing it if I’m not making any money off it. That seems like the story of your life. A lot of younger cats are making more money than me from the rap game. I’m not bitter, but I still need to get my money. A lot of cats before me got discouraged and just gave up. You can’t just do that. This shit makes too much money. They try to get all your music and break your spirit before you learn the game. That’s their goal: to get as much music as they can before you educate yourself about the business. They’re hoping that by the time you educate yourself, you won’t be viable anymore. A record company would love for every artist to be a one-hit wonder. But you’ve got the internet now. People are communicating, so the walls are being broken down and people are learning. The labels can’t get away with a lot of shit they used to. Now they’re trying to get younger and younger. They want to sign 13 and 14-year-olds who don’t know anything about the industry. - Matt Sonzala (photo: Julia Beverly) OZONE MAY 2005
“FREE PIMP C!” For the past three years, it’s been the rallying cry of many Southern rappers and UGK fans. But Chad Butler has already learned the secret to freedom: It’s all in the mind. Words & Photo: Julia Beverly
You can write to Pimp C here (do not send CDs): Chad Butler #1136592 Terrell Unit 1300 FM 655 Rosharon, TX 77583
OZONE MAY 2005
ales of hay, fields of cows, and tractors are not items that I normally see enroute to a typical OZONE interview.
But this interview is anything but typical. I’m riding down a rural road about 45 minutes south of Houston, headed to the correctional facility which currently serves as home for ½ of the legendary Texas rap duo UGK. The scene looks like something out of a movie. Shawshank Redemption, maybe, except for the miles and miles of beautiful blue sky. Hundreds of inmates in white jumpsuits are off to the left in the yard of one prison unit, while guards lounge off to the right on picnic tables during their lunch break. Compared to the few correctional institutions that I’ve had the pleasure of “visiting,” Terrell Unit feels relatively laid-back. The security guards are pleasant and talkative. After a quick sign-in and ID check, I’m escorted past the double-gated fence into a bland waiting room which feels about as warm and enticing as the DMV or any other generic government facility. Concrete white walls, off-white floor panels. Everything feels very blah. I fill out some paperwork. “Butler again, huh?” a guard asks dryly. Butler – Chad Butler, a.k.a. Pimp C – has apparently been getting a lot of visitors lately. Mostly reporters, thanks to Rap-A-Lot’s recent promotional push for the album of Pimp C’s old free-
of a community service violation. There was a certain amount I was supposed to have done by the end of the year, and I was two weeks late. When I finally got sentenced, I got eight years. How long have you been in prison? I’ve got credit for about three years and four months. I heard that you’re scheduled for parole at the end of the year. There’s no tellin’ when they’re gonna look at me, or when they’ll let me go. They don’t have a specific time. Do you feel like it was justified for them to give you eight years on a probation violation? I could look at it like that, or I could look at it as being better than the twenty years they could’ve given me. I’d rather look at it like that. At the time of my sentencing, though, I felt very frustrated. What’s the most challenging part of being in prison? Is it the mental aspect? Having children. That’s the most frustrating part. I have two kids. Are your children able to visit you here very much? Yes, I see them very often. I’ve been blessed to be in a place where I’m very close [geographically] to my family. At one time I was farther away, so I didn’t get to see them as much.
Actually, I’m more creative in here. I’ve got quite a few ideas. But I’m a producer, too, and it’s hard to put production ideas on paper. It’s not like writing. I have to write out what instruments I wanna play at a certain point in the song. It really looks like a ballgame game plan. I do what I can. If something pops in your head at two or three in the morning, you don’t wanna lose it. I have written a lil’ over 2,000 songs in here. You were probably one of the first people to use the word “pimp” in a hip-hop related context. Why did you decide to name yourself Pimp C? Originally, it had nothing to do with prostitution or pimpin’ women. To me, it was about pimpin’ the pen. That’s why I started using the word. How much access do you have to pop culture? I get to hear everyone’s singles when I listen to the radio, and we can read magazines. I get XXL, Rolling Stone, OZONE, and a few other magazines. They don’t let The Source in here anymore, though. I guess they got too political. They won’t let anything come in with too much politics. I know when albums are dropping, and get to listen to the singles. There have been situations in the past, like with Tupac, where rappers were able to
“I feel like I got put on the shelf, preserved, so I could come back later and do something positive. If ‘Pac hadn’t got out [of prison], he might still be alive today. Maybe there was a worse fate out there waiting for me.” style material they released last month, Sweet James Jones Stories. A few minutes later, Chad Butler is escorted into the visiting area. “I heard a joke that you’ve been doing more interviews now than you did when you were free,” I begin, speaking through the thick glass wall. “That’s not a joke,” he responds. “That’s the truth.” The general public has a perception of what prison is like, based on what they’ve seen on TV. How accurate do you think their perception is? It might be 20-30% accurate. What they don’t show on TV is the fact that you can be positive in here. There’s school, and a lot of church activities. I got my G.E.D. in here. When you come to prison you have the choice of how you want to do that time. I’ve been blessed that I haven’t gotten in much trouble. This place is not much like what you’d see on TV. What’s a typical day like for you? Pretty laid-back. I get up around 11 or 12 and go to work around 2. I work in the kitchen. Do the other inmates or guards treat you differently because of who you are? No, I wouldn’t say that. After the first two weeks or so, I’m treated just like everybody else. Why are you in prison? I was on probation for aggravated assault in 2000. After a year on probation, I was violated because
What are some of the positive aspects of being in prison? Has it made you reevaluate some things in your life? I’ve made some choices while I’ve been in here. I don’t wanna start preaching, but basically, we all have to take responsibility for our actions. Has it changed your perspective on the rap game? If you write lyrics today, is it different than three years ago? Well, you know, some rappers speak from the literal perspective, like Eminem. He raps about his life, his own personal experiences. I’m more of an entertainer than a realist, but yeah, I’m sure it has affected my lyrics. Are you happy with the quality of the material on the album Sweet James Jones Stories, considering the circumstances? Actually, I haven’t heard the album. I’ve only heard about three songs. It’s all freestyle material I did between December of 2000 and January of 2002. It was all compiled from freestyle tapes. It’s just something to hold the fans over until I get back. When you get out of prison, do you plan on heading straight to the studio? I don’t know. I’ll have to see what it looks like when I get back. Once I get out there I’ll evaluate the scene and if it looks like I can prosper, yeah, I’ll do it. Do you think your creativity suffers behind bars, or does it help you be more focused?
get out of prison early by putting out a lot of money. It seems like you’re doing a lot of time for a minor offense. Do you think if you had a different lawyer or more money, your situation could be better? I had a whole bunch of money. I had the best lawyer. There was nothing they could do. I was real frustrated at that time, you know? I was spending my own money to get out. It isn’t a money thing. If it’s in your plan and it’s supposed to happen, then it’s gonna happen. You can’t even try to stop it. I feel like I got put on the shelf, preserved, so I could come back and do something positive later. Maybe I will be in a position where I can prosper when I get out. I’m not going to challenge it, I’m just gonna take it for what it’s worth. If ‘Pac hadn’t got out, he might still be alive today. Maybe there was a worse fate out there waiting for me. Are you signed to Rap-A-Lot? No, but I still consider them family. They’ve been treating me like a son for years, way before anyone knew me. I trust J Prince, he’s like a godfather to me. He’s a good man. I heard he was here to visit you yesterday. Who else has been real supportive since you’ve been in prison? David Banner. David Banner’s down for me, he’s a good dude. A lot of people have shown their support in different ways. There’s people who got on [the Sweet James Jones Stories] album to support me that I’ve never OZONE MAY 2005
even met before. Mike Jones, he’s screamin’ my name out every chance he get. T.I.’s shouting me out. Bun B, it seems like that boy’s entire wardrobe consists of shirts with my face on it. Bun is in the position of being the mother and the father. He’s carrying the weight of UGK on his back. He ain’t have to do that. He could’ve just as easily pushed me out of the way and focused on just himself. He ain’t have to keep focusing on me, he ain’t have to get out there and wear them shirts and keep hollerin’ “Free Pimp C.” He’s under a tremendous amount of pressure, so I appreciate that. Do you think your incarceration is somewhat of a blessing in disguise for your career? All the press I’m getting now is because of all the people in my corner from Rap-A-Lot. It’s like a family over there. I’ve never met the owner of Jive, but the owner of Rap-A-Lot, I have dinner with his family. It’s a big difference. Is UGK still contractually signed to Jive? We owe Jive one more album. If UGK and Jive really don’t get along and they don’t know how to market you, why won’t they just let you go? Because we sell 500,000 albums every time we drop and they don’t have to spend any money on videos or promotion or anything. Our album went platinum with no video. If you were a businessperson, would you let that go? Or would you try to hold onto it and capitalize off it? It’s not
In the past few years while you’ve been away, the South has really become a dominant force in music. Did you anticipate that happening? Everybody gets they time to shine. It’s just like in sports. Everybody gets their chance to hold down the title for a lil’ while. It depends on the players’ actions, if they can hold onto it and for how long. The East had their time, the West had their time, so it was just a matter of time before the South and Midwest had a turn. It was gonna go down eventually. Right now, music is stuck. All the records sound the same, and eventually people are gonna get tired of hearing that. They gonna want to hear something with substance; things to live by. We need more substance. Everybody’s pretty much just screamin’ and hollerin’ over some 808 drums, and that’s not gonna last too long.
Three 6 Mafia? To tell you the truth, all the stuff they makin’ now and calling it “crunk” music was Three 6 Mafia’s recipe for making records. A lot of things we’re hearing now is just recycled Three 6 mafia. They were very influential in the Southeast. They deserve a lot of credit.
David Banner? David Banner is a great producer, first of all. He’s gritty and grimy, and he don’t mind sampling a record. Nowadays we’re losing that element. I know there’s a lot of legalities. People don’t want you to use they records, and there’s a whole lot of preaching that goes on in the record industry. But you can’t stop sampling records; that’s what this music game was based on. We can’t stop using breakbeat records in our songs, because if we do, we’ll lose the essence Will your lyrics get more political now? of what this music is about. I don’t even know We gonna talk about a lil politics. When you if I’m qualified to speak on the essence of it, don’t know any better, you have no excuse. But because we don’t make hip-hop records down when you know, you have the opportunity to here. What we make is a hybrid. It’s different, show. When I didn’t know no better, I had an ex- but we use the same methods. We’re still uscuse for making a shallow record, but now that ing breakbeats and sampling records and other I know I have a responsibility to tell what I know things that we learned from the East coast, but and live it. We gonna give them what they want we’re doing it our way. and what they need. Are there any East coast “hip-hop” artists Are there any new artists you’re looking for- that you’d like to work with? ward to working with when you get out? I like a whole bunch of hip-hop artists. I like The girl from Crime Mob, Diamond. David Ban- Fat Joe, Big Daddy Kane, I grew up on all them ner, Mike Jones. I’d like to get T.I. and Boosie records. There’s a whole bunch of people on and Webbie on a project together. the East coast that I would love to work with.
“At one point, the East coast was very hostile towards us. After buying all their records for so many years, it was like a slap in the face. After trying to be accepted for so long, we turned our backs. That’s the attitude that created Southern music.” personal, it’s business. But, there have been situations where people tried to buy us out of our contract and Jive wouldn’t let us go, and I never understood that.
What do you enjoy more – being an artist or being a producer? I don’t know if I enjoy being an artist, but I know I like to rap. I like to make beats, too.
What’s your relationship with Trill Entertainment? I’m co-owner.
Our last issue was called 25 Greatest Southern Artists of All Time. Why do you think UGK belongs near the top of that list? That’s not for me to say. Ask me about 8Ball & MJG. When they came in the game, they was grindin’. They had that attitude: Either you like us, or you don’t like us, but we’re gonna keep on making our records the way we want to make them. To me, they’re one of the greatest groups of the South. They’re one of my favorites; them and the Geto Boys. The Geto Boys were actually the first group from Texas I ever heard on a record. But you’ve gotta understand, there’s been three or four different Geto Boy groups throughout the years. Which Geto Boys are we talkin’ about? The first Geto Boys, or when ‘Face and Willie came into the group?
Were you actively involved in finding and developing Trill’s artists Boosie and Webbie? Boosie was there before I left. Webbie came on after I was incarcerated so I haven’t had the chance to work with him. What impressed you about Boosie? The lil’ dude was on fire. He was rappin’ it and living it, and at that time I was real wild so it was attractive to me to see someone on that same crazy vibe. I know he can take it to the top. They both can. Webbie’s got a knack for writing singles. I can see that already and it’s still early in his career. Very talented guy. How did UGK get on Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin’”? It was his idea. He contacted us, and he’d already planned it out. He called one evening and said, “Hey, we need y’all to do this song.” We were like, “Okay, when?” He said, “I need you here today,” so that’s how it went down. Were you surprised to get a call like that? Not really. I mean, you’d be surprised. People in the industry communicate quite a bit. He got my number from Too Short, I think. 26
OZONE MAY 2005
I’m real good friends with Brand Nubian, but it was never a public thing; it was behind closed doors. We did a record with Keith Murray, too. I respect his gangsta.
Do you consider Southern music to be “hiphop” or a totally separate genre? It’s a hybrid. It’s kinda like reggae and dancehall. What you hear from Spragga Benz and Bob Marley are two different types of records, but they both fall under the reggae category. What we do is a lot different from the East coast. We have more West coast characteristics than East coast. The West coast never judges or points the finger or says, “Y’all ain’t makin’ real rap records down South.” At one time, the East was very hostile towards us. They were like, “That ain’t real hip-hop that y’all are doing, so we don’t wanna hear y’all. We don’t care how many records you sell, it’s not real.” After buying all their records for so many years, it was like a slap in the face. If we ain’t from New York City, we don’t got the right to rap? We don’t wear Scarface, Willie D, and Bushwick Bill. backpacks so we can’t make records? So, after ‘Face’s lyrical content speaks for itself. Willie trying to be accepted for so long, we turned D’s got that attitude, too: Either you like me our backs. We don’t wanna be accepted now. or you don’t. That’s the kind of attitude I like: We’ve got our own thing down here. We don’t Either you like me or you don’t like me, and wanna listen to you, and we don’t care if you I don’t care either way. I’m gonna keep doing don’t wanna listen to us. We’re gonna do our it my way. The Geto Boys paved the way. They own records and sell our own records to our own were going to New York and trying to be ac- people. That’s the attitude that created Southcepted before folks were accepting us, so they ern music. I call it country rap tunes. Nothing took a lot of the critical beatdown for us and we do is hip-hop. The only similarity is that we everyone else that’s comin’ up. I give them a lot all rap, and we all make our music on the same of credit. They’re #1 down here to us. type of equipment.
