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YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE

NEW ORLEANS’
NINTH WARD
RICK ROSS
WHITE ON WHITE PHANTOM
9 MONTHS LATER
TWISTED BLACK
YUNG JOC
CRUNCHY BLACK SQAD UP
ON LEAVING THREE 6 PITBULL
K-RINO
UNCLE LUKE vs. HIS EX FIEND
BIRMINGHAM, AL Z-RO
PROUD TO BE BAMA KHIA
DAZ
ACAFOOL
YO GOTTI
PUBLISHER/EDITOR:
aug06contents
Julia Beverly

MUSIC EDITOR:
Maurice G. Garland

ASSOCIATE EDITOR:
Matt Sonzala

ADVERTISING SALES:
Che’ Johnson (Gotta Boogie)
Greg G

PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR:
Malik “Copafeel” Abdul

MARKETING CONSULTANT:
David Muhammad

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

SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER:
Destine Cajuste

MEDIA RELATIONS:
Cynthia L. Coutard

ADMINISTRATIVE:
Cordice Gardner
Nikki Kancey
Tana Hergenraeder

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

STREET REPS:
Al-My-T, B-Lord, Big Teach (Big Mouth),
Bigg C, Bigg V, Black, Brian Franklin,
Buggah D. Govanah (On Point), Bull, C INTERVIEWS COVER STORIES
Rola, Cedric Walker, Chill, Chilly C, Chuck
T, Controller, DJ Dap, David Muhammad, Crunchy Black pg 22 Rick Ross pg 78-81
Delight, Derrick the Franchise, Dolla Bill,
Dwayne Barnum, Dr. Doom, Ed the World
Famous, Episode, General, Haziq Ali,
Twisted Black pg 30
G-Dash pg 68-69
Sqad Up pg 64-66
H-Vidal, Hollywood, J Fresh, Jammin’ Jay,
Janky, Joe Anthony, Judah, Kamikaze, KC, K-Rino pg 56-58
Klarc Shepard, Kuzzo, Kydd Joe, Lex, Lil D,
Lump, Marco Mall, Miguel, Mr. Lee, Music Fiend pg 52-53
& More, Nick@Nite, Nikki Kancey, Pat Pat,
Z-Ro pg 60-62
PhattLipp, Pimp G, Quest, Raj Smoove,
Rippy, Rob-Lo, Stax, TJ’s DJ’s, TJ Bless, Khia pg 72-74 MONTHLY SECTIONS
Trina Edwards, Vicious, Victor Walker,
Voodoo, Wild Billo, Young Harlem Yo Gotti pg 26 Photo Galleries pg 21-47
DISTRIBUTION: Acafool pg 46 CD Reviews pg 102-103
Curtis Circulation, LLC
Pitbull pg 48 Mathematics pg 18-19
To subscribe, send check or money order Daz pg 76 Mixtapes pg 104-105
for $11 to Ozone Magazine, Inc.
1310 W. Colonial Dr. Suite 10 DVD Reviews pg 108
Orlando, FL 32804
Phone: 407-447-6063
Roland Powell pg 17
Fax: 407-447-6064 Feedback pg 12-14
Web: www.ozonemag.com
FEATURES Industry 101 pg 28
Cover credits: Rick Ross photo by Julia Bev-
erly; Sqad Up photo by Jaro Vacek; Pitbull New Orleans’ Ninth Ward pg 88-99 JB’s 2 Cents pg 17
photo by Ray Tamarra. OZONE Magazine is
published monthly by OZONE Magazine, Inc. A Day In the Life Of Yunc Joc pg 70 Chin Check pg 20
OZONE does not take responsibility for unso- Birmingham, AL pg 84-85 DJ Profile pg 82
licited materials, misinformation, typographi-
cal errors, or misprints. The views contained Live pg 113-114
herein do not necessarily reflect those of the
publisher or its advertisers. Ads appearing in Flipside pg 24
this magazine are not an endorsement or val-
idation by OZONE Magazine for products or
services offered. All photos and illustrations
are copyrighted by their respective artists.
All other content is copyright 2006 OZONE
Magazine, all rights reserved. No portion of
this magazine may be reproduced in any
way without the written consent of the pub-
lisher. Printed in the USA.

OZONE 11
feedback

* With cats on your team like Che Boogie and articles on Saigon, you
not only got your finger on the game you got your foot in it. Thanks
for keepin’ me up on this biz shit! Keep talkin’ to the thugs and takin’
all those pictures.
– J Lanski, jlanski@tmo.blackberry.net (Philadelphia, PA)

*whyYou know you all in the South really show so much love, that’s
the South ain’t dyin’ no time soon. I do some music business in
the South and I always tell my people in D.C. that this is the way it’s
supposed to be done.
– E Dot Bay, e_bay28@tmail.com (Washington, DC)

* JB, keep doing your thing. You’re good at what you do so fuck
whoever’s got a bad word to say about you. OZONE is the new street
bible. You got the hottest pictures, great articles, and no other maga-
zine can touch your interviews. That’s why they hate, but fuck ‘em. It’s
not your fault their shit ain’t what’s happenin’. Muthafuckers need to
step their game up instead of hating on OZONE. I can’t say it enough:
* Much thanks for the exposure you have helped place on Dallas/Ft.
Worth artists. We are focused to make sure that this is a long standing
fuck ‘em!
– DJ Cube, bighomiecube@yahoo.com (Columbus, OH)
relationship between DFW and OZONE Magazine. One thing I’m sure
of is that you will witness a steady and prosperous grind from the Big
Ben camp. I assure you that there was no ink wasted on the article
*butWhat’s good OZONE? I like how you rep the South to the death,
your boy Roland Powell with his comment on how the South
“Dallas Got Next” by Matt Sonzala. Thanks for believing! doesn’t need help from New York is bullshit. We all need each other
– Stuart “Sarge” Wallace, warriordstroyer@hotmail.com (Dallas, to make this hip-hop thing last. I don’t think New York is hating on
TX) South music, I just think New York is mad that so many garbage art-
ists are trying to be like the South and make radio-dance-get crunk
* I work in the broadcasting industry and I am very familiar with the
way the media twists stories. I wanted to let you know how much I ap-
type songs. That’s the South’s thing, and New York should learn that
they can only bring to the table what they’ve been bringing for years
preciate you for providing the forum and allowing the Bishop of Crunk – good lyricism. On another note, where the fuck does Cam’Ron get
to tell his side of the story. On the day that the accident occurred I was off dissing Hov? Cam’Ron is a bitch. I’m from Harlem and I grew up
in Atlanta and was supposed to get up with him to get music for my around 145th & Lenox. Dude has always been pussy and so has Jim
mixtape. I had just spoken to him earlier that week. I have known the Jones and Zeeky. I don’t know too much about Juelz but I know that
Bishop for ten years now from when we worked together as teenagers the only real niggas in the whole camp back then was Mgruff, Big L,
for the Atlanta Olympic games. When I got the news about the acci- and Blodshed. Ya boy Cam is puss and if he’s the don he claims he
dent there was a lot of speculation as to what happened. At first I was is then why the hell did he let G-Unot diss Juelz on stage? Fuckin’
disappointed but then I thought to myself, Bishop isn’t on that stuff. We clown, a.k.a. the Pink Gangsta Cam-Ron Tam-Pon.
tried to find out what hospital he was in but no one would give us any – Tyreke Williams, cardan0831@yahoo.com (Harlem, NY)
answers. I think it was very cool of you to allow him to tell his own story
and clear up all of the rumors. You know how the hip-hop industry is,
and people are always looking for the next controversy.
*an article
In the feedback of your June issue, someone used my name in
going off on Plies. There is only one Jessica Freeman in
– G-Smove, georgemcdonald79@yahoo.com (Columbus, GA) Ft. Myers and that’s me. I would like a retraction done to that article
since I didn’t say any of that stuff. I’ve known Nod (Plies) and his
*Carolina
Thank you, OZONE Magazine, for helping to shine a light on South
hip-hop! It has been great to finally see South Carolina get-
brother Ronnell for over 20 years and I can honestly say Nod is one
of the coolest people you’ll ever meet. I know who wrote the article
ting some shine on hip-hop’s radar. Although it is impossible to cover and used my name because the dumb bitch had to put her name in
all South Carolina artists, thanks for your coverage of Piazo, Lil Ru, it some where for the attention. Also, why would I use my real name
Collard Greens, DJ B-Lord, and all others covered. on some shit like that? If I have anything to say to anyone I let them
– Kingsley Waring, kiwaring@richlandone.org (Columbia, SC) know directly. I don’t print bullshit about them in a fuckin’ magazine.
There’s enough money out here for everyone to make so if you don’t
* I have been reppin’ South Carolina now in the music industry for
about fifteen years. I was featured in, or helped out with, South Car-
like Plies you don’t have to buy his shit. If you’re going to be woman
enough to talk shit about someone, be woman enough to stand be-
olina spreads in The Source, Down, Murder Dog, and several other hind your words and use your own name next time, bitch.
magazines that have done write-ups on South Carolina artists. But the - Jessica Freeman, SupaStah68@hotmail.com (Ft. Myers, FL)
OZONE Bike Week special edition was the most thorough, complete,
in-depth, well-rounded representation of South Carolina in a magazine
that I have ever seen! When I first got the email from Chuck T about it
* I read the July issue of JB’s 2 Cents and you say “nobody in
your backyard knows” how big OZONE has become. I beg to differ.
I was smug as usual, because even though it sounds great, it usually While I’m a survey of one, I do recognize what you have done. As an
comes out weak or lopsided. But your issue was page after page after independent record label with start up artists, Image Records has to
page of artists that I not only have heard of, but have actually booked grind and fight many of the same issues as you did with the big guys.
and done work with. You don’t know how many times cats here in – Dino DeRose, dinoderose@comsysgroup.com (Orlando, FL)
South Carolina use those little opportunities to blackball, sideswipe,
and overlook South Carolina cats that are doing it for real. I can’t stand
opening magazines and seeing someone reppin’ South Carolina that
* Hey OZONE, just picked up issue number 47 and read the 2 Cents
where you said Flyidcg a.k.a. Flyi da cool guy texted you about vio-
no one has ever heard of and they haven’t put any grind time in. Al- lence in Jacksonville. I will agree with him that Jacksonville, FL is a
though the spread was mostly focused on street-oriented artists, all of very violent city. All the media outlets, not just your magazine, have
those artists in that magazine – even promo rep Rob-Lo – I can vouch the power to help stop some of the senseless violence that is going
for. I’ve seen their grind first-hand or heard about them from one of on in our inner cities. I hope for goodness sake we don’t have many
the other cats in that magazine. So OZONE, I just want to say thank more murders here, or anywhere else for that matter. We have a lot of
you for reppin’ my state so well. From this point on, I will make it my young people that are killing each other over some of the most silliest
business to see that the companies I am involved with do business issues. Please ask your readers again and again to stop hating on
with you. I’ve never been a supporter of ad dollars for national mags, each other and stop the violence! Big ups to Flyidcg and other artists
only local mags like Urban Pages, until now. I’d be proud to spend my like Shot Out for trying to put an end or at least slow down our murder
money with y’all. Thanks a million times. Nothin’ but SC love. rate from rising. Together we can make it work.
– Shekeese the Beast, sherard@gencreative.com (Columbia, SC) – Adam Italian, rainbowadamgay@yahoo.com (Jacksonville, FL)

