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FIRST ANNUAL OZONE AWARDS: NOMINEES INSIDE!

BA VER
CO
D 2
BO of
Y 2
YUNG
JOC
8BALL & MJG
PURE AMERICAN PIMPS DALLAS, TX
HOUSTON’S
UNCLE LUKE’S NORTHERN
FREAKY TALES NEIGHBOR
GOT NEXT
BIG HAWK
R.I.P. by TRAE K-FOXX &
DA BACKWUDZ SUPA CINDY
SLICK PULLA THE LADIES
RASHEEDA OF MIAMI’S
RAY CASH 99 JAMZ
LA CHAT
DRE
J-SHIN
G-MACK
DIRTBAG
BIG CHIEF
DJ KHALED
PUBLISHER/EDITOR:
jul06contents
Julia Beverly

MUSIC EDITOR:
Maurice G. Garland

ASSOCIATE EDITOR:
Matt Sonzala

COPY EDITOR:
Carlton Wade

ADVERTISING SALES:
Che’ Johnson (Gotta Boogie)
Gary LaRochelle

LEGAL AFFAIRS:
Kyle P. King, P.A. (King Law Firm)

MARKETING & PROMOTIONS:


Malik “Copafeel” Abdul

SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER:
Destine Cajuste

MEDIA RELATIONS:
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ADMINISTRATIVE:
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CONTRIBUTORS:
ADG, Amanda Diva, Bogan, Charlamagne
the God, Charles Parsons, Chuck T,
E-Feezy, Edward Hall, Felita Knight, Iisha
Hillmon, Jaro Vacek, Jessica Koslow, J
Lash, Jason Cordes, Jo Jo, Johnny Louis,
Kamikaze, Keadron Smith, Keith Kennedy,
K.G. Mosley, Killer Mike, King Yella, Lamar
Lawshe, Lisa Coleman, Marcus DeWayne,
Mercedes (Strictly Streets), Natalia Gomez,
Noel Malcolm, Ray Tamarra, Rico Da
Crook, Robert Gabriel, Rohit Loomba,
Shannon McCollum, Spiff, Swift, Wally
Sparks, Wendy Day

STREET REPS:
MONTHLY SECTIONS
Al-My-T, B-Lord, Big Teach (Big Mouth), Mixtape Reviews pg 104-105
Bigg C, Bigg V, Black, Brian Franklin,
Buggah D. Govanah (On Point), Bull, C Photo Galleries pg 19-41
Rola, Cedric Walker, Chill, Chilly C, Chuck
T, Controller, DJ Dap, David Muhammad, The Elements pg 110
Delight, Derrick the Franchise, Dolla Bill,
Dwayne Barnum, Dr. Doom, Ed the World
DVD Reviews pg 108
Famous, Episode, General, Haziq Ali, Roland Powell pg 17 COVER STORIES
H-Vidal, Hollywood, J Fresh, Jammin’ Jay,
Mathematics pg 20
Janky, Joe Anthony, Judah, Kamikaze, KC,
Klarc Shepard, Kuzzo, Kydd Joe, Lex, Lil D,
Feedback pg 12-14 8Ball & MJG pg 84-86
Yung Joc pg 94-95
Lump, Marco Mall, Miguel, Mr. Lee, Music
& More, Nick@Nite, Nikki Kancey, Pat Pat,
PhattLipp, Pimp G, Quest, Raj Smoove,
CD Reviews pg 102
Industry 101 pg 24
Rippy, Rob-Lo, Stax, TJ’s DJ’s, TJ Bless,
Trina Edwards, Vicious, Victor Walker,
Voodoo, Wild Billo, Young Harlem JB’s 2 Cents pg 17 J-Shin pg 98-99
DISTRIBUTION: Chin Check pg 22
Curtis Circulation, LLC DJ Profile pg 26
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Cover credits: 8Ball & MJG photo by Barry Code Red pg 58 G-Mack pg 36
Underhill; Yung Joc photo by Earl Randolph;
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Magazine is published monthly by OZONE
Magazine, Inc. OZONE does not take
N.G.O.K. pg 54 K-Foxx pg 62-64
responsibility for unsolicited materials, misin-
formation, typographical errors, or misprints.
Rasheeda pg 40
The views contained herein do not necessar- FEATURES DJ Khaled pg 42
ily reflect those of the publisher or its adver-
tisers. Ads appearing in this magazine are OZONE Awards Nominees pg 73-81 Supa Cindy pg 60
not an endorsement or validation by OZONE
Magazine for products or services offered.
R.I.P Hawk - by Trae pg 18 Da BackWudz pg 32
All photos and illustrations are copyrighted
by their respective artists. All other content is
Dallas, TX pg 68-71 Uncle Luke pg 88-91
copyright 2006 OZONE Magazine, all rights
reserved. No portion of this magazine may
be reproduced in any way without the written
consent of the publisher. Printed in the USA.

OZONE 11
feedback

*though
Y’all magazine is vicious, but why can’t D.C. get no love? Even
we aren’t Down South, we Up South, so we still South. We
got niggas out here carrying shit. Y’all should give D.C. some rhythm
because your magazine is well-respected on these streets.
– Kingpin Slim, kingpinslim@tmail.com (Washington, DC)

* You have an unfortunate misspelling in your May issue. In Pimp


C’s interview on page 73, in response to the question about if he’s go-
ing to run for governor, you have him quoted as saying “payphones
in the Texas penile system.” I was almost sure that you meant to type
“penal” system, but you know, I heard that stuff goes down in maxi-
mum security prisons.
– Nick Liao, nick.liao@mail.utexas.edu (Houston, TX)

* JB, after looking at your 4-year photo spread, I can see that you
are an artist. It was very educational and revealing to watch your pro-
gression through your photos. Seeing this through your eyes helps
me look at the South in a whole different light. Being a DJ, I can un-
* Big ups to OZONE Mag! Thanks for putting it down for the South
and providing us with a magazine we can call our own. Muthafuck’ The
derstand why some people don’t see what you do as an artform.
– DJ E-Z Cutt, ezcutt@tmail.com (California)
Source and all that Zino bullshit, too! I got you on that note.
– A.C.E., ace_63_muscian@yahoo.com (Tuscaloosa, AL) * Yo, I read your article on the Bay Area hyphy movement and I re-
ally enjoyed reading the articles on the rappers, who happen to be all
* I can’t tell you how much of an impact OZONE is making on my
career. I especially liked the March issue with the DJ section. I felt like
friends of mine. The main thing about the article is that y’all missed
out on a very important piece of the Bay and the whole hyphy move-
it was huge marketing and promotional tool, but I was upset that I ment that’s going on. There was no review or article on Krushadelic
wasn’t aware of it before it was printed. Anyways, you guys are making and Underground Rebellion, one of the true pioneers of hyphy and 16
a huge impact on the hip-hop scene, especially here in Tampa (God year vets of the Bay Area rap game. Before there was hyphy it was the
knows it needs as much help as it can get). Keep it up! highly energetic Underground Rebellion out of West Oakland. With
– DJ Hazed, djhazed305@yahoo.com (Tampa, FL) nine videos and over twenty projects of what they now call hyphy
music, the Rebellion was the spearheads. There’s also documented
*get You’ve got a new Aussie fan! OZONE is doing it right! We don’t
too many rap mags in my part of Australia so I was hyped to see
footage and performances from BET’s Teen Sumimt and Comicview
with the slang terms “fa sheezy,” “fa shizzle in the hizzle scrizzle”
it at the local shops. I just finished reading the Juve cover and it was back in 1995. This is nationwide documented footage of the move-
on point. I liked what B.G. has to say about Wayne. Fuck Birdman ment and some of the founding fathers.
Jr., and fuck Birdman Sr. for that matter. B.G. keeps it way real while – Krushadelic, armada817@hotmail.com (Oakland, CA)
half the rappers around dribble shit out of their mouth (i.e. Benzino).
Kepe doing what you’re doing and fuck the haters. Oh yeah, I think it’s
about time you gave the kings of buck Three 6 Mafia the cover and
* How can we get some of the Dallas local artists featured in your
magazine? We have a lot of talent out here waiting to break out. Keep
an interview! doing a good job on your magazine and please keep bringing us the
- Big Al, al_king05@hotmail.com (Australia) hottest talents from the South. We deserve the props we are getting,
it’s been a long time coming.
* I just wanted to let you know how very much I (and the other four
people in our office who rip this mag off from me when I’m half-finished
– Armonda Miller, Armonda.miller@cingular.com (Dallas, TX)

with it) enjoy OZONE. By giving artists what feels like an unrestricted,
uncensored forum to air out their beefs, their interests, their politics
*months
First of all, I love your mag. I’ve been reading it for about three
now. That whole Benzino/Source vs. OZONE beef is funny
and their creative interests, you’ve created a great salon for a commu- to me. mi heard the voicemail and was cracking up. I had to play it
nity of musicians. Seems like way too many folks in the press feel that twice: “Ugly bush pig slutmonkey whore!” But I do think you should
the only choice is to either treat hip-hop like mindless bullshit or get make one thing clear for the readers: you don’t have beef with The
nervously sensitive about he grandiose sensibilities of folks that clearly Source. Just some of the former heads. I been reading articles and
are just looking to get paid. OZONE manages to stay real, honest, listening to interviews saying “beef,” but I give much respect. Keep
and still treat the music and the musicians with respect without either doing ya thing!
apologizing or playing the “artiste” card. Along with Harpers, OZONE – Chris Taylor, afromancantdance@hotmail.com
has become some essential reading in my house. Y’all do nice work.
And more Devin, please! Let’s get a six page interview with that cat.
He’s an overlooked genius.
* I work for JUICE Magazine (not affiliated with JUICE in Atlanta).
It’s Europe’s biggest and most popular rap magazine, published in
– John Seroff, jseroff@publictheater.org (NYC) Germany, Switzerland and Austria. A few weeks ago I had OZONE the
first time in my hands while I spent some days in Miami. I love it!
* I don’t think people are understanding what it is that you are doing,
JB. Girl, you are a beast! I have to first congratulate you and your staff
– Arthur Fischer, Arthur_fischer@gmx.de (Germany)

on four years of knocking down the competition, standing strong and


showing the industry and all the non-believers that you mean busi-
*DearI saw your interview with Bun B and I want to tell him a few things:
Bun, I hope you don’t take this the wrong way. First off, I’ve been
ness. You are truly an inspiration to anyone, male and female, that is your biggest fan for a long, long time. Up here in Cleveland, we were
trying to make it in any profession. The 4 Year Anniversary issue was a bumpin’ UGK when most of the country outside of the South didn’t
classic! I was thrilled to see T.I.P. on the cover. The interview with Pimp know who y’all were. And no one spoke more highly of you than me.
C made you feel as though you were sitting right in the room listening When Ridin’ Dirty came out, I was in high school and I felt that album
to them talk. In short, I am proud of you! Keep giving them hell! was the final frontier. I felt then, and still feel now, that it was the great-
– Tuesday Donaldson, Tuesday@tjsdjs.com (Tallahassee, FL) est hip-hop album I had ever heard in my life. In high school, I used to
frequently get into heated debates with classmates who doubted you.
*an InAlabama
Alabama we see ya grinding and we respect your grind. Being
artist, we have no choice but to grind and take respect
I told them that given the chance you could out-rhyme the best em-
cees in the game. You proved me right years later when you made “Big
because the industry cats overlook us like we ain’t hip-hop. I see you Pimpin’” with Jigga. I think even Jay-Z knew you outdid him because
having one of the most dominant magazines in the game in a year or he added another verse to the video and radio versions that were not
less, so stay focused and remember only God can judge you. on the album. For years, I hoped that you would one day make a solo
– Country Boi, Countryboi@tmail.com (Alabama) album, and then one day my prayers were answered. For two years

12 OZONE
feedback
I waited for your album Trill to come out and it finally did. I snatched a feel like I know you a little more. Keep up the good work and don’t
copy the first day it came out. Finally, the wait was over. That’s when worry about that one piece of hate mail. I guess nowadays “that dude
I became disappointed. One thing I always admired about UGK was from Boston” has too much time on his hands.
your authenticity. I never felt like you intentionally made songs for the - K. Arnold, khype1@hotmail.com (Birmingham, AL)
mainstream. You just made music from the heart. But you clearly went
away from that principle by making song with Trey Songz and the
Ying Yang Twins. No disrespect to them, but all collabos aren’t good
*about
Hey Julia, I noticed that in your latest 2 Cents where you talked
starting a mag, you seemed a little leery about “giving up the
collabos. And that brings me to my second point. I wanted to hear an goods.” Trust me when I say that you have nothing to worry about!
album from Bun B, not a compilation album. I wanted to hear you in But somehow, I have a feeling you already know that. I have to laugh
your own zone, but I couldn’t because there were just too many damn every time I see a new mag/paper/rag/website com out and I can in-
features. I understand showing love, but you showed a little too much. stantly tell it’s some moron that got ahold of a PC and thought it was
My third complaint is that you had too many producers. Back in the gonna be easy. Sure enough, within a few issues, poof! Gone! I also
day, each click had a producer or a certain sound. Nowadays, dudes like these local pubs from places like Tampa/Jax/wherever that think
be havin’ a different producer for every song. in my opinion, this is why they’re going to “expand their market” and invade Orlando. Do these
a lot of albums today aren’t any good. They lack consistency and the fuckbrains ever stop for a nano-second to think about how they’re
entire project doesn’t flow or have rhythm. I’ll give you a pass on this going to cover the scene, distribute or pick up advertisers outside of
one because your brother Pimp C (welcome back) was locked down. their home base? Again, within a few issues, poof! Gone! This doesn’t
But my final criticism hurts me the most to say. I feel that you slacked include a national or regional pub, but you get the point. As for your
off in the lyrical department. What happened? This is not the same haters, fuck them! They shouldn’t hate what they’ll never have the
rapper that wrote such lyrical gems as “so clever shine / like diamond balls to be (for lack of a better term - not sure what the female equiva-
grapes on leather vines” or “We fuck your game up like Larry Brown” lent of “balls” is). In one of your early Pitbull interviews, Pit hit the nail
or the infamous line that Jay-Z jacked you for. You know the one I’m on the head by saying, “If you don’t have haters, you ain’t doin’ some-
talking about. When you said “Your men of war turned into pussies thing right.” That reminds me: I also like Roland Powell’s little column
and men-o-pause” it took me a few listens to catch it. But it seems the “10 Things I’m Hatin’ On.” Keep up the good work!
emcee has disappeared. What happened to the master of wordplay - David Himes, connectionsmag@bellsouth.net (Orlando, FL)
from “Murder,” “P.A. Nigga,” “Wood Wheel,” “Ball and Bun,” “They
Down With Us,” “Hi-Life,” and “Every Single Day”? What happened
to the legendary storyteller from “Diamonds and Wood,” “It’s Alright,”
*justJust wanted you to know that I’m standing in a Tower Records
outside of Boston, MA, and they’re proudly displaying the latest
and “Feds In Town”? Once, there was an emcee who I felt would make issue of OZONE with Trick Dddy on the cover. Congrats on national
a timeless hip-hop classic. With Pimp finally home to provide you wit distribution!
the proper musical backdrop, I just hope the emcee is still there and - Lyall Storandt, ls24@tmail.com
ready to show the world his genius.
– One Black, blackone80@yahoo.com (Cleveland, OH)
*I’veOZONE is one of the most resourceful entertainment magazines
ever read, and believe me, I am a bookworm. I like the networking
* Charlamagne the God is a great addition to the mag. His column
is sheer craziness. I also agreed with y’all’s greatest Southern albums
aspect (emails and phone numbers are very important in this busi-
ness). Keep up the good work!
list, especially ATLiens, which is definitely my favorite Outkast album - NJ Gilbert, namong@gmail.com (Opa-Locka, FL)
– although Aquemini ain’t too far behind. I remember witnessing Eight-
ball & MJG getting booed at The Warehouse in 1993 during Jack the
Rapper. Nobody in the club at the time was trying to hear them and to
*Cincinnati,
I recently picked up the new issue of OZONE at Borders here in
OH. I was truly blown away. For one, your interviews have
see the frustration on MJG’s face is a classic moment that I’ll never for- substance. You can tell this magazine is about indie artists and major
get. It’s interesting how two years later, everything changed. Another artists and not just bombarding us with half naked women. Don’t get
interesting moment was when Mystikal was still an unknown (at least me wrong, I love women, but I don’t think that should be the focus
in Atlanta, anyway). In 1995 there was a Jive Records concert featuring of a rap magazine. Everything has its place. I’m really feeling the in-
damn near everyone on the label (Too $hort, Souls of Mischief, Tribe terview with Trick Daddy and how he’s teaching his crew the Dunk
Called Quest, and KRS-One was the headliner). The majority of the Ryders how to grind. No advances, just hard work. With the right
“East coast” crowd was already booing Mystikal but they really booed magazine, I feel indie artists can truly get their grind on. OZONE is
the shit out of him when he went into his “bad like Michael” segment. A striclty for the music. XXL Mag is picking up where the Source left off,
year or so later “Here I Go” was the record that you just had to play. and if you ask me I think Interscope is paying them good. Every issue
– Jaycee, captainscissors@tmail.com (Atlanta, GA) is an Interscope artist but hey, hate the game not the player. Should
I hate those controlling the game? Nah, we just switch it up and pray
* JB, I just read your article about how to start your own magazine.
Good piece. I wish every artist could read that so they could have a
for the best.
- Paul “Grizz” Reese, grizzent@aol.com (Cincinnati, OH)
better understanding of how the magazine business works. It’s very
humble of you not to have a know-it-all attitude, which I have to admit
that I have heard you have. I did not get that impression from you at all
* I just read your June 2006 issue. I liked the idea of having the
20 Essential Southern Albums, and I especially like the fact that you
after readying your article. I know there are three sides to every story. included DJ Screw’s 3 N The Mornin’. But when I read Matt Sonzala’s
I see that you have managed to keep the magazine going for a while description at the end it says, “Sadly, DJ Screw passed away in No-
now, and I have to commend you on that. Looks like you have a come vember of 1996.” What the hell is that? He died on November 16th,
a long way and are continuing to grow. Congratulations to you, and 2000! Do your damn job and at least get that right. You are trying to
your success with OZONE. give homage to the man and you don’t even get the year of his death
– Kiara, kiara@streetfameonline.com right? Pretty disrespectful; what a joke! I hope I’m not the only one
who notices and comments on that. R.I.P. Screw, Fat Pat, Hawk, big
* JB, I just finished reading the March ’06 issue (first time buying a
copy) and I was very impressed, but I got to admit I was not familiar
Mello, and Big Steve.
- Xray1084@aol.com
with you until “that dude from Boston” called you out. The last thing
in the magazine I read was your editorial and I really felt your honesty Editor responds: You’re right; thanks for pointing out the typo. We
and point of view. By you being a white female that publishes a hip- apologize for the incorrect information.
hop magazine (on the verge of greatness) I’m sure you had/have your
doubters, but apparently you have proven them all wrong. I am defi- Correction: In the May issue, photo #2 on page 35 and photo #3 on
nitely one of the 95% that you alluded to in your editorial that has never page 27 should have been credited to Hurricane.
had a conversation with you, but the fact that ATLiens is one of your
favorite albums (and mine too) is all I needed to know before I ordered Hate it? Love it?
a subscription (the check/money order is in the mail). Your editorial Send your comments to feedback@ozonemag.com
brought something out of me. Because of your “600 little words,” I do OZONE reserves the right to edit comments for clarity or length.

14 OZONE
jb’s2cents
Flyidcg in Jacksonville, a faithful reader of JB’s 2 Cents, hit
me up one night from the hospital and told me I need to tell
people to stop killing each other. I sort of laughed to myself,
and responded that I don’t have that kind of power. Then
I thought about it. Fuck it, maybe I do have a little bit of
power, and a responsibility to say something. So…
10 Things I’m Hatin’ On PLEASE STOP KILLING EACH OTHER.
By Roland “Lil Duval” Powell
Need I say more? Proof? Hawk? I’m not supposed to be
Disclaimer: This is really what everybody else is say- constantly searching through photo archives for obituaries
in’. I know I’m dead wrong, but I’m hating anyway. – I’m supposed to be searching them for album covers, and
flyers, and other productive items. I’m tired of hitting up rappers to
1. Niggas Taking Pictures With Their ask for quotes for an R.I.P. And those concerns are petty compared
Chain what their friends and families are going through. We all need to
Do not – I repeat – do NOT hold up your just take a step back and breathe once in a while. Is anything that
chain in a picture if it ain’t as big as your serious that it can’t be solved any other way?
hand, or if it’s fake.

2. American Idol’s Randy Jackson


This nigga is the lamest nigga I’ve
ever seen in my life. I hate when this Gotti and I @ Club
Suite
nigga tries to act like he’s so cool and
uses lame-ass sayings like, “You rock,
dawg!”

3. Last Month’s Groupie Confession in


OZONE
Man, ain’t nobody want to hear about
Phife’s groupies. Whoever she was, she
had to be damn near forty, cause that
nigga ain’t had a hit song since 1997.
Uncle Luke, me, and
Jacki-O on South Beach
4. Big Women Wearing Bathing Suits
Who is encouraging you big bitches to
make you think that shit looks good?
Nobody wants to see that shit in public.
Y’all are all out on the beach lookin’ like
a busted can of biscuits.

5. BET Uncut
Do you niggas on there really think
you’re gonna make it?
Shawn Prez and I @
Springfest
6. Old Niggas in the Club
If you go to a club and your daughter’s
friends are in the same club, it’s time to
stop clubbin’. And if you’re keeping a
bunch of change in your pocket, nigga,
you old.

7. Public Service Announcement for


Women:
If you’ve never seen the nigga you fuckin’
in the day time, you’re just some cut up.

8. Niggas Who Just Got Out of Jail


If you were locked up and been in there
for a long time, make sure you find out
what’s in style when you get out, cause
you can damn sure believe them Paco
Jeans and Cross Colours ain’t what’s
hot.

9. Gas Prices (again)


Man, these crackers done crept that shit
back up. How the fuck can one gallon of
gas cost more than a combo meal?

10. Myspace.com (again)


Young Cash f/ 2Face “I Love It”
DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Pitbull, Trick Daddy “Born & Raised”
8Ball & MJG f/ Pimp C “Grown Man”
jb’splaylist
Some of y’all women need to reevalu- Triggastate Trendsetters “I’m From Florida”
ate your life. There was this one bitch J-Shin f/ T-Pain “Send Me An Email” Lil Wayne “Hustler Musik”
on there saying, “Good men are hard to Field Mob f/ Ciara “So What” Plies “Know Sum’n”
find.” But in her profile picture, she was Lil Keke “Chunk Up The Deuce” Pitbull “Bojangles”
butt ass naked. Hmm, I wonder why? Trae f/ Fat Pat & Hawk “Swang (remix)” R.I.P. Grind Family “Fuck That”

OZONE 17
r.i.p.big hawk by Trae

Houston rapper Big Hawk of the Screwed Up Click was shot and killed on May Trae’s tattoo, in memory of Big Hawk;
1st, 2006. As of press time, no suspects have been arrested. Fellow Screwed inset: Trae and Big Hawk at a video
Up Click rapper Trae weighs in on his partna’s death: shoot earlier this year

H
awk is my O.G. You know, he’s one of the originators of the Screwed Up Click. (Photos: Matt Sonzala)
I was one of the youngest ones out of the camp, me and Chris Ward, so Hawk
was like the O.G. of the camp, him and DJ Screw. I was up under they wings
a lot. As time went by we became very close, like brothers.

He didn’t deserve that. Hawk never had no enemies. If you even check the back-
ground, he never even had plex with music. It wasn’t no problems at all. If anything,
he helped a lot of people. He’s featured on a lot of people’s songs. Lil niggas from
the hood would reach out and he’d do the features. He never had no problems.

That bullet wasn’t meant for him; that’s all I can really tell you. He wasn’t one of the
people that would make you even think that. You wouldn’t think that my homie would
get murdered like that. That wasn’t for him. He was a family man.

Man, it’s time for us to man up and understand when you’re wrong. People are
wrong about a lot of shit. It’s time for people to be on some grown man shit. A lot
of us rappers have kids, so shit, niggas need to get they grown man on and think
before they act. For example, look at what happened to me. I lost a lot of people
coming up so I had to mature a lot faster. I had to make my own decisions; some of
them were right, but some of them were wrong. I was out robbin’ people and fucked
around and caught a case that could’ve fucked me up for the rest of my life. That was
me being stupid, but it was also the fact that I was brought into these streets at an
earlier time than I should’ve been. If I had been older and had guidance I probably
would’ve been better, but when kids lose their parents, they don’t have that guid-
ance. Everybody needs a father figure in their life. If they don’t have it, they tend to
make the wrong decisions. Some people weather the storm, but some people don’t.
I weathered the storm, but I fucked up too. I wasn’t out there robbing just to rob; I
was robbing to take stress off my mother’s back so I wouldn’t have to see her strug-
gling. She had already lost one son to the penitentiary so I was robbing really trying
to feed me and my brother so she wouldn’t be stressed out. But that’s something
I had to learn. If any rapper is out here acting crazy thinking it ain’t gonna hurt the
kids, that’s a lie. A lot of rappers grew up without their parents and that’s why they
got caught up in these streets real fast.

Even I had it fucked up. I had to sit back and think with certain situations. I had to sit
back and tell myself, Trae, you cannot react how you do in the streets all the time.
You gotta slow down cause you’re older now and you have a family. So I understand
that and respect that and a lot of other niggas need to do the same. That shit don’t
feel good when you’re losing someone close to you. It don’t feel good to kids to lose
their fathers. People need to understand, stop trying to prove yourself in the streets.
These streets are so crossed right now you don’t know the definition of real and fake.
People got the definitions crossed.

I’m only 25 and I’ve lost so many people – from [DJ] Screw to [Fat] Pat to Hawk to
Mafio to my brother Dickie doing three life sentences to his girlfriend to his baby
mama. I’ve lost so many people it don’t make no sense. But it don’t do nothing but
make me a stronger man than what I was before. Even though pain ain’t good to
deal with, that’s what I’m used to. I know that God has me down here for a reason.
I’m the one who stays strong and keeps everybody’s head straight in the situation.
Our camp the Screwed Up Click as a whole, we’ve bonded and become real close
recently. Now we’re really closer than ever because Hawk was the leader. When
Screw passed he became the leader and now we’ve lost another leader. So we’ve
really gotta bring it home for him. Especially when I turn in my album, right now I’m
really pumpin’ it to make sure everybody’s able to see him on BET. People need to
see him and hear him.

My album is wrapped up but I’m tryin’ to get them to push it back right now [to add
a Hawk tribute]. All of us have lost someone, so all of us have a lot to say. My main
thing right now is to be here and be strong for his family, his wife and his kids and
his sisters and just the whole camp. I’m focused. I’m having a terrible month but I’m
gonna bounce back. I’m a grown man and I’m gonna take care of this situation.

I’m in these streets 24/7 and the streets talk. If the police don’t find out [who killed
Hawk], I’m gonna find out. One way or the other, I won’t rest until they find out who
took my homie. Until we get that solved, it’s hard for me to focus on music cause
that’s always on my mind. Everything’s gonna fall into place, I know it is, as long as
you’ve got God in your life.

I’ma finish it off by sayin’ what Big Hawk would say: On behalf of the Screwed Up
Click and ABN, ghetto dreams will be fulfilled. R.I.P. Big Hawk, Fat Pat, R.I.P. DJ
Screw, R.I.P. Mafio, R.I.P. Gator, and free Dinkie!

18 OZONE
01: DJ Drama, Paul
Wall, and Lil Keith @
Drama’s birthday party
(Houston, TX)
02: Full Impact All-Stars
(Orlando, FL)
03: Chris Brown, Juelz San-
tana, and Gotti @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
04: Bobby Creekwater
and crew @ Greg Street’s
sneaker show (Atlanta, GA)
05: Barnard, Jock
Smoove, and Young Jeezy
@ Plush (Jacksonville, FL)
06: Akon, Slim Thug,
and T-Pain @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
07: Small Soldier, DSR,
Big Bink, and DJ Princess
Cut (Dallas, TX)
08: Tony Neal and Uncle
Luke on South Beach
(Miami, FL)
09: Jim Jones @ the
premiere of Mission Impos-
sible 3 (NYC)
10: Bu and Mike Blumstein
@ Springfest (Miami, FL)
11: DJ GT and Tye Dash
@ Mansion (Miami, FL)
12: Baby and Malik Abdul
@ Blue Room for Treal &
Smilez & Southstar’s video
wrap party (Orlando, FL)
13: Mami Chula and DJ
Nabs @ Springfest (Miami,
FL)
14: Bun B and the Mddlf-
ngz @ Springfest (Miami,
FL)
15: Greg G, Trevor, Syton-
nia, and J-Deezy @ Blue
Room (Orlando, FL)
16: Gotti, Mami Chula, and
Youngface @ Suite (Miami,
FL)
17: Monoply Records @
Kentucky Derby (Louisville,
KY
18: Soon Boy, Miss T,
Crystal, and friends reppin’
OZONE (College Station,
TX)
19: Bigga Rankin and
Haitian Fresh @ Plush
(Jacksonville, FL)
20: DJ Mars and Big Cac
@ Greg Street’s sneaker
show (Atlanta, GA)

Photos: Edward Hall (07);


General (09); Jesse Jazz (02);
Julia Beverly (03,06,08,10,11,
13,14,16); Keadron Smith (01);
Malik Abdul (05,12,15,17,19);
Maurice Garland (04,20); Nikki
Kancey (18)

OZONE 19
mathematics by Wendy Day

How To Get A Record Deal was able to say he had Dr Dre producing for him again. He was ex-
panding his awareness into mainstream America by appearing in a
This is the question I am asked most frequently full-length motion picture in 2001, and he had an autobiography out
by people who don’t know me. Those who do at the time in bookstores called Tha Doggfather, which got great re-
know me ask how they can sell more records views. That’s the way to maximize opportunity. A more recent example
on their own, not how can they get into a slave would be T.I., who dropped a new CD and starred in a new movie that
contract and become a sharecropper. But for released in the same week.
those who don’t want to do for self, I will at-
tempt to break it down from my vantage point. A newer artist might reduce the perceived risk for a label by having
access to well-known, successful producers or by bringing a hit single
Let me preface this by saying that I AM talking about a rap record with a superstar producer. This affiliation is one that the label would
deal with a reputable record label that has a track record and that has see as reducing their risk at radio. Radio is overcrowded and expen-
experienced some success in the rap music industry through selling sive these days, so having a Jazze Pha or Cool & Dre track goes a
records. I’m NOT talking about the bogus labels that spring up daily long way for recognition with radio. Labels like this.
all over the country with a business card printed last night at Kinko’s
that says they are a record label. Real legitimate record labels have a These are all proven ways to get the little “extras” in a record deal.
staff. They have proper financing to market and promote their releases Those extras could include more upfront money, more points on the
after they record them, and they have experience and connections in back end, a better “stat rate,” less stuff to recoup, etc. Upfront money
the music industry with radio, retail, and promoters. The bogus labels is a double edge sword because upfront money is recoupable, there-
should be avoided at all cost until they have a proven track record, as fore it is just more debt. You want to get upfront money for several rea-
most of them can’t even do as much for an artist as the artist can do sons. One, you can invest in something that will bring in more money
for him or herself. (a studio or real estate). Also, if you’re in debt wtih the label, it will
force them to make you a priority and work harder on your project to
I see three ways to get a record deal (that you’d want to have): get their money back.

