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SUPER BOWL 2012
PHYZiKaL // dRO Man // tWiSta // FREddiE GiBBS PacMan // MacHinE GUn KELLY // JOn cOnnOR GLOBaL GanGStERS // PacMan // KinG LOUiE LEP BOGUS BOYS // 2 cHainZ // dJ WREKK 1 & MORE
SUPER BOWL 2012
dITION** *SPEcIAL E *
chU // FREddIE GIBBS // TWISTA PAcmAN // mAchINE GUN kELLy kING LOUIE // jON cONNOR GLOBAL GANGSTERS // PAcmAN dRO mAN // LEP BOGUS BOyS 2 chAINz // dj WREkk 1 & mORE
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SUPER BOWL 2012: WELCOMETO INDIANAPOLIS
PUBLISHER: Julia beverly CONTRIBUTORS & CREW: dJ black Jason potts stephanie “Eleven8” ogbogu PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR: Malik abdul STREET TEAMS: big Mouth Marketing dJ black Lex promotions strictly streets CONTACT US: phone: 404-350-3887 Fax: 404-601-9523 Web: www.ozonemag.com DISCLAIMER: ozonE does not take responsibility for unsolicited materials, misinformation, typographical errors, or misprints. the views contained herein do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or its advertisers. ads appearing in this magazine are not an endorsement or validation by ozonE Magazine for products or services offered. all photos and illustrations are copyrighted by their respective artists. all other content is copyright 2012 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.
7 8-10 11 12-13 14-15 16-17 22-23 Map & EvEnts Jon Connor King LouiE FrEddiE gibbs gLobaL gangstErs dJ bLaCK dro Man
4-5 10-11 12-13 14-15 16-17 22-23 6-7 8-9 dJ WrEKK 1 paCMan tWista bEi MaEJor 2 Chainz sayitainttonE MaChinE gun KELLy LEp bogus boys
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SUPER BOWL WEEKEND EVENTS
THUrsday, FebrUary 2 Mike Epps & Friends starring snoop dogg & Wiz Khalifa - 8:00 pM @ bankers Life Fieldhouse Ea sports Madden bowl Xvii f/ nas & the roots - 5:00 pM @ bud Light hotel birdman’s birthday party @ Cloud 9 J Cole @ sensu - 10:00 pM
Friday, FebrUary 3 Leather & Lace hosted by JWoww, Carmen Electra, Jenny McCarthy, & dJ pauly d - 9:00 pM @ regions bank tower run-dMC Concert for house of restoration africa - 8:00 pM @ Madame Walker theatre Coors Light silver bullet Lodge party f/ ice Cube & travie McCoy @ the vogue theater 8ball & MJg @ bentley’s bar & grill
saTUrday, FebrUary 4 Wale @ sensu - 10:00 pM gucci Mane @ bentley’s bar & grill 50 Cent, pitbull, & Lil Jon concert 7:00 pM @ bud Light hotel Jim Jones & nelly @ Cloud 9 sUNday, FebrUary 5 r Kelly @ the venue
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Words by Julia Beverly
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REPRESEntinG FLint, MicHiGan, JOn cOnnOR’S naME HaS BEEn GEnERatinG BUZZ aS a nEWcOMER tO WatcH in 2012. OZOnE cHEcKEd in WitH tHiS SOn OF a MiniStER tO Find OUt WHat MESSaGE HE’S PREacHinG.
Are you signed to a major or independent? i own my own independent company. Me, my team, Cleeze, Jason richardson, and my man young savv. We’re doing it independent and shopping our situation around. Flint, Michigan isn’t exactly a hotbed for rap music. Were you seeing what other artists had accomplished independently from other regions and felt like you could bring that same success to your hometown. When i was young, like twelve years old, i came up seeing Master p and no Limit and Cash Money and slip-n-slide and all these independent labels doing their thing. as a kid i always wanted to do that. i idolized that idea of just being an entrepreneur and taking matters into your own hands. it probably doesn’t seem that way now because the game has come so far, but when you think back before Master p and no Limit, new orleans really didn’t have that nationwide appeal that it has now. he took his hometown and brought it to a point where the whole world was rocking with it. Cash Money did the same thing and added to that movement. i was looking at houston and J prince’s movement with rapa-Lot; they made houston pop off worldwide. i didn’t want to just come in the game and be a rapper. i wanted to become [an inspiration] like they were to me. i wanted to do that; take my hometown and make the whole world rock with me. Just seeing the pioneers and cats that came before me let me know that i could do it. if they could do it, i definitely could do it. i wanted to be what Jay-z is to brooklyn, what Wayne is to new orleans. that’s what i’m going to be to Flint, Michigan. The most common perception we have of Michigan Hip Hop comes from Eminem and the whole 8 Mile visual. Do you feel like that movie was an accurate portrayal of what it’s like to come up in your state? battle rapping was more of a detroit thing. 8 Mile was a pretty accurate depiction of detroit, being an industrial town and how he worked at the auto plant and all that. in Michigan as a whole, you know, once you get out of high school, if you don’t have anything else planned you end up working at the auto plant. as far as Flint, i don’t think the world has seen an accurate depiction of Flint yet, and that’s what i’m going to bring to the table. in 2012 i’m planning on writing my own straight-to-dvd
movie so people can see and understand what it’s like in Flint because our story hasn’t been told yet. right now, the only thing they have to go off of is Michael Moore movies, and he does an excellent job. but i don’t think Flint’s story has been told from the perspective of somebody who’s actually living in the poverty and living amongst all of the craziness that’s going on. Em did a hell of a job with 8 Mile for detroit and i feel like it’s my responsibility to do the same thing for Flint. We’re only 45 minutes away but it’s different. When the recession hit, the car manufacturing industry in particular had some heavy losses. People also have the perception that you can buy houses in Detroit and Flint for a dollar and that those areas were hit much harder than other parts of the country. Is that accurate or media sensationalism? it’s accurate. i’m not a dude that’s going to just sit here telling sob stories in interviews, but it’s fucked up. it’s bad. Even when i was a kid Flint wasn’t as bad as it is now. When the economy crashed in Flint and the automotive industry left, that was something that offered hope at one point in time. back when my mother was growing up, you know, you either went to college or you went to work in the [auto] shop. but that’s not really here anymore. there’s a couple plants here and there but it’s not like it used to be. it’s not flourishing, and more than anything, the worst thing about poverty is that sense of hopelessness. that’s what Flint, Michigan has now - that sense of, “What am i going to do?” Everybody can’t rap, everybody can’t play basketball. and you end up with that whole crabs-in-a-barrel mentality. Everybody’s trying to get up but you’ve got to pull somebody else down to do it. so people are turning to hustling and doing other things, and that might sound like the typical cliche rapper story, but nothing is exaggerated about Flint. anybody coming from Flint knows they went through some shit to get out of there. Even me having this interview with you right now, this shit is not real to us. We can’t fathom the idea of me being in ozonE Magazine and doing all this stuff i”m getting to do. We haven’t had any rappers come out of Flint in like twenty-five years. so honestly, the media isn’t showing enough. it’s one thing for y’all to read about it, but it’s another thing for y’all to come here and see it. that’s what i’m going to bring to the people. it’s like tupac said about the vietnam War. once people saw the vietnam War on tv and how ugly it was, all the murders and killings, for us to stop the vietnam War. it’s so fucked up in Flint and nobody is saying anything about
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JON CONNOR CONTINUED:
it, so i’m gonna be the voice of the people. i’m going to show people how ugly it is and maybe society, people, the government, whoever, will do something about it. For real. i care about my city, i care about my people. so i’ll be the voice of change. as a young artist with a lot of potential, what gave you the motivation to stick it out in a city like Flint instead of moving to new york or Los angeles? you have to go wherever the music takes you. i’ve been some of everywhere. shout out to the ozonE, orlando, Florida, man. that’s where i did a lot of my grinding. When i got out of high school at 18, i moved to orlando. i was grinding with Cds in my book bag. i lived in Miami for a second. i did a lot of traveling and came back to Flint because above anything else, i wanted to be that inspiration and motivation to my city. Everywhere else has examples. if you’re from the north, you’re trying to be like Jay-z or puff daddy. if you’re from texas you’re trying to be slim thug or pimp C. Flint doesn’t have that. Most kids don’t believe that you can really achieve this music thing. So the DVD you’re working on is kind of a documentary or movie based on your life? it’s going to be loosely based on my grind. all the great rap crews had their low budget movies that told their story. Cash Money had Baller Blockin’, no Limit had I’m Bout It, roc a Fella had State Property, def Jam and russell had Krush Groove. those movies told the stories of how they got on. i felt like that was missing for a minute; while i’m telling my story, i want you to see Flint and see what we go through. We’re growing up in neighborhoods where next door is just abandoned houses. that’s whack. i’m not discrediting any other cities’ poverty but Flint is just a whole other monster. the shit that we have to accept as normal is atrocious in other cities. I read that your father is a minister? Do your parents feel like there’s a conflict between Hip Hop and Christianity or are they supportive of your rap career? My parents understand what i do and they support me because i do have a message. i’m saying something in my music, i’m not out here promoting negativity. i have a method to my madness and my dad always told me that hip hop is a form of ministry. What does a minister do? he’s in front of a congregation with a microphone. i’ve got a microphone too, and even though his congregation is at a church, i’m talking to my congregation and clubs and arenas too and people are listening to what i’m preaching. so it’s the same thing as church. people are listening to the preacher and his message. My dad and mother always told me, “Just be careful of the message you’re putting out there, because people are listening to you.” hip hop is my ministry, and my dad understands that. the things i preach in my music are just to do the right thing, use your head, use common sense. don’t be out here shooting stuff up. a preacher can’t say the things i say and get away with it. so i’m helping the preachers out. i can say, “stop what you’re doing. put the muthafuckin’ gun down, stop fucking killing people.” i can say all that, but a preacher can’t. there’s the Martin Luther King way of doing things and then there’s the Malcolm X way, by any means necessary. i’m trying to wake people up by any means necessary. if my language has to be a little more vulgar to speak to the people and get my point across, that’s what i’m going to do. My parents definitely understand that i’m riding for a cause. What’s your main focus in 2012? We’re not going to let the people breathe in 2012. at the end of 2011 we dropped Season 2, which is doing really good. Me and my man andre Ward are in the process of writing this movie and we want to put that out by summertime, and the soundtrack is going to come with it. Like i said, we want to take it back to the old school, to the no Limit, Cash Money, ruff ryders, roc-a-Fella days. We’re bringing back that whole rap dynasty thing. to go along with that, we’re going to do a rap dynasty mixtape series; all Cash Money beats, all ruff ryder beats, all bad boy beats, paying homage to all the great rap crews. How did you link up with Young Savv? that’s my brother first and foremost. i had formed a relationship with the radio head in Michigan at 93.7. My man at the station, the real slacker, used to always tell me to come up to the station. he was always forcing people to listen to my music. (laughs) he would be like, “yo, you ever heard of Jon Connor before?” on that particular day young savv was there and he gave me that look, “yo, is that you?” he researched me and all the work we’d been putting in, and he wanted to help take that vision to the next level. he told me, “i’m not gonna stop until you get that number one spot.” he hasn’t let me down yet. Is there anything else you want to add? thanks to you and ozonE for taking this time to let my voice be heard. We up on ozonE Magazine up here in Michigan. // Twitter: @JonConnorMusic
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cHicaGO natiVE KinG LOUiE caUGHt tHE attEntiOn OF KanYE WESt’S FORMER ManaGER JOHn MOnOPOLY, WHO WaS iMPRESSEd WitH HiS HUStLE and YOUtUBE VidEOS. SincE LinKinG UP WitH indiE LaBEL LaWLESS inc