12 OZONE
feedback

*giveJB,youI know you probably get this all the time, but I just thought I’d
props on all your accomplishments. I have been a subscriber
or people associated with certain artists.
– Adrian Dantley, nosleeping10@yahoo.com
for a few years and I have read all your 2 Cents. I know you get a lot of
hate from people for being a white girl in the rap industry doing your
thing and being so successful. I saw you down in Miami on Memorial
*the What up JB. I’m part of the Miami movement that’s going on in
305. I got a little buzz but money is just stopping me from get-
Day weekend and you were so courteous and stopped to give me ting bigger. I got my shit on the underground radio stations, a few
and my girl some new issues. I have you as a friend on Myspace and mixtapes, and did drops for a couple DJs. I also got 30 CORE DJs
always read all the bulletins, you really keep people up on the new playing my shit. I like you – not relationship-wise even though you’re
and upcoming. Anyway I just thought I’d take a second to say thanks, fine as fuck – but you’re cool as hell. You’re getting bigger and yet
because I have done some promotional work for some record labels you still ain’t turned Hollywood; you still be in the hood. I got a lot of
and clothing lines down there and have come across some of the big- respect for you.
gest successful assholes ever. Just wanted to show some love, look- – Dadeking@aol.com (Miami, FL)
ing forward to the next issue.
– Brittney, babyeclipse20@aol.com *down
I copped the last four OZONE mags because I see how y’all get
with the indies. So now it’s Murder Dog and OZONE, my two
*to the
First off, thanks for showing love to the Dallas rap scene going back
90s. Most people (even those around here) don’t know how long
favorites, even though I buy at least 15 different hip-hop magazines
every month. I got to keep up with what’s going on in different re-
D-Town has been on the grind. I do have a question on one influential gions. Keep up the good work.
emcee from the early Dallas days, MC Ron C (the real one, more on – PR Dean, hardtimesrecords@aol.com
that later). No love for Ron? Nemesis’ DJ Snake was his producer, and
he made some classic music around ’88-’89. I went to school with Ron
C, Kottonmouth, and Ra’Koo (Bryan Adams). A few years ago I was
* First of all, I just want to give you props for grinding and making
OZONE one of the top magazines. But I have to ask you – what kind of
excited to hear that Ron C (now going by the OG Ron C) was down sense does it make to have a DJ review another DJ’s mixtape? That’s
with Swisha House, until I ran into Ron at our homie’s barbershop and like having the owner of one record store conduct reviews of other re-
he informed me that it wasn’t him. He was, in fact, incarcerated with cord stores. Of course the owner isn’t going to recommend the other
the fake Ron, and when they got out, BOOM! OG Ron C was born! stores highly because he wants people to shop at HIS store. As a DJ,
Now coming from the streets, I know how shit can get twisted, so I am speaking on behalf of other DJs, I really don’t understand how the
trying to see if you can verify who the Houston Ron C is and where he rating system is fair. But much continued success to OZONE.
got his name from. Let me know what’s up, cause every time I hear the – DJ Burn One, burnone@tmo.blackberry.net
name OG Ron C, it burns me up!
– E Bang, ebang720@yahoo.com (Dallas, TX) *rialIDay
really want to know what’s the politics behind your Miami Memo-
issue. I’ve been telling you about Webbz, Jimmy Henchmen’s
OG Ron C responds: If you were in jail with a Ron C it sure wasn’t me. new artist, but have received no love. It’s not usual for Jimmy Hench-
I’ve never been locked up for more than two days. My name is authen- men to handpick an artist from The Bottom and put him on his selec-
tic – my real name is Ronald Coleman. Anybody who really knows me tive roster. I ride for The Bottom, but many of the artists who were
knows that I’ve been DJing since 9th grade, for 19 years now. If you do featured in your issue don’t even have a buzz or release anticipation
the math, that means I started around ’87-’88. Yeah, people knew about close to Webbz. I’m an avid reader of your mag and hold it dear to me
the rapper Ron C with the few songs he dropped, but people also knew like I used to do with The Source magazine. I hope your magazine will
about DJ Ron C who was DJing parties in Houston. It’s not my fault the steer clear of the biased path The Source decided to follow.
good Lord blessed me to take DJing to another level. Maybe if the rap- - Big Wills, bigwills@nextel.blackberry.net
per Ron C hadn’t gone to jail, he’d be the famous Ron C. I get much
love around Dallas, playa. Ask around. You need to do more research
before writing to these magazines. As far as the “OG” part of my name,
* JB, I loved your 2 Cents. Girl, you are so right. Not too many
people realize that they should enjoy the moment now, or realize that
if you’re from the streets then you’d know that those two letters are things will get better if they’re not good right now. I felt like you were
earned. The streets gave me that name. I hope a real OG Ron C fan talking to me. That’s what I’ve been telling myself. To hear you say it
replies to this to set the record straight, somebody who really knows, just strengthened the fight we all should have to keep going.
cause obviously you don’t. – Natalia Gomez (Pensacola, FL)