1. Get put on by an established artist (but bear in mind that you may If you have a deal with a reputable label and you are confident that you
only be as successful as that artist. It’s rare that someone puts you on are a priority, you may want to reduce the front end advance in favor
and you blow up larger than they are). With any luck, the artist who of a larger split on the back end. With Trick-Trick’s deal at Motown, he
puts you on is fair and doesn’t do to you what was done to him when took less money upfront in order to get 40% to 50% on the back end.
he was coming up. Trick had a slam dunk single with Eminem called “Welcome 2 Detroit”
and had already shot a tight video for it. He had a follow-up single with
2. Create a buzz. In a perfect world, you want everyone in the industry Jazze Pha. Most joint venture deals don’t work financially in the artist’s
and on the streets talking about you before you get signed. Young benefit because there is often a production company in the middle
Buck was a perfect example of an underground artist who had a very collecting the money. Trick co-owned the production company, further
strong buzz. The trick is to keep it going until you get signed and then reducing the risk for Motown to do business with him.
turn it up a notch until you’re going to drop. 50 Cent is a great example
of someone who kept up the buzz. When I negotiate a deal, there are times where I secure money upfront
for the artist that will be dumped back into the artist’s project because
3. Sell units. This is, of course, my favorite method because it proves I know the label won’t. For example, in almost every deal I’ve ever ne-
to the labels you can sell, which reduces their risk and gives you nego- gotiated with a major label, I’ve gotten between $25,000 and $75,000
tiating leverage. Therefore, you have more control over the “fairness” for the artist to hire his own street team to work his project. Most of the
of your deal and often a choice of labels with whom to sign. In a perfect radio-driven majors don’t understand the importance of building the
world, you want to be with a label that not only believes in you but has artist on the streets first, so very often the artist has to do this for self.
an experienced, hard-working staff in every department that can really This fund is never recoupable. An artist shouldn’t be taxed for an area
make your project happen. And a nice bidding war never hurts… where the label is weak, nor should the artist be taxed for something
that falls under marketing of the record, like a street team. But in order
The average record deal for a new artist starts around $125,000 and 12 to negotiate something like this, the artist must have something that
or 13 points (which really means 12 to 13 percent of the retail selling the label deems worthy enough as leverage.
price after you pay back all the expenses) for an independent label or
a subsidiary label, and $300,000 and 16 points at a major label. There You shouldn’t take just any old record deal. You should have a deal
are far more indie labels and sub-labels than there are major labels, so with as many extras to guarantee your success as the label gets to
it is obviously more difficult to get signed directly to a major label. The guarantee your profitability to them. You are taking a risk with the label
plus of being directly with a major label is that there is no middleman. as well, but they’ll never see that. They always only see their risk.
Dr Dre’s label Aftermath is directly with Interscope, which is a major
label. Eminem’s Shady Records is signed to Aftermath which is signed Always go into your deal with the attitude that the label is your partner
to Interscope. 50 Cent is signed to Shady via Aftermath at Interscope. (even if you never make a dime, because it is YOUR career). If they
That’s a lot of hands for money to pass through, even figuratively. drop the ball, you should be able to pick up the ball and run with it.
They have many artists on their label, but you only have one career.
Most money spent to sign and promote an artist is recoupable. “Re- Bear in mind that the REAL hard work begins after you get a deal.
coup” means paying back most of the expenses before you receive
any back end payments (points are back end payments). I can count You set the tone with your label. If the label has 3 artists, and 2 are lazy
on one hand the number of rappers I know who’ve ever even seen a and never show up to stuff that they set up but one is hardworking and
back end payment such as a royalty check. Most rappers make mon- arrives on time for everything - guess which artist will get the best push
ey by getting advances prior to working on the next release, always in regardless of their level of talent? Human beings work at record labels,
an unrecouped position of owing money to their label. and it is human nature to work whatever causes the least resistance
and least stress. This is a business. Learn as much as you can before
The way to increase the figures in any deal in favor of an artist is for the getting into the industry. Ask as many questions as you can to people
label to realize that their risk is reduced. A label takes a risk when sign- who are successful and legitimate, and have a really good entertain-
ing any new artist. This risk means that the label could dump hundreds ment attorney on your team. A successful team and a little bit of luck
of thousands or even millions of dollars into an artist’s career and the are the true secrets to success in this industry. If all you want to do
artist might only sell 10,000 records. In this case, the label loses a lot is just make music, PLEASE find someone with some real business
of money, but anything that can reduce that risk is rewarded. savvy to add to your team or you’ll see the ugly side of this business.
It’s a wicked game of pimps and hoes, adn you won’t be the pimp.
This even applies to established artists. For example, when Snoop
Dogg was shopping for his new deal after Priority five years ago, he - Wendy Day of Rap Coalition (www.wendyday.com)

20 OZONE
01: Ray Cash and
T-Pain @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
02: Too $hort, White Dawg,
and DJ Blackdragon @
The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s
(Tallahassee, FL)
03: Uncle Luke and Bulldog
on South Beach (Miami, FL)
04: Slim Thug with the 99
Jamz morning crew Supa
Cindy, Big Lip Bandit, and
Benji Brown @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
05: Coota Bang, Archie
Lee, DJ Quote, and Mi-
chael Watts (Houston, TX)
06: Stone and UTP reppin’
OZONE @ Clark’s (Vegas,
MS)
07: Street Runner and K-
Foxx @ Springfest (Miami,
FL)
08: Mannish and Kadife
Sylvester @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
09: Yo Gotti, adn Mr. Fugi
(Memphis, TN)
10: Jock Smoove and
Barnard @ Plush (Jack-
sonville, FL)
11: T-City promotions on
the set of Juvenile’s video
(Houston, TX)
12: Paul Wall and Brandi
Garcia @ DJ Drama’s
birthday party (Houston,
TX)
13: DJ Q45 and T-Smiley
@ Plush (Jacksonville, FL)
14: Alex Gidewon and
Diddy @ Mansion (Miami,
FL)
15: Monie Love and Chris
Brown @ Springfest (Mi-
ami, FL)
16: Twisted Black and
friends (Dallas, TX)
17: BloodRaw, Young
Jeezy, and Slick Pulla @
Club Suite (Miami, FL)
18: OZONE @ the Ken-
tucky Derby (Louisville,
KY)
19: Supa, Tony C, and
friends @ Tropical Magic
(Orlando, FL)
20: Bootcamp Click rep-
pin’ OZONE (NYC)
21: DJ Drop, DJ G-Rock,
Big Chief, Steve Austin,
Big Bink, and Money Wa-
ters (Dallas, TX)

Photos: DJ Quote (05);


Edward Hall (21); Julia Beverly
(01,03,04,07,08,14,15,17,19);
Keadron Smith (11,12); Kool
Laid (06,09); Malik Abdul
(10,13,18); Matt Sonzala (16);
Shoeb Malik (02); Swift (20)

OZONE 21
chincheck by Charlamagne The God

W
hy do we put all these 15-minute-of-fame chicks up on a pedestal? I’m talking about these video chicks
who might be hot for the moment (ie. Buffy the NOBODY), reality show chicks who’s time in the spotlight
will be very brief (ie. HO-oopz, as in “oopz, the little bit of shine I am getting is a mistake, I didn’t know this
was a reality show I thought Flavor of Love was a taste test for Valentine’s Day candy”).

I don’t understand why the hip-hop community gets caught up in the hype over these females who obviously have
no talent, skills, or anything to take them to the next level of life or to assist them with - other than posing half naked
in every major hip-hop publication. How many times will the general public pay to see that? That even eventually
runs its course. I feel sorry for these chicks that have nothing to do other than to host parties. It’s sad because for
a month or so the phone can’t stop ringing, then the calls slowly stop coming - that’s because the clock that says
fame is on 14 minutes and 30 seconds!

That’s right ladies, time is almost up, and most of these chicks have the audacity to act like they really got it go-
ing on! They have the audacity to act like they’re really hot! Walking in parties with security like your name is
Condoleeza Rice or Oprah fucking Winfrey, catching attitudes, throwing tantrums, acting like you’re better than
everybody. Who do these chicks think they are? You’re not leading the underground railroad like Harriet Tubman.
You’re not sitting down on a bus refusing to move and actually making a stand for your people like Rosa Parks.

Whenever I see these chicks I hear Craig Mack’s voice in my head saying, “YOU WON’T BE AROUND NEXT
YEAR!” I heard HO-oopz is quite the industry whore. Allen Iverson, T.I., I mean, do I believe the rumors? YES! I don’t put nothing past a chick who
participated on a reality show to win a date with Flava Flav. Public Enemy is one of the best hip-hop groups of all time, but Flava Flav? That says
a lot about the breed of chick we are dealing with.

Some people are just thirsty for fame and will do anything to keep that little bit of shine. A grimy little redbone like HO-oopz might poke a hole in
the condom, or while you’re pissy drunk high off that kush at 4 o’clock in the morning treating her like the breakfast she is (that’s right, breakfast
is something to do early in the morning after the club closes) the little hoodrat might just rip the condom off in the heat of the moment and tell you
she wants to feel it. And please don’t put the old turkey baster trick past HO-oopz. After sex she will grab that turkey baster, suck the cum out of
a condom, warm the skeet up in the microwave, and shoot it right back in that fame hungry, money hungry cat trap of hers.

My dudes, don’t get caught up. Don’t be fooled. The only difference between HO-oopz and pretty redbone Shaquita from the projects is 13 epi-
sodes of Flavor of Love, a few spreads in some magazines, and a few fake myspace pages. Honestly, a ho is a ho in any environment! It doesn’t
matter if she’s broke in the projects or a special invited guest at a celebrity party; a whore is a whore and she should be treated as such until she
grows out of whorehood into full-fledged black womanhood.

HO-oopz recently did a interview where she disrespected


the Queen of all Media my radio aunt Wendy Williams. She
said that Queen Wendy keeps her name in her mouth 23-7
and then said that there’s only 2 hours out of the day she’s
not speaking her name. This is not a typo: HO-oopz said
23-7 only 2 hours out of the day Wendy’s not speaking her
name, and the poor young lady thinks there’s 25 hours in
a day!

Now do you see why these misguided chicks shouldn’t be


put on a pedestal? Go put your head in a book and get your
head out of that rappers lap! Wipe the cum off your cheeks
and have some respect for yourself, HO-oopz, your 15 min-
utes of fame is counting down fast! You should be utilizing
this time to the utmost. You’re a pretty young lady - go out
there and try to get in some print ads for some clothes, try to
get a bit part in a movie (the camera set up in a rapper’s bed-
room while you’re getting banged out from the back doesn’t
count), do something productive!

Your reality show days are over because you blew the spot
on Flavor of Love, told everybody it was fake, and they start-
ed casting for the 2nd season before the first was over. Your
a producer’s worst nightmare. These white people don’t
need you messing up their money just cause you like to run
your mouth to any media outlet that will listen. That’s the
problem: your mouth. When it’s not being ran to the media,
it’s wrapped around some rapper or athlete’s cock or in the
middle of some chicks vagina (yeah, I heard those stories
too).

HO-oopz, please don’t get offended. Everybody in the coun-


try saw you put your tongue in Flava Flav’s mouth, so if
somebody told me you put your tongue in a pitbull’s ass, I
wouldn’t be surprised.

Sincerely Gangsta,
Charlamagne Tha God

- If you would like to tell Charlamagne The God that he is


an idiot, email him at cthagod@gmail.com.

22 OZONE
01: Citty, Young Cash,
and T-Pain @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
02: Paul Wall, Beenie Man,
and Sean Paul @ Spring-
fest (Miami, FL)
03: Sleepy Brown and Latin
Prince @ Springfest (Miami,
FL)
04: Project Pat and Juicy J
@ Tropical Magic (Orlando,
FL)
05: Hutch, DJ Dap, DJ Lil
Boy, DJ KD, Ed the World
Famous, and J Blaze @
Blazin’ 102.3’s pool party
(Tallahassee, FL)
06: Southstar, DJ Greg G,
DJ Hankadon, and Tony @
Blue Room (Orlando, FL)
07: Money Waters and
Twisted Black (Dallas, TX)
08: DJ Nabs and Mel
Testamark @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
09: Christina Milian and
DJ Ren on the set of Dre’s
“Chevys Ridin’ High”
(Miami, FL)
10: Emperor Searcy and
Kadife Sylvester @ Club
Suite (Miami, FL)
11: Serena Williams @
Kentucky Derby (Louisville,
KY)
12: Shareefa and Malik
Abdul @ DTP Press Junket
(NYC)
13: Blofly and George
Lopez (Dallas, TX)
14: Juvenile and Boom-
town on the set of his new
video (Houston, TX)
15: Dolla Boy, Lil Fate, and
Titi Boy @ Visions for DJ
Drama’s birthday party
(Atlanta, GA)
16: Greg “True Champ”
Davis (New Orleans, LA)
17: DJ Khaled and Diddy
@ Mansion (Miami, FL)
18: DJ Slikk, guest, and
Marlei Mar @ KYMP Re-
cord Pool (Louisville, KY)
19: Ladies reppin’ OZONE
@ Blue Room (Orlando,
FL)
20: Smackabatch, Tony B,
and Kamikaze @ the SEAs
(Tunica, MS)
21: DJ Jamad, Kid Kaos,
and guest @ Greg Street’s
sneaker show (Atlanta,
GA)

Photos: DJ Dap (05); DJ Ren


(09); Edward Hall (07); Julia
Beverly (01,02,03,04,08,10,17);
Keadron Smith (14); Malik Ab-
dul (06,11,12,18,19); Marcus
DeWayne (16); Matt Sonzala
(13); Maurice Garland (15,21);
Ms Rivercity (20)

OZONE 23
industry101

Kawan “KP” Prather days?


I always felt like they were huge successes because they were the first
Executive VP of Sony Urban / Head A&R records of their kinds, they opened people’s eyes. I’m Serious sold
5,000 for 70 weeks, that’s consistency and that’s good. That album

I
f you’re a true music junkie who reads came out the same week as Petey Pablo and Bubba Sparxxx. Those
album credits and liner notes religiously, albums sold more in the first week, but I’m Serious kept selling. That
you’ve already seen Kawan “KP” Prather’s solidified T.I. as an artist in my opinion.
name. Formerly one-third of Atlanta hip-hop
pioneers P.A., KP has become one of the most Speaking of him, since you were over the project, did you play a
successful A&Rs of his generation. During part in creating the whole “King of the South” thing?
his tenure at LaFace he launched the careers He said it one day and I was like, “If you believe it, say it loud.” If you
of the Youngbloodz and T.I. He also served as play small you will be small. I encouraged it, but it’s something he
A&R for all of Outkast’s albums leading up to Stankonia as well came up with. At the time it caused some noise, but we all think we
as albums from Goodie Mob, TLC, Pink and Usher. Now with his the king of something. Other people that carried themselves like kings
position at Sony, he is the man responsible for signing the likes didn’t get offended by it.
of Ray Cash and John Legend. His list of accomplishments goes
on for days, so take his advice and Google him to find out more. Talk about the transition from LaFace to Sony.
The transition from LaFace was cool. I learned from L.A., he was like
Give us a brief background on yourself. my industry father. But I had to pack up and move out. It was never
I was born in Atlanta, Vine City to be exact. My love for music started bad blood. I just felt, at the time, I had done all I could do under him.
as a DJ. When I got in high school I met some guys, Mello and Big We made money and history and but it was his. He was supportive of
Reese, and we came together and became P.A. After that we were my decision and we still talk at least once a month.
introduced to Rico Wade, Pat (Sleepy Brown) and Ray Murray, who
the world knows as Organized Noize. We all pooled our equipment What was the biggest challenge you faced?
together and formed the Dungeon Family. The biggest challenge was getting respect. Everything I did prior to
joining Sony was credited to L.A. I never did any press or appearances
The first P.A. album Ghetto Street Funk came out under Pebbles’ because I was so concentrated on the music, so people didn’t know
label, Saavy. That was in the early 90s and we didn’t get another what I was doing. It wasn’t hard because I got to make what I wanted
P.A. album until 1998. What were you doing in the meantime? to make. I got to bring in the John Legends and Ray Cashs.
The whole time we was making records. Before L.A. Reid and Pebbles,
all of us in the Dungeon, we was making records and doing everything Cleveland has been severely under the radar since Bone’s hey-
else, but we didn’t know of the titles that come with the record indus- day. How did you find Ray Cash, and as an A&R how does one
try. We didn’t know what an A&R was or who a promotions rep or any keep their eye out for talent?
of the other behind the scenes people were. But we was doing all of I don’t think it’s a formula but you gotta stay open and never think it’s
these things. In our crew, you would call me the A&R. I was picking en- about you. I met Ray Cash through his manager. I met his manager at
gineers and matching producers and artist and other people together. Office Depot when me and T.I. was out looking at telephones. He said
When we got around L.A. and Pebbles, I was still in the group but I he had a CD, I heard it and loved it. I flew him to New York after that
was running into a lot of people and introducing them to L.A. When we and got it done. But as an A&R I can’t think it’s about me. I can use my
was doing the Straight No Chase album, L.A. told me I should come resources to make things happen, but it’s about the music first. If the
to the other side of the business. So I became a consultant at LaFace music ain’t hot, we don’t have nothing.
and was assigned to work on Usher’s My Way album. They had him in
NYC with Puff. It was my idea to pair him with Jermaine Dupri, since we How did you find John Legend?
already knew him and Usher is a Southern cat. John Legend came through a relationship I had with John Monopoly.
About three people were working his project, trying to get him in the
The results were obviously good. What did that experience teach door. When I heard him I went ahead and made it happen. The album
you? Did it make you decide to be on that side of the game? he put out, Get Lifted, was already done by the time I signed him,
Absolutely. The Usher album showed me there was another side to except for “Ordinary People.” Being an A&R doesn’t always mean you
the game other than being an artist and that you could be very great at have to make a bunch of records. Sometimes you gotta fall back and
something. As a member of P.A. we were great producers but we was just let an artist do them.
cool artists. Unlike Outkast who are both. People loved our songs, so
I took what I was as a producer and artist and became somewhat of a How do you determine when to step in and when to fall back?
coach. That’s pretty much what an A&R is, a coach. When an artist is good but not working to their full potential, you gotta
give them a push. You’ve gotta make them see what they can do if
After your success at LaFace, you decided to they put their mind to it. You fall back with an art-
start your own label Ghett-O-Vision with the ist like ‘Kast, and watch the magic unfold in front of
Youngbloodz and T.I. Why take that risk after your eyes. Same thing with John Legend.
working with established artists like Usher, Out-
kast and TLC? Do you agree that DJs are the best A&Rs?
At LaFace there was a high brow image, very pol- I think it’s a place for everything. What I do isn’t con-
ished and clean cut. There was a voice being un- tingent on freestyles and mixtapes. Everybody’s got
heard, people like me that weren’t very socially con- a mixtape now. Literally, the DJs are pushing crack.
scious. We weren’t dumb, but still had something to But I am a truest. I have to really love it. If it’s peo-
say. I felt that gritty artists had to have a place. So I ple getting money, I don’t knock it. But I don’t buy
did Ghett-O-Vision. The name symbolized that were into the whole notion that you have to be hot in the
from the streets, but we weren’t just plain stupid ei- streets in order to get a deal or get fans. I believe
ther, we had a vision. I chose the Youngbloodz be- that you have to be hot first.
cause they were fun; they represented the South’s
club scene. As for T.I., he was a great lyricist. He What advice do you have for people looking to be
was like ‘Pac, an uncontrollable dude that was gon- in the industry?
na do what he wanted and say what he wanted. Focus on what you would do for free and the things
that come natural to you. I know people who are
Looking back, do you consider the Against The great in promotions, but want to be an A&R because
Grain and I’m Serious records to be huge suc- the job seems sexier. I would love to see people stop
cesses, even though they didn’t do the astro- following trends and just do them.
nomical numbers that people harp on these
- Maurice G. Garland

24 OZONE
01: Sean Paul and
Beenie Man @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
02: Bryan Jahoda, Young
Stally, and Big L @ Club
Kies (Indianapolis, IN)
03: Deja, Brooke Valentine,
and TV Johnny @ Sharp-
stown Mall (Houston, TX)
04: Kentucky Music Pool
meeting during Kentucky
Derby (Louisville, KY)
05: Citty and Slim Thug @
Springfest (Miami, FL)
06: DJ Black and friends
@ Club Suite (Miami, FL)
07: B.G. and DJ Hektik
(New Orleans, LA)
08: Poe Man and Peezee
(Dallas, TX)
09: Baby and DJ Chino @
WJHM (Orlando, FL)
10: BloodRaw and Smoke
of Field Mob @ Club Suite
(Miami, FL)
11: Moss B and Gangsta
Boo @ DJ Drama’s birth-
day party (Atlanta, GA)
12: Rick Ross and Dylan
@ Springfest (Miami, FL)
13: M-Geezy and
Paris Jontae @ Club Plush
(Jacksonville, FL)
14: Keyshia Cole and DJ
Jesse Jazz @ House of
Blues (Orlando, FL)
15: George Dukes, Bun B,
and Big Teach @ Spring-
fest (Miami, FL)
16: Gu and Paul Wall @
DJ Drama’s birthday party
(Houston, TX)
17: Kawan Prather, guest,
Ray Cash, and Latin Prince
@ Springfest (Miami, FL)
18: Big Chief and Twisted
Black (Dallas, TX)
19: Amir Boyd and
Killer Mike @ Greg Street’s
sneaker show (Atlanta,
GA)
20: The Replacementz @
DJ Drama’s birthday party
(Atlanta, GA)
21: Cheri Dennis and DJ
Mars @ Mansion (Miami,
FL)

Photos: Bright Star (09);


Edward Hall (08,18);
Jesse Jazz (14); Julia Beverly
(01,05,06,10,12,15,17,21);
Keadron Smith (03,16); Malik
Abdul (02,04,13); Marcus De-
Wayne (07); Maurice Garland
(11,19,20)

OZONE 25
djprofile
DJ Black (Indianapolis, IN) under Three 6 Mafia’s label.

Y
ou’re famous for your “dragged & So what exactly is your affiliation with Three 6 Mafia?
chopped” mixtapes. What’s the dif- I’m the official DJ for Hypnotized Mindz. I have a marketing company
ference between dragged & chopped and street team as well, and our clients include David Banner, DSR,
and Screwed & chopped? Atlantic Records, Swishahouse, and a whole bunch of other labels.
There’s no difference. It’s out of respect for the original Screwed Up And when I say “marketing,” it’s not just hanging up posters and shit.
Click and DJ Screw, R.I.P. You can’t call it chopped & Screwed if you’re It’s vehicle wraps, full-fledged promotions, the whole nine. Also in the
not DJ Screw. I know he probably wishes that before he died he had works, hopefully I’ll be the official DJ for the 2006 low rider tour.
trademarked the name so nobody else could use it. No disrespect to
Michael Watts and OG Ron C, but it is what it is. On the Southside of Are there any other camps you’re affiliated with?
Texas if you say “Screwed & chopped,” they don’t respect you. You I’m down with the Hittmenn DJs.
gotta call it something else. I’ve been jamming Screw since day one
before it got commercial. I got all 156 chapters, and I’m from the Mid- What is the biggest mistake that you’ve seen indie artists make
west. I’m real with it, I got it tattooed on my stomach. that hurts their career?
The biggest problem I see is just flat-out lack of promotions. I feel like
How were you exposed to Screw’s music? you should put money into your project. They go in the studio and lay
A DJ named DJ Gu up here in Indianapolis was doing it since around a hard track down, but don’t package it right. I’ve been in retail since
the same time as Screw. He was realy heavy on the underground 1999, when I was 19 years old. One thing I’ve learned is that when they
scene, bangin’ out slowed down tapes, and I was a little guy like 13, bring music in there and don’t put no promotion behind it, they just
14, 15. I just been a slow head ever since. I don’t do shit fast. I don’t sit in the stores. They think it’s gonna sell but it just collects dust and I
even do parties unless it’s dragged up. I’m just stayin’ real with what never hear from them again. It’s lack of promotions. You’ve got to put
I got love for. time and money into your project. When I come out with a mixtape,
I’ve got four wrapped vehicles and I promote my mixtape like it’s an
Do you have to be fucked up to appreciate slowed down music? album. That’s how I hustled my way to where I’m at now.
Naw, that’s bullshit. To me, music just sounds better slowed down. I
can’t listen to the radio cause that shit sounds like the Chipmunks or Would you like to give out any contact info?
something. That’s just the perception, but it’s not true. You’ve always Check out www.draggedup.net or myspace.com/thekingofdrag. You
got your haters. But don’t get me wrong, it does sound better when can call me to get chopped up, not slopped up, like the great OG Ron
you’re feeling good off every drug in the book. But in Indianapolis I C would say – 901-428-4BLK.
have a record store that’s 90% dragged & chopped, and I have all
types of customers – females, males, from 15 all the way up to 60, and - Julia Beverly (Photo: William Pride)
they all buyin’ dragged up.

What’s the difference between a DJ Screw tape and other slowed


down tapes?
I don’t think nobody can imitate DJ Screw, just because of the way he
went live on his records and how he recorded his sounds. The bass
hits a certain way. It’s a special feeling you get when you listen to DJ
Screw and you hear everybody that’s hot right now – Lil Keke, Lil Flip,
Pimp C, Bun B and Hawk – and you hear them all just talking on a little
microphone, and you hear the feedback. You hear all that in a Screw
tape. I don’t think nobody can imitate that. Watts is on top of the game
right now, and I gotta give props to him cause I can’t keep up with him.
He’s always doing some different tricks. He’s the man right now. OG
Ron C is next, and DJ Black does have next after that.

What’s the music scene like in Indianapolis?


It’s more than corn in Indianapolis. People just think of the Indie 500
up here, but really it’s an open market. We have a group up here that
just got signed called 625 Entertainment. I think Jim E Mac is the next
big thing about to get signed out of Indianapolis. You’ve got a lot of
locals trying to do their thing, but they don’t wanna put no money
into their project. They half-ass the covers and put their music on a
burnt CD-R instead of packaging it professionally. But Indianapolis is
on the rise as far as the music scene is concerned. We’re the last in
the Midwest, but I’m here to save that. I’m reppin’ for the corn state til
the day I die. Indianapolis is an open market. We’re Midwest country
boys, that’s how I put it. If you go up to Chicago it’s like the East coast.
But in Indianapolis you’re gonna see the same thing you see in Miami
and Jakcsonville and Houston and Atlanta – we poppin’ trunks, ridin’
big rims – that’s that South feeling. Every artist who comes here says
that. It’s an untapped market here in Indianapolis, and it’s so open.
Artists need to quit going from Chicago straight to Cleveland and skip-
ping over Indianapolis. Ask Lil Flip, David Banner, Swishahouse, Mr.
Bigg, and Lil Boosie – they will all cosign for me, cause I had them
niggas doing shows up here for $6k, $10k, $15k before they were even
signed. It’s an open market, especially for the South and the West
coast. Tell ‘em to holla at me.

What else do you have goin’ on?


I have a SoundScan retail store. I don’t fuck with the clubs unless they
wanna drag it out one night. I fuck with the radio on holiday week-
ends. I DJ for Lil Wyte, Frayser Boy, Boogie Man, Grandaddy Souf,
The Last Mr. Bigg, and Chrome. They’re all Hypnotized Mindz artists

26 OZONE
01: Juelz Santana, Slim
Thug, and Jim Jones @
Springfest (Miami, FL)
02: Face, K-Mutie, and
D Map @ Greg Street’s
sneaker show (Atlanta,
GA)
03: Steve Austin and Ed-
ward “Pookie” Hall (Dallas,
TX)
04: Raul and DJ Khaled @
Mansion (Miami, FL)
05: The Clipse and Big
Earl (Orlando, FL)
06: DJ Niro, Mr. Blakes,
PicNic, Headkrack, Tony
C, and PayDay @ Gypsy
Tea Room (Dallas, TX)
07: Street Dogg, Rick
Ross, and Brisco @
Springfest (Miami, FL)
08: Dre and Christina Mil-
ian @ Springfest (Miami,
FL)
09: DJ Greg G and D-
Strong @ Icon (Orlando,
FL)
10: G-Dash and Lil Keke @
DJ Drama’s birthday party
(Houston, TX)
11: Rick Ross and DJ
Demp @ Baja’s for Blazin’
102.3 birthday kickoff (Tal-
lahassee, FL)
12: Freestyle Steve and
Young Jeezy @ Club Suite
(Miami, FL)
13: Shane and Bigga
Rankin of Cool Runnings
@ Club Plush for Young
Jeezy concert (Jackson-
ville, FL)
14: LeToya Luckett and
Latin Prince @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
15: Kid Capri and Too
$hort @ Suite (Miami, FL)
16: Kanye West and Tom
Cruise @ Mission Impos-
sible 3 premiere (NYC)
17: Pimp C in the studio
(Port Arthur, TX)
18: Headkrack and crew
on the set of OZONE’s
Dallas photo shoot (Dallas,
TX)
19: Barnard and Young
Jeezy @ Club Venue
(Gainesville, FL)
20: Guest, Gaby Acevedo,
and Chino @ Blue Room
(Orlando, FL)
21: DurteRed and Dela
Candela on the set of
Dre’s “Chevys Ridin’ High”
(Miami, FL)

Photos: Big Earl (05); DJ Dap


(11); DJ Ren (21); Edward Hall
(03,18); General (16); Greg
G (09); Jaro Vacek (17); Julia
Beverly (01,04,07,08,12,14,15);
Keadron Smith (10); Malik
Abdul (13,19,20); Maurice
Garland (02); Repo (06)

OZONE 27
28 OZONE
01: Diddy and Ump @
Mansion (Miami, FL)
02: Dallas Austin and Greg
Street with a lucky fan
@ Greg Street’s sneaker
show (Atlanta, GA)
03: Serena Williams gets a
little tipsy @ the Kentucky
Derby (Louisville, KY)
04: Jock Smoove and crew
@ Club Plush (Jackson-
ville, FL)
05: Blak, Yung Joc, and
DJ Dap @ Jam TV during
Blazin’ 102.3’s birthday
week (Tallahassee, FL)
06: DJ Sosa and Ra-
sheeda @ V103 (Atlanta,
GA)
07: Clinton Sparks and
Slim Thug @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
08: Kinfolk Nakia Shine
and Bun B @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
09: Big Bud and crew @
Venue (Gainesville, FL)
10: T.I. and his publicist
Sydney Margetson (NYC)
11: Stally and a friend @
Club Kies (Indianapolis,
IN)
12: KC and a friend @
Blue Room (Orlando, FL)
13: Choppa and True
Champ (New Orleans, LA)
14: Malik Abdul and
Reams @ Blue Room
(Orlando, FL)
15: Chevys ridin’ high
on the set of Dre and
Dirtbag’s video (Miami, FL)
16: Benny Boom and
Brooke Valentine on
the set of her new video
(Houston, TX)
17: HeadKrack, DJ G-
Rock, and Play & Skillz
(Dallas, TX)
18: Juggi, Yung Joc,
Shawt and Young A of
Akright Records (New
Orleans, LA)
19: DJ Infamous, Field
Mob, Jeff Dixon, and Too
$hort @ Club Suite (Miami,
FL)
20: Big Teach and Smitty
@ Springfest (Miami, FL)
21: Trini and George
Lopez (Dallas, TX)

Photos: DJ Dap (05); DJ Ren


(15); DJ Sosa (06); Edward
Hall (17,21); General (10); Julia
Beverly (01,07,08,09,19,20);
Keadron Smith (16); Malik
Abdul (03,04,11,12,14); Mar-
cus Jethro (13,18); Maurice
Garland (02)

OZONE 29
q&a

Dre (Miami, FL)

Y
ou actually got started singing in an R&B group, right? You’re
also a producer now, but you’re getting ready to drop an al-
bum of your own. Is it a rap album, or R&B?
It’s a rap album, but I do have an R&B joint on there. A lot of people like
Fat Joe, Puff Daddy, Timbaland, Cool, Busta Rhymes, and DJ Khaled
were telling me to put an album out.