A lot of people may recognize you as the new host of Rap City, but what’s your background as a DJ? I got started in radio back in 1994 at a radio station in Tampa called WMMF. It’s a 7,000 watt community station. I had a weekly show there called The Underground Railroad. Back before cats were able to download their favorite songs, it was the only place you could get hip-hop music in Tampa on the regular. From there I went to WTMP in 1997, and a few years later I went to WLLD. I started doing mixtapes, and I was Angie Martinez’ tour DJ and EA Sports’ DJ. About a year ago, I started doing guest hosting for Rap City and BET as a whole. At the beginning of this year, I was blessed with the opportunity to become the new host of Rap City. What was the audition process like? It was God’s plan because I didn’t really have an audition. I didn’t submit a tape or anything. I got a call asking if I was available to host Rap City. What do you think appealed to them about you? I really can’t comment on what went into the decision-making process. I never really got into it with them. It was a great opportunity, so I took it. I’m assuming that what I brought to the table must have gone over well, because I’m now the host of Rap City. What’s the most difficult part of making that transition from radio to TV? I’ve gotta be aware that if I decide to go out the night before a taping, that’s gonna affect the way I look. When you do radio, it doesn’t matter what you do the night before as long as you get up in time for your show. You could be completely trashed and wearing a pair of slippers and a t-shirt and nobody will know the difference. With TV, if you party hard the night before, people will know when they see that show.
Speaking of partying hard, I heard you were a little tipsy after Justo’s Mixtape Awards. A good time was had by all. There was a comment Tigger made in our BCR issue stating that you need to “step your game up.” Do you have a response to that? I’ve got nothing but respect and admiration for Tigger as a host of Rap City and I think he’s done a huge amount. Is it hard to fill someone else’s shoes, coming into a show and replacing a host who was well-liked? I think people are resistant to change. Tigger definitely had his challenges coming in after the hosts before him who were also well-liked, so it’s always going to be a transitional period. What are you enjoying the most about this new experience? Again, I’m in a very fortunate set of circumstances. I’m thankful for it every day. It’s not every day that somebody becomes a new host of a show like Rap City. I’m proud to rep my area in Florida; I’m happy to do anything that keeps me involved with hip-hop and allows me to contribute. Do you feel a responsibility to rep Tampa? I think that because of some people who’ve come out of that area before, there might be some expectations and people are worried that I’m gonna forget about Tampa. Nah, every day of my DJ career has been because of Tampa, and there’s nothing else I could do right now
but hold it down. There’s always the joke that Tampa is the home of one-hit wonders. What do you think it’s gonna take to put Tampa on the map? I think it’s still gonna take time, but there’s a lot of talent in the area. I think Tom G is gonna have a great career. I’ve had a chance to sit and talk with the CEO of his label, Neg, and I think he’s going in a good direction. There’s my man Ski with 24-1 Records, I think that with Rated R’s new project and his new group the Eve’nin Ridahz, they’re gonna be making a lot of noise. My man Sonny Crack and Ovados have been grinding for a long time. With the right set of circumstances, they’ll be able to get out there. Sonny’s a monster with the beats, so in the near future you’ll be hearing his production on other artists’ albums. Have you been traveling a lot lately? We on the road real steady, but Tampa’s my home, man. Tampa’s the spot that I love. I love Florida. It’s a lot bigger than South Beach, and people need to come experience spots like Tampa and Orlando and Jacksonville. Don’t underestimate the power of those cities when it comes to breaking an artist or having a good time. But yeah, I’m stayin’ on the road. As quick as somebody comes up, they could go down even quicker. But this has been 11 years in the making, so it’s not to say that I came up quick, but to say that I understand the importance of reaching out to the smaller markets. That’s my preference, actually, because it means more when you get there. They don’t get attention from some of their other favorite artists, so when you go into a smaller market, they really got love for you. I’m working on a mixtape and got some other business ventures, but I don’t wanna put it out there too early to jinx the process. Mad Linx has always been a grinder. Why does BET treat OZONE so badly every year at Spring Bling? Mad Linx didn’t treat any media badly, so I can’t speak for anybody but me. Anything else you want to plug? Rap City Monday through Friday 4-6 PM. Cats can always check out what’s going on at www. madlinx.com. Thanks to the Central Florida area in particular, and shouts to OZONE Magazine for holdin’ it down. - Julia Beverly
OZONE MAY 2005
10 WHITE BOY STEREOTYPES
TRUE OR FALSE? ASK PAULWALL, THE DOPEST WHITE BOY IN TEXAS 01 White Boys Have No Rhythm PaulWall agrees: Yeah, that’s pretty much true. The average white guy doesn’t have rhythm unless they’re really into music. It kinda depends on what type of music they listen to. But if you’re corny and square, you ain’t gonna have no rhythm no matter what race you are.
02 White Boys Can’t Jump
PaulWall agrees: I actually used to play basketball, but I ain’t gonna lie. I can’t jump. On average, that’s probably true, but there’s a lot of athletes out there that are white that can jump so it just depends.
03 White Boys Are More Financially Secure Boys Like Girls With Fake Boobs 04 White and Flat Asses
PaulWall disagrees: I don’t think that’s true, cause I know a bunch of broke-ass white muthafuckers.
PaulWall disagrees: Maybe five years ago that was true, but not any more. Ass is “in” now for any race. Shit, the J Lo look is hot, and Beyonce was rated #1 for hottest bodies on VH1 and she got an extended cab. Five years ago that whole Pamela Anderson look was in, but now even Playboy isn’t looking for girls with fake boobs. They want the natural look.
05 White Boys Eat Pussy
PaulWall agrees: I think everybody eats pussy. That’s not a racial thing. It’s just like a girl giving head. All girls give head. They ain’t gonna do it to everybody, but they did it before and they gonna do it again.
Boys Are More Disrespectful to 06 White Their Parents
PaulWall agrees: Yeah, I think that’s true, and I don’t know why they are. It’s crazy. It’s not just white guys, but white girls too. You always see spoiled little white kids talking trash and cussin’ their mommas out and stuff.
07 White Boys Wanna Be Black
PaulWall disagrees: Nah. I think a lot of white guys are just intrigued by the black culture and interested in it, but I don’t think they want to be black. I grew up in this community, so I don’t look at it as black culture. I look at it as my culture. Do I wanna be black? Nope. I don’t give a damn if I was Chinese, Mexican, white, black, or whatever. My daddy was still a drug addict, I still had a single momma, I’m still rappin’, and I’m still the people’s champ.
08 White Boys Have Small Dicks 09 White Boys Are More Experimental
PaulWall disagrees: I never seen nobody else’s package, but I know I don’t! I got a bulge. PaulWall agrees: I think white guys are more openminded as far as trying different drugs and shit, whether it’s cocaine, X, mushrooms, or whatever. They’re more willing to get fucked up regardless of the consequences. I don’t know, though. I can’t speak for nobody else. I drink syrup and alcohol, that’s it, but I’ve always found that to be true. My white homeboys will take a whole lot of different types of drugs, but my black or Hispanic homeboys just smoke weed or sip syrup or pop an X pill every now and then. I don’t really know anybody that still pops X, though.
10 White Boys Are More Sensitive
PaulWall disagrees: That’s a hard one. There’s always been that stereotype that white guys are punks, getting beat on by their girlfriends, and they’re just sitting around heartbroken and shit. But I don’t think so. I watch a lot of MTV and shit, and on The Real World you always see them doggin’ their girls out. I think everybody’s sensitive to somebody. That ain’t a white thing.
OZONE MAY 2005
KNOWN FOR SPITTING OUT EXCLUSIVES AT LIGHTNING SPEED, SOUTH CAROLINA’S
DJ CHUCK T
LEADS THE PACK IN THE SOUTH’S RAPIDLY EXPANDING AND HIGHLY COMPETITIVE MIXTAPE MARKET. But visitors to Chuck T’s website on April 19th, 2005, were greeted with a menacing FBI logo (above) courtesy of Grayzone.com, an RIAA affiliate responsible for digital “piracy and bootleg investigation.” Was DJ Chuck T’s mixtape stash raided? Did he really get arrested? Or is it all just a publicity stunt? Here, the “most well-rounded DJ in the South” clears up the rumors and breaks down the mixtape game. 30
OZONE MAY 2005
Okay, what’s the real story? Your website was shut down with an FBI logo, and the rumors say that you’ve been arrested. Well, here’s the story. There was this website that was bootlegging DJs mixtapes. Another website had hipped me to what was going on, but I really didn’t believe them because the mixtape websites hate on each other all the time. I did a little investigation and found out it was true. I posted the information on a few message boards as a favor to the DJ community, and the website’s owner was responding. So, the next day, all of a sudden I’m getting all these weird emails like, “Yo, I need to cop 1,000 tapes.” They were all coming from anonymous Hotmail and Yahoo accounts, so it was like a red flag to be getting all these emails at one time. Nobody was giving me any contact numbers, so it looked fake. I didn’t know it was a branch of the RIAA; I figured it was dude trying to set me up. I started emailing back and playing with them. So I took a plane out to New York on Friday, and early Saturday morning I got a phone call saying that the bootlegging website had been raided by the RIAA and hit with $20,000 in fines. The company that hit him was called Grayzone.com, they’re a branch of the RIAA. They’re the ones who do the field work. When I started going back through the emails, some of the addresses they’d hit me from had “grayzone” in them, which led me to believe I was under investigation also. But, I haven’t been arrested despite what people are saying, and no charges have been pressed. It’s just been blown out of proportion. The RIAA contacted my webmaster and let them know that I was under investigation because they got a tip that I was selling bootleg albums off my website. A detective stopped by the crib and gave my mom his business card, saying I need to contact him. He said I wasn’t in trouble, he just needed to talk to me about the allegations. So the first thing I did was call my lawyer. You drop a couple mixtapes a month, but how do you profit from them? It’s illegal to sell mixtapes, right? We all know that, first and foremost, it’s illegal to sell mixtapes. You can not sell mixtapes. When you sell a mixtape, you’re actually selling your DJ capabilities or your turntable skills or your CD covers. There’s a whole lot of ways you can word it, but selling the actual music on the mixtapes is illegal. Everybody gets around it because you can put “promotional use only.” Mixtapes are used to promote an artist, and DJs are not supposed to make any money off them whatsoever. When you pay for a mixtape, you’re actually paying for materials itself, because that “promo use only” thing is running out. We make no profit. We charge at cost. You’re not making anything from the music. You’ve got to have a disclaimer on there letting everybody know that the music does not belong to you. What separates a DJ like yourself from a “bootlegger”? The thing that separates the two is the fact that, in some way, shape, or form, us DJs do have permission to put the music on the CD to promote the artist. We get the music from A&Rs, artists themselves, record labels, record pools, stuff like that. If you call the mixshow contact for a lot of record labels, you’ll hear on their answering machine: “If you’re calling to obtain music for mixshows, mixtapes, clubs, or radio,” he’s the dude you need to contact. The industry is just slow trying to legalize it. When all this happened, I was actually in New York at the Power 105 music conference. They had a panel where we submitted questions for Kevin Liles. They didn’t get around to my question, but what I was going to ask is: “What are you doing to protect real DJs who actually get serviced from the label and talk to the A&Rs and mixshow promoters?” We have permission to put stuff on our mixtapes. Bootleggers will just take your album, burn it, and sell it, no permission. Isn’t there paperwork or a release form you could have the labels sign that would protect you from the RIAA? Honestly, everybody has tried, but you’re not gonna get it. Nobody’s really gonna give you permission. I know it’s crossed a lot of DJ’s minds at one point in time, but it’s just not gonna happen, especially when you consider how competitive the mixtape game is. If you sit around and wait on paperwork, the song is gonna be old by the time you get it out. Since you’re not supposed to make any money off it, you really shouldn’t need permission. There’s no need for paperwork. So it’s kind of a catch-22 with the labels, because they want you to put their artists on your mixtape to promote them, but they don’t want to give you written permission to do it. Exactly. But the one thing they can’t deny is the importance of mixtapes and they influence mixtapes have on the industry itself. They’re very important when it comes to breaking new artists. But the labels couldn’t care less about the DJs. When the chips are down, they fall back. They’re not gonna help you. What’s going to happen now with you and the RIAA? Legally, I’m clear. I talked to four or five mixshow coordinators for different labels, and they said they were gonna write me letters to vouch for me. The group that was investigating was trying to check and see if I really am who I say I am. I really doubt I’ll have any charges pressed. They’re going through and checking my contacts to make sure Chuck T really gets serviced from these labels. As far as jail time or whatever I’m not even worried about that. Fines? Maybe. I’m more worried about the fact that the situation itself was brought on by a hater. What’s your advice to other legitimate mixtape DJs? How should they protect themselves legally from the RIAA or Grayzone, to make sure they aren’t investigated also? Make sure you have all your contact info on hand at all times: A&Rs, managers, record reps, record pools, everything. Save all the packaging that you receive your records in. I gave them packages from Universal Records that shows that I consistently get stuff from them and I’m on their mailing list. Also, make sure you always ship copies of your mixtapes to the labels. A lot of the mixshow coordinators ask to see the mixtapes so they can present them at the office for meetings and stuff like that. Save all your emails from the A&Rs. Is your website www.DJChuckT.com back up? My lawyer said to hold off. The RIAA said I could put it back up, but couldn’t do business right away. Has the whole situation slowed you down at all? Never that. I’ve actually had more people contacting me about putting their music on my mixtape than ever before. Honestly, even though it’s negative publicity, it’s still publicity. I don’t know anybody who’s shied away from me because of it. Everybody’s like, “Yo, Chuck, I’m ridin’ with you, if them folks need paperwork or whatever I’ll write a letter.” Honestly, all this is gonna do is make me watch my back a little more carefully. Not everybody is your friend, and just because they spend money with you doesn’t mean they won’t turn on you. You hear a lot of stats thrown around saying that bootlegging causes the record industry to lose billions of dollars a year. Do you think mixtapes help or hurt album sales? In all honesty, mixtapes help good artists and they hurt bad artists. Mixtapes are a way of exposing the fraudulent artists; the one-hit wonders. Mixtapes actually let people get a preview of your real skills. If people don’t see you making moves on the mixtape circuit, then nine times out of then, they aren’t gonna buy your album. But, if the music you’re taking to the DJs is quality stuff, you’re definitely gonna succeed both on the mixtape circuit and with album sales. Some people don’t believe that this whole situation actually happened. Some people are saying it’s a publicity stunt. Honestly, the last thing they wanted to do is piss me off. Tomorrow I’m calling every record label I know to get some new music. I admit I was getting sorta lazy, but all this is doing is motivating me. With all the talk going around and niggas saying its a publicity stunt, yeah, right. If this really was a publicity stunt, everybody’s about to see how good I’m gonna milk it. - Julia Beverly, firstname.lastname@example.org OZONE MAY 2005
Who’s a part of M.O.E. Entertainment? Victor: Myself and Lil Man, we’re the CEOs. There’s Lil V, Young Cash, and the other members of the 904 Click: T-Smiley, Chicken Mann, and SJ a.k.a. Dirt Diggler. M.O.E.’s the label. It stands for Money Over Everything. The group is called 904 Click. How did the 904 Click get started? Victor: Me and my brother Young Cash and another one of our brothers started the 904 Click. When I met Lil Man me and him hooked up, and he had T-Smiley and Chicken Mann on his side. Then we added Calico from my side, and SJ was the last member. He came in like four years ago. Most of us have been here since 1999. T-Smiley: They was linked up as buddies on the street level, and they had a lil club situation too. We all used to go to the club, turnin’ it out, whatever. Everything was just clickin’. We started making music. Young Cash was always gonna do the music thing, so he shot off and got it pumpin’ like it was supposed to. We gonna follow him up with the 904 Click. It’s always been a group, but everybody wanna do solo projects too. Victor: All the artists are solo artists. T-Smiley: We’re behind Cash as a solo artist, as far as jumpin’ out there and makin’ it happen. Why did you decide to push Cash as the first solo artist? Victor: It was so hard to push the 904 Click, cause we did that for years but it slowed up all the time. It’s hard to keep four members together. Everybody got different projects. Some were going to school at the time. At that time Joey [Cash] really felt like somebody had to step up. He was already doing it. When I got shot, a lot of us had quit. Joey was the only person that kept going to the studio and was still working. He was the first one to be really ready. So Cash kinda holds the whole 904 Click together. Young Cash: When the general fell, I helped it back up. Victor: Yeah, when the ship was sinking, he really held it together. What albums are you getting ready to put out right now? T-Smiley: Right now, it’s Cash’s album and mixtape. The 904 Click got two albums done already. Victor: It’s called G.R.I.T.S.: G’s Raised In The South. Do you feel like Jacksonville needs representation? Young Cash: Hell yeah. Victor: Jacksonville is a gangsta city. I really think it’s a gangsta city because we don’t have nothing to do around here. It’s either go to work or be in the streets. It ain’t a big city like Atlanta where people got money. There’s no big singers or rappers or NFL players here. It’s either streets or work. It ain’t no in-between. It ain’t a lot of people here that got money. I feel like once M.O.E. puts more money into this city, it’ll be more opportunities for other black indie labels to make money. What style does everyone bring to the group? Victor: T-Smiley is more on the gutta side, for the streets. SJ is just a white phenomenon. I feel like he’s gonna really wreck the game. He grew up with all of us, so everything he’s speaking is real. Young Cash: Me and SJ grew up together playing sports.