* I read my first OZONE this month with Trick Daddy on the cover,
and I must say I am truly impressed. I just left your website, listening
*good.
JB, I’ve been watching how fast you have grown and you look
Whenever I told people that a young white girl owns and puts
to Benzino’s crazy ass, and I am trippin’! He needs to get over it, he this mag together, they’d be like, “Get the fuck out of here.” Most oth-
hating cause his mag is getting crushed by a woman, a white woman er people who produced magazines said OZONE would never make
at that! I just wanted to encourage you to keep doing what you’re do- it. And now those who used to look down on your mag are trying to
ing, and I love your 2 Cents. I know you get tired of people mistaking be a part of it. Keep up the good work!
your kindness for weakness, cause I often find myself in those same – Disco Rick, greeneyes2005@bellsouth.net (Miami, FL)
types of situations, where I’ve either got to cuss somebody out or cut
their ass off! Either way, it is only now that I am beginning to accept
that God expect us (the righteous) to go off sometimes, because that
*Thanks
OZONE, that was a good look putting Cam’Ron in your mag.
for showing the East coast some love. I hate hearing about
may be the only way you can get anyone to listen. I say all of this how the South runs the music industry. No, it’s not like that. The East
because you have not only encouraged me but you have motivated coast rappers now have record labels and are signing Southern art-
me to take the next step despite the discouragement and distractions. ists. The number one rapper is 50 Cent. He sold 10 million and 5
Life is full of challenges and challenging people, and it is during these million on his last album, that’s more than any South artists put to-
challenges that you really find out where your faith lies. I too would like gether. I got love for the South, but everybody’s eating their own way.
to have my own magazine one day, and it is truly a blessing when God If you go to Cali you hear nothing but Cali music and some East coast
confirms that your dreams aren’t in vain. I wish you all the success and and some South. The only thing about the South is that they’ll make
rewards that this life has to offer. Keep your head up and keep doing commercial songs in a hot minute. You see Chingy making songs
your thing! What the hell is a slut monkey anyway? like faggot-ass Nelly would. The South is doing their thing and that’s
– IFE, ife1lovechild@aol.com good for the culture but look at the movement and not the record
sales. The whole world is leaning and snapping; that’s bullshit, that’s
*artist
I can’t believe OZONE came to the Carolinas and missed the hottest
in the market. Chop Dezol has been holding it down for years.
not real hip-hop. And don’t let me forget D4L’s bullshit and “Mike
Jones! Who? Mike Jones!” It all adds up to fucked-up, whack-ass
I noticed y’all had no one from the entire upstate in the edition, even music that only lasts one year. Even some East coast artists fuck up
though Chop Dezel is known through the entire Carolina region. Chop too. Cam’Ron’s album was trash; Mobb Deep’s album was okay. I
and his crew are reppin’ out of Anderson and Greenville, SC. Consider want to thank you for putting East coast dudes on there to show that
this a heads up, cause y’all probably got your list from certain artists you are not just dick-riding the South. Everybody should get a shot

OZONE 13
feedback
to put their hood up.
– Ghedi the Great, asr092780@yahoo.com
* For guys like me who always want to know the game, Wendy Day
and Industry 101 are pluses for me, and I’m sure others as well. So
please keep those in any issue you do. I’m going through the June
Editor responds: “Dick-riding the South?” We are the South. issue right now, and so far no complaints. Everyone on my floor keeps
wanting to borrow it before I can finish it. I tell them, don’t buy comis-
*issue.
I just read your 20 Essential Southern Albums list in the May 2006
Who’s doing your research? First of all, on page 87, the song is
sary for a week and get a subscription instead.
- Dajie
not called “Me & You,” it’s called “Two Dope Boys in a Cadillac.” “Me
& You” is the name for “Elevators.” On page 88 you misspelled the title
in the quote from Thorough from South Circle. On page 89, the first
* I just received the issue with Yung Joc on the cover, and I must say
that you’ve done it again with the new issue! The article on Luke was
album to be distributed in Cash Money’s Universal deal was the Big the most interesting. I actually knew Freeda, his ex-girlfriend. She used
Tymers’ How You Luv That? Vol. 2. On page 91, the song isn’t called to hang around my old station in New Orleans (KNOU) with Grand
“Back Up Plan,” it’s called “Plan B,” and the timing of the No Limit Hussle. It’s a shame that he put her out like that.
exodus/AWOL is way off. On page 104, it’s “Sippin’ on SOME Syrup,” - Derrick Tha Franchise, derrick_francis03@hotmail.com (Virginia
not “Sippin’ on Da Syrup.” I’m sure if I had actually read the reason- Beach, VA)
ings behind the articles, I would have found more errors. This is my
first time picking up the magazine, prompted because I saw the editor
on SOHH.com. Step your game up in the future.
* First, I would like to start out by saying that I enjoy OZONE. Sec-
ondly, I respect your First Amendment rights. Nevertheless, I am quite
– co719078@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu (Orlando, FL) bothered by the caption in the July issue, page 39 number 23: “What
would you do for an OZONE mag?” I worked my ass off preparing for
* We’ve been reppin’ OZONE since my friend went up North and
brought back a mag with Camoflauge on the cover. I couldn’t believe
that show! I’ve seen less serious artists with their names in the caption.
I’m an artist who is serious about my craft and puts in 150%. I have
it when I saw him on the cover - right then I knew he wasn’t bringin’ been so excited and waiting to see my face in the magazine that I re-
some Source bullshit. Keep reppin’ our state like you’ve been doing. spect, however, I feel downright rejected as a serious female artist. To
- Twisted Funk DJs (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) answer your question, I will put on a hell of a show! The next time I will
be featured on the cover. Thanks, OZONe for the motivation!
* I’m really feeling this magazine. I’ve never seen or read a magazine
that has the artists that are looked at by our generation on a regular
- Lady N-Chantment, aydear2003@yahoo.com

basis. Some magazines may spotlight an artist of our liking one or two Correction: The song “Knockin’ Doors Down” on last month’s JB’s
times a year just to keep us on their roster, but it’s nothing compared Playlist is Pimp C f/ Lil Keke and POP.
to what you are doing in Orlando, FL. I commend you for your work
and I will keep you in my prayers and hope that you thrive and grow so Hate it? Love it?
big that you are hated by all of the world and loved by the heavens. Send your comments to feedback@ozonemag.com
– Lency Pooh, karamelthigh4u@yahoo.com OZONE reserves the right to edit comments for clarity or length.

14 OZONE
OZONE 15
jb’s2cents

I
’ve been avoiding it for so long and holding back to stop
it from happening, but unfortunately it seems that I will
have to embrace my impending fame. I never wanted to
be famous. I wanted people to know my name and respect
it, but I didn’t want all the bullshit that comes with visibility. I
know you New Yorkers are shaking your heads, like, What
10 Things I’m Hatin’ On is this conceited bitch talking about now? Come on a little
promo run with me down South and see for yourself. I’m like
By Roland “Lil Duval” Powell a damn artist. I love it and hate it at the same time. My new
rapper friend says that fame isn’t sexy; it doesn’t turn him
Disclaimer: This is really what everybody else is say- on. Since he reads my smart ass editorials I have to say that
in’. I know I’m dead wrong, but I’m hating anyway. I’m feelin’ his philosophy that reaping the rewards of hard
work is much sexier than fame. Unfortunately, they’re sometimes
1. Lebron James the same thing.
Ain’t he the oldest looking 20-year-old
you’ve ever seen in your life? It seems that the only media outlet not interested in covering the
OZONE Awards (August 6th in Orlando, FL, along with TJ’s DJ’s
2. “I’m A Real Nigga” on August 4th & 5th) is XXL, cause Elliott Wilson is a hater. He’s
If one more person tells me that shit – if feeling the heat, seeing OZONE sprout up on newsstands, making
you’re real, your actions will show it. Just snide little remarks on his blog and shit. Dude is like twice as old as
cause you will shoot a nigga or sell dope, me and still isn’t on my level. I write my own checks.
that doesn’t mean you’re real. Steve Austin and I in Dallas
Having reached the ripe old age of 25 in this fun-filled Gemini
3. Rappers That Swear They’re Street freakfest month, I’ve reached that point where I can look back and
News flash! If you’re a professional rap- appreciate all the fun I’ve had and at the same time realize how
per and you’re still in the streets, you’re a blessed I was to make it through those years of stupidity relatively
damn fool. That’s the whole point of rap- unscathed. Translation? I’ve done a lot of dumb things and fortu-
ping in the first place – to get out of the nately only a handful of them have come back to haunt me. I even
streets. You can ask any nigga from the caught myself lecturing a wild ass intern chick recently, sounding
hood in Duval and they will tell you where like her mother and shit.
I’m from and they were also tell you that
Me and Shawn Jay in
they are proud to see that I don’t have to Jacksonville A few things I’ve learned since 17 when I climbed out the window
be there in those streets with them. with two duffel bags and $280 and never looked back:

4. Stop Snitching Whenever possible, avoid bisexual coke & heroin addicts when
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but searching for a roommate. They’ll ruin your tupperware cooking
y’all might as well give up with that cam- up that special K. And don’t drink the water in the refrig, literally,
paign cause snitching ain’t going no- cause it might be GHB.
where like herpes. Y’all need to devote
your time to Stop Letting People Know Do not videotape yourself fucking. Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever.
Yo’ Business. A person can’t snitch on If you already have a collection, watch them all one last time and
what they don’t know. Rockin’ Hatah Blockas
with Justin in Tampa
then destroy them.