So when you started out rapping were you playing around?


I’ve always been freestyling and whenever I was in the studio with
people I’d give them direction. I’d rhyme for them and give them di-
rection and then Busta Rhymes was like, “Yo, you dope, you should
rhyme,” and then Joe Crack was like, “Yo, you need to rap,” and that’s
how I got it. You can never limit yourself.

When you first got your label deal for Epidemic/Jive, wasn’t Dirt- Since it is a tough business, why is it that so many people are
bag supposed to be your first release? trying to get in?
Yeah, we’ve been trying to get that Dirtbag situation straight for the They see the end and the success stories, and those are great. When
past two and a half years. But Jive hasn’t fared well with their rap de- you see T.I. and Jay Z and they’re so successful and they win, and
partment, so we all felt that if I put out an album it would brand Epi- the spoils of that are money, beautiful women, big houses, and big
demic and make an easier lane for Dirtbag to drop his shit. Basically, cars, who wouldn’t want to get into the business? I’ve been fortunate
I’ve been changing how Jive conducts business on their rap side. enough to enjoy the success of being a successful producer.
People know who I am already, so it’s easier.
Is the money better as a rapper or a producer?
So you’re able to call in a lot of favors. When you’re a successful producer it’s great money, and when you’re
Yeah, all of that. It’s just easier because people know my face, and I a great rapper it’s great money. There’s money to be made on both
have relationships in the industry. angles. Rappers make money doing shows, but as a producer you
can’t make money doing shows. It depends on where your heart is.
A lot of people know that you, and your partner Cool, produced Then you have your Kanye Wests and Dr. Dres who are behind the
Ja Rule’s “New York” record. What are some other songs you’ve board and in the booth.
produced?
“Hate It Or Love It” for Game and 50 Cent, “Rodeo” for Juvenile, “Say Is that your ultimate goal?
I” for Christina Milian and Young Jeezy, “Holla At Me Baby” for DJ Yeah. Me and Cool want to brand Epidemic and have artists come to us
Khaled, and a lot of album cuts. and become successful rappers like Dre did with Aftermath. We want a
movement for people to succeed; new and upcoming rappers.
Since you’re affiliated with Fat Joe, did producing the “Hate It Or
Love It” record with 50 Cent put you in the middle of their situa- Are you and Cool sort of like the Miami version of the Neptunes,
tion at all? where you’re Pharrell – dropping verses and doing cameos – and
Naw, cause we did that record for Game, not for 50 Cent. We did that Cool is more behind-the-scenes like Chad?
record prior to any friction. That was the third single off Game’s album. I don’t know Pharrell and Chad’s relationship. Me and Cool are super
What was crazy about it was that we had produced the “New York” close. I’ve know his wife for longer than he’s know her. Me and Cool
record that had kinda set off [the 50 Cent and Fat Joe beef] in the first are family, we’re like brothers. Cool likes being in the studio but I’m
place. somewhat forced to be out and about now that I’m promoting an al-
bum. Cool likes to be in the studio and he has a family. I don’t have the
You and Cool seem to steer clear of the beef and drama. responsibilities that he has. I don’t have any children or a wife and I’m
Yeah, God has blessed me and Cool. Me and Cool, we’re about the fairly young still, so I’m out and about. When Cool has an opportunity
music. At the same time, [Fat] Joe is a good friend of mine and I hate not to be in the studio he’s going to be with his family.
when people talk bad about him. But Joe has always led me and Cool
away from that. He always told us it’s about the music, and that’s our What do you see happening for Miami in 2006?
mindset anyways. At the end of the day, if we can create music for Trick Daddy kicked down the door a few years ago but it took us a
people to come together, that’s a good thing. Just the fact that we did minute to run through it. With DJ Khaled and Rick Ross and me all
both those records, and they were both great records, let people know dropping our albums, we all came together to try to help each other
that we don’t get involved with bullshit and that two great records can win. We’ve got Pitbull, who’s an amazing talent. We can’t deny the fact
be made. that Pitbull is a star. He’s no longer someone that’s up and coming. He
made it, so that’s a success story, and he helped pave the way. We’ve
Being that you’re close to Joe, what’s your opinion about some got Smitty, a lot of people coming out of Miami.
of the controversy he’s had with former Terror Squad artists like
Cuban Link? Remy Ma was recently blasting him on the radio. What’s the name of your album?
I don’t know Cuban Link. Me and Cool became cool with Joe after It’s called The Trunk. I got beats from Timbaland, Scott Storch, DJ
all that so I can’t speak on that. As far as the Remy Ma situation, she Khaled, and DJ Toomp, and Cool and I handled the rest of it. My next
was just frustrated and just let herself go on the radio. But it’s love at single is featuring Keyshia Cole and is produced by DJ Khaled. It’s a
the same time. I love Remy Ma, she’s super talented. She wants to phenomenal track. We just finished the video for “Chevys Ridin’ High”
win and has some opinions on why she thought she wasn’t in a good and they shut down the set.
situation, but she was just frustrated. Basically an argument she was
having on the phone spilled over on the radio, but I think she cleared Why The Trunk?
it up. When you’re on the outside you don’t see what’s on the inside. It’s symbolic. Niggas do a lot of kinds of work from the trunk in Mi-
I’ve personally seen Joe try to make things happen for everyone. I’ve ami. Me and Cool did work from the trunk - selling beats by playing
watched him work, it’s just a tough game. I’m going through the same music loud and opening up the trunk to let people hear it. I’m taking
thing with Dirtbag. Sometimes there are just certain circumstances that my album in the trunk and taking it across the country. I’m giving two
you can’t explain, which is why I’m trying to drop a record to brand the Chevys away with my album and the station in Dallas is giving some
label for Dirtbag to have an easier situation. Joe dropped “Lean Back” away. We’re working on an endorsement with Chevy.
on the Terror Squad album when it was supposed to be on his album
so they would come out with hits. Sometimes it’s just unexplainable. - Julia Beverly (Photo: J Lash)

30 OZONE
01: Shawn Jay of Field
Mob and Too $hort @
Club Suite (Miami, FL)
02: Charles Reece, Mes,
Rig, and Boogieman @
OZONE’s Dallas photo
shoot (Dallas, TX)
03: Eye Candy and Storm
@ Blazin’ 102.3 pool party
(Tallahassee, FL)
04: Smilez and Southstar
@ Blue Room (Orlando,
FL)
05: Dap Rugget’s Motown
and Cedric King at Greg
Street’s sneaker show
(Atlanta, GA)
06: Guest and Haitian
Fresh @ Club Waterfalls
(Sebring, FL)
07: Ump, Raul, DJ Khaled,
and Rich @ Mansion
(Miami, FL)
08: Tum Tum (Dallas, TX)
09: Shareefa and Jeff
Dixon @ DTP Press Junket
(NYC)
10: Doug Banks, Rudie
Rush, and DJ Dap @ The
Moon for Blazin’ 102.3
birthday week (Tallahas-
see, FL)
11: Adept @ Blue Room
(Orlando, FL)
12: DJ Hektik and Young
Buck (New Orleans, LA)
13: Jock Smoove giving
away jewelry @ Club
Venue (Gainesville, FL)
14: Monica and Cool on
the set of Dre’s “Chevys
Ridin’ High” (Miami, FL)
15: Monie Love and
Rasheeda @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
16: Treal and Smilez &
Southstar’s video wrap
party @ Blue Room (Or-
lando, FL)
17: Lil Hen and Young
Cash @ Plush (Jackson-
ville, FL)
18: Yung Joc, Juggie and
Baby Boy @ Club Dreams
(New Orleans, LA)
19: Brooke Valentine and
crew (Houston, TX)
20: Mr. Pookie, Mr. Lucci,
Pimpsta, KottonMouth
(Dallas, TX)
21: Brandi Garcia, J-Mac,
and Nnete @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)

Photos: Derrick the Franchise


(12); DJ Dap (03,10); DJ Ren
(14); Edward Hall (02); Julia
Beverly (01,07,15,21); Keadron
Smith (19); Malik Abdul
(04,06,11,13,16,17); Marcus
DeWayne (18); Matt Sonzala
(08,09,20); Maurice Garland
(05)

OZONE 31
q&a

Da Backwudz (Atlanta, GA)

H
ailing from Decatur, Da Backwudz already know what it’s
like to work with the industry’s biggest names. They also
know what it feels like to see their buzz die right before their
eyes. Now with their long-awaited debut Wood Work on shelves,
Sho-Nuff and Big Marc weigh in on how they are working even
harder since the album dropped.

How does it feel to finally see your record in the stores?


Sho-Nuff: It’s been a long time coming, we’ve been doing this since
’97 and we finally getting in the stores. It’s at Best Buy, Tower, Target,
wherever you wanna buy your music. We got Nas, Slim Thug, George
Clinton, Killer Mike, Big Gipp, Bohagon, Sleepy Brown, and a little
Sade on there. We got our boy Caz Clay on the “I Don’t Like the Look
Of It” single and we got Bun B on the remix.
something to sell now.
How much creative control did you have on this album? Sho-Nuff: Like when we in a place and they don’t know what we got.
Big Marc: Dallas [Austin] gives us full creative control, he just comes But after we do a show, they gonna be like, “I gotta go check them
and sprinkles his spice on it. We didn’t have to fight to do songs. It’s out.” It’s word of mouth. If you ain’t in people’s faces you might as
still a business at the end of the day, so a lot of the people that we not record.
wanted to work with we couldn’t quite afford, but we still got to work a
lot of people. Who can say they got George Clinton their record? Months or years down the line, will you be disappointed if you’re
looked at as one of those groups who get labeled “slept-on”?
Well, Blackalicious from Oakland is another rap group that worked Sho-Nuff: Hell, look at Jay-Z, his first album got slept on. A lot of great
with him recently. They didn’t say it was weird, but they said that artists’ first album got slept on and when they got more successful
his methods are interesting. How was your experience with him? people went back and bought the first album. So, naw I wouldn’t be
Big Marc: We was just vibing. We had the track going and he was in disappointed.
[D.A.R.P. Studios] working on some stuff. We asked him if he wanted Big Marc: For real the money and all that is gonna come, we done
to hear some of our stuff and he said yeah. After that he just laid some- claimed all of that. We love to make music, if people respect us for
thing down on it. I was a king to my dad when I told him I made some- making good music the rest will fall into place. So if you make good
thing with George Clinton. music people will fuck with you eventually. So even if we are slept-on,
the world will know that we made good music.
“You Gonna Love Me” dropped two years ago. How does it feel to
see people still interested in your music two years later? We are starting hear about groups like you, Little Brother and Lupe
Big Marc: It’s a blessing to have people take heed and listen to us. Fiasco out of Chicago being applauded for lyrics and content. Do
That’s motivation to stay in the studio. you sense a shift in hip-hop music taking place?
Sho-Nuff: When “You Gonna Love Me” died down our buzz died down Big Marc: We do feel like hip-hop is going back to having to make a
too, because of the sample not being cleared, so Quincy [Jones] and song with substance to win. I’m a consumer too and I think people are
Dallas had to sit down and work it out. But then we came with the tired of being mad when they hear music. People hating on snap mu-
“Oompa” and the buzz came back. Since then, MTV has made it Jam sic, but D4L blew up because people felt good when they heard the
of the Week and BET supported too. We getting love everywhere, music. They wasn’t worried about their bills and relationships when
overseas, Holland, Germany, West coast the Midwest. We just came they heard their music. We do think people are going back to want-
back from D.C. and New York and they loving us too. ing to feel good when hearing music. And they want substance and
content too.
How did the “I Don’t Like the Look of It” idea come about?
Sho-Nuff: The Execs came with the beat. When we heard that, we was Can you understand why people would hate on snap music, folks
skeptical at first. feel like they aren’t saying anything?
Big Marc: We visualized it as we wrote it. We all came to the table, Big Marc: At the end of the day people want to jam. It is what it is.
everybody had the same vision and we made it happen. That’s why you got groups like dead prez, Mos Def and Tali Kweli.
They go over people heads sometimes because those people don’t
What was your reaction when you first saw the video? want to get that deep sometimes, they’re like, “I ain’t worried about
Sho-Nuff: My reaction was: This is it. It’s like no other video out right that because it ain’t got nothing to do with me,” when really it does.
now. It was a complete video. I haven’t seen a video like that since That has to do with folks just having knowledge of life, that don’t really
Outkast’s “Bombs Over Baghdad.” have much to do with a song that got hella spins. You can’t be mad at
the artist for making songs like that.
Speaking of which, do you guys feel any pressure from the Out- Sho-Nuff: It may be happy music but they ain’t gotta worry about
kast comparisons that have been coming up? shootings when they hear it.
Big Marc: Not really. That’s motivation, because look at where they at
now. I know people ain’t saying we sound like them, but people get Do you think hip-hop fans are maturing any? You are both around
the same feeling from us that they got from them. It’s a blessing to be 25 years old with your first record coming out.
said in the same sentence as them. Big Marc: I don’t think age got anything to do with it. Look at LL, he
Sho-Nuff: With all the music in the South, we coming with something banging. Him and J-Lo banging right now [hums their single “Control
else, so naturally people say we on some other shit. I think that’s where Myself”] look at Snoop, Too $hort, Pimp C and Bun B, ‘Ball and G. If
the comparisons come from. you making good music that you think people gonna feel there ain’t
no age limit. Look at Shirley Ceaser, she still making music. I still think
You guys put in a lot of work leading up to the release of this al- people like Kool Moe Dee and Big Daddy Kane could come back if
bum. How has life been since the record came out? they was making records. There’s people that love them niggas, if
Big Marc: We getting a lot grinding in. Just because you got an al- they came back they could win. I bet Missy will make records for hella
bum everything ain’t sweet, but now you gotta work harder because long, she ain’t never gonna stop. I don’t think age got anything to do
you got a barcode now. You got to grind to get folks to get your re- with it. Even if it’s your first album, if you making good music it don’t
cord. You go harder when the album out because you got something even matter.
for people to go grab. Its like a dude selling door-to-door insurance,
he ain’t gonna fall back, you gotta knock on doors because you got - Maurice G. Garland

32 OZONE
01: DJ Black and Chris
Brown @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
02: Treal reppin’ OZONE
@ Blue Room (Orlando,
FL)
03: Hittmenn crew, Kaspa,
and TJ Chapman @ Man-
sion (Miami, FL)
04: PImp C performing
(Port Arthur, TX)
05: DJ Mars and DJ Fahr-
enheit @ Mansion (Miami,
FL)
06: Marques Houston and
Slim Thug @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
07: Bart, DJ Nando, T.
Waters, and DJ Delz @
Springfest (Miami, FL)
08: Bam remembers Big
Hawk (Dallas, TX)
09: Bibi Gunz and Boom
Bip @ Mansion (Miami, FL)
10: @ Tropical Magic
(Orlando, FL)
11: Big Al and 4-Ize @
Greg Street’s sneaker
show (Atlanta, GA)
12: Short Dawg and Lil
Brotha of Konkrete @
Greg Street’s sneaker
show (Atlanta, GA)
13: Alex Gidewon and
Emperor Searcy @ Club
Suite (Miami, FL)
14: Flyi dcgi and DJ Dag-
wood @ the SEAs (Tunica,
MS)
15: Shawnna gettin’...
a pedicure @ DTP press
junket (NYC)
16: T-Pain and B.G. @
Springfest (Miami, FL)
17: Russell Simmons, LL
Cool J, and Chris Lighty
(NYC)
18: Ed the World Famous,
DJ Dap, BloodRaw, DJ
Demp, and C. Wakeley @
BloodRaw’s birthday party
(Tallahassee, FL)
19: DJ Black, Yung Joc, DJ
Nasty, and Nino @ WJHM
(Orlando, FL)
20: The Runners and DJ
Sosa @ Springfest (Miami,
FL)
21: DJ Cinnamix, Hasan
Brown, and guest @
Springfest (Miami, FL)

Photos: DJ Dap (18); DJ Sosa


(20); General (17); Jaro Vacek
(04); Julia Beverly (01,03,05,0
6,07,09,10.13,16,19,21); Malik
Abdul (02,15); Matt Sonzala
(08); Maurice Garland (11,12);
Ms. Rivercity (14)

OZONE 33
q&a

La Chat (Memphis, TN)


W hat part of the M-town do you claim?
Westwood, my hood.

It’s been a minute since we heard a peep from you. What’s the
business? What have you been up to?
I dropped Dramatized last year with Juvenile and Mike Jones on there.
It’s selling. It’s good to be independent, but other than that, I’ve been
trying to keep it moving.

What is the relationship between you and TVT artist Yo Gotti?


I am the newest member of the I&E family. They just signed me on
New Year’s.

You have put it down with Three 6 Mafia, local label owner Nakia
Shine and now you’re down with Gotti. How did you get started in
the music industry?
It was a guy who knew Juicy J back when I was in high school. He
knew I was rappin and gave him my number. I did some underground
shit with them back then.

You are somewhat a veteran rapper on the underground scene.


How long have you been rapping?
I honestly have been writing raps ever since I was in the third grade.

You really developed a fan base as part of Three 6 Mafia, even


co-starred in their first straight-to-video flick Choices. What hap- There are probably many up-and-coming female rappers who look
pened to the Hypnotized Minds deal? up to you as a role model. Who were your influences when you
I sold over 150,000 copies and didn’t receive a check. The pay really were coming up?
was never proper, but I knew I had to make me a name before I left. It’s I grew up off MC Lyte. I used to do her in talent shows. My dream is
like you wouldn’t believe. I just set up my own publishing. I never saw to do a song with her, cuz she really was an idol to me. Right now, I’m
a royalty check or publishing check. I felt [like] if I’m your artist and feelin’ Da Brat. You know, keep it gangsta. I love that.
you know these folks ain’t seen no check, throw them something cuz
they had it. They really got it now. Next time you see them, tell them I Tell me about your upcoming CD. When can we expect to see it in
said give me something. (laughing) Mane, niggas wouldn’t even pay stores? What collaborators do you have on it?
my mortgage. I’m gonna say probably for the summer. I got Gangsta Boo, Gucci
Mane, All Star, Block Burnaz, and Yo Gotti.
Three 6 Mafia is the only rap group to ever perform at the Ameri-
can Music Awards. What do you think about them winning a Gram- The past five years in the game have been quite impressive. Where
my? do you see yourself in 5 calendars?
I’m proud of them. They was due something. I ain’t no hater. The town I hope I have my own label, and able to put my folks out. But I really
grew up listening to them. Like I said - tell ‘em gimme something. wanna be rich, so I can quit rappin’!
(laughing)
You mean you would put down and mic and do something else?
With the movie Hustle and Flow putting your hometown on the big Why?
screen as well as this newfound attention given to Three 6, do you So I can be a regular mom to my 10-year-old son. He needs me, but
think M-town will be able to have a stronger impact in the music he knows he’s the reason I try so hard. Everythang I do is for him.
industry?
Memphis is already on a come up. That’s why Hustle and Flow was I know your experiences have given you more knowledge than
filmed here - about Memphis and our style. Then, we been having big you could have learned in any classroom or textbook. What words
boy fights and events going on. Plus, we got Yo Gotti doin his thang. of wisdom do you have for any rapper, especially female?
So really, we just a fire city anyway. Never say the word “never,” because anything is possible. In this
game, you gone have to have patience. And for us women, we can
You are the only female rapper representing Memphis since Gang- do it. We are the strongest people in the world. We give birth, and
sta Boo. Being one of only two women from the town, what do you that’s hard to do. Half of these men out here was taught and raised by
bring to the table? women, so even if y’all try to keep us out the game, we gonna figure
You hear a lot of people saying they the truth. I’ma say I’m the streets, out how to get back in it. We can’t be defeated. I’m gone say this and
from a street bitch perspective. I mean it - niggas ain’t slicker or smarter than us bitches out here. You
ain’t know?
The rap game is a hard arena to break into. Do you think it’s even
more difficult for you being a female rapper? It’s been more than a pleasure. Any last departing words or shout
I really don’t know, cause I haven’t been dealing with majors again yet. outs?
But I know I got plenty shows, and they show me love. That’s how I Thanks for the love with this interview and all my fans keep supporting
been eating. me cause I’ma stay coming in this game. And as long as I got fans,
I’ma stay in it. What it do, CEO Grip, Yo Gotti, Denairo, Try, V/Slash, All
You have made many accomplishments in music in such a short Star, Tyrone, Ben Gotti, Certy Mac, Womack, Big Ceddy, Luke, Lucky
time. Do you feel that you get the respect that you deserve to and Doodie - the real hard hittas.
get?
It’s very important makin’ it as a career, cause it’s a lot you sacrifice to How can the people get at you?
be a rapper. You try to avoid trouble; gotta leave your family from time Easy. The number is 901-691-4437, or email me at LaChatRap@Bell-
to time. It’s definitely hard, but I feel I get the respect so far cause like I south.net.
said - I do plenty of shows everywhere. And the people come out and
show me love. - JoJo (Photo: Julia Beverly)

34 OZONE
01: Juvenile and Paul
Wall on the set of his new
video (Houston, TX)
02: Stevie Da Mann, Kaye
Dunaway, and Greg G @
Icon (Orlando, FL)
03: Rick Ross and 2Slabz @
Dre’s “Chevys Ridin’ High”
video shoot (Miami, FL)
04: Crime Mob and Pimp
G reppin’ OZONE @ Kar-
touche (Jacksonville, FL)
05: Zay and crew reppin’
OZONE (College Station,
TX)
06: Yung Joc and Rico
Brooks @ WJHM (Or-
lando, FL)
07: DJ Drama and Lil Keke
@ Drama’s birthday party
(Houston, TX)
08: Jock Smoove, Coach
K, and Barnard @ Club
Venue (Gainesville, FL)
09: Cheri Dennis and
Diddy @ Mansion (Miami,
FL)
10: Bear and Brandon
of Jagged Edge @ DJ
Drama’s birthday party
(Atlanta, GA)
11: DJ Chino and Red
Cafe @ Firestone (Or-
lando, FL)
12: Jermaine Dupri reppin’
Def DJs @ V103 (Atlanta,
GA)
13: Jock Smoove and
Young Cash @ Club Plush
(Jacksonville, FL)
14: Guest and Ozzie Oz @
Club Venue (Gainesville,
FL)
15: Diamond D, M1 of
dead prez, and Ghostface
16: Voice of da Streetz @
Blue Room (Orlando, FL)
17: Duval County Rock
Stars @ Club Plush (Jack-
sonville, FL)
18: DJ Drama and the
G.R.i.T. Boys @ Drama’s
birthday party (Houston,
TX)
19: Monoply Records @
Kentucky Music Pool meet-
ing during Kentucky Derby
(Louisville, KY)
20: Coota Bang, DJ Quote,
and Archie Lee (Houston,
TX)
21: DJ Nasty, Ricky P, Nu-
breed, and Slim Goodye
@ Blue Room (Orlando,
FL)

Photos: Bright Star (11); DJ


Quote (20); DJ Ren (03); DJ
Sosa (12); Greg G (02); Julia
Beverly (06,09,14); Keadron
Smith (01,07,18); Malik Abdul
(08,13,16,17,19,21); Maurice
Garland (10); Nikki Kancey
(05); Pimp G (04); Shannon
McCollum (15)

OZONE 35
q&a

G-Mack (Lexington, KY)

W
ho’s featured with you on the cover photo?
The FAM, my artists, is Young Studio and Big Scoop. The Hit
Squad is my street team.

What were you doing before you started rapping?


At first I was into all types of shit. I was playing high school ball and
had plans to play college ball. At the same time I was in the streets
and I had a cleaning business I was running. I did music as a hobby.
I didn’t think I was gonna make a career out of this shit. It was just me
dropping lyrics over industry beats. I was recording in Louisville, KY,
with the Get Down Click. They started to make a lot of moves and get
recnogized by a lot of labels. I watched their formula. The owner was a
street nigga just like I am, so I saw how he put his operation together
and made it pop for him and his people. So I saw that this was a way
I could stay street and still make a living, and I got into music and
started pursuing it as a career.

What was the first record that started making noise for you?
“Ain’t Nothin’,” featuring Boo & Gotti. That record really got me hot in
my area, but I didn’t feel like the album it was on was ready for the na-
tional level quality-wise. There was so much room for me to grow as an
artist. Even when I had the opportunity to put it out on a national level I
was scared to pursue it, because I personally didn’t think it was ready.
It’s hard to tell yourself that you’re not ready for the national level, but
I did realize that so I only pushed it as a single. I only dropped the
album in Lexington, Louisville, and Cincinnati.

What’s the single you have out now?


”Stunna Foo.” That’s the single I can go five, six hours away from my
hometown and do a show and they’ll know the words to it. When I was
in Houston at The CORE DJs retreat and Bigga Rankin put that shit on
at the club, everybody threw their hands in the air. I saw people I’ve
never seen in my life singing the words. So that’s the single that put
me beyond my region.

What’s the name of your new project?


Hood Rich Won’t Cut It. I’m pushing my mixtape like an album. My
album is actually done, it’s called The Street Bible. I’m trying to use
the mixtape as bait to reel the labels in. Once I reel them in, I’m trying
to get a label to put out the actual album. The mixtape is a reason to
be out grinding, a reason for the promoters to book us for shows. We
pressed up 25,000 mixtapes just for the streets alone, so I’m sitting
around waiting for somebody to recognize my grind. It’s finally to the
point where the labels are calling. They ain’t talking about shit yet, but
they calling. So I figure that’s a start. And I had to do all that before I even got my region to get behind me.
So I definitely want people to know how much harder it is when you’re
For anybody who’s never been, tell us about the Kentucky Derby. from Kentucky. The reason why I go so hard as an independent and
The nightlife for Derby attracts everybody who’s got toy cars that’s haven’t really spent time pushing for a record deal is because every
hooked up. They come out to show off. It’s just like Spring Bling. It artist I know in Kentucky that ever had a deal, it didn’t really work out
throws a lot of people that don’t live in this region off, because the for them. I don’t know why, all I know is that they had a deal - some
Kentucky Derby is a horse race. But I’ve been going to the Derby for of them even had videos - and the situation just didn’t work out. So I
seven years and I’ve never been to the horse race. The nightlife at- wanted to put myself in a situation to where I’ve got a following before
tracts a whole lot of stars. You could look up and see Michael Jordan. I even get the deal. I can write my own ticket when the deal does
It’s always concerts going on for the weekend. The strip is bumper-to- come. Black Coffee, they were signed to Motown. Rob Jackson was
bumper traffic. Every dope boy in the whole region is out showing off signed to Arista. He’s a friend of mine. The Nappy Roots were signed
their toys, flossin’. When the Derby comes around, you put your car to Atlantic. All of them were in situations where, when they got there,
in the shop just for that. You buy new rims; upgrade to whatever the they wasn’t able to write their own ticket. The Nappy Roots were do-
streets is requiring for your inches. You get it all ready for the Derby ing videos on farms - some of them cats really are that country, but a
because that’s big shit. For the people that’s around, that’s the perfect couple of them are from Louisville, KY. Louisville is just a regular city.
time to stunt. And my whole shit is based on stuntin’. So when they were in that label situation, it seemed to me - I don’t
know as much with the Nappy Roots as I know with Black Coffee - but
Is there anything else you want to say? it seemed that they didn’t have no creative control over their project.
Being from Kentucky, our region is not real accepting of independent I’m a hustler; I’m a grinder to the last day. When the deal comes, that’s
artists. So we’ve got to travel like twice as much as your average artist what I want the world to know. I don’t wanna be filtered in no way. I
to get in a situation where we’re around music outlets. For instance, I wanna do shit the way I wanna do it. When I get my deal, I still wanna
use OZONE Magazine as one of my music outlets and I use TJ Chap- be able to keep it that way. That’s why I started my record label.
man’s Tastemakers meetings as one of my music outlets. I use The
CORE DJs record pool conference as one of my music outlets. I use Do you have any contact information that you’d like to give out?
the Southern Entertainment Awards as one of my music outlets. And Yeah, check out my website LostLandEnt.com or www.Myspace.com/
all that shit is 5-10 hours away from Kentucky. When I went to The Gmack859.
CORE DJs conference in Houston, that was 17 hours away. So being
from Kentucky, we’ve gotta put in that extra drive time on the road. - Julia Beverly (Photo: Clatties Moorer)

36 OZONE
ALBUM IN
STORES
MAY 29TH
www.myspace.com/guttacampclique
For booking call 904-355-1952
To buy a CD call 904-728-8663

OZONE 37
q&a

Dirtbag (Miami, FL)

W
here have you been hiding? There was a lot of hype when
you signed your deal, and then things slowed down a bit.
Basically, things just came to a stop. I learned the hard way
– you can’t win on the label, you gotta do it yourself. It’s a little poli-
tics, you know? I was supposed to make a move from Jive to another
company, so we’ve been going through that for the past six months.
They finally decided I’m gonna stay over there at Jive, due to the suc-
cess of Cool & Dre. Dre signed over there at Jive. So politically they
figured, damn near anywhere I go I’m gonna blow up now since Dre
finna blow, so they kept me. But it was a battle for six months that held
things up. I was out of town for a little bit and that kind of held things
up too, so now I’m on the grind. I’m putting out a mixtape and I’ve got
a new single I’m working on called Bring It Back to The Bottom. I’m just
keepin’ it poppin’ while these boys work.