SJ, do you think you’ll get a lot of Eminem comparisons because you’re white? SJ: The only comparison between us is our skin color. I’m coming way different. I’m coming through your door. Young Cash: Eminem is more on the comedy, super-lyrical end. SJ is more like a game-spitter. SJ: I’m comin’ every time with shit flowin’. Paintin’ the streets. Good, bad, everything. What single are you putting out right now? Victor: “Man” is the first single. It’s about what we’ve been doing for the last ten years: ballin’ out of control. We blow money like powder. We’re known for blowin’ money. Ask they streets, they’ll tell you. T-Smiley: Money Over Everything. Where do the other group members fit in? Chicken Mann: I just fit in the best way I can. I rap about real life situations. The ups, the downs, and everything in between. Victor: All our music is about real life situations. It’s about what we’ve seen and done. Young Cash: I can rap about stuff that’s super gangsta and speak it in a way that everybody can understand. T-Smiley keeps it super gutta too, but I put it into the limelight. T-Smiley: Unfortunately, this ain’t no screenplay. We ‘bout to be actors when they let us get this movie deal, but right now it’s dead serious. This shit ain’t no acting. Victor: Most people get in the game and try to be gangsta, but we’re actually trying to get away from that shit. We’ve been in the streets forever. We’re actually doing this shit. Most people go backwards; they get in the game and then try to be gangstas. We tryin’ to go the other direction. We been gettin’ money ever since we owned Club Choices on the West side. What separates the 904 Click from all the other groups tryin’ to come up right now? SJ: The thing that makes the 904 Click so unique is because we can come in so many different ways. We’re straight hardcore. We can make people relate, even if they don’t know nothing about what we do. I bet we can get anybody to bump our shit. Chicken Mann: We paint vivid, real life pictures of this shit. Anything else you want to say? T-Smiley: One time for Backdoor Productions, MG holdin’ it down like an anchor on a cruise ship. Young Cash: One time for Mike Jones and the Swishahouse clique. Victor: Lil Webbie, Boosie, Bigga Rankin and the Cool Runnings crew. Rest in peace to Ced Henry, the first and last M.O.E. soldier we lost off the team. T-Smiley: Q45, King Ron, all the radio stations. Much love to 92.7 The Beat. Jacksonville, get on our back cause we finna ride out and take y’all with us. Do you want to give out any contact information for your studio? Victor: Yeah, it’s Top Notch Studios, Jacksonville’s hottest new studio. Holla at us: 904-777-9662 or 904-545-0385.
01: TC, Capone, Damon Dash, and Rachel Roy at the Apollo for the Death of A Dynasty premiere (NYC) 02: Ant-Lava and friends reppin’ OZONE @ the Green Room for Purple City’s release party (NYC) 03: Atlantic’s Dwight Willacy, Erick Ford, Ronnie Johnson, and James Lopez @ Madison Square Garden (NYC) 04: Big Gee, Kydd Joe, and DirtBag @ Club Tens (NYC) 05: Garfield and Yogi reppin’ OZONE (Daytona Beach, FL) 06: Jin and Kevin Cooper @ Club Cirque (London) 07: Grandaddy Souf and friends at his video shoot for “Run It” (Orlando, FL) 08: Trick Daddy and a model reppin’ Crunk Juice @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 09: Harlem Spinnerz’ owner reppin’ OZONE (NYC) 10: Ray Cash and Chris Green @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 11: Hip-Hop 411 TV hosts Coco and Sharon @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 12: T Pain and Akon’s brother Bu @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 13: Greg G and Christina Clark @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 14: Melinda, Ray J, and Anna (Daytona Beach, FL) 15: Slim Thug and Mike Jones @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 16: Master P and Silkk the Shocker @ Kartouche (Jacksonville, FL) 17: Three 6 Mafia and Camron reppin’ Sizzurp @ 102 Jamz (Orlando, FL) 18: Pitbull, Tigger, and Southstar reppin’ Grand Lenare cognac @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 19: Butch Hartfield, Bobby Valentine, and Courtney Stewart (New Orleans, LA) 20: Full Impact All-Stars @ Jamlando Record Pool Meeting (Orlando, FL) 21: Sky High, Van Dale, and Mala-T @ Jamlando Record Pool Meeting (Orlando, FL) Photo Credits: General: #02,09 Greg G: #13 Julia Beverly: #04,05,07,08, 10,11,12,17,18,21 Kevin Cooper: #06 Malik Abdul: #14,20 Marcus Jethro: #19 Ray Tamarra: #01,03 Sophia Jones: #16 Spiff: #15
OZONE MAY 2005
A lot of people are wondering why you aren’t on Rap City anymore. That’s just the nature of the business. I’ve been on Rap City for six years and in The Basement for five years, and I can’t do the same thing for the rest of my life. But now that I have high visibility, I have to be able to show people that I can do more than what I was doing. Now you see me in a suit or on some other TV networks, it’s just a way to show people my versatility. You have to keep your options open and keep it on and poppin’. Are you going to be doing more projects with BET? I’m already doing BET Style, that comes on every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30. I have a lot of things in development that I can’t put out there yet cause they’re not done. I hate saying stuff until I’m sure it’s gonna happen. I’ve got my cognac poppin, it’s called Grand Lenare. I have my signature line of automotive rims dropping this May called BT’s. Do you think your rims are gonna be as popular as Sprewells? Well, we’re not spinning, so I don’t know if they’re gonna be as popular as Sprewells (laughing). Basically, I’m a car guy, so I know what good rims look like. I got connected with people who make quality stuff. They gotta be quality if they got my name on ‘em. What’s your car collection include? Let’s see. I have an ‘05 downtown 645, an ‘04 E55, a 2003 Volkswagon GTI a.k.a. the Yellow Bird, that’s my fast and furious car. I got the 1966 Lincoln Continental with suicide doors. I got a 2000 Tahoe. I’ve got four motorcycles, too, but I’m bout to sell one of ‘em. I got a 2004 Kawasaki GX10, a 2001 Suzuki GSXR1000, and a 2000 Suzuki GSXR750. What’s your opinion on the new host of Rap City, Mad Linx? I wish him luck. He’s gotta bring it because Rap City is fifteen years old, and he’s holding the torch for a lot of people. Word on the street is that he needs to step his game up and bring it. I wish him luck in his new position. When people see you on TV, it looks kinda easy. Was hosting Rap City difficult for you? Most of it’s natural. It’s just the way I am. I’ve been blessed to be me in the eleven years of my career on television, so I don’t foresee myself ever falling off. It ain’t gon’ be no remix to Tigger, cause I’ve been just myself all this time. There’s certain aspects of it I had to work on. I didn’t go to school, but I had to learn television the same way I had to learn radio. I had a God-given talent. When people talk to me, I guess they feel like they know me. They feel comfortable talking to me. One of my strongest qualities is my interview game. My interview game is serious. Did you ever watch tapes of yourself on Rap City and critique yourself? When I first started they made me watch tapes. They wanted me to be the best I could be. It was the longest running show in the country, so I had a lot of pressure from them to hold the shit down. I never wanted to be known as the person who killed Rap City, so that was motivation enough for me. So yeah, I looked at the tapes and had people give me feedback. The show, and myself, evolved
over the years. Tell me about your cognac. I’m an owner, not just a spokesperson. The name, Lenare, is a derivative of my middle name. I’ve never put out a liquor before, so it’s been a big learning process for me. And you’ve got Big Tigger weekend coming up in June, right? Yeah, the Street Corner Foundation. We have two primary goals: the prevention of HIV/AIDS through awareness and prevention, and the second is to increase literacy in urban areas. Our fundraiser is coming up June 17th-19th in Washington, D.C. You can visit www.streetcornerfoundation.org or www.bigtigweekend.net for more information. This is my fourth year doing the fundraiser. Last year we had Allen Iverson, B2K, R Kelly, Gabrielle Union, Michael Vick, Terrell Owens, Tank, Free from 106th & Park, and Michael Ealy. It was hot, it was beautiful to have all those people come down. We have a celeb basketball game and a whole bunch of events. I donate the profits to different organizations. We heard you on the R Kelly “Snake” joint. Are you planning on doing a Tigger album? We’ll see. I’ve gone back and forth between “yeah” and “no.” Part of the reason is because of the nature of the music business. It’s really only like five or six people making it right now. Everything is 120% for me, so for me to really go do an album I’d have to set aside some of the other shit I’m doing. If the money ain’t gonna be equal to or bigger than what I’m making now, that’s like hustling backwards. So part of it is the economics of it, and the second part is actually sitting down and getting focused and having time to work on it. Between BET, the rims, my cognac, my syndicated radio show, and some of the other shit I’m developing, it’d be hard for me to just stop everything to do an album. Did any labels approach you with offers? We had a lot of great conversations, especially when the R Kelly joint was out, but I didn’t re-
ally get the answers I was looking for. We had a couple potential situations that fell apart at the last minute, and that didn’t help motivate me. It’s like, if I don’t do it, I ain’t gonna die, you know? I already got my respect from what I did in the booth and I had a good song with R Kelly, so as long as the people respect me I’m cool. How many stations is your syndicated radio show on? It’s on 56 stations in the U.S. and three countries. It’s definitely very cool. Radio is how I got started, it’s been a great foundation for me. It’s opened a lot of doors. I think I have the number one rated urban syndicated show in the country, aside from morning shows. It’s beautiful. And I own my show, so if I decide I don’t like the company I’m with I could take it somewhere else. Does syndication hurt local markets? I think it does when you do it in shifts like the morning show or afternoon show. My show is only on the weekends, and I control 100% of the playlist. I might not play a “local” artist from that particular state, because my show is the top 20 joints in the country and a couple joints bubbling. We put it together in an exciting package. I think syndication does hurt some markets, but most of the syndicated shows are morning shows for an older audience. If the night show was syndicated you’d be shutting out a lot of young listeners. Any new artists you’re checking out? Mike Jones. Love Mike Jones. Shouts to Cassidy, he’s gonna be big as time goes on. Game got a real good start, too. I’m officially a Game fan. Anything else you want to say? I wanna thank everybody that supported me over the past six years on BET. If you miss The Basement, I apologize. It wasn’t my fault. It meant a lot that every time I was talking to the camera, millions of people were watching. - Interview and photo by Julia Beverly OZONE MAY 2005
01: Ladies reppin’ OZONE outside Cleo’s for Uncle Luke’s party (Orlando, FL) 02: Bedo, DJ Prostyle, and Chino on the set of “Go Head” (Orlando, FL) 03: DJ Drama, AK, and C-Rod @ Madison Square Garden (NYC) 04: Total Kaos, T Pain, and Tiki @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 05: Melyssa Ford trying on Tigger’s chain @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 06: DJ Terrah, Young Mills, and Bigga Rankins @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 07: Zina Phillips, Steve Gottlieb, and Vince Phillips @ Webster Hall (NYC) 08: Jae Millz and Jacki-O @ Webster Hall (NYC) 09: DJ Absolut reppin’ OZONE (NYC) 10: Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz, the Ying Yang Twins, and DJ Will @ Webster Hall for their AOL concert (NYC) 11: The biggest hater in Orlando finally got his face in OZONE, so quit talking shit 12: Malik and Nita @ Icon (Orlando, FL) 13: Big Cee Jay and Grandaddy Souf @ his video shoot for “Run It” (Orlando, FL) 14: Marcus Jethro and Carl Thomas reppin’ Crunk Juice (New Orleans, LA) 15: Brooke Valentine demonstrating her girlfight techniques on Lil Jon (NYC) 16: DJ Prostyle, Gloria Velez, and Slim Thug @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 17: Partners N Crime and Juvenile @ Firestone for DJ Prostyle’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) 18: Q-Tip, DJ Prostyle, DJ Enuff, DJ Nasty, and Trakmasters’ Tone @ 102 Jamz (Orlando, FL) 19: Mouse and Lil Boosie reppin’ OZONE @ Trill Studios (Baton Rouge, LA) 20: Juan, Ed, and Leaton @ Enyce fashion show (Miami, FL) 21: Wild Bill and Rich Boy reppin’ OZONE @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) Photo Credits: A Turner: #20 General: #09 Julia Beverly: #04,06,07,08, 10,13,15,17,18,21 King Yella: #19 Malik Abdul: #01,11,12 Marcus Jethro: #14 Ray Tamarra: #03 Spiff: #02,05,16
OZONE MAY 2005
Although his voice has been heard on all but the very first of Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz’ albums, most of us wouldn’t recognize Bohagon if we bumped into him on the street. So, much to this photographer’s delight, no antsy, picture-phone wielding, autographdemanding fans interrupted Bo’s photo shoot in downtown Atlanta by the Underground mall. In fact, the only person who did recognize him was a Hispanic teenager working at Johnny Rockets who just happened to glance at Bohagon’s mixtape Gatekeeper to the Other World that was sitting next to his turkey burger. But with his flow catching attention on mixtapes throughout the South, Bohagon is about to be as recognizable as Jon’s pimp cup. It would be safe to assume that you are from Atlanta, but we’re going to ask anyway. Where are you from? Naw, I’m from Talbotton, Georgia. It’s a small town between Macon and Columbus, with about 1500 people. I’m an only child and I moved with mama a lot growing up. But I chose to stay in the country for familiarity. I came to Atlanta in 1997 to stay and hooked up with Lil Jon. How did you end up hooking up with Lil Jon? This guy named Gerald Hall let Jon hear my stuff when Jon was A&R at So So Def at the time and he put me on the So So Def Bass All Stars Volume 2 compilation. The song that I did (“Uh Uhh”) was horrible (laughing). What they would do is record the vocals to a normal beat and then they’d switch it and put a fast beat to it. I hated the song, but that was my introduction to the game. I was 16 or 17 years old. I’m very thankful for it, though. Then Jon put me on the So So Def Bass All Stars Volume 3 (“Drop Dem Bows”). He let me do me on that one, I guess he felt bad from the song I did before. What’s it like working with Lil Jon? It’s been great, man. Jon works hard. A lot of people don’t get to see that because they just see him with the pimp cup on TV. That man had a vision and stuck to it. I remember the days when he first started that crunk shit with “Who You Wit’” and everybody, even me, was like, “I don’t know about this, Jon, this might not work.” But he kept doing it and now look at him. You’ve been in the game for a minute then, so why are we just now hearing you on your own? Me being from the country, I had to learn certain things that other people may have known already. I was a bright-eyed country boy at first. Where I’m from there was no hip-hop scene, so I had to create one. I had to learn by being a fly on the wall. I’m a late bloomer, I’m 25 years old. Some people are early bloomers, some people are late bloomers, but the main thing is that I get to bloom. Now that you are finally blooming, what is your agenda in the rap game? I ain’t no country bumpkin. A lot of people have this perception of the country that I’m trying to erase. People see