How’d you get started in the rap game? i got kicked out of high school during my last year and i had more time on my hands, so that’s when i started going hard with rap music. a couple years later i bumped into [Kanye West’s former manager] John Monopoly. he introduced me to Larro and [my record label] Lawless inc. Were you a troublemaker back in the day? Getting kicked out of school? i wouldn’t really call it trouble-making. you know how young men are. the school would probably say i was a troublemaker, but i don’t think so. these days i tend to woo-sah through my lyrics. that’s how i let my aggression out, i smoke something and just chill and write. Common, Kanye, there’s a lot of rappers who have come out of Chicago with substance in their music. Would you say you’re in a similar lane or more on a party vibe? i wouldn’t even put those two guys in the same category. Common is more conscious, and Kanye can get conscious sometimes but he’s more what the younger generation would like to hear while Common is for the grown people. My music is more street. it’s a little more grimy. to me, it’s my personal perception of Chicago. it’s real hood, man. Are you dropping an album this year? We dropped Dope & Shrimp and we’re probably going to drop that as an album in February. Why do you call yourself King Louie? i feel like i’m a king. i think everyone should look at themselves as a king, you know? and my real name is Louis, so, King Louie. Are you planning to stick it out independently with Lawless Inc. or are you guys looking for a major distributor? i think if you’ve got the right team you can do it independently. When you’re on a major you’ve got to pay the label back and all that, you know, so there will be more money coming in this way. to each his own. i just want a situation where i can be the most successful, anything that’s going to be better for me, my team, and my family. Outside of rap music, are there any other ambitions or goals that you have? i wouldn’t mind being a photographer. i love taking pictures and posting them on instagram and tweaking them out. that’s what i’ll probably try to get into, or psychology or something like that. // Twitter: @1987RudeBoiKing @LawlessInc Instagram: KingLouie1987
Words by Julia Beverly
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Words by Julia Beverly
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tHE nEWESt MEMBER OF JEEZY’S cORPORatE tHUGGin’ iMPRint, GaRY, in natiVE FREddiE GiBBS, HOPES tO BRinG SUBStancE BacK tO RaP MUSic.
Coming from a place like Gary, Indiana, how did you catch the attention of major labels? it was actually quite weird. this was back in ’05, ’06, before all the blogging and all that. i started putting music on the streets and on the internet and i got a call from interscope one day. about eight months later i had a record deal over there and was recording in L.a. and all that. it all happened real quick. i never really rapped before my twenties. but once i got started, i started perfecting it and just kept at it. When you started rapping, was it a way to get out of the situation you were in, or just venting? What was the motivation? a little bit of both. it was a way to vent the frustration and talk about the things going on around me. it was an outlet. but to use that outlet you have to have money; you have to have money for studio time, promotion, and all that. so whatever i was making off the streets, i was pouring into the music. if you’re pouring money into something, you’re eventually hoping to turn a profit off of it. There’s so many artists now that get into the game because they think it’s easy money, but the artists who really become successful are the ones speaking from the heart. the game is flooded with so many artists. it’s so easy to get in, you know? back in the days it was hard for you to get in the studio and make a record. today you can make a record right in your room and it could become a top 40, number one hit. it’s just a weird time for music. it’s hard to sell it and it’s hard to make good quality music. those that do, you have to commend them, because it’s a tough time in the game right now. Interscope has traditionally been a great place for rap artists, so why did that situation not work out? Did you go through a depressed phase after you lost that deal? yeah, definitely. [getting a deal with interscope] was probably one of the first things in my life that i felt like i was doing correctly, so when it didn’t work out, it was a shock. i felt like i was better than the next nigga on their roster, so i felt slighted. i felt betrayed by everybody around me, like, “damn, y’all niggas didn’t fight for me?” i wanted to show the world what i had been working on. i felt
like i did all that [recording] for nothing; like i just wasted my time. i guess i wasn’t what [interscope] wanted at that time. it’s a business, man. i’ve grown up since then and i understand the nature of the business. it’s always about timing. it wasn’t the right time and there was a bit of politics, and there was some assholes and bitch ass niggas in that situation, too. all of it was a learning experience. interscope isn’t the only people in this industry that i’ve worked with and had to break ties with. there’s a lot of goofy muthafuckers that you run into and sometimes you do business with them but sometimes you’ve got to cut them off. but i don’t regret any of it. the whole interscope situation taught me a lot. Now you’re with CTE. Sometimes, artists signing to other artists’ labels can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. What made you comfortable signing with Jeezy? i fuck with that nigga Jeezy. due to my previous situation, i’m skeptical about what i’m willing to jump into, because you’re not guaranteed another day in this industry. i just felt that he was the guy that could take my music to the next level where it needed to go. Just by being around him and gaining that knowledge and experience, i felt like that would be priceless. and i’m still doing everything i’ve been doing prior to my CtE situation. You named a few of your mixtapes after Lauryn Hill, Outkast, and some of their classic albums. Do you think that’s something that’s missing in today’s music? definitely. i think people just aren’t making quality music. Everything is so fast-food. ain’t nothing really slow-cooked. there aren’t too many artists with new music that i get excited about. there’s a few, but it’s only a handful. Who is on your wish list of artists you’d want to work with? that’s a good question. there’s a lot of producers i want to work with. really i just want to work with anybody that wants to work with me, because we have a mutual respect. When it comes together organically, you can’t go wrong. Everybody that i’ve worked with, i fuck with. if i respect your shit and you respect my shit, we can do a record, it’s easy. i really want to do some more records with [big] Krit... For the rest of this interview, log on to ozonemag.com or youtube.com/ozonemag Website: FreddieGibbs.com (“just Google a Nigga”) Twitter: @FreddieGibbs
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Words by Julia Beverly Photo by ACJPhotography.com
OZOnE caUGHt UP WitH JOJO caPOnE, tHE Main FORcE BEHind cHicaGO RaP cOnGLOMERatE GLOBaL GanGStERS, tO taLK aBOUt RaP BEEF, StREEt LiFE, and tHE dEaLS tHEY HaVE On tHE taBLE FOR 2012.
Global Gangsters is a powerful title. What are you doing worldwide that’s so gangsta? a lot of people consider me their big homie if they’re having street issues. i’ve done that for multiple artists for so long that i felt like it was hindering my label, act Like it Entertainment. Let’s say if Ludacris and t.i. were beefing and i’m running with t.i.; any business that i want to do with Ludacris for the global gangsters or any other act Like it Entertainment, now Ludacris doesn’t want to do business with me because i’m running with t.i. so i felt like i had to start separating myself from a lot of people because that was the ultimate issue. i know a lot of people and so many people across the world know me, but i’m trying not to be in the middle. i’m trying to be neutral so if there are any situations people have with each other, they have to deal with them on their own. i did a little public service announcement saying, “sad to say, but if your grandmamma gets smacked, don’t call me. i can’t [handle] it no more.” i had to sit back and analyze the facts. if one dude puts my name in his records, it makes anyone [he’s beefing with] feel like i’m taking sides when i’m actually not. being independent, i
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have to stay neutral. i was getting calls from [E1 president] alan grunblatt and Kevin Liles and everybody wanted to do a deal. but it’s strained when it’s time to do business, because even though E1 and alan grunblatt wanted to do business with me, they were already in bed with dipset and doing business with Jim Jones. So you had a problem with Jim Jones that cost you a potential record deal with E1? if you remember the tru Life situation, that was my situation. the global gangsters is my movement but it consists of tru Life, Maino, rick ross, Jeezy, 2 Chainz – a lot of those guys have shouted out this movement or let you know they’re a part of it. We’ve been in talks with Jeezy about doing a solo situation with pistol pete from the group global gangsters, but then rick ross wanted to sign the group. so you see how i keep getting stuck in the middle when they started beefing? i’m just trying to get out of the middle. i have a few situations on the table myself. they compare me to suge Knight and J prince, but those guys made $800 million off the game. until i do that, i don’t want to be compared to those guys. The Game said you were the one who negotiated a deal for Young Buck to get his
chain back after it was stolen. Was that another situation where you were stuck in the middle? yeah, cause i know 50 [Cent] personally. Even when 50 was doing what he was doing and [tony] yayo first got locked up, i was trying to help saigon get a [g-unit] deal and we were talking about that. i was at violator and i had a production/management situation with them. i had to see those guys and deal with them regularly so it just turned into another one of those situations. out of the game situation, all you get is your name and credit on the album and a scene in the documentary. My kids can’t eat off credits. it’s all love with those guys but i feel like anything outside of doing a feature with an artist, i’ve gotta stay clear of it. In recent years, artists like Drake and Kanye have had a lot of success with a different style of rap music. Do you feel like gangsta rap has started to fall off or is there still a lane for it? there’s still a lane for it because there’s hardship in every city. but our name is just global gangsters, it’s not that we’re just singling out gangster rap because we’re still a versatile group. if you check out [global gangsters’] pistol pete’s video “power,” that’s truly a hip hop record. We just named ourselves global gangsters because that’s our mindframe. gangstas do what they want; others do what they can. We’ve traveled, we’ve done 32-city tours. We’ve done European tours. We go back to africa in February. Is Global Gangsters meant to be kinda like Boyz N Da Hood – a stepping stone for each individual member to embark on a solo career? Exactly. a lot of people love pistol pete’s aggressive flow. C-note has that Mystikal presence and busta rhymes-type performance. big blast is more like scarface with the in-depth stories. Cha Chi is like a Jay-z or nas with the wordplay; he paints the picture of the streets. Being from Chicago, how do you feel about this Drake and Common thing? Is Common representing your city properly? yeah, he definitely did, because you see he didn’t do any subliminals. We’re not a subliminal city. if we’re talking to you, you’re going to know about it. that’s why i’m saying it hindered me for so long because so vocal about everything. Whatever i thought or felt, i spoke on it. that’s normal in Chicago. shout out to Common; he’s from around my neighborhood. What he’s showing the world is the grown-up side of him, but all the busting guns and all that, he’s done that. he can tell all that himself, but rashid was a whole different dude. he’s not like that no more. he’s able to paint the picture because he really lived that life. i look at him and drake’s [“beef”] as something
that’s just for hip hop, to be honest, because it shouldn’t spill over to [the streets], but if it did, rashid is very familiar with how to do it. What’s your opinion on Obama’s accomplishments so far? that’s my neighbor; shout out to obama. We stay within walking distance of each other. but yeah, he’s a great guy, a humble person. they put him in a position where he had to clean up the previous presidents’ mess and he did a great job if you really sit back and think about it. he’s done a great job so far. i feel like there’s only one race, the human race. there’s a great movie i’ve been plugging in every interview called Hidden Colors. the film shows you how everyone came from africa. once people started traveling outside of africa and in the mountains where it was cold, the melanin in your skin changed. people don’t know that so they’re saying “black” and “white,” but you’re my sister, cousin, auntie, and relative too. You dropped a few albums at the same time last year. Why did you do that instead of spreading them out? that’s a statement within itself. it’s what we do. it ain’t just no talk, this is what we do. When we got back from a 32-city tour with the Clipse, the guys felt like they needed to gather their thoughts and get their head together because a lot of things had happened so fast. these are street guys that are transitioning into becoming entertainers, so it was kinda overwhelming. We put out Global Invasion, Turf by Turf Vol. 1 & 2, and my first project The Home of Capone on itunes. pistol pete did All Work No Play with dJ swamp izzo and then he did I’m Your Favorite Rapper with dJ Kay slay. now we have two more coming, No Skeletons In Our Closet hosted by dJ Junior. The game is a lot better now for independents. it always was, we just didn’t know that. Master p tried to show you but people just didn’t listen. i don’t like dudes who come up and don’t pay homage to somebody like Master p. he really did try to show and share that independent grind and tell people to stop being slaves to those who are above them financially. some listened and some didn’t. i shout p out every chance i get for that. // Twitter: @GlobalGangsters @ActLikeItEnt @BigBlastGlobal @ChaChiGlobal @CNote39 @PistolPete @GhostTheGreat @MissBossLady Website: ActLikeItEnt.com
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Words by Julia Beverly Words by Julia Beverly
indianaPOLiS StaPLE dJ BLacK iS a tRiPLE tHREat, HOLdinG it dOWn aS a dJ, MaRKEtinG & PROMO REP, and REtaiL StORE OWnER.