5. Niggas That Owe You Money Enjoy being broke. More money really does bring more problems.
Don’t you hate it when a nigga owes you
money and then he gets shot to death? Do not fall in love with a rapper. Better yet, don’t fall in love, period.
Now you’ve gotta go to the funeral and
ask his mama if he left that for you. If a guy does something fucked up to you, report it right away.
“Stop snitching” doesn’t always apply. Wrong is wrong. If a
6. Arrogant Ugly Bitches creepy, scrawny, ugly con-artist sneaks in, climbs in bed with you
Niggas gotta stop fucking anything, cause while you’re asleep, naked, and tries to rape you, REPORT IT, or
now these ugly bitches have too much 7 years later you may find yourself with an obsessed
confidence and think they’re the shit. Bambino, me, and Stax in Jackson
cyberstalker fresh out of prison (“press releases” from
convicted rapists via Myspace bulletins are generally
7. Myself (Lil Duval) not credible; if you got that blast hit me up for the real
I was about to marry a bitch that wasn’t story). Like my homie Rick Ross says, who the fuck you
‘bout shit. I’m always fuckin’ with every- think you’re fuckin’ with? I’m a fuckin’ boss. I rode in
one else about saving a hoe, and my two Phantoms and a Bentley this month. Don’t own ei-
dumb ass did it. It won’t happen again. ther one yet, but it’ll come. I’m not in this position by ac-
cident or luck. Every day I’m hustlin’. Plus, I got a friend
8. Blind Item up top. No weapon formed against me shall prosper...
This person who I will not name is the
lamest person on TV. Every time I watch TJ, me, Too $hort, & Billy in Jacksonville - Julia Beverly, jb@ozonemag.com
them, I always think that their mama or
daddy gotta work for BET.

9. Niggas Locked Up
Why do niggas in jail act like they passed
the bar exam and can tell you how to get
out? Why the hell would I listen to you
T.I. f/ Jamie Foxx “Live in the Sky”
David Banner f/ Yola “Get Money”
DMX “Lord Give Me A Sign”
jb’splaylist
when you’re in here with me? Ray Cash, Pimp C, Project Pat, T.I. “Bumpin’ My Music (remix)”
T.I. f/ B.G. & Young Jeezy “I’m Straight” Pimp C “Free”
10. Wal-Mart Kirk Franklin “Looking For You” Mr. Magic “Shorty”
This has turned into the trap. And why do India Arie f/ Akon “I Am Not My Hair (remix)” Rick Ross “I’m Bad”
they only have four registers open when Plies f/ Akon “Wanna Fuck You” Kelis f/ Too $hort “Bossy”
there’s 500 customers?

OZONE 17
mathematics by Wendy Day

Networking At A Conference this is the same goal as hundreds of others. They will not remember
you, even if they just met you on the elevator yesterday. Keep remind-
Or Seminar ing them of who you are and where they met you, if being remem-
bered is important to you. Too $hort is on my Board of Advisors and
Attending conferences and seminars is a great just yesterday he was sitting in front of me on the airplane. After we
way to build a career in the music industry or landed, and when I saw he was not busy with someone else or talking
to promote an artist to industry insiders and on the phone, I walked up to him, extended my hand and said “Hi, I’m
industry wannabes. Industry functions are a Wendy Day. You are on my Board of Rap Coalition.” He then remem-
great way to learn, network, promote, and meet bered me immediately - I could see it in his eyes. He didn’t recognize
other people. It’s also a wonderful way to see me prior to that, nor should he. I don’t interact with him regularly. It did
who’s who. Over the phone, any radio promoter or street team person not offend me on the plane that he did not acknowledge me or recog-
can tell you they are the shit, but seeing how others interact with them nize me. He meets thousands of people and fans everyday. I am not,
and who they know and how they do their jobs is priceless. nor should I ever be, his priority even though he is mine.

Most artists who are coming into this industry have weak teams. This is When you step up to the panelists, either right after the panel or else-
due mostly to the fact that when you are brand new or up and coming, where at the event, don’t take up a lot of their time. They are there to
it’s hard to attract the top level people to help build a career. To drive be accessible to everyone, not just you. If you don’t have that little
my point even further, in the past 13 years I have been in this business, voice in your head that tells you when to walk away, a good rule of
I can count on one hand the number of artists that have had worthy thumb is to never take up more than three minutes unless they are
teams behind them (the reality is: who an artist has representing them speaking to you as much as you are speaking to them. Someone
is a huge reflection on how that artist handles business and the level nodding while you are running your mouth a mile a minute is polite-
of success he or she achieves). An industry-savvy team, with some ness, not them being engrossed in what you are saying. If they are
knowledge of how the industry works (real knowledge, not perceived engrossed, the conversation will be more of a give and take with them
knowledge), with good networking skills can balance out a host of asking questions and interjecting ideas and thoughts. Get their card,
negative qualities. For example, I met Mistah F.A.B. from the Bay Area move on, and follow up later. You only get one chance to make a first
this weekend in Fresno, and his team was so on point that I will bend impression - make it a good one.
over backwards to help him (and them). Even though I have heard his
name many times, I have never heard his music. But I know he will Okay, I know it’s hard to get executives (or anyone who is actually
succeed based on his team that surrounds him and represents him doing something) to call you back. I used to pride myself on return-
(plus his charisma and character is crazy cool too). And I’ll bend over ing every call and email, but that stopped about seven years ago. It’s
backwards to help. On Moms! impossible for me to call everyone back and respond to every email
(although I do try). It’s impossible! I get over 300 calls a day, and
The best way to prepare for an industry event, convention, or seminar close to 150 emails (Saturday and Sunday are a bit slower, but not
is to get an advance copy of the schedule of events. This can usually by much). And I consider myself very accessible. If you think you will
be found on the event’s website, or by calling ahead and asking for it. call Chris Lighty at Violator or Jermaine Dupri at Virgin and get a call
A smart person has already registered in advance for the event, which returned immediately, you are nuts (or you are a platinum recording
often includes an automatic receipt of the information and schedule. artist and they actually might call you back). Everyone has a business
Look over this information before even leaving for the event. Know to run, and experience has told executives that 99% of the calls they
which panels and performances you want to attend. get are a waste of time. They are from people who: 1) didn’t do their re-
search and are asking questions they could have found out elsewhere
If you already have some experience and connections in the industry, by doing some reading, or 2) they are asking for something that the
call around and see who else you know will be going there. Then, you executive can’t do for them anyway, or 3) they will be out of business
can set up meetings ahead of time to reconnect with people you know, next week because they thought it was easier than it really is.
or people who are crucial to moving your career, or your artist’s career,
forward. Make sure you attend as many educational events as you can If you want to catch the attention of someone who is relatively well
- that’s where the real movers and shakers are. Coming up, that’s how known, or successful at what they do, you may need to have some
I met Puffy. I happened to be sitting next to him in the audience at a level of success, even if it’s minimal. When you meet people at an
panel at the New Music Seminar. We were both relatively new (he was event, tell them what you’ve accomplished. If I meet 50 people with
an intern at a record label) to the industry and shared information. names I do not recognize, but one person is someone I’ve read about
or heard about, that person is getting my attention first. Because they
If you are attending the event with more than one person, and there have built something already, they have a better chance of catching
are simultaneous events happening at the same time, you can each at- my eye (and ear). This goes ditto for phone calls, and if I have time left-
tend separate events so you can share knowledge and meet the most over at the end of the day, I call back as many people as I can - but the
people. Ask everyone you meet for a business card, and make sure names I recognize get called back first. Also, do the research. If you
you have one to give to them (Kinko’s is the cheapest place to print up are a new artist looking for a manager, for example, don’t stalk manag-
B&W business cards if you don’t have a budget). ers who never take on new artists as clients. You get one chance to
waste people’s times.
You can jot a note on the back of each card you receive to remind
you who they are and what they do. So if you meet Blue Williams from In this industry, we all remember the people who have lost us money,
Family Tree, for example, you might jot down on the back of his card: made us money, or wasted our time. If you have to be one of those
“tall, bald guy manages Outkast and Nick Cannon.” When you get three, be the one to make us money. But don’t be angry when you
home, you have a better chance of remembering who and what Fam- call us out of the blue with a “million dollar” idea and you don’t get
ily Tree is. After you meet hundreds of people, it’s hard to recall who’s a return call. Chances are good we are already working on our own
who without these little triggers for your memory. million dollar ideas. Better to build your idea and call us when there
is a buzz on it and we feel we can just apply our connections to help
At each event you attend, break out of your comfort zone and sit or you. I find most people in this industry are helpful and will share their
stand next to people you don’t know. Be outgoing and introduce your- connections and contacts, but only when you are ready for that (ready
self to people. Meet the folks that everyone else seems to know, and in our opinion, not yours).
the person to your left and to your right. Everyone is shy, everyone is
afraid of being rejected, but if you want to succeed, this is what you If you are handing your demo to people, make sure it has your name,
need to do. This is a “who you know” business, and if meeting people phone number, email, website address, and myspace page clearly on
scares you, you need to be working at another job where you don’t the CD label. At the very least, this should be in black ink, but with the
need to interact with others. ease of CD label printing today (Office Max, Kinko’s, etc.), there is no
reason your CD should not have a nice label printed for it - the pre-
If meeting the speakers or the panelists is your goal, bear in mind that sentation represents you. A smart artist would also get the person’s

18 OZONE
out (selling 30,000+ CDs regionally according to
SoundScan is the ultimate way to catch my atten-
tion). I will have already called you to find out who
you are and what you have going on. If I can help
you, I will - you don’t even have to ask.

