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Julia Beverly (JB)

Julia Beverly (JB)


Bogan, Brian O’Hare, Chris
Imani, Cynthia Coutard, Dain
Burroughs, Darnella Dunham,
Dave Goodson, Felita
Knight, Hasan Brown, Iisha
Hillmon, Jeska Manrique,
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Lash, Katerina Perez, Keith
Kennedy, K.G. Mosley, Malik
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colm, Raandu Avion, Rayfield
Warren, Rohit Loomba, Swift,
Wally Sparks

Che’ Johnson

Kyle P. King, P.A.

Nikki Kancey

Mercedes (Strictly Streets)
Buggah D. Govanah (On Point)
Big Teach (Big Mouth)
Efren Mauricio (Direct Promo)


Quest, Pat Pat, H Vidal,
B-Lord, Kamikaze, Jason
Brown, Controller, Lex, Music
& More, N’Ron, PhattLipp,
Pimp G, Dereck Washington,
Dr. Doom, TJ’s DJ’s, DJ Bull,
Derek Jurand, Kydd Jo, Rob-
Lo, Chilly C, Hollywood, DJ
Dap & Marco Mall

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Main office:
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Miami, FL 33132
Cover credits: Pitbull and Erick
Sermon photos by Julia Beverly.
OZONE Magazine is published
eleven times annually by OZONE
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The views contained herein do
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Ads appearing in this magazine are
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illustrations are copyrighted by
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out the written consent of the
publisher. Printed in the USA.
JB – some advice – stop beefing with your hat- is well over a year old, but as you can see,
ers in the magazine. If you have one if, if not years later I still search online for this cop’s
the best, magazine to come out in the last name just to find out where he is and what
couple of years. Don’t let them take away he’s up to these days. The Orlando Sentinel
your shine. Misery loves company and your even wrote an article in November 2003 about
success is making a lot of people miserable. Just a lawsuit against him for [police] brutality.
from reading the magazine I can tell that you’re – Madelyne T.,
dedicated to what you do and you really work your
ass off. You seem to be everywhere. I’m from Mi- I love your magazine. I’m from Tampa, we’ve got a
ami and I’m up in NYC doing some music projects, live hip-hop scene out here. You should come out
and your buzz up here is even picking up. Ignore here more often and catch shows. Y’all are the best
the non-believers, and when they piss you off, use hip-hop magazine out. –
their ignorance as the fuel to make you go at this
dream of yours even stronger. Keep up the excellent I just read your “Florida Power” interview from last
work, and don’t give that publicist “bitch” any more year with Cool & Dre. I believe Cool (Marcello) and
satisfaction by letting her know she matters in your Dre (Andre) might have left out a few minor details
world. – Miami Mac, about they alone starting up Record Room Produc-
tions by themselves with their money! Cool & Dre
I don’t really wanna be judgmental about your mag, happen to be very talented producers, but when I
but I’m starting to notice it’s starting to get like was running HEAT Music in Miami four years ago,
The Source. I mean, yeah, I see a lot of down South they were our in-house producers. The owner of
artists on there, but now it seems like it’s only cats HEAT, Mr. Dennis Dellinger, spent his money to start
that’s in the industry. What happened to all the local up Record Room Productions and purchase the stu-
support? I still see a lot of groups with talent not be- dio equipment. To my knowledge, he still owns 60%
ing recognized here in O-Town. I was really hoping I of Record Room Productions. I’m happy that Cool &
could have gotten a blunt review on my album being Dre did well, however, they should make good on
that you were the first peeps to check it out. But I their commitments to the man that gave them in-
haven’t gotten one, so if you still have my album Sur- spiration, money, drive, and power when they had
realist (Tha Struggle) can you at least email me back none. Figures that helicopters would make boys
and tell me what you think. Without the help of your excited. What a game. – Fred Held, former VP of
mag the album is doing pretty well for a debut, but I Operations of HEAT Music,
feel it can go so much further with your help. I’m not
trying to knock your mag in any way, just trying to I just picked up my first issue of OZONE mag, and
give you some insight coming from a local artist. – Co there’s just one word to describe it: fire! You guys
from Surrealist, are definitely working with something here. Keep
up the good work, you’ve got a new subscriber! – PS
I recently came across the article you wrote on and Non-U,
Grandaddy Souf. I know nothing of him or his music,
but now will make a note to find it. I dated [the cop I loved your “patiently waiting” article on Akon. He’s
that Grandaddy complained of police brutality]. He sweet as fuck. Keep dropping that hot shit! - Diz,
was nothing but kind to me and my daughter, until
one time when he pulled his “rank” as a cop. I told
him a story, as a girlfriend telling her boyfriend, and Correction: We got Terror Squad’s Macho and Raul
he got the story so twisted and biased that I ended mixed up in the Memorial Day issue - sorry! We also
up dealing with legal implications to this day. Pass forgot to mention Kareem Johnson and director
along my regards to this artist. I realize the article Coodie’s partner Chike on Pitbull’s video set.

“Can I take a picture wearing your spinner chain?” - radio personality Obie, to Lloyd Banks

“Next time Lil’ Flip says he’s the King of the South, tell that fuck boy I said, ‘Say it in my face.’”
- T.I. issuing a challenge at Hot 107’s birthday bash in Atlanta

“What up, my niggas?!?” - White Boy, performing to an all-black crowd in New Orleans, LA
black rapper can stir
“2Pac is the voice of our generation. Are you angry because 2Pac gets so much respect? Furious that a dead
syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin’s
millions while you pleasure yourself by spelling correctly?” - Anonymous internet response to
article blasting 2pac’s poetry as “crap”

and women] want to

“[Dylan] has acute ghettoitis. He has a self-destruct button and doesn’t take life seriously. [So many young men
when it’s time to get serious at 35, [they] look at other
spend ten years hanging on the corner, smoking blunts, sleeping all day, and
cats that’s hustled since they was 16 and be mad at them.” - P. Diddy (VIBE, August 2004)

not gonna happen.”

“These days hoes think that another bitch gonna grow a dick and stick it to ‘em and get ‘em pregnant, and that’s
- Trick Daddy, (Strip Joint Magazine, June/July 2004)
gonna get married
“Just because you stay a virgin ‘til you’re 21 doesn’t mean you’re gonna find your Prince Charming and then you’re
with a big white dress and your family there.” - Lloyd Banks, (XXL, August 2004)
A > T.I. vs. Lil Flip
re you wondering why both of our feature ar-
ticles (Pitbull and Jacki-O) are focused on drugs
Is there anyone that T.I. gets along with?
and crime? Originally, this was going to be called
the “Hustler’s Edition.” I was planning on doing a whole issue > Vivica Fox
with sort of a F.E.D.S./Don Diva spin. That idea was scrapped Goes off on 50 Cent at the BET Awards. Ah,
due to an unfortunate little inciden earlier this month, which ghetto love
made me not want to write about anything jail-related. Should
you ever decide to visit Mississippi, be forewarned that you have no
> Atlanta Egos
rights. No probable cause, no warrant, no permission? No problem. They Is there room for all these rappers in one
will tear your car apart, and even if they don’t find anything, they will city? What’s up with Scrappy vs. Trillville?
still arrest you. A white girl with two black guys must be doing > Petey Pablo
something illegal, right? Grandaddy Souf will be proud to know that Tsk, tsk. Standing up Clear Channel for 2
“Fuck the law” is now engraved in a Mississippi holding cell. Arggh! major shows is not a good way to get spins
Too much information. Go ahead, research me! (Anyone who tries to
blackmail me, your voicemail will get erased. Proven fact.) > The Core DJs
> Trina & Benzino rumors?
Anyway, I enjoyed putting together this issue because Pitbull is on Ewwwwwwwwwwww
the cover, and I’m actually a Pitbull fan. I’m a Pitbull fan because
of lines like these: > Rappers getting arrested
Ja Rule, DMX. Free publicity for dying careers?
“I’m on the grind, that’s why I’m like, five days, same jeans / > G-Unit dissing R Kelly
But I switch up drawers...” 50 Cent should just quit while he’s on top

I’m a Pitbull fan because we grind together. I actually have worn the same jeans for five days.
When I first heard his “Welcome to Miami” freestyle on the radio two years ago, I knew he was
gonna make it. Ever since then, every show, every video shoot, every record pool meeting,
Pitbull is there: Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Atlanta, L.A., New York. I
see him hustle and he sees me hustle, so there’s mutual respect. I’m a Pitbull fan because he
didn’t even hesitate when I suggested we meet at 6am for a photo shoot. Pit is putting in the
work and making the sacrifices that a lot of rappers aren’t willing to make, and that’s why his
single is currently at #10 on the radio charts. Sipping some Cuban coffee before our shoot, he
explained his philosophy: “It’s the little things that count.” The music industry is not about
talent. Talent helps, but it’s not enough. It’s the freestyles and drops he does for DJs, it’s the
extra effort he puts forth that gives him the edge. It’s how hungry you are that counts. And the
struggle is to stay hungry. It’s easy to get to a certain point and feel like you’ve succeeded, so
you’ve got to constantly surround yourself with other people that are motivated.

Speaking of motivators, lately I haven’t given much ink to my detractors (“haters” is becoming
a very tired term). But I must say something to this bitch that knows absolutely nothing about
me and yet spends a lot of time talking shit about me to her Atlanta buddies from the safety of
her New York office. I have only one word for you, and that word is “karma.” Bitch, you get a
paycheck every two weeks and you could be fired at any moment. Don’t knock my hustle.

“I’m more than an artist, I’m more than an entertainer / I’m more like an innovator /
‘Cause I did what they weren’t doing / Now they’re doing what I did just to get where
I’m at / But it’s too late for that / Now the whole industry gon’ pay for that / A&R’s that
passed on my project, what y’all gotta say for that? / Not a damn thang / ‘Cause I started
my own campaign / Give me the money, y’all can keep the champagne”

Most people think that I have a camera permanently attached. So, after the BET Awards, I de-
cided to leave the camera in the car and just go out and have a good time. Naturally, it turned
out to be the photo op of a lifetime. Imagine a house party in downtown Los Angeles where Big
Boi, Lil’ Flip, Lil’ Jon & the East Side Boyz, Too Short, David Banner, Jazze Pha, Ciara, the Ying
Yang Twins, the YoungBloodz, Petey Pablo, Sleepy Brown, Carl Thomas, Pitbull, Lil’ Scrappy,
Jacki-O, and Teedra Moses are all just hanging out. No VIP, no security, no fights. Good shit.

In closing, I’d like to give a special thanks to everyone who told me I would never be able to
get a camera into Hot 107’s Birthday Bash. MTV couldn’t do it, BET couldn’t do it. I did it.
Check out the exclusive pics in an upcoming issue of VIBE. Shouts to Marian at VIBE. Shouts to
all the photo editors who don’t return my calls; you’ll be calling soon enough. Shouts to every-
one at TVT, SRC/Universal, & TJ’s DJ’s. Shouts to Keinon for the wristband, Nancy for the in-
vite, Branden for the lighter, and Vince for the tip. And now, once again, I will quote Pitbull:

“Watch the thoughts that I put on paper turn to paper”

- Julia Beverly,

Guilty pleasures: Ja Rule f/ R Kelly “I Wonder” &

Juvenile, Wacko, & Skip “What Them Brains Like”

Cowboy and Baby Capone “Roll Up” Mario Winans “3 Days Ago”
8Ball & MJG “Memphis City Blues” T.I. f/ B.G. “Street Niggas”
Ying Yang Twins f/ Fat Joe & Pitbull “Salt Shaker (remix)” Lloyd Banks “Til the End”
Tony Sunshine f/ Dirbag & P Diddy “Oh My God” Suave Smooth “What They Do”
Monica “You Shoulda Known Better” Akon “Ghetto”
SlyKat f/ Dirtbag “Just Chillin’” Terror Squad “Lean Back”