What were the problems between you and Jive? Some of the
Southern artists that have been signed to Jive in the past felt that
the label didn’t really know how to market them. Was that part of
your issue?
The real problem I got at Jive is that they really don’t take too many
chances. They kinda tippy-toe. You can’t play ball like that. You either
go all out or you don’t do it at all. They’ll throw a single out there but
they won’t work it, they’ll just see how it goes by itself. So fuck it, I gotta
work it myself. I know if I get it poppin’ myself they’re the machine so
they gotta do what they gotta do. But they’re not gonna take that first
risk on me. They’ll sign me and have me sitting for five years, and
they don’t care as long as I ain’t making money for nobody else. So
that’s the situation over there. After you create a buzz and get a few
hundred spins yourself, Jive will step in. They don’t have good street
teams. Their pop records sell, so that’s their bread and butter. They’re
known for pop music so they just got rap on the side. You know, Too
Short ain’t over there no more and E-40 ain’t over there no more. It’s
not impossible to eat [at Jive] but you’ve gotta make that buzz on your success over there, we’ll get it poppin’.
own. If you ain’t got a buzz, it’s difficult.
You said that you had to go out of town - but I heard you were actu-
Is it fair to say that when you signed the deal with Jive you slacked ally in jail for a minute. Why’s that?
off a little and relaxed, thinking that they were gonna pick up the Violation of probation, that’s all.
slack?
I ain’t gonna say that I relaxed, but I did think they were going to pick So aside from the problems you had with the label, that didn’t help
up the slack. But with a lot of the stuff I was doing, they just didn’t want your career too much either.
to put music out. It was all “hush-hush.” So it got kinda frustrating. But Yeah, I had to take care of certain things, and I got all that knocked
on my part, I forgot the grand hustle, you know what I’m saying? You out of the way so now I’m free to do whatever I want to do when I
never stop hustling. Even if you’re on a major label, you still push your want to do it and how I want to do it. So now that that’s ironed out,
own shit. So I take 75% of the blame for that. But the other 25% is on everything else should be smooth sailing. Situations come up, you
them, because they didn’t push my talent. know what I mean? Sometimes people wonder how you continue liv-
ing and having money in your pockets if you ain’t spinning no records.
Didn’t Jive do a video for you and Mystikal? Well damn, nigga, I do shows. I do sell my mixtapes, feel me? A nigga
Well, Jive didn’t do that. Chris Lighty did that. Then Mystikal got locked stays grindin’.
up and Busta Rhymes and his label got on us about putting the song
out there. A lot of people didn’t come through on clearances. But it’s So you’ve got a new mixtape out now, right? Tell me a little about
all good, I keep doing it. It’s like being in the game not knowing the that.
game. God bless them, my heart goes out to them, but I’ve moved on Yeah, it’s called Eyes Above the Water. Hopefully I’ll get a review in
to some other things now. OZONE, cause y’all matter. You know, your opinion really does count.
But the mixtape, it’s some tight work. I got Bun B, Three 6 Mafia, Cool
With all the setbacks did you ever get to the point where you felt & Dre, The Unusual Suspects, everybody’s on there. We keep it pop-
like quitting? pin’.
I can’t. Cause if I quit and do something else, it’s going to be illegal.
I gotta give it at least a five year run. I been in it for three years, so I It’s looking like it’s gonna be a real big year for Miami’s music
got two more years to go. Whenever you start your own business you scene as a whole.
gotta give it at least a five year run. If this shit don’t work out in five Man, it’s gonna blow now, with Khaled, [Rick] Ross, and Dre, and
years, hell yeah, I’m going back to hustling. But until them I’m gonna they’ve all got big videos too. Usually we just have a Pitbull or a Trick
sling these CDs for real. Daddy look, but now you’re getting three different Miami looks at the
same time so that’s gonna really show ‘em what it is. Feel me? So the
But you’ve been in the game for a lot longer than three yeras - you shit is definitely gonna blow. And this shit, [Dre’s “Ridin’ High” video]
used to be known as Jo-Vicious. When are you counting from, the is real tight. We got all the rides and shit out here.
time you signed the deal?
Yeah, as soon as I got the deal, that’s when it started counting. Every- Aside from the mixtape you’re putting out on your own, does Jive
thing else before that was grinding to get the deal. Now that I’m with have plans to release something?
a major, something gotta pop. With everything I did in the past, I met They talking about pushing this single “You Don’t Know” in June. Until
that goal of getting on a major label. It’s just like going to the NFL – you then, I’m still on the grind with my mixtape.
gotta get drafted first. I had some other teams tryin’ to pick me up, but
[Jive] wouldn’t let me go. But the good thing is that with Dre and his - Words and photo by Julia Beverly

38 OZONE
01: G-Mack and his OZONE Ken-
tucky Derby cover @ Villa Fontaine
(Louisville, KY)
02: Da Muzicianz with their OZONE
cover (Orlando, FL)
03: Teka and Haitian Fresh with their
OZONE BCR/Spring Bling cover @
Tampa Tony’s block party (Daytona
Beach, FL)
04: Memphis Bleek @ Baseline
Studios (NYC)
05: Tum Tum, DJ Princess Cut, and
Fat Bastard (Dallas, TX)
06: Steve Austin and HeadKrack
(Dallas, TX)
07: Da BackWudz @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
08: Paul Wall @ his birthday party
(Houston, TX)
09: Kool Laid and Stone (Vegas, MS)
10: Boyz 2 Men’s Shawn Stockman
@ Villa Fontaine (Louisville, KY)
11: Freeze and friends (Houston, TX)
12: Juvenile @ Clark’s (Vegas, MS)
13: Malice of The Clipse @ WJHM
102 Jamz (Orlando, FL)
14: Z-Ro and DJ Chill @ Galveston
Beach Party (Galveston, TX)
15: Money Waters and Kottonmouth
(Dallas, TX)
16: Hubie and Mr. Taylor (Charleston,
SC)
17: DJ Q45 @ Plush (Jacksonville,
FL)
18: Jimmy Henchmen @ Mission
Impossible 3 premiere (NYC)
19: Greg Nice @ Nirvana (Los
Angeles, CA)
20: Big L and U Digg Records @
Club Kies (Indianapolis, IN)
21: Stacks @ Nirvana (Los Angeles,
CA)
22: Slim and Playboi Entertainment
@ Villa Fontaine for Jermaine Dupri’s
Kentucky Derby party (Louisville, KY)
23: What would you do for an
OZONE Mag? (Vegas, MS)
24: Small Soldier and Lil Ronnie
(Dallas, TX)
25: DJ K-Tone and Tony Touch @
Club Sky (Denver, CO)
26: Cory Mo and DJ Chill @ Galves-
ton Beach Party (Galveston, TX)
27: DJ Khaled and Street Dogg @
Springfest (Miami, FL)
28: Prodigy of Mobb Deep (NYC)
29: Wickett Crickett (Houston, TX)
30: Uncle Pauly (Dallas, TX)
31: DJ Kaotic @ celebrity bball
game during the Kentucky Derby
(Louisville, KY)
32: Tru-Life @ Baseline Studios
(NYC)
33: Fans checkin’ out JB’s 2 Cents @
Mission Impossible 3 premiere (NYC)
34: Nnete, DJ GT, and DJ Chill @
Beach Party (Galveston, TX)
35: Smoot @ Galveston Beach Party
(Galveston, TX)
36: Minister X and Sway @ celeb
bball game (Louisville, KY)
37: DJ Jam-X @ Nirvana (Los Ange-
les, CA)
38: Lil Ronnie and Tum Tum (Dallas,
TX)

Photos: Bam the Barber


(14,26,34,35); DJ Jam-X (19,21,37);
DJ K-Tone (25); Edward Hall (24,30);
General (18,28,33); Julia Bev-
erly (02,07,13,27); Keadron Smith
(08,11,29); Kool Laid (09,12,23);
Malik Abdul (01,03,10,16,17,20,22,
31,36,38); Matt Sonzala (05,06,15);
Swift (04,32)

OZONE 39
q&a

Rasheeda (Atlanta, GA)

R
asheeda can answer to many titles: good wife, great mother
and respected part time radio personality at Atlanta’s V-103.
But unfortunately, successful rapper is a bullet that she has
struggled to add to her resume. Her relentless grind has earned
her deals with major labels like Motown and Jive, but politics and
misunderstandings have prevented her from getting the best re-
turn on her investments. Now with a new vision and a joint in-
dependent venture through her home D-Lo Records and Big Cat
Records, the underdog MC is finally set to release Georgia Peach.
Riding off the strength of her position-switching single “Touch Ya
Toes,” Rasheeda is happier than ever, independent and loving it.

You’ve been on major labels most of your career. What brought


about the decision to go independent this time around?
I was on Jive, and we didn’t mantle the situation. The majors I’ve been
dealing with, the focus wasn’t there, and they still don’t get it. I don’t
have the time sit around as they play games.

What are they not getting?


As far as the female rapper game, the label’s focus is about what is hot
at the moment. If I have a record that is hot, the minute another rapper
comes along, they change the focus. They don’t realize that it takes
more time to break a female artist. A lot of times, I’ve come with hot
singles, but you got to put out the time and effort to make it work.

What does it take to make it work?


It takes a little extra everything. When you are an independent artist
and you get the major label deal, the [label] needs to kick into high mark. It’s about females being portrayed. Period. As for me, I’m gonna
gear. I’ve had records with 1000 spins. Then when majors come, they be heard whether I’m talking sex or not. I can look sexy, but it’s about
say they gonna help. But they do the opposite. As a female, I need how I portray it.
a video. I need promotion and marketing. Female rappers need our
records to be worked. We need more time. Let’s talk a little about the album.
The album is called Georgia Peach. I got Akon, Nitti, Stokely, Jasper
What else attracted you to going independent? and Swin producing. And I have songs with Gangsta Boo, Diamond
Nowadays, when a major scoops you and you don’t do well, you get and Princess of Crime Mob and Pastor Troy. It’s a grown and sexy al-
dropped after one single. But say you sell 200,0000 units indepen- bum. You’ll see the growth. You can pop it in the deck. I got songs like
dently, you got money in the pocket. You do it on a major (and) you “See Me Naked” and I got stuff like “Every Nigga Can’t Trap.” You’ll
don’t see nothing. A lot of big artists that sell two million copies don’t hear the growth. “See Me Naked” is like, “Nigga, you just wanna see
even get royalty checks. A lot of a lot of independents need to learn me naked.” All these dudes out here tricking, acting like they trying to
and get their game right and make money on their own so that one do something, stop fronting. You doing it just because they wanna see
day they won’t need the majors either. me naked. And with “Every Nigga Can’t Trap,” one day I was in the
studio and I was listening to a mix tape, and every nigga was talking
Have your experiences pretty much made you give up on the idea about trapping. Half these niggas ain’t never seen or been in a trap.
of being on a major label completely?
I’m not opposed to working with a major, but the only way I’d get back What has kept you motivated through the turmoil of your career?
with one is if we have our own dollars and we get do what we gotta It seems like every time I get a bad hand, every time a door shuts in
do. The majors [are] in NYC. They don’t know what’s going on in the my face, another door opens up for me. But that will be a part of my
South. I’d rather do the distribution with marketing and radio myself. history when my name finally gets big. I wouldn’t even be where I’m at
right now if it wasn’t for the blows I’ve taken in the past. Other rappers
What do female rappers have to do to get taken seriously and look at me like I’ve really been through a lot. It’s so many fans that love
made a priority? Rasheeda and people don’t know about me. But if I don’t continue to
It’s just more so just getting the respect of record companies. But also work, people will never know me. But as far as I’ve gotten, it’s been
on radio, if they don’t play the songs, the fans won’t know about us. because of work, so I’m not quitting.
Females being consistent is another thing too. It’s a constant grind
and struggle. It’s only a couple females that have made it. But it can How has motherhood affected your career?
break for us. It’s hard; you have to come out right too. My son is a big inspiration. He’ll tell me, “Mama, that’s tight,” or, “That
ain’t tight.” Motherhood also helps me stay busy and focused. Plus, I
Do you think that female rappers still aren’t being taken seriously get to teach my son through the music. He is really starting to get it.
because a lot of other females cannot relate to most of them? Not He’s asking is that real? Is that the truth? He likes T.I. and Jeezy and
every female is occupied with money and sex. with actually meeting them, he’s luckier than the other kids because
It’s just how the ball bounces. Most rappers seem to change with the he gets to see them when they are normal. He knows not to curse too.
time. So you defiantly want to see someone who you can relate to. I He knows what the bad words are. But he usually listens to the clean
look at it as of now the game has flipped. You have the Shawnnas, versions. I tell him the videos are like a movie. Plus, him seeing me in
Missys and Kims who all do their own things, but as females, we look the videos, he gets a clear understanding of what’s going on.
at ourselves as sexy and we want to be sexy. Not all of us are about
going to the extreme to prove that, though. Do you think other children his age understand that much of this
music is fiction other than real life?
What causes some female rappers to bite the bullet and just go I don’t think other kids are getting that understanding. We as parents
to the extreme? we have to take the time to listen to the music and see the messages
To each its own, real talk. It’s so hard to make it. I can understand why but also make sure they listening to the positive stuff to bring out.
people go that route to make it. You always gotta go through some-
thing bad to get something good, but as a female, I gotta make my - Maurice G. Garland (Photo: M. Shawn Dowdell)

40 OZONE
01: Jim Jones and Juelz Santana @
Springfest (Miami, FL)
02: T-Pain @ Springfest (Miami, FL)
03: DJ Khaled with his OZONE Spring-
fest cover and Slim Thug @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
04: Sean Paul @ Springfest (Miami,
FL)
05: Al Sharpton Jr. and DJ Chill @
Galveston Beach Party (Galveston,
TX)
06: Shareefa @ DTP Press Junket
(NYC)
07: Twista @ Union College (Albany,
NY)
08: Field Mob @ their listening ses-
sion (NYC)
09: Malice of The Clipse @ Right
Track Studios (NYC)
10: Tyte Wurk and Ozzie Oz @ The
Venue (Gainesville, FL)
11: Skip of UTP @ Clark’s (Vegas,
MS)
12: Kinky B and BloodRaw @ Man-
sion (Miami, FL)
13: B.G. @ Springfest (Miami, FL)
14: Derrick the Franchise and Fam-
Lay @ Club Reign for Busta Rhymes’
listening party (Virginia Beach, VA)
15: Egypt and DJ Scratch @ Mission
Impossible 3 premiere (NYC)
16: DJ Quote and Chingy @ Spring-
fest (Miami, FL)
17: The Clipse @ WJHM 102 Jamz
(Orlando, FL)
18: G-Mack @ Hustler Hollywood
(Lexington, KY)
19: T.I. and Mike Li (Chicago, IL)
20: Yella Boi and DJ Khaled @ Man-
sion (Miami, FL)
21: Krib TV @ Springfest (Miami, FL)
22: Diamond of Crime Mob @ Kar-
touche (Jacksonville, FL)
23: D Cooley with his OZONE Pa-
tiently Waiting article (Louisville, KY)
24: General and Kevin Liles (NYC)
25: Mr. Lucci (Dallas, TX)
26: UTP, Stone, and Partners-N-Crime
@ Clark’s (Vegas, MS)
27: Juelz Santana @ Springfest
(Miami, FL)
28: Funkmaster Flex! Funkmaster
Flex! Funkmaster Flex! (NYC)
29: Meechie @ Galveston Block Party
(Galveston, TX)
30: Latin Prince, guest, and Brannon
Scales @ Springfest (Miami, FL)
31: Troy Hudson and Lil D @
Kentucky Derby celeb bball game
(Louisville, KY)
32: Static Major and Big L @ Club
Kies (Indianapolis, IN)
33: Havoc @ Right Track Studios
(NYC)
34: Money Waters @ SXSW (Austin,
TX)
35: Steal from Smiff & Wesson (NYC)
36: 2 Live Crew @ The Moon for TJ’s
DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL)
37: Money Waters and Steve Austin
(Dallas, TX)
38: Common @ Union College
(Albany, NY)

Photos: Bam the Barber (05,29); Der-


rick the Franchize (14); Edward Hall
(25); General (08,15,24,33); Julia Bev-
erly (01,02,03,04,10,12,13,16,17,20,
21,27,30,36); Kool Laid (11,26); Malik
Abdul (06,18,23,31,32); Matt Sonzala
(34,37); Pimp G (22); Rohit Loomba
(19); Swift (07,09,28,35,28)

OZONE 41
q&a

DJ Khaled (Miami, FL)

W
hat do Kanye West, Juelz Santana, Freeway, The Clipse,
Akon, Styles P, Fat Joe, Rick Ross, Trick Daddy, Pitbull,
Young Jeezy, Bun B, USDA, Fabolous, Nas, Trina, Slim
Thug, and Chamillionaire have in common? They’re all featured
on DJ Khaled’s new album - and he’s adding more features every
day!

Your first single “Holla At Me” has been doing really well. Are you
happy with the response so far?
Aw, man, I’m so happy. The whole world is supporting DJ Khaled and
my single “Holla At Me” featuring Lil Wayne, Pitbull, Paul Wall, Fat
Joe, and Rick Ross. The video for “Holla At Me” is off the hook. BET
is showing me crazy love and MTV is showing me crazy love, so I’m
very happy.

Yeah, the video shoot was crazy. How did you get all those artists
together at the same time?
Everybody got love for me, man. I got a lot of good relationships, and
they love the song so much they wanted to do the video. They wanted
to have the song blow up, actually. All these artists perform my record
when they do their shows out of town. They just show me phenomenal
love. It was hard to get everybody’s schedule together, though.

Since you’re on the radio five days a week and in a lot of the clubs
in Miami, is it hard for you to travel out of town to promote your
album?
It’s real hard, but what I do is go out of town on the weekends. At the
same time, they let me take off when I need to. My radio station is fully
behind me. 99 Jamz has supported me so much, from Mr. Russ to
Tony Fields to Derek B to Joe Castro to Jerome. They’re promoting me
so much on my station, and the whole 99 Jamz staff is just supporting
me so much. They’re pushing me to go promote my album.

Have the other stations in Miami been showing some love to your
single, or do you feel like they hold back a little because you DJ
for a rival station?
At one time, the rival stations were playing it like crazy. I think they
slowed down a little. I’m sure their bosses got on their cases. But the
whole country’s showing love. The competition really doesn’t exist in
Miami because DJ Khaled and 99 Jamz are number one. The show I’m
on, The Takeover alongside K Foxx, we got the number one ratings. So
we’re good, you know?

What do you have planned for Springfest?


I’m hosting Springfest with 99 Jamz, and we’re gonna have a crazy
surprise on stage.

Okay, what about Memorial Day weekend? That’s always a big


weekend for you in Miami.
Yeah, it is. We do Memorial Weekend real big every year. We’re taking
over like always. We’re really taking it to another level this year with my
album promotions. I’m doing my album party that weekend, it’s gon-
na be real big. Me and Budafuco are opening Mansion for the whole
weekend. When the out-of-towners go back home they’re gonna buy
5,000 copies of DJ Khaled’s album. Each person. Jeezy’s group USDA. Orlando’s own DJ Nasty did the track, and it’s
called “Gangsta Shit.” They’re both gonna fuck the game up. It’s
That’s a lot of record sales. gonna be so big. Remember I told you first, right here in the OZONE
I hope so. But I’m doing this more for staying relevant in the game and magazine.
getting my family and my fans to the whole next level.
What else are you working on besides the album?
When does the album come out? I’m doing my producing thing. I just did a song for Young Jeezy’s new
The album drops June 6th. It’s called Listennn. That’s something me album, and I’m also featured on one of his records talking crazy shit.
and my family always say. That’s just my trademark. I’m working on Fat Joe’s new album, Rick Ross’ new album, and I just
did a joint for Dre featuring Keyshia Cole. The joint on Fat Joe’s album
Have you decided on a second single? features Lil Wayne. It’s so crazy right now. I’m representing that Miami
I’m gonna drop two records. One is “Born And Raised” featuring movement.
Trick Daddy, Rick Ross, and Pitbull, produced by The Runners. That’s
gonna be a fucking crazy record, it’s gonna be a problem. That’s the Do you have any contact info?
Florida anthem. Myspace.com/DJKhaled. That myspace shit is serious right now, you
know?
What else you got comin’?
Then I got a new record that’s so crazy: Young Jeezy, Bun B, and - Julia Beverly (Photo: Earl Randolph)

42 OZONE
q&a

Ray Cash (Cleveland, OH)

H
ow were you able to get a deal coming
from a city like Cleveland?
I kinda took my hustle out of state. I was
going from Cleveland to Philly to Harlem just
recording for almost three years, working with
my people. We’ve got a company called Real
Recognize Real. One of my managers at the
time was an A&R at Def Jam and he had a lot of
connects. We met with a couple people and got
through to Sony. It really ain’t take a long time
[to sign my deal]. There were some doubters
because I do come from Cleveland, but it wasn’t
as hard as it would’ve been if I’d stayed in the
city. I’m the first one to take our sound national,
so I don’t wanna make it where they gotta go
out of the state to get deals. I wanna make it so
they can get paid to do what they do here, and
the A&Rs and labels can come look for them.
It’s a whole movement starting up with people
in Cleveland. Before, they wasn’t listening to lo-
cal rappers. Since I blew, other local cats have
been doing their thing in the hood and people
are more subjective to listen now. I’m just trying
to make it where niggas ain’t gotta go outside
to get deals. My advice to them is just to keep
hustling and let me do what I do. Do what you
do, straight from the hood.

Do you think your image is one of your weaknesses as an artist? here. We’re bringing out the street side of the Midwest. Tip is one of
People kind of expect to see a rapper with a bulletproof vest, or a the few artists that can really, really rap, and he’s very lyrical. So if
pimp cup. Not glasses. that’s the comparison, that doesn’t bother me. but people know the
They wanna see that fake shit. A lot of that shit is fake. 95% of it is fake. difference. If you’re gonna compare me to somebody, at least com-
The name of our company is called Real Recognize Real. We are what pare me to somebody that can rap.
we are. Don’t get it confused cause I wear Cardiers. I’m from Cleve-
land. Niggas know how we get down. As far as the whole image thing, What’s the single you’re working on right now?
that came up when I was dealing with Sony. As far as the glasses and The “Bumpin’ My Music” remix is coming out. We’re gonna shoot an-
shit, I was wearing those glasses when I was selling weed and rocks, other video, might be “I’m Getting” or might be “See It All,” it just de-
so I’m not gonna take them off just to rap for you. I’ll never change for pends on how we feel. We made the countdown on 106th & Park and
nobody. I don’t care how much money it is, I still gotta come home to MTV Jams and all that, so we lookin’ good right now. I’m just doing
Cleveland. I’m gonna be a man for me and my city. We don’t change another mixtape, staying in the streets. I got a tour coming up in May,
for nobody. so I’m just gonna be on the road grinding, staying in people’s faces.

Was the image issue a challenge for you and the label to work Tell me about the album.
through? The album’s not commercial at all. That’s why I’m comfortable with
Nah, cause they see that I’m accepted. Other artists accept me and it. I’m not looking to sell a million out the gate. I’m realistic. My thing
people see that I can actually rap. I ain’t got no bullet wound in my is, the fan base that I do have, let’s keep that and let it grow. I tried to
face, but who the fuck wants a bullet wound in their face? So the whole put together a classic. I didn’t wanna put an album together with 17
image thing, it’s not a problem. They see that I’m gonna do me and songs and youonly fuck with 13. I didn’t wanna put out an album with
make dudes respect me. 17 songs and they all sound like you’re trying to get on the radio. So
I just did me. I got crazy samples on there, I got crazy original beats
How did you start rapping? and concepts. I ain’t put it together like, I wanna make one song for
I really didn’t wanna rap. I used to do it for fun and people told me I the ladies nad one song for the clubs. I kept it all the way G through
was nice. Then I found out that maybe I did have a chance, so I said the whole album. It’s my personality; I really had fun on there. It’s an
fuck it. I wasn’t doing nothing else. It’s kinda like God put me in a po- ode to the dope boys and the struggling mothers. I got Beanie Sigel
sition to make a choice – either work a 9-5 and hustle, or do this rap and Bun B and Scarface on there; I’m fuckin’ with real niggas. If you
shit and you just might be lucky and blessed enough to pop off. I’ve like niggas that can rap, you’ll like my album.
been lucky.
You mentioned that you’re not expecting to sell a million albums
Was your single “Pimp In My Own Mind” sort of your own twisted and you’re trying to be “realistic.” So what would you be happy
sense of humor? with as far as first-week album sales?
Yeah, that was me right there. At first people ain’t understand. But I don’t know. Nobody would be happy with 30,000 the first week. I
if you look at niggas like 8Ball & MJG, they said “Pimp In My Own probably could do better than that, but I’m not lookin’ to do 250,000
Rhyme,” so I switched it. It’s about a swagger, the whole image. Peo- my first week either. I’m just looking for that gradual push. It’s gonna
ple wanna see a nice swagger. It’s about how you make yourself feel. be a lot of grinding. You gotta make the people believe. They starting
When you look in the mirror, no matter what you do, feel good about to believe, everywhere I go. People who was hating started to switch
yourself. Do you. over. If I keep doing me, everything’s gonna keep going smooth. So
I’m good.
Your A&R Kawan Prather is the same A&R who discovered T.I.,
right? Have you heard many T.I. comparisons? Would you like to give out any contact info?
I’ve heard the T.I. comparisons because I am from the Midwest and www.RayCash.com or www.myspace.com/RayCash.
I can actually rap. No fad music around here. When you think of the
Midwest you think of Nelly and Kanye, but I’m more of the streets up - Julia Beverly

44 OZONE
46 OZONE
OZONE 47
patientlywaiting

Slick Pulla
Atlanta, GA
Corporate Thugz Entertainment’s name
is almost too fitting. They operate with the
organization and efficiency of a Fortune
500 company, but yet their aura is more
attached to inner-city streets as opposed
to high-rise suites. Their three flagship
artists Young Jeezy, Bloodraw and Slick
Pulla have all had their run-ins crime and
law enforcement. But this year it’s been
amplified. Jeezy gets caught with semi-
automatic weapons in Miami, ‘Raw finds
himself fighting a federal drug-trafficking
case and Pulla gets shot at restaurant.
Surely, no one expects those types of
things to happen in their work environ-
ment. But events like those are nothing
new to Pulla.

“We’re real street cats,” says the artist


born Renaldo Whitman. “This isn’t stuff
that people aren’t used to happening.
People get shot, locked up and have
problems with the law. It ain’t no different
form me being in the trenches. All these
things can still happen. I just take it in
stride and keep my faith in the big man
up there.”

In the midst of taking things in stride,


Pulla is preparing his debut solo album
The Trapublican. It follows an already
impressive track record that includes ap-
pearances on every Jeezy’s albums and
mixtapes, as well his very own Gangsta
Grillz’ 4th Ward Day - all of which have
shown signs of growth as an emcee.

“I’ve gotten more familiar with the booth


since Streetz Iz Watchin’. I was fresh
out of the trenches then,” admits Pulla.
“Just like with basketball, when you are
a rookie you start off with raw talent then
as you mature, you get better. Just like
with Lebron [James], he had raw talent,
but now he got his jump shot and he’s a
better team player.”

While being a team player is always a


plus, Pulla knows that the key to being
an effective player is to always add you
your arsenal. He plans to keep his style
as diverse as possible. “I’m from the
South, but I’m not just doing music for
the South,” he says. “Of course my peo-
ple in the South are gonna feel me but
this is for everybody everywhere. This is
universal language I’m speaking.”

Pulla simply hopes that the language


he uses motivates all of his listeners.
Whether they check him on myspace
or get the music from him first hand. He
looks for the same in return. “The 4th
Ward is my hood,” says Pulla who was
born in Atlanta’s Kirkwood section. “Just
hearing them say I was snapping is my
motivation. That’s why I’m giving them a
little more every time I drop something.”

- Cedric Boothe

48 OZONE
patientlywaiting

Big Chief
Dallas, TX
Big Chief, a.k.a. Young Don Chief a.k.a. Chiefa, is a certified hustler ity combined with his versatility and work ethic makes him a serious
representing West Dallas, TX. This 24-year-old can usually be found threat to the steal the spotlight from artists currently on top of the mu-
be found posted up with a chew stick in his mouth. While joining forc- sic charts.
es with Corey Cleyborn, CEO of Clout Records, Big Chief is also CEO
to his own label Take It Off Ent., and roster includes R&B sensation Eat Greedy Or Don’t Eat at All is not only the album’s title but also
T-Gray, female MC T.G.O Gotti and rapper Mr. Maintain. His new Clout Big Chief’s expression of the statement “All or Nothing” – everything
Records release Eat Greedy Or Don’t Eat at All is an album filled with 19 Chief does is overweight. Every cut takes you deeper into his mind-
tracks giving you a full understanding of why this Dallas, TX hustla “Eat frame. Chief’s single “The Man” has been blowing up on the Dallas
Greedy.” You can hear his new single “The Man” in rotation throughout club scene as well as Dallas radio stations, which is the #5 market in
the clubs and radio stations in Dallas, TX and beyond, in addition to the nation.
over 20,000 mix CDs in the streets.
Even though Chief has over 10 years of experience underneath his
Rapping since the age of 12, he has stood out on tracks with other belt he decided to partner with Dallas stand out record label Clout
popular Dallas based rappers such as Pimpsta, Pookie and Lucci, the Records. Clout truly has the city of Dallas on lock, with four club nights
Young Hustlaz, and many others. Big Chief’s style is unique and un- averaging over 1,000 people each night, great industry connections,
like any other. He has a distinct high pitch flow as well as the ability and street promotions. Big Chief is poised to take the music industry
to knock out songs to perfection at a rapid pace. He accomplishes all by storm.
this while still having the poise and veteran leadership to wear the hat
of executive producer of his own project. Chief’s take-charge mental- - Edward Hall

50 OZONE
patientlywaiting

Grind Family
Northwest Indiana
C.O.B., Soope and Phil-Mo a.k.a. The
Grind Family are the epitome of under-
ground hip-hop. We’re not talking about
groups who have major label deals with
poor-selling records. We’re not talking
about groups who put mixtapes on top
of mixtapes with no album in sight. And
we’re definitely not talking about groups
who only rap for their friends and wonder
why they haven’t been “discovered.”

“We way out here on the island where


muthafuckers don’t know what the fuck
we’re doing,” blasts C.O.B. “There’s
nothing where we’re at. It ain’t like Chi-
cago or New York or L.A. Coming from
Gary and Hammond, Indiana, we ain’t
got our own radio station or our own
news channels, nothing. When I say we
started from nothing, we really started
from ground zero.”

Over the years, their Northwest Indiana


stomping grounds have become syn-
onymous with poverty, crime and unem-
ployment; prompting people living there
to move to greener pastures. But what
looked like an exodus from the ‘hood
actually turned out to be unexpected
promotion for the Grind Family’s mu-
sic. “When they moved away they took
our music with them and spread it out
in different cities,” says C.O.B. “Every-
body was feeling what we were doing
– California, Minnesota, Detroit, Arizona,
everywhere.”

Now that most of the country is up on


game, they plan to bring Midwest rap
back to the forefront. But even they will
admit that it will take help from others.
“It’s gonna take unity,” says Soope
when asked what is needed to resurrect
the music from his region. “In the South
niggas came together and that’s why
they blew up. Midwest niggas ain’t re-
ally come together yet. We’re like fuck it,
we’re just trying to put it out ourselves.”