videos of the country where niggas playing with pigs. I’m just trying to show people that even though I’m from the country, I know everything that you know. In the country the whole town is poor. You might have projects in the city, but the niggas in the broke down houses are just as poor. My town is the type where the white folks run it but their kids to don’t live or go to school in the town. I feel loyal to the country to the point where I gotta shed some light on it and show the people in my town how to come up and navigate throughout the world. Have you seen any differences in artist loyalty in the county versus the city? In small towns we’re more loyal to our favorite rapper, in the city they’re loyal to the radio. We don’t listen to the radio that much. Like, the new 8ball & MJG album. It may have took three years to come out, but we gonna get it because the last one jammed so hard. In the city the radio make people go with the new flavor of the month, the radio kinda dilutes the game a little bit. Are you prepared for when your songs become “diluted” from getting played on the radio 24/7? Yeah. It’s a double-edged sword. It can help you. But being that I’m so deep rooted in the streets and all that shit ain’t gonna affect me since I put in my groundwork in the streets. And you still are doing your groundwork in the streets. Yeah, I just got back from doing a show in Panama City with Lil Jon. I’ve been in Cancun, California for the Grammys, Denver for the All-Star game, South Padre Island in Texas. I ain’t trying to sleep right now, because once the phone stops ringing, something is wrong. It’s not a whole lot of time for me to kick it with my old lady but she’ll have to understand. Even though you haven’t released a solo album yet, you’ve been around long enough to see a lot of what goes on behind the scenes. What’s
one thing you don’t like about the game right now? One thing I hate about the game, is the labels treat rappers like their on an assembly line. It’s like they are saying, “We got the next rapper coming down the line, we gonna put him with this producer, we gonna get a guest appearance from him, this and that.” I hate the assembly line in rap. I think everybody should be an individual. People should do their own thing. If you don’t mess with that producer, don’t mess with them just to try to get some record sales. If you don’t know that artist, why you gonna let them on your album just to generate some record sales? That’s actually the bad part of the game, that it makes so much money. Sometimes niggas are more concerned about the money than they are about making good music. You have your own label too, right? Yeah, Georgia Durt is a label me and my boy Playboy Tre came up with. People know Tre from the Attic Crew. He’s a CEO and he’s also an artist. We’ve got Mr. Ward and Loony T, who is going to be the first solo artists off the label. Anything else you want to say? I’m just working on getting my album finished. I done knocked out a couple more songs this week, and Jon gave me a whole bunch of beats so I’m tryin’ to decide which ones I’m gonna fuck with. If you’re still wondering where you’ve heard Bohagon, check out his attention-grabbing guest appearance on the intro to Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz’ recent album Crunk Juice: “Get Crunk,” or the hilarious phone call skit. Bohagon, who is currently working on his debut album, is still undecided when it comes to the name of his project. He’s flirting with the titles A Day Late, A Dollar Short or The Country Superhero. The album features 8Ball, Bun B, and several members of the BME camp. - Interview and photo by Maurice G. Garland OZONE MAY 2005
01: Mashonda and Q-Tip @ 102 Jamz (Orlando, FL) 02: O, Lil Jon, and Big Cap @ Webster Hall (NYC) 03: Adept, Dapa, and Chino @ Firestone for DJ Prostyle’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) 04: DJ 007 and Greg G @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 05: Young Capone and DJ Infinite @ Jamlando Record Pool Meeting (Orlando, FL) 06: Slim Thug, Nicotene, Jonny Bravo, and Traffic @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 07: DirtBag and Tye Dash @ Club Tens (NYC) 08: Bobby Valentino reppin’ OZONE @ Hot 104.5 (New Orleans, LA) 09: Juvenile and Chris Turner reppin’ OZONE @ Firestone for DJ Prostyle’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) 10: DJ Danny D reppin’ OZONE @ The Coral Room (NYC) 11: DJ Prostyle showing off his interview in OZONE’s BCR edition @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 12: TQ and Dwana Smith (New Orleans, LA) 13: J-Deezy and Alexx Dupri @ JJ Whisper’s (Orlando, FL) 14: Tigger’s street team reppin’ OZONE @ BCR (Daytona Beach, FL) 15: Chingy and Tigger @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 16: Trillville and Brooke Valentine @ Webster Hall for Lil Jon’s AOL concert (NYC) 17: Marcus. and David Banner posted up by the OZONE truck during BCR (Daytona Beach, FL) 18: Polk County meets Tampa: OHB, Tampa Tony, and more @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 19: Partners N Crime and UTP’s Skip reppin’ OZONE @ Firestone for DJ Prostyle’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) 20: Tigz, Lex, OT Joe, and Frank Murphy reppin’ Crunk Juice during BCR (Daytona Beach, FL) 21: Ed the World Famous and Lady T reppin’ OZONE @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) Photo Credits: General: #10 Greg G: #04 Julia Beverly: #01,02,03,05, 07,09,16,17,18,19,20,21 Malik Abdul: #13 Marcus Jethro: #08,12 Spiff: #06,11,14,15 12
OZONE MAY 2005
By now, we’ve all heard about the little incident that occured between Foxy Brown and Jacki-O at Miami recording studio Circle House, resulting in over $5,000 worth of damage to their studio equipment. Onlookers at the scene reported that there was a fistfight, corresponding Jacki-O’s version of the story, but according to Foxy, it was just a verbal exchange. We’ll let you read both sides of the story and decide for yourself. (The studio damage is a crushing financial blow for the notoriously cheap studio manager of Circle House, Abebe Lewis, who is still apparently unable to pay for their May 2003 Inner Circle ad in OZONE.) FOXY BROWN’S VERSION (interview by Supa Cindy & Big Lip on Miami’s 99 Jamz) Tell us your version of what happened with Jacki-O. I’ve been so quiet for the past week, girl. I’ve been working; I’ve been focused. I’ve been out every night in Miami, I’ll be out again tonight. I’m moving here. I love Miami. This story [Jacki-O has been telling] has been the most erroneous story I’ve ever heard in my life. I told Russell and Jay-Z, I’m waiting on a check from that indie label because I’ve given that girl the most promotion she’s ever received. I can’t believe it. Had we been talking about a reputable artist, like Lauryn Hill or Lil Kim or Trina, I could understand, but here we’re talking about someone who’s never sold one record in her life. I’m almost ashamed to have to address it. The truth is, there was absolutely no Foxy getting hit. No nails was broken, no nothing. I was on my way to meet Trina – Trina is my girl, shouts out to my girl the queen of Miami – I was about to pick my homegirl up and I got a call to stop by the studio to see some friends from Brooklyn. Keep in mind, Foxy was never in the studio to record with this girl. Her manager has been begging me to record with her for three years, so I think that’s where the animosity started. That’s the whole bottom line of this story, it’s jealousy. So, I walked in the studio, and you know, jealousy took its course. That was that. There was words exchanged. It was me being the bigger person and the lady that I am. The only truth to her story is that I did say she needs to have some respect. That is completely true. When I’m introduced to Mary J Blige or [Queen] Latifah, these people are my friends. Whoever has come before me, I’m gonna show homage. I’m not gonna roll my eyes and shake my head and be jealous about the situation. Did Jacki-O take your purse? I was told from like, the entire city of Miami [afterwards] that this girl was a booster. I did not know this, and I have a lot of valuable stuff in my purse. This is just crazy to me. This is crazy, but you know what? I’m really happy that I can help someone’s career. I’ve helped open her budget up. But, I will never respond to her. So there were no blows thrown? No, there were no blows thrown. And I had the $9,000 Fendi bag in my hand when I left that studio. Did she attempt to steal it? Probably, but I walked out with it. What I don’t understand is this: After speaking with my girl Trina, we’re like, What is wrong with this girl? You’re killing yourself in this business, baby. We’ve been in this for ten years. We’re veterans. You’re going up against people who are loved and adored. You can’t just come up in the game and go against us. Will your next album come with a Jacki-O vs. Foxy Brown “Girlfight” DVD? No, no more press for this girl. I’m done. No more press. I’ll let Trina handle that. I’m good. Foxy Brown having any discord with homegirl is like Jay-Z battling a nobody. You see my analogy? Lil Kim vs. Foxy Brown is a battle. Eve vs. Foxy Brown is a battle. This is nothing. Why would a boneafide celebrity rapper have any kind of discord with an unknown artist?
JACKI-O’S VERSION (interview by Julia Beverly) Why were you and Foxy Brown at the studio at the same time? I was working on a record with [Brooklyn rapper] Gravy. Foxy Brown was supposed to come through; I thought she was coming to get on the record. She came in on some Hollywood shit and wanted me to bow down to her. I didn’t greet her the way she wanted me to, so she started ranting and raving. “You don’t know who the fuck I am, I’m Fox Boogie, you gotta respect me, I’ve been in the game longer than you, you ain’t no queen, who the fuck do you think you are, I’m gonna get you thrown out of Circle House,” going on and on. She’s just talkin’ all this shit about Brooklyn, on some real ignorant shit. Since she’s been in the game so long, you would think she’d have some type of respect for someone’s session, not to come in there causing negative energy. This bitch came in during [Gravy’s] session just being a total nut, reppin’ Brooklyn like a fuckin’ clown, being real disrespectful. I really thought that since there’s only a few females in the game, we should be able to get on a record with each other. Niggas do it all the time. But she came in like, “You can’t never be me, you ain’t me,” on some real Hollywood shit. She came in and heard this record I was on with a Brooklyn nigga and caught feelings. She wanted me to bow down like, “Oh, Foxy Brown, I love your music.” She wanted that type of treatment and she got angry when I didn’t give it to her. Who hit who first? To avoid any lawsuits, let’s just say that I had to give her the business. She tried to throw some water on me. I’m throwing blows and she’s throwing water and cell phones. Now, I didn’t wanna fight this girl. Please make that clear. I was there to work. I didn’t come there to have any altercations with anyone. There’s no affirmative action in hiphop, and people need to know how hard it is for women to claw and scratch their way into the industry. So we need to respect that and be grateful and don’t come in with that dumb shit. Be glad you’re here. She’s not respecting that there’s a lot of bitches who would love to be in the music game that ain’t here. Instead of being glad she’s here to open doors for other women, she’s on some territorial shit. She’s like, “Ain’t nobody better than Fox Boogie.” Okay, put out some music then! She’s just crazy. That girl is on fuckin’ drugs. It’s ridiculous how she’s reppin’ her city. If I was from Brooklyn, I wouldn’t want her reppin’ me! The girl acts like she’s on fuckin’ medication. She’s fuckin’ delusional. She needs therapy and a hug. Why did she throw water at you? She couldn’t get next to me so she threw a cup of water, and the water messed up the console. That’s a million dollar fuckin’ board. She was mad because we were in there recording some hot shit. I was in there writing [lyrics]. She ain’t no writer. She had niggas writing her shit. She seen me in there grindin’ it out on my own, and that shit fucks with her. She got the word that niggas from Brooklyn and Harlem are fuckin’ with me, and she mad. When [Lil] Kim comes down here and gets on a record with Trick, I don’t get mad. I’m just glad she’s in the game. I’m glad we got females in the game. I love to see two different regions come together. She was talkin’ about, “I’ll get you thrown out of the studio!” Girl, I live here in Miami. You can’t get me thrown out of shit, especially when I didn’t cause no fuckin’ trouble. Anyway, she was the one who got thrown out, and she was very, very, very embarrassed. Who else was in the room when this was happening? Gravy, her security, and another nigga. Even her security needed security. Everybody seen her actin’ a fuckin’ nut, but she was acting like she ain’t need anybody. She was like, “I got this.” Everybody thought she was finna whoop my ass because I just sat there while she was talking big shit for about five minutes. Girl, you woulda been so proud of me for just sitting there and taking all that shit. But after she ran out of insults, it was time for her to fight. She walked out getting her ass whooped. I heard there was blood shed during the incident. Were you bleeding? Come on now. Be for real. How would I look in my hometown if I was leakin’? It’s not gonna happen. Why didn’t her security intervene? Wasn’t nobody fighting but me and her. They was pickin’ her up off the floor. And I ain’t bragging. They’re claiming that I’m trying to gain or capitalize off this. No, I’m not. In fact, I’m appalled that someone would even think like that.