Nigga, I’m the leader, I’m the truth but I’ma keep they spirit alive going throughout this song
You just following suit Let’s keep hope alive
Question for any nigga following you: Pray to God to forgive our sins
What kinda nigga take a picture in a Lucky Charms suit? Before we self destruct in the end
With a lollipop chain and some Leprechaun boots Living life on this earth we can win
Being lame is a curse you can never undo - Zay, “So Long”
Even worse, your reputation gon’ forever haunt you
If you a sucker at 12, at 22 you one too Yo, why is Jadakiss as hard as it gets
Regardless of your possessions or who you can run to Why is the industry designed to keep the artist in debt
No matter how many blessings God has placed upon you And why them dudes ain’t ridin’ if they part of your set
Your heart pumps syrup so niggas can punk you And why they never get it poppin’ but they party to death
Keep lying to your fans as long as you want to Yeah, and why they gon’ give you life for a murder
Tryin’ to shine, rhyming about shit you won’t do Turn around and only give you eight months for a burner
Money you never had, and pistols you don’t shoot Why they sellin’ niggas CDs for under a dime
Your rap career was over when you tried to overthrow the throne If it’s all love, daddy, why you come with your nine?
Are you retarded? Flip, I ain’t an artist, I’m an ex-con trying hard Why my niggas ain’t get that cake
But it ain’t about being hard, it’s all about where your heart is Why is a brother up North better than Jordan that ain’t get that break
- T.I. onstage at Hot 107 Birthday Bash Why you ain’t stackin’ instead of tryin’ to be fly
Why is rattin’ at an all-time high
Nobody dead knew they would die before they woke Why are you even alive
It probably started out a beautiful day in weed smoke Why they kill Tupac and Chris
Last night’s pussy, the murder that she wrote Why at the bar you ain’t take straight shots instead of poppin’ Cris
Cold sweating from a nightmare, mind on a C-note Why them bullets have to hit that door
Intentions of fulfilling your vision Why did Kobe have to hit that raw, why he kiss that whore?...
Constantly sidetracked thinkin ‘bout whose your man and who isn’t Why would niggas push pounds and powder
Maybe it’s necessary maybe you’re overreacting Why did Bush knock down the Towers
Mabe your actual downfall was that hoe that you clappin’ Why you around them cowards
Maybe your pillow conversations been controlling their actions Why Aaliyah have to take that flight
Maybe your homie overheard and never told you what happened Why my nigga D ain’t pull out his Ferrari, why he take that bike?
Look behind you when you turn the corner Why they gotta open your package and read your mail
‘Cause death is promised, you done seen some niggas go before ya Why they stop lettin’ niggas get degrees in jail
And with that lingering in the back of your head Why you gotta do eighty-five percent of your time
You know that it’s possible you won’t make it back to ya bed And why do nigggas lie in eighty-five percent of they rhymes
The confusion and jealosy and dishonor will spin ya Why a nigga always want what he can’t have
But nothin’s worse than when that gunpowder hits ya Why I can’t come through in the pecan Jag
- Lloyd Banks, “Til the End” Why did crack have to hit so hard
Even though it’s almost over, why niggas can’t get no jobs?
I’m about a slave auction away from being you, and vice versa Why they come up with the witness protection
We both worked in the field and called the devil “Massa” Why they let the Terminator win the election? Come on, pay attention
Spent days in the sun cotton pickin’, getting weak Why sell in the stores when you can sell in the streets
We trembled at the harsh words massa would speak Why I say the hottest shit but we sellin’ the least?...
Murders increased, the beast raped mothers and sis Why Halle had to let a white man pop her to get an Oscar
While both sweat and tears crawled on the side of our cheeks Why Denzel have to be crooked before he took it
There was bloodshed to water the field for a week Why they didn’t make the CL6 with a clutch
How the U.S. was built, what a web we weaved And if you don’t smoke, why the hell you reachin’ for my dutch?
Remember that shit, grown men beaten by whips? Why I rap? ‘Cause I need airtime
Taking turns on each others’ beatings, I took your licks Why be on the curb with a “Why lie, I need a beer” sign?
We was like this, locked like the mighty black fist Why all the young niggas is dyin’
We were Afro-kings fighting for our justice ‘Cause they moms is at work, they pops is gone, they livin’ with iron
Son, the massa had a plan to get us like this Why they ain’t give us a cure for AIDS
Ripped families apart, put us on a price list Why my D’s have fiends in the spot on the floor for days
Got sold at auctions in Spain and England Why you screamin like it’s a slug, it’s only the hawk
America had our brothers, framed us and turned us on each other Why my buzz in L.A. ain’t like it is in New York
- PS and Non-U,, “Used to be Brothers” Why you tryin’ to be hard, why ain’t you a thug by choice
Why the whole world love my voice
Let’s reminisce when Martin Luther King had a dream I try to tell ‘em that it’s the flow, son
Picture us all on the same team And you know why they made the new twenties?
Divided we fall, united we stand ‘Cause I got all the old ones - that’s why
Imagine every race joining hands - Jadakiss “Why” (“Kiss of Death”)
No more racism, no more convicted innocent inmates in prison
What’s going on, kids killing kids
Guilty caught up in the system Email your 16 bars to
My brother, my sister, can we all get along
Many soldiers dead and gone JB@OZONEMAG.COM for consideration.
01 - Boxers Antonio Tarver, Floyd Mayweather, and Zab Judah @ Terror Squad’s pool party (Miami, FL) 02 - David Banner signing
autographs (West Palm Beach, FL) 03 - Chilly C and P Love reppin’ OZONE (Hattiesburg, MS) 04 - Pitbull & crew reppin’ OZONE
(Miami, FL) 05 - Jay Love welcomes you to Jamlando (Orlando, FL) 06 - H-Ski and DJ Christion @ Tampa Music Conference (Tampa,
FL) 07 - Tigger and Camron @ celeb bball game (Miami, FL) 08 - Peedi Crakk forgives OZONE (Orlando, FL) 09 - Chubby Relle and
Bulldog @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 10 - Cordele, Dawgman, and Tez @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 11 - Jadakiss reading OZONE @ Power
95.3 (Orlando, FL) 12 - Sir Knight Train, Piccalo, and White Dawg (Tampa, FL) 13 - Kamikaze, Smoke D, KLC, Tony, and P Boy Stone
(Hattiesburg, MS) 14 - Ump tries to prevent Lil’ Wayne from killing a security guard (MIami, FL) 15 - Big Cotton and Kamikaze (Hat-
tiesburg, MS) 16 - Macho and Pistol Pete reppin’ TS on Memorial Day (Miami, FL) 17 - Trick Daddy takes a breather (Miami, FL) 18
- Dre reading OZONE (Miami, FL) 19 - Kareem and Spiff @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 20 - Maximum Security reppin’ OZONE @ Tabu
(Orlando, FL) 21 - DJ Christion and Big Money Ced reppin’ OZONE @ Tampa Music Conference (Tampa, FL)

Photos by Julia Beverly

01 - Dre, Supa Cindy, Khaled, and Big Lip @ Terror Squad’s pool party (Miami, FL) 02 - Dawgman, Chubby Relle, and White Dawg @
Tampa Music Conference (Tampa, FL) 03 - R-Senal reppin’ OZONE @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 04 - Lil’ Flip performing @ 95.3’s Xtreme
Auto Expo (Kissimmee, FL) 05 - Dapa, Adept, and DJ GQ @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 06 - Yogi and Prostyle reppin’ OZONE @ Tabu (Or-
lando, FL) 07 - Fabolous reppin’ OZONE on South Beach (Miami, FL) 08 - Rated R and DJ Christion (Tampa, FL) 09 - Jesse Jazz and
Sandman (Tampa, FL) 10 - Donnie Cross reppin’ OZONE (Hattiesburg, MS) 11 - Piccalo reppin’ OZONE @ Tampa Music Conference
(Tampa, FL) 12 - Boston Naud and Greg G @ Icon (Orlando, FL) 13 - Xzibit and Pitbull @ 95.3’s Auto Expo (Kissimmee, FL) 14 - DJ
Nasty, Camron, and Juelz Santana @ Icon (Orlando, FL) 15 - Katerina Perez, Nitty Kane, and PhattLipp reppin’ OZONE (West Palm
Beach, FL) 16 - Power 95.3’s Jill Strada and Deana Pope with Kerly @ VP Records’ 25th Anniversary (Miami, FL) 17 - Kunsistent-C
and Chubby Relle filming Dawgman’s Birthday party @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 18 - Supa Cindy admiring Khaled’s slippers (Miami,
FL) 19 - OZONE fan Wendy Day (Hattiesburg, MS) 20 - Mister Rush and C Rena @ Tampa Music Conference (Tampa, FL)

#1,2,3,6,7,8,9,10,11,13,14,15,16,17,18,19, 20 Julia Beverly; #5,12 Spiff; #4 Darren Thomas; #13 Sophia Jones
01 - Camron and Juelz Santana @ Icon (Orlando, FL) 02 - Flo-Rida Records @ Tampa Music Conference (Tampa, FL) 03 - Tony B, D
Banks, DJ Controller, and Lil’ C @ Tampa Music Conference (Tampa, FL) 04 - Brian, Jill, Deana, Lloyd Banks, Lil’ Shawn, Keinon, and
Phil @ 95.3 (Orlando, FL) 05 - TJ Chapman and Keith Kennedy @ Tampa Music Conference (Tampa, FL) 06 - Gotti @ Bulletproof/
Source celeb bball game (Miami, FL) 07 - Mike Jones reppin’ OZONE @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 08 - P Boy Stone and Tony B give a
big “fuck you” to the Confederate flag (Hattiesburg, MS) 09 - Pimp Tigger (Miami, FL) 10 - Tony Sunshine, Fat Joe, and Kay Slay @
Terror Squad’s pool party (Miami, FL) 11 - Michael London reppin’ OZONE (Montgomery, AL) 12 - GoodFellaz crew @ Tabu (Orlando,
FL) 13 - Big Rich (Hattiesburg, MS) 14 - Martin Luther Bling reppin’ OZONE (Hattiesburg, MS) 15 - Askia Fountain @ Tampa Music
Conference (Tampa, FL) 16 - Grandaddy Souf performing @ The Rose (Montgomery, AL) 17 - DJ Khaled @ Terror Squad’s pool party
(Miami, FL) 18 - Tanya Stephens reading OZONE @ VP Records’ 25th Anniversary concert (Miami, FL) 19 - 100% and Peedi Crakk
reppin’ OZONE @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 20 - Dawgman and Elkin @ Firestone for Dawgman’s birthday party (Orlando, FL)

#1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20 Julia Beverly; #12 Spiff

01 - Smoke D, Wendy Day, and Kamikaze (Hattiesburg, MS) 02 - Dre and Tony Sunshine @ the Eden Roc Hotel (Miami, FL) 03 - Phan-
tom, Remington Steele, and G Bell reppin’ OZONE @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 04 - Greg G, DJ Sincere, and Jay Love @ Icon (Orlanod,
FL) 05 - Larry and the Vellie Boyz reppin’ Lockedown Entertainment and OZONE (Tampa, FL) 06 - Red Alert and Wayne Williams @
Rumi (Miami, FL) 07 - A random couple getting freaky @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 08 - Juelz Santana reading OZONE @ celeb bball game
(Miami, FL) 09 - DJ Lee @ Michael London @ SNA Record Pool (Montgomery, AL) 10 - Jadakiss performing @ Icon (Orlando, FL) 11
- Terror Squad and Varcity Clothing (Miami, FL) 12 - DJ Majick and Infarel @ Tampa Music Conference (Tampa, FL) 13 - Grill and
Coach @ Dawgman’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) 14 - Jadakiss and the Power 95.3 crew (Orlando, FL) 15 - P Boy Stone, Big Cotton,
and Donnie Cross (Hattiesburg, MS) 16 - Macho, DJ Khaled, and Luis Duran (Miami, FL) 17 - Supa Cindy and Ump @ Bulletproof/
Source celeb bball game (Miami, FL) 18 - Young Slim and B-Dazzle (Hattiesburg, MS) 19 - Brian and Alius Mafia reppin’ OZONE
(Montgomery, AL) 20 - Pastor Troy checkin’ himself out on the cover of OZONE (Dekalb, MS) 21 - Poe Boy CEO E-Class (Miami, FL)

#1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20 Julia Beverly; #7 Spiff; #21 Bogan

01 - Kay Slay and Tigger (Miami, FL) 02 - Michael London and TJ Chapman (Montgomery, AL) 03 - Lil’ Wayne performing @ Firestone
for Dawgman’s birthday (Orlando, FL) 04 - Curt, Anicia, Marlon, and Donald @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 05 - Spiff, Chino, and Prostyle
strap up @ Icon (Orlando, FL) 06 - Paradox, Majik Most, and Selph Titled @ Tampa Music Conference (Tampa, FL) 07 - Lil’ Shawn and
Obie @ Power 95.3 (Orlando, FL) 08 - DJ Khaled and George Dukes @ Terror Squad pool party (Miami, FL) 09 - Freestyle Steve and
Nick Van Exel @ Bulletproof/Source celeb bball game (Miami, FL) 10 - Jadakiss and Mike L @ Icon (Orlando, FL) 11 - Fat Joe chillin’
in the pool (Miami, FL) 12 - Lil’ Wayne and Gotti @ Bulletproof/Source celeb bball game (Miami, FL) 13 - Flx and Mecca @ Dawg-
man’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) 14 - Angel reppin’ Benton Records (Tampa, FL) 15 - Mercedes and Copafeel @ Icon (Orlando, FL)
16 - DirtBag reppin’ OZONE on South Beach (Miami, FL) 17 - B Brian, TJ Chapman, and Keith Kennedy reppin’ OZONE (Montgomery,
AL) 18 - Miz and Tony Sunshine (Miami, FL) 19 - Reppin’ OZONE (West Palm Beach, FL) 20 - Wendy Day gives KLC some love (Hat-
tiesburg, MS) 21 - Tony B and Miss Monique reppin’ OZONE (Hattiesburg, MS) 22 - Mike Jones performing @ Firestone

Photos by Julia Beverly

01 - B.O.M. Records @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 02 - Big O and Pitbull @ Crunkfest (Ft. Myers, FL) 03 - Baby Boy (Orlando, FL) 04 - Obie,
Brian Gray, Phil Becker, and Jill Strada (Orlando, FL) 05 - Spiff planting OZONEs (Miami, FL) 06 - Poor G-Money can’t stop his staff
from loving OZONE (Orlando, FL) 07 - Swirl and Nay Fresh reppin’ OZONE (Miami, FL) 08 - Lloyd Banks signing autographs @ 95.3
(Orlando, FL) 09 - DJ Tecneek and Spiff @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 10 - Lil Scrappy celebrating Memorial Day (Cancun, Mexico) 11 - Loon
and Karen @ the Rollexx for the Pimp Awards (Miami, FL) 12 - DJ Hollywood and the Ying Yang Twins @ Platinum (Birmingham, AL)
13 - Raheim and Smilez @ First Fridays (Orlando, FL) 14 - Wild Bill, David Banner, and DJ Pat Pat @ Crunkfest (Ft. Myers, FL) 15
- Chill Will, Da Sick One, and Big Earl @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 16 - Murder One Sound and Phantom @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 17 - DJ Quez,
Phil Becker, Christina, Jill Strada, Lil’ Shawn, and DJ Noodles @ Power 95.3’s Xtreme Auto Expo (Kissimmee, FL) 18 - Tank @ celeb
bball game (Miami, FL) 19 - Bigg Ramp and 50 Cent (New Orleans, LA) 20 - Cassidy does the rain dance (Miami, FL) 21 - Jay-Ski
reppin’ Crunk Juice (Ft. Myers, FL) 22 - Boston Creme @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 23 - Sonny Chulo and his sister (Orlando, FL)

#1,9,15,16,22,23 Spiff; #4,5,6,8,12 Julia Beverly; #3,13,20 Sophia Jones; #2,14,21 DJ Pat Pat
18 #11,18 Bogan; #7 Farrah Sharpe; #10 Matt Daniels; #17 Jill Strada; #19 Bigg Ramp
01 - Jadakiss, Redman, and Method Man (Daytona Beach, FL) 02 - Yung Wun performing @ Crunkfest (Ft. Myers, FL) 03 - XZibit,
Magic Mike, and Ric-A-Che stop by 95.3’s Xtreme Auto Expo (Kissimmee, FL) 04 - Katerina Perez, Nay Fresh, Farrah Sharpe, and
Spiff @ celeb bball game (Miami, FL) 05 - Karton, Tim Apple, and Matt (Cancun, Mexico) 06 - Chris & Roman Jones with DJ Entice
@ Mansion (MIami, FL) 07 - Un Casa and Smack on South Beach (Miami, FL) 08 - Mr. Mauricio and DJ Entice @ Mansion (Miami, FL)
09 - Chill Will and Warren Sapp @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 10 - DJ Enuff & DJ Nasty @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 11 - David Banner and
Nay Fresh @ celeb bball game (Miami, FL) 12 - Grandaddy Souf and Antonio Tarver @ First Fridays (Orlando, FL) 13 - Cool Runnings
reppin’ OZONE @ Dawgman’s birthday (Orlando, FL) 14 - Good friends Orlando and DJ Fader @ Tampa Music Conference (Tampa,
FL) 15 - Suave Smooth performing @ Crunkfest (Ft. Myers, FL) 16 - Tony Sunshine and Boo @ celeb bball game (Miami, FL) 17 -
Streetrunner and Drop @ Terror Squad’s pool party (Miami, FL) 18 - Disco and Pimp J @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 19 - Drunk or crunk?
Evil DJ Pat Pat (Ft. Myers, FL) 20 - Blue Divinci and Baby D (Cancun, Mexico) 21 - P.M. performing (West Palm Beach, FL)