I know you’ve got a lot of history in the rap game and you’ve worked with Three 6 Mafia and a lot of other artists. How did you get started? i started out doing marketing for david banner and Lil Jon. When i was on my way to [david banner’s] “Cadillac on 22s” video shoot, dJ paul called me and i stopped off in Memphis at the studio. he was working on his solo album. Lil duval was
there too, when his career was just starting to take off. he was working on the Choices ii soundtrack. i was working with david banner doing all the promotions for his debut album, and basically, once i met dJ paul he took me under his wing and i’ve been loyal ever since. right now dJ paul and Juicy J are each doing their solo thing but it’s still 100% three 6 Mafia. i’ve been doing my mixtape thing in naptown, just staying behind the scenes in today’s music game. Even in the past few years since the David Banner and Lil Jon days, the music game
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has changed a lot in terms of marketing and promotions. Moving into the digital age what are some of the new strategies you’re using? i kinda got away from the street team thing when i started working with three 6 Mafia. i run a mom & pop record store in indianapolis. basically, the street team is no more. i’ve seen the game transition into free music. Everybody is putting out mixtapes and getting their money off shows. the game has totally changed. i remember when the label would pay $20,000 to run a tour and put some posters up. now it’s all internet. you might see a couple posters in mainstream markets but indianapolis is a third-string market so you’d rarely see promotion. Not many of the mom & pop record stores have lasted this long; even major record stores like Tower Records have gone out of business. What are you doing to maintain? Well, mom & pops are still running strong in my area. i talked to scream about opening up a hood rich store in atlanta or a hypnotized Mindz store in Memphis with three 6. Everybody knows they can get the Cd from the bootlegger or go to the internet now, just keeping it 100. there’s only a select few people who are really supporting the actual album when it comes out. but i’m able to survive just off my name and my personal music. i order everything direct from the distributor, the new Jay-z and Kanye, the new ross, the new rihanna, everything is legit, nothing bootleg. When you walk into a mom & pop store and the music is playing, you just get that hip hop feel. right now i’m transitioning into a more digital approach. that’s what i’m working on right now. How do you think the Super Bowl weekend is going to be in Indianapolis? i think the city is going to be overwhelmed. they don’t know how much money there really is out there in the world. i don’t think the people of indianapolis are ready for the amount of stunting that’s gonna be going down. Who are some of the artists in the Indianapolis area making noise? you’ve got dro Man, he’s got the jiggalate dance goin’ on with gucci Mane. you’ve got pacman, he’s got his single going with 2 Chainz, Juicy J of three 6 Mafia, and gorilla zoe. you’ve got g Fresh and Munki boi Entertainment and his labelmate young tone. you’ve got playboy, Lil pooty, grinny boy, and a guy named Maxamillion, he’s like the new Machine gun Kelly. At one point, there was a lot of controversy with the RIAA targeting certain mom & pop stores and shutting them down for selling mixtapes. Did that affect you?
i’m not a dumb muthafucker. if you come in my store, you can buy the [mixtape] cover and i’ll give you the Cd for free. that story basically originated in indianapolis with a guy named alan berry. he had a store called berry’s Music. google it and you’ll see the whole story about him and the riaa. after he beat his case with the riaa, he came back and opened naptown Music. he recently closed because they were robbed five or six times. it was a [dangerous] area where the store was, and he’s an older white guy in his forties. he knows his hip hop, though. [the shootings] kind of scared him i think, so he got out of the music game. so i bought naptown Music and closed my store down. i’m moving naptown Music to a new location on the number one street in indianapolis. that’s all i have to say about the riaa. i bought [berry’s] original naptown Music sign, his inventory, everything. so i’m going to reopen naptown Music and it’s going to be a landmark spot in indianapolis, for sure. it’s a dream come true. Nice. You’re also known for your Dragged Up mixtapes. What’s the difference between Dragged Up music and Screw music? rip dJ screw, first of all. i’ve got “r.i.p. dJ screw” tatted real big on my stomach. i really live that type of music. i have gotten into altercations over it. i’m not the type of dude to just get on the internet and be talking about it, feel me? drag is basically slower than screw music. it’s mob music. i call it dragged up because i don’t think you can do screw music if you’re not [dJ] screw, you know? screw would say that right now if he was alive, so just out of respect to him and his family, i call it drag. We’re going to keep the tradition going that screw pioneered, but in real life, you can’t be screwed if you not screw. a lot of people know that dragged up music originated with dJ black, and that’s an accomplishment to me. Anything else you want to add? shout out to the team hood rich dJs, they’re killin’ it right now. shout out to ozonE Magazine for always showing love. shout out to the city of indianapolis, 317. i love it, i’m still here. i just wish they would give me the respect i deserve. i’m behind a lot of stuff in the music industry. i’m really a humble cat. if you want to talk to me 901-428-4255 is my direct line. // Twitter: @DJBlack_HCP
OZONE MAG // 17
Words by Julia Beverly
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GaRY, indiana natiVE and FORMER cHicaGO GanG LEadER cHU OVERcaME a tROUBLEd PaSt, a FEdERaL indictMEnt, LiFE On tHE RUn, and tHE tRaGic dEatH OF HiS tWO aRtiStS. WitH HiS LaBEL U.c.O.n.n. and HiS dEBUt aLBUM I AM NALON AND NALON IS ME, HE HOPES tO SPREad HiS tEStiMOnY and ExPLain HOW HE OVERcaME tHE daRK SidE tO SPREad LiGHt.
How long have you been rapping? i started off as the CEo. i wasn’t supposed to be a rapper. i started rapping by force, not by choice, because i lost my artist in a [car] accident. his name is nalon, that’s why i called my album I Am Nalon and Nalon is Me, because i feel that i need to continue this mission we started fourteen years ago for the Midwest. Fourteen years ago, no one was recognizing the Midwest. no one was screaming “Midwest” until i did [“Midwest invasion” on the] Monsters of the Midway soundtrack. i put twista and Layzie bone together on that track and stopped the beef between them. i was the mutual friend they talked about on Beef 3. i was just happy that we were able to be recognized as the Midwest back then. but for me to be an artist now, i felt like i had to carry it on. i feel like you can kill the body but you can’t kill the soul, which lives on through this music. We started this darkside thing, me and nalon. darkside/u.C.o.n.n. is the name of the label, which stands for united Clique of notorious nations. i don’t care if you represent bloods, Crips, [or any other gang], we’re all united. We want to turn our negatives to positives. We wanna live life instead of taking life. i’m not glorifying the streets, i’m glorifying god so that we can overcome the streets. i want to let people know that gangstas pray too. Are you hoping to help unify gangs with this album? yeah, i mean, it’s whatever set you’re from. it doesn’t even have to be a gang. it could be a nation, a culture, wherever you’re from, just everybody coming together under one umbrella trying to do something positive out of all this negative that we come from. it’s serious in Chicago. not just Chicago, but everywhere. i was born in gary, indiana, g.i. We call it gangsta island. they don’t play around. ain’t nothin’ but gunplay in g.i. that’s all they know, the dark side of life. So when you started the label it was your intent to get out of that situation and express your thoughts on what you were going through? basically, yeah. i wanted to tell people my
testimony of everything i’ve overcome and conquered in my life coming from that dark side. i want to bring it to light now and show them it’s been a great fight. i’ve been fighting fourteen years and after a great struggle comes a great reward. When i lost my artists people thought it was over, you know? [they were] Jordan and scottie pippen to me, and i lost both of ‘em. i feel like i’m phil Jackson and i had to sit back and put everything together again. god is showing me that you can make the impossible possible if you believe. nalon was a great artist, and he’s still a great artist, and you’ll see it through me. you could put him up against the greats, because he was anointed by a great god to spit the words we are spitting. i’m not just after the dough, i’m after your soul. i want to touch your soul through this music. i want people to know there is hope; you just have to have faith. Like i tell people, i’m rich in faith, not in money. Faith brought me here. there was a time i had no money. i was a fugitive on the run for four years, Chicago’s most wanted. indiana’s most wanted. i was in a whole different country not even knowing the language and still doing the music when i was on the run. i brought my whole studio to another country. We kept doing our music and we ain’t let nothing stop us. this is a great testimony. god is awesome. they said i would never come home, but i’m right here in your face doing this interview right now. it’s a blessing. i just want to show people that god is good. We can overcome all things because god is on our side. Why were you on the run? they had me locked down 23 hours a day. they labeled me a terrorist because they say gang leaders are basically terrorists. i was locked down 23 hours a day because of a sealed indictment from the Feds for six months. they wouldn’t even unseal the indictment, so i was in [prison] not even knowing my charges. i fought it and they had to unseal [the indictments] because i fired the lawyer that was working for them. i hired two more lawyers and found out what was really going on and got [the indictment] unsealed. i was charged with a felony possession of a firearm and did 19 months. i was blessed to come home. that whole situation is behind me now and we’re moving forward.