01: Infarel, Champ, and Mike Jones @ Club 112 (Tampa, FL) 02: Cubo, Pitbull, Bryan Leach, and Cutty @ Webster Hall for Lil Jon’s AOL concert (NYC) 03: David Banner performing @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 04: Antonio Tarver and Get Cool reppin’ OZONE @ Grandaddy Souf’s “Run It” video shoot (Orlando, FL) 05: Jason Geter and Clay Evans reppin’ Grand Hustle @ Madison Square Garden (NYC) 06: Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz get crunk with Brooke Valentine @ Webster Hall (NYC) 07: Team Invasions’ Amed and Noodles reppin’ OZONE (NYC) 08: Magic Mike @ Antigua (Orlando, FL) 09: Piccalo reppin’ OZONE @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 10: DJ Prostyle and Black Jesus @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 11: DMC 2002 winner DJ Fade reppin’ OZONE (NYC) 12: Pat and NIkki Nix reppin’ OZONE @ JJ Whisper’s (Orlando, FL) 13: Question, Clay D, Disco, and JT Money (Orlando, FL) 14: Acafool and JD Hawg @ Club 112 (Tampa, FL) 15: Traffic, Bedo, and Nicotene on the video set of “Go Head” (Orlando, FL) 16: Heavy Hitters Kast One, Rey Mo, DJ Prostyle, Mashonda, DJ Enuff, and L Boogs @ 102 Jamz (Orlando, FL) 17: Fat Joe and Lorena Cartegena @ Madison Square Garden (NYC) 18: Trick Daddy and Tigger @ Club Fuel during BCR weekend (Daytona Beach, FL) 19: Grandaddy Souf, Roland Powell, and Christian Strickland on the set of “Run It” (Orlando, FL) 20: Stephen Hall, DirtBag, Pat Pat, and Nero @ WBTT’s Ludacris concert (Tampa, FL) 21: Slim Goodye and Southstar @ Club Fuel during BCR weekend (Daytona Beach, FL) Photo Credits: General: #07,11 Julia Beverly: #02,04,06,09, 10,16,18,19,21 KG Mosley: #01,14 Malik Abdul: #08,12 Pat Pat: #20 Ray Tamarra: #05,17 Question: #13 Spiff: #03,15 14
OZONE MAY 2005
(01) Mr. Easy pulls up to the club in his Range Rover with producer Troyton Rami, where he meets his video “girlfriend.” (02) The “girlfriend” at work before Mr. Easy arrives. (03) She goes outside to meet her homegirls and encounters Mr. Easy. (04) “Ladies, another take please. Turn slightly to the side so we can see your faces when you hug!” (05) Charli B, Luddy, and Troyton Rami play dominoes while awaiting their turn. “RudeGal, when’s lunch, star?” (06) “Wait - why are you in jeans? Damn, we gotta keep her in, she’s the only one dancing like she’s got riddim. What is it with pretty girls!?” (07) “Ladies, why is the makeup taking so long?” asks a frustrated DP. Meanwhile, Easy juggles two cell phones, because one is never enough. (08) The cheating girlfriend hopes her man can’t read her Blackberry. (09) Charli Brown studies the director, hoping to get a DP gig.
(01) FLX and Magic take a smoke break on the set. (02) In the video, Magic and David Banner are roommates in this “Ain’t Got Nothin’” house, until they get an eviction notice. (03) After their eviction notice, they run outside to find their car getting repossessed. (04) Banner chases after the repo man. (05) As usual, Banner injures himself in the process of shooting his video and medics are called to the scene. (06) Lil Boosie gets ready for his nationally televised debut. (07) Roy Jones Jr.’s cameo reminds everyone that he’s still the champ. (08) Banner reps for Napoleon Dynamite while hanging out with Lil Boosie on the set. (09) It wouldn’t be a video set without video girls, right? The models line up for a party scene.
Director: Paul Neil Photos: RudeGal
Director: Gregory Dark & David Banner Photos: TJ Chapman OZONE MAY 2005
01: The Ying Yang Twins reppin’ OZONE @ BCR (Daytona Beach, FL) 02: Lil Scrappy practicing his stripper moves @ Club Fuel (Daytona Beach, FL) 03: Q-Tip and DJ Enuff @ 102 Jamz (Orlando, FL) 04: Ray Cash reppin’ OZONE @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 05: Hair models reppin’ OZONE @ JJ Whisper’s (Orlando, FL) 06: Marco Mall’s OZONE wall (Tallahassee, FL) 07: Russ Jones and Mashonda reppin’ OZONE @ 102 Jamz (Orlando, FL) 08: Stephen Hill and Garfield @ Club Fuel during BCR (Daytona Beach, FL) 09: Edgerin James reppin’ OZONE @ JJ Whisper’s (Orlando, FL) 10: The CD Guy and DJ Sincere reppin’ OZONE @ Icon (Orlando, FL) 11: Tigger showing off his OZONE cover @ BCR (Daytona Beach, FL) 12: T Pain and his father Shaheed @ Firestone for DJ Prostyle’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) 13: Latrell Sprewell and Nicole Robinson @ Hot 104.5 (New Orleans, LA) 14: Lil Wayne and Trelli Trelle (New Orleans, LA) 15: Atlantic’s Craig Kallman with T.I. @ Madison Square Garden for his Up Close and Personal Concert (NYC) 16: J Records’ Russ Jones, DJ Nasty, DJ Enuff, Mashonda, and DJ Prostyle @ 102 Jamz (Orlando, FL) 17: Front-Line Promotions’ Willie Fischer and Pat Nix @ JJ Whisper’s (Orlando, FL) 18: Three 6 Mafia’s Juicy J, DJ Nasty, DJ Paul, and DJ Prostyle @ 102 Jamz (Orlando, FL) 19: Eastside Boy Big Sam and Bohagon @ Webster Hall for their AOL concert (NYC) 20: Lotto, Mr. C, and Karate Mac @ Heroes for Grandaddy Souf’s “Run It” video shoot (Orlando, FL) 21: Jonny Bravo reppin’ OZONE and All Pro @ Firestone for DJ Prostyle’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) Photo Credits: Julia Beverly: #01,03,04,07, 08,11,12,16,18,19,20,21 Malik Abdul: #05,09,10,17 Marco Mall: #06 Marcus Jethro: #13,14 Ray Tamarra: #15 Spiff: #02
OZONE MAY 2005
(01) Bedo poses in front of a Bentley for the obligatory car scene. (02) Bedo faces a tough decision: pink polo or white iron-on? (03) Apparently, the pink polo was a good call, cause Bedo gets some ass in the next scene. He’s got “about three dollars, if you wanna holla.” (04) Jonny Bravo and DJ Prostyle join in for the poker scene. (05) The lineup begins: video models auditioning for their spot in the club scene. (06) An assistant tests the lighting for the club scene while Bedo prepares for his close-up. (07) Sporting a classy “Go Head and Do It” t-shirt, Bedo performs with his backup dancers. (08) All-Pro Records artists Traffic, Nicotene, and Jonny Bravo join Bedo for this shot. (09) All Pro Records’ Garfield and DJ Prostyle watch behind the scenes.
(01) It’s going to be a long day. Fortunately, we’ve got Crunk Juice. (02) Pitbull gets a shave in the trailer before filming. (03) Pitbull and Lil Jon cleaned up nicely; so fresh, so clean! (04) Upstairs for the next shot, Pitbull and Lil Jon dress down and perform for the cameras. (05) During the “dry run” of the club scene, Lil Jon pops bottles and enjoys the company of numerous video models. (06) On the roof of Opium, an assistant uses a large hose to create “rain,” effectively drencing the crowd below. The film crew and cameras are wrapped in large ponchos to stay dry. (07) Jon and Pit dry off while watching playback with director Jesse Terrero. (08) After dark, Cutty and Jon are placed in a Bentley outside Club Opium for this scene. Traffic is shut down in both directions. (09) Pitbull in the final cut of the night: the Scarface scene.
Director: Asshole Who Isn’t Getting Any Free Publicity in OZONE Photos: Spiff
Director: Jesse Terrero Photos: Julia Beverly OZONE MAY 2005
The first time you hear T-Pain’s hit-record-waiting-to-happen, “Spr ung,” several things happen. One, hit repeat. Two, you start singing you along. Three, you envision a clea n-cut pretty boy. If T-Pain doesn’t like your typical R&B singer, it’s look because he’s not your typical R&B singer. Over the past few years, developed his style as part of T-Pain Tallahassee’s too-many-members-to -count rap group Nappy Headz, for their regional favorites like known “Robbery” and “FLA.” Recently, though, T-Pain started focusing career, hoping to blow up and bring on his solo the group with him. Influenced by the likes of Michael Jackson, and Brian McKnight, T-Pain combine Akon, s the energy of the Ying Yang Twin s with the voice of his alter-ego Pendergrass (he pronounces it “Ted Teddy dy-pinned-her-ass-down”). He can’ t really explain his recent rapid radio-friendly recording sessions. -fire “I’ve been holdin’ back for so long , and when it came out, it just exploded,” he laughs. “I’m like a young Tallahassee JayZ. I don’t write. I just listen to the beat, go in the booth, hit record, and see what happens.” Along with singing, rapping, and producing, the multi-talented artist also direc ted and edited his own video for “Fucked Up” (an ente rtaining rendition of Akon’s “Loc ked Up”). With the backing of his Nappy Headz fami ly and TJ’s DJ’s CEO TJ Chapman , “Sprung” has been exploding at radio stations natio nwide and T-Pain already has majo r label offers on the table. In true FLA fashion, T-Pain’s debut album is spelled just how it sounds: Rappa Ternt Sanga. - Words and photo by Julia Beverly
Big Floaty, about his clique’s former “We used to take the club by storm,” says Attic Crew founding member a CD and some ass-whupping. We’d with through fall just to used “We heard. music method of getting their shit is old now.” This September that But it. play you while ass whup tell the DJ to play the CD and we gonna a time-transcending Atlanta Muscle, The debut solo Floaty is bringing the new with his decade-in-the-making grown-man grittiness of the Dungeon Family. the with Ludacris and T.I. of energy lyrical the blends that album lt East Point native who earned a football “I’m coming to muscle the streets back, baby,” says the tank-bui The album is not gonna be a whole lot here. out shit flaw this all got scholarship to Auburn University. “We He pauses with a devilish grin corner.’” this on of ‘we selling dope on this corner and we pimping bitches Enemy, X-Clan record. It ain’t some Public a is this that think don’t “Now, Cee-Lo, cousin his s that resemble on there, but that ain’t what I’m focused Goodie Mob shit. I got some dope-selling and some bitch-pimping but steady burn. After catching the ear of slow a been has rise fiery on.” Formerly known as Phoenix, Floaty’s (“Dope Boi Fresh”), he has appeared on album Finally Sony via his standout performances on the Attic Crew’s the buzz his latest mixtape The Beginning with that Match Ari. Ben Miri to Troy Pastor from way the all albums legacy that the Youngbloodz and Jim of the End is creating, Floaty is poised to revive the “A-double-T-I-C” often records 12 songs a day. “Even who Floathy, says shawty,” plan, a Crow birthed. “God respect a man with he doing, he trying to see how what know already God when shit look bad, don’t step outside the plan cause - Words and photo by Maurice G. Garland mine.” it’s now and ng, everythi for time a It’s are. you devoted
Four-member Central Florida group Treal (Elisio, Cheeze, T-Sick, and Poetic) formed in 2000 at Jones High School in Orlando, Florida. Trombone players Elisio and Cheeze combined their musical abilities and linked up with another rapper, Sick, who’s uncle began managing the group. They formed a DJ clique, the 917 DJ’s, and began spinning at local clubs. Trying to find ways to “make the club jump,” they recorded their first single, “Orange County,” which grew legs on underground radio and became a street anthem for the region. “At that time it was a hobby,” says Elisio. “We got some radio play, but we didn’t know who to push it to. It just blew up off the strength.” They continued recording and dropped the follow-up, “Swang On Everybody,” a rowdy club single reminiscent of another “Treal”: Atlanta’s Trillville . In fact, a recent Orlando club show featuring both Trillville and Treal nearly reached an ugly confront ation. “I hope I ain’t startin’ nothin’, but there’s a little history behind that,” laughs Elisio. “We went up to Atlanta a few years ago and met up with Big Oomp camp and gave them ‘Swang on Everybody.’ At that time, Trillville was signed, but they hadn’t come out yet. The first lyric to [our song] ‘Swang on Everybody’ is ‘I don’t think they ready for me, I’m on another level / Diggin’ haters like an undertaker with a shovel.’ A year later, they come out with “Get On My Level,” with lyrics almost the same.” Despite their similar names and similar musical style, Treal is confident that there’s room in the game for some “trill” Central Floridians. “I know Orlando’s got some crunk in they system too,” laughs Elisio. “They just waiting on somebody to bring it out.” – Words and photo by Julia Beverly, email@example.com
WORDS & PHOTO: JULIA BEVERLY 20
OZONE MAY 2005
o you’re working on a new album? Yeah, it’s called Fast Money, Cash Money. I got about 17 songs. It’s really the first time we got a chance to record at home since we’ve been with Universal the last eight or nine years. We’ve been touring, travelin’, all kinds of shit.
A lot of shit that me and Fresh did. Fresh is like my soulmate and shit, so anything that we did has my blessing. Just watching what he did, or what I did by myself, or what Wayne ‘bout to do. It’s like, being given back to me for all these years I put down for all these niggas. I’m left with two out of six. I made six so I’m cool with that. Wayne’s future is to dominate; guaranteed. He’s one of the best rappers to ever fuck with this shit. Mannie Fresh is what he is, too.