#1,4,11,16,21 Farrah Sharpe; #7,8,13,17,18 Julia Beverly; #2,15,19 DJ Pat Pat

#3,12 Sophia Jones; #5,20 Matt Daniels; #6,10 UMG Corp; #9 Spiff; #14 Sandman 19
Wendy Day’s name might not be familiar to the general public, but fund it myself,
within the industry, she’s built a name for herself by negotiating the so financially I’m
terms of record deals for artists like Master P, Eminem, Cash Money, now in a position
and most recently, David Banner. In the music industry, shady deals where I can afford
and unethical business practices are common, but Wendy has made to do more. And as
it her duty to protect the interests of talented artists who are being with any business, the
taken advantage of. Unfortunately, at times she’s been the one taken more money you have,
advantage of. Over the past twelve years, Wendy has learned a thing the more things you can
or two about fame and fortune and the way it changes people. afford to do. “After I did [Cash
When you say you’ve been “involved” with a record deal, what Rap Coalition is sort of like a Money’s] deal, I had to sue
exactly does that entail? labor union? them to get [my percent-
It’s different in each situation. With [Master] P’s deal, for example, I was Yeah, exactly. We have a health age]. I had worked for
involved because one of the guys in his camp didn’t trust the people that care and dental plan. When an them free of charge for
were doing the deal for him. It turned out that they were trustworthy, artist is in an unfair contract,
but because they had a very close relationship with Priority, they were they can step to us and we’ll help
nine months, and it took
worried that there may have been a conflict of interest. break their contract. We’re very me three years to get paid.
supportive of artists and their I got evicted and lost
Do you ever help choose which artists a label will sign, like, do you needs. everything that I owned.
play an A&R role at all?
Not at all. In most situations [the artist] is in a position where they’ve What are the most common
The sheriff came and put
got some leverage, but they haven’t decided to sign yet. I’m kind of clauses you’ve found in “unfair” all my shit on the street.
a matchmaker. I try to pair the artist with the label that’s best suited contracts? It was really ugly.”
for them, because every label is different. Elektra, for example, had Labels advance a large amount
the best radio relationships, when they were at their height. It really of money and don’t pay the artist their percentage on the back-end,
depends on what the label and the artist needs, I try to find a match that because they feel they are doing a lot for the project. Most contracts
fits so they can both move forward. If you look at all the deals I’ve done, that I deal with, the artist has some control over what percent of their
they’ve all gone onto gold or platinum status. That’s more important to earnings is sent where. Since they’re really paying for it, they should
me than someone just having a record deal. have a right to say where the money goes. Most of the unfair contracts
that I see are a split between power of creative control and split of
Have you ever declined to do a deal because you didn’t think it would income.
turn out gold or platinum?
I refused to do the deal with B.G. at Koch because I didn’t think that was What do you warn artists to look for?
the best place for him. I gave him my opinion and told him what to look Areas where the label can “recoup.” What that means is, money they
out for, because I didn’t believe he should do that deal. I didn’t believe are allowed to put out on the artists’ benefit and take back on the back-
that Koch could take him platinum, and as it turned out, they couldn’t. end. For example, independent radio promotion. That’s where I fight a
Someone [like B.G.] who was double platinum doesn’t turn around and lot, because the record label feels that no matter how much money they
only sell 200,000 units. That’s just unacceptable. But I have to give them send, they’re gonna recoup it anyway. And very often, they will send
credit because they did better with his CD than I thought they would. I money for three or four artists that are signed to the label, and recoup
didn’t think they could break 100,000, but they broke 200,000. So I have the lump of money from each. So they’re kinda paying themselves four
to give them credit for being less whack then I thought they would be. times, taking from each artists’ budget. That’s something an artist
needs to be aware of; they have to make sure that they’re only invoiced
Is there any artist that you think could go platinum on Koch? for their project when it comes to radio promotion.
I think B.G. is a platinum artist, but on Koch, no. Koch is not set up to
make their artists platinum. Koch is As a consultant, have you ever advised
setup to advance a certain amount of an artist not to sign a record deal?
money and make a decent return on Most often I advise not to sign. The ratio
their investment. And once they reach is ten to one.
the level where they feel they have
done enough, they move onto the next So you think in some situations, it’s
project. And they make no secret about better to stay independent?
that. It’s not a bad thing, that’s just In a lot of situations, yes. It really
their business philosophy. The problem depends on their goals. There are a
is when an artist signs to a label and lot of artists out there who don’t care
thinks their business philosophy should about ownership and control. A lot just
be different. Of course it’s not going to want fame. And any major deal can give
change; it’s corporate structure. you fame, without the money, as long
as they work you properly. It’s just a
When you started out, how did you matter of finding out what the artist
get the connections with these needs and desires, outlining the options,
record labels to understand how they and letting them make an informed
operate? decision. It’s not like Sony is going to
Keeping my eyes open and asking a lot sit down with them and say, “With us,
of artists what their deals entailed, you’ll get fame and no money.” There
learning who was good at what. Twelve needs to be some sort of mediator, a
years of grinding, going to music balance that defines what each deal
conferences, one-on-one meetings with involves.
the labels and artists. It’s a building
process. Every year I meet more and Have you ever advised an artist not to
more people as I build my repertoire. sign a contract and the record label
renegotiated a better deal?
When did you start the Rap Coalition? There have been a lot of those situations.
In March of 1992. It’s twelve years old. But in order to renegotiate, you have to
It’s still non-profit. It’s more powerful have a certain level of success to begin
now than it has ever been, and the with. If they really want an artist,
company just grows and grows. I they’ll give them a decent contract.


I’ve heard people say that the Cash Money deal you negotiated with do it, I can do it.” In Memphis, it was Three 6 Mafia. They proved that
Universal was “unprecedented.” How so? it could be done. In Houston it was DJ Screw. He started putting out
Absolutely. Universal was willing to advance money and give them an screw tapes and selling a ton of them, so other people saw what they
80/20 split on the back-end, which is unheard of. They were willing to were doing and felt like they could do it too. And of course, Southwest
let them own their masters, 100%. This meant after their 3-year deal, Wholesale was based right there in Houston, so people just gravitated
they could take their artists and leave. towards them and began putting out records. Once they figured out
they weren’t getting paid, though, it became a problem.
Why did Universal want Cash Money so badly?
Because they were selling. When I met Cash Money, they had put out So aside from Rap Coalition, you have an independent consulting
31 different CDs in a period of six years. That’s a lot of talent and a lot firm?
of music. Universal’s goal, in that deal, was to get market share. They Right. The independent consulting company is called PowerMoves.
wanted to sell more records, so based on quantity, Cash Money had That’s the company that does all the deals. It did the Cash Money deal
proven that they could put out six records a year and still do well. and David Banner’s deal at Universal. I used to manage artists also. My
company was called Visionary Management. I used to manage Twista,
Outside of Rap Coalition, what other services do you provide to Fiend, and others. It made me miserable. I was unhappy as a manager.
independent artists or record labels? For me, it was glorified babysitting. Of course, it has to do with the
I consult independent record labels, I help people establish the artists that I chose to manage, because they all had problems with their
foundation of their company. I teach them how to sell units, based on labels that weren’t their fault. They were just in bad situations to begin
what I’ve learned working with people like Master P and Cash Money. with, and they were people with strong business minds and I felt like I
People who were able to sell units before getting a deal, kind of like could make a difference in their lives. But it’s very difficult to work with
what David Banner did. someone who’s been screwed, because they’re always on the defensive.
Although they know you’re trying to help them, it’s still difficult for
There’s a million “record labels,” but what would you say separates a them to trust you. I was always working with trust issues, even though
Cash Money or a No Limit from the masses? Why are they successful? they knew they could trust me. Everything I did was being second-
Cash Money was serious about what they did. They had the right artists guessed, and people became very nervous when the money didn’t come
at the right time. They had a movement, not just records to sell. With in right away. So they began doing side moves that I thought were shady.
Cash Money – and I hate this term – but it was the whole “bling-bling They felt like they had to do this, to feed their families. It’s a shame,
era” and the movement behind them. Master P had a whole marketing because other than C Murder, David Banner, and Kamikaze, there’s no
movement. He was the first person to market the way a corporate entity one that I used to manage that still maintain a relationship with me. I’m
like IBM would market to their clientele. He took it to the next level. very bitter. I haven’t spoken to Twista in three years.
He had a better business plan, good music, and an image to back it up.
Image and music are equally important in music, because you need both So you had a fall-out with Twista? Over what?
the hype and something to back it up. We had a fight over money. It’s always over money. Twista decided
that he didn’t need to pay anyone. He didn’t pay me, he didn’t pay
What route do you usually recommend for independent labels in the president of his label – who put up millions of dollars to build up
terms of distribution? Legit Ballin’ Records – and he just bounced on us. There’s another guy
I’m a big fan of Select-O-Hits, they’ve always done right by me. I’ve in Chicago that was giving him money
never had something in writing with them, everything I’ve done has been “[Managing art- to feed his family, and as soon as the
on a handshake. They have never screwed me, and have always paid
the artists. I’ve been very fortunate to find good people that can work
ists] is like glorified money came, he bounced on him too.
He knows what he’s done, and he’s tried
the record. And I also hire an independent sales staff to work alongside
babysitting. It’s very to get back in touch with me, but I have
Select-O-Hits’ sales staff. If there are problems with distribution, difficult to work nothing to say to him. There’s nothing
that’s usually where it occurs. So I acknowledge it before it becomes with someone who’s he could say. He fucked up.
a problem. been screwed, because
How does a distributor like Select-O-Hits work?
they’re always on Are there any other relationships that
It’s on consignment. They’re a traditional distributor. Their sole job is the defensive. [We] Cash Money. After I did their deal, the
to get the album into record stores, and when the record sells, they go were always working money came, and I didn’t get paid. I
and collect the money. They don’t advance money. They are a typical with trust issues. I’m had to sue them to get paid. It took
old-school distributor. very bitter. [I used to me three years to get paid. And they
didn’t understand that I had worked for
On the flip side, are there any distributors that you do not
manage Twista], and them free of charge for nine months. I
recommend? I haven’t spoken to depended on that money they owed me.
I think Southwest Wholesale sucks in any shape, form, or fashion. I also him in three years.” I couldn’t pay my rent, credit cards. I
don’t recommend AMC, because I watched what Twista went through got evicted and lost everything that I
with “Legit Ballin’.” The first two “Legit Ballin’” records that I helped owned. The sheriff came and put all my shit on the street. It was really
Twista with sold over 200,000 units. When AMC got ahold of it, they only ugly. For someone who had done such an amazing deal, I shouldn’t have
sold 30,000. And it was the best record yet, so that shows me they didn’t had to pay that price. It was greed and ignorance on their part.
know what they were doing.
How did you feel when you heard that B.G. and Juvenile had left
What were the problems you encountered with Southwest? Cash Money?
They don’t pay anybody. They have severe payment problems. Artists I knew it would happen. I didn’t take it personally, because it wasn’t
also claim that they bootleg products on the back-end. Universal like I was the only person they didn’t pay. They didn’t pay their studio
Records fined them and banned them from doing business with them for bills, t-shirt manufacturer, artists, distributors, and the mastering
one year, because of bootlegging issues. They were bootlegging records studio. They didn’t pay anybody. And now, it’s obvious what’s happened.
and returning them to Universal for credit, and they got caught. They They’re done. All their artists have left. It won’t surprise me if Mannie
would press up units that they were returning. It only costs 55 cents to or Wayne leave. They had a beautiful business plan, but once the money
press up, and if you own a pressing plant, it’s even cheaper. And you came, they just flipped. They were the last people that I thought it
can return them for a credit of $11.41 each. It’s a nice lick, if you can would happen to.
hit it.
Anything else you’d like to add?
What’s the differences that you see between different markets? Like, For more information, visit any of my websites:,
Houston for example, why do you think they have so many successful,, or www.Inside-The-
independent artists in comparison to other markets?
Sensibility. When you have one person that can make it happen, and
other people can see that they’re doing, it’s the mentality of, “If he can - Interview and photo by Julia Beverly,


When we hear the word “comebac
k,” we usually envision a middle-ag
sport that has long since passed ed athlete returning to compete
them by. But in the shifty, fast-pace in a
“comeback” takes on a whole new d industry that we know as the rap
meaning. At age 19, Archie Ever game,
he burst onto the scene two year sole is already poised to make one.
s ago as a charismatic high scho When
like the world was his for the takin oler with his hit “We Ready,” it
g. But in actuality, he was having seemed
wasn’t handling the money right the world taken from him. “Nig
, and family wasn’t eating,” says gas just
Boy Records. “You had three nigg Archie of his former recording hom
as in the situation making some e Phat
whole squad.” When Archie spea money, but there were fifteen nigg
ks on the subject of his first reco as in the
voice. But he doesn’t let his past rd deal, there’s still a hint of ange
consume him, so he’s reloaded r in his
business partner Superstar to form and regrouped with his longtime
Tha Dynasty. They’re currently friend and
with their new single, “For Tha creating a buzz throughout the
Club.” Since Archie and Superstar Southeast
can’t wait to show the world that have learned from prior experienc
he’s still ready. “All this,” he paus es, Archie
equipment, “Came from me and es as he points at his top-of-the-lin
[Superstar] sitting at the house sayin e studio
Let’s start this company.’” Now g, ‘Fuck this shit, I’m tired of this
that the company is off the grou bullshit.
introducing Superstar and reintrodu nd, plans are underway to relea
cing Archie. It features all-new se a mixtape
Archie’s sophomore release, inclu music and tracks that were sche
ding songs he recorded with Big Gipp duled for
& Whitney Houston. – Maurice G. , Petey Pablo, Mack 10, and Bobb
Garland (Photo: JB) y Brown

no management, and no marketing staff,

Even though this 20-year-old Baton Rouge native has no record deal,
albums with impressi ve sales numbers of 15,000+. If you want to
he’s already pressed up four independent
call; you just have to knock at his front door. With
book Lil’ Boosie for a show, there is no booking agency to
grassroo ts promotio n, the street buzz he’s gathered all the way from Jacksonville to Houston is
this kind of
than most major artists with massive budgets.
difficult to fathom. His name is mentioned more on the streets
really live my rhymes. A lot of people be lying,” Boosie explains. He
How did he get the people’s attention? “I
camp, running with Cee-Lo and Young Bleed from
first started getting involved with rap through the No Limit
ration Camp. When Cee-Lo got into “a little trouble, ” Boosie started rapping with Pimp C. With
the Concent
Drink,” “Do It Big,” and “Baby Mama” helping him push units throughout Louisiana,
his singles like “I Smoke, I
, Boosie boldly proclaim s that he’s already an “underground
Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Kentucky
it was only a matter of time before the
legend.” With his buzz steadily picking up on the underground circuit,
says nonchalantly. “They’re not talking
majors came calling. “I been talking to some major [labels],” Boosie
I’m gonna hold out for more.” Until the majors start talking right, he’s content
the right numbers right now.
artists travel with an entourag e, Boosie prefers to go at it solo. “I
grinding alone and independent. While many nal shows, preparing for the
y doing some promotio
feel more comfortable that way,” he reasons. He’s currentl
fifth independ ent album, Boosie Bad Ass. “My momma nicknam ed me Boosie,” he explains. “And
release of his
I’m a Bad Ass.” - Photo and words by Julia Beverly,