But The Grind Family hasn’t let the selfish-


ness surrounding them hold them down.
They’ve released a handful of indepen-
dent projects, garnered attention from
major media and sold upwards of 20,000
units with absolutely no support from
outside entities. It wasn’t until this past
March that they linked up with Sony/Red.
However, don’t expect for a new situation
to bring about a new attitude. The Grind
Family is keeping theirs intact.

“This is all we want, to make this music


and help our people and give them that
medicine,” stresses Soope. “I see the sad
faces. When I give my niggas CDs, I see
how happy they be. I’d be letting them
down if I get a little paper and put out
some bullshit to make a couple bucks.”

- Maurice G. Garland

52 OZONE
patientlywaiting

N.G.O.K. MY PEOPLE
“It’s not just my people as a race, it’s my people as a whole, human-
Austin, TX kind. We’re talking about how things fell apart and how nobody’s car-
ing because they’re all about themselves and their money. The song is
NAME MEANS New Generation of Kings poetry in motion; you can actually see what you’re hearing, the police
THE GROUPS 2-3 Mic Breakaz and Public Offenders brutality and what people are going through on the streets.”
THE ARTISTS T.Y., Big Scutt, J.Dubb, Winn, Luck, Lyricist, Phenom,
Gator, Black Prophet, Pilarcito I REFUSE
CONTACT www.myspace.com/ngokmusic “It’s a lash out. Everybody was trying to do us wrong. It’s a respect
thing, We refuse anyone trying to step on our shoes or get over on us.
ALL BLACK Don’t throw dirt on the game.”
“It’s mainly speaking to get away from the American patriotic scene.
Red, white and blue is for the government. Red, white, and blue don’t BANG OUT
match. It’s like a movement for Austin. We’re deep now and we’re not “That’s another side of our sound, with everyone in N.G.O.K. on the
just making music, we’re trying to make a point. Why do we wear all track. We’re just hitting the streets and letting people know that we’re
black? Because you can’t see through the darkness. You can’t see on all levels at once, like Outkast. They did all sorts of styles over the
through the truth.” years but always kept it true. Our producer T.Y. can pull out such amaz-
ing melodies because he layers so many different melodies around a
SCARED OF COMMITMENT core. He can take you anywhere you want to go. Nobody’s touching
“It’s made to be controversial. Speaking from a guy’s point of view, him on the beats because he’s doing his own original thing with bass,
why as young males are we so scared of commitment? We’re showing strings, and horns all on the royal tip.”
the self destruction of it. Like ‘Pac said, you first gotta show people
what’s going on to get them to do something about it.” - Robert Gabriel (Photo: Matt Sonzala)

54 OZONE
patientlywaiting

Willie the Kid


Atlanta, GA
The NBA Playoffs are on and Willie the
Kid is nowhere near a television. Instead,
he is running back and forth between a
recording studio and an office space,
because that’s what his life has always
been centered around. Music and busi-
ness. “I never got in trouble for throwing
a football in the house,” admits the West-
ern Michigan native whose father was a
DJ. “I got in trouble for scratching the re-
cords or saying the curse words in a rap
song. I didn’t come home with bruises
from basketball, I’d come home with the
Nas tape, or the Raekwon purple tape.”

At the ripe age of 19, Willie seems to


have it all figured out. Not saying that he
is a know-it-all when it comes to the mu-
sic industry, but he is well aware of the
one thing that he needs to know in order
to get where he wants to be: his place. “I
got the best seat in the house,” says the
Aphilliates’ Music Group recording artist
from inside the label’s newly-furnished
office in Atlanta. “All I got to do is make
good music and fall back. I’m in a real
good situation.”

So far, Willie seems to keeping his end


of the bargain because judging from the
feedback his mixtape The Day the Game
Changed is getting, he is making good
music. “Its authentic shit,” he urges. “Its
fly but at the same time its hard. This ain’t
water, its an energy drink. People stop
me in the street all the time and spit lines
that I ain’t think they was gonna catch.”

There’s no disputing that he is in a good


situation. He’s affiliated with the Aphilli-
ates (no pun intended), one the premier
DJ collectives in the country. The fact
that his older brother, former Wu-Tang
clan associate LA the Darkman, is the
president of the label doesn’t hurt at all.

“I was in 6th or 7th grade when my broth-


er got a deal with Wu-Tang,” says Willie,
mentioning that he learned the difference
between fake and real from watching his
brother’s career. “I saw how they would
go on the road and come back with sto-
ries and T-shirts. My brother was doing
songs with Method Man and Raekwon.
So I started taking it serious too.”

Willie didn’t exactly come into the game


with a head start either. His beginnings
consisted of scraping up $20 with his
childhood friends to buy beats and re-
cord in a neighbors house. But soon
enough, he started to soak in what his
brother was experiencing and made it
work for his own situation. “[Watching
him] made me want to learn more about
rapping,” he says. “Teachers were telling
me to be a doctor or teacher. But I real-
ized that music could be a career too.”

- Maurice G. Garland

56 OZONE
patientlywaiting

Code Red In Code Red’s case, “everything” includes Dancehall Reggae, but ex-
cludes the typical “country” sound that is expected from their region.
Louisville, KY
“Absolutely, emphatically no,” says Jr. Dread when asked if they are
When you hear the words “Code Red” that’s usually a warning mean- adopting the “country” image. “I think that’s what’s gonna separate us.
ing that shit is about to hit the fan. But when it comes to this Louisville, They may think it’s the country, but we’re adding different flavors.”
Kentucky-based foursome that uses the phrase as a stage name, don’t
expect any bells and whistles. “Our gimmick is to not have a gimmick,” Currently promoting their Debarge-sampled single “Summer Jam,”
insists Manfred when speaking on what he and his partners El One, Code Red’s debut album All Aboard is slated to drop on July 25th
Jr. Dread and Watz plan to offer. “We just want our music to speak for through Label X/Toucan Cove/Universal. And for the ears that can’t
itself. We don’t need the extra background story.” wait until then, they are pushing Bigga Rankin-hosted mixtape Rein-
venting the Game. But don’t let the upbeat-nature of “Summer Jam”
Nevertheless, their background is an interesting one. The group was and their other hit “Elbow Room” fool you. They speak on everything
started by El One and Dread who were stationed at Fort Knox, later from first-hand war experience on “Give Me A Reason” and interracial
adding in-house producer Watz and Manfred. From their appearance, dating on “Brother Louis.”
its easy to tell that each of the members come from different walks of
life as well. All the more reason to anticipate a very distinct sound from “Musically, we’re breaking boundaries,” urges El One. “In our music
Kentuck’s latest export. we’re using heavy live instrumentals and trying different patterns and
styles with our lyrics. We break the mold of what conventional hip-hop
“[Kentucky] is a little bit of everything,” says El One. “You’ve got some is. If you want to call us “pop,” I’ll take that label. We’re gonna cross-
cats that are really heavy on the Southern sound, which is really popu- over and blow up. We’re gonna be popular. Wherever the music takes
lar here. Some cats still come with a blend of the Midwest and the us, we’ll follow.”
East. If you look at where we’re situated on the map, we’re right in the
center so we’re really a blend of everything.” - Patriq Morton

58 OZONE
99 Jamz’ Supa Cindy
In addition to holding down the morning show on Miami’s
WEDR 99 Jamz, Supa Cindy’s extracurricular activities in-
clude her non-profit organization Supa Friends. Every year
on Memorial Day Weekend, Supa Friends holds the “I Know
I Can” summit, a mentoring program for teenage girls.

Tell me about your non-profit.


It took me about two years to get it going, and this is my third
year of doing it. We do the “I Know I Can” summit every year,
and the non-profit’s main purpose is to mentor young girls. This
year I’ve got a lot of things lined up with the city of Miami, so I’m
going to be doing events quarterly instead of just annually. It’s
huge for me, and I’m very happy about it. The summit itself is
basically a gathering of young girls, and I have a female panel
that speaks to them. To me, a lot of the programs that they have
for young girls are boring. I’m just doing a female panel be-
cause of the politics of it – to show them role models. But when
I was younger and I went to an event like that, a girl sitting up on
a panel telling me she’s a lawyer or a doctor or whatever didn’t
motivate me to do shit. To me, what makes the biggest impact
is the male panel. I put guys up there like [morning show co-host] Big the guts to discuss what they really want to discuss, they can possibly
Lip Bandit and Pitbull. (laughing) Last year, Pitbull’s big ass mouth, have their question answered. Girls go through a lot of crap and that’s
telling the girls, “Pussy is power.” But seriously, I think things like that what made me want to start this mentoring program. Even at my age,
stick in the girl’s heads a lot more than a woman saying, “Look at I’m still going through it. Being a single woman in the music industry
the struggles I went through and now I’m a doctor” or whatever. For in South Florida is not an easy thing. Guys are intimidated if you act
some reason, these young girls nowadays are so hot in the pants that like you got everything together. If you don’t need them, they have a
they’ll be quicker to absorb the information that a guy is telling them. A problem with it. But when you act like you do need them, they have
woman telling them to keep their legs closed and be a young lady isn’t a problem with it. They want a dependent independent woman. They
as effective as a nigga or a rapper telling them, “Look, all I wanna do is want you to want and beg for their help but they’re not gonna give it
fuck, and I don’t give a shit about knowing your name tomorrow.” I like anyway.
that part of the program. It shows them how it really is.
What are some of the other events you’re putting together aside
Who do you have lined up for this year’s panel? from the summit?
This year Slim Thug is gonna be there. Trick Daddy’s ass better show The summit is still going to be an annual event, and I’m going to get all
up. I told him I was gonna talk about him [on the radio] if he didn’t. the information of the girls that attend and during the year I’m gonna
DJ Khaled, Dre, Toccara from America’s Top Model, and possibly Ser- be sending out email newsletters and motivational things. I’ll be doing
ena Williams and Mad Linx. A lot of local celebrities will be there also. meetings and outings and luncheons if they want to discuss certain
We had Springfest a couple weeks ago and Ludacris was here like a things. Hopefully I’m gonna be getting some funding from the city, so
month ago, so what I did was film a lot of these rappers answering it’ll be a lot easier to accomplish these things right now. All I’ve done
questions. I have a video that’s going to be playing at the summit with so far, literally, is approaching people in the industry that I know can
Ludacris, Paul Wall, T-Pain, LeToya Luckett, Cherish, Sean Paul, and a spare a couple dollars and asking everybody for donations. That’s
bunch of other artists. The craziest one was T-Pain. He’s retarded. how I’m making this work. I didn’t get any major sponsors or nothing
like that. I’m just trying to build the event. I’ve got 1,000 girls being
Are you doing anything different at the summit this year? bused in, and that costs money. I’ve got 1,000 girls being fed, 1,000
Last year I let the parents in but I really don’t want to let the parents in girls getting gift bags, and all that money is coming from me and peo-
this year. I just want the young girls there. I raised the age this year to ple that have given donations. So it’s not an easy thing to do. I’ve been
13-21 years old. I think that even if you’re 21, you’re still lost at a certain eating ramen noodles for the last couple months.
point. When I was 21 I didn’t have it all together, and I still don’t have it
all together. I don’t want the moms or the guardians in there because You’re known for dropping dirt and gossip on the radio – how do
they tend to be so opinionated. It’s like a double-edged sword. I want you justify that when you’re trying to uplift a community?
the moms to be in there learning, and relating to what their daughters Last year after my summit I was on the local news because somebody
are going through, but I don’t want to scare the girls off from talking. went all over my website and put porn on the message board. I know
So this year I’m having a breakfast for the moms next door. The moms it was a hater – who the hell is gonna keep bombarding my website
are going to be next door discussing issues that moms go through, like that for no reason? So they asked me on the news, “How can you
and the girls will be with me. I think the panel is a good idea. The promote positivity when you have porn content?” I’m not saying I’m a
problem with a lot of these programs that they have is that they’re not saint or I’m perfect, cause I’m not, but everybody is learning as they’re
real. When I ask people to be on my panel, I tell them that if they think living every day. As far as gossip, that’s my job. But at the same time,
they’re gonna go up there and look pretty, I appreciate the assistance I’m not walking around disrespecting myself. If you don’t respect your-
but I don’t want it. I definitely want people who are opinionated and self, no one else is going to. My job is an entertainment reporter, which
are willing to really talk about their past experiences so the girls know is a nice way of saying “gossip.” But at least I’m trying to put a balance
it’s real out there. They’re thinking they know everything when they’re in my career instead of just being a radio girl slutting around on the
in high school, but they don’t really know shit. streets of South Beach. So yes, I’m an entertainment reporter, but at
the same time I’m trying to help my community. I don’t have to do this.
Do you mostly address safe sex and things like that, or what are I’m not making any money off this summit. I think in everyone’s career,
some of the topics you discuss? whether you’re a rapper or an actress or whatever, you have to have a
This year’s main theme is self-esteem. I think self-esteem is the root balance. If you don’t have a balance and you’re just out there selling
of so many other problems that these girls go through. A lot of them yourself in a negative way, it’s not worth it.
don’t believe in themselves. They don’t think they’re cute. They think
they’re ugly and fat. With that mentality, it opens the door to so much How could someone get in contact with you?
chaos and drama in their lives. So this year I’m focusing on self-es- Supacindyonline.com or myspace.com/supadupe.
teem, but we talk about absolutely everything. When the girls walk in,
they can write down anonymous questions. So even if they don’t have - Julia Beverly (Photo: J Lash)

60 OZONE
K Foxx as Tina Turner

ROLE PLAYING
With her calendar I Am Every Woman, Miami’s 99 Jamz radio personality K Foxx hopes to honor legend-
ary female role models.

62 OZONE
O
riginally from Manhattan, K-Foxx is now a proud Miami rep- Jamaica. And South Beach is poppin’ every day of the week. That’s
resentative by way of North Carolina. A radio personality what appeals to me about Miami.
and aspiring actress, she is venturing into the modeling
field by releasing her own calendar. But her project I Am Every There’s been some complaints by local Miami artists that radio
Woman isn’t just typical T&A. With the help of photographer Joe doesn’t support them because all the radio personalities are from
Wesley K-Foxx pays tribute to legendary black females like Billie other cities. Being that you’re not from Miami, do you think there’s
Holiday and Tina Turner by posing as them - and doing a damn some truth to that?
good job of it. Through her calendar, she hopes to raise aware- I think that in everybody’s hometown, even if it’s Atlanta, Houston, or
ness in the community about the lack of positive female role mod- Chicago, local artists feel that there isn’t enough support. But they’ve
els for today’s youth. got to understand that it’s a business. 99 Jamz was a special station
because it was ran by the GM, but now it’s corporate. It’s other people
How would you describe your job? You’re an on-air personality on making decisions. So you can’t always say, “Let’s add this record,”
99 Jamz, but you also do a lot of other things. until it’s commercial enough. So that’s the downside of it, but if you
My job title technically is a radio personality, but that’s not the only make a hot song and it’s buzzing in the streets, radio can’t deny it. So
thing I do. I’m also behind the boards. I’m running the show, I’m like what I’m saying to these artists is, make sure you’ve got a hot product.
the pilot making sure the commercials play. Sometimes I do commer- Rick Ross did, and he blew up. He’s knocking down doors right now.
cials. Those are the technical aspects behind the scenes, but I also Pitbull, Jacki-O, Trina, Trick Daddy, they all came out with heat. So
have fun. I’m an entertainer. Radio is basically a theater of the mind to there are artists that are getting play. Local radio stations play what’s
make sure that I’m keeping the flow right. hot, so you’ve gotta make that fire. You can’t come with no bullshit and
be like, “Play it!” I think sometimes artists need to go back in the lab.
Is radio something that you went to school for, or you just picked They’ve gotta listen to radio and study it to see what’s an instant hit.
it up naturally? Usually records with instant hooks, like a D4L song where they’re not
Yeah, I went to school for Mass Communications with a focus on Jour- talking about anything, is an instant hit. It’s simple. But that’s the way
nalism and Radio and Television. I got my first internship in radio, so the business is ran today. So it’s not necessarily the radio station; it’s
I decided to do it. I thought it was fun, and I didn’t like the idea of corporate first and foremost.
people seeing my face all the time [on TV]. With radio, you can be a
star and still have your life and go to the grocery store in peace. But Even though you’re from New York, has the style of music in Mi-
once you’re behind the mic, you can be anyone you want to be. So I ami grown on you?
decided to let my personality shine. I started doing radio when I was in I listen to all types of music. I love up North music and down South
North Carolina for two years, and I had an internship there doing week- music. As long as it’s hot, I’m rockin’ it. I think Miami is creating our
ends. Then I moved to Fayetteville, NC, and held down the 7-midnight own sound right now. Being from New York, back in the day when
spot. Once Miami came calling, I was out. I thought of Miami I thought of Luke and booty music. But that was
then, and this is now. I like the way booty music has taken a twist and
What appealed to you about Miami. Was it a better opportunity? turn and Pitbull has taken things to another level with the reggaeton.
Oh, definitely. For one, money. It’s a bigger market. Miami is a no- Rick Ross is keeping it down and dirty. Miami’s sound keeps growing
brainer – the lifestyle, the people, it’s a celebrity playground. The qual- and elevating, and I love all that shit.
ity of living here is so much better than North Carolina. I’m originally
from New York, so I need that fast pace. Miami has a fast pace but you Let’s talk about the concept for the calendar you’re putting out.
can also take it easy and go on a yacht or go to the Bahamas or go to Where did you get the idea?
I did a shoot for another magazine last summer and I posed as a Bond
K Foxx as Angela Davis girl. We created three looks from a James Bond movie, and I got good
responses from people all over the country. I never knew I had it in me
to actually look like that on camera, so I decided to use it to my advan-
tage and take it further. I picked ten different influential women who I
admired, and honored them by recreating their look in this calendar.
It’s called I’m Every Woman, and it pays tribute to women like Billie
Holiday, Josephine Baker, Tina Turner, Halle Berry, and Angela Davis,
just to name a few.

How can someone get a copy of the calendar or get more informa-
tion?
They can log on to www.KFoxxOnline.com to purchase the calendar. A
lot of them will be given away through the radio station for promotional
use. I will also be giving some away to local stores, and hopefully
Borders will pick it up. I think nowadays there are not a lot of female
role models that little girls can look up to. Back in the day you had the
Tina Turners, Josephine Bakers, and Angela Davises, but today there
are really no role models for us to look up to aside from video girls.
Not everyone fits that image, so that’s why I wanted to put out this cal-
endar, so we can get back to the real essence of a woman and show
how we’re able to conquer adversity.

Do you plan on taking your modeling career to the next level?


I definitely think this calendar is gonna be a stepping stone to more
modeling, because when people look at it they’re like, “Wow, you
transformed into each of these women.” I’m not saying that I look to-
tally like them, cause you can’t look like ten different women, but I
captured the essence of each of them. I’m not opposed to doing print
work so I’d definitely like to do more modeling, but I want to tap more
into acting. I used to do theater back in the days when I was in high
school. I really want to act because people can see you as different
characters. I’m a chameleon, and I think this calendar shows that. I
think I can put that talent to use on the big screen.

What are some of the challenges you’ve come across being a


woman in the music business?
When you’re a young attractive female in a male-dominated business,
men obviously look at the physical first. I really had to set my boundar-
ies first and decide what I’m gonna do and what I’m not gonna do. As

OZONE 63
a woman in this business, you get tested. Men look at you like you’re a sex symbol first. I had
EVERY WOMAN: to really perfect my craft and say, listen, this is what I have to offer, and if you’re not fucking with
K Foxx explains the reasoning behind it then step down. I’m not about to lay down for anybody that wants to get up in me. Once you
the women she selected to honor in know yourself and you’ve set boundaries, it’s easier not to get discouraged by the challenges.
her calendar: Once you prevail and your talent is exposed, there is no stopping you. If you’re talented and
you believe that, you’ve gotta stand by it and keep on going. If one door is closed, believe that
Tina Turner: another one is gonna open. There’s definitely been sexual harassment and men thinking I’m
If you haven’t seen her story or heard not smart enough to handle certain things, but give me the opportunity and I’m taking it and
about her struggle, she survived an abu- running with it.
sive relationship. She still kept going.
She survived drugs and still kept going. So once you developed a reputation, it got easier for you?
She surpassed all the adversity and still Definitely, cause men will test you to see how far they can go. Once you say, “Listen, I don’t get
had number one records and was able down like that,” they’ve gotta give you your respect. There are a lot of powerful and influential
to go on without Ike. She also survived men that could put you in places you might wanna be, but you’ve still gotta look at yourself in
racism in those days. As a powerful the mirror at the end of the day. Can you live with that? Are you gonna give up a piece of your
woman and a sex symbol, I admire that soul in order to get there? You can’t bow down to nobody. If you have that attitude, people
in Tina. have to respect that.

Josephine Baker: On the flip side, do you feel like men are intimidated by your position?
Back in the day, she used to be an Afri- I think so, but it depends on the man. With a female like me, I do have a voice and I do have
can-American dancer. In the 1920s she my own shit, so I don’t have to depend on a man for nothing. He’s gotta come to the table with
wasn’t allowed to perform for integrated somebody too. He’s gotta be secure that I’m gonna be dealing with famous men on a daily
audiences. She put her foot down and basis. But if I say it’s about you, that’s what it is. You’ve gotta have trust, cause an insecure man
said, “I’m not gonna perform for an au- is not a good thing. I’ve dealt with insecure men, and that makes you feel insecure. It makes
dience that’s segregated. You’re gonna you second-guess yourself and what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. I believe that in a
have to have black and white people to- relationship, you’ve gotta build together. You’ve got your own thing and I’ve got my own thing.
gether in order to see me.” Because she Let’s come together and build, instead of bringing each other down. Fortunately I’ve had a man
did that, she wasn’t accepted in Amer- in my corner that supports me 100%, and he isn’t insecure.
ica. But she was accepted in Europe.
She had to go outside the country to get When we talk about the fact that there aren’t many female role models, what do you think
accepted, and then she came here. She is the solution?
adopted twelve different ethnic children I think it’s important for women like Oprah, Tyra Banks, Kimora Lee Simmons, Angela Bassett,
from all across the world and called it the and Halle Berry start programs to recruit young women, or even doctors and lawyers. You have
rainbow tribe. to start within your own community like I’m doing with this calendar. It might be simple, but the
concept is that I’ve transformed into all these different women. I think it starts in the community
Angela Davis: and then you’ve gotta take it to the national level.
A lot of people know her from her hair-
styles, but she was actually a part of the Is there anything else you’d like to say?
political movement in the 60s and 70s in The 305 is looking real big as far as music is concerned. Khaled’s album is dropping in June,
the Black Panther party. She spoke out Rick Ross is doing his thing, Pitbull, Trick Daddy, everybody. I really believe that it’s our time to
against racism and injustice. She had shine. We gotta keep making those hits for the 305. Miami is recognized as a talented place to
the courage to speak out, even though be. We’re about to blow, and if they won’t let us in we’re gonna kick down the door.
back in those days people got killed for
things like that. She’s still a professor, to Do you feel like you represent Miami even though you’re from New York?
this day. Definitely. Don’t get me wrong, I love New York. If it wasn’t for New York I wouldn’t be the per-
son that I am today. But at the end of the day it’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at. I
Billie Holiday: believe that Miami has helped enrich me and showed me a different side. It’s opened me up to
She had her own sound. She didn’t want different things and different styles of music.
to sound like anyone else. She sang
from her soul; from her experience. One
of the quotes I have on the calendar from
her is, “If I’m gonna sing, I might as well
sound like me instead of sounding like
somebody else.” I admire that, because
today within this commercial society,
people try to sound like other people.
Back in the day when you sounded dif-
ferent that’s when you got accepted.
She was defiant; she was an individual.

Halle Berry:
She’s obviously a sex symbol. Men
salivate over her. She has a game plan.
She’s an African-American actress, the
first in history to win an Oscar. I admire
all the struggles she’s been through as
an actress. There are a lot of stereotypes
and not a lot of black roles. She created
a lot of these roles in Hollywood for her-
self. She knocked down doors.

Janet Jackson:
She’s been doing her thing forever. She
was on Good Times as Penny, looking
up to her brothers. Being a female in a
male-dominated world, she still said,
“I’m Janet, this is who I am, watch me
bloom,” instead of living in the shadow K Foxx as “Foxy Brown”
of her brothers, and I admire that.

64 OZONE
DALLAS
GOT NEXT
Words by Matt Sonzala Photos by Jaro Vacek
Disclaimer: This is by no means meant to be the definitive history of you will see that it is certainly possible to make it out of Dallas. Norah
Dallas hip-hop. It’s merely a look at some of the events and turning Jones, Erykah Badu and Edie Brickell are all leaders in their respective
points that lead up to today. Dallas is a dynamic city with a hip-hop genres and all came straight out tha D.
scene that is definitely on the verge, but the success it is about to see
by no means happened overnight. A lot of people put in work to bring In the late 80’s, when the hip-hop world was just starting to focus on
it to where it is today and it would be impossible to mention them all. West Coast artists like N.W.A and Too $hort, Dallas became a huge
Also, for up and coming artists who may feel slighted for missing out market for their music, due in part to a community radio station that is
on the photo, or not being mentioned in this piece, please send your still around to this day called KNON and an adventurous group of DJs.
materials to Ozone Magazine, at the address in the front of the book Jeff Liles would play uncut N.W.A jams late at night on his radio show,
and we will consider you for future coverage. Thanks, and enjoy this mixed with hard rock and industrial bands from the period. His show,
look at one of hip-hop’s hottest cities). Life is Hard, was one of the first if not the first show in the nation to
ever play N.W.A on the radio. In fact, he was later kicked off the air for

I
n hip-hop, many regional scenes become “flavor-of-the-month” suc- playing the classic song “Boyz in the Hood” unedited.
cess stories. One day the industry’s focus is on Los Angeles, the
next it’s on Atlanta, then it’s back on New York. Houston, TX, is cur- His show had a good urban following mostly because it followed one
rently living through one of its highest periods ever with all eyes on the of the earliest and strongest hip-hop radio shows in the city, the All
syrup-soaked city. People are talking about Houston as if the slowed Hearty Def Party which was hosted by DJ Snake, Big Al and Cas-
down sounds coming from it are the newest, freshest, most ground- sanova Rock, also known as Nemesis. For years this was the only
breaking reverberations ever to rumble from the South. place where you could hear rap from outside the East coast on the
radio in Dallas. On Thursday nights, EZ Eddie D and his crew would
Fact is, the sound of Houston is more than ten years old. For the past spin primarily East coast underground hip-hop. His show Knowledge
fifteen years groups like UGK and DJ Screw’s Screwed Up Click have Dropped, Lessons Taught can be heard to this day on Saturday eve-
been rapping about sipping syrup, candy paint and sitting sideways nings from 5 – 7 PM on the same station. (Later on Saturdays from 10
over lackadaisical beats that fit the pace of the city like a glove. The PM – midnight is the Dirty South Block Party, hosted by Bobo Luciano,
Houston sound is not new; the world has just finally caught on. Pikahsso and DJ Fish. More on them later).

Four hours north in Dallas, TX, there’s another scene emerging. If you “KNON was huge in the mid to late 80’s and early 90’s.” Cold Cris,
take the time to look you’ll see that the second largest city in Texas is an early break dancer turned rapper from the groups 2AWK and Mad
overflowing with artists bringing new sounds to the table and a flavor Flava remembers. “There was about four or five hip-hop shows at that
all its own. Big Tuck & DSR, Play-N-Skillz, Money Waters, Steve Austin, time and people used to really listen to that station to find out what
Pikahsso, Kottonmouth, Big Ben and Grifter are all set to blow. was going on. When Snake and Big Al and Cassanova had their show
they used to throw parties and they would sell out the Red Bird Ar-
But Dallas, like Houston, is no overnight success story. Like many cit- mory in Oakcliffe, they threw huge parties and people used to listen
ies across the U.S., their local hip-hop scene is deep and rich with to KNON religiously. They used to play a lot of new music and break
history. But unlike many cities across the U.S., Dallas has already had a lot of acts. DJ Curly was on there too. Dallas even had two urban
its share of major hip-hop success stories, though none ever really commercial stations at the time. K-104 has been around forever and
were able to stay the course. Take a look at other styles of music and 107.5 was the other.”

(l to r): David Chris, Young Muhammad, Craig Sweet, P.T., DJ Princess Cut, Rob Free, KD Da Duke, George Lopez, Big Tuck, Tum Tum, Ron Don, NFL,
Trinity, NFL, Double T, Fat Bastard, Big Hood Boss, Lil Ronnie, Don Dada, Lumba, Mr. Lucci, D-Lou, K-Roc
In late 1986 a young Jeff Liles was introduced to Eazy E who sent him 20,000 copies. This sparked the attention of Profile Records, who were
cassette tapes to play. “This was around the time when Licensed to Ill known at the time for releasing hip-hop classics by Run-DMC, Special
came out” Jeff Liles remembers, “and Yo Bum Rush the Show. When Ed and DJ Quik, as well as Poor Righteous Teachers, Rob Base & DJ
it was truly underground. Eric [Eazy E] would call me every day from EZ Rock and N2Deep.
out on the streets. He was the first person I knew that had a cell phone,
and when they first came to Dallas to a club called City Lights, it was Joe Macc, an early investor/affiliate of Nemesis who later became a
really something revolutionary.” rapper in the group remembers their initial days. “It was a struggle,
it was hell, dude.” He says, “We was trying to get out the streets and
City Lights was one of the original Dallas clubs for rap. It’s now owned do something else besides hustling. People looked at us like, ‘Yeah
by Erykah Badu and called the Black Forest Theater. right.’ Nobody believed in us until we got on the radio.” These were
the days before every boy in the hood knew that there was money
Jeff Liles formed the experimental group, Decadent Dub Team. to be made in the rap game. It was also an era where regional styles
Through his affiliation with an influential A&R at the time named Kim weren’t really looked at as having national appeal outside of New York
Buie, and with N.W.A, their track “Six Gun” was remixed by Dr. Dre and and Los Angeles.
included on the Colors soundtrack.
Nemesis, and their friends in Houston the Geto Boys, helped to change
Around this time Dallas also saw the beginnings of one of the most all that. Their break out successes brought eyes to Texas. DJ Snake is
important voices in mid to late 80’s hip-hop, the D.O.C. His group the recognized to this day as a bass music pioneer and has mixed recent
Fila Fresh Crew were straight underground, but are recognized as one records by Lil Jon and a lot of other folks who followed his lead. Other
of the city’s pioneering crews. Their singles “I Hate to Go to Work” important records that came out of Dallas in the 80’s were “Me, My Bo
and “Dunk the Funk” were Dallas classics. They also appeared on the and Ho” by U Know Who and “Yellow Hammer” by K-Cold.
album N.W.A and the Posse.
In 1990 Dallas saw another major success in a young DJ named Baby
“Dr. Rock was one of the biggest DJs in Dallas in the 80’s.” Cold Cris G. A quiet, intelligent type, Baby G was one of the most exciting DJs
continues with his history lesson. “He was originally from Los Angeles of the time. It was this year that he won the DMC U.S. Championship
and was a member of the World Class Wreckin’ Crew – Dr. Dre’s origi- and showed the world that there was real hip-hop outside the major
nal group – and later in Dallas became a part of the Fila Fresh Crew hotspots of New York, Los Angeles and Miami. “The fact that a guy
with The D.O.C. He introduced D.O.C. to Dr. Dre. D.O.C. was just way from Dallas went up there and took that shit from all those judges from
ahead of his time. Dr. Rock used to have a mix show on the weekend New York was phenomenal,” Cold Cris says. Baby G. was in a group
nights, him and Ushay, who was also a huge DJ back then. They were with Cris called I.G.P., which was an extension of their crew the Interna-
really rival DJs on separate stations and Ushay had a popular club tional Grand Posse. One night after opening a show for Professor Griff,
called Starz. Ushay actually produced one of the earliest records to the recently ousted Minister of Information for Public Enemy, Cold Cris
come out of Dallas called “Neck Work” by the Star Studded Strutters. and Baby G. were offered a deal.
That probably came out in 1983 or 1984.”
“Professor Griff of Public Enemy was doing A&R for Luke Records.”
Soon after the Fila Fresh Crew began making noise, the D.O.C. moved Cris remembers, “Me and Baby G. opened up for him and he called
to Los Angeles, connected with Dr. Dre and N.W.A and released his me backstage after his show and basically said he was putting to-
debut album, the hip-hop classic, No One Can Do It Better. That record gether a group and wanted me and G. to come to Miami. I thought
produced the mega hits “It’s Funky Enough” and “The Formula,” and he was bullshitting. Next thing you know he called the next week and
also one of the most incredible posse cuts of all time, “The Grand was putting the whole shit together. He found Hype Dawg in St. Louis
Finale.” It was one of the most important LPs of its era. Unfortunately, and these two dancing cats in Louisville and basically flew us all down
because he really didn’t make it a point to rep Dallas, many, includ- to Miami and that’s how we formed the group. I.G.P. was really a col-
ing myself and actual residents of Dallas thought he was from Los lective, a crew which was not only music but a very large set. It was
Angeles. In fact, in his first video, and on the cover of the album he me, Kasaan, Ice Mike, EZ Eddie D, Almight-D, Baby G, Kid Cannabis,
was wearing Los Angeles Kings gear. This pissed off a lot of people Shabazz who is now World Fame from Grifter and way more people.
in Dallas who did know him from his early days, and it was seen as a But Griff put us together as 2AWK – Two Average White Kids.” Even
setback at the time. though Baby G is not white.