Since you’ve had the chance to step up from being not just the CEO but also one of the main artists, which do you enjoy more? As far as performing, I like being in a group with me and Fresh or me and Wayne. As far as being a CEO, it ain’t really that complicated. It becomes complicated with some of the types of people you deal with. Now that I really know this shit, it’s cool. It’s all about being able to make money and enjoy the shit with ya family, not being in court and all the other bullshit. There’s so many record labels out there, and there’s very few that actually make it. What do you think set you apart from the others? I’ve been doing this shit for 17 years. Just grindin’ and really raising the bar, we felt like it was our turn. We had been putting it down for a minute and we came with that raw street shit. We talking from what we know, the projects. A lot of big names in Southern music came from your camp. Who do you see today with that same potential? Shit, Flip, T.I., there’s a lot of muthafuckers. Trick, all them dudes doin’ they thing. Slim Thug. Lil Wayne got some hot-ass acts comin’ from his company, Young Money. A lot of people come in the game, have their time to shine, and then fall off. But you’ve been putting out records for so long, how do you stay current? Just stayin’ new, stayin’ fresh, stayin’ fly, really. Just being the trendsetters that we are. Muthafuckers is following what we do. You’ve got people who get one or two years in the game and that’s that rollercoaster. Once that rollercoaster ride is over, you gotta really show what you’re made of and then that’s how you can tell. When you look at a label like No Limit, for example, it seems like when they lost in-house producers Beats By the Pound, they fell off. How important is Mannie Fresh to the Cash Money camp? Shit, Mannie definitely holds the walls up. He’s the piece to the puzzle. It’s his talent that has gotten us this far, so I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I wouldn’t fuck with this without Fresh. Are there any features on your album? We’ve got Bun B, Lil Wayne, Lil Mo, Six Shot, Fresh, and some of the Young Money cats.
You’ve got the book the 48 Laws of Power on your desk. What’s the most important law? That book is one of my favorites. I read through all of them: your enemies, your friends, envy, jealousy, foolishness. They’re all important.
What was your reaction? Was it a surprise or something you had already discussed? Basically, I think muthafuckers took it out of context. It was Wayne’s label Young Money that was supposed to be doing a deal with Def Jam. I think muthafuckers just took it out of context so we was just like, Fuck it, we ain’t gonna fuck wit’ it. We’ll just keep it in house. So Lil Wayne and his company is signed to Cash Money. Recently in Tampa there was a show where Lil Wayne and B.G. performed together. If Wayne wanted to reunite with the Hot Boys, would you allow him to do that? Yeah, I mean, it would have to be done here anyway. It can’t be done nowhere else. It’s a hustle, it’s a business. Personally, I don’t give a fuck, but if it’s about some money then it’s cool with me. I ain’t trippin’. So a Hot Boys reunion album on Cash Money is a possibility? I mean, all of them are doing they own lil’ thing. Juvenile got a new CD. Wayne’s career is on the uprise, so I’d never ask him to stop if he’s got something he tryin’ to do. That’s not in our plans right now, though. We’ve got some things we’ve been masterminding since last year, and that’s what we’re working on now. You recorded Best of Both Worlds 2 with R Kelly, and then he did the album and tour with Jay-Z instead. I mean, I kinda looked at R Kelly’s situation and thought that might be the way to go to try to help his situation. But that was some fuck shit to me. I don’t even like discussin’ that shit.
With all the things you’ve been through internally, do you find it hard to trust people as far as bringing them into your camp? I started this shit on family and trust, but right now this shit is straight business. That family and trust and love shit will have you in court all fucked up, so now it’s just strictly business.
Kids see you with all the jewelry and cars, but what about long-term investments? I’m into real estate. My name alone makes a lot of money. I’ve got Birdman shoes, a frangrance, a watch deal with Jacob. I got a lot of shit outside of this record shit. That’s what I do, though, real estate and deals with my name. I own like 50 condos that I rent out, and I got 10 homes for my muthafuckin’ self. Real estate is my thing. I wish I had been got into it. I’ve been in it for like maybe four or five years. I think a lot of other niggas need to be turning this fast money into cash money, ya heard? The cars and all that shit, I love that shit, but they do depreciate, ya heard me? I’ll always fuck with that, but I got to fuck with both.
Lil Wayne made headlines recently when he said he was thinking of signing with Def Jam.
What’s the most meaningful accomplishment in your career so far?
What other albums do you have coming from the Cash Money camp? Lil Mo’s album is coming out in June, then Teena Marie and a new Big Tymers album.
You’ve got a plaque here for an annual turkey giveaway? Yeah, we’ve been doing that shit for a while. This is the ninth year. We was doin’ it independently with toys and shit, and then we decided to try this turkey shit. We was doin’ it in the hood, then muthafuckers started coming from different projects so we moved it to Shakespeare Park. Now we do like 15,000-20,000 turkeys every year. We do a lot of community events. We do school giveaways. I buy equipment for shit like basketball and baseball teams, and we give away school supplies. Does it ever scare you to realize that you’re a role model to kids? Nah, cause I like the fact that they know where I come from and they see that it can be done. I did it, and just for a muthafucker to see that it can be done, that gives them faith. Before us, we was just wishin’ on a star. How did you learn the business aspects of the music game? Experience. Trial and error. That’s how it go. I was young. I was only 15 or 16, raisin’ muthafuckers who was in the same situation as me. My daddy died when I was young and my momma died when I was young, so all I had was brothers. I was a young nigga raisin’ young niggas. That shit was crazy. After the situations with Juvenile, Turk, and B.G. leaving, do you think it’s better to keep business and family separated? With what I had to do in that situation, if I had to do it again, I probably would do it again. But with today’s business I don’t think I would. I wouldn’t just bring a muthafucker into my house like that unless he was blood. When you were on 106th & Park, a lot of people saw you kiss Lil Wayne. What’s that all about? We kiss each other on the cheek, it’s like an Italian thing. We all got each other’s tattoos. Every scar he got, I got. The same script on his body, I got on my body. I had the script and then he went and got it. Like a father/son thing? Wayne is my son. He’s my oldest. Everything in this bitch is Wayne. Wayne is my sole project, he’s my future. I can sit back like the godfather and Wayne gonna hold this bitch down. Was there ever a time when you looked at B.G., Juvenile, or Turk in the same way? Well, not to hold the fort down. It’s like, we all got older, and I saw them change from boys to men. When they became men, I guess they forgot who they were down for. OZONE MAY 2005
A hard-working, laid-back DJ who’s dedicated to his craft,
Michael “5000” Watts of the Swisha House carries Houston’s torch for Screw music to reach the nation
WORDS: JULIA BEVERLY PHOTO: MIKE FRESH 22
OZONE MAY 2005
How did you originally become interested in music? Music was something I was always into. As a kid, I wanted to be in the band. I never did get to play in the band, but I always wanted to be a DJ and I eventually started DJing when I was about 14 years old. How did you get your first set of turntables? (laughing) Actually, I had a best friend that wanted to get into music too, so they ended up breaking into a record shop and stealing a whole bunch of shit. We was practicing on all that equipment. Your friend did it, huh? That was my friend, it wasn’t me. Honest truth. You’re primarily known for your screwed & chopped mixtapes. How old were you when DJ Screw began making screw tapes? I was about 23 or 24. I’m 33 now. So you started off as a regular DJ, just doing blends and stuff like that? Yeah, I started off just DJing parties, making regular speed mixtapes, and mixing on the radio. I got my first radio gig when I was 21 years old. What did you see happening with screwed music? How did it become such a dominant force in Texas? It became a dominant force on its own. It went from being a local thing to being an art form of its own, just like jazz, rock, and pop music. DJ Screw didn’t just create a hit record; he created a whole art form. It’s just like the person that created country music or jazz music. Screw music is a whole art form. Slowing down a record might sound simple, but for you as a DJ, how much work does it take to create a screwed & chopped tape? If you listen to any of our Swisha House stuff, you can tell that it’s more than just slowing down a record. It’s an art behind it, just like house music. It’s more than just a drum beat behind it. Jazz is more than putting a saxophone behind it. It’s a whole art form. It makes the lyrics stand out more and the beats stand out more. I really can’t put it into words. Do you think DJing is just a gift that you were born with, or something that you had to develop over time? DJing was just something I was born with. That’s what I was put on this world for. When you made the transition from regular DJing to Screw tapes, was it a difficult transition? No, it really wasn’t that hard of a transition, cause I’ve been listening to DJ Screw for years. I’m a fan of DJ Screw. I’d been listening to him for a while, before I even started doing [Screw tapes]. I would just listen to it and enjoy it. I was still making regular mixtapes and I was just enjoying it as a fan. It came to a point where people were like, “Man, we want you to do this for us.” DJ Screw was from the South side of Houston. I’m from the North side of Houston. Everyone on the North side enjoyed this style, but they wanted to represent the North. When they came to me [for Screw music] I started doin’ it to satisfy them. Are there any artists you think come off better on Screw tapes than regular speed? One of my favorite artists to hear slowed down is Keke. I first heard him screwed, so when I heard the record at regular speed it was a shock to me cause I was so used to hearing him slowed down. Why do you think Screw music fits the Houston vibe so well? I mean, it was created right here in Houston, Texas. On the South side. Houston’s more laid-back, just like Atlanta is crunk. In Houston we’re more laid-back. We sip syrup and shit, we just chill. Do you think someone who’s sober can appreciate Screw music as much as someone who’s sippin’ syrup? I think so, because there’s a wide variety of people that buy Swisha House mix CDs. It ain’t just people that sip syrup and smoke weed. If you appreciate the art, you can learn to enjoy it without being high. A lot of major labels are starting to put out screwed & chopped versions of their CDs now. Do you think the art form is becoming too commercial, or do you think it’s a good thing for the culture? I think it’s a great thing for the culture, because it exposes the art form to a lot of people that weren’t exposed to it before. I did David Banner’s screwed & chopped CD [for SRC/Universal], 8Ball & MJG’s screwed & chopped CD [for Bad Boy], and Three 6 Mafia’s screwed & chopped CD [for Sony]. What upcoming projects are you working on? We’ve got Who Is Mike Jones? and PaulWall’s The People’s Champ. We’re doing [a screwed & chopped version of] Lil Jon’s album, T.I.’s album, the TRU album, and one of The Game’s first CDs. What made Swisha House decide to go ahead and sign with Asylum? We wanted to be a little more independent [than signing with a major]. We needed a bigger machine, and I felt like Asylum was the place for us to expand. We’ve got a bigger and more experienced team to help us get further than where we’ve been. They’ve helped us get into some of the retail spots we need to be in. Asylum has the networking connections to help us get into some of these chains. What makes Asylum different from a “major” label? They’re more like a distributor. They gave us a distribution deal, and that’s the difference. Rather than just signing an artist, we have more to offer as a label. We have people that are constantly comin’ up under our umbrella. There’s artists like Slim Thug who have branched off from Swisha House to do their own thing. Are you proud of them? Man, I’m very proud of Slim Thug. I’m very glad to see him doing things. He kept a level head and took the ball and ran with it. What was your opinion on the Chamillionaire vs. Mike Jones beef? I don’t have any opinion. I just think the whole thing is stupid. I don’t know what that shit is about. The only people who know what that shit is about is Mike Jones and Chamillionaire. Why did you decide to sign Mike Jones to Swisha House? Mike Jones is a hard-working artist. He’s not gonna sit on his ass and wait for someone to come up there and give something to him. He’s not a lazy muthafucker, and he came with more than just being a rapper. He also came with business and marketing tools. Mike Jones is gonna do it really big for us on a national level. His album Who Is Mike Jones? is in stores, so make sure you go pick it up. OZONE MAY 2005
What’s your job title? I’m a mix engineer. I was at Circle House Studios for about five years. I was their main go-to guy, I mixed all the Cash Money stuff, everybody that came through the studio. After a while I decided it was time to get my own spot. I opened The Vault Recording Studios about a year ago, in North Miami.
try to take Sundays off, but everybody ‘s on a deadline. Financially, does engineering pay well? It’s a good living if you stick it out. But when you first start, you make nothing. Pennies. Do you get royalty checks like a producer? Nah, I’ve been trying to fight for points, though. If I end up reorganizing or redoing stuff I might get a co-production credit with points on the back end. I get paid by the song, so even if it takes two hours or two days I get paid the same flat fee.
What exactly does a mix engineer do? Basically, I take what the producer has made and make it sound radio-ready, consumer-ready. All the vocals, the bass, I blend everything together to make it sound good. How did you develop an ear for music? I think I kinda developed my ear from listening to my dad’s old records. Growing up, my dad had all the collections: Isley Brothers, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, all of them. I used to listen to those records as a kid. In high school I started DJing and doing local house parties. When I was a junior in high school I went to a concert, and I saw this dude sitting in the middle of the room at a big console. I asked him what his job title was, and he said sound engineer. I decided I wanted to be a sound engineer. I can’t rap and I don’t sing, but I just like music. I played the saxophone in junior high, so I had some musical training. My father is an electrical engineer, so he taught me some of the technical stuff about speaker polarity and stuff like that. I like music and electronics, so I just put the two together. Did you go to college? I went to a technical school called Full Sail in Orlando. It was an eight month technical program, I got a specialized Associates degree in sound engineering. After that I came back to Miami and did an internship at studio center. Full Sail is pretty expensive. Is it worth it? That’s a good question. It is really expensive. It’s really up to the person as far as what they can get out of it. It’s just like college. You could go to Miami-Dade and apply yourself and come out and get a big job, or you could go to Yale and mess around and not take advantage of the situation. So in answer to your question, yes, it’s expensive, but if it’s really something you want you’ve gotta spend the money. What skills do you need to become an engineer? You’ve just gotta have an ear for it. It goes back to my experience with DJing. I also did sound systems for cars back when they started gutting out the backseats and putting in 15” speakers. From that experience, I started going into clubs to see what people were dancing to and see what people are playing in their cars. From there, you try to take that song the producer has created and make it fit the mold. If it sounds like a club song, you gotta mix it for the club. The beat’s gotta be bangin’, the snare’s gotta be in-your-face. If it’s more of a radio song, you’ve gotta bring out the melodic lines. It might sound easy, but when you really start getting in-depth it’s really hard. It’s a lot like production. When you’re listening to music outside of work, can you enjoy it or do you overanalyze it? All the time. It’s been so long since I could really listen to a song normally, cause I’m always critiquing. I’m like, Man, the vocals are too low. They shoulda did this, they shoulda did that. The snare’s too low. I hear different things, even with my own stuff. If I mix a song, I have to not listen to it for like a month and then come back and listen to it objectively with an open mind. Name a few songs you’ve mixed.