Beezel may be new to the game as a solo artist, but he certainly

isn’t new to the rap industry. His single, the
thundering “See About Cha,” featuring labelmate Bonecrusher
and David Banner, has been a smash on the
underground circuit. “We were in a group called the Lyrical Giants,
me, Bonecrusher, and Cottin Mouf. We were
signed to Erick Sermon’s label and Tommy Boy, but that didn’t work
out so we all kinda split up and did our own
thing. But, we also still remained as a group.” Even though he doesn’t
run around onstage with an enormous
belly hanging out, Beezel has now found a record label home with
Bonecrusher at Break ‘Em Off Records with
distribution through Def Jam South. “Bone looked out for me and
talked to the CEO of Break ‘Em Off, ‘Beezel’s
tight, you need to sign him.’ That’s basically how it happened.”
Now, Beezel himself is starting to look out for
upcoming talent. He’s keeping his mind focused as an entrepreneur
and businessman, not just a rapper. In the
future, he plans to seek out new talent and develop them based
on his knowledge of the industry that he’s
aquired over the past few years. “I wanna [rap] for a couple more
years and then sign some other artists and
give them the chance to get out there,” he says. Beezel is confiden
t, however, that he’ll satisfy everyone with
his new album, Leave it to Beezel, which drops in the fall. His new
single, “Luggage,” features Juvenile. “We
got a little something for everybody on the album. The ladies, the
thugs, the gangstas, and the common man.
I ain’t scared to say I’ve worked. I’ve done it all the way down
to selling pharmaceuticals.” Beezel has done
a little bit of everything, but now it’s his time to shine as a solo
artist. – Photo and words by Iisha Hillmon,
in basketball to pursue music.
Ee-De gave up a promising career
Originally from North Carolina, held by NME Reco rds in Atlanta. His athleticism is
t showcase
He got his big break at a talen de four danc ers and a choreographer. “I act
nces, which inclu
evident in his lively stage performa t, you’ ve got a lot to prove. I gotta
he explains. “As a new artis
like every show is my last show,” hing up his first promotional
listen to me.” Recently, while finis
get out there and force people to nce at TJ’s DJ’s Taste mak ers Record Pool meeting
e performa
tour, Ee-De put on an impressiv Ee-De’s ballads could compete
many DJs in attendance. While
which captured the attention of love ,” a powerful blend of up-tempo
describes his style as “crunk
with most A-list R&B singers, he n to calm down,” he laughs.
got a lot of energy, but I know whe
tracks and vocal abilities. “I’ve d have easil y shop ped his demo to a major label, but
Ee-De coul
With looks, charisma, and talent, next leve l – and vice versa. “With an indie
can bring him to the
he’s confident that NME Records y wan t to win and they take pride
y here because they reall
label, there’s more focus, especiall next majo r independent label
Records is poised to become the
in my music,” Ee-De says. NME bina tion of finan cial back ing, experienced staff, and
essive com
out of the South, boasting an impr e’s single, “Let’s Get To it
paign that rivals many majors. Ee-D
a marketing and promotional cam heas t. Look for his debut album to
dily gaining spins in the Sout
(Krunk Love Song)” has been stea Beve rly,
nationally in September. – Julia
be released regionally in July and

Originally managed under The Beatnuts in New York, Nitty Cane

landed a record deal at Loud
Records and thought he was on his way to the top. Things were
looking bright for the young,
gritty rapper, but trouble found him instead. An altercation left
him shot nine times, confined to
a wheelchair, and incarcerated without a record deal. But Nitty used
his time wisely. Not only did
he have to learn to walk again with the help of a cane (hence the
name), he came out of prison
with renewed ambition. “I want nothing but to make shit happen.
You don’t have to sell out to
make it happen in hip-hop.” Nitty moved South, settling in West
Palm Beach, FL, where Triple J
took notice of Nitty’s skills and set him up with an audition in front
of Scarface for Def Jam South.
Nitty’s influences include his grandmother (an internationally-a
cclaimed tap dancer) and his
mother (a popular merengue dancer). But Nitty’s still raw, spitting
lines like, “I’m naturally crude
/ Most times angrily rude.” He started writing as a way to take
out his anger and frustration.
His “Anger Management” has been featured on the nationwide Slang
mixtape, the “West Palm’s
Finest” DVD, and has received steady airplay on West Palm’s
WMBX. His latest single, “Bang,
Bang,” was produced by Terror Squad’s Street Runner and is currentl
y a top 10 staple on WMBX’s
Local Love countdown. His buzz extends from West Palm, to Brooklyn
, to Alaska. “People are sick
of wasting their money on trash. Every record you’ll hear, I’m hungry.
I am that person you can
trust, but never cross.” – Katerina Perez, Katerina@freshentertain (Photo: JB)

drives an artist to continue their craft;

There is something about passion, perseverance, and destiny. Passion
across rough terrain; and destiny is the promise whispered amongst the backdrop of
perseverance takes them
n artist favorabl y known as “Grimo” to his close friends, is an artist
their dreams. Mecca, the Haitian-America York, where he was born to
It began in Brooklyn , New
who’s destiny is sealed by the essence of Haitian pride.
parents. When his family relocate d to Queens, he began to learn the art of writing and reciting. Mecca
rhythms, carnival anthems, and dancehall
relocated to the Miami area in 1985, where he learned steel pan
album (Yes-N-D eed) under Society/Luke Records, which allowed
reggae. He appeared on a successful hip-hop popular American songs into
ability to translate
him to tour for eight months. He began using his bilingual
such as “In Da Club,” “Damn,” “Snake,” and “Neva Scared.” With the help of his management staff
Hexmen Management), Mecca gained heavy
(Buggah D. Govanah from On Point Entertainment and Glaze from
am radio. His first video, “Ayisien,” is a tribute to Haiti, displaying
rotation on major Haitian and mainstre
They are successf ul, happy, and basking in the sun
members of the Haitian community in a positive light.
by Haiti’s strong mountai ns. Mecca’s mixtape , “Kreyol Koneksyon,” is currently creating a stir of
rhythms, tunes, and dialects that have
admiration throughout the Miami area and abroad. It features various
of time. He’s also perform ed with high-profile artists like T-Vice and
been fine-tuned throughout the passage
behind-t he-scene s photos of Mecca mixing and
Carimi. Mecca’s website,, features
, and footage of Haiti’s vast mountai ns and streams. - On Point Entertainment & Marketing
The VP Records’ 25th Anniversary show was opened by Tashia and Tamika, who sang the national anthem
for both Jamaica and the United States. Next was Ginjah of the Harmony House Family, a very rootsy DJ
full of culture. He recently toured with Beres Hammond.

Then, Iley Dread and Chrisinti took the stage to warm up the crowd for Marcia Griffiths. Marcia has been
in the industry for forty years, so she thanked the crowd for their support. She is truly an icon. She was
followed by Bushman and then Sasha, who proved her talent. She had the crowd rockin’ to her vibe. Baby
Cham was next, and he totally mashed the place up with his totally new stage presence. He performed a
mixture of old and new music and the crowd, especially the women, were in awe. Then, Tanya Stephens
introduced Spragga Benz, which was a pleasant surprise.

Sanchez was next, looking angelic dressed in all white. His presence commanded respect from the very
beginning. Next was T.O.K., who always generates enough energy to get the crowd hype. After the crowd
was hype, Shaggy, Ric Roc, and Rayvon brought the energy level up another notch. Shaggy, dressed in grey
and white, had the crowd singing every tune from start to finished. He closed out with “It Wasn’t Me.”

Maxi Priest performed quite

well even though he recent-
ly suffered from a heart
attack. Of course, he sang
“It A Wild World” for the
ladies and requested a wild
woman! Beres Hammond
then opened up his set with
“She Loves Me Now” and
the crowd decided he had
to come back one. Beres’
performance was unforget-
table. Sizzla was next, with
a humble and spiritual per-
formance. Then, the Energy God himself took the stage: Elephant Man.
The crowd did the Pon Di River and Scooby Doo dances, going wild with
every tune. I left before the show’s finale, but overall, it was a great day
and an appropriate concert to celebrate 25 years.

– Roxy Johnson (Photos: JB)

according to tvt records’

there’s only one thing
separating the rap game from the
drug game: one is a legal hustle;
the other isn’t.

photos & interview

julia beverly

ake up, muthafucker!” Pitbull barks into his cell phone. done caught me selling acid before, too. She took that shit and flushed it.
“What, you think money grows on trees?” It’s barely 8 So she already knew that I’m always doing some shit, but I was trying to
am, but the Miami sun is already beating down overhead. be smart about it. So I go back and tell him, “Yo, dawg, let me get that
Pit shakes his head in mock exasperation. “Dawg, you need to get up.” stash.” I already had people ready to buy. I lived in South Miami Heights
If there’s one thing Pit can’t tolerate, it’s laziness. According to him, at the time, and I was peepin’ game. You had three buildings: A, B, and C.
his hustler’s mentality comes from his father. After years of pushing I lived in building C, and A was making a killing. So this guy gives me back
his own product on the streets - first drugs, then music - his hustle like a quarter of what he was really supposed to give me. But me being a
is finally starting to pay off. His debut album, M.I.A.M.I. (Money Is A rookie, I really didn’t know that shit. Later on, I put the puzzle together.
Major Issue), is scheduled for an August 23rd release on TVT Records. I was like, “Yo, dawg, this shit should be coming back more.” I knew it
There are a million and one rappers claiming they move keys, stash was some raw shit. So he told me his nephew flushed the rest down the
bricks, and stack chips, but Pit sets himself apart from the masses by toilet. Oh really? Mind you, this nigga lives on the same floor as me, so I
rhyming about the full spectrum of the drug game and how it relates really can’t do no crazy shit ‘cause we know each other. So I come to find
to the music industry. out that this muthafucker smoked my shit. I didn’t know he smoked. He
was on the low with the shit! So that was strike two: he smoked that shit.
It seems like a requirement for rappers to be former crack dealers. Strike three; four o’clock in the morning, these muthafuckers are knock-
I’ll give you my personal experience with crack. I sold crack for probably ing on my door like, “Yo, we need some shit.” My mother was like, “Who
two days, and that’s it. That’s all it took for me to learn. It’s like this: the fuck is that?” So that was it for me. I don’t need to be dealing with
anything that has to do with crack, coke, heroin, is a fucked-up game. I’ll this. Fuck this bullshit. Then I seen everybody getting locked up and Jump
tell you why. I bought myself some yay. I gave it to my dawg that lived Out coming around getting everybody.
on the same floor as me. “Oh, I got you. I’ll teach you how to cook this
up.” Cool. He took it. This is how bad crack does people, though. See, I’m Describe the typical buyer; is it someone that’s obviously a drug ad-
lookin’ out for this dude. Lettin’ him eat, whatever. At the same time, dict, or people that you would never guess?
he’s supposed to be lookin’ out for me, teaching me how to do the shit. Oh yeah! You’ve got both. You’ve got muthafuckers that you would never
Now, first of all, it’s the worst muthafuckin’ smell when you cookin’ that think. But there’s just a certain point where you can just tell. If a per-
shit up, right? Number two, he took it and whupped me for my own shit. son is close to you, there’s warning signs. One: lose weight. Two: lose
Since I was a newcomer, like 17, he knew that the stuff that was left at job. Three: lose personality. Basically lose everything. They look a little
the bottom, he could take it and whip it and make almost a whole ‘nother dead, you know? But they had people lined up. Everybody. It was so bad,
cookie off the shit. So I’m basically letting this nigga get down on my they had grandfathers coming through on bikes that had no wheels, just
operation, but since he knew I’m a rookie, he whupped me for my shit. rims. I didn’t see no pregnant women, thank God. That shit woulda re-
So that’s one strike already, that’s letting me know that I don’t need to ally fucked me up. I seen heroin addicts, too. They’re really fucked up.
be in this game. You already see that people you think you can trust are Always scratchin’ themselves and shit. And crackheads, in Miami when you
whuppin’ you from the jump. So I told him to hold the stash for me so my smoke crack and weed they call ‘em “ginks.” If you smoke crack you start
mother wouldn’t see me with the shit. My mother ain’t no dummy, she talking all this shit and you think you fuckin’ rule the world. You’ve got a
knows what time it is. She caught me with all types of shit. She threw me solution to everything. They really don’t know what they’re talking about
out the house like three days later. She ain’t even find no crack or coke, and they’re just looking for that extra shit. They’ll suck dick, they’ll rob,
she just found the baggie. She knew that I sold weed, she ain’t care about they’ll do whatever for a hit. They’ll go behind your back and do some
weed. Weed, to her, should be legalized. She knew I sold weed and she shit; that’s one reason rap is like the crack game.