OZONE MAG // 19
How did your artists pass away? it was a car accident after a party we had. Five years ago, november 17th. We had a mansion party with a celebrity from Chicago. We were at his mansion and that morning they were on their way home. there was a malfunction with the car and it slid into a wall. the wall collapsed on both of my artists, killing them. nalon and Chuck general. Chuck had that raspy voice; i loved his voice, man. it was real devastating but god spoke to me in my heart. he said, “When they killed my son they thought it was over. that’s the plan.” so i have to believe what i heard in my heart. it’s kind of hard to believe that this is the “plan,” though. i never wanted to be a rapper. i was the guy behind the scenes putting things together. Have you always been a spiritual person or is this something that came to you during your incarceration? i’ve been anointed since i was a child. people don’t know that i’ve been rolling with god since i was a juvenile. at the juvenile center, i want to thank the man that came in and spoke that word. he was like, “you call yourself a Latin King? Come and be with the King of Kings. you call yourself a vice Lord? Come and be with the Lord of Lords. you call yourself a disciple? Come and be a disciple for Jesus.” that word touched my life. i was the only one that stood up because i felt the spirit for the first time. i went astray, but he kept pulling me in. i pray with gangstas. i pray with everybody in the streets. i pray with everybody because i’m not ashamed of who i am. i learned in this journey of life that you can never be sinless but you can learn how to sin less. i’ve been through the dark side. people wouldn’t believe all the things i’ve overcome. the police shot me up the day they caught me and not one bullet hit me. there’s so many different trials i’ve overcome to the point where you know there must be a god. there’s no other answer. So the name of the album is I Am Nalon and Nalon Is Me. Do you feel like he’s speaking through you? yeah. on the album’s intro, i start it off with an accident. i was driving one day and i got bits and pieces from one of his songs in my head. he’s got over 450 songs done; real music. so i’m driving and i hear this song and he says “i’ve had my earth suit in the ground for a minute, but i’ll be back to put my soul in it.” it just hit my heart and i went to tears because he spoke to me. this is the plan. he’s gonna put his soul through me. through the words we spit, we’re going to touch these souls. My goal is to reach a million souls. i ain’t worried about dough. i conquered the streets at 21 years old, so [money] is nothing to me. My thing is to let people know that i am a living testimony. god has blessed me and i overcame a lot. i just want people to believe, that’s all. Would you call it “gospel rap”? it’s a balance. it’s all gangsta music, but i’m letting you know god created it all. he created gangstas. My god is gangsta. When you break it down he’s the god of love and the god of rap too, you know? A lot of people rap about the street life but don’t really tell the consequences. So you’re hoping to balance things out a little more? yeah, balance it out. don’t stay stuck on negative because at the end of the day it will become negative. try to turn your negatives to positives. try to live life. don’t just stay focused on the block. it’s bigger than the block, there’s a whole world out here. We stay stuck on our block and the war zone where we live. What’s the plan to get your music out there in 2012? tony draper just gave me a call the other day. he’s going to fly in and we’re going to put something together. Who better than tony draper himself to show me how to run this independent game? We did business back when i was on the run. he knows i do good business so we’re going to sit down and do more good business. it’s going to be a blessing. i’ve got a power move that’s about to happen. i’m basically trying to be like ice Cube. it’s becoming an independent world. too $hort taught me that. i wanted to sign my label through his and he told me, “you don’t need me, man. be independent.” he taught me how to be independent and i’ve been staying independent for fourteen years making major moves. i’m independent but i’m doing it major. i’ve got major artists like Jazze pha and too $hort on my album. i’ve charted on the billboard charts, #3. i’ve got songs with scarface, ali of the st. Lunatics, danny boy, and trillville, and they’re all bangers. Since you have roots in Gary, IN, and Chicago, IL, what do you think the Midwest needs to have a major movement? it’s missing this u.C.o.n.n. thing, united Cliques. We’ve got to come together like the West, East, and south do. the last shall become first, and we’re the last. i feel like we’re the hardest in the nation and we just ned to
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unify. if i’ve got to do music in the West, the East, and the south and bring it back to Chicago, that’s what i’m going to do because i’m not leaving home. i want my label to be like the def Jam of the Midwest. you can come right here to Chicago and we’ll make it happen. i want everybody in the Midwest to unify like twista and Layzie [bone] did. i had to tell Layzie, “homie, it’s cool you got on in the West Coast but where are you originally from? ain’t Cleveland in the Midwest? Why are we fighting over a style that’s ours? y’all fighting over a style that’s from the Midwest.
Let’s bring the Midwest together.” Is there anything else you want to add? Look up my record Chu “gone” on youtube. shout out to all my brothers and sisters in the Midwest doing their thing. shout out to my boy sean dell at 92.3 who holds me down. shout out to my dJs v-dubb, dJ pharris, my man delly del, too $hort, everybody in the Midwest that’s doing their thing. // Website: DarksideUconn.com
OZONE MAG // 21
indianaPOLiS RaPPER dRO Man HaS BEEn On HiS GRind FOR a WHiLE, BUt it WaS tHE dancE REcORd “JiGGaLatE” - FEatURinG FELLOW LOcaLS t-EaZY and SWOE - tHat FinaLLY caUGHt tHE PUBLic’S attEntiOn. HERE, HE tELLS OZOnE HOW HE PLanS tO FOLLOW UP tHE REcORd in 2012.
I hear you’ve got the streets of Indianapolis jiggalatin’. yup, it’s like a movement. they’re doing it everywhere. it’s spread from across the state throughout the Midwest and a couple spots in the south. How would you describe the dance, for people who haven’t seen it? there’s different variatons of it, different things you can do with it. in some parts, you imitate cooking. some people imitate playing the guitar. you can play golf, whatever you want to put into the dance, that’s what jiggalating is. Is this the first record you put out? i’ve been doing it for a while but this is the first record that everybody noticed. i’ve been doing it for years before that even came out. i guess you’ve gotta get in the game with a dance, i guess that’s what they want. Before the dance record was most of your music a different style, more of a street vibe or what? yeah, that’s more me right there. “Jiggalate” is just a catchy song. it’s not really a dance type song like people think it is, but you know you’ve got something real going on with it. a lot of people from our neighborhood can relate to the stuff that’s going on in the song. that’s why people feel it. What’s your plan for 2012? Do you have a mixtape you’re dropping or an album? actually i have the Mr. Popular mixtape coming out for super bowl weekend. i’ve also got my Trappin’ For Dummies 3 mixtape coming soon, and i’m having a mixtape release party for that in March. i have more videos coming out on Worldstar and youtube. i’m gonna start working towards my album and it should be finished by the end of 2012. Are you planning to release the album independently or have the major labels been paying attention with the success of “Jiggalate?” yeah, the labels are paying attention, but we’re
doing the independent thing for now. What’s the vibe like in Indianapolis right now with the Super Bowl coming to town? people are definitely excited about it. it’s like a once-in-a-lifetiem chance to see some people. Everybody in the city is really excited. it’s going down already, it’s like a celebration. i ain’t even know itw as going to be as big as it is. there’s pre-parties out here and everything already. What are the main parties you’ll be at, and are you performing anywhere during Super Bowl weekend? i’ll be at birdman’s birthday bash, that’s at Cloud 9 on thursday. Friday we’re performing with Meek Mill and we’ve also got a celebrity basketball game on Friday. We’re going to be doing a lot of things throughout the weekend. How would you describe the Indianapolis sound? Do you feel like the city has a style of its own or is still trying to find its niche? Every artist has their own sound, i think. they city really ain’t got no certain sound. We take some stuff from the south and the West and the new york sound and mix it all together. We take a little bit of everything. Everybody’s different. you’ll never find another artist that sounds like dro Man no matter where you go in the world. Should I assume from the name Dro Man that you’re a weed head? i mean, i smoke, but i wouldn’t label myself a weed head. Where did you get your name Dro Man from then? Does it have a different meaning behind it? i mean, it was just something they used to call me. they used to call me dro because i used to always be slowed down a little bit. Do you have a follow-up record to the “Jiggalate” record that you’re getting ready to drop? yeah, i’ve got a few other records that are doing well and i’ve got a couple other records on the way. i don’t really know which one i’m gonna run with because anything i’ve put out, everybody’s feeling it. it’s kinda hard to pick which one to run with so i think i’m just gonna let the people pick. “Jiggalate” is still picking up and getting played in a lot of different cities. // Twitter: @DroManMusic
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Words by Julia Beverly
OZONE MAG // 23
DJ 1 Wrekk
Words by Julia Beverly