Ray Seay Mix Engineer I did a lot of the old Cash Money hits, like “Get Your Roll On.” I’ve mixed a lot of Lil Jon songs, like “Get Low” and “Saltshaker.” I mixed Ciara’s “Goodies,” T.I.’s “Motivation” and “A.S.A.P.” Mike Caren [at Atlantic Records] has started using me for a lot of the big mixes, like Juvenile. Juve didn’t like the way the records had been mixed so he sent them to me to fix. When you’re mixing a song like “Get Low” or “Goodies,” do you know it’s gonna be a hit? It’s funny because the songs that I don’t really like always seem to blow up, and the songs I really do like don’t do nothing. It’s a joke among the producers. If I mix a song, they ask me if I like it. If I say, “It’s okay,” they’re happy because they know it’s gonna be a hit. For example, when Trick did “Take it to The House,” I did not like that song, period. I hated that song, and it blew up. I even asked [Slip-NSlide CEO] Ted Lucas, “Man, are y’all serious?” He was like, “Hey, this is what the people want,” and that’s one of their biggest hits to date. Same thing with [Lil Jon’s] “Saltshaker” and “Get Low.” DJ Smurf came down when I was mixing that song and I was telling him I really didn’t like the song. But just to clarify, when I say I don’t like the song, I mean I don’t like it from a technical aspect. Sometimes when I get a song, some things are not recorded right and I’ve gotta go in and change a kick or redo the vocals. What’s your work schedule like? It’s like a twelve-hour day. I come in around noon and leave at midnight. I
If you get paid the same whether it takes two hours or two days, are you ever tempted to rush? No. I’m a perfectionist, and my name’s gotta go on it. That’s what keeps me working. People see these songs that are playing forever on the radio or in the clubs and hear that I mixed them, so that’s how I get more work. If I rush it and don’t do the song right then I’ll start getting a bad name, so it wouldn’t really pay to do it like that. Are there any artists that are particularly enjoyable to work with or difficult to work with? A lot of times the artist doesn’t even come to the mix sessions. It’s really the producers and the record company I deal with, so I don’t get too much drama. I don’t do a lot of recording anymore just straight mixing. I don’t even see the artists. I prefer it that way. I like being alone because it gives me time to be more personal with the song. I can sit for a couple hours, let it play over and over again, and start getting ideas and visuals about where I want to take the song. Lil Jon is also a perfectionist, but he lets me do my thing and then comes in and makes the final judgements and arrangements. Some artists just send me stuff and trust my ear. Sometimes I’ll do a mix and mp3 it to the artist or producer, then they’ll hit me back with changes. Since leaving Circle House to open The Vault, is there any bad blood? No, I wouldn’t say that. We’ve had words, but in the long run, they gave me an opportunity to really grow over there. They allowed me to mature. When I first started working there I was the recording engineer and the mix engineer, so I was kinda doing two jobs. Over time, they started getting so big where I couldn’t even get my clients in there. They’d call me to work and I couldn’t even get a session there cause they’d be so booked up. It just got to the point where it was time to get my own spot. I don’t have to tear down my equipment, I can come and go as I please, and I don’t have to worry about being on the clock. Since I opened The Vault, my mixes have gotten five times better, quality-wise. What artists come through The Vault? All my usual clients, like Trick Daddy, Trina, Lil Jon. I mixed [Trick Daddy’s] “Let’s Go,” in here. That was the first big hit from The Vault. I mixed Pitbull’s stuff here, and T.I’s “Motivation” was mixed here too. They’ll usually send me a Pro Tools session to mix and I do my thing. That’s one of the benefits of having my own studio. I’m not in the business of selling studio time, I’m in the business of selling Ray Seay’s sound. There’s not a clock running over here.
“I like being alone [in the studio] because it gives me time to be more personal with the song.”
Do you have special rates for indie labels? We try to work out stuff for indies, especially if they’re local and I’ve got some downtime. But if a major calls me, they gotta understand that I gotta go get that money to pay the bills. Would you like to give out any contact info? The Vault studio number is 305-556-9435. OZONE MAY 2005
MIKE JONES WHO IS MIKE JONES? Swishahouse/Asylum
NIVEA COMPLICATED J Records
Mike Jones and 50 Cent both have a clear understanding of the power of effective branding. From the “GGG-G-Unit” to the “Mike Jones, who? Mike Jones,” they’ve both been able to create a huge buzz for themselves. That in and of itself can be an Achilles heel for an artist, because you’re fearlessly walking the tightrope of over-saturation. I can’t remember how many times over the last year I’ve heard the decree, “My album, “Who Is Mike Jones”, comin soon!!!” Well, it’s finally here.
While some are citing Ciara as the princess of Crunk & B, there are some who consider Nivea as the queen of this sub-genre. While Nivea has steadily been putting in work since 1999, few have been able to really recognize her exceptional writing ability and talent. Hopefully, with her newest effort Complicated, Nivea will be able to open the eyes of the blind public. While the lead single “Okay,” a Lil Jon banger featuring the YoungBloodz, has been tearing up the radio waves for the past few months, I’m not sure that consumers will be ready for the left hook they’ll receive when they listen to this album.
If you weren’t familiar with Mike Jones before the “Still Tippin’” video was all over your screen, it’s a safe bet that you probably can’t stand him for the sheer monotony of his rhymes. If you were familiar with him already, you might be pleasantly surprised that Mike Jones came with some joints. The song that grabbed my attention immediately was the remix of his Mike Jones underground classic “Got It Sewed Up,” produced by Three 6 Mafia’s DJ Paul & Juicy J. The production value of this disc is superb. It’s the repetitive lyrics that are hard to stomach. I appreciate the promotional value, but you’re gonna have to start saying something else besides your name and your phone number. Anyway, that’s not to say that Mike Jones didn’t try to accomplish the things I mentioned above. He just didn’t do a very good job. I’ll give Mike Jones an A for effort on songs like “Scandalous Hoes,” and “Five Years From Now” is a good concept. I’m happy that Mike Jones has a five-year plan, but even though his introspection sounds sincere, the song is whack. I like Mike Jones when’s he’s being Mike Jones, yelling out his name, phone number, and talking shit. That’s the Mike Jones that made me a fan. But like anything in life, too much of anything is never good. That’s why I can only take Mike Jones in brief intervals. I can’t figure out why I like Mike Jones and don’t like some his music. I think it’s a respect factor. Anyone who’s life’s mantra is “If you don’t grind, you don’t shine, if you don’t work you don’t eat” is cool with me. At least no one will have to ask who Mike Jones is anymore. - Wally Sparks, firstname.lastname@example.org 26
OZONE MAY 2005
I expected this album to be a carbon copy of radio playlists, but I’m happy to say that I was wrong. This is that gritty, from-the-gut mid-90’s R&B music that helped me learn how to talk to girls while I was in high school. Think Xscape. I’m not sure if Nivea’s recent blessing of motherhood brought out this newfound emotion, but either way, I’m thankful for it. On the title track “Complicated,” Nivea sings soulfully of a love that’s tough, but still well worth it. It’s a beautiful song. Even though there’s a maturity resonating throughout the album, there’s still some songs designed to get shit crunk. For instance, the song “Parking Lot,” which is a tale of a woman’s infidelity. She sets up a secret rendezvous at a Mickey D’s parking lot to get her swerve on. This one is sure to become a monster hit with the ladies, and maybe some of us cheating-ass dudes too. Other bangers include the second ballad, “Breathe (Let It Go)”, and the R Kelly-produced “Gangsta Girl,” where Nivea sings for all the thug misses out there in the world. This album was pure satisfaction, and an unexpected surprise. Nivea, excellent job, homegirl. Didn’t know you had it in you. - Wally Sparks, email@example.com
C-MURDER THE TRUEST SHIT I EVER SAID TRU/Koch On this release, we definitely get a better understanding of C. Miller. We do hear from the CMurder of the late 90s on tracks like “Y’all Heard of Me” and “Camoflauge & Murder,” but I believe the title C has given this project is referring to more real-talk songs like “Hustlas Wife,” “Did You Hold It Down,” and “Won’t Let Me Out.” The latter of these songs is a remix of Akon’s single “Locked Up,” with a few real-life C-Murder verses. The album opens with a montage of new clips, most stating empirical evidence of C’s innocence. “My Life” and “Stressin” are average. His vocals are pretty good throughout the album, considering the conditions of his recording sessions.
MS CHERRY RHYTHM & STREETS Streetwize Records As Ms Cherry instructs, I just let the CD play from beginning to end. The album is slightly above average Southern hip-hop with glimmers of mainstream. “Like Me” could have been shortened to an interlude, though. This song falls apart halfway through. We see a little bit of sarcasm on “Sponsor,” where Ms Cherry refers to all her haters as just that: “sponsors”! Although Ms Cherry claims she’s not a smoker, what would a rap album be without a weed anthem? She gives it to us anyway, although the lame hook kills the song. The track is rather awkward, but it works with her tight wordplay. “Dead Crunk” is a filler track where Jazzebell outdoes Ms Cherry’s vocals, which sound forced.
“Hustlas Wife” is a real thought-provoking track for any hustler or hustler’s wife. He really spits the truth, both the positive and negative. The almost-radio friendly “Did You Hold It Down” goes one step further, discussing the realities of a relationship surviving a baid. C-Murder and B.G. both drop some exceptional lyrics on the lead single “Y’all Heard of Me.”
The lowest point on the album is the horrid singing on “Love Is Real,” but Ms Cherry redeems herself with the ferocious lyrics on the bass-heavy “Deception.” “She Hat’n” is a nice catchy song with quality lyrics. The lead single “It’s Whatever” has the same feel as “Knuck If You Buck” or “Neva Eva.” It’s destined to break into mainstream radio, and can and will be the match to light someone’s short fuse (“Don’t grab that bitch / Don’t hold that hoe / If the trick wanna buck / Let her go, let her go”). “Mind Over Matter” features the unique vocals of Nutt Skywalker.
Several other guests show up to lend a hand to the incarcerated, including memorable contributions from Mac, Currensy, and Slim. Surprisingly, P and Silkk the Shocker are nowhere to be found on this project.
Overall, production is pretty good and lyrics are average, sometimes better. One problem with this project is the sequencing and the silly skits. You can’t ride out to this album from beginning to end without hitting the skip button a few times.
- ADG, firstname.lastname@example.org
- ADG, email@example.com
JODY BREEZE A DAY IN THE LIFE ShoNuff/Warner Bros. Live and direct from the streets of Griffin, Georgia, comes the protégé of Southern producer extraordinaire, Jazze Pha. Jody Breeze is the name, and spittin’ that raw is the game. Jody’s debut solo album A Day In The Life is packed with gangstafied rhymes, a Southern fried soundscape, and plenty of big name guest appearances. Trick Daddy, Lil Jon, Slim Thug, 8Ball, Juvenile, Pastor Troy, Mannie Fresh, and Jazze Pha all drop in to lend a hand on Jody’s album. For many new artists, too many features on their debut can overshadow their talents. But fortunately for Jody, this strategy works. On the opener “Ballin’ My Life Away,” Jody trades verses with the Orange Mound OG 8Ball over a cookin’ Jazze Pha track. Jody Breeze’s fluid flow is a perfect match for some of the syrupy beats found on this album. While Jody is definitely nice on the mic, he still makes some youthful mistakes. He makes insanely bold statements that will make most people turn a deaf ear and make the “what the fuck?” face. For example, on “I’m a hustler,” Jody proclaims, “Since Jigga gone, I guess I’m gon’ take the throne.” No, you’re not, Jody. But it’s cool, because on the hook of the same song he raps, “I done turned a couple of Christians into customers, homie.” There we go Jody, that’s more like it. Give me some more of those slick-ass lines that made me dig you in the first place. As for the rest of the album, anytime you have a hitmaker like Jazze Pha giving creative direction, there’s sure to be a great balance. The gangsta shit is there in the form of “AKs & Chevrolets” featuring Trick Daddy and Sean Paul of the YoungBloodz and “Take It Outside” featuring Lil Jon & Pastor Troy. The ready-for-radio records “Stay Fresh” and “Weekend Girl” are there.
B.G. LIVE FROM CHOPPER CITY MIXTAPE
CORY GUNZ APPRENTICE MIXTAPE
What we have here is basically a collection of raw-ass freestyles coupled with some remixes of popular radio songs and new recordings. The mixtape is designed to do two things: set up the release of B.G.’s upcoming album The Heart of The Streets and introduce the world to his group, the Chopper City Boyz. While this mixtape has no real cohesiveness, it has some dope rhyme spittin’ from the original Hot Boy and his collective of young guns.
After getting the approval of everyone from Swizz Beatz to Camron on the intro, Cory Gunz gives us a couple dozen reasons why this young gun is a force to be reckoned with. Over popular tracks like “Lean Back” and “Hood Hop,” the youngin’ displays talent beyond his age with lyrics like, “The only time you ever did was like an hour when you turned on Oz.”
One of the best songs on this mixtape is B.G.’s remake of his classic “Get Your Shine On” from his early years with Cash Money, which is much better than Baby’s remix. “Get your shine on, you know that Gizzle made that!” Preach on, brother! “Where They At,” originally a Homebwoi song featuring B.G., has since become the first single from B.G.’s album with a new verse over DJ Smurf’s heart-pounding production. Other jewels on this disc are solo shots from the Chopper City Boyz, Hakim, and Snipe. They all get their solo shine on quite well, breaking up the monotony.
As one-fourth of the group P Diddy calls the “NWA of the South,” Boyz N Da Hood, Jody Breeze is probably the strongest lyrically and proves it throughout his solo album. The best thing about this album is that you won’t get bored listening to it. Jody is an exceptional talent who appears to be receiving the right grooming from all the right places. Although the T.I. vocal comparisons are inevitable, it’s fair to say that Jody Breeze can become one of the nicest out of the South in his own right.
B.G.’s remixes of popular R&B songs like Amerie’s “1 Thing” and Destiny’s Child’s “Soldier” are perfect for mixtape DJs. Even though this may seem like a bunch of songs just thrown together, it serves its purpose as good promo.
- Wally Sparks, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wally Sparks, email@example.com
We get some original production in the form of a track from Othello, which is a bit too similar to 50’s “In Da Club.” Cory is forced to pick up his tempo a bit over the beat from Tupac and Bone Thugs’ classic “Thug Love.” The result is nothing special, but proves that this teenager is able to switch up his style effectively.
WREKONIZE OVERDUE MIXTAPE You would think that after winning a nationally-televised MC battle on MTV, an artist would take any advantageous move they could. But here we have Wrekonize, the underground MC who supposedly turned down a recording contract from Roc-A-Fella. Wrekonize has proven himself as a competent MC, but even after the accolades Wrek seems to be content with being an underground MC. With similes like “Your sound is as hard as a male sex change” and metaphors like “I kill rappers daily, I’m the self-esteem sniper,” Wrek spits ferociously on “Breathe.” The interludes are hilarious, and firm testaments that Wrek is an MC first and an artist next; all the way from the “hater” interludes to “sellout radio.”
The Game makes a guest appearance, giving Cory a run for his money, but he still maintains to hold his own.