You have a line in one of your songs, “Hustler’s Withdrawal,” that im- They get caught up with some women and some shit goes down. God
plies that your father was in the drug game also. knows who the fuck snitched, but they’re so petty they really don’t know
My father used to do his thing. My father wasn’t really in my life too about the law. So the law beats them. “Muthafucker, I’mma give you ten
much growing up, but I did see that it tore my family apart. He took his years for this.” And they get scared and snitch. And that’s how it all gets
money and fuckin’ blew that shit. When I was a baby – you know, I don’t fucked up. On the other hand, the muthafucker that knows what the fuck
remember the shit – but I seen the pictures. He was livin’ it up. When I he’s doing sits there and goes, “Do what you’ve gotta do, but I don’t know
was growing up I always seen him with a lot of women, a lot of party stuff what you’re talking about.” Feel me? ‘Cause he’s on a different level. And
going on. It was a lot of crazy shit. They had their own little, uh, party that’s basically the rap game. Jigga? He’s on a different level. He knows
favors and shit. what the fuck he’s talking about, and he could step into a room full of
corporate muthafuckers and talk sophisticated. And even if he don’t talk
Was there a certain point where you realized what he was doing? sophisticated, they have to respect him because this muthafucker knows
Oh yeah, I was like six years old. I didn’t realize what he was doing, but how to make money, and that’s all they give a fuck about. All you wanna
I realized it was wrong. I seen the stuff he had on the tables, you know? do is make money. They say money is the root of all evil, but where do we
Y’all could take your imagination and run from there. But I did learn from all first read, “In God We Trust?” Money.
all that shit. And what’s been instilled in me was his hustle, so in the mu-
sic game, there it goes again: street game, music game. Same shit. What do you think of the theory that the United States government
introduced crack into the ‘hood?
I heard you comment at your video shoot that you’ve never tried crack Oh, they probably did. I don’t doubt that. ‘Cause who the fuck in the hood
because you know you’d get addicted. is gonna be like, “Let me put this shit with some baking soda, cook it up,
Oh yeah. Because of certain things that happened to me before I was and see what the fuck I make?” You know? Bullshit. They’ve probably done
born. I had that shit in me, feel me? Me and my father was talking about a lot of shit. The government has done a lot of shit that we don’t know
this shit the other day, as a matter of fact. He was telling me what hap- about, but it’s better that way. I don’t think a lot of people could handle
pened. In the 80’s they were all into that shit, including my mother and that shit. As conservative as all these muthafuckers try to be, they’re the
father. Since I had that shit in my system, I know if I tried it I would be biggest fuckin’ thieves in this muthafucker.
hooked. Even though the shit now is nothing compared to what it used to
be, it’s all stepped on now. Not that I would know from personal experi- So why do you think so many rappers rhyme about selling crack like it’s
ence, but I know. a badge of honor or something?
Because they’re fuckin’ idiots. That’s what I’m here to tell these mutha-
Did you sell any other drugs? fuckers. Think about it like this, right? Look at the Mafia. Look how they
Well, the two days was just crack. I mean, cocaine was a different story. move. Everything is silence. Stay quiet about what the fuck you do. The
Yay’s a powder form. Crack is the hard form. You take the yay and cook less you talk about what you do, the more you’re gonna get away with.
it up and sell the crack. But you could sell the yay by itself. At the end
of the day, it just wasn’t worth it to me. I kept saying to myself, “What, Based on some of the things people rap about, do you think the police
am I going to do this all my life?” I ain’t never really have no job. When are justified in having “hip-hop cops?”
I did, I hardly ever showed up. But the drug game, it made me what I am Oh my God. See, it’s cool to talk about what you’ve been through. But
today for this music game. It’s training. You always know you’re gonna get when you start mentioning names, and what those names did, and how
hustled or whupped, that’s how you learn. they did it, you’re fuckin’ silver-plattering it and shit. You can use shit
in a way where it doesn’t incriminate nobody. And
Some people say that selling drugs was their
only way to survive. But is that really the only
“[music] influences peo- it influences people. Even myself, I had a moment
in my life where I had entertainment and reality
option? ple. i had a moment in my crossed where I’m thinking I really gotta be like
Well, here’s what happens in the hood. These life where i had entertain- these muthafuckers. Going through an identity cri-
muthafuckers run the hood. The drug dealers are
the ones you wanna grow up to be like. Some of
ment and reality crossed.” sis and shit, where you really don’t know who the
fuck you are. But I grew out of it through paying
these muthafuckers have kids in private school with dues, all the bumps in the road that I hit. But it’s
two or three cars and a nice fuckin’ house. Now, that shit makes sense. like, look, dawg, if you love to sell crack so muthafuckin’ much, why are
But standing out on the corner doing this shit and hanging out with your you rapping? Instead of rapping about how much you love to sell crack,
peoples and smokin’ one? That shit don’t make sense to me. That’s the then rap your ass off and go back to the block. No one loves to sell crack!
hood. The hood does that to buy some fuckin’ sneakers and shit. There’s That’s the whole point, that’s why you’re rapping. So you won’t have to
always someone who supplies someone, who supplies someone else. So as sell crack, or whatever the fuck you sell. Muthafuckers don’t just get rich
petty as the shit they pushin’, that’s how petty their mentality is some- off crack, especially not these days because the product isn’t the same.
times. Drug dealing is like the NBA draft pick; only certain muthafuckers The crack game is becoming what the rap game is becoming: everybody
make it to the league. And when hood muthafuckers see another mutha- wants to do it.
fucker coming up, they connect with him and then they wanna rob him.
So that’s why it’s like, “That’s my only option,” cause that’s all you have Describe the average drug dealer.
around you. You’re a product of your environment. You don’t have nobody The typical dealer is an arrogant-ass muthafucker. Made a little bit of
around you talkin’ about, “Yeah, look at my nice car from my fuckin’ 9- money and thinks he’s on top of the world, basically. I see those with a lot
to-5 job.” That’s bullshit. And a hood muthafucker probably couldn’t even of money that don’t know what to do with it. You’ve got those that slipped
get a 9-to-5 if he tried. So you’re a product of your environment. through the cracks and stumbled on a great connect, and then they’re
so stupid that they fuck up the connect cause they just happened to get
How does the drug game turn into the murder game? all this money in one shot. Then you’ve got those who are laid-back and
Look, I’ll tell you what happens, and it’s just like being an artist. Here cool, everybody respect them. Why? Cause they ain’t try to do no dirt to
we go again. Ready guys? Street game, drug game. Similarities. Let’s say nobody. Good business. Feel me? He takes care of his peoples, comes back
an artist gets a little big of money and thinks he’s a superstar. He wants and shoots some shit to the people in the neighborhood. Those people are
to go to the clubs and fuck the bitches. So what if security stops him at looked up to. Those are the ones that become urban legends, folk tales.
the door? “Dawg, how you tellin’ me I can’t get in the club? I’m fuckin’ And then you’ve got those who don’t know what they fuck they’re doing
Joe Schmoe from the Grove, I’m that muthafucker.” On the other hand, and they just fuck shit up. And they’re just doing it to be that person.
the smart muthafucker that’s got money doesn’t have a lot of jewelry and They don’t even need to do it.
he’s not flossin’, but niggas know he’s the muthafucker. So if he can’t get
in the club, he says, “Aight, no problem, man.” Then he makes a call, asks How does the drug game affect the rest of the community?
for a favor, and he’s in. Smart muthafuckers know how to work their way It’s destructive. It’s a domino effect. It goes from the dealer, to the fiend,
around things. See, what happens is that these muthafuckers push drugs and then whatever the fiend has to do to get money. They’ll steal from
and get they hands on a lil’ bit of money. It’s called “new money.” They their own family, rob anybody in the neighborhood, and then these cats
buy jewelry, rims, but they’re still stayin’ with their moms at the crib. A end up fighting over fiends. The dealers don’t give a fuck what they’re
dumb muthafucker blows 15k on some stupid shit. A smart muthafucker doing to the community. It’s all about making money. If you gotta eat
takes that 15k and buys a low-key car for 5k, invests 5k in realty, and you gotta eat, that’s all they know. Some of these muthafuckers can’t
takes the other 5k and flips it. And there are a lot of illegal hustles on even read or write, but they can sell some shit and make money. They’re
the street, but there are also legal hustles. Thank God I had older mu- hustlers. But that’s why the music game is fucked up like it is right now,
tahfuckers to teach me this shit, cause if not I’d be one of these ignorant cause all these muthafuckers got that street mentality and they just know
muthafuckers. And most of these problems start and end with women. how to flip shit. Right now it’s saturated. And the rap game is just like


“a lot of parents are trying to mold
the drug game. You’ve got some people
[their kids] into these perfect human turn out to be whatever she wants to be,
that’ll double-cross you real quick, some beings which don’t fuckin’ exist.” I just want her to know that I understand.
people that don’t know how to act, people A lot of these women out here, and it’s
that know how to quadruple their money. Hustlers that can flip shit. But fucked up, I know a lot of them – even my mother – were raped as young
the biggest comparison is that you’re out here trying to get these people women. Being raped, that lowers their self-esteem. They feel like they’ve
hooked on your shit; your product. That’s basically it, in a nutshell. been stripped of their value and they just go out looking for love in all the
wrong places. All they want is that affection, feel me? I know because of
Without naming any names, have you seen any instances where rap- my mother. My mother, to this day, she’s still traumatized by that shit.
pers have destroyed their careers because of drugs?
I haven’t had any personal experiences seeing an artist on that shit, but What’s your relationship like with your father?
I’ve heard stories. A lot of these people are on cloud nine and they think I love my father to death. I talk to my father about everything. My
it’s never gonna come tumbling down. When it does it fucks them up so father’s a real father. Not in the sense that he was there throughout my
bad, mentally and emotionally, that they’ve gotta turn to drugs to think life – ‘cause he wasn’t, he was caught up in his own shit. But he’s a real
they’re successful again. father in the sense that we can sit down and talk real shit. He talks about
what he used to do in the 80’s, I can talk about what I do now and what I
Everyone has addictions. What are yours? used to do to get money and all that shit. You know, we just relate to each
My problems are women, and liquor. I’m not an alcoholic, per say. I don’t other. He sees me as him, back in the day.
drink every day, and it’s not like I have to drink when I wake up. But I got
alcoholism in my blood, so I know that if I drink and drink and drink, by the Now that you have kids, do you think you’ll be there for them?
time I’m thirty I’m gonna have to have that drink. I try to take it easy with Oh fuck. I gotta be there. Because I don’t want them to live like that. I
that shit. I already caught a DUI. And groupies, I try to stay away from used to hate my father. If it wasn’t for my mother telling me, “Look, he’s
them because it’s a problem. I’ve had all my fun. I used to go on the road sick,” I’d hate that nigga to this muthafuckin’ day. Being an alcoholic is a
with Luke, I’ve seen a lot of shit. I learned a lot from that muthafucker. sickness, and my father was an alcoholic. But the more I grow and learn
I know that pussy makes the world go ‘round, and like I tell women all and work with people and hustle, the more I see that I’m just like him. So
the time, pussy is powerful. I mean, I fuck around sometimes, but for the I don’t hold no grudge against him. Me, I’m very fortunate and very happy
most part I just stay to myself. I got a daughter and a son, and a baby to be raised the way I was raised and live the life that I’ve lived, ‘cause
mother that I love to death! That’s my heart, but she know I be fuckin’ it’s built me. It build my character. A muthafucker can’t tell me shit at the
around and all that bullshit. And at the end of the day, you know what’s end of the day: I love the fact that my life is the way it is.
gonna happen? Tables turn. Karma. As for these groupies out here, I just
let the crew fuck around with ‘em. I think it’s usually the people that’s If you could change anything, what would you change?
with the artist that fuck with groupies, just because they know they can We gotta be more open. Everything is so hush-hush. Some people won’t
fuck whatever’s there. And it’s fun to them. It was fun to me too, at one talk about sex or drugs, like it’s not a part of the real world. A lot of kids’
time. It’d be fun to me if fuckin’ J. Lo gave me a piece of groupie ass, parents are trying to mold them into these perfect human beings which
that’d be beautiful. don’t fuckin’ exist. “Don’t do this, don’t do that.” They should just be
honest. Tell ‘em, “I tried that when I was in college, and here’s what
Your mentality changed? happened...” The kids’ll be like, “Oh, shit.” Just let them know that it’s
Oh, of course. Having children makes me go out there with that attitude, alright to fuck up. But no, we’re trying to breed these perfect human
you know, it’s like I gotta get this shit. I gotta make this shit happen. And beings. And their son is getting fucked up, fuckin’ everything raw, just to
the way I’mma be with my daughter, it’s different. I can’t tell my daugh- be like, “Fuck my parents.” And the daughter? Oh, God. You don’t even
ter, “You can’t do this, you can’t do that.” She’s gonna be what she’s wanna know about the daughter. She’s running around fuckin’ having a
gonna be. I can’t ever be mad at her, ‘cause I love her to death. She could great fuckin’ time, like a bird out of the cage. You know?
ven in hip-hop, where many rappers wear their criminal back- you do? You have to do what you can to feed your family. If you try to get
ground and bullet wounds with pride to prove their “realness,” a “real” job, first you gotta find somewhere that’s hiring. Second, you
like Jadakiss says, “Rappers lie in 85% of [their] rhymes.” But ask gotta figure out what to write on the application to make them hire you.
any male rapper or producer who’s heard Jacki-O spit and he’ll tell Third, you gotta pray they don’t find out about your prior convictions,
you: “She’s raw. She’s real. She raps about nigga shit.” A quick check because if they do, they’re gonna fire you as fast as they hired you. And
of her arrest record reveals that her gangsta braggadocio isn’t just talk: four, even if you do get the job, it’s gonna take you two weeks to get a
Jacki-O has truly lived her rhymes. Before rap became her top priority, check. So what are you supposed to do during that time? Are you gonna
she survived life in Miami’s Liberty City by any means necessary. In this starve to death or get out there and put food on the table?
OZONE exclusive, Jacki-O explains that although she doesn’t condone
everything she’s done, all the experiences she’s lived through have giv- What about stores that have security cameras?
en her the hustle and the street smarts to make it as a businesswoman You know what they say: all black people look alike anyway. And you
and female rapper in the music game. cover your tracks.

What was the first time you got arrested? You were charged with carrying a concealed firearm? Why did you
In elementary school, I got arrested for stealing. My lil’ friend that I was start carrying a gun?
going to school with, she used to tell me every day, “Let’s go to the store.” ‘Cause a girl needs protection out here. You never know what kind of
I used to always be like, “Nah,” ‘cause I knew we ain’t have no money. She pillow talk your best friend is having with her man at night. They might
was like, “It’s easy to get something.” I don’t remember what I stole, I think be sitting around talking about what a bitch got and how they can get it.
it was a diary or something. I got my ass tore up. I got three whuppings: one You never know.
from my auntie, one from my momma, and one from my grandmomma. I
didn’t steal for a long time after that, but you know, after I got to the age Do you believe the saying that if you live by the gun, you die by the
where I didn’t care about no ass-whupping, it was back to stealing. gun? I mean, were you worried about it coming back at you?
You know it’ll come back to you, you just hope that God will be a little
What was your strategy? lenient.
Before you even go in the store, you make sure you got somebody with you
that’ll watch your back. A lot of stores have floor watchers. You’ll see these Was God lenient?
people that are “shopping” but they actually work for the store. They’ll be Very. I had a prayin’ momma, so I’m very, very blessed. And I’mma tell
in plainclothes, walking around in the same department all the time. You you a funny story. When I got my first lump sum of money – legal money,
might see a man in the womens’ department, just walking. You can spot a from music – I opened up a checking account. Actually, it was a savings
floor walker from a mile away. They don’t have shit in their hands and they account. And because I be out of town all the time, I wanted my momma
never check out. You just watch and pay attention. You see who’s who. If to be on my account with me. True story. And I couldn’t understand why
you hit the store a few times, you gonna know the management, the floor she wouldn’t come to the bank with me. She thought I was doing some-
walkers, everybody. thing illegal. I was like, damn. My own momma ain’t really want to get
on the account with me. That was a real wakeup call.
What’s the best items to take?
Whatever you can sell. That’s how you pay your bills. You’ll start to get When you rhyme about your experiences, do you think that would
orders from somebody ‘cause they know you boost, they’ll give you their influence other people listening to try the same things?
sizes and everything. But if you talking about electronic shit, you know, I wouldn’t encourage anybody to do what I did. I would just tell them
TVs, refrigerators, you know, shit like that. Or wood. Niggas build houses the cause and effect. I’m not ever gonna say the cause without saying
now, they be needing plywood. the effect.