If you are giving packages to label reps at an


event, you need to stand out in their minds as
well. If they are going to sign you (although I do
not know of any artist who really got signed from
a demo), they need to be able to rationalize the
signing to their bosses. The best way to get a
deal is with leverage, some regional sales, and
some radio spins. This reduces the label’s risk.
For a major label to put out your record, they will
spend close to $2 million (total) on everything.
That means you saying, “I’m the most talented
and I know it,” is not good reasoning to them. But
having a buzz and a track record and a few thou-
sand fans already in place (or 30,000) IS good
reasoning. Learn the business. Learn why and
how artists get signed. Learn which labels are
good and which ones suck. This way you won’t
look stupid when you step to them and give them
reasons why you’d be a good risk for them. Just
wanting a record deal does not make you worthy.

Lastly, once you get home it’s important to follow


up with all of the people you met. Not all of them
card and send another demo in the mail in a few weeks. Last week, I will respond to you, and not all will even return
went to the Tampa Music Conference. I received over 200 demo CDs. your calls. Just do the best you can, be as professional as you can,
I had to buy an additional suitcase just to get them home. The airline and don’t stalk anyone (if you call everyday for two weeks and don’t
lost my bag, losing every CD I received. Regardless, even if I got them get a call back from anyone - not even an assistant, that’s a hint that
all home, how long do you suppose it would take me to listen to all they are too busy for you). Attending industry functions can be worth
of those CDs, with me working 20-hour days, seven days a week on the money you spend to be there, but you have to do the work to get
my own projects? I don’t critique music or demo CDs, nor am I quali- the most out of it.
fied to give feedback, so why am I even listening to them? The only
way to catch my attention is to build a buzz in your area and stand - Wendy Day of Rap Coalition (www.wendyday.com)

OZONE 19
chincheck by Charlamagne The God

I’m a real nigga and I don’t like rappers. Let me get my Mike Jones on: I’m a real nigga and I don’t like rappers, I’m
a real nigga and I don’t like rappers, I’m a real nigga and I don’t like rappers. I hate rappers; fuck them all! What I
really hate is the fact that all the good rappers are dead: Big L, Biggie, Big Pun, and ‘Pac. Chingy is still alive, and
so is D4L - not that I wish death on them, but God must have a sense of humor. Doesn’t that seem like a cruel joke
that the greats are dead but the whack get to live? I have so much on mind to share. Where do I start?

Okay, let’s pick up where I started. I’m a real nigga and I don’t like rappers. I just finished watching the Smack DVD
that was distributed by Koch and really I hate to see rappers spend so much time trying to keep it real that they
come off as totally fake. I don’t understand why you dudes flash guns on DVDs and rock ski masks like you’re
fucking Dumb Donald from Fat Albert and the Junkyard Gang. You muthafuckers talk about “stop snitching,” but
the truth is you’re snitching on your damn self! You’re on DVDs committing crimes and talking about committing
crimes! Guns are not legal and neither are pounds of reefer. You bastards be talking about what you will do if
somebody run up on you and I swear to god you make me want to be the one to run up on you! I know that you
guys are just pretending. I repeat, in my best DMX voice: I’m a real nigga and I don’t like rappers.

I hate you bastards with a passion. Can we talk about some things? The “we” I’m talking about is my generation,
hip-hop you idiots. Cam got shot and said that somebody threw up a Roc-A-Fella sign when they did it. Two days
later he has a verse out on the “Get ‘Em Daddy” remix talking about the incident. He puts out the diss record to
Jay the same week. Ironic, isn’t it?

Gravy goes to do an interview on Hot 97 and gets shot in the ass. He goes up to do the interview anyway, comes down, realizes he’s shot and
instead of going in the ambulance he says, “Where’s my car?” A Bentley magically appears and he follows the ambulance. One week later, mix
tapes pop up with titles like “Who Shot Gravy.” Ironic, isn’t it?

Beanie Sigel gets shot and even the police say they think it’s a publicity stunt. He goes to the studio right after the incident and by the weekend
he has a record out rapping about the incident. Ironic, isn’t it?

Message to rappers: Publicity stunts do not work! Nobody cares if you get shot in the arm or in the ass! If you want to do a real publicity stunt and
sell some records, do five good albums with great singles and hire somebody to kill you! You have to get MURDERED! Big L went gold after being
killed, Biggie went diamond, and ‘Pac has sold more records dead than he did alive. In the words of Young Jeezy, “KILL YOURSELF!!!”

I’m venting on a lot this month. I’m upset at Jay-Z because he’s letting Cam’Ron bully him. I dig Cam, but he’s wasting his time with rap. He should
be a comedian. He’s one of the most entertaining rappers in the game and right now he’s winning the fight with Jay. You may not think so, but
Jay’s not responding. That little not-so-subliminal shit on the “Hustlin’” remix was not what’s up! Cam came right back at Hov’s neck over the “It’s
Going Down” instrumental and he talked about Jay not being able to justify his slippers. Jay being out of retirement is like Jordan on the Wizards;
he got right in Hov’s ass! Hov is the president of Def Jam, he’s rocking suits and fucking Beyonce, but I think Cam might have pulled his card.

Jay needs to go to Brooklyn, get a beef patty with some cocoa bread and take off the Louie Slippers. Put on the white Air Forces - not even the
premium joints, just the plain white-on-whites, sniff some of that Marcy air and ether Cam lyrically. I know he can do it, but he hasn’t yet. Is he
scared? He can’t be that busy, because if he was he wouldn’t have thrown the little jabs at Cam on the “Hustlin’” remix. That alone lets you know
he’s talking about Cam. Fuck that diet shit you on with Beyonce, Hov, it’s time to go in! The streets are saying you got soft! Take off the blazer,
remove the tie, let the world know Superman is alive!

Now it’s 1:37 in the AM and I am tipsy from


George Vesselle champagne and Alize and
I’m trying to figure out why OZONE does
not have a radio personality of the year
award for the 1st Annual OZONE Awards! I
would win it hands down! I’m 25 years old,
I’ve been doing radio for six years, I’ve been
to four different stations in South Carolina
alone and have raised so much hell that my
radio aunt Wendy Williams snatched me up
and made me her co-host.

I went from market #89 to market number


#1 and am now syndicated on ten differ-
ent stations throughout the country! Kiss
my ass to everybody who treated me like
a toilet and shitted on me throughout my
rise to the top. But to be honest, nothing
has changed and I still rep the dirt roads
of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, and will
beat you with a frozen turkey leg left over
from Thanksgiving if you try to play me. I
love you all dearly, unless you’re a fake ass
gangsta rapper. I will end it like I started it:
I’m a real ni**a and I don’t like rappers!

Sincerely Gangsta,
Charlamagne Tha God

- Check out Charlamagne the God on-


line at www.cthagod.com or
www.myspace.com/cthagod

20 OZONE
01: Andre 3000 and
Chaka Zulu @ Birthday
Bash (Atlanta, GA)
02: DJ B-Lord, TJ Chap-
man, and DJ H-Vidal @
Tampa Music Conference
(Tampa, FL)
03: DJ Joe Pro @ Liquid
Blue (Newport News, VA)
04: Ladies @ Hal Mal’s for
OZONE’s Industry Meet &
Greet (Jackson, MS)
05: Kaspa, Baby D, and J-
Nice @ 112 (Atlanta, gA)
06: Mousa, Skull Duggery,
Linda, KLC, Fiend, and
Spin at KLC’s video shoot
(New Orleans, LA)
07: DJ Quote, Yeyo, and
DJ Warrior @ OZONE &
Bulletproof’s celeb bball
game (Miami, FL)
08: Jim Jones and Big
Kuntry @ OZONE &
Bulletproof’s celeb bball
game (Miami, FL)
09: Dolla Bill and Lil Joe @
OZONE’s Dallas Got Next
release party (Dallas, TX)
10: Rockwilder and Busta
Rhymes @ City for Busta’s
birthday party (NYC)
11: Snoop Dogg and Tim-
baland (Miami, FL)
12: MC Fatal and Mr
Blakes at Rapid Ric’s video
shoot (Austin, TX)
13: Supa Cindy’s “I Know
I Can” young women’s
summit (Miami, FL)
14: Luke & Q @ Come
Together Day (Jackson-
villle, FL)
15: Too $hort, E-40, Lil
Jon, and Sean Paul @
Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash
(Atlanta, GA)
16: The Nappy Roots
with Chamillionaire at his
platinum party (NYC)
17: 3/4 of Pretty Ricky with
Big Lip Bandit @ Supa
Cindy’s summit (Miami,
FL)
18: J Prince and his son J
Prince Jr. @ Trae’s listen-
ing session (Houston, TX)
19: Guest, Lil Wayne, and
Currensy @ The Venue
(Gainesville, FL)
20: Bigga Rankin, Rick
Ross, and J Baby @ Come
Together Day (Jackson-
ville, FL)
21: Young Dro, Bianca
Mendez, and Clay Evans
@ Mansion (Miami, FL)