“Freestyle” is a nice laid-back track where Wrek seems to be going at the Roc with a style reminiscent of Nas’ notorious freestyle dissin’ Jay-Z. “Improper Opening” is more proof that Wrek the MC is live! Wrek picks up the tempo of his flow and rides the lackadaisical track to perfection. The “Boardroom Interlude” is similar to an interlude from The Alchemist’s LP; not so fresh. Poking more fun at the industry, Wrekonize spits the “Same Ol’ Story,” insisting, “If they don’t hear about you losing they don’t care if you win / We got all our own problems, I don’t need to pretend.” The best track on this mixtape only contains one verse: “Child’s 1st Words.”
- ADG, firstname.lastname@example.org
OZONE MAY 2005
JOE PRO THE SHAKE OFF, WHERE DEM DOLLARS AT, & BOOTY FEST 2 www.tapemaninc.com It’s all in the name. Joe Pro seems to have the right formula for making bachelor party DVDs. A good DVD contains the following ingredients: beautiful strippers, porn clips, private strippers, and clips of dancers from America’s hottest strip clubs (Atlanta, D.C., Miami, New York, Virginia, Philly, and South Carolina). All of Joe Pro’s DVDs contain clips from all the yearly events which draw scantily clad women, like Daytona’s Black College Reunion and Myrtle Beach’s Bike Week. Shake Off is loaded with lots of big round asses, and a lot of booty-shaking and ass-clapping. This DVD is a must-have for any aspiring stripper. It could definitely be an instructional DVD on how to make your ass clap. The only thing missing on this DVD is Sean Paul and Busta Rhymes’ singing “Make It Clap.”
This DVD is not Hoes Gone Wild, it is ‘Porn Clips’ Gone Wild, with lots of lackluster replays of the same scenes over and over again. Twenty minutes into this two-hour feature, the overlays and replays make you want to turn it off and play a video game instead. The entire DVD is basically clips from other movies, and the clips aren’t that great. The only thing that saves this DVD is the music. It’s a good listen, suited for bachelor parties.
DYNAMIC AUDIO & VIDEO DYNAMIC BOOTY VOL. 4
NEW ORLEANS EXPOSED www.noexposed.com
How would you like to have your favorite music and porn playing at the same time? Dynamic Audio & Video have combined the best of both worlds: You can listen to sexy music while watching porn. If you like big round asses, you’ll love the eight featured scenes on this DVD. Jada, a new black porn star, looks like she stepped right out of an Uncut video. Jada is teamed with porn star Justin Slayer. If this was the only scene on the whole DVD, you wouldn’t be disappointed. Jada gives Justin the ride of his life. This scene is so steamy that they’re both left wiping the sweat off their bodies.
When people travel, they choose their destination for different purposes. Some travel for the beauty of the city, the architecture of ancient buildings, or the history of the city. Most people know the histories of the cities they visit, but some don’t. I recently visited New Orleans in all its splendor. I visited the famous Bourbon Street and stayed in an aging hotel. The only thing I really knew about New Orleans was that it was one of the first places in America where slaves were dropped off straight from Africa. New Orleans is the home of exotic foods, Mardi Gras, the Essence Festival, Cash Money Millionaires, and Master P and the No Limit Soldiers. I also knew that back in 1994, it was the murder capital of America. I didn’t know that New Orleans is listed in the top 10 of the worst school systems in the country. I didn’t know that New Orleans has a convention every single day of the year. We all have a perception of New Orleans, but this DVD paints a totally different picture. Featuring in-depth interviews with Juvenile, the late Soulja Slim, 5th Ward Weeby, B.G., and many others, this DVD takes you on an educational journey through life in the projects by people who grew up (and still live in) New Orleans. There’s a lot of information packed into this DVD, so I watched it several times to give an accurate review..
Finally, after rewinding and rewinding the previous DVDs, I got a chance to look at Booty Fest 2. The only problem with this DVD is that I didn’t get the chance to see Volume 1. If it has as much booty as Volume 2, I need to check it out. Booty Fest 2 is loaded with clear scenes and great images. The clarity on Joe Pro’s DVDs is worth the purchase.
Some of the hot songs on this DVD include Gucci Mane & Young Jeezy’s “Icy,” Bobby Valentino’s “Slow Down,” some R&B from Usher & R Kelly, and plenty of crunk songs from the Ying Yang Twins, Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz, and Pastor Troy. The hottest tune on the DVD is by the host, Mykel Myers, who hails from Jacksonville. His collabo with Young Jeezy is a club and radio-friendly joint. Mykel has a distinctive voice that can’t really be compared to anyone else. He takes you on a thugged-out, gangsta ride through the hardcore realities of life and hustling.
The music on this DVD is mostly R&B, ranging from slow to uptempo. You don’t have to be watching this DVD to enjoy it; it can be played simply for the music. In the scenes with Latin actresses, reggaetone is added to spice up the mix. It’s amazing how the music matches the sex. Everything is right on time. For instance, in one scene, while “Saltshaker” is playing, the video is sped up to match the strokes and the beat. The unique thing about this porn DVD is that you don’t hear the moaning and grunting, all you hear is the music provided by Dynamic Audio. The music also sets the mood for when you and your partner start experimenting with what you just saw.
This documentary shows what it’s like to grow up in New Orleans. Their school system is ranked nearly last place in the nation, just in front of Mississippi. New Orleans has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. The DVD also shows New Orleans’ untapped talent and contains touching footage celebrating fallen hero Soulja Slim. This DVD shows the harsh realities of life in New Orleans; it would be a good candidate for CNN, HBO, or BET.
- Malik Abdul
- Malik Abdul
- Malik Abdul
- Malik Abdul, email@example.com
Where Dem Dollars At is mostly taped at different strip clubs, with lots of nudity and pole-dancing. Any strip club connoisseur understands that pole-dancing is an art form, which takes lots of energy and stamina when done right. On this DVD, it is done right.
MYKEL MYERS HOES GONE WILD mykelmyers.com
OZONE MAY 2005
Before viewing this DVD, I had mixed feelings about New Orleans. Whenever I visit again, I’ll have a better understanding and greater respect for their culture. I was born on an island, and through this DVD I’ve realized that New Orleans natives and West Indians have much in common (a laid-back lifestyle, a love for music, and nature’s wrath: hurricanes, floodings, rainstorms, mosquitoes, and unbearable heat).
01: Voice of Da Streetz “Rap Phenomenon III” 407-256-8487 www.Voic eofDaStreetz.com Orlando, FL 02: DJ B-Lord (hosted by Trick Daddy & Frank Luv) “Still Thuggin’” www.DJBlord.com Charleston, SC 03: DJ Giovanny & DJ Mr. King “Southern Smothered & Covered” 330-701-8327 or 614-323-5212 04: Wiz Hoffa & Money Mike (hosted by Brandi Garcia & Linda Love) “Black Madonna” BrandiGarcia.com AL 05: DJ Ryno & DJ Chill “Tha Mix Vol. 2” www.DJRyno.com or www.mix 2cold.com Houston, TX 06: DJ Kool Kid “The Diesel 3.0” 212-545-3781 NYC 07: DJ Smallz (hosted by Bun B) “The Texas Mixtape Massacre” www.DJSm allz.com Ft. Myers, FL
08: DJ Obscene (hosted by Chamillionaire) “Houston We Have a Problem” 305-778-4390 Miami, FL 09: DJ Jelly & MC Assault & the Southern Style DJs “World Famous” Atlanta, GA 10: DJ Barry Bee “Mixtape Serial Killer” 252-561-6145 or Affishaul@yahoo.com NC 11: Klarc Shepard “Riding High In the Dirty South” Gainesville, FL
Evil Empire “Be South Pt. 2” Hot tracks: #01 - Mike Jones “Back Then” #05 - Chamillionaire f/ David Banner “Talkin’ That Talk” #11 - Young Jeezy “We Jook” #12 - Lil Boosie “Goin’ Thru Some Thangs”
12: DJ Rob-Lo “The Undisputed Pt. 2” www.Rob-Lo.com NYC 13: Rapid Ric (hosted by Bun B & Killa Kyleon) “Whut It Dew 2” Houston, TX 14: DJ Frogie “Pure M.E.M.P.H.I.S. Vol. 8” www.FrogieStyle.com Memphis, TN 15: DJ Jesse Jazz & DJ Slique “Street Certified” www.Orlando-HipH op.com Orlando, FL 16: ADG “This Is What I Do Pt. 5” 386-627-3427 www.NeverAFlawProductions.com Orlando, FL 16: DJ Bijal & D’Luscious “Sirius Hitz Vol. 2” www.DJBijal.com or www.D-Luscious.com 18: Bash Bros. “Mean Muggin’ Vol. 1” www.BashBros.net 19: Pimp G “Crunk City Kings Spring Break Edition” 904-536-6122 Jacksonville, FL 20: Hurricane Foss (hosted by Stat Quo) firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-729-2805 Kissimmee, FL
OZONE MAY 2005
by David Banner, Mississippi’s rapper/producer extraordinaire and aspiring actor Disclaimer: I really hate giving movies a rating, because sometimes I start liking them more or less later. I may come back next month and recant something after I see a movie again. I’m the same way about music. Usually, the songs or the albums that I don’t like become the ones that I like for the rest of my life. Sometimes you don’t get it the first time. COACH CARTER I liked Coach Carter a lot because of the struggle that man went through as a black man who stood for what he believed in. I liked his personal story. Coach Carter is about an inner-city school in Richmond that had been losing in academics and in sports. Coach Carter came in and made the team into winners, not only in basketball but he stressed their education and their lives more than basketball. Even though the parents went against his methods, he cared more about the lives of those kids than he did about them excelling in basketball. That’s how we should all be about music and sports; it’s more about knowledge than our physical attributes because those go away with time. Knowledge stays with you forever. The problem that I had with the movie was the dialect. The kids were supposed to be from the West coast, but the whole movie you heard “yo” and “son” and “chill, B.” They had all these New York actors playing West coast roles. You wouldn’t hear somebody in Brooklyn saying “shawty,” you know? I think that Hollywood needs to respect our culture more. They wouldn’t have a Russian character speaking Spanish in a movie, and that’s how important the dialect of these different regions is to us. I thought most of the casting was wrong in the movie as far as the young people. These kids didn’t talk like their characters should, and I think that’s one of the most important things. When you’re acting, you’re supposed to give people the feeling of how it is to stay where your character is from. People walk differently in New Orleans than they do in New York. People talk differently in Los Angeles than they do in Atlanta. That’s part of getting into character. That’s what I’ve been learning in acting classes. People walk and talk differently; that’s part of their character. I think Coach Carter did the city of Richmond an injustice in that way. As a matter of fact, I heard that from people in California before I even saw the movie and that’s what made me notice it more. But, once you get past the heavy New York drawls, the story is pretty good. Coach Carter is definitely a good DVD movie to watch at home. 30
OZONE MAY 2005
Napoleon Dynamite is basically a kid who’s a nerd. The movie is about his day-to-day movements in the small town he’s from. What I liked most about this movie is that it was so funny and they didn’t curse one time. That’s sort of hard, especially in today’s culture, to have a movie that’s funny without cursing.
Hitch is about a love doctor played by Will Smith. His job is to hook you up and give you the confidence to get the lady of your dreams. When I walked into the movie theater, I thought it was gonna be the whackest film of all time. The only reason I went to see it is because I heard somebody from the hood say it was good and I heard a rich old person say it was good. That’s two people from totally different walks of life talking good about the movie, so I decided to give it a chance.
The first time you watch this movie, you probably won’t like it. I didn’t like it when I first saw it. It’s dry humor; it’s not a hits-you-over-the-head comedy. It’s really so stupid that it’s amazingly funny. It’s like a cult classic. It’s actually my favorite movie now. I’ve watched it 42 times. I think the casting in this movie is great, especially Napoleon’s girlfriend. She has the same acting coach as I do, and my acting coach was telling me that they had to play down. When I say “play down,” I mean, they had to act two steps slower than people actually are. Napoleon gets picked on and bullied, but he ends up being the hero at the end by helping his friend become president of the school. The funniest things in the movie are just the way they talk and the things they talk about. I mean, the stuff is so stupid. Me repeating it ain’t gonna be funny. Like, somebody asks Napoleon, “What are you gonna do today?” and he says, “Anything I want to, gosh!” That isn’t funny in writing, you just have to see him do it and it’s funny. Another thing that’s funny is that he does stuff we did as children. Like, tying he-man to a piece of string and throwing it out the window to watch it fly. I mean, it’s little bitty stuff like that. Working on your dance moves by watching videos, stuff we did as children. To see a high school kid who’s almost a grown-up do the same stuff that we did as kids, that’s comedy. It’s actually hilarious. After the 30th time I watched the movie, I realized the message: There’s something special about everybody. They picked on Napoleon in school, they laughed at him, but he was actually a caring person who really just wanted to be himself. Napoleon was in his own world and he wanted to be left alone in his own world. A lot of times, kids don’t want to be popular. They just want to be left alone, and the so-called “popular” kids pick on them when it’s not even warranted.
Hitch shows that people judge each other every day, even when they shouldn’t. Hitch also showed that the key to winning over the person you really love is having confidence in yourself. If you’re goofy, don’t run away from being goofy. That may be your key to getting the woman of your dreams. Key in on what your strengths are. If you’re going bald, cut all your hair off and rock a bald head and be proud of it. My favorite moment in the movie was when Will Smith was teaching the dude how to dance. To see Will teach an older white guy how to do some really cool moves, that was funny. The little stuff we do every day was funny, like being nervous around a girl. Maybe y’all sleep together without having sex, but you stay up all night cause you’re so nervous. Will Smith teaches the guy what he’s supposed to do when he first approaches a lady. It’s some of the stuff that goes unspoken when you meet a woman for the first time. I can honestly say that Hitch is one of my favorite movies of the year, and I really thought it was gonna be whack. Hitch teaches you to be confident with what God has blessed you with. If that’s not enough, that person is probably not worthy of your love anyway. If I meet a girl, I don’t walk up to her as David Banner. I’m Lavell Crump. If she happens to know who David Banner is, that’s cool, but I don’t want to meet a woman under that guise. It helps – but I wouldn’t want to be judged as a rapper. I’d want to be judged as myself, because when David Banner ain’t hot no more, that person might not wanna be with me no more. You should always want a person to be with you on the basis of your personality cause that will never falter or change. As an actor, I’m really proud of what Will Smith is doing. He’s one of the people that’s paving the way for us to be successful in movies. But I’ve also got to say this: I don’t ever want to see Will Smith kiss a man in a movie again, ever. Ever, ever, ever, ever. Put that four times.
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Published on May 1, 2005