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FIFTEEN yEARS AGO, dj WREkk 1 GOT hIS START IN ST. LOUIS, mO, WORkING UNdER dj kUT. SINcE mOvING TO INdIANAPOLIS TEN yEARS AGO, hE’S hELd dOWN ThE NIGhT SPOT AT hOT 96.3 WITh #1 RATINGS IN hIS TImE SLOT. Since you’ve been DJing for 15 years, have you seen a major change in radio playlists? It’s definitely limited, I’ll say that, but on the flip side, A DJ has to look at it as an opportunity instead of complaining about it. When I’m out DJing in the club, that’s my chance to break music that the radio stations aren’t playing. That’s my chance to create a different avenue. So it actually helps the DJ when the radio station won’t play certain music, because it gives you more variety to stand out and do your thing. It all depends on how you look at it. At the end of the day, radio is a business. They have to play certain music to get ratings and that’s how the money comes in. It all depends on the ratings. If the ratings aren’t there, the radio station won’t make money. It’s all business, I get that. What are a few records recently that worked organically for you without radio? Right now that French Montana “Shot Caller” record is crazy. The new 50 Cent record is crazy, anything with Gucci mane too. We’ve got a ton of local artists here that are making noise, like Rainy Boy, Dro Man, G Fresh and Young Tone. Are you one of the DJ purists who still sticks with vinyl? Or do you see the advantages of Serato and a lot of the new technology? I’m not going to lie, when Serato first came out, I was against it. I had been DJing with vinyl so long and had a pretty extensive collection. I was proud of my vinyl collection. One of the record executives was talking to me and was like, “Wrekk, you cannot stop the avalanche. Why are you trying to stop it?” At the end of the day, you have to adjust with the times or you’ll get run over. So now I just look at Serato as some equipment that makes it easier for us to get the music out to the people. I love vinyl; I love being able to search for records. That’s what made you different back in the day – when you had different records that other people didn’t have. But with the Serato game now, you can still be different. It’s all about how you do your thing and rock it. You’ve got to find your niche. So I don’t think Serato hurt anything. It made it an even playing field for everybody. What do you think it will take for the Midwest to have a big movement? I think it’s just about consistency and continu-
ing to work together. I think it’s just a matter of time before it happens. Right now we still have to train the masses to really support local independent music out of the Midwest. That’s a process. A lot of us are trained to like the national artists that come out with music from the East or the West or Down South. In the Midwest, Southern music is pretty prominent. A lot of us haven’t been trained to support local independent music. As we continue to grow and understand the whole process and artists continue to come out with music on a regular basis, I think we’ll be in good shape. I see the movement already growing. For visitors that are coming to Indianapolis for Super Bowl weekend, what are 5 things they have to do while they’re in town? First, you’ve got to check out the Colts, even if it’s just going to the mall to get a jersey or seeing where they play. Number two, I’d say the Indy 500. People love the races here so you’ve got to go see the track at Indy 500. Three, you’ve got to learn how to jiggalate, that’s the biggest dance in the city around here. Shout out to Dro Man. Four, you’ve gotta go see the Pacers play. They love the Pacers here. And number five, tune into Hot 96.3 to check me out and see how it goes down in Indianapolis. Which Super Bowl parties are you DJing? I’m involved with the Bud Light Hotel party. That’s going to be crazy. Drake and Lil Wayne are going to be in town. I’m doing a Def Jam Takeover on the radio, Saturday 4-6 with Ludacris, Young Jeezy, and Nas. Friday night I’ve got G-Unit Radio with 50 Cent and the whole crew. A lot of other artists are coming through, like J Cole, B.o.B., and Wale. That’s just the parties, that’s not including other stuff like the NFL Experience downtown. I know I have at least ten or fifteen artists just coming through my radio show, so it’s going to be poppin’ in the city. This is the biggest thing ever for us here in Indiana, especially with the Giants in the Super Bowl. I’m going for the Giants all the way! Is there anything else you want to say? Thanks to everybody who has really helped me grow and expand my whole career. The radio station Hot 96.3 has definitely given me a lot of opportunities, and I appreciate you and your staff. I deal with Jennifer over there at OZONE and I appreciate everything you all do. I appreciate the city of Indianapolis and everybody who has helped me grow into the man and the DJ that I am today. // Twitter: @Wrekk1
OZONE MAG // 5
Words by Julia Beverly
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cLEvELANd SPOkESmAN mAchINE GUN kELLy ISN’T jUST TAkING hIS TALENTS TO SOUTh BEAch, hE’S TAkING hIS TALENTS WORLdWIdE ANd STILL REPPIN’ ThE hOmETEAm. OzONE chEckEd IN WITh ThE RISING STAR TO FINd OUT hOW hE IGNITEd A mOvEmENT. How does a 21-year-old kid from Cleveland end up opening for Diddy on tour? That’s a good question. I just turned 21 a couple days ago, so it’s kinda like a birthday gift. I think our fan base is just so strong, especially in the Midwest. Our movement is an underground movement but the music is so universal. Did you hear a lot of criticism starting out in the game as a white rapper? Not really, because I had good street cred before I came out in my hometown. When I started out, I was battle rapping. I hate the comparison, but it was kinda like the 8 Mile thing. You had to battle to gain your respect. I couldn’t really fight that well when I was a kid so I chose to fight with my words instead. When I was battle rapping, I was in Denver. I moved to Cleveland when I was fifteen and around that time, battle rapping was kind of whack. That phase faded out in like ’04, ’05. What was the first release that started getting you some attention? I was the first rapper to ever win the Apollo. That was a tough crowd but I won first place twice, so that was crazy. I had a release called 100 Words And Running. That’s when I got my city’s stamp of approval. I started getting a lot of love from the radio and doing shows, and we got a reputation for having these crazy live performances. When Lace Up came out, that was the mxitape that changed everything. I had a song on there called “Cleveland” that the Cavaliers’ come out to [during their games] at the Q Arena, so that was huge. I was just talking about a lot of personal issues on there, and people could relate. What are some of the topics you speak on? I speak on a lot of different issues. I try to be motivational. Lace Up definitely had that whole underdog tone. I spoke on things like heroin addiction, growing up in a loner phase. I know you said you don’t like the 8 Mile comparison, but do you have a similar background as Eminem? I just don’t want to be categorized like that because I have such a different voice. We have the same kind of fans so maybe that’s why they would look at us as this scapegoat. We’re
kind of like an escape from everything. You’ve got a lot of different labels looking to sign you. What’s the deciding factor? I can’t compromise my movement for money. I have an anarchy tattoo on my stomach, so I’m like anti-establishment. So I’m looking for whoever is willing to push those boundaries and take those risks. My image and my name, Machine Gun Kelly, is a risk. Whoever is willing to take that risk without trying to change it up. Despite the fact that I came up on the underground, I’ve never really made underground music. I’ve always made commercial, universal-sounding music. So I think it’s to be expected that my music would come out on a major label. I’d rather have my music spread throughout the world instead of just a couple states. There are hundreds of kids, if not thousands, that have Lace Up tattoos. I can honestly say I’ve shut down the mall before. I shut down a mall in Canton, Ohio. How did you feel about Lebron James leaving Cleveland? Fuck that muthafucker. But Lebron leaving was the best thing that ever happened to my career. As soon as he left, people were like, “At least we got [Machine Gun Kelly].” I was cool with that because I had to step up to the plate. I had a concert at the House of Blues for a private party that night [he announced he was leaving] so I got to witness the mayhem downtown, all the crazy shit. People think of basketball as an economic thing; you fucked the whole economy of our city up. I don’t even watch basketball, so I don’t give a fuck. He put families out of jobs, changed the whole downtown landscape, all that stuff. But big ups to him for even being able to have that kind of power. I hope I have that kind of power one day as well. Let’s say you had been in Cleveland for seven years and hadn’t yet achieved what you wanted to achieve. Would you go to another market to make it happen? Nah, because of my legacy. A real hero stays when he is most needed. Cleveland is the number one poorest city in America. I see Detroit fight back every other year. That’s the only credit we get – being the poorest. We needed him. Families needed him. He was a face [of the city]... For the rest of this interview, log on to ozonemag.com or youtube.com/ozonemag Website: MGKLaceUp.com Twitter: @MachineGunKelly
OZONE MAG // 7
L.E.P . Bogus Boys
Words by Eleven8
(l to r): Count, Moonie 8 // OZONE MAG
FROm PLOTTING TO ROB ThEIR FUTURE cEO TO cOLLABORATING WITh ThE LIkES OF BUN B ANd PROdUcING ThEIR OWN cLOThING LINE, chIcAGO RAPPERS L.E.P. BOGUS BOyS hAvE cOmE A LONG WAy. For those who don’t know, how did the LEP Bogus Boys come together? Count: Long story short, I met our CEO, E, down there in Ickes Projects. Originally we wanted to rob him. Then we got reacquainted with him and he was starting a label. We were making music already, so when we met back up with him, he realized we were the same people that were gonna rob him. We ended up getting back with him and the label about ten years ago. Moonie and E went to jail, got out, and we’ve been keeping it going ever since. Why were you going to rob him? Count: He was the one with the bread. He was coming down there seeing his female all the time. He was a lil’ flashy nigga, so we were going to get him. I hate telling that story. (laughs) How would you describe the music coming out of the Chicago area and where you fit in? Count: Chicago rap is on some gang-banging rap. But they’re like 17, 18, 19 year old shorties. We’re older so we’re like the big homies. We’re more experienced and seasoned; we’ve been through what they’re going through. They can relate to us and they know how we get down, so when we talk, they listen. Who are some of your musical influences? Moonie: It always starts off with Tupac and Biggie. I mean, who ain’t influenced by the late greats? I like Jay-Z too. Of course being from Chicago I’ve gotta tip my hat off to all the Chicago artists like Kanye, Twista, Do or Die, and Common. Rakim and Big Daddy Kane, too. Just look at how they were doing it back in the day. There’s a lot of things they had back then that artists of today are missing. How did you link up with DJ Green Lantern for Now Or Neva? Moonie: We had always been fans of each other. We did his Invasion Radio show on Sirius XM/Hip Hop Nation and that’s how we linked up. Shout out to Green Lantern, that’s the homie. We got a great response to the mixtape. I think we made Top 10 mixtapes for the second year in a row. That’s a good look. Have you experienced any changes in the way people treat you in Chicago? A lot of artists say that once you get more national recognition, there’s backlash in your hometown.