How does a booster get stuff out of the store? How would a booster sell their products?
Girdles, buzzer bags, or if the store real sweet, a person could walk in there They have their regular customers, and they know where to find their
with two or three garbage bags. A buzzer bag is something that a booster customers.
makes for stealing. It’s wrapped in aluminum foil. When I say “real sweet,”
I mean there’s only one person working and she scared. She might know How much cheaper does a booster sell products than the store?
somebody is stealing, but she really don’t care cause it ain’t her shit. Or, Half price. Or if it’s a good customer they would get a good price because
there’s two or three people in the store, but they’re all really together. they’ll always buy your stuff even if they don’t need.
She’s helping one or two people so the other one can steal.
Did you get involved in drugs?
What kind of stores are we talking about? I did two years house arrest for allegedly trafficking cocaine. I’m not
I’m talking about high-end stores, designer gear. If you steal bullshit you gonna say I did it, but I got charged with it. Back then I had a car with
ain’t gonna get no money. You gotta steal good shit that the average work- tints, and you couldn’t be riding with no tints, especially if you dirty and
ing person can’t afford. That’s why people are gonna buy it. But when the Jump Out is around.
store’s hot, you can’t get no money like that. You got your other game:
credit cards. What is Jump Out?
Jump Out is the police in unmarked cars. They usually come out Tuesdays
How do you make sure credit cards don’t get traced back to you? and Thursdays in Miami, in Liberty City. They could be in any kind of car,
You never ship nothing to the spot where you lay your head at. You never a Chevy Blazer with music playing or a Monte Carlo with 20” rims. You
use your own phone, and you damn sure don’t keep a lot of people in your never know what kind of car they’ll be in, so you won’t know it’s them
game room. Only deal with people that you know are gonna buy your shit. until they pull you over. All they do is ride around in the hood and catch
you slippin’. That’s their job.
Have you ever had a “real” job?
Tried that. Didn’t like it. I wanted to be in control of my own destiny. I just What else were you arrested for?
know that what I went through in life prepared me for what I’m doing now. Let’s just say I got caught slipping a lot. Aggravated assault, carrying a
I’m not condoning where I come from, I’m not saying it’s okay to do these concealed firearm.
things. What I’m saying is, when your back is up against the wall, what
else can you do to eat? Especially when you have prior convictions. WIth- Aggravated assault? What was that all about?
out beign bilingual, what else can you do when you’re living in a jungle? That was some hoe shit. You know how it is when hoes bring drama.
Hustling isn’t right and it’s not easier than a real job, it’s just faster. And
it’s better money. Being from Liberty City, what kind of guys did you date?
To be honest with you, all my boyfriends have sold crack. Not that I
Were you ever worried about the risks? wouldn’t date a corporate nigga, but I don’t know no corporate nigga in
Yes. You think about the risks and you know it’s not right, but what else can Liberty City.


By dating them, did you learn anything about crack? from my hometown, people putting Florida on the map. I’m saying, well,
I learned a lot of things, and I taught them a couple things too. Like, there’s shit, I could do that. I ain’t gotta be stealing. I know how to rap, I know
28 grams in an ounce unless you catch a duck from out of town. how to write. And I knew when I got into this music game that you can’t
be playing. People are investing their money and you out there trying to
Do you think getting into rap helped you get out of the streets? do dumb shit? Not only are you gonna lose somebody’s investment, but
Rap? What? Shit. They say the halfway house is your last chance. Shit, this is it’s over for you. I stopped all that shit, I got serious.
all I’ve got. Rap is all I’m betting on. So whoever bettin’ on me, put all your
money on me ‘cause I’m gonna win. I ain’t trying to go back to all that. I If you had the choice, would you rather do prison time or house ar-
know how it is. I’ve got friends that are still ridin’ ten-year bids. rest?
Prison, cause I woulda only done eight months.
After all the things you’ve been through, if you had the opportunity, do
you think you’d change anything or redo anything? Is there anything else you’ve been arrested for?
I don’t think I’d change nothing. Because everything I went through in my I almost got arrested for walking around with body paint. You know, they
life prepared me for what I’m doing now, the whole mentality of being don’t like me when I’m a thug and they hate me when I’m nasty. A girl
strong-minded and keeping a good head on your shoulders. Believe it or can’t hang. That’s my signature look, I like to tease the guys with just a
not, all that shit comes from your upbringing. I know plenty of females that little bit of paint.
wouldn’t be able to survive. If you took a girl out of a corporate job right
now and put her in Liberty City, that jungle, she wouldn’t make it. You gotta Are men intimidated by your hustle?
be able to survive anywhere, and that’s what Miami taught me: to go and I wouldn’t say intimidated, I would say insecure. A lot of men feel inse-
make it anywhere. My brothers was in the Feds when I was a little girl. I cure when they see a woman making more money than they make. For a
ain’t really have no role models, I was the first one in my family to even go long time I didn’t even have a steady boyfriend, ‘cause if a nigga wasn’t
to a community college. Nobody was there to say, “Don’t do that.” I was the gonna match what I was doing, bring home what I was bringing home, I
breadwinner. All those things I went through taught me how to manage my wasn’t fuckin’ with him. And I had a hustle, you could check my credit
money, because I don’t ever wanna be broke again. I come from nothing, on the streets.
so it’s a blessing to still be here. People counted me out a long time ago. I
don’t understand why people don’t want to see other people grow. I learned If two hustlers are in a relationship together, do you think it becomes
to maintain what I have. I own my own entertainment company, my own a competitive thing?
publishing company. I’m a businesswoman now, and everything that I went Not really a competitive thing, ‘cause if both of y’all are on that same
through in my life has prepared me for this. So to answer your question, no, wavelength y’all could build together. You can save and have things to-
I wouldn’t change anything. gether and take over the world. But you just don’t want no nigga that’s
How many brothers and sisters do you have?
Two sisters, two brothers. And they all out, all of ‘em out. Thank God my What kinds of gifts have you received from guys?
mom finally has all her kids out of the system. Jewels, mink coats, handbags, perfume, just little trinkets, money.

Do you believe in the idea that you’re a product of your environment? What about returning the favor? Have you ever given gifts to a guy you
Depends. There’s a lot of people I know that came from good families and were involved with?
ain’t got no business selling drugs, so I ain’t really gonna blame it on the You know, if you dating a dude or whatever and you out there doing your
environment. It’s ‘cause you felt like you could do that for now to make thing, you’ll keep him in mind. It is free shit, you know? (laughing)
ends meet, or for whatever reason. You there ‘cause you wanna be there. I
ain’t have to be there. I was doing it ‘cause I wanted to do it. I ain’t have So as a booster, what was your average paycheck like?
to be runnin’ with hoes, fighting and stealing. I could have changed early That money be good. But it ain’t really no average, cause some days be
in life. I could’ve went to college, pledged a sorority and all that shit, but slower than others. You might not get no money for two weeks. That’s
I ain’t want that. I liked being able to wake up in the morning, go hit the one of the bad things besides jail. You may not get no money for weeks
stores, and get rid of my shit by noontime, one o’clock. I got my rent paid. I cause the store’s hot. That’s like the drought for us girls. But you get
ain’t have to work all day. Some girls lay around and fuck niggas for money, caught up in the flossing and buying the Porsches and shit. I remember I
look for ballplayers. Different people take different routes to get money. bought a Porsche back in 2000. I didn’t buy it cash, but it was a fuckin’
My route was to get it on my own, I was just that type of bitch. Don’t get Porsche. You hustle and work hard, so you look at it like a little reward
me wrong, I like a rich nigga just as much as any other bitch, but I can’t to yourself. That’s your little heaven and shit. Then you gotta keep up
sit around waiting for him to pay my bills. Work forty hours and week and the payments, so you gotta get out there and hustle some more. It’s like
come home with $230? Shit. Not me. The freedom, the money, and plus, a revolving thing. You can’t wait on no nigga to get your hair and nails
I felt comfortable doing it. It’s a high. You take a risk and you start to get done. If you got a man and he know you ain’t working, you shouldn’t have
addicted to that shit. I used to feel good about it, but now I look back and to ask him for money. If you keep asking a nigga for money, you’ve got
think, I ain’t have to do that. I coulda went another route. a problem. And any woman that’s waiting on a man to take care of they
kids is a sorry woman. If you sitting on your ass waiting on some child
What advice would you give to younger people who are on the streets? support, keeping on a nigga phone for some Pampers, you a sorry bitch
The way the economy is, if we don’t get out to vote and get these people and that’s real.
out of office, there won’t be any jobs for us. African-Americans can’t get a
job without being bilingual. We’ve gotta get our ass in the polls and vote to Okay, let’s switch topics a little. What’s going on with your album?
help make more jobs. It ain’t no hope for us if we don’t vote. I ain’t gonna We’re looking at a summer release. I did some work with DJ Smurf and
blame it all on the system, but we need to get off our asses and vote. the Ying Yang Twins, did a Scott Storch track, beefing it up while we had
more time to work. Make it hotter. And I’m on TVT Records now, not
What’s the most creative things that you used to sell? Warner Bros. My main concern was getting with a label that was gonna
Car tires, rims, refrigerators, stoves, plywood, it don’t even matter. Who- push the project and make sure the project was handled right. With the
ever wanted it, that’s what I was selling that evening. When you don’t have success they had with Lil’ Jon and the Ying Yang Twins, I felt comfortable
the certain resources you need to make money one way, the hustle don’t with TVT. It’s a small family, it’s not a lot of people involved. And now
change. You still gotta get your hustle on, you just gotta change your game that I have my own entertainment company, Jackmove Entertainment,
up a little bit and try something else. You can’t say, “Oh, the store’s hot, I there’ll be more releases from some of the other projects that I’m work-
can’t pay my rent.” You gotta get out there and do something else. ing on.

If you weren’t rapping, would you still be hustling? Anything else you want to say?
I would still be doing it if it wasn’t for rap. I’ve been writing since I was To all my homegirls out there getting your hustle on, stay two steps
in junior high school, just writing and writing and being inspired by people ahead of the game and ten steps ahead of the haters.


e careful what you ask for. If you ask DJ Kool Kid to add you to his
mailing list, be prepared to get bombarded with mixtapes. This Are there any artists in particular that you’ve been the first to “break”
24-year-old DJ, who’s known for infiltrating the Bronx with South- on your mixtapes?
ern flavor, drops several mixtapes a month consistently. There’s quite a few. Back in the day I broke Sporty Thieves. I actually
broke Jae Hood way before anybody else. We recorded in my living room,
How did you get started DJing? he spent the night at my house. I broke Roam up North. I was the first in
Back in ’94, ’95, I was like fourteen, and some cats from Uptown Records New York to have David Banner host a mix CD, which did very, very good.
put me onto hip-hop. I started doing all the block parties and stuff, DJing, Red Café, I was dealing with him when he was in a group called Franchise,
opening up for Red Alert, Brucie B, cats like that. Red Alert was like, my way before they had a deal. The list goes on and on.
number one mentor. I look up to Red for everything he’s done. He put me
on, he’d have me DJing at big events in front of people like Puff. Since it’s technically illegal to sell mixtapes, have you had any legal
issues with record labels and your mixtapes?
Were you born and raised in New York? No, I’ve actually had labels come at me and want to sponsor my mixtapes.
Yep. Been in the Bronx all my life. But I love to travel, and I keep my ears I go directly to the A&R or the artist and their management. I go straight
to the street. I’ve been on numerous tours, nationwide, international to the source; that’s why I have a good relationship with so many artists.
stuff. I’m Joe’s tour DJ, so I’ve been on tour with him. I toured with Keith Right now, it’s 4:30 am and I just left the studio, I had a session with Juelz
Sweat for two years, and I did the Def Comedy Jam tour. And I’ve gotta [Santana] and Jim Jones. They’re hosting one of my new mixtapes.
big up Pure Pain Records; [their CEO] Luqman brought me down there and
gave me extra exposure to down South music to bring back to New York. Do they sign paperwork to allow you to put their music on mixtapes?
The whole mixtape process moves so quickly that there’s no time at all for
Recently, when Southern music became “hot,” did you see a lot of New paperwork. That would take days, weeks. You can’t wait that long. If you
York DJs start to play Southern music you’d already been playing? get a new joint today, it needs to be out tomorrow. That’s how you keep
A lot of Northern DJs did jump on the bandwagon after the fact. Everybody ahead of the competition.
was scared to touch down South records. I don’t care, music is music, all
the way from Texas to Miami. PaulWall, Roam, Pitbull, those are my dudes. Are you involved with any DJ cliques?
I mix them in with the Cam’rons, the Jay-Zs, the N.O.R.E.s. I gotta big I just got down with the Violator All-Star DJs, which is headed by Scrap
up N.O.R.E., cause that’s another dude that showed me a lot of love. He Dirty and Chris Lighty. It’s a coalition, we support each other.
experiments with his music and people accept it, so why can’t I?
Are you involved with any DJ events like Justo’s Mixtape Awards?
How do you get these major companies to sponsor your mixtapes? I have yet to receive a mixtape award due to unfortunate circumstances
I pitch ideas. My mixtapes aren’t just designed for the local or tri-state with my good friend Justo. Justo was actually my road manager at one
area; I want them to be something international that everybody can be point, and he did some stuff I didn’t agree with so I got rid of him. That
a part of. I’m trying to bring fashion. With Dr. Denim, we came up with was the same summer he started the mixtape awards; so Kool Kid doesn’t
a few concepts. Why not make a mixtape magazine, so you’ll get good get any awards. But it’s really up to the streets. People call me and say I
music and also see what’s the latest fashion and events? It’s been work- should have won three awards, so that’s the real award right there.
ing so far. I move 20,000 units of the Dr. Denim Underground mix CDs, on
average. Regular CDs I move about 10,000. Moving 20,000 units is a piece What else do you have going on besides mixtapes?
of cake, ‘cause you already have dudes looking forward to getting a new I do a lot of New York clubs, I do about three or four nights a week. I’m
CD. The Dr. Denim Underground CDs are like a brand name now. I try to hoping to expand into artist promotion and development. I’m basically a
be consistent, I try to come out at least once a week or every two weeks freelance DJ – anything that sounds good and looks good, I’m down for it.
with something new, either hip-hop or R&B. I don’t play the same thing I’m still looking for artists, anybody that’s hot, young, and talented. I’m
everybody else plays. I go and look for music. And it’s not just New York 24 and I’ve been doing this since junior high school, so I’m young also.
music, so I go everywhere and I’mma always have something to put out. I
take risks. That’s what the game is all about. After you take risks, dudes Any contact information you’d like to give out?
fuck with you real heavy. You can call me at 212-545-3781 or email me at
You can also get mixtapes on my website,
“Sky,” born Skylark Sinclair Jr. in Laurel, Mississippi, left home with me. I’ve just been writing, I haven’t even been shopping around. I wrote
$2 in his pocket to pursue music. Since then, he lended his signa- a song called “Another Day” for Lamar, he’s an artist on Sony UK. It went
ture vocals to countless underground hits as well as major releases, platinum in two days in the UK. I doubt if it even comes to the United
moved in with TLC’s Lisa (Left Eye) Lopez, and wrote the current #1 States. They don’t even need the United States. He won the London Idol
single in the United Kingdom. After Left Eye’s untimely death, Sky over there. The song has been at #1 for eight weeks straight, so that was
dealt with his emotions through music. While putting the finishing amazing to me.
touches on his debut album, he’s convinced that his upcoming re-
lease will put other R&B singers to shame. Do you ever plan on just focusing on writing and production instead of
being in the spotlight yourself?
Why did you decide to move to Atlanta? If things haven’t happened the way I want them to by the summer of
I moved here strictly for music. I moved to Atlanta with $2. I didn’t next year, I think I’m gonna decide to just strictly write. I’m a writer by
know nobody. I don’t know how I pulled that off, I guess I stepped out on trade.
faith. This was back in ’96. I had heard Outkast’s album, Southernplay-
alisticadillacmuzik. I heard what they were talking about and I wanted Working with L.A. Reid’s son, do you think you’ll end up at Def Jam?
to go where those guys were. I wanted to make music; Atlanta was the Probably so, because me and Antonio are real good friends and I would
place that was booming at the time. Where I’m from is suppressed, you love to work with his father. His father has been very nice to me through-
can’t do anything from there. out the years. L.A. even came and had a meeting with me at the studio
where I was, and he sat and listened to all my songs and critiqued each
What did you do when you got to Atlanta? one of them. The way he critiqued my songs, they’ve improved 100% just
I was actually homeless with a demo tape. I did a talent show that from this man’s opinion. This man is a fucking genius. I listened to what he
Left Eye was at. She asked me where I lived, and I told her I didn’t live said, and I really feel like my songs have improved. If I come out right now,
anywhere. She took me home. Yep, I was her boyfriend for four years. I nobody could fuck with me. I have a classic album; I’ve got the hottest
lived with her for four years. shit. I don’t think nobody could fuck with me. Nobody. The only nigga that
would be close would be Usher. He’s got three songs in the top 10 right
So this was after the whole Andre Rison, burning-down-the-house now. He’s doing big things, but I really think the game sucks right now. It
experience? You weren’t worried about waking up in flames? really does. I need to put my shit out to show niggas what real music is.
No, she was the sweetest person in the world. It was different. She’d These niggas is fuckin’ up, for real. I don’t get it. But my nigga Akon is
went through shit with all them players, I was just glad to be there. I representing too, his shit just dropped. Akon is hot. Akon, if you reading
did everything she wanted me to do, and I was nice to her. I was a good this, what’s up with the Skykon album? But what I’d really like to do is
man to her. I wasn’t trippin’ on no star shit, I was just there for her and get with my homeboy Banner on his b.i.G.f.a.c.e. label and just make my
nothing else. And she really taught me the game. boy’s shit bigger. He’s got his own label so I’d rather make his shit bigger,
but we keep having issues and shit, man. Then I got niggas coming out of
Did you collaborate with her musically? the woodwork saying, “Sky owes me this, Sky owes me that.” Sky don’t
I was a producer and writer for Left Eye Productions. I wrote some stuff owe none of them muthafuckers nothing except an asswhupping. I don’t
for her, but I didn’t get credit for it. I wrote it just for her. owe none of y’all shit. Print that.