Photos: Bogan (11); Julia


Beverly (01,02,04,05,07,08,09
,13,15,17,19,20,21); Keadron
Smith (18); Malik Abdul (14);
Matt Sonzala (12); Mesha
Clark (03); Promotivation (06);
Rico da Crook (10); Soul
Brother (16)

OZONE 21
mystory

Two 6 Mafia:
Crunchy Black Explains His Reasons For Leaving Memphis’ Legendary Rap Group

M
y situation with the group [Three 6 Mafia] is no more. I ain’t You see all the rappers that left [Three 6]. [Gangsta] Boo left. [Lord]
goin’ back, and I ain’t tryin’ to go back. They played the wrong Infamous left. Muthafuckers ain’t leavin this kind of life if they’re getting
games. I’m doing my own thing. I got my own studio and pro- treated right. Lord and Paul are kinfolk, so he’s supposed to be super
duction team. It’s all me now. I got the Hard Hitters rolling with me. straight. But Lord Infamous was getting high, so he just got tired of rid-
ing out of town. With [Gangsta] Boo, her and Paul had a relationship.
We were supposed to be friends way before all this business, and they They fell out on the relationship and Boo started getting mad at him
did a lot of little hoe shit that they didn’t really need to be doing. I’ve cause he wasn’t buying new Cadillac trucks and houses like he was
been going up and down with the label for all these 16 years, but since doing at first. It slowed down her money. Koop’s problem was that he
everybody else had left, I said I’d stay and make it work. So I stayed. I didn’t have no family in Memphis. Paul was buying his brother houses
let them use my album for The Most Known Unknowns, and I still had and cars to let Koop ride in to feel like somebody was taking care of
problems. That shit right there was my shit. Half of it was mine and half him. Koop was doing Paul wrong, and Paul was doing him wrong.
of it was theirs, but they used the ideas that I gave them. Everything Everybody left for different reasons, but money was a part of it.
was mine. They just wasn’t treating me right. Since it’s just three nig-
gas in the group, I ain’t supposed to be having no problems at all. But I ain’t doing no hating. I hope they do their thing, and I’m doing
my thing. I’m bringing out the Crunchy Black album; I think I owe that
The first strike was [over] $50,000. After we got done doing the promo- to the fans. I like my fans a little more than I like a couple of these
tion on The Most Known Unknowns, [DJ] Paul called me to the studio niggas I was running around with. I think I owe the fans that much, to
to come and get the back end of the money from the album. I was let them know why I left Three 6 Mafia. I really let them know my ups
supposed to be getting like $150,000 on the back end. When I got and downs, the good and the bad with Three 6 Mafia. The mixtape is
down to the studio, he told me I had to give him $50,000 for a lawyer. all brand new beats and brand new raps. Paul and them kept cutting
I said okay, cause I didn’t know what the business was. They’d been me off stuff. That album [The Most Known Unknowns] was basically
taking care of all the business. I know they’ve been with that bullshit, all my stuff, but they’d cut me off the songs and put somebody else
but I gave them the $50,000. When we went to the lawyer, they told me on there. I didn’t feel that was cool. On “Stay Fly” and “Pop My Collar”
to sit outdoors. They wasn’t tryin’ to handle no business for me; they my verse was shortened.
were handling business for themselves. When I started paying close
attention to shit, I realized that they wasn’t really working for me. I know they cut everybody else’s money, but damn, it ain’t nothin’
but three of us and they still couldn’t do right. I can’t keep on letting
The second strike was when we got pulled over [on tour]. I was in the somebody else make all the money. I was only getting enough to pay
backseat, asleep, and the highway cop pulled us over and got every- bills, buy a house, a couple cars, and that’s it. They ain’t sending no
body out of the car. They woke me up and the dog sniffed the cars royalties or nothing. I just really got fed up with that type of shit and
and all that shit. We were at the borderline. The dog went through the left New York early one morning. I got on a plane and came home. I
car and didn’t find nothing, so they let us go. When we got to where had been away from [Three 6 Mafia] for three months before they said
we were going, doing a big event, Juicy was like, “What did the police something, cause they didn’t wanna let nobody know that I left. But if
have y’all for? What happened?” and Paul told him, “Crunchy almost you’re a fan of Paul and Juicy, stay a fan. Don’t just jump on my band-
got us locked up.” I was like, how the hell? I was asleep. If we’d been wagon. I’m not mad at them. I appreciate the business they taught me,
locked up, we’d be in jail talking about that shit. We were at the show. I and I appreciate them pushing me away so I could do my own thing.
pulled the lil’ weed I had on me out of my pants. I got weed on me, feel I’m not mad at that.
me, so if we was fucked up the dog woulda sniffed me and all that. My
right hand man, the driver, called me to the side when we got ready to I’m doing good by myself. I got a team that I’ve been rolling with since
leave [the show] and told me, “Paul said you gotta find your own way way before Paul. I’m taking niggas that are tired of standing on the
to the shows.” Like, damn, I ain’t a part of the group? There’s some corner slangin’ weed and letting them get on this album with me. The
shiesty shit going on. So I said okay and started renting cars when we Hard Hitters are niggas that are really from the hood. I told them niggas
went out of town and shit. But I didn’t get no appreciation for staying to get a little God in their life and he’ll steer them in another direction.
down with them and making the label look good. That’s all I was re- They were paying attention to what was going on in my life so they
ally looking for. I wasn’t looking for no extra cheese; I knew that would started making moves down the right road. I told them to put the dope
come later just by it being three niggas in the group. That’s the way down and pick up the mic, and that bitch is sounding real good.
I was thinking, but they was thinking a whole different way. They was
thinking they could fuck me even more, feel me? I still got love for them, though. That’s why I called the DJ [Lil Larry]
and told him I was gonna kick his ass. Project Pat had just got out of
The third strike was when they had me paying for my own incidentals. jail and he was at the club telling people that he appreciated the fan
When we’d get to New York and shit and be checking into hotel rooms, mail and the money on his books, and [Lil Larry] played a song from
I gotta give these folks two, three weeks worth of $100. They’d pull out a group that we didn’t like. You can’t disrespect and play a song like
the black card and put all the security [rooms] on that. So yes, I wanted to kick his ass. But no, I didn’t
the black card, but Crunchy gotta pay for his own. I shoot at him. No, I didn’t pay nobody to shoot at
could understand if I was the type of guy that tears him. No, I didn’t send nobody to shoot at him. Just
up rooms and shit like that, but I’m not. I ain’t got like he had beef with me, he had beef with every-
a history of tearing up rooms, so I shouldn’t have body else. Niggas think that just because they got
to pay my own incidentals. Y’all are my producers. a little job on the radio that they can treat rappers
That’s what producers are supposed to do for the wrong. I wasn’t the only one that was mad at him.
artist. But I saw Lil Larry at the car wash right next door to
107 and I told him face to face, “I don’t want to kill
I gave ‘em three tries and then I said fuck this shit. you. I wanted to fight you, but I don’t wanna see
I figured I could do it on my own and get my own you die over no bullshit.” So we shook hands and
money. They ain’t giving me what they’re supposed squashed it. It’s finished. I left it alone; it’s over. But
to be giving me. That’s really why I left. I do my own I ain’t wanna kill him. I just wanted to show that I’m
thing with the real homies; niggas that won’t cross a man and you can’t play games with my niggas
you for the cheese. So I just said fuck it and called like that.
Sony. I told Sony that I was leaving and they were
like, “Sorry to hear that,” and what not. But Sony’s Tell all these young niggas out here to stop getting
part of it too. All they had to do was make them nig- lost. Don’t fill their head up like they’ve got to sell
gas do right. They’re sending them money. drugs to be somebody. They ain’t gotta do all that.