Count: Nah, you know what? Our city supports. We go out every day and somebody new is yelling out “L.E.P.!” We were at the mall yesterday shooting a video and they were yelling “L.E.P.!” We’re still in the hood so they’re like, “Damn, I just seen y’all on TV.” When we’re in Chicago we’re around. Our studio is right in Englewood. We’re right there, in your face and on TV. Moonie: We’ve seen people get L.E.P. tattoos and everything. It’s definitely getting crazy out here. Have you signed a major label deal yet? Moonie: Nah, not yet. We’re waiting. We’re working right now so we’re not really worried about a deal. If the right deal is presented to us we’ll definitely negotiate, but right now we’re independent. We can do anything we want, whenever we want. That’s the best part about being independent. If me and Count decide we want to drop 67 songs tomorrow, we don’t need anybody else’s approval. We’re working right now, and the streets co-signed it. We’re getting booked [for shows], we shoot videos every other day, we’re in the studio 24/7, and we’re enjoying being independent. You’ve worked with everyone from Raekwon to Gucci Mane. What was your favorite collaboration? Moonie: We honestly enjoy working with everybody. We appreciate all the hospitality. But we learned a lot when we did a song with Bun B, cause he’s an OG. He gave us a whole different format and thinking process. A lot of times when we get in the studio with other dudes it’s more fun, you know? But when we get in the studio with Bun he sat down and chopped it up with us like real men. I definitely gotta tip my hat off to Bun B. That’s a real dude and I support him 110%. And Rest In Peace Pimp C. You have your own clothing line, shoot your own videos, are editing your own movie – what other ventures are you working on? Moonie: We’re trying to see if Ferrari will let us get our own edition of L.E.P. Bogus Boys’ Ferraris. As far as the clothing line, me and Count always like to be on some fly shit. The Midwest is always fresh. I think Chicago has been trendsetting in the fashion world for a long time, it’s just really starting to come out now, especially with Kanye doing his thing. I feel like we’re dope enough to be trendsetters ourselves. We’ve also got a clothing venture with Crooks & Castles. // Website: LEPbogusboys.com. Twitter @LEPBogusBoys
OZONE MAG // 9
Words by Julia Beverly
10 // OZONE MAG
WITh ThE hELP OF dj BLAck, INdIANAPOLIS RAPPER PAcmAN hAS BEEN BUILdING A BUzz WITh hIS REcORd “TOP OFF.” AS hE FIGhTS A PENdING cOURT cASE, hE hOPES hIS PAST WON’T dERAIL hIS FUTURE. How did you get started in the rap game? I’ve been rapping since my younger days. I was like 8 or 9, just working on my craft. I really started taking it seriously when I was about 17. I put out my first actual CD in 2007, when I as 22. The people around me in my environment were really feeling my swag with the music, so I noticed I had the potential to keep growing in the music business. That’s when I got really serious about it, and I’ve been doing albums and mixtapes ever since. How did you link up with DJ Black? I knew him through a childhood friend that was DJing with him under his label Dragged Up Entertainment. He introduced me to DJ Black, back before I put out my first album. He kind of inspired me to keep going and he’s been backing me. He told me to keep working and stay in the streets with the music. Right now you have “Top Off” with 2 Chainz, Juicy J, and Gorilla Zoe. I see you’re paying tribute to syrup like a lot of Houston and Memphis rappers have done. Is that becoming an Indianapolis favorite as well? We kinda took heed to what they were all doing. I figured all these guys talk about it just like I do, so the record might turn out to be something big. And it did. I don’t really want to stay on that topic, you know, letting my crowd think it’s okay to use that type of drug. But at the same time, I know it’s being used every day on a daily basis all throughout the world. So I just stuck on that topic because I know a lot of people are doing it, not just in the Midwest or the South, but all over. You’re in the middle of a legal situation, right? Can you talk about the details? I can only say so much, because I’m fighting a case right now from some poor choices I made in life. I’m trying to redeem myself and just better myself on a daily basis and stick to the music without being involved in gang activity or substance abuse and all that. I’m really trying to get myself together. It seems like people want to see rappers go to jail; it gives you that street credibility. Yeah, that’s what sells right now. People don’t always want to see positivity. If Gucci Mane beats a murder case, he’s that dude, you know, somebody the youth are looking up to. It’s overwhelming because there are so many
teens out here growing up without father figures or with mothers that aren’t really catching on to what’s said in the music. I try not to use so much negativity to reach my crowd. Some people do love to see rappers incarcerated. They feel like it makes you realer than when you were out here. I’m still trying to understand that. What are you planning to release music-wise in 2012? I’m working on The Come Up 2.5 right now. It might be out in the spring just depending on the outcome of this case. Everything is kind of on hold right now because I don’t know if I’m going to have to do time. If I get probation I can still be out here pushing my music. But right now, it’s making me go harder just because this case is pending. I don’t know what God has in store for me so all I can do is pray and take it one day at a time. What are some of the hot spots in Indianapolis to visit during Super Bowl weekend? My barbershop, The Next Level, is on 21st & Franklin; that’s a real nice spot. Kids get haircuts for $5, and with the economy so slow, that means a lot to people. One of my favorite restaurants in Indianapolis is BBQ Heaven. You know black folks love BBQ chicken and soul food places like Country Kitchen, on 19th & Collins. I eat that every day, whenever I can. Who are you working with for your upcoming project? Project Pat with Three 6 Mafia. We have a couple tracks we’ve done together. I’m working with Mike Will, who is a producer in Atlanta. He did “Tupac’s Back.” I actually had owned that beat but I was humble enough to bless Rick Ross with the track so he could open doors for me, so now I’m getting blessed by him. I always like opening doors for other people too, not just thinking about yourself. Aside from being humble and willing to work with people, what do you think are the keys to success in the music business? Dedication, determination, and just the drive to achieve goals. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. You’ve gotta always have new creative ideas every single day. What can you do to be different from the next person? You don’t wanna be just like the next man. You want to stand out. Every day I just say a prayer and ask what I can do to become a better person. // Twitter: @PaperchaseEnt Facebook: Pacman Naptown Email: PacstarTheTrackstar@gmail.com
OZONE MAG // 11
12 // OZONE MAG
Words by Rohit Loomba Photo by Malik Abdul
ThE WINdy cITy’S RAPId-FIRE LyRIcIST TWISTA ShOWS NO SIGNS OF SLOWING dOWN AS hE cONTINUES TO REcORd ANd PREPARES TO dROP mULTIPLE PROjEcTS FOR hIS FANS ThIS yEAR. WITh ThE SUPER BOWL ONLy A ShORT dRIvE AWAy FROm chIcAGO, IT WAS ONLy RIGhT WE chEckEd IN WITh ThE mIdWEST’S OWN ANd ASk hIm ABOUT WhAT hE’S BEEN UP TO LATELy ANd WhAT hE ThINkS OF ThE SUPER BOWL. What have you been up to since the Perfect Storm dropped? Been busy doin’ shows and keeping the music out there for all the fans. We’ve been on the road for a while just makin’ sure the fans stay involved with the movement and get a chance to be a part of the music. It’s different when you’re out doin’ shows and you’ve got everyone rappin’ along with all the words, you get to see the reactions which helps figuring out what I should do with the next album. Do you record while you’re on the road? Sometimes I may get in the studio but it depends on the city and what I’m workin’ on. If it’s a feature I’m workin’ on I may jump in someone else’s studio and knock it out but I just think better when I’m at home in my own studio. You get used to how everything is set up and the particular way things sound in your own studio so it makes it easier. When you’re in your own studio there’s no rush and you can do things your own way. There’s also certain things you may have layin’ around the studio where you look at them and get certain ideas so it’s all much better that way. What are you currently working on in the studio these days? I’ve got a few projects in the works right now; just want to make sure we get some more music out there for all the fans this year. I’m workin’ on a Gangsta Grillz mixtape with DJ Drama. I’m just finishing up recording a few last tracks for it and then we’re going to wrap it up and let it out. We’re trying to make it all original production and I’m trying to bring that Twista style but with a little bit of the kind of music I see all the fans responding to right now. I’m also in the studio workin’ on my next album, which I’m hoping to have out this year too. I’m not like some other artists out there who
record a lot and pick a few records for certain projects, I have to sit down first and come up with the concept and have the beat in place before I record so I usually don’t record much more than what you hear. That means I’ve gotta have everything perfect when I record, so it can take me a while. Sometimes I’ll be in the booth for a while gettin’ a bar or two just right. Until it sounds like what I have in my head it’s hard for me to stop. Is it more important for you to reach that level of perfection even after all these years? It’s even more important now because I’ve been around for so long that there’s no reason the material I put out shouldn’t be at that level. And if it doesn’t sound right to me it’s gonna be hard to get it to sound right to someone else. Being in the game as long as I’ve been, I think the fans expect more too. They want to hear that style from me but want little modifications on it so I gotta make sure I’m thinkin’ about that and trying to do that right. You can tell when certain records were just thrown together right quick and the artist just didn’t care about gettin’ it completely right and those records are the ones that don’t really make any noise. Even when it comes to performing I need to make sure that when I’m on that stage it’s all goin’ perfect because everyone’s out there to see a good performance and the more energy I put it into my show the more energy I’m going to get out of the crowd. The Super Bowl isn’t too far away from Chicago this year. Who are you pulling for? I’ve gotta go with Tom Brady and the Patriots but you can’t count out the Giants. I feel like the Giants have a certain energy around them that could help them pull it off. But at the end of the day Brady has this down to a science. He wasn’t at a hundred percent in the AFC championship game but I think he’s going to be playin’ at that level again during the Super Bowl, and it’s hard for them to lose when he’s doin’ that. //
OZONE MAG // 13
Words & Photo by Julia Beverly
14 // OZONE MAG
23-yEAR-OLd dETROIT SINGER/ SONGWRITER/PROdUcER BEI mAEjOR hAS ALREAdy ESTABLIShEd A SOLId RESUmE WORkING WITh ThE LIkES OF TREy SONGz, NE-yO, ANd T-PAIN. EvEN IF ThE mUSIc ThING dOESN’T WORk OUT, hE cAN ALWAyS FALL BAck ON hIS dEGREE - A dOUBLE mAjOR IN PSychOLOGy ANd cOmmUNIcATION.