When she passed, how did it affect you? What other songs have you appeared on?
That was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me in my life. I’m still I was on “Choose Me” and “Pop That” with Banner. I’m on Bone’s new al-
trying to get over that right now. Lisa was my light; the light of my life. bum, Fight Music, on a song called “Hustling.” I’m on a cut with Keno from
Her passing was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. We would Persian Records, they’re an indie label that’s gonna do real big things. MC
be married right now if she was still here. Shy D, I’m on his album too.

When was the first time you appeared on a major release? Did you ever get to tell Outkast why you moved to Atlanta?
Lil’ Jon was the first one to put me out. I was on his Put Yo Hood Up Nah, I never even got into that. They’re such cool niggas, they don’t
album, on “Where Them Girls At?” I hooked up with him at Billy Hume’s wanna hear that shit. It’ll make me look like a fanatic. When I met them
house because he was recording there. I was like, “Hey, Lil’ Jon, I sing, they were just some real down-to-earth niggas, especially Dre. He’s such
let me be on your album.” He told me to come back tomorrow. I came a superstar, he could really be an asshole if he wanted to. But both of ‘em
back the next day and he put a beat on and said, “Okay, go in the booth are real down-to-earth, just like some niggas from my hood. I see them
and put something on.” He liked it. So Lil’ Jon was the first person to niggas every single day now cause I be in Zac’s studio. Jimmy Z is the
ever put me out, and I thank him for that. After that I got with my owner, that’s my family over there. That’s my second home. If you’re ever
homeboy Kurupt, he was a friend of Lisa’s. Me and Kurupt clicked from in Atlanta and you want to find Sky, go to Zac’s right next to Stankonia.
the first time we met. We did a whole album together that never came Outkast, Aquemini, Stankonia, they’re all on Antone St. The album of the
out. At the time, all the stuff with Death Row was going on and the label year always come off Antone St. We call it Grammy St., cause we don’t
was kinda shaky. I was doing tracks with a lot of underground rappers, make nothing but hits off Antone.
too. I’ve done hooks for so many people, I couldn’t even name them all.
And me and David Banner, we’d been friends for the longest and he put - Julia Beverly, (Photo: Liza Simmons)
me on pretty tough. Banner is my brother. We have some differences
sometimes but at the end of the day I love him like my brother. But we
just disagree on a lot of things.

What kind of things?

That nigga think he my daddy. He lectures me all the time. He stays on
me constantly. But Banner’s a good guy, and he’s trying to help me get
myself together. But I think he puts a little too much emphasis on it.
That nigga thinks he’s my daddy (laughing). But nah, he’s helped me a
whole lot. Me, him, and Bonecrusher used to be together every day. At
that time, I had money. I had a superstar girlfriend. I had money and
they didn’t, but we were always together every day. We were just a
brotherhood, me, him, and Bone. That’s why anytime they put out an
album, I’ll always be on it. Right now people are listening to my album
and are in shock. I’m going to be one of the biggest artists to ever come
out because my stuff is so different.

Do you have any offers from record labels?

Oh, yeah. I’ve never even shopped anything and I have labels inter-
ested. I’m working with Antonio Reid Jr., L.A. Reid’s son. I’m letting
him handle the decisions, cause he’s trying to find the best situation for


ince the Fat Cats have directed videos for every-
one from Twista to T.I. and locked in a four-video Chaka’s idea, and we put our two cents in. We just came
deal with Bad Boy, I was curious to find out how MUSIC VIDEO together, it was a collaboration. We take ideas and fill in
they’ve become so successful as music video directors
in the hip-hop scene. So, I sat down with Randy (right) HIT LIST the blanks.

and E (left) on the set of Ludacris’ “Diamond in the 8Ball & MJG What was the first major video you did that broke you
Back.” Frankly, the Fat Cats must have incredible film ”Don’t Want No Drama” into the scene?
skills because they certainly aren’t getting these gigs E: Backbone, “5-Deuce, 4-Tray” We got a lot of work off
with their winning personalities and glowing charisma. Twista & Kanye West that video.
These guys sat through our interview as if it was a root “Slow Jamz” Randy: That was our first big-budget video.
canal, not a promotional opportunity. Ah, well. Maybe
they are camera shy. But who cares how friendly the di- T.I. Creatively, what was your favorite video to film?
rectors are, as long as the video comes out hot? Here’s “24’s”
Randy: Ludacris’ “Blow it Out Your Ass.”
what they had to say: Bow Wow E: I’d probably have to say the last Jagged Edge video we
“My Baby” did, the black & white video, “What it’s Like.”
So are y’all brothers, or related somehow?
Randy: Good friends. We’ve known each other since high Jagged Edge What made you decide to film the whole video in black
school. “What it’s Like” & white?
E: We just wanted to give it a different look, cause noth-
How did you guys get into film? Jagged Edge ing out there in the market was black & white. We just fig-
Randy: I have a degree in Television/Film from More- “Dropped out of Heaven”
ured it would work with the whole concept of the video.
house, and E has a degree in Marketing. Backbone
“5-Deuce, 4-Tray” Out of all the aspiring music video directors, why do
Did you start with commercials, music videos? you think you’ve been so successful?
Randy: I actually started PAing and working as an electri- Ludacris E: We didn’t quit. Stuck to it. Believed in ourselves and
cian on music video sets. Me and E used to go to the mov- “Blow it Out Your Ass” just kept on keeping on, consistently.
ies every Friday and Saturday, for a whole year, and we Randy: The key is to not give up, like he said. There’s a
ended up deciding to work together. Ludacris lot of directors out here doing it, so you have to find your
“Diamond in the Back”
niche. And when you come up in the business, it helps
What role do you each play in the partnership? DTP to have friends like Chaka Zulu, we’ve known him for a
Randy: I’m like, the technical half of the duo. He’s the “North, South, East, West” long time.
creative half. But we sort of married the two, instead of
keeping them separate. Everyone has a duty. Do you plan on moving into feature-length films?
Randy: Yeah, we actually sold a movie to Columbia. We
For music videos, who usually comes up with the concept for the sold the idea, and the script is due in a couple weeks. We’re scheduled to
video? The artist, or you? shoot that soon. We’re working on some TV stuff also, just trying to keep
Randy: Well, this video, for example, it was really [Ludacris’ manager] the creative juices flowing.
asty Beatmakers, an Orlando, Florida-based produc-
tion team who are steadily gaining credibility in the right time, and thus began Nasty Beatmakers. LVM, who
industry, are made up of two brothers. They both
bring an equal and unique aspect of making music to cre-
THE HIT LIST is responsible for playing live instruments for their tracks,
began using his free time to developing tracks on a regu-
ate the perfect two sides of a coin. There’s LVM (right) Ludacris f/ 8Ball & MJG lar basis. Through his club nights and radio show, Nasty
and DJ Nasty (left), brothers who have both created Chicken & Beer had access to artists and was able to play his beats for
careers in music. LVM is a musical genius who has toured “Chicken & Beer” them. Their tracks caught the ear of respected network-
across the world with artists like the Backstreet Boys “Hard Times” ing guru Chaka Zulu, whose Ebony Son Management team
and LFO, playing guitar. His experience in the art of live is responsible for the careers of artists like Ludacris, DTP,
acoustics has helped lend a great diversity to Nasty Beat- Disturbing Tha Peace
The Gold Grain and David Banner. With Chaka co-signing, Nasty Beat-
makers’ personal sound. LVM is also the silent one, the “Smoking Dro” makers were official. The duo found themselves laying
one who only speaks when something important needs to down tracks for Orlando’s own Smilez & Southstar, Fat
be said. Even though he’s laid-back and non-descript, he’s Smilez & Southstar Joe, Bounty Killer, Ludacris and the entire DTP crew, and
been in the industry for a minute and has been involved Crash the Party Camron.
with album sales in excess of ten million. “Tell Me”
As “new” producers to the game, laying tracks down for
On the flipside, there’s LVM’s brother, DJ Nasty, who is Bounty Killer platinum and multi-platinum artists was phenomenal. LVM
known all throughout Florida as one of the top DJs in the The Art of War
“War Lady” and Nasty can only call their situation “a blessing.” Many
state. DJ Nasty took a different musical route than his of their tracks have also been singles, so the exposure is
brother, exploring what two turntables could do to crowds Bone Thugs N Harmony even greater. Their sound is live, energetic, and reaching
of people. Along with his DJ partner Prostyle, Nasty has Thug Mentality 1999 beyond the bounds of “hip-hop.” Their artistic ideas go
become closely tied to the hip-hop industry as one of “Thug Alwayz” far beyond one genre. Their tracks can compete with the
Orlando’s key mixers. He was chosen to join Funkmaster Just Blazes and the Kanye Wests, so Nasty Beatmakers
Flex’s elite DJ crew, Big Dawg Pitbulls. Along with his Fat Joe f/ Xzibit & Prospect seem to have a promising future in the production game.
nightly gig on Orlando’s 102 Jamz and DJing the hottest Jealous Ones Still Envy And it doesn’t stop there. Now, as well as producing tracks
parties in the city, Nasty & Prostyle have locked down the “The Wild Life”
for many of the big names in the business, Nasty himself is
ears of Orlando hip-hop listeners. With this combination, Cam’Ron getting ready to raise the bar. He plans to begin develop-
it’s easy to see why Nasty Beatmakers have been able Purple Haze ing his own artists. Slowly but surely, the Nasty Beatmak-
to produce tracks for some of the hottest artists in the “Long Time Coming” ers are working their way onto everybody’s checklist for
game. production. They might not be the most visible faces in
Pitbull f/ Lil Jon the game, but they certainly deserve to be. Rest assured
Nasty Beatmakers was formed a couple years ago, when “That’s Nasty” that you’ll be bumping at least one of their tracks in your
DJ Nasty did some production work on the side for smaller system this summer. The combination of live instruments,
projects. After seeing the response from the artists he networking skills, and knowing what people want to hear
was working with, he reached out to his brother, who was off tour at the in the club and on the radio; these are the elements that have blended
time. Both heads came together to put people in the right places at the together to make Nasty Beatmakers a success.


hen you envision a hip-hop recording studio, the first thing that
comes to mind isn’t a conservative-looking home in upstate New
York with a basketball court outside. And yet, nestled in this
quiet neighborhood is Erick Sermon’s home and personal recording studio.
Nearby is a rim shop that he also owns, which services vehicles for many of

his celebrity friends. Lounging in an Escalade with mandatory double-digit
rims, Erick breaks the silence about many of the rumors he’s endured.

Is this where you’re most comfortable recording?

REACTS I was born and raised three exits from here. Some of the best niggas came
from Brentwood, which is where I’m at. Two towns over was Rakim, the next
town was Babylon from De La Soul, Hempstead is where Busta Rhymes and
Leaders of the New School are from, and Uniondale was Public Enemy. That’s
how it is, it’s like suburbs out here. It’s like if you go to California and go to
Watts or Compton, it’s like a suburb too. It ain’t where you’re from; it’s where
you’re at.

It’s so peaceful and calm out here, it just doesn’t seem like the typical hip-
hop recording studio.
Well, this just happens to be my house. We have buildings in Manhattan that
we work out of too. I just use my crib for personal, intimate sessions, whether
it’s Macy Gray or LL Cool J.

How often do you record here at home?

I did my whole album here. But everyone who comes through wants to come
to the house. Da Brat came through, 50 Cent used to come to my house when
he was younger, before he signed with Aftermath.

Having been in the game for such a long time, what do you think is the key
to longevity?
I been doing this for 16 years. I think the key to longevity is not being over-
saturated. I’m behind the scenes more often than in front of the camera. I’m
not the type that you’re going to see in all these videos. I’m not going to be
flossin’ on TV about what I’ve got and all that. You’re not gonna get tired of
hearing about Erick or seeing Erick.

What do you enjoy more: production, or being an artist yourself?

I like production. But before I came into the game, I didn’t know that the
people I heard records from didn’t do their own music. I was already a pro-
ducer and I didn’t even know it at the time. When I became a producer, that’s
when I was able to sign some groups. Once I signed Redman, that’s when I got
advanced into other things because of his character.

Are there any artists in particular that people would be surprised to know
you’ve worked with?
I been a producer since I started in the game. I produce for half of the rap
world, and some R&B music also. You’d never know this, because I’m not the
type to have a publicist get the information out. This is the first time I’ve
done interviews. People are shocked at what I’ve done because they don’t
read or see much about me. A lot of people don’t know that I’ve worked with
Jay-Z, Redman was my artist, Keith Murray was my artist, I put Red and Meth
together. When I made “How High,” they just happened to be in the studio
smoking so we decided to make a smoking record.

You’re on Universal now. Why did you end up leaving J Records?

Because they didn’t understand how to promote and market rap music. I
think that’s why Busta left also and signed with Aftermath. It’s different when
you’re doing hip-hop. It’s not all about radio play. That’s all Clive was doing,
“radio songs.” We were on the radio, but just because you’ve got spins on the
radio that doesn’t guarantee you’re going to sell. You must let people know
that you’re on the radio and that you have an album in stores.

What appealed to you about Universal?