22 OZONE
01: Rasaq, Chamil-
lionaire, Kid Money KG,
and Acafool rockin’ Hatah
Blockas (Tampa, FL)
02: Xtaci and Young Dro
@ Mansion (Miami, FL)
03: Clipse and the Re-Up
Gang @ Gypsy Tea Room
(Dallas, TX)
04: Ike G Da, Court Digga,
and Tony Neal (Miami, FL)
05: Decon, Boy Wonder,
and Sandman (Tampa, FL)
06: Rock T and Trakk
Team @ Stress Room for
OZONE’s Dallas Got Next
release party (Dallas, TX)
07: @ Hal Mal’s for
OZONE’s Industry Meet &
Greet (Jackson, MS)
08: Lil Wayne reppin’
OZONE @ The Venue
(Gainesville, FL)
09: Gipp and Ali @
OZONE & Bulletproof’s
celeb bball game (Miami,
FL)
10: JT the Bigga Figga
and Yola @ Hot 107.9’s
Birthday Bash (Atlanta,
GA)
11: Jimmy Cozier and
Olivia (NYC)
12: Huddycombs and
Cavario on South Beach
(Miami, FL)
13: Nancy Byron and Trae
@ his listening session
(Houston, TX)
14: DJ Majick and Cindy
Nuzzo @ Terrell Owens’
pool party (Atlanta, GA)
15: DJ Khaled, Dre, and
Rick Ross @ Mansion
(Miami, FL)
16: K Foxx and Sean Paul
(Miami, FL)
17: Angel, Parish, Bella, &
Crystal on the set of KLC’s
“Play That Shit Loud”
video shoot (New Orleans,
LA)
18: Riskay, Dreesy Baby,
DJ Speed Racer, DJ Dap,
& DJ Lil Boy @ Blazin’
102.3 (Tallahassee, FL)
19: Cedric Hollywood,
Tony Neal, Rich Dollaz,
and Hen-Roc @ Crobar
(Miami, FL)
20: Keith Henery, J-Khrist,
and DJ Chuck T @ Quar-
terly Explosion (Florence,
SC)
21: Rashad and Khao @
Birthday Bash (Atlanta,
GA)

Photos: DJ Dap (18); Gary


LaRochelle (11); J Lash (16);
Julia Beverly (02,05,06,07,
08,09,10,12,15,19,21); Ke-
adron Smith (13); King Yella
(03); Malik Abdul (14,20); Matt
Daniels (01); Mercedes (04);
Promotivation (17)

OZONE 23
flipside

Battle of the Sexes: Uncle Luke vs. his ex-girlfriend Freda


Here at OZONE magazine, we got a call from Uncle Luke’s ex-girlfriend Freda in response to his interview in the July issue. Apparently,
she objected to his description of her as a “ghetto hoochie,” among other things. Just to make things interesting, we gave both Freda and
Uncle Luke a chance to tell their side of the story. (below: Luke and Freda in happier times; photo by Marcus DeWayne)

HER SIDE: HIS SIDE:


Why were you upset about Luke’s interview? Freda didn’t like your comments about her in your
He said that I was ghetto and wasn’t intelligent. interview in last month’s issue.
That’s not true. It’s been almost a year since we’ve That bitch stole money and my fiance’s ring from my
been separated, but I see that he just wants to keep house. She was claiming that she was my fiancé. All
playing games. I’m the “ghetto hoochie,” right? of them do that. My fiancé is from Houston; that’s
Ghetto hoochies don’t get $30,000 wedding rings. who’s ring it was. Me and her didn’t get married so
You don’t make a hoe a housewife. You don’t marry a she gave me the ring back. The ring was in my room
hoe, right? I still have the ring. So if I was a hoe, why and while I was throwing this girl [Freda] out of my
did he want to marry me? house. She stole the ring and vandalized my house.
She was one of my freaks. She wasn’t my girlfriend.
Why did the relationship end? She came down from New Orleans and was staying
I got fed up. Me and Luke were together for three with me. I was seeing her, but I noticed that she was
years. I gave up my scholarship, my salon in New an animal. I tried her. I put a couple of my boys on her,
Orleans, everything; I gave up everything to help him and every dude that hollered at her, she was fuckin’
and his career. I didn’t want to just play girlfriend; I them. So I told her she had to go. She didn’t wanna
wanted to be wifey. I didn’t want to play any games go so I put her out and she started vandalizing shit.
with Luke. If I’ma be here cooking, cleaning, and
taking care of the kids, you’ve gotta make me your wife. Luke said, She says that she was in medical school.
“You can be my wife.” He always wants a young girl because he can’t (laughing) Call up Circuit City in Hialeah. How could she be in medical
handle a person his own age. I was 20 years younger than him, but school and working at Circuit City? Call up Deon’s Beauty Salon in
I was mature and on top of my game. He wanted me to mess with Carol City. She was a hairdresser.
women, and I didn’t want to mess with women. If you’re gonna be with
me, support me and what I want. I didn’t like Luke Skywalker. Luther You stand by your statement that she’s “ghetto”?
Campbell is a totally different person, but he doesn’t know how to No question about it. Straight ghetto. She’s in your magazine’s photo
control Luke Skywalker. You can’t talk about me one way in the streets galleries with all the different artists. Do you ever see an artist’s real
and then come back acting different at home. I just got tired of play- woman up in the magazine with a whole bunch of other celebrity nig-
ing games. Luke, you’re 45 years old. Stop acting like you’re 14. I got gas? One thing about us hip-hop niggas is that we’re very conscious
older and more mature, and I’d rather go to an upscale restaurant and about our women. Our women have to be respectable. Rule number
he’d rather go to the strip club. It got played out. I told him to get out one – they can’t fuck with no other rap niggas or singing niggas or
of the game and start acting his age. He’s too old to be running across entertaining niggas. Niggas don’t wife them kind of girls. That’s some
the stage. I was trying to help him but he wasn’t trying to help himself. Hollywood shit; they’re the ones that switch wives and shit.
I’d hear things in the streets [that he said about me], and yet I’m the
woman living with him and I’ve got the wedding ring on. I got tired of She says you were trying to force her to be with other women.
listening to the gossip; him saying one thing and the streets saying Naw. You think I’ve got those kinds of problems? Look at the Freak
something else. Show. I see that shit all fuckin’ day. I’m doing pornos right now. I ain’t
in the pornos, but I go through tons of footage. That shit don’t do noth-
He described you as “ghetto.” Do you agree? ing for me – two women sleeping with each other.
No. When I was with Luke, I was in medical school. There’s a time
and place for everything, but I’m not “ghetto.” I never grew up in the In her opinion, you’ll never be happy until you leave the Luke Sky-
projects. I never was on Section 8 or welfare. I didn’t grow up like that, walker lifestyle behind.
and I don’t treat myself like that. You try things when you’re younger, I’m happy right now. I have a nice woman; I’m back to what I’m used
but as you mature you grow out of it. When I was trying to model and to dating. See, that was when I was going through a phase. My fiancé
do calendars, all that was in fun when I was in college. I don’t think he was a nice girl, a very educated biochemist. That’s what I like – librar-
was able to mature with me. He was still stuck in the 2 Live Crew days. ian types. I was going through a phase [with Freda] where I thought I
He’s selfish and stubborn and that’s why he’s right there where he’s at. should try one of them out, cause I never dated a ghetto girl. She was
How can you grow with somebody that’s selfish? He’s intimidated by an experiment. I had to convince myself. Everybody was saying that
anyone who’s bettering themselves. He gets jealous. He knew I was I needed to be with a ghetto girl. The librarian girls’ families get ner-
an attractive, intelligent woman. One night we had a big fight at the vous about them dating Luke, a hip-hop guy. There’s so much family
Rollexx; that was the last straw. It was two months before the wedding. pressure. That was the first time I was in love, the girl before [Freda].
We were gonna get married on New Year’s Day. A woman [at the club] Everybody thinks I’m supposed to fuck with some ghetto-ass mutha-
wanted me and Luke lost it. They were fighting over me at the club, fucker, so I tried it, and now I’m back to what I normally do. I’m happy.
but I would never date a woman. Luke thinks that every woman is like I’m in love with my old lady; she’s a law student in her last year and I’m
his lifestyle. He thinks that all women do women and all women cheat pretty sure we’ll be walking down the aisle soon. If a bitch don’t know
on men. He’ll never be happy until he lets the 2 Live Crew and Luke who the president is and can’t have an intellectual discussion about
Skywalker lifestyle go. How can you treat women like shit in the streets the United States government and talk to me about significant things
and still decide to get married? It’s not gonna work. Every woman is that really concern the country and the state of hip-hop from a busi-
not like your songs and your videos. He can’t trust women because of ness standpoint, I can’t function with them. I don’t wanna talk about
his lifestyle. We used to battle about that all the time. how many Cristal bottles we’re gonna buy at the club.

Do you still speak to Luke? Anything else you’d like to say to Freda?
He wanted to get back together up until All Star weekend when I told I wish her the best of luck, and you can read the true story about her
him it’s over; let it go. He always goes for younger women because he in my book coming out later this year. Tell her to please return the ring
thinks he can manipulate their minds. Once you put your heart out to that she stole from my house. Even if I did give her the ring, if we didn’t
him he’ll smack you in the face. Because of his lifestyle he thinks all get married she’s supposed to give it back, right? So that tells you
women stick bottles in their pussies and cheat on their men. Once he what kind of hoe she is. She can’t justify it either way. She’s a mutt. I’m
gets past that, he’ll have a better life. Until then, he’ll never be happy. still trying to figure out how she got in T.I.’s [“Front Back”] video.