You have a pretty impressive production resume, especially for being so young. I’m really blessed, man. I don’t even know how that shit happened. I didn’t plan for any of this. I was just having fun doing music and people started liking me and shit, so. It was cool. You got started in the industry at 17 years old – how did that happen? I always try to think of the next new idea. Now, every single producer and songwriter has a website, but back then it wasn’t like that. Back then I created a website, BeiMaejor.com. I paid my boy a couple hundred dollars to build me a website. It had four beats on there. It was kind of advanced just because not everybody had [a website]. I was only sixteen or seventeen and I started getting interviews based on that. Through that, I ended up meeting a whole bunch of people. One of the people I met was Trey Songz’ cousin Jay, and then I met Trey, and [his manager at that time] Bobby Fisher. I’ve been on all of his albums since then. That’s really how I got started in the game, through Trey Songz. I started going to L.A. and Atlanta and working with a lot of different people, even when I was still in school. I ended up having plaques in my dorm room. So, you know, college was crazy. A lot of kids think people can put you in a box and say you can “only” [go to college] or “only” do music, but… if that’s what you want to do, follow your dreams. You stuck it out and graduated? Exactly. I graduated with a double major in communication and psychology. It was cool to have that experience of going to college, but I don’t need to fall back [on my degree] because I’m going to make it [in music]. What’s the Upside Down movement about? I started putting all my pictures upside down – on my Facebook, my Twitter, my YouTube – I started doing videos upside down. The label called me, like, “Yo, don’t do that. People need to see you; that’s the reason why we signed you.” I said, “Whatever,” and just kept doing it. They started seeing like literally thousands of people with their pictures upside down – kids,
fans, homies supporting. Then the label called back and said, “This is genius. This is great.” If you go to Jive’s website, right next to Britney Spears, they’ve got me upside down. You could wear your clothes upside down too like Kris Kross. If I could figure out how to do it I would, but I don’t know how to put pants on upside down. So you’re signed to Jive? Yeah, well, I originally signed to Jive about a year and a half ago but it’s merged now into RCA. The deal came about through a song I did. I was working with a lot of people at that time; I was signed to Ne-Yo as a producer. We got a chance to do the Disney soundtrack for Princess & the Frog, worked with Monica, and all these other people who were working with Ne-Yo. Then I started writing songs myself. As I would think of ideas, I recorded [the demos] on the mic. I’m like, “Imagine how Beyonce or Usher would sound singing this.” They told me, “It sounds tight just like that.” So I was writing these demos from personal things I was going through. I started seeing all these peers – like T-Pain – telling me that he loved my songs. That made me think I could do it myself. I made one song by myself just having fun, “Drunk In The Club,” and gave it to my boy Clinton Sparks, who is a DJ. You know it’s hard to get on the radio, but that song started getting played on Power 106 in L.A. every day. Clinton Sparks helped the record and then DJ Felli Fel helped the record. I ended up having to pull it off the radio once I got signed because some weird family tried to sue me and said that I took part of their songs. I never heard of [their song] before but it was a big legal thing. The record helped me get enough attention to get signed, just because I wrote, produced, recorded, and mixed the record myself and got it on the radio in a big ass market with no money. A few different [labels] were interested, but Jive came in the room and locked the door and said, “Whatever you want, you can have.” How did you sign to T-Pain’s management? I went to T-Pain’s house when he was working on his album to play him some beats. Rocco, one of his managers, heard some of my demos. One of the songs that I brought to T-Pain’s house that day was “Center Of The Stage,” which is me, T-Pain, and R Kelly. // For the rest of this interview, log on to ozonemag.com or youtube.com/ozonemag Twitter: @BeiMaejor
OZONE MAG // 15
Words by Julia Beverly
16 // OZONE MAG
AS hALF OF ThE dUO PLAyAz cIRcLE, TITy BOI ENjOyEd SUccESS AS A “dUFFLE BAG BOy.” AFTER AdOPTING ThE mONIkER 2 chAINz ANd dROPPING hOT REcORdS LIkE ThE cATchy “SPENd IT,” hIS SOLO cAREER TOOk OFF, PUTTING hIm IN A POSITION AS ThE hOTTEST FREE AGENT IN RA P mUSIc.
You’re probably one of the hottest, if not the hottest, independent artist in the game right now. I’m sure the labels have been calling. Are you considering signing a major deal? Yeah, I’m fortunate to do what I want to do at this point. That’s why I’m in such a comfort zone as far as recording, making songs, staying on the road, and working hard. Of course a lot of the machines have contacted me, so I guess it’s just about the most enticing deal. I want to use the leverage that I’ve gained independently to make a good deal for me and my family down the road, not just for right now. Long term. Are they just not offering the right amount of money? Or you feel like you’d have to give up creative control? Nah, they actually [are going] to let me do all that. Every meeting I’ve had [with labels] they respected my mind, because they know I’ve done all this with minimal resources. The last thing they want to do is to take creative control from me, you know. Lately, I don’t know. I’ve just been praying on [the label situation] because I don’t know how I feel about it. I think I’ve maximized what I can do with a mixtape. Do you think albums are even relevant anymore? To a certain extent, it seems like it’s all about mixtapes and shows. Well, mixtapes are more accessible. I travel a lot and I see mixtapes at truck stops, DTLRs, everywhere. It’s hard to get albums when they come out unless you’re online. So, that makes the labels look like they’re lazy. They’re probably not being lazy, they just don’t have anywhere to push your stuff. It makes the artist look like they’re not poppin’, when that’s not the case. I just want to make sure I don’t get caught up in none of that shit. How does your life compare to where it was a year ago today? Ah, man. A lot of stuff has changed for me and my family and everybody around me. Things have changed for the better. I’m doing way more shows and people acknowledge who I am on sight. I’ve got a lot of new rap friends,
a bigger crib, new cars, more chains, more investments, more real estate. Have you seen people’s attitudes towards you change since you’ve been in the game so long? At one point you were an artist in a group that had a song with Lil Wayne, and now you’re a star in your own right. I guess the general consensus on me is that people are just proud of me coming from where I came from. I hear that a lot. I used to not know how to feel when people said they were proud of me. It sounded like they were trying to son me, you know? But I kind of get it. If you watch my grind, if you watch my campaign – I’ve been signed to Ludacris. I’ve been signed to Def Jam. I’ve had great friends like Lil Wayne and Gucci Mane, but I’m just trying to muscle my way in and use my personal grind to get to where I need to be. So a lot of people respect that. It definitely wasn’t overnight. What made you decide to stop doing Playaz Circle and leave DTP? I didn’t leave. I didn’t stop doing Playaz Circle. We own a studio together. When you own a studio, in my case, I record. I work a lot, so I just had to find different avenues to get my music out. When I started putting out the 2 Chainz mixtapes people gravitated towards them, so it just made sense for me to do some 2 Chainz stuff. As far as the DTP thing, I just decided it was time for me to be my own boss and have my own imprint and develop my own artists. I learned a lot being with DTP. You’re involved with a lot of charity events for kids too. You give away bikes every Christmas? Yeah, I think it’s important to give away bikes. I know when we were coming up, we played outside a lot. With kids today, it’s the gaming era, so a lot of kids do Xbox and Playstation so they don’t get outside as much, therefore, we have obesity and a lack of athletes, in my opinion. The drafts are not as strong as they used to be. Less people are in shape, period. I think bikes are a good way to have fun and stay in shape for kids. I got my daughter a bike when she was two years old, just something to do outside the house. So that’s what I’m doing now, using the little platform I have to spread something like that. I’m into eating right and exercising... For the rest of this interview, log on to ozonemag.com or youtube.com/ozonemag Twitter: @2Chainz
OZONE MAG // 17
FORT WAyNE, INdIANA REPRESENTATIvE PhyzIkAL LANdEd A dEAL WITh dEF jAm IN 2007. SINcE ThEN, ThE RAPPER hAS SNATchEd A FEW chAINS BUT STILL hOPES hIS mUSIc WILL hAvE A POSITIvE ImPAcT.
What’s your background? I’m from Fort Wayne, Indiana, born and raised. I moved down here to Atlanta to start my career when I was about 17 years old. I come from the struggle, so that’s what I try to represent, the same thing that every other young black man represents – just trying to come out of a bad situation and make it into something. how would you describe Fort Wayne? There ain’t that many opportunities in the city, especially for black people. I was one of the first people in Fort Wayne to get a record deal. It’s a violent city but it’s also a good city. It can potentially, in certain areas, be a good city to raise your kids. It’s a small town and they take pride in my music since day one. I feel like I’ve got the city on the back, so you’ve got to see me make it. They’ve been supporting me. A lot of artists have the incorrect perception that as soon as you get a record deal, your career will take off. For me, there was a lot of politics involved. I’m still signed to Island Def Jam, but there are certain clauses in the contract. I’m not really concerned with the label at this time. I just know what I need to do, so I’m gonna do it. I’m trying to stay humble. If you’ve been signed since ’07, you’ve been waiting a while to drop. What do you think you need to do to become a priority at the label? I really ain’t looking to become a priority at the label. Everything to me now is just an independent run. I’m looking at it like: shit, the labels ain’t really making no money. Either you’re getting show money or you ain’t. Either you’re making the moves or you ain’t. I’m going to ride even if I ride slow. I’m going to roll with it like that. I know what I need to do. I’ve got a lot of creativity that’s been building up over the years that people haven’t been able to hear yet, so I want to show them that. how are you going to show them? What’s the plan for 2012?