But Nemesis repped Dallas to the fullest. Their major success came 2AWK didn’t quite work out as Griff had planned, but from its ashes
in the early 90s with their hit “Munchies For Your Bass,” which was a formed Mad Flava, a group consisting of Cold Cris, Baby G., Hype
slow, R&B-tinted, bass-heavy cut that rang out of every car for years Dawg and The Don Kasaan. Mad Flava got a deal with Priority Re-
from Florida to Cali. Their first album, released on vinyl only, “To Hell
and Back,” was self-financed and self-released and sold upwards of

(l to r): Pimpsta, SEJ, guest, Skillz, guest, Play, DeVille, Jizno, George, DJ Drop, guest, DJ G-Rock, Big Bink, Sleepy, KottonMouth, Philly Station, Tahiti,
Philly Station, Philly Station, Gunna, Caesar, OZONE/CRUNK!!! truck, Philly Station, Skin, Mes, guest, Rig, Picnic Time
cords and while their debut From the Ground Under made a good bit blew it up. There was nobody but Pimp C sounding country like that at
of noise it came out a full year after Priority did its major promo push. the time. Everything I did kind of went against the grain.”
In this business timing is everything, and Mad Flava became yet an-
other story of a label fucking up and missing the boat on what could Going against the grain isn’t really against the rules in Dallas like it is
have been something big. in other cities, namely Houston. In Houston, artists outside the realm
of what DJ Screw created have a really hard time being heard. But in

T
he 90’s in Dallas were similar to the 90’s in a lot of other places. Dallas, there’s a whole gang of artists making noise by being truly dif-
Artists saw the success their neighbors in Louisiana Master P ferent. Not everyone is on some straight, Texas street shit.
and Cash Money were having and they began stepping their
game up. Two of the most influential artists to come out of Dallas and There’s diversity in this city and many of the artists who step outside
really work the independent hustle were – and still are – Pimpsta and the box and experiment with new sounds are starting to get attention
Kottonmouth. from the media and even the streets. Pikahsso and his PPT family
recently won a contest held by the Dallas Mavericks to create their
Kottonmouth later went on to form the Rally Boyz with Jizno and Fort playoff theme song. Money Waters released an album of blues-tinged,
Worth’s Big Ben. The Rally Boyz became one of the city’s premier reality hip-hop and is known to perform with a full band. Steve Austin
groups because of their hustle, immediate chemistry and connections brings a new energy and classic lyricism to the game. Hydroponic
to rappers from all over the spectrum. The Rally Boyz have always Soundsystem have crafted countless classic singles and two incred-
been grinders, and Kottonmouth is known as a leader in Dallas’s latest ible compilation CD’s that sell like wildfire overseas. Head Krack has
movement, a scene he helped to create. been known as a freestyle champ since he was a young buck and is
now receiving major recognition as a radio and mixtape hustler. All
“I’ve been hustling our music for a long time, and today, I take CD’s five of these artists are poised to have a huge year in 2006. And it’s
from other artists out on the road with me and even try to sell they all started with working the streets in Dallas, a city where it’s okay to
shit,” Kottonmouth says, explaining the grind that got him to where be different.
he is today and what some other folks might need to do to get their

S
weight up. “These artists a lot of the time, they hollering and bullshit- trangely enough, even the stuff that approaches mainstream in
ting and running they mouth but they not into retail, they not into the Dallas seems to go against the grain and generally sounds new.
mom and pops, they not into selling out they trunks, they not into go- The biggest group to break out of Dallas in the past few years is
ing to the car show and setting up a booth and selling they CDs. They DSR – the Dirty South Rydaz. After years of hustling their mixtapes and
not into selling they CDs in their homeboy’s traps. They not into giving underground albums throughout Texas and the surrounding states,
they CDs to they pimp pa’tnas and letting the hoes sell the CDs. Any following the lead of their contemporaries the Swisha House and Boss
way you can sell music is the way you sell music. I don’t give a damn. Hogg Outlaws, they recently scored a $7 million deal with Universal for
I’ll give your grandma some CDs to sell while she at work.” And maybe their T-Town Music Label – a company formed by a successful retailer/
he has. His catalog is one of the most widely known to come out of the distributor/hustler named George Lopez and his partners Trinidad Del-
Dallas independent movement. gado and Alan Powell. Their first major label release is coming from
Big Tuck, one of the most unique voices in Southern rap today.
Pimpsta has kept his name hot for the past ten years by consistently
releasing albums and undergrounds, sometimes multiple copies in “I was taking CD’s to George Lopez at T-Town Music about six years
the same month. Before boys started dropping discs full of their flows ago.” Big Tuck pontificates. “George was already doing retail, pushing
over other peoples beats on a regular basis, Pimpsta was flooding the the Swishahouse, the Boss Hogg, the Mike Jones and stuff like that.
streets with his countrified street prose almost monthly since 1993. He And he was like, ‘Man I might as well go and start my own group.’
was a pioneer artist and businessman. His first single “Rollin’ on Them And here we are. I can honestly say that I’m one of the first rappers
Thangs” was an ode to riding on Daytons, a topic that is all but played that Dallas has accepted as they own. It’s part of my attitude and my
out today, but sounded fresh as can be in 1993. “At the time that song
and album kind of changed the game because no one was talking
about cars like that,” Pimpsta explains. “Everyone was on West Coast
stuff, but Greg Street loved that song and helped get it out there and

(l to r): Picnic Time, Charles Reece, Ernest M., BoogieMan, Coach Cognac, Edward “Pookie” Hall, Uncle Pauly, Money Waters, Small Soulja, Worldfame
Grifter, Cold Cris, Puerto Rican Mike, Charles, Chase Pat, Poe, Kio, Boleg, Peezy, guest, guest, City Life, Lil Phil, Mista Mista, Dawg Wonder, Classick
personality. I’m a cool cat, I don’t really get in trouble and I don’t really ing reality rapper in the vein of Scarface who’s not afraid to speak the
argue with nobody, I’m supportive of everybody so they support me.” truth and reach inside his soul for topics to cover other than what he’s
And they support the rest of the camp too, who take the down South got in his mouth or on his car. Boleg and his Stampede Records family
Texas style and put their own twist on it. One thing that sets them apart and Bobo Luchiano represent one of Dallas’s oldest and most notori-
is while they are definitely hard, street artists, they have no problem ous neighborhoods, Oakcliffe, like it’s the South Bronx of the South.
with injecting some humor in the mix. Their wordplay is unmatched Blofly comes with some undeniable street shit, and Big Chief has one
amongst their peers. DSR’s other members Tum Tum, Fat Bastard, of the most unique and appealing voices in rap today.
Addiction, Lil Ronnie, TT, Tite and their young partners the TBGz are
all names to be on the lookout for. Two of the biggest selling independent artists from Dallas, Mr. Pookie
& Mr. Lucci, both have releases in stores this year and Grifter Records
Two of the most successful producers to emerge from Texas in recent is home to a whole gang of young heaters – and some old school
years are from Dallas as well. Play-N-Skillz are currently riding high legends like label head World Fame – all set to blow in the ‘06. Quint
off the success of Chamillionaire’s “Ridin’ Dirty,” which garnered over Black, Big Hood Boss, Big Wheel Records, Crystyle, D-Lou, NFL Boys,
10,000 BDS spins in the U.S. and has been remixed lyrically by artists Rakoo Nation , SEJ, Six-2, Young Muhammed, Nino, Hotboy Starr,
in France, New Zealand, Germany and the U.K. It gets radio and video Olmann, Philly Station, Gator Main, C-Pone, Creepa, Lil Socc, Colby
play all over the world and Play-N-Skillz couldn’t be happier. Savage, Young Pig, Coach Cognac and Diamond D are all names to
look out for in the near future.
But this isn’t their first success story. The duo has worked with all sorts
of folks. “We recorded Lil Flip’s whole last album, even the stuff we “Without Dallas I wouldn’t be shit,” Kottonmouth closes with a bit of
didn’t produce,” Play explains. “Baby Bash, Young Buck, Outlawz, chastisement for what he sees currently in the Dallas rap game. “No
Bone Thugs and Harmony, Petey Pablo, Fabolous, everybody and matter where I go ain’t nobody gotta ask Kottonmouth where I’m from.
anybody. Every time somebody comes to Dallas they calling Play-N- The only thing we gotta do in Dallas right now is make sure everybody
Skillz. If they not calling for the bitches they calling for the beats.” lining they business up to look like a structured business. We don’t
wanna look like a bunch of niggas talking loud unless we talking about
Born two Latin kids in a rough section of the Dallas suburb of Irving, structured business.”
Play-N-Skillz work well within the Latin music scene. But unlike a lot of
their peers, they are able to branch out and work with anyone. “Dallas With a company like T-Town Music opening up the doors to retail
is real multi-cultural.” Play continues. “Blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians, and once again attracting the attention of the majors, Kotton’s right.
everybody gets down out here. If you saw our video for ‘Latino’s Stand If these artists and labels can get their business right, they certainly
Up’ you saw we had everybody. We had the black people throwing up have a chance.
their L’s. We have an Asian kid named Lumber from the group Phar
East that we’re working with. He’s definitely about to blow.” “I don’t think it’s automatic that Dallas is gonna blow just because
Houston did,” Cold Cris of Mad Flava says in closing. “But a lot of eyes
If you’re not convinced that Dallas – and its neighbor Ft. Worth – has it are on Dallas right now and the opportunity is there. I think it’d be a
going on, then you must have missed something. It’s rich with hip-hop shame if an artist or a company didn’t step up and exploit that atten-
history and new pages are written every day, making this North Texas tion that’s going on right now. It’s up to everybody to man up on their
Metroplex one of the most dynamic hip-hop cities today. It would take own and do what they have to do. There’s nothing entitled or prom-
more pages than we can fit in this issue of OZONE to cover everyone ised to nobody. You got to get out there and get it on your own.”
currently making noise in this city. Just by looking at the photo, you’ll
see that there’s no shortage of tight artists in North Texas. Thanks to George Lopez and everyone at T-Town Music, Jeff Liles, Cold
Cris, Jeff Wade, Bobo Luchiano, Joe Macc, Pookie from urbansouth.
“I ain’t never seen no shit like this,” rapper Mr. Lucci was heard say- us, Mr. Blakes and the entire city of Dallas for their help in making this
ing as the camera snapped away. While the artists in Dallas may not story a reality. You can hear all these artists and more on the hot mix
get together on a daily basis, since we came to town, everyone now CDs currently flooding the streets by DJ Princess Cut, a young, female
knows that they really are not alone in this game. turntable wizard who relocated a few years ago to Dallas from Japan,
the Untouchable DJs and on the Dirty South Block Party every Saturday
Other artists to watch include Fort Worth’s Twisted Black, a fire breath- night from 10 PM – midnight central on www.knon.org.

(l to r): Big Truck, Pikahsso, Rod, Corey Clout, Tequila, guest, Crystle, Big Chief, guest, Twisted Black, D-Lyte, Money Maine, JJ Chianes, HeadKrack,
Rakoo, Blofly, Steve Austin, Big Ben, Sarge, Big Wheel Records
OZONE 71
First Annual OZONE Awards: Sunday, August 6th
at the Bob Carr Auditorium in downtown Orlando, FL
red carpet: 4-6 PM showtime: 7 PM

in association with TJ’s DJ’s Tastemaker’s Music Conference (August 4th-5th)


visit www.ozonemag.com or www.tjsdjs.com to vote and purchase weekend passes to all events
Tickets to the OZONE Awards are also available through www.ticketmaster.com

Nominations were selected by a panel of DJs, journalists, and other knowledgeable, non-biased individu-
als in the rap community. OZONE is widely known and respected as the premiere voice of Southern rap
music, so it’s only right that our nominations this year are focused on Southern artists. Keep in mind that
this year’s nominations are based solely on music released between May 1, 2005 and April 30, 2006.

BEST ALBUM - RAP


Bun B - Trill Rap-A-Lot/Asylum
The king of collaborations brought together the entire South for his perfectly-
timed first solo album, even uniting Houston - if only for a few minutes - on the
“Draped Up” remix.

Juvenile - Reality Check Atlantic


Facing with the challenge of adjusting to a new recording home and picking up
his life after Katrina, Juve came with his best material since his groundbreaking
Cash Money release 400 Degreez.

Lil Wayne - The Carter 2 Cash Money/Universal


Wayne became a critical and media darling with the superior lyrical dexterity he
showcased on his latest project.

T.I. - King Grand Hustle/Atlantic


He claimed the throne years ago, and backed it up in a major way in 2006 with
one of his strongest efforts to date.

Young Jeezy - Thug Motivation: Let’s Get It Def Jam


The highly-anticipated major label debut from the South’s hottest underground
commodity spawned numerous hit singles and club anthems.

OZONE
OZONE 73
73
and the nominees are....

BEST RAP ARTIST (MALE) BEST R&B ARTIST (MALE)


Bun B Anthony Hamilton
Blah blah The raw emotions in his voice catapulted him to near iconic status in
today’s climate of soulless music.
Juvenile
Blah blah Bobby Valentino
Former Mista front man goes from Organizing Noize to Disturbing the
Lil Wayne Peace and makes a sound hit in the process.
Blah Blah
Chris Brown
T.I. This smooth teen catapulted to the top of the charts virtually over-
This Urban Legend told you he was Serious, but he still had to Trap night.
you with his Muzik until you crowned him the King he’d always
claimed to be. Ne-Yo
After penning hit records for Mario and others, Ne-Yo stepped out
Young Jeezy into his own limelight.
Young Jeezy
Pretty Ricky
A little raunchy for your mother’s liking, but Pretty Ricky snuck their
way into the hearts of teenage girls everywhere. Their “Grind” finally
paid off.

T-Pain
blah blah

BEST RAP ARTIST (FEMALE)


Crime Mob (Diamond & Princess)
This young duo kept their crew’s name alive after people got tired of
knucking and bucking.
BEST R&B ARTIST (FEMALE)
Christina Milian
Jacki-O blah blah
The self-proclaimed Madam of Miami will take your attention, your
man and your jewelry if the cameras aren’t watching. But, when on Ciara
the mic, she takes no shit. This overnight celebrity dropped an album and had a run that proves
she will be here for many moons.
Khia
Raw and uncut, Khia still represents for the ghetto females in the Destiny’s Child
ongoing battle of the sexes (“J.O.D.D.,” “Snatch the Cat Back”). Houston’s angels bid farewell, but did so in grand fashion.

Rasheeda Joi
The “R” in her name must stand for resilient. This “Georgia Peach” George Clinton, Big Gipp, Bun B and Pastor Troy can vouch for her.
has proven that she’s here to stay. She is the Queen of the Underground.

Shawnna Keyshia Cole


Slowly but surely stepping out of Ludacris’ shadow. this Chi-Town Swiftly becoming the Mary J. Blige of her generation, Ms. Cole got
queen is about to make the world respect female emcees again. hyphy with the fellas but still represented for the ladies.

Trina LeToya Luckett


Attitude for years, sassiness for months and ass for days, Trina “blah Showing that there is indeed life after Beyonce, Luckett crept in with
blah blah”-ed her way to the top and snagged Birdman Jr. on the the Houston wave and found her niche.
way.

74 OZONE
and the nominees are....

BEST ALBUM - R&B BEST RAP GROUP


Anthony Hamilton - Ain’t Nobody Worryin’ Arista Boyz N Da Hood
His second studio album clearly indicated that he was not a flash in A collective comprised of two underground rap vets and two flashy
the pan. newcomers, Boyz N Da Hood took the South by storm, drawing
comparisons to the legendary gangsta rap group N.W.A.
Lyfe Jennings - Lyfe 268-192 Sony
If every convicted felon had a soulful voice and songwriting skills like D4L
the ones displayed on Lyfe’s autobiographical debut, we wouldn’t Love them, hate them, or hate them a lot, ATL foursome D4L ignored
see many repeat offenders. Fuck a license plate – give them a guitar! the dissenters and made an undeniable run for the top.

Ne-Yo - In My Own Words Def Jam Dem Franchize Boyz


R&B’s new man of the hour scored big with “So Sick” and his debut Right when you thought they got worn out, Dem Franchize Boyz
album. dusted off the White Tees and reminded us why we like them.

T-Pain - Rappa Ternt Sanga Konvict/Jive Little Brother


Tallahassee’s multi-talented son dropped an album laced with his They held up a mirror and forced hip-hop to take a good look at itself
trademark singing and production style, and produced two massive with their critically acclaimed major debut The Minstrel Show.
hits in the process. Not bad for a rapper.
Three 6 Mafia
Trey Songz - I Gotta Make It Atlantic It’s a little easier out here for a pimp now that Memphis legends
Originally written off as an R Kelly Jr., Trey Songz created his own Three 6 Mafia have received their mainstream respect.
lane and brought a breath of fresh air to R&B.
Ying Yang Twins
Best known for their strip club anthems, this Atlanta duo expanded
their horizons into grown-man territory with United State of Atlanta
- and still managed a few “HANH?!?”s in the process.

BEST LYRICIST BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST


Bun B
The South ain’t got lyrics, huh? Tell that to Bun B. There’s a reason Mike Jones
why he’s been featured alongside virtually every rapper you’ve ever He may not have picked up his phone when you called, but Mike
heard of. Jones saw his career go from off the radar to off the hook.

Chamillionaire Paul Wall


Even though he’s reppin’ the Screwed and Chopped state of Texas, On top of single-handedly birthing (and soon killing) our fascination
Cham’s flows and lyrics are anything but slow. with Grillz, Paul Wall went from being a local Chick Magnet to the
People’s Champ.
Killer Mike
Shaky release dates and a shelved album almost deaded his name, Rick Ross
but Killa Kill managed to stay alive with the amazing freestyles and Hustlin’ every day (for years) led Miami’s Rick Ross to a major label
lyrical dexterity of The Killer mixtape and the Got Purp? compilation. bidding war and a multi-million dollar Def Jam deal.

Lil Wayne Slim Thug


Lil Wayne finally gained nationwide respect for being the talented They say everything’s bigger in Texas. Houston’s 7-footer was ridin’ a
emcee that he has been since a pre-teen. Bentley before the album dropped - like a boss.

Scarface T-Pain
For well over a decade Scarface has proven why he is one of the Save for the now infamous chain-snatching incident, T-Pain’s break-
most revered voices in all of hip hop. In 2006 he continued to add to through has been a pleasurable experience. Being “Sprung” and “In
his legendary status with his group The Product. Luv” never hurt nobody.

T.I. Webbie
He talks cash shit and he’s money on the mic, but T.I. still spits like Coming from Lousiana’s ‘other’ city, Baton Rouge’s Webbie brought
he struggling in the trap. back the I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude that others have forgotten.

OZONE
OZONE 75
75
and the nominees are....

BEST RAP COLLABORATION BEST RAP/R&B COLLABORATION


Bun B f/ H-Town All Stars (Lil Keke, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Mike Beyonce f/ Slim Thug “Check Up On It”
Jones, Aztek, Lil Flip, Z-Ro) “Draped Up (remix)” blah blah
Rodney King and DJ Screw would be so proud to see how every-
body just got along. Or at least they edited it that way. Field Mob f/ Ludacris & Jamie Foxx “Georgia”
These underrated country boys paid tribute to their home state along
DJ Khaled f/ Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Fat Joe, and Pitbull “Holla At with Luda and a damn good Ray ??? impression by Jamie Foxx.
Me Baby”
Miami’s premiere DJ Khaled called in a bunch of favors for this ener- T-Pain f/ R Kelly, Twista, Pimp C, Paul Wall, MJG, & Too $hort
getic lead single off his debut album. blah blah

Purple Ribbon All-Stars (Big Boi & Killer Mike) “Kryptonite” Ying Yang Twins f/ Avant “Bedroom Boom”
Yeah, the song was jamming. But you may need to go back and blah blah
listen closely to Big Boi’s verse. He’s no slouch.
Young Jeezy f/ Akon “Soul Survivor”
Three 6 Mafia f/ Young Buck & 8Ball & MJG “Stay Fly” blah blah
This Tennessee union was a long time coming, but well worth the
wait. Young Jeezy f/ Christina Milian “Say I”
blah blah
Trae f/ Fat Pat and Big Hawk “Swang (remix)”
Only God can bring the whole crew back, but until then, Screwed Up
Click fans have Trae’s tribute to hold them down.

CLUB BANGER
Bubba Sparxxx f/ Ying Yang Twins “Ms. New Booty”
blah blah NO ESCAPE AWARD
Rick Ross “Hustlin’” David Banner “Play”
blah blh blah blah

T.I. “What U Know” D4L “Laffy Taffy”


blah blah blah blah

Ying Yang Twins f/ Pitbull “Shake” Dem Franchize Boyz “Lean Wit’ It, Rock Wit’ It”
Blahblah blah blah

Yung Joc “It’s Goin’ Down” Dem Franchize Boyz f/ Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat, and Bow Wow
This breakthrough record from Bad Boy South’s newest representa- “Oh I Think They Like Me (remix)”
tive came complete with its own dance. blah blah

Webbie f/ Bun B “Gimme Dat”


blah blah

76 OZONE
and the nominees are....

MIXTAPE MONSTER AWARD SLEPT ON ARTIST


Chingo Bling B.G.
Texas’ tamale king stays in the kitchen, whipping up new product. Although he’s been in the game for a decade plus, B.G.’s indepen-
dent releases through Koch were underappreciated by the main-
DSR stream audience.
Dallas’ T-Town Music collective landed a $7 million dollar deal with
Universal Records off their impressive underground grind. Bohagon
Lil Jon’s secret weapon helped everybody “Get Crunk,” but he’s just
Magno a soulful country boy at heart.
Mike Jones’ (who?) former partner Magno now represents DJ Clue’s
Desert Storm South and stays on his mixtape grind. Jody Breeze
Jazze Pha protege and Boyz N Da Hood member Jody Breeze is still
Pitbull waiting to drop his solo album, and fans are waiting also.
No longer just Mr. 305, this internationally recognized superstar still
stays true to his humble beginnings and releases mixtapes frequently Little Brother
that are, dare I say, better than the album. Allegedly dubbed “too intelligent” for their audience by BET, this
North Carolina trio proves once again that catchy hooks often win
Plies over substance.
Ft. Myers, FL newcomer Plies’ 100% Real Nigga mixtapes with Cool
Runnings’ DJ Bigga Rankin helped him amass plenty of fans, and Webbie
haters, in 2006. Grimy, gutta, and unrefined, this truly talented Baton Rouge rhymer
stayed somewhat under the radar despite two big singles.
Young Jeezy
This category wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Jeezy’s Yo Gotti
accomplishments with mixtapes like Trap or Die and Can’t Ban the Respected in the streets of Memphis and beyond, Yo Gotti is still
Snowman. awaiting national recognition.

TJ’s DJ’s HUSTLER AWARD


LIVING LEGEND AWARD DJ Chuck T
8Ball & MJG Carolina representative “Mr. Publicity” lives up to his name, churning
blah blah out mixtapes after mixtapes consistently and maintaining numerous
other hustles.
Scarface
blah blah David Banner
Whether rapping, producing, acting, or aiding hurricane victims in his
Three 6 Mafia home state of Mississippi, Banner redefines 24/7.
By now, we all know that they made history by winning an Academy
Award. But even before the Oscar, these Memphis legends impact DJ Drama
was clear. Drama and his Affiliates’ crew are literally everywhere.

Too $hort Mike Jones


It’s all about that almighty dollar sign: $. Who showed you how to do You don’t grind, you don’t shine. You don’t work, you don’t eat. Call
this indie thing? Biiiiiiitch! 281-330-8004 for more information.

UGK Tampa Tony


Port Arthur, TX, rap partners Bun B and Pimp C have each earned the Known for his Florida anthem “Keep Jukin’,” Tampa’s most creative
title of Underground King. Bun B also gets the loyalty award for his artist added “inventor” to his list of job titles this year with the inge-
relentless (and apparently, successful) “Free Pimp C” campaign. nious smoker’s device Da Splitta.

Uncle Luke Tony Neal


From challenging censors to paving the way as a businessman, The founder of The CORE DJs, Tony goes the extra mile to make
Miami’s bass king has earned the title of “pioneer.” sure his crew eats.

OZONE
OZONE 77
77
and the nominees are....

TJ’s DJ’s TASTEMAKER AWARD: TJ’s DJ’s TASTEMAKER AWARD:


(MUSIC) (STYLE/TRENDSETTER)
Cool & Dre Dem Franchize Boyz
This Miami production duo created their own signature sound. White tees have become hip-hop’s official uniform, thanks in part to
DFB.
DJ Screw
Although he’s gone (R.I.P.), his legacy and music lives on through Fabo of D4L
Houston’s recent rap explosion. Famous for his white sunglasses, Fabo’s unique style has been
imitated by many, but duplicated by none.
K-Rab
Snap, crackle, pop. The “inventor” of Atlanta’s newest trend, snap Lil Wayne
music, K-Rab’s impact is clear. Bling, bling. Everytime I come around your city, bling bling. When did
men start wearing more jewelry than women?
Lil Jon
Although somewhat silenced this year by legal issues, Jon ventured Paul Wall & TV Johnny
beyond the South and kept his sound alive by linking up with rock Everyone and their brother, sister, mama, and grandmomma has
groups like Korn and California legends like E-40. a grill now, thanks to Paul Wall’s side hustle and his comedic - but
presumably rich - business partner, Johnny Dang of TV Jewelry.
Mr. Collipark
Although its longevity remains to be seen, Mr. Collipark’s vision for a T.I.
new genre of “intimate club music” became a reality with the success Not only is T.I. a great rapper, but he’s also become a sex symbol.
of the Ying Yang Twins’ “Wait” and David Banner’s “Play.”
Young Jeezy
T-Pain Although CNN tried, they couldn’t ban the Snowman. Jeezy’s trade-
Florida’s dreadlocked rapper, singer, and producer discovered a new mark t-shirts were a best-seller at hip-hop clothing stores worldwide.
vocal effect in the studio and “went crazy” with it. Love it or hate it,
you’ve got to admit that it worked.

BEST VIDEO
Chamillionaire f/ Krayzie Bone “Ridin’ Dirty”
Kudos are already in order for having Debo in the video, but the par-
allel between pro wrestling and police brutality was ingenious.

Da BackWudz “I Don’t Like The Look of It” HONORARY SOUTHERNER


The Willy Wonka movie is already weird enough, so calling this video
weird is mundane. But you have to appreciate a vid where the mod- The artist from outside our region who showed the most love the
els don’t get more face time than the artist. South and/or was most accepted in the South.

David Banner “Play” Busta Rhymes


Speaking of models, this one was a who’s who. Sweaty, steamy and Instead of bitching about the state of NYC rap, he got down and did
sticky, Banner gave his fans a little eye and ear candy. an entire mixtape with Southern artists.

Juvenile “Get Ya Hustle On” Cam’Ron


This video had more accurate Katrina reporting than Fox News on Don’t forget, this guy rapped on the “Neva Scared” remix and did a
their best day. Juve reminded us of the forgotten. “Bout It” remake a while back. So his collabos with Webbie and Lil’
Wayne should come as no surprise - he’s no bandwagon jumper.
Rick Ross “Hustlin’”
Crossing the bridge into the real Miami, Carol City representative E-40
Rick Ross gave the world a glimpse of the every day hustle in his He unified crunk with hyphy and still kept his O.G. status through it
neighborhood. all.

Three 6 Mafia f/ Young Buck and 8Ball & MJG “Stay Fly” Juelz Santana
A night in the life of a rap star: endless partying captured by great His mixtape with Jeezy still hasn’t dropped, but Juelz has earned his
camera work made us feel like we were right there with them. Dirty South pass.

Honorable mention: Although Korn is not a Southern rap group, Too $hort
their video for “Twisted Transistor,” which featured Lil Jon, David Ban- Having lived in Atlanta since the 90s, he’s damn near a Southerner
ner, Xzibit, and Snoop Dogg playing the roles of the band, certainly now. But at the end of the day he’s “still coming straight from Oak-
deserves mention. land.”