I was already signed to Interscope in 1995. It didn’t work out because of the
switch with them and Warner Bros. I sat down with Tommy Mottola, he didn’t
get it. I sat down with Sylvia [Rhone], she was going through some stuff be-
cause now there’s no Elektra. I sat down with Russell [Simmons] and Kevin
[Liles], they were going through what they were going through. So I sat down
with Kedar [Massenburg] and he was like, yeah. He got it, and I was like, let’s

Why do you think Universal will do a better job of marketing and promoting
you than J Records?
Because Universal is a bigger system, and you can talk to them because
they’re younger and trying to reach the urban audience. Clive [Davis at J Re-
cords] had people that worked for him, but he never gave the opportunity for
people to blossom, to show them how to make things work.

Besides “radio songs,” what do you think is most important in breaking



Mixtapes, commercials, radio, BET.

How’d you get the idea to do a track like “React?” A lot of people were kinda
surprised by the vibe.
Red and Meth had the beat, Jermaine and them had it, but no one could really do
anything with it. As you could tell by my chorus, I was trying to make a fun record,
a play record.

There have been a lot of rumors about you lately. Where do you think they’re
coming from?
Guys are the real bitches. They hate the most. They hate when you’re successful
and got girls. That’s why I said in my rhymes, “It don’t be the broads, it’s niggas
/ Mad ‘cause I be baggin’ chicks that look as bad as Jigga’s.” I didn’t have to say
Beyonce Knowles, you know that’s her. Niggas don’t want to see you shining. Plus, I
been in the game this long. I don’t stop. That’s why I called my song “Relentless.”
I’m never gonna stop, because it’s bigger than you and me. I am blessed to do this.
That means every day when I wake up, I get out here and do this and make some-
thing happen. “Relentless” wasn’t a record that was supposed to pop, it just came
from the heart. Next thing you know, everyone’s like, “Did you hear the new Erick
Sermon record?” I got celebrities on my phone like, “Yo, E, just heard the new song.
Call me back.”

There was a rumor that you jumped out of a window and tried to commit suicide
or something. Do you want to discuss that?
I never talked about it, because I never thought it was going to go that far. I’m not
saying that I’m really famous, but if you watch the news, they’ve always got the
average Joe Schmoe story on the news. There was nothing to go along with the
story. If a famous person jumped out of a window, why is there no ambulance, no
blood, no camera crew, no pictures, no nothing? I have no idea where that story
came from. I never thought it would get that big. Some girl was talking about it, I
guess she was mad or angry about something. People saw me out in the streets and
were like, “Wow, what are you doing walking?” I didn’t know it had gotten that far.
It supposedly happened on September 25th, and in October, I’m walking around and
people are like, “You’re not supposed to be walking. Your leg is broken and your
jaw is wired shut.” I’m like, “Are you serious?” But what you hear on the radio, you
believe. I had hype. I was doing well until R Kelly’s story came out. His story killed
mine by a long shot. I was like, man, everybody was talking about me until his fuck-
ing tape came out (laughing).

Are you the owner of this rim shop also?

Yeah, I always had rim shops. I had a rim shop in Atlanta in 1992. I have another one
in Long Island across from Nassau Coliseum. It ain’t a big deal to me to promote the
fact that I own a rim shop.

Do you have any other projects you’re working on?

I got a lot of new stuff coming out. A new Redman album, new movies. And there’s
always something going on with production. I’m always gonna do production.

What made you decide that this would be your last album?
I’ve had a long career – sixteen years – and I’m tired now. This is gonna be like, my
last hurrah. You just know. You know when it’s your time. Why do I have to prove I
can rap?

What do you feel is going on with the industry right now, with the chaotic state
that it’s in and everyone getting laid-off?
That’s why I wrote “Relentless,” because it was bound to happen. People made
money from 1997 til 2000. They made a gang of money and now people understand
what’s real. People won’t allow the wool to be pulled over their head anymore.
We’re gonna buy from people who are real. Kanye West is real. His content, subject
matter, his songs, they are hip-hop music. He’s bringing the samples back and every-
thing. Common Sense, Talib Kweli, Erick Sermon, we’re all coming with shit that’s
real. White backpack kids are the only fans we got right now. And when I go oversees
and see the fans we’ve got, my fans overseas are incredible. They still get it.

How do you feel about Benzino’s theory that white people are stealing hip-hop?
Naw. The Beastie Boys were here before we were. Eminem just happens to be really
laced. You can’t stop talent. Fuck what color he is, he’s still nice on the mic.

I heard you say something at your concert that sounded like a Kanye West diss.
I said something like, “Regardless of what people say about Kanye, I still like his
music.” People say he’s arrogant, but I say fuck that. Listen to his message.

Where do you see hip-hop ten years from now?

I have no idea. I’m a producer so I’ll still be in the game, but doing way more than
that. I do R&B just as well. Music is never going to go anywhere. Music is gonna be
music, and I want to be right there with it. Once it makes a change, I’ll be right
there with the era. I’m gonna be there to be an innovator, because I love it. I can
change with it and be creative.

- Photos and interview by Julia Beverly,


Akon lines like “Go ‘head, try to do me harm, soldier The best word to describe this album is “inconsis-
“Trouble” / And you’ll be in a black bag like grass out in tent.” There are a few standout tracks like “OTC
SRC/Universal the lawnmower,” Yayo steals the show. The next Gorilla” and “Dro,” but then we come across
Akon’s debut album stop on the album is the already overplayed “On tracks like “Holly Grove” and “Nigga Whutt?”
might as well be called Fire,” and the similarly paced “I’m So Fly.” Tim- where the vocals are barely audible. Shadow spits
“my diary,” because baland produced this beat, but it doesn’t have in Bone Thugs-N-Harmony style on “6 Feet Deep.”
that’s what it is: an in- the typical Timbaland sound. The next banger He has potential as a rapper, but the main prob-
depth look inside the life is the Eminem-produced “Warrior Pt. 2,” where lem with this cut is that the track doesn’t match
of this African native en Banks comes hard and Nate Dogg drops the the vocals. The t rack sounds better suited for a
route to superstardom. catchiest hook from this album: “This is a story love story instead of the clichéd “I’ll bust my gat
He expresses a solemn of a warrior and now you know it / True warriors and bury you six feet deep nigga” type hook. Slug
and thought-provoking go ahead and make some noise / It ain’t healthy and Lil’ Mama have a hard time keeping up with
message on songs like to be making niggas paranoid / hit your corner the Biggie instrumental for “Dead Wrong,” but
“Ghetto” and “Journey.” with my weapon, I don’t need my boys / I’m Slug shows his versatility on the sing-songy “Who
“Locked Up” sets the tone of the album with the doing a hundred twenty in the fast lane / Kick Dat.” He flows comfortably over the instrumental
sounds of jail doors slamming in the background back, just let me do my thang / Don’t give a for “#1 Stunna,” but still doesn’t come close to
behind the resonance of drums in a steady fuck about you suckers, gotta maintain / Money, matching the quality of the original. The weak
beat. On “Trouble Nobody,” Akon elaborates on power, and respect in this rap game.” New G- hook on “Can’t Be With You” brings down the
his afflicted past: “Even though I done changed Unit arrival The Game makes an appearance on overall quality of the song, and the simple track
my life / Criminal record’s what they judge me “When the Chips are Down,” and proves why he and overused concept of “Big Bodies” isn’t im-
by.” The somber tone is quickly uplifted by deserves a spot on Interscope with his verse: pressive. Manopoly Records should invest in some
the cheerful “Bananza (Belly Dancer),” where “Banks, they think I’m Yayo’s replacement / better studio equipment to bring up the quality of
he implores, “Don’t be shy, girl, go bananza / Nah, I ball, it’s the G-Unit walking through the their vocals, but aside from the technical issues,
Shake ya body like a belly dancer.” Akon further Matrix / I’m signed to the doctor, and I ain’t there are a few bright moments. – Julia Beverly,
proves his versatility throughout the rest of the got no patience.” Banks himself provides the
album, switching his flow on every song. He hook for one of the best tracks on the album,
transforms into a serene singer on “Lonely,” “Til the End.” His monotone delivery fits well XL
then adopts a rough voice and fast flow for with this track. Overall, The Hunger for More is Album Sampler
“Gangsta,” spitting lines like, “Sayin’ that they a solid release from Banks, who still has time to CSparks Entertainment
gangsta, Nigga’s spittin’ like they hard but I’m break free from the mold of his counterparts. The catch phrase for 2004
knowing that they pussy from the start.” Influ- – Rohit Loomba, ctpros@arcaneproductionco is officially “Get Familiar.”
enced and inspired by his father, Mor Thiam, Get familiar with Clinton
a renowned Djembe drum-playing artist, Akon Sparks the hustler. Already
has created a diary of his past life and present P-Boy Stone, Lil’ Money a staple in the radio and
life. He explores the changes he has undergone “War Vol. 1” mixtape game, Clinton is
and the struggles he’s encountered, both with Rappers are notorious now introducing us to the male R&B group XL
the law and the ladies. His storytelling gift is for spitting lyrics about (Dave, Jermaine, Scooter, & Jamal). Hosted by
used masterfully over hot beats and innova- drugs, sex, and alcohol, Fatman Scoop and of course mixed by Clinton
tive sounds that express his own unique style. but once in a blue moon Sparks, we hear all three come together to give us
Although there are a few lackluster moments, there comes an excep- a nice first impression. After Clinton does his thing
they are easily outnumbered by the fresh tion. P Boy Stone and on the ones and twos for ht eintro, XL touches all
sounds and interesting tales. This album allows Lil’ Money are too busy the major topics of typical R&B songs: sex, money,
listeners a profound glimpse inside the mind of preaching the word of drugs, and sex again. On “Gettin’ Right,” thanks
this “Troubled” man. – Nada Taha God. Like many other to Clinton’s engineering skills, we are blessed with
rappers, P Boy grew up 50 Cent’s 1999 verse from NEXT’s “Jerk.” XL’s
Lloyd Banks in the hood and became “Hate Yourself” is another standout track. Com-
“The Hunger for More” incarcerated. But while plete with a Pharrell Williams drop, this is a good
Interscope in prison, he researched various religions that sampler to hold us over while Clinton and XL finish
It’s like an assembly line changed his life. The LP, “War Vol. 1,” is the up the album. – ADG,
in a factory; the raw product of that transformation. He teamed up
materials move from sta- with his younger brother and created an album Dirt Bag
tion to station and end that is intended to enlighten the listener, with “Eyes Above Water” Al-
up molded into the same lyrics like, “To all you vice lords, gangsters, bum Sampler
shape at the end. This Crips and Bloods / Time to wake the fuck up or Epidemic/Jive
doesn’t mean that the forever be screw-ups.” Not only do they discuss Even though this is an ex-
end result isn’t quality; it their past and how they’ve changed, but with tremely short sampler (run-
just means that the end cuts like “Souljahs 4 God” they also speak of ning time just under nine
result isn’t unique. It’s no the black revolution and those who died for the minutes), it does its job.
surprise here that Lloyd cause. “We never had to be slaves but we was DirtBag’s debut is sure to be
Banks debut sounds like it came out of the same too scared to fight,” P Boy points out. There are a banger, with tracks like “Here We Go” produced
assembly line as 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Trying no tracks from Timbaland or The Neptunes, but by none other than Timbaland. Timb lays the
and G-Unit’s Beg for Mercy. Banks picked a good beat selection is decent. One standout track vibe for DirtBag to have fun with his flow. Other
mold to create his album, but why use a mold is the final cut, “Da Boss,” which breaks the producers on the upcoming album include Ter-
at all when this G-Unit MC is best known for monotony. While the message is good, with fif- ror Squad’s Cool & Dre and David Banner. – ADG,
his nonchalant delivery and grimy metaphors? teen tracks that are each five minutes long, the
Banks, who could even overtake 50 lyrically, music gets tedious. There are no club bangers,
puts his own creativity aside and decides to no uptempo songs to lighten the mood. P Boy Lyricist Lounge
follow the set patterns for this 14-track album. himself said it best: “R.O.S., it’s a blessing and “Dirty States Of America”
Producers include Havoc, Timbaland, K1 Mil, a curse on us / We come Throughout the years
Scram Jones, and of course, Eminem. The MC from less, but we bet Lyricist Lounge has been
roster is limited to mostly G-Unit, with appear- you it’s some worth in known for putting out solid
ances coming from Tony Yayo, 50 Cent, Eminem, us / Just give us time.” products, even back when
Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Young Buck, and The – Nada Taha it was based in a studio
Game. Tony Yayo proudly introduces the album apartment in Manhattan’s
with “Ain’t No Click,” where both Yayo and Slug Veezy Lower East Side. Fourteen
Banks sound perfectly comfortable over a Havoc Off the Chain Vol. 1” years later, the Lounge is still giving us something
beat. Even though Banks drops some memorable Manopoly Records to talk about. As the soundtrack to the Dirty States


of America DVD, this audio CD gives us a little
more insight on regional stars like Slim Thug,
Tampa Tony, Al Kapone, and Nutt. Slim Thug and
E.S.G. come together on the summer banger
“Rollin’,” which is sure to create a buzz. Fiend,
B.G., and the late Soulja Slim come together to
give us a pretty good idea of what a Cash Money
/ No Limit collaboration would have sounded
like in their prime on “Fired Up.” The menac-
ing horns and basic production provides a nice
backdrop for all three to flow. Other artists fea-
tured on the soundtrack include David Banner,
Willie D, JT Money, Reese & Bigalow, and a slew
of others. – ADG,

Cino G
“Terror On Tape”
Lately, it seems like
anybody with a budget
thinks they can make
a mixtape. Cino G is a
prime example. With
little to offer musically,
this album relies heav-
ily on chant-style songs reminiscent of Three
6 Mafia and teeter-totter style rhyme schemes.
Transitions between songs are bizarre; there is
no continuity in the project at all. The intro
uses a short sample of U.S. civilian adminis-
trator Paul Bremer at the press conference
minutes after Saddam Hussein’s capture: “We
got ‘em!” abruptly after a police chase sample.
Elementary at best. With the dime-a-dozen
drug anthem, “Niks & Dimes,” we hear Cino
rhyme as if he was the inspiration for Scarface
and BLOW, offering nothing new. Production is
up to par, but when you add so-so hooks and
lackluster verses they fail to spark an interest.
– ADG,

“2 Broke 2 Ball” Album
Our Glass Entertainment
For those of you who
aren’t familiar with
Kamikaze, think back to
the late 90’s Mississippi
rap duo Crooked Lettaz.
Lately the spotlight has been more focused
on the other 50%, David Banner, but from the
sounds of this sampler Kamikaze has got ‘nuff
hits to help shift that spotlight. On the club
banger “U Ain’t Hard,” Kamikaze quickly gets
to the point and poses the question: “How you
gon’ start fights in the club when you ain’t even
got your clique / Y’all get jumped right in the
club and ya niggas ain’t gon’ do shit.” Mr. Sho-
Nuff’s hustler’s anthem is a must for any true
working man. On “Hustlin’,” Kamikaze dem-
onstrates his lyrical prowess over an uptempo
organ-filled beat. Mississippi has presented us
with some talented people over the past few
years, and Kamikaze is another one to add to
the list. – ADG,


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