They can call it game over in 2012. There’s going to be a lot more music and I’m going to take the initiative to put it out. It’s never been put out so I never really had a chance to fail. I’ve got a large catalog of music that I’ve never released from the last six years. I think when the people hear it and how consistent it is, it’ll be a good run. I’m in the process of doing a mixtape with DJ Scream right now that will probably drop around March or April. When you say you talk about the struggle in your music, can you give us an example ? I’ve got a record called “Right Hand to God,” and I talk about my life. The struggle of a young kid from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Daddy locked up – my father did ten to twelve years of his life in prison – mama was a good woman, but got strung out [on drugs]. My grandma raised me and so many of my brothers and sisters. What do you think needs to happen for the midwest to have the same kind of movement that the South and the West coast had? I’m a Midwest artist and I’m also a Southern artist because I’ve done a lot here in the South. A lot of my partners were here and helped pave the way in certain situations. For the Midwest to prosper, I think we have to focus on the same things that [artists] in Atlanta have focused on. Just focus on getting money. Up there [in Fort Wayne] if a muthafucker is broke he just wants to kill you. Niggas have to quit all that hating shit and stop taking Hip Hop and rap so seriously. They’re like, “Man, you should rap like this,” but they don’t understand that everybody is their own person. They either fuck with it or don’t fuck with it. When you bring so much hate into it, that’s what killed the game. I think in the Midwest we need to have a bigger support system for each other and our artists. A lot of niggas love to see you make it but they hate to see you shine, you know? You’ve got to embrace the struggle and also show love when somebody
18 // OZONE MAG
Words & Photo by Julia Beverly
OZONE MAG // 19
harvests the fruits of their labor. Who are you working with as far as features and production? The first producer I worked with down South was Jazze Pha, and I’ve worked with Drumma Boy and a few others. You’ll hear a lot of variety on the album. I’ve got Waka Flocka Flame and Roscoe Dash on a record. I’ve got Jazze Pha on there, Dream on there, and my homie Bohagon on there. There’s a lot of people. I’ve got a cut from back in the day with Yelawolf. Beyond the music, what are your goals? I just want people to know that I’m a man first. I’ve got family problems, I’ve got out-here-hustling problems. Everything that other people are going through, this is what I represent. So I try not to have my music be put into one category. We need to get back to the element of music, because people need that right now. We’re living in a real fucked-up nation. We’re in the path of Babylon and Rome right here in America. I think this is like food for the soul right now; good music. Just giving the people good music about different topics. That’s what I want my fans to know. You’re comparing America to Rome and Babylon from more of a spiritual perspective or economic? Economic. When you abuse something for so long, one day it will wear out. It’s like your car. If you don’t service it in the proper order, it’s going to break down on you. If you take care of it, it’s going to take care of you. We ain’t been taking care of ourselves. I hear you have a reputation for snatching rappers’ chains. What’s that about? Yeah, I wouldn’t say I’m “known” for chainsnatching, but a couple of chains done got possessed, you know what I’m saying? A couple of chains got too heavy for a nigga’s neck. That’s what happened. Give us a hint. I mean, niggas know what it is. I’m not going to incriminate myself but niggas know what it is. With a couple of them, it was real personal. What did you do with the chains, sell them? We just parlayed them around. We did a little bit of everything with a lot of niggas’ shit, feel me? It was just a respect thing. A couple of niggas had disrespected me. But beyond that, we need to really be talking about some real shit in 2012. Do you think the world is going to end in 2012? I don’t think it’s going to end because it’s already been over with. That’s how I feel. We’ve got a black president in this shit so it must be going under. They’re letting us become presidents now? It’s time to get the fuck up out of here. (laughs) I want to put that in the music – tell niggas about politics. Tell niggas how to raise their kids. They’ve got these bad ass kids that don’t want to listen and don’t want to go to school. They don’t even go outside and play no more, they just play video games and sit in front of the computer. That’s what the fuck niggas need to be rapping about. Instead niggas are out here dancing and shit, you feel me? We’ve got to understand the power of words. You feel like we’re speaking on the wrong things? I ain’t saying that. I’m just saying at a certain point in time, some niggas gotta be able to mount up. If nobody’s doing nothing but that jiggy dance shit we ain’t got nobody o mount up. A lot of niggas want the option to listen to some real shit but there’s nowhere for them to go, feel me? They stuck with this shit on whatever radio station listening to this nigga jiggy rapping all day long. I ain’t taking nothing away from nobody, but somebody’s got o bring some kind of sense into the community at the end of the day. Back in the day if you didn’t have a sense of loyalty or something, you’d get it from somebody that was in the neighborhood. A nigga in your neighborhood would put you on game, like the big homie. Niggas are looking at rappers now like the big homies, but rappers ain’t acting like the big homies. Niggas’ morals ain’t like the big homies. What’s your vision to give back to the community? I feel like people need to know themselves. A lot of people don’t know who they are. If Weezy has hot records and gets tatted up, then a thousand other niggas get tatted up to be like him. He’s doing the shit out of originality, just being himself. There’s just so much shit happening in Hip Hop that isn’t original. Muthafuckers out here acting like it but they ain’t really about that shit. So more self-awareness? Yeah. Like, even people that don’t rap. They’re over here trying to live somebody else’s life because they don’t really know themselves. They’re not going to find the natural-born talent within themselves because they’re not
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digging for it. They’re looking at someone else. So you’ve got to be a big homie. If you see a little nigga with his shoe untied, you’ve gotta bend down and say, “This is how you tie your shoe, nigga.” Why would you walk around with your shoe untied? That’s how you’ve gotta do with these young nigga. They ain’t got no game or nothing. Niggas are walking around in tight jeans and shit. You don’t want your kids rocking like that. Niggas have bled and fought for us and represented for us, and now we’re just making a mockery of it. We want to say “I’m a real nigga” when it’s convenient. We talk about all the rap shit, selling records and all that, but let’s talk about the real shit too. We’re going to slowly pull the covers off these muthafuckers. Any other questions, OZONE, that you feel like the great Phyzikal can answer? Hmm... what’s the meaning of life? Only God can tell you that. You’ve got to go get that straight from the source. You made it sound like you were the Wizard of Oz or something. Okay, so aside from your vision to become the “big homie” to the youth, can you give us a chain-snatching tutorial since you’re an expert on that topic? What’s your secret? Always make sure you get in the club with your pistol; always. No matter what the cost is. I don’t give a fuck, pay a security guard or do whatever you need to do. You’ve gotta know how to tuck your [pistol]. I ain’t even gonna show niggas my secret, but I know how to tuck. If I’m going to snatch a nigga’s chain, I’m coming straight at him. I’m not lurking or anything like that. I just feel that way because a lot of these niggas try to test you. And I ain’t the nigga to test. I mean, on a serious note, you’re talking about how you want to bring about positive change in the community and speak on real topics in your music. How are you going to be taken seriously talking about social change and positivity if you’re known for snatching rappers’ chains? I ain’t known for that. It’s just that niggas know the big homie is gonna teach you some real shit. The big homie ain’t gonna tell you nothing wrong. When other races and nationalities of people look at black people, what do they say? They’re scared of us because we will shoot our own. We will kill each other, so we’ll do whatever. That’s the harsh reality. Everybody’s got their badge of honor out here in the streets to survive. You’re either a wolf or you’re the muthafuckin prey, you know? You’re either
going to eat or get eaten. So of course there has to be some demonstrations out here. And at the same time, I’m going to tell the little homies too. They’ve got to have some morals too. You remember what big mama told you in the beginning when you were eating that soul food and shit, right? You’ve got to remember what the OGs told you. You feel like there’s no honor in the streets anymore, basically. These niggas are snitching like it’s cool. If niggas knew who they were, they would stick together more and do things differently. I’m not trying to be the most positive muthafucker; I’m not entitled to say anything but at the end of the day niggas need to be on some real shit. It’s about having loyalty and having morals. If a nigga disrespects me, I’m coming for that chain. You’re giong to lay it the fuck down when I come. They’d rather have the police there than me. Flat out, that’s all a nigga knows. If anything is worth fighting for, it’s worth dying for. If a nigga makes you feel some kind of way or if he’s out of line on some egotistical shit, or if a nigga is trying to make you feel little or something, it’s like, “Hold on, nigga!” I’ll come see about you, homie, real quick. You won’t even know what’s going on before a nigga snatches you. As soon as niggas get to moving and hearing those shots, you feel me? I’m gonna shoot straight. I ain’t even on that shit though, but that’s what I’m saying about these niggas. We’re on some real shit, man. We’re on some unity shit, we’re on some black power shit, we’re on some shoot-your-assin-the-face-in-front-of-the-police-in-broaddaylight-shit. It’s on some Frank Lucas movie type shit too, nigga. It goes down like that. If I do something, niggas know I don’t have to lie about it. I ain’t gotta fake it. I don’t give a fuck if we’re in court. Whatever I do, I can stand behind it. That right there is called being a muthafuckin’ man, for better or worse. So all the rap niggas needt o get a whiff of that, you know? It’s good kickin’ with y’all at OZONE. OZONE is real shit. Any last words? The Mob, you know, M.O.B. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook and all that shit. They should’ve had Twitter when I was coming up, man. I’m telling you. I would be a legend on Twitter. // Twitter: @Phyzikal
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Say It Ain’t Tone
Words by Eleven8
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BIG SEAN AFFILIATE SAyITAINTTONE IS NEXT UP FROm ThE FINALLy FAmOUS cAmP. OzONE cAUGhT UP WITh ThE dETROIT NEWcOmER TO FINd OUT ThE mEANING BEhINd hIS UNUSUAL mONIkER ANd Why hE hATES BOTh SUPER BOWL TEAmS.
Your stage name SayItAin’tTone is unique. Where did you get it from and what does it mean? Tone is my name, and the SayItAin’t part comes from me being in a group called Finally Famous with a lot of talented rappers, including Big Sean. When some people heard that I was rapping, they automatically shut it down, like, “Don’t tell me he’s rapping now. Everybody wants to be a rapper. Say it ain’t him.” They told me I couldn’t make it. But Big Sean and Early Mac would encourage me to keep it up, especially Early Mac. So I just turned a negative into a positive and made it work. How did you link up with Big Sean? Big Sean is my brother. I met him in the first class on the first day of high school back in 2002 and we’ve been good friends ever since. That’s my mans, no homo. (laughs) Were you a rapper before joining Big Sean on stage and essentially becoming his hype man? Everything started at the same time, but I always helped Big Sean come up with lines and concepts whenever he needed it. Everything is a team effort. As long as he was straight, I knew I would be too. Are you signed to G.O.O.D. Music or Big Sean’s Finally Famous imprint? I’m 100% Finally Famous. I have it tattooed on me. Finally Famous is something we all started together. I don’t have any plans to sign to G.O.O.D. Music or any other labels, but honestly, not to be cliché, but you never know what the future holds. Anything can happen. A lot of people know you from your record “My Closet,” which appeared on your mixtape SayItAin’t and Big Sean’s Finally Famous Vol. 3 hosted by Don Cannon. What was the inspiration behind that song? I come from a city known for its fashion and flashiness, from gators to minks to Cartier glasses with diamonds in them. I wanted to show people we still get down in Detroit. You can buy my single on iTunes, Sayitainttone featuring Big Sean “My Closet,” and you can
also YouTube the video and see the visuals for it on youtube.com/sayitainttone. Who are some of your musical influences? I like all types of music, but the old Cash Money, Hot Boys, No Limit, and Bone Thugs is what really got me into rap music. I listen to Motown oldies when I’m chillin’, so my influences vary. I really just love the culture. Detroit is a melting pot of all types of styles. We have everything from super hood music to underground Hip Hop. I live in Motown; we still have that soul in our city waiting for our time again. You’ll see soon! Is there East Side/West Side friction going on in Detroit? No, not at all. It’s more hood against hood if anything, but on the music scene, this is the first time we’ve started linking up and supporting each other. We never had that unity before, but it’s slowly coming together and I’m happy to see it. Since this is the Super Bowl issue, what are your thoughts on the NFL? Being from Detroit, are you a Lions fan? I always liked the Lions ever since Barry Sanders, the best running back of all time. Even though the Lions didn’t make it all the way this year I’m still proud of them. Who are you pulling for in Super Bowl XLVI? The Giants or Patriots? I actually hate both teams, but my favorite player is Ocho Cinco, so I’m going for the Pats. Let’s get my homie a ring! Will you be involved in any of the Super Bowl festivities? No, I plan on being in the studio working on my second mixtape hosted by DJ Green Lantern. I’ll watch it in the studio. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Shout outs? Of course! Off top, Free Juan! Shout out to my city, Detroit, my group Finally Famous, Dusty McFly, Dough Boyz Cashout, Via Marz, Tone Tone and all the other artists from Detroit that are doing their thing. We’re up next, baby! Shout out to OZONE for showing a real player love. // Twitter: @SayItAintTone Website: sayitaint.com
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