78 OZONE
and the nominees are....

BEST CLUB DJ BEST RADIO DJ


Bigga Rankin (Jacksonville, FL) DJ Khaled (Miami, FL)
Coll Runnings’ O.G. Bigga Rankin faithfully preaches his Ghetto If you had a bad day at work, Khaled’s afternoon mix will
Gospel to clubgoers throughout the South, no matter how drunk they
are. Freddy Hydro (Memphis, TN)
blah blah
DJ Irie (Miami, FL)
blah blah Greg Street (Atlanta, GA)
blah blah
DJ Khaled (Miami, FL)
Waited in the VIP line too long and your favorite record was over by DJ Nasty (Orlando, FL)
the time you got inside? Don’t worry - Miami’s mo blah blah

Lil Larry (Memphis, TN) Michael Watts (Houston, TX)


blah blah blah blah

DJ Mars (Atlanta, GA)


blah blah

BEST MIXTAPE DJ
Bigga Rankin (Jacksonville, FL) BEST PRODUCER
blah blah
Cool & Dre
DJ Chuck T (Charleston, SC) blah blah
blah balh
Jermaine Dupri
DJ Drama (Atlanta, GA) blah blah
Drama’s Gangsta Grillz series has become widely recognized as an
underground staple for new artists. Lil Jon
blah blah
DJ Ideal (Miami, FL) Mannie Fresh
blah blah
blah blah
Rapid Ric (Austin, TX) Mr. Collipark
blah blah
blah blah
DJ Smallz (Tampa, FL) The Unusual Suspects (Big D & Jim Jonsin)
Smallz showed his face in
blah blah

OZONE
OZONE 79
79
and the nominees are....

PATIENTLY WAITING: TEXAS PATIENTLY WAITING: MISSISSIPPI


DSR Big K.R.I.T.
Blah blah blah blah

ESG Boo da Boss Playa


Blah blah blah blah

G.R.i.T. Boys Donnie Cross


Blah Blah blah blah

Kiotti Kamikaze
blah blah blah blah

Lil Keke Scar


Young Jeezy blah blah

Trae Smoke D
Young Jeezy blah blah

PATIENTLY WAITING: ALABAMA


PATIENTLY WAITING: LOUSIANA 334 M.O.B.B.
blah blah

Chyna Whyte Birmingham J


blah blah blah blah

Lil Boosie Rich Boy


blah blah Blah blah

Max Minelli The Last Mr. Bigg


blah blah blah blah

Partners-N-Crime Tyte Wurk


blah blah blah blah

E-Vicious Venus
blah blah blah blah

80 OZONE
and the nominees are....

PATIENTLY WAITING - TENNESSEE PATIENTLY WAITING - CAROLINAS


All Star Big Cas
blah blah blah blah

Cadence Fatboy
blah blah blah blah

D Cooley J-Khrist
blah blah blah blah

Lutinent G Mecca Don


blah blah blah blah

Kinfolk Nakia Shine Marly Mar


blah blah blah blah

Yo Gotti Piazo
blah blah blah blah

PATIENTLY WAITING - FLORIDA PATIENTLY WAITING - GEORGIA


Acafool Citty
BloodRaw Da BackWudz
Plies Lil Weavah
Treal Slick Pulla
Triple J Young Dro
Young Cash Yung Joc

OZONE 81
“We got a few
niggas calling
themselves King
of the South,
Kanye out there
preaching, Ma$e
is a gangsta again.
We just trying to be
Eightball & MJG.
We ain’t trying to
sell you no clothes,
we ain’t preaching
to you. I just want
you to listen to my
music and feel
good.” - Eightball

84 OZONE
EIGHTBALL & MJG
WORDS: MAURICE G. GARLAND PHOTO: TARRICE LOVE

P
remro “Eightball” Smith and Marlon “MJG” Goodwin have to your brother.
earned every title that people throw at them: legends, origi-
nators, kings, poets, etc. But after you get labeled such Have people told you that?
things, what else is there to work towards? You bust your ass to MJG: Over the years we’ve gotten plenty of stories from the fans telling
get your respect and just due. But when you get the acceptance, us that our music got them through hard times, or even happy times.
what’s next? So many years, that’s been one of the effects of us being around for
a long time. The music has not only been a part of our lives, but a lot
Once people applaud you for something, you’re really no longer of other people’s lives.
at liberty to do the same thing. Why? Because you’ve mastered it, Eightball: The shit that we talk about, we see and live it. We been here
you’ve done everything that there is to do with it. You have to move for a long time. Our music is a reflection of what we’re doing at that
on to the next challenge. time. The people that get Ridin’ High on July 18th are getting a book
of our life since Livin’ Legends.
Ball & G are well aware of that. Since their debut Comin’ Out Hard
(named one of OZONE’s 20 Essential Southern Albums) they’ve The most interesting thing about books isn’t the information inside
managed to take on a new challenge or territory with every album of them. It’s the fact that the author, or good ones rather, for a brief
that followed, making classic records along the way. moment in time, have the reader’s brain at its mercy. They can
switch it up without having to give a reason. Hell, they can end the
The biggest test of their career however may have come in 2004 book whenever they want and however they want and never have
with their Livin’ Legends album. They were on a new label, Bad to explain themselves.
Boy, in a new time where the T.I.’s and Ludacris’ of the world were
carrying the banner for a new wave of Southern artists who had The author’s risk, however, is that the can easily sway their readers
inherited the spoils of a phenomenon they helped build. to another direction and never retrieve them, because a bond has
been broken. That’s why the best authors stick around for years.
Now that they are officially settled at their new recording home, They can do whatever they want with their books, but they make
they plan to release their second Bad Boy album, Ridin’ High. sure that their fan base is always satisfied to some degree. Some
Once again, Ball & G are presented with more challenges. But this of them even go as far to prep their followers so that they won’t be
time, they are ones they’ve put themselves up to. Whether it’s the too surprised by their new works.
experimental sound of their lead single “Ridin’ High,” placing their
own artists Devious and Mack-E on the album or finally being able How has that chapter been?
to work with a gang of Memphis artists including Three 6 Mafia, Eightball: This album is a feel good album. We tried to not get too
Project Pat and Al Kapone, this will not sound like what you are personal on this album. Its just 14 songs a muthafucker gonna want a
used to from the Fat Mack and Pimp Tight. pop in and listen to. Something to pop in to get away from your prob-
lems. We didn’t want to get too deep on this album. We just want to let
The album was originally titled Pure American Pimpin’. Why did people get away from the world for 55 minutes.
you change the name?
Eightball: They was scared of Pure American Pimpin’. The label was Why do that now?
thinking from a record sales aspect. To them, the name would have Eightball: That’s how we was feeling. It’s already enough people mak-
hindered the sales. Me personally, I don’t think it would have, but that ing statements. We got a few niggas calling themselves King of the
was just one of the battles we had to fight. South, Kanye out there preaching, Ma$e is a gangsta again. We just
trying to be Eightball & MJG. We ain’t trying to be none of that shit. We
What is a pimp to you? ain’t trying to sell you no clothes, we ain’t preaching to you. I just want
Eightball: You got a bunch of different definitions, but I think that a you to listen to my music and feel good while you’re doing it.
pimp is an entrepreneur. Anyone getting money the best way they can.
They’re a pimp. Depending on who you ask “feel good” music means something
with no content. That it’s killing Hip Hop, per se.
Do you think people misunderstand that word when artists use MJG: It’s all about how you feel. I try not to judge. The best thing
it? overall is seeing someone being successful and doing good at what
MJG: Basically, its a lot of definitions of the word. Folks would say they do. All of us can’t be the best or the most lyrical. If it works for
the word isn’t politically correct. You can define different meanings of you, and its working and somebody likes it, that’s the best thing about
the word, but the question is, can you use the word anytime around it. You can’t rob nobody of their shine. It’s a time for everybody to
anybody? shine. It don’t matter if I like it, or if I’m the best or if I’m the coldest. If
people buying it that’s beautiful. That’s the first and foremost part. If
In our last issue Too $hort said he felt like rappers just throw the everybody can look at it like that it wouldn’t be none of that hate shit. It
word around like it’s a sport, not knowing what that whole lifestyle wouldn’t be cool to say its killing Hip Hop. The only thing that can kill
really entails. How do you feel? Hip Hop is ourselves if we don’t do the right things. The first thing we
Eightball: “Pimp” ain’t nothing but another word like bitch or nigga. gotta do is get along with each other regardless.
When you say bitch you don’t mean a female dog, but you use it to
describe a certain person. Same thing with “nigga,” it can be defined What do you think it is that causes people to not get along? You
a bunch of ways, but the real meaning, the text book meaning, niggas guys have been around for years, and we haven’t seen any publi-
who say it don’t mean it like that. So to the youngsters saying “pimp,” cized beefs with you and another artist.
it’s just a word. MJG: What I see is that it ain’t nothing different. It’s the same shit just a
You guys were instrumental in introducing that pimp/player aes- different time. The music industry, problems, fame, critics; it’s always
thetic to Hip Hop. Other than that, what kind of impact do you think been the same. It’s just been different music and different time. It’s just
you’ve had on music? that Hip Hop music is at the forefront.
MJG: We figure we’ve made a lasting impact. I think we let our fans Eightball: It’s a combination of all kinds of shit. The attitudes, niggas
and listeners know that we have knowledge and staying power. getting bread that never had it gonna cut up, niggas going places
Eightball: I think we’ve showed our fans loyalty and longevity. If you they’ve never been gonna cut up. Everybody ain’t gonna get along.
ain’t learn nothing from watching us, you’ve learned how to be loyal But at the same time you never hear a president of a record label tell

OZONE 85
“Sometimes you
kill muthafuckers
with kindness... I
thought about it –
man, I should go kill
[Joe Weinberger].
But I read a lot and
thought about it and
I’m like, naw, let this
man live in internal
hell. That’s what
he’s doing right
now. That’s why he’s
suing 50 Cent...”
88
88 OZONE
OZONE
UNCLE LUKE
WORDS: JULIA BEVERLY PHOTO: COLIN WILLIAMS

H
ow hard is it for an artist such as yourself to stay relevant in were told not to listen to my music, they found a way to go get it.
the game for a long period of time, with trends coming and They’re gonna sneak around the corner and listen to it. It’s the same
going so quickly? thing with sex. If you’re telling them not to have sex, then the cool kids
How hard is it to stay relevant? It’s not hard at all. Not to me, because are gonna try to rebel against the adults. Those are the ones that are
I’m a businessman first. If I was just an artist I would probably have eventually gonna do shit they don’t even know nothing about cause
been lost in the shuffle a long time ago. But I’m in the business of sex, ain’t nobody talking about it. I think people should have more con-
and when people are in the business of sex they stay around for a versations about sex and the responsibilities that come with it, cause
long time. And I’m consistent with sex, I don’t fuck around. I’m not a other than that you’re gonna have a whole bunch of people having
gangsta one day and a weed smoker or something the next day. I’m kids.
sex all the time!
But when you talk about the fact that kids are exposed to so much
Have you thought of going into the “sex business” full-time? Like more sex these days, don’t you think you had something to do
full-out porn? with that? Wasn’t that the purpose of your whole career?
Yeah, that’s what I’m doing now. This will probably be my last album No, not necessarily. I think I did open it up for the urban community,
as an artist. I have a couple artists on my label, yeah, but I’m going yeah. I opened up Pandora’s Box. Right here on South Beach, be-
straight sex, porno, adult entertainment. That’s the only way to go. It’s fore, you would’ve seen black girls coming in from the ocean and they
a $57 billion dollar industry. Ads in the porn magazines ain’t like your wouldn’t have a bikini on. They’d have a towel all wrapped around
magazine where you’ve got to spend $10,000 an ad (laughing). In the them. Traditionally, black people are really conservative. They’re more
porn business you can just spend $2,000 with the AVN and you’re conservative than conservative whites are, in my opinion. Most black
good. You don’t have to buy ads, you don’t have to buy videos, you households are like Oprah. With this whole tradition of sexuality most
don’t have to spend half a million dollars in promotions and market- black people are nervous about that. So to a dgree, I opened that up
ing. so people expose themselves a little more and show their body a little
more in a tasteful, classy way, and sometimes in a derogatory way.
Would you describe your new album My Life & Freaky Times as But I could’ve never put that in a video, cause they would’ve never
softcore porn, or more mainstream? How explicit is it? played it. So on the music standpoint, I opened it up so people can
It’s Luke. Everything I brought to the table with 2 Live Crew. say what they wanna say on a record. But as far as sex, that’s always
been here and it’s always gonna be here. I ride by schools right now
You have kids, right? What’s your opinion on how much sex kids when I’m going to work, and in my opinion they need to put uniforms
should be exposed to? on all of ‘em. Some of the girls are walking to school like they’re going
Yeah, I’ve got three kids. Kids should stay in kid’s place. I don’t think to a nightclub. That ain’t my fault, cause there’s a time and a place for
kids should be exposed to nothing that they ain’t ready for. I coach everything.
football, and I’ll have all the kids over at my house. They’ll be in the
back room and they talk like grown people. I’m not sayin’ that I con- You say it’s not your fault, but at the same time, if you opened the
done that, though. They don’t talk crazy around me cause I’ll straight- doors for women to dress a certain way in videos why are you
en them out. You’ve gotta know how much they’re ready for. I got a surprised that kids would want to dress like the women they see
15-year old daughter and her mother said she was talking to boys. So on TV? Don’t you think it all ties together?
I got on the phone and told her, “Yo, you talking to boys? You know Not necessarily, cause I haven’t had a video in a long time. Here’s
what them muthafuckers want, right? That’s all they want, to try to get what I was taught in my household: kids stay in a kid’s place. If kids
a little piece of the tail.” I talk to them real. At the same time, if they’re are having kids, you’ll run into a situation where the kid’s mama and
talking like that, 9 times out of 10 they’re listening to music like that. daddy ain’t gonna conduct themselves in a womanly way or a fatherly
To a large to degree they are getting exposed to it through music, way, because they’re just a damn kid too. When I was a kid, when I
but you’ve gotta know how deep to go with them. That’s how I am was up under their roof, I had to be my ass in the fuckin’ house at a
with my kids. Sometimes they ain’t ready, like my son. He ain’t ready, certain time. I couldn’t be all in the streets doing whatever I wanted.
he’s into that Playstation right now. But as soon as he started talking If my niece came over with some scandalous lookin’ outfit on, she’d
about them girls, that’s when I’m going to start talking to him hart. He’s have to take that shit off. It’s the responsibility of the parents to regu-
gonna be hearing that shit. “Nigga, you better wear a rubber!” late their kids. I mean, Playboy’s been around for a hundred years. So
music videos, man, that shit don’t do nothing. Back in the days those
Do you think it’s important for the schools to address sex educa- black exploitation films were worse than the films now. Shit, they had
tion as well as the parents? girls on there snorting coke and all that shit. People were exposed to
Yeah, I think they need to. I think kids nowadays are not like the kids worse things back then than they are right now with a lil’ music video.
when I was a kid. Nowadays, the kids are exposed to so much more.
You’ve got internet, music, fast girls, everything is fast right now. The Do you think prostitution should be legal?
world is going real fast. You’ve got cell phones now; shit is not slow It is legal. Shit! You’ve got states right now in the union where sex
like it used to be. Back in the day if you had four brothers or something is legal. Vegas. Everybody wants to go to Vegas, everybody’s got a
in the house and one phone, you could never get on the goddamn convention in Vegas. If you ain’t got no money, you can’t get no sex.
phone. You’d have to wait in line or beat somebody down like you Most girls want a man with some money. At the end of the day they
was in a jail cell just to use the phone. So it ain’t like it used to be, and don’t want no broke-ass man. Why fake it? Shit, come on out of the
there’s so much shit that they can see and hear these days. They need closet. Do a poll in your magazine: “How many women want a broke-
to be talking about sex at school because these kids are having sex at ass man?” How many women want a man that can do something for
13. I don’t know what’s up with their hormones, I guess it’s whatever them; that can take them shopping and buy them nice things? That
the hell they’re putting in the chickens. These girls got double D’s at costs money right? How many women want to take care of a man? If
twelve years old. My daughter’s like fuckin’ 5’9” at twelve years old. any women reading this magazine got a lot of money and wanna wife
me, then wife me goddamn it. I’ll quit my job. You can take care of
I hear that the government has been pushing more for abstinence Luke for the rest of his life!
education in schools telling them that the best option is not to do
it at all. On that note – you mentioned that you’re a businessman first, not
That’s the wrong thing to do because it’s not realistic. When you talk to just an artist. A lot of people may not be familiar with the story
kids about what not to do, they’re gonna go do it. It’s just like anything of what happened to Luke Records and why you ended up fil-
else. You’ve got to use reverse psychology. Back in the day when kids ing bankruptcy. It seems so common nowadays for people to file

OZONE 89
bankruptcy, and it’s kind of surprising to the general public when Yeah, we’re alright. It’s just a fucked up situation that Lil Joe [Wein-
you hear that someone like Suge Knight or The Source is prepar- berger] holds a lot of the cards with us doing a reunion album. It’s
ing to go bankrupt. really fucked up.
Well, I filed bankruptcy because I was trying to get out of my contract
with Sony. At the same time there was a whole bunch of sample law- Didn’t Joe try to sue 50 Cent recently?
suits that I had. Before that, we were sampling everything and there Yeah, for our lyrics [in “In Da Club”]. This guy is making money off
wasn’t no sample issues. Then there was a whole new wave of suing something he never created. He never worked one fuckin’ day in the
people for sampling records, and I got caught up in that. Right now, studio. He never pushed no record out of my mama’s garage. This
there’s a formula where you do certain things and get clearances and guy is like the fifth member of the group, and it’s really fucked up. I
shit. After you sign for a record you get clearance. Back then, people don’t think the story has been put out there enough, cause muthafuck-
wasn’t getting clearances. They was just sampling and using shit and ers need to be calling his office saying “What the fuck are you doing?”
it wasn’t no problem. So I got caught up in that and at the same time Me, I had my run-ins with the group members. We had our differences
I had a bad contract with Sony. They weren’t paying me any more but I put my differences aside. If the fans told me they wanted a fuckin’
money and they were trying to take all my artists. In my opinion, I had 2 Live Crew reunion album, I’d give ‘em that. I’d go on tour with some
a Judas in my camp at that time – Mr. [Joe] Weinberger. In my opinion, guys in the group who I might not want to go on tour with. But I’d get
he conspired with Sony against me. So the logical thing for me to do to up there onstage and do my shit for the fans. But I’m not gonna do
get out of my contract with them was to file bankruptcy. A lot of people it if Joe Weinberger is the fifth member and we’re making the same
don’t know that that’s a business move. If you do Chapter 11, you can amount of money.
reject any contract. I actually helped T-Boz [of TLC] with that because
they were screaming that they were in a bad contract. If any artist is Have you ever thought about getting revenge on Joe or are you
in a bad contract, just file Chapter 11 and you can reject the contract just sitting back relying on karma?
in bankruptcy court. But a lot of people look at Chapter 11 as being Sometimes you kill muthafuckers with kindness. Whoever created that
something bad. phrase is a brilliant muthafucker. If I go fuck him up, beat him up,
take him out or do something crazy to this man, I’ll be giving him the
Was the situation with Joe Weinberger a lesson in hiring people satisfaction. But think about it like this: if you leave him alone on this
that you trust? earth, he’s got to be burning up on the inside. And that’s how I really
Most definitely. With everything I was doing at the time, I thought I was look at that whole situation. He’s got to live with what he did. He’s liv-
doing the right thing – hiring a tax attorney to protect me and mak- ing in internal hell, I really, truly believe that. I would be putting out of
ing this guy my general in-house lawyer to protect me from lawsuits his misery if I was to do something to him like a normal person would
and all that. I’m not an expert – you can’t be acting like you know do. And I thought about it a couple times – man, I should go kill this
every fuckin’ thing. I’m not a lawyer, nor am I an accountant. So you’ve muthafucker. But I read a lot and thought about it and I’m like, naw, let
got to trust some of these people with your business deals. A lot of this man live in internal hell. That’s what he’s doing right now. That’s
times, people like myself get affected by that. We’re creative artists why he’s suing 50 Cent, trying to make it seem like I’m suing him. Su-
– we can create and we can market, but we are not lawyers and we’re ing Jay-Z, trying to make it look like Marquis is suing him. Suing the
not accountants. People like that have a tendency to take advantage Ying Yang Twins. That’s all this dude does.
of people like myself. So the lesson to be learned as far as this busi-
ness is a deep lesson. It’s not necessarily that you can’t trust nobody, Is he winning any of these lawsuits?
but you’ve got to try to keep these people closet o you. Right now, to Naw. He’s tryin’ to get them to settle out of court. That’s how he makes
be honest with you, I don’t trust lawyers and accountants. I’ll look at his living. He’s like a fuckin’ pirate on a pirate ship.
them, I’ll double check them, I’ll have five different lawyers check the
same set of paperwork. I just don’t trust them. It’s hard to trust these If he walked by right now what would you say?
guys. You’ve gotta educate yourself on this business. Read a lot and I’d say, “Hey, how you doing, Joe?” cause I know he’s living in hell.
look at some of the mistakes that people like myself made. You’ve got That muthafucker fucked up. He’s living in hell. If you go talk to him it’d
so many companies that have been affected like this. That’s one of be like talking to the anti-Christ. My man is fucked up. I talked to him a
things I was thinking about doing, a documentary on all these black couple times and helped him try to get out of that situation. He could
companies like Fergo Sports, Famous Amos, same situations. Some make himself right. He could come back and just do the right thing
lawyers and accountants stole their company from right up under and give these guys their money. That’s the record business, you sup-
them. There’s so many stories of creative people wanting to do the posed to pay people they royalties. Them guys are really fucked up.
right thing and owning their own company. Then you’ve got these slick Them guys lost a lot of shit. They made business mistakes by going
lawyers stealing people’s companies. They ain’t gonna do no movies with him during that whole bankruptcy process. He did the divide-
like that because we all know who the lawyers are. The majority of and-conquer thing. He divided us and told them he could give them a
them won’t do it; you don’t see that in Hollywood. better deal, and they went for that shit. So they put themselves in their
own fuckin’ hole. They went for it and Joe an’ them loaned them all
Are you on good terms with Trick Daddy these days? kinds of money. He really put them in debt, and had them to the point
I’m alright with Trick. But when I read articles in your magazine where where he controlled them. That’s why they’re fucked up right now. I
he’s sayin’, “When I got out of jail, nobody did shit for me,” I got a told you, karma. Same thing with H-Town. They crossed me with Joe
problem with that. I love Trick to death, but I got a problem with that. and Sony. 2 Live Crew crossed me and them muthafuckers ain’t sell
When he got out of jail he stayed with me. When I was putting a bitch one fuckin’ record. When H-town did a record on Sony they did not
out of my house, he stayed with me. We was breakin’ bread together. sell one fuckin’ record. See, God don’t like ugly. When that happened,
See that’s why I love Pitbull so much, and I think with cats like Rick I was like, man, there is a fuckin’ God. That’s why I just let my man live.
[Ross] comin’ up, it ain’t gonna be like that. Some people come up in He could straighten himself out, though.
this game and never say who the fuck put them on. I’ve heard all kinds
of fuckin’ stories but I’ve never read the story of how Luke found Trick You mentioned that you coach youth football. I heard you and
Daddy. Luke had a tag team disco rap contest, a 4-week contest, and Snoop had a little altercation at the last tournament.
Trick Daddy won. The contestant winner was to get on the next Luke Yeah, he had some thugs on his sideline, some straight pussies. We
single and get signed by Luke Records. And that’s how he got discov- had this All Star game where he brought his team down. For years
ered. Just pay respect. I ain’t never gonna have a problem with him. I they had been doin’ so much talking shit, like they were the baddest
love him like a son, but I do know what kind of son he is. And I love Pit thing in the world. Nelly brought his team, Puff Daddy brought his
like a muthafucker too. Pit was reading all those [Trick Daddy] articles team, Snoop brought both of his teams, and both of his teams got
like, “Damn, man, I would never do that.” Pit said he would never turn the shit beat out of them. Some of his thug friends were kicking my
his back on me, never say that I wasn’t the one that discovered him players on the sidelines. These are kids we’re talking about. For some
and put him on. So that’s why he’s got that kind of love. Every artist dude to be kicking a kid, that’s fucked up. I asked them to apologize,
that I put on, they have some slick shit to say after I make them a and his people said they didn’t feel like he needed to apologize. I find
millionaire, which I don’t understand. But that was the phase in time that real fuckin’ disgusting. He’s got a son just like I’ve got a son. A
where all artists were talking shit about their record companies in that lot of us in this business have kids. If one of them dudes would’ve
bullshit-ass Source magazine. Please put that in there. kicked his son on my sideline, he would’ve been ready to fight. And
I wouldn’t be mad at him cause I would do the same thing. That’s all
What about the other 2 Live Crew members, are you cool with I tried to do – tell buddy to straighten up his fuckin’ house, because
them? that’s somebody else’s child. He’s got these kids out there throwing

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up gang signs and all that. That ain’t youth football. That’s like me hav- woman now. I got a girlfriend.
ing my children out here with the girls walkin’ around in booty shorts
or some shit like that. That wouldn’t be the right thing to do. I seen How does your girlfriend handle your past and your reputation?
his kids in the locker room throwing up gang signs and talking about I think I might finally have the right girlfriend. See, I fuck with girls that
the Crips and all this shit. What kind of program is this dude running? almost look like librarians. She’s alright with it. About a year ago, I had
I don’t appreciate that. I don’t appreciate the coaches he’s got in his a similar girl and I thought she could handle it, but she couldn’t. So
league, running around acting like fuckin’ thugs around these kids. then I tried an ol’ ghetto-ass bitch named Freda. I tried her because
That’s fucked up to me. I felt that that’s what I needed. You know how you go through these
phases? I like the girls that are really politically correct, nice, respect-
Well, back to the sex stuff – we all heard about the Superhead ful, educated, independent women. That’s what I like, but when I get
book, and now Nas’ baby mother is putting out a book – those kinds of girls it’s too much pressure for them. So then I’m like,
Who? What’s her name? I gotta make sure I ain’t have sex with her. goddamn, I guess I’m gonna have to fuck one of these hoochies or
video hoes, right? So that’s what I tried, a hoochie. She wasn’t no
Carmen. video girl, she was a straight hoochie, you know, a ghetto muthafuck-
Nope, I don’t know Carmen. er. I said, let me try this, fuck it. Maybe I was supposed to be with a
ghetto ass muthafucker! Maybe she can deal with my shit. And that
Well anyway, along with this CD you’re putting out, do you think didn’t work.
we’re seeing a whole new hip-hop subgenre of groupie tales?
Yeah, just wait til Gloria Velez puts out her book. You should publish How do you feel about the transition that bass music has taken,
that bitch, you’d make a lot of money. If Gloria talks about all the peo- and the influence that bass music has had?
ple she fucked, man, Gloria got a lot of shit. I think there’s a resurgence of it, and that’s why it was perfect timing for
me to put this album. I was in Savannah the other night and the girls
You seem to have a preoccupation with Gloria Velez. Why is that? were screaming, “We want some fuckin’ Luke! Fuck this!” The music
It’s something I created that went out of fuckin’ control. She’s my Fran- has slowed down. If you listen to T.I. and Jeezy and all that, during this
kenstein. I created a fuckin’ monster. time of year people want the music to speed up. The Missy Elliotts and
the Busta Rhymes and all that, all that shit is straight bass. It’s coming
With women, we don’t really wanna fuck a guy that’s fucked all our back, so that’s a good thing. I’m happy about it! But the fucked up
friends. But it seems like a lot of rappers fuck with all the same part about it is that you’ve got so many muthafuckin’ Miami artists that
girls. Why is that? don’t want to do [bass music]. That’s the crazy part about it!
Except me. I’m the only one that don’t. But it’s these new rappers
and these new NFL players. The football players all done fucked the That’s true, cause now you’ve got people like Rick Ross and Cool
same girl. I don’t get it – now the rappers are fucking the same girl & Dre who are sort of reinventing the Miami sound.
and they pass her around and then dump them to the football players. Everybody wants to be hard. Bass music is booty shakin’, it ain’t
That’s crazy, ain’t it? And then the football players make them their gangsta, it ain’t hard. To me, bass music is straight party music. I grew
wife! That’s fuckin’ crazy. It’s like Tupac said a long time ago: “Every up on the streets, though. I don’t think too many niggas have seen
other city we go, same ol’ ho!” But for these dudes to be wifin’ these and done what the hell I did. But do I wanna rap about it? Hell naw.
video hoes, I don’t understand it. Back in the days we never fucked Under these circumstances, I like smiling right now. I grew up all my
around with the same girl. As far as wifin’ them muthafuckers, never. life not smiling, doing shit to niggas. I could tell muthafuckers a million
I don’t even get down like that. I always ask them, “You ever messed stories but that ain’t me. I like to party and make people happy. But
with a professional athlete/entertainer/football player/rapper?” I give it’s crazy, man, I hope this town here realizes that everybody’s gonna
the whole speech cause I don’t want that shit. As soon as a nigga make money off it. This is a trendy-ass city and everybody is gonna
walks up to her talkin’ about, “I ain’t seen you in a long time!” all she start making money off bass music. They’ve got to wait for another
gonna do is get fucked and keep it moving. That’s why I don’t fuck nigga to do it out of town before they want to do it, which is fucked up.
around with nobody in this business. You ain’t met nobody yet that They’re gonna miss the boat again. But this is a crazy ass city here.
said they been with me.
Rick Ross said that you were one of his top influences when he
So you didn’t fuck Gloria Velez? decided to get into the game. How do you feel about that.
Hell naw. I watched her fuck a whole bunch of girls, though, with that I think I’ll probably be more proud of Rick and Pit than anybody, you
double dildo of hers. It’s in my book. I wonder if she still got that muth- know? They’re the ones who will take Miami hip-hop to another level
afuckin’ double dildo. from where I took it, because they’re levelheaded people and they’ve
been through a lot of bullshit. They’ve seen the bullshit and the jealou-
Why don’t you put out Gloria’s book? sy and they’ve seen that me and some other record label executives
She’s mad at me and I love her. I created her, fixed that muthafucker don’t get along. We’ve never even came together and did nothing
up, molded her, and the shit just went haywire! That’s muthafuckin’ – it’s really fucked up that all these record executives around here,
Frankenstein, I tell you, but she’s got a lot of fuckin’ potential. you guys done came up after me and we ain’t never really did nothing
together. But that ain’t no fault of mine.
Do you respect Superhead as a businesswoman for making mon-
ey off what she did, or do you look at her as a regular hoe? Are we talking about Ted Lucas?
Superhead, I don’t know what to say about her. I don’t think I respect Well, Ted Lucas is a good businessman, from what I know. He’s still
her. I don’t respect no bitch that goes and fucks everybody. If you’re around in the business. A lot of people get in the business and soon
fuckin’ everybody, multiple niggas, naw, I don’t respect that at all. For they’re out. So he must be a good businessman because other than
her to go write a book about it, she’s obviously madder than a mutha- that, he’d be out of gas. It’s just that I don’t really know him. We’ve said
fucker. From a business standpoint she’s getting paid off the shit, so “hi” and “bye,” but that’s about it. So I can’t really speak on what kind
I ain’t mad at her. Muthafuckers might say that about my book, but of cat he is. Like I said, the problem with Miami is that everybody’s jeal-
my book is more about the ups and downs and trials and tribulations. ous of everybody else and everybody wants to out-do everybody else.
There is some wild party shit, but it’s moreso entertaining than just That’s what makes me sick. You’ve got to do records with all kinds
blowing muthafucker’s spot up. You know Ed Lover, he loves the fact of muthafuckers. Even from an executive standpoint, you don’t see
that I said he pissed off some girls. The dudes I talk about in My Life & executives coming together and doing shit very often. That’s why I’m
Freaky Times are happy that I put it out there like that. happy that Slip-N-Slide and Poe Boy thing came together for the sake
of Rick Ross. I’m happy about that. That’s a start. That’s why I look at
Who else did you talk about besides Ed Lover? Pit and Rick and this new kid I got, Blaze, as being the muthafuckers
Aaron Hall might be mad because he claims that I hooked up him with that are really gonna bring the city together and take it to another level.
Gloria, and I talk about Aaron stickin’ his tongue in all the hoes. But he But as far as the other ones, I don’t know what to say.
did that shit on video and I didn’t tell him to do that. I mentioned R Kelly
to him. I said, “R Kelly’s more freakier than you,” and he said, “Naw he Anything else you’d like to say?
ain’t, gimme a girl,” and started sticking his tongue in the girl’s ass in The album comes out May 26th. It got pushed back because the re-
the middle of the club. So I talk about him. I talk about Fab Five doing cord stores saw some of the titles on the back of the audio book and-
the golden shower, but I ain’t call no names so I guess people have banned them muthafuckers. But the crazy thing is, it just wouldn’t be
to use their imagination. But these girls, boy. I tell you, I’m glad I got a right if my record didn’t get banned.

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YUNG

WORDS: JULIA BEVERLY


PHOTO: EARL RANDOLPH

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JOC
O
f course, you’ve got the hit record “It’s Goin’ Down” right What do you think is gonna be the key for you to stay in this game
now. It kinda seems like you came out of nowhere. How and have longevity as an artist?
long have you been recording and what brought about the Understanding the youth, even as an adult. You got to understand
interest in it? what they gon’ see. The older you get, the less you get caught up in
Since I was 12. I had a lot of cousins that rapped. I used to always rap the hip talk and the little sayings. But the younger people are always
with my folks. If my mama had company, she’d want me to come in evolving. They’re always comin’ up with new talk. Right now, me being
there and rap for everybody. I’d do it and they’d give me money for 23, if I go to a middle school or a high school they’re gonna be sayin’
doin’ it. That’s when I realized that I could do this. So that’s when I some stuff and I’m gonna be like, what? And it wasn’t that long ago
started doing it. that I was in high school. But it just shows you how quick times can
change. You’ve got to stay in touch with your youth and keep a sense
Were you putting out music independently? of reality as well.
Me and my homie Chino Dollar had our own label called Mastermind
Music. I ended up signing myself over to Block [Entertainment]. I’m sure you don’t really want to talk about the whole situation in
on the T.I./Yung Joc tour in Cincinnati where T.I.’s assistant was
How long ago was that? killed. But being that your name was put out there as having some
We did the deal in November. sort of involvement, can you clarify what actually happened that
night?
So you really blew up kinda quick. Had you already recorded “It’s There was no involvement. Honestly, no one did anything, from my
Goin’ Down” when you hooked up with Block? camp to T.I.’s camp. The dude was intoxicated and that’s where the
Yeah, that’s how he heard about us, cause I was already out there in drama came from. I kept the peace and T.I. kept the peace. It just es-
the streets in the A. I was all around the city pumpini’ my shit, workin’ calated from that to something else.
and shit, and it just started picking up.
Does being in a situation like that make you question your ca-
The song’s got a real catchy hook and all that. Would you basi- reer?
cally consider it just a party record or are you trying to say some- Naw, it doesn’t make me want to change my career at all. Cause at
thing? the end of the day, you’ve got people who go to work a regular 9-5 job
It’s not just partying. I could say “It’s goin’ down” for anything! “Man, and they’re sitting at their desk and some crazy deranged cat comes
them boys done pulled out them straps, it’s goin’ down!” Or “Oh man, in there with a gun and shoots up the whole office. That happens. So
she brought her and her partna! It’s goin’ down!” Or “Auntie Rose got it doesn’t make me rethink my livelihood but it just makes me more
the goddamn macaroni and cheese and them ribs for Thanksgiving, aware that you really have to watch your surroundings, cause at any
boy! It’s goin’ down!” given time you can be in the midst of a volatile situation.

So you’re tryin’ to bring that Atlanta slang to the world. Whenever a rapper dies, everyone says “R.I.P.” and “Stop the
Tryin’? That’s what I am doin’, baby! violence” and all that, but it seems like people are not listening.
What do you think artists like yourself can do to get the message
You’ve got that real thick ATL accent. Born and raised? across?
In the A, yeah. A-Town stay down. As an artist, you become a target, regardless if you’re trying to be or
not. You’re already a figure in the hip-hop community. People know
Where do you see the future of Atlanta music? Of course we had who you are and know your background. People can almost look at
the Outkast and Goodie Mob and Organized Noize sound at one you and tell how much you’re worth, or have an idea of what you’re
point, then it kinda went to crunk, now it’s snap music. worth. If a cat on the street sees a rapper walking by, he’s thinking,
I don’t know. I just know that I’m tryin’ to bring fun back to it, and a “He says he got $50,000 on his wrist. It looks like it. I know I can’t af-
sense of realism as well. ford it, so, it might be. If I can get that off his wrist, shit, I can go flip
that right quick and get some work and flip that and beyond.” You
Now that you’ve got a hit single, do you feel that there’s a lot of know what I’m sayin’? You gotta think about the way people think
pressure to follow that up and avoid the “one-hit wonder” title? Do sometimes. Sometimes people don’t look at reality. People get caught
you feel like you have a follow-up? up in surrealism. I thought art was supposed to imitate life, but I think
I feel like I do. I produced my next single and it’s called “I Know You cats got it twisted. It seems like they let their lives imitate art. As far as
See It.” me, I don’t really know what needs to be done to keep the peace. All
I know is what I do to keep the peace. If I’m involved in a situation, I’ll
What led you to start producing? try my best to defuse it. If it had nothin’ to do with me, then it’s nothin’
I’ve got ideas. I just wanted to see if I could manifest some of them. If I can do.
you listen to hooks, man, hooks ain’t nothin’ but melodies. For exam-
ple I could’ve took that hook “Meet me in the trap, it’s goin’ down,” and Are the rest of the tour dates with you and T.I. rescheduled?
play a bass line that’s the same tune. Just by itself, that’s the melody. Yeah, due to the circumstances, we had to postpone some of the
dates. But I am gonna resume the full tour with T.I. when it’s resched-
Are you producing records for any other artists? uled. It’s a couple other tours I’m doing. Right now I’m doing dates on
I got people asking me right now. But I ain’t gonna put [their names] Bow Wow’s tour, and Puff wanted me to let it be known that I’ma be
out there just yet. I’m tryin’ to surprise people. touring with him come July and August.

How does it feel to be linked up with the legendary Bad Boy? Really, the only criticism I’ve heard about you as an artist is that
It feels good. I’ve got an official team behind me that’s tryin’ to make it some people say Block is trying to mold you into Jeezy #2 or put
work for me. So it feels great, you know? Shit, I came up! you out the same way Jeezy came out. Do you think there’s any
truth to that or do you feel like you stand on your own?
Tell me about your album New Joc City. I’m on my own. You don’t hear me talking about dope and AKs. You
It comes out June 6th. I talk about some of everything on the album. I don’t even hear me stuntin’. I mean, that’s not what I do. I don’t do
talk about real, everyday life. I talk about a chick’s first time with a real gangsta rap. So for somebody to say that Block is tryin’ to mold me
dude. I talk about a lot of different things. It’s not just partying. I got into another Jeezy don’t even make sense. I talk about gangsta shit
some club records and I got some trap records. but I ain’t classified as a gangsta rapper. It’s a difference. So there’s
no truth to that shit whatsoever. You know, me and Jeezy are cool.
Are you a trappin’ dude, or a party type of dude? Everybody But Jeezy does what he does and I do what I do and we respect each
comes out tryin’ to be hard lately, talking about what they did in other. Block is not tryin’ to mold me into a G. Joc is Joc. The only thing
the streets and how much drugs they sold and all that. Block is tryin’ to do is polish me up so I can be an icon, that’s all.
Naw, I’m more like a party type of dude. I ain’t even trippin’ over all
that, man. It don’t even matter about how much dope I done sold. Anything else you want to say?
That’s the least of my concerns. That’s the last thing people should I produced my next single and I’m directing my next video. I’m bout to
be worried about. That shit is meaningless to me. If I talk about it at drop the Gangsta Grillz next week called Welcome to my Block, and
all, I’ma talk about my transition from there til now, you know what I I’m reading some movie scripts right now.
mean?

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“Being an artist, it’s hard for a person to get to know you versus that image
they see on television or hear on the radio. That’s why I do the music that I
do, to motivate people. Hopefully I can get some people to follow and start
respecting love and understanding the value of love.”
98 OZONE
J-SHIN
WORDS & PHOTO: JULIA BEVERLY

So what have you been up to lately, since your last interview? hear, I can guarantee there’s somebody out there in the world that
I’ve been on a middle school and high school tour for the last three went through what that person was talking about.
weeks. That’s my main goal with the promotions for this album, to hit
up the middle schools, high schools, and colleges, and also do the It seems like there’s a thin line sometimes between good R&B and
club stuff. The album drops in August so I’m tryin’ to reach the teens bad, corny R&B. What do you think determines the difference?
right now. By the time the album drops I’ll be ready to go and start Real R&B has emotion. Back in the day when Marvin Gaye sang “Sex-
hitting that adult contemporary scene. We’ve been videotaping all the ual Healing,” it was heartfelt. He meant what he was saying. That’s
events that we’re doing, especially in the schools. There’s been a nice real R&B. And then you’ve got….nah. I don’t want to diss nobody.
turn out and a great response so it’s looking pretty good. (laughing)

What’s the difference between performing in a club atmosphere When you’re in the recording booth, how do you bring that emo-
and performing at a school – do you change up your routine? tion out?
Yeah, when I perform at the middle schools and high schools not only Just understanding life. Until you get that time in your life where you
do I perform, but I also step in and talk to them about education and can really experience real love – and I’m not talking about puppy love
how important it is. A lot of young kids want to get into music, so I talk or what you think love is – you can’t sing about it. It’s hard for me to
to them about it. It’s a performance and it’s also motivational. listen to a 16 or 17 year old singing about love when they really don’t
understand what it is.
What do you think is the most important thing for kids to hear from
you, aside from just “stay in school”? Tell me about the rest of the album.
Just having a goal and going for that goal. Life is what you make it, Once again, it’s titled All I Got Is Love, and it’s coming out in August. “If
and it all boils down to the decisions you make. I tell them, “Right now, I Fall In Love” is the first single. I got a song called “Perfection,” which
you’re in middle school and high school. You’re with your parents and is basically just talking about the fact that we all have this imaginary
really don’t have no responsibilities. But time is running out, and soon person that we would love to have and marry. Everybody’s looking for
you’re gonna have to make a decision. Your decision is gonna deter- perfection: “Somebody I can take home to meet mama / Somebody I
mine how far you go in life.” That’s what I try to preach to them. can wife up and ice up.”

The single you have out now is called “If I Fall In Love.” Was that Do you think “the one” exists? Or is it a figment of people’s imagi-
based on a personal experience you went through? nations.
“If I Fall In Love” was written by Trap; I was the co-writer. The song I think in everybody’s heart and mind there’s gonna be someone out
stems from my past history. I just wanted to touch on the experience there that’s gonna be “the one.” But the person that I feel may be the
of being able to get involved in another relationship after you’ve been one for me, might not be “the one” for the other person. It’s a personal
in one that really didn’t turn out right. It’s been discussed, but not on choice. That’s perfection. For me, it could be a woman who’s 160
a major scale. They don’t wanna talk about love or fallin’ in love, but [pounds]. That might be perfection for me, that’s what I want. Or even
gangsta need love too. You see the rappers in the street, but what do somebody 170, 220 [pounds]. That’s how we do it down South. I like
they do when they leave out of the streets and go home? They’ve got ‘em thick.
wives, girlfriends, and kids. They humble up. We all need that love. The
song is basically about being involved in a relationship where you’re Okay, what other songs do you have on the album?
looking for someone that you’re going to love. Before you get into that I got another joint on there called “Let Go,” which basically talks about
situation, a lot of times you want to know if that person is going to love a situation where you got a woman that’s with you and she’s sort of
you like you love them. That’s what the song is about. nervous. She’s afraid of what’s going to happen next and you’re just
telling her to let go. We just finished another song last week with T-
So the majority of the album is based on love and relationships? Pain called “Send Me An Email.” That’s about a situation with my girl
Yeah, it’s about love. The title is All I Got Is Love. Especially being in the where we’re going through problems. For some reason we can’t seem
position that I’m in, I have a lot of young ladies come my way. And I’ve to communicate on the phone, so I say, “Send me an email / With all
always got to try to figure out what it is that they really want when they the details.”
do come to me. Is it the fame, is it the jewelry, is it the money, or is it
me? So on this album, I’m telling you that love is all I’ve got. Yep. That’s what that Blackberry is for.
That’s what it’s for. That’s what we wanted to touch on. People are
How do you check out a woman’s motives? emailing each other everything now.
I’m not gonna say it’s a test, but it is certain things that I do and say just
to find out their response. I don’t really wanna give it away, but it helps If someone stole your Blackberry what would they find?
me find out if they’re into me as a person or just me as an artist. I just Oh my goodness. Well, to be honest. I’m a good guy, so it wouldn’t be
ask questions. I try to read into certain things and certain situations. As too bad. But I don’t know about my Nextel with the video and pictures.
an artist, trying to find love is hard. If they find that one, I’m in trouble.

Do you think it’s harder or easier for an artist to find real love than There’s a lot of things happening in Miami’s music scene.
the average guy? Yeah, and that’s a touchy subject because I’m on a mission. Coming
Being an artist, it’s hard for a person to get to know you versus that from Florida, it’s hard to be R&B. It’s time for me to make people rec-
image they see on television or hear on the radio. That’s why I do the ognize that we’re doing our thing down here when it comes to R&B.
music that I do, to motivate people. You always hear young kids fol- When I’m in the studio recording, I wanna sound like J-Shin. But in this
lowing certain songs, so that’s why I love what I do. Hopefully I can get industry, there’s no more creativity. Everything is sounding the same
some people to follow and start respecting love and understanding and that bothers me. For example – Ne-Yo’s a bad boy, but before Ne-
the value of love. Yo was Usher. Me, J-Shin as an artist, I’m going to continue to have
that individuality and that creativity that I have. When you deal with
Do you think that most of the love songs you hear on the radio are the labels, when Usher dropped they wanted everything to sound like
exaggerated or represent real life? Usher. When Ne-Yo dropped, they’re like, “We need some stuff like
It’s life. It’s real life. A lot of people say that R&B is over-exaggerated, Ne-Yo.” As an artist, I don’t want to follow that trend. That’s why I’m
but that’s not necessarily true. Just because I go through something happy to be with Southbeat Records. They give me creative control
doesn’t mean that you’ll go through it. With any R&B song that you and I’m happy about that.

OZONE 99
cdreviews

JUVENILE SCARFACE BUBBA SPARXXX


REALITY CHECK MY HOMIES PT. 2 THE CHARM
UTP/Atlantic Rap-A-Lot Purple Ribbon/Virgin

When Juvenile hit the mainstream with his instant- Making a sequel is always a risk. It has They say the third time is the charm,
classic 400 Degreez in 1998 he set the stage for to be just as good as its predecessor to and Bubba Sparxxx’s latest offering,
critics and fans to expect nothing but straight heat justify its existence and it has to be twice The Charm, keeps that phrase in
for the rest of his career. Even though his next three as good to be respected. And with its good standing. The album opens with
albums were solid efforts, they lacked the power precursor being heralded as somewhat of “Represent,” a dry-drummed track
punches their predecessor. But now with a forced a classic, My Homies Part 2 has pretty big that plays as the perfect compliment
fresh start and new recording environment, Reality shoes to fill. to Bubba’s beat-for-beat flow pat-
Check shows has New Orleans’ finest coming out terns. While the hook sings: “It’s your
swinging like a veteran fighter with something to Things start off with a bang on “Definition turn, you’re supposed to represent,”
prove. of Real,” where Scarface, Z-Ro and Ice he makes sure that that is not the
Cube all do a good job of proving why only song he does it on, even if
The album opens with the Hurricane Katrina after- their faces should be next the word in the someone else is on the song.
math inspired “Get Ya Hustle On” where he spits dictionary. Another banger comes courtesy
that now infamous line: “Everybody need a check of “Never Snitch” with ‘Face, Beanie Sigel On what may easily be the album’s
from FEMA so he can go and score some cocaiena.” and The Game letting it be known that best cut Bubba conjures some
From that point Juve uses his energy to create great they will never talk to cops and don’t mind authentic Dungeon Family magic with
music, rather than harp on the obvious despair of his regulating those who do. Sleepy Brown on “That Man,” where
hometown. Bubba’s protégé Duddy Ken actually
As hard as that track is, the strongest song gives his mentor a run for his money.
“Sets Go Up” has Juve and Wacko doing what they on the album is also the most vulnerable. Sparxxx gives another standout effort
do best, making grown man gangsta shit with unde- Z-Ro’s “Man Cry,” a remake of ‘Face’s “I on “The Other Side” featuring Petey
niable hooks. He stays in that mode on “Rock Like Seen A Man Die,” has the always intro- Pablo on the hook, giving listeners an
That” with Bun B and the Scott Storch-produced spective and lonesome Z-Ro playing the easy-to-consume blend of braggado-
“Why Not” where he revisits his trademarked ‘Nolia role of the man wasn’t “at peace with God” cio and club talk.
Boy flow pattern (think the chorus of “Ha”). However, and needing “to patch it up.”
Juve makes some instant vintage with “What’s Hap- Bubba also showcases his introspec-
penin” when he flawlessly borrows Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s Unfortunately, the highlights are few and tive skills on the thought-provoking
cadence from “Posse On Broadway.” far between after that point. “Gotta Get “Ain’t Life Grand” featuring his Purple
Paid” is vintage ‘Face story telling over Ribbon labelmate Scar. He continues
Juve also satisfies his bounce music and strip club slow-rolling Tone Capone production and in that trend on the soft-guitar laden
devotees with playa shit like “Loose Booty” featuring “Street Lights” featuring Yung Redd and Lil “Run Away” with pop crooner Frankie
Skip and a seemingly rejuvenated 8Ball. Then he Ron is a traditional Rap-A-Lot cut, but both J, which has TRL written all over it.
gets on some straight Uptown shit with “Holla Back,” get lost in the mediocrity that make up the
giving the P-poppers a new anthem to move to. rest of the album. Mainstream audiences will also flock
to the Mr. Collipark-produced “Ms
Not known to take too many risks, the former Hot “We Out Here” with Skip and the Ghetto New Booty” featuring the Ying Yang
Boy cools down and makes some R&B flavored cuts Slaves borrows from some fairly recent Twins and the sing-songy “Wonder-
as well. “I Know You Know” with Trey Songz has Swishahouse production and has a usu- ful.”
Juve pleading to his significant other that he’s being ally entertaining Skip scraping by with a
faithful without being too whiny. On the other hand reworked version of his verse from “Nolia The only drawback to this solid CD
he warns ladies about falling in lust on the Brian Clap.” “Platinum Starz” by Lil’ Flip, Chamil- are a couple lapses of reincarnated
McKnight-produced and assisted “Addicted.” lionare & Bun B has dust from 2003 all beats. Bubba reunites with Timbal-
over it while tracks like “Always” and “Club and for “Hey” which sounds like the
He takes another step out of his comfort zone by Bangaz” do little to stand out. skeleton for Jay-Z’s “Dirt Off Your
allowing more high-profile guest appearances. Shoulder” and on “Gotta Girl” he
“Pop U” features Fat Joe and an always engaging The only songs that may catch your atten- spits over the beat from TCP’s 2001
Ludacris, but it’s the N.O.-meets-Houston heater tion towards the end of the album are the single of the same name.
“Way I Be Leaning” featuring Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Geto Boys helmed “My Life” and “South-
Wacko and Skip that proves to be the highest-point ern Nigga” featuring 8Ball & MJG, Lil’ Never at a loss of words, and hardly
of the album. Keke, Slim Thug, Mr. Lee, Rell and E-Rock. ashamed of his brashness, Bubba
deviates from the guitar twang and
Juve ends with the eerie testimonial “Say It To Me While My Homies Part 2 has some pretty harmonica formulas of his last two
Now” where he answers every question about his decent cuts, it ultimately suffers the same offerings to recreate and reintroduce
career and relationships with one breath. Hands fate as most sequels: It’s not as good as himself to people who may have
down, this is his strongest effort since 400 Degreez. the first one. counted him out.

- Maurice G. Garland - Maurice G. Garland - Maurice G. Garland


mixtapereviews
DJ DRAMA & YOUNG JEEZY SICKAMORE & JOKAMAN
CAN’T BAN THE SNOWMAN LET THE SHIT BEGIN
Originally touted as Trap Or Die 2, Can’t Ban the To be completely honest with you, I didn’t like the
Snowman is running neck and neck with 2005’s title of this CD, and I wasn’t about to review it for
mixtape classic. Jeezy opens the CD with “I’m that reason alone. With a name like Let The Shit
Back,” addressing everything from his baby mama Begin I was almost certain that this CD was going
drama to his critics to the notorious news stories to sound like… well… shit! I was totally mistaken.
on CNN. Listeners are also treated to more music from his CTE This mixtape is the shit! Jokaman’s voice is very distinct and unlike
partners Slick Pulla and Bloodraw this time around. The jewels of any other H-Town artist I’ve heard. His lyrics are also very different
the CD are easily “Say I” featuring Christina Milian and “Burnin’ Up” from any other H-Town artist. This nigga can rap! Jokaman rides
with Slick and Bloodraw. Also, be sure to peep Slick’s “Verbal Inter- every beat like a seasoned veteran, and talks about a whole lot more
course.” – Maurice G. Garland than sipping syrup and ridin’ on swangaz. The only bad thing about
this mixtape is that the host should’ve had more energy. Sickamore
BIGGA RANKIN & G-MACK is a laid-back kinda dude, and his technique didn’t quite match Joka-
HOOD RICH WON’T CUT IT man’s firey rap style. From the time the first song comes on til the
Damn! Kentucky’s been holding out on us. This time the last one goes off, you can’t deny that despite what his name
CD was fire! I’d never heard of G-Mack until I got may lead you to believe, this kid is no joke. – DJ Chuck T
this CD, but once you hear this kid spit I guarantee
you’ll be checking for him. Since the CD is hosted BIGGA RANKIN & PLIES
by Bigga Rankin and G-Mack is part of the GTP 100% REAL NIGGA RADIO VOLUME 2
fam, I figured it was gonna be some of that bouncy Florida type shit, There’s really no need to review this CD. Anything
but I was wrong. G-Mack has the swagger of an East coast artist Bigga Rankin puts out is tight work, and if you
with the lyrics of a down South artist. G-Mack sounds a lil’ like Young didn’t already know that, then you need to be
Jeezy at times, but that’s a pro as well as a con. His production was smacked. Plies, a.k.a. “the new nigga at Slip-N-
tight and he meshed well with each beat he flowed over. Florida Slide,” shows a lot of versatility on this CD. He
mixtape O.G. Bigga Rankin naturally did tha damn thang as far as keeps it hood, but doesn’t get too repetitive. Tracks like “Chopper
hosting is concerned, so even if you’re skeptical about copping it be- Zone” and “Bond Money” show that this nigga can damn sure spit
cause you’ve never heard of G-Mack you can rest assured that Bigga some gangsta shit, and then totally flips the script on “I’m Tired Of
ain’t hosting nothing for a whack artist. - DJ Chuck T Lying.” This track is something that every real nigga needs to hear.
Plies tends to brag just a lil’ too much about being “the hottest nigga
DJ DRAMA & YOUNG BUCK in Florida,” but in this rap game you gotta go for the top if you plan
CASE DISMISSED!: to make it. With Trick Daddy missing in action, Plies has some big
THE INTRODUCTION OF G-UNIT SOUTH shoes to fill. After listening to this CD, I don’t think he’ll have a prob-
Young Buck is looking to get a new movement lem doing just that. – DJ Chuck T
brewing via his new G-Unit South imprint, and he is
off to a great start. Case Dismissed highlights the
label’s new signees Lil Scrappy, All Star, D-Tay, Lil
Murder and Hi-C (B.G. is mentioned, but he’s not on here). Highlights
include Buck’s solo “I’ll Be Back,” All Star’s remake of Webbie’s “G-
Shit,” and “Move It Like I Do” featuring D-Tay and Hi-C. Marking the
first time a G-Unit artist does an official mixtape outside of DJ Whoo
Kid, Buck and Drama supply straight heat for an hour and some
change. – Maurice G. Garland

ACAFOOL
GOOD TIMES WITH ACAFOOL
Florida native Acafool teams up with an all-star cast
of the South’s hottest DJs to bring you Season
One of his Good Times mixtape series. Acafool
brings something to hip-hop music that the game
is lacking very much right now: comedy. This CD
had me rolling on the floor laughing. The skits on this CD are funny
as hell and his lyrics are a tearjerker too. I’ve never seen an Acafool
performance, but I heard it’s like a circus show and Def Comedy Jam
all rolled into one. Don’t get it twisted though, Acafool may clown a
lot on this mixtape, but his subject matters are real as hell. Songs
like “Nasty Girl” and “I Can Feel That” are tracks that every nigga out
here should be able to relate too. Some of the skits on the CD can
get sort of corny at times, but the good ones definitely outweigh the
bad. I really enjoyed this CD from start to finish. Any hip-hop lover
that wants to take a break from gun-bussin’ and drug-slangin’ should
add this CD to their collection ASAP. - DJ Chuck T

DJ CHUCK T & CHARLIEO


REAL LIFE GOODFELLAZ VOL. 1
Charlieo’s thick accent is the first thing that catches
your ear when you pop in this mixtape. His deep
Southern drawl adds a bit of spice to his music and
accentuates his style perfectly. I must admit that his
lyrics are mediocre, but he makes up for it with his
smooth delivery and catchy punch lines. “10 Ones In My Fist” could
easily become the strip club anthem of 2006. Songs like “Big Rides,
Big Cheese” and “Pushin’ Chevy Machines” will make the dope boyz
go crazy. Will the Carolinas finally blow this year? If they have more
artists like Charlieo hiding out, most definitely! - DJ Chuck T

104 OZONE
dvdreviews by Malik Abdul

STREET LIFE: A DOCUMETARY ALL ACCESS THE RAW REPORT


www.StreetLifeFilm.com 10th ANNIVERSARY EDI- LUDACRIS PRESENTS: DISTURBING THA PEACE
TION www.RawReport.com
Come take a walk on the wild streets www.TheDVDMagazine.
of Detroit, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and com Here, The Raw Report presents its platinum series featuring
Chicago, where the hustlers, pimps, and Disturbing Tha Peace. Since 1999, with the guidance of super-
street thugs show you their way of life. It’s All Access’ 10th Anniversary manager Chaka Zulu, this Southern powerhouse has sold over
all about getting yours. double edition, featuring 15 million CDs.
Young Jeezy and Juelz
This documentary takes you through the Santana, is fire! This is Ludacris narrates the DVD, introducing you to each member
inner city of crack-infested Detroit, where definitely the best of both of the DTP family: longtime DJ Jaycee, hypeman Lil Fate, and
staying strapped is a part of your ward- hoods, from up North to other artists like I-20, Lazyeye, and Norfclck. Ludacris lets you
robe. Street Life is so well put together, it down South. These cats know what each member brings to the table, and the DVD also
has an official homicide detective giving are set to take 2006 to features separate interviews with each of these artists.
you the breakdown on why grown men cry another level. While other
and beg for their mamas when they’re be- rappers are beefing, or get- DTP recently signed Field Mob, who seem to be every happy
ing interrogated. He tells how the biggest ting angry about too much now that they’re on a label that cares about their creativity.
kingpins snitch on each other for a lighter Southern music, these two You’ll also see Smoke’s release from prison, and the success
sentence. cats are putting all that shit of the hot single “Georgia.”
behind them and making
There’s no stone left unturned. You have good music. This DVD definitely lets you see why each member was cho-
rappers like Lil Flip telling how the rap sen by DTP. Shawnna is a beast on the microphone, and she
game and the drug game are similar. It’s All Access gives you the isn’t afraid to let the men know that she has skills in addition
all about having good product, and mar- behind-the-scenes view to sex appeal. The well-rounded DTP roster also includes R&B
keting your good product. You can also of Jeezy and Juelz sittin’ artists like Bobby Valentino and Shareefa, as well as the group
check out the section with Bushwick Bill of down, chopping it up, and Playaz Circle.
the Geto Boys, talking about betrayal and reviewing Jeezy’s new
everyday struggles. This DVD changes mixtape. After the Juelz
states and takes you to the gangbanging session, Jeezy tells the
capital of the world, Los Angeles, where real story about him and
Daz Dillinger and MC Eiht talk about gang- Gucci Mane. But you’ll
banging and beatdowns. This two-hour have to cop this DVD just
DVD is filled with knowledge and advice. to hear Jeezy lay it down
Whether you’re planning to get into the on Gucci Mane once
dope game or the music game, there’s again. You’ll hear both
plenty of in-depth advice to tell you what sides of the story: the
to do or what not to do. bounty on Gucci’s chain
and the attempted robbery
Of course there are pimps and whores that left one man dead.
on the DVD, giving advice like a preacher That’s right, Gucci Mane
on a Sunday morning. Magic Don Juan, is on here too, talking real
Pimpin’ Ken, and a slew of others talk greasy in his interview with
about the usual, “Keep that hoe in check.” BET’s Mad Linx.
But this DVD also shows the other side of
the pimpin’ game: madams. These women On the flipside, it’s a Texas
have females that they commission to thang with the Boss Hogg
work. They set them up on dates, and they Slim Thug and Mike Jones.
get 70%. Women exploiting women. If these artists aren’t
enough to make you want
Detroit’s resident bad boy Trick Trick to pick up the DVD, the
shows why he always rides with the AK appearances from The
and hates the Feds. The DVD also shows Neptunes, Kay Slay, Jay-Z
the infamous Trick Trick vs. Trick Daddy and the new Rocafella
beatdown in Detroit. All in all, this is defi- Records, Gloria Velez, and
nitely one of the best DVDs out there. I Miami model Montana will
highly recommend that you pick it up. definitely heat things up.

108 OZONE
FIRST ANNUAL OZONE AWARDS: NOMINEES INSIDE!

J-SHIN
8BALL & MJG
PURE AMERICAN PIMPS
UNCLE LUKE’S
FREAKY TALES
BIG HAWK
R.I.P. by TRAE
DA BACKWUDZ
SLICK PULLA
RASHEEDA
YUNG JOC
RAY CASH
LA CHAT
DRE
J-SHIN
G-MACK
DIRTBAG
BIG CHIEF DALLAS, TX
DJ KHALED HOUSTON’S NORTHERN
NEIGHBOR GOT NEXT
K-FOXX &
SUPA CINDY
THE LADIES OF
MIAMI’S 99 JAMZ