24 OZONE
01: Jazze Pha and Sean
Paul @ Hot 107.9’s Birth-
day Bash (Atlanta, GA)
02: Buggah D. Govanah,
guest, Wyclef, and JImmy
Rosemond (Miami, FL)
03: Julia Beverly, Keith Ken-
nedy, Tuesday Donaldson,
Boneface, TJ Chapman,
and Rich Boy @ Get Em
Awards (Pensacola, FL)
04: Acafool and Ms.
Monique @ Tampa Music
Conference (Tampa, FL)
05: Remy Ma and Fatman
Scoop (Miami, FL)
06: Young Shad, Bambino
da Golden Child, and guest
@ OZONE’s Industry Meet
& Greet (Jackson, MS)
07: Deca and Big Mook @
Tampa Music Conference
(Tampa, FL)
08: Ump and Freestyle
Steve @ OZONE &
Bulletproof’s celeb bball
game (Miami, FL)
09: Malik Abdul and Dior
George @ Get Em Maga-
zine Awards (Pensacola, FL)
10: Kenny Burns and DJ J-
Nice @ AG Ent.’s pool party
(Atlanta, GA)
11: TV Johnny and Kendra
Wilkinson @ the Playboy
Mansion (Los Angeles, CA)
12: Sir Knight Train and
Plies @ Upper Level (Or-
lando, FL)
13: Uncle Luke and fans
(Jackson, MS)
14: Gerald Girbaud and
Kenny Redd @ Hal Mal’s
(Jackson, MS)
15: DJ Chill, Steve Austin,
and Royal @ Stress Room
(Dallas, TX)
16: Akon and Too $hort @
Terrell Owens’ pool party
(Atlanta, GA)
17: DJ Aggravated and
Brandi Garcia @ TV
Jewelry’s (Houston, TX)
18: Gipp, St. Lunatics, Nelly,
Skip Cheatham, and Ali
@ Greg Street’s car show
(Dallas, TX)
19: Princess Cut, Lil Phil,
and Money Waters @
Stress Room (Dallas, TX)
20: Guest, Matt Daniels,
and Acafool @ TampaHi-
pHop.com BBQ (Tampa,
FL)
21: Latin Prince and Lucky
Leon @ Birthday Bash
(Atlanta, GA)

Photos: J Lash (02); Jaro Vacek


(13);Julia Beverly (01,06,08,10,
12,14,15,16,21); Keadron Smith
(17); King Yella (18); Malik Abdul
(03,04,09); Matt Sonzala (19);
Ms Rivercity (07); Sandman
(20); Sophia Jones (05); Spiff
(11)

OZONE 25
q&a

Yo Gotti (Memphis, TN) working on?


I’m in L.A. at Lil Wayne’s video shoot right now. All Star is finna drop
this new single on Cash Money/Universal called “Tear It Up.” We just

Y
our name has been tied up in a lot of drama lately. First off, finished La Chat’s project; she’s gonna come out in August. I’m just
what happened between you and Memphis DJ Freddy Hy- staying in the studio. I’m full time grinding doing what I do.
dro? He brought someone on the air during his radio show
and allowed them to diss you? Hopefully we won’t hear about any more Yo Gotti beef.
Oh, to me, it was nothing. It was just a little situation where some folks (laughing) Like I said, I’ma just do me. I wake up and roll over every
had something to say about me on the radio. To me personally, I felt day tryin’ to stay away from trouble, but you know how that goes. It
like dude didn’t have to air that [without me being there to tell my side]. ain’t really no beef with none of them cats. Where I’m from, beef is cats
I’ve been in plenty of radio stations before where shit was prerecord- ridin’ around looking for each other tryin’ to do something. I just got
ed. I thought me and Freddy Hydro were cool. I been knew him, before niggas who don’t like me, you know what I mean? Whenever I ain’t
this rap shit. Then he turned into a DJ. I felt like it was some disrespect- workin’ I’m in Memphis in my hood with no security or nothing. I could
ful shit towards me, and I felt like he shouldn’t have done it. be touched easy, so I ain’t got no beef, in my eyes.

Since Freddy is, or was, a part of The CORE DJs, the whole situa- - Julia Beverly
tion started a rumor that the CORE wasn’t supporting your project
because of it.
I’m real cool with Tony Neal and the rest of the CORE DJs, so like you
said, it was just a rumor. It wasn’t nothin’. I talked to them and they
talked to me and we’re cool. It was just a rumor.

The artist that Freddy brought on the air dissing you – why do they
have beef with you?
Man, those dudes are nobody out here. I don’t even know dude. Still,
to this day, I don’t know who he is. Feel me? More people knew Hydro
than knew dude [that was dissing me] so most people were like, man,
what is Hydro doing?

I heard that Freddy is pressing charges against you because of


the little altercation or whatever that ensued after the radio inter-
view.
That’s what I heard too. But as of right now nobody’s came to me or
nothing.

Do you look at situations like this as just part of the game? Is it a


sign of your success?
Back 2 Basics the album is in stores now. It’s really nothing to me,
cause where I come from I’ve been through way worse stuff than this
fake industry shit. Every day people really get hurt and go to jail, where
I’m from. That’s everyday real life shit, not this lil shit that goes on with
these industry niggas.

What’s the issue between you and Three 6 Mafia?


Everybody knows that me and Three 6 ain’t never been cool, from day
one. My problem was mainly with Crunchy [Black]. He got on a little
small TV show in Memphis and had a lot of things to say about me. Me
and dude are two different people – he’s an artist and I’m a boss.

Were you happy for them winning the Academy Awards?


I think it was a good look for them and for Memphis period. The Oscar
and everything makes more industry people look at Memphis, but it
don’t change my way of living day-to-day or nobody like me.

Do you think the movie Hustle & Flow was an accurate look at
Memphis?
I think it was a good look because they actually came and shot a mov-
ie. But they came from Hollywood and tried to imitate Memphis. We
don’t drive cars like that Caprice Chevy with different colored fronts.
Niggas run in Benzes and Bentleys and shit too just like in L.A. or New
York or ATL or MIA. Niggas are getting money out here. Our clubs
don’t look like houses. But outside of that it was a good look. I wanted
them to do the shit 100%.

There was also a shooting at your album release party.


Yeah, somebody had shot the club up. That ain’t have nothing to do
with me. When you’ve got 1,500-2,000 people in the club, shit hap-
pens. That was out of my control. In Memphis, where I come from
and how I am, anything that goes down anywhere around me they’re
gonna put my name in it because of where I’m from and the type of
people I attract. If you’ve got 2,000 hood niggas coming to party with
me, everybody knows you can’t control them. Shit, anything can go
down at any time.

Aside from your album Back 2 Basics what other projects are you

26 OZONE
01: E-40, David Ban-
ner, and Lil Jon @ Hot
107.9’s Birthday Bash
(Atlanta, GA)
02: Fat Joe, Jimmy Rose-
mond, DJ Khaled, and
Macho (Miami, FL)
03: Young Dro and TJ Chap-
man @ Come Together Day
(Jacksonville, FL)
04: DJ Dr. Doom and T-Roy
@ Come Together Day
(Jacksonville, FL)
05: Rock Bottom, Pretty
Ricky, and Supa Cindy @
her “I Know I Can” young
women’s summit (Miami,
FL)
06: Troy Marshall, Big
Will, and DJ B-Lord @
Quarterly Explosion (Flor-
ence, SC)
07: The Runners and DJ
D-Strong @ Blue Room
(Orlando, FL)
08: Noreaga and his son
@ Puerto Rican Day pa-
rade (NYC)
09: Devyne Stephens and
DJ J-Nice @ AG Ent./Ter-
rell Owens’ pool party
(Atlanta, GA)
10: Ice Cube and Joe An-
thony @ Gypsy Tea Room
(Dallas, TX)
11: Ron Artest and Wilk @
OZONE/Bulletproof’s celeb
bball game (Miami, FL)
12: Coach and Pimp J @
Cairo (Orlando, FL)
13: DJ EFN and Smitty
(Miami, FL)
14: J-Rock and Bigg V @
Hal Mal’s (Jackson, MS)
15: Jim Jones and Jeezy
@ Mansion (Miami, FL)
16: Too $hort a.k.a. Short
Dog with Short Dawg a.k.a.
Dat Boy Short @ Terrell
Owens’ house (Atlanta, GA)
17: K-Rino and Matt
Sonzala @ KPFT Damage
Control (Houston, TX)
18: Raj Smoove, EF Cuttin,
& 504 Fudge on the set of
KLC’s video shoot (New
Orleans, LA)
19: Black Meezy, Rapid
Ric, and Mr. Blakes on the
set of Ric’s video (Austin,
TX)
20: Benji Brown and Bul-
letproof cheerleaders @
OZONE celeb bball game
(Miami, FL)
21: Slim and Sam @ Blue
Room (Orlando, FL)

Photos: Bogan (20); J


Lash (02); Julia Beverly
(01,03,05,09,12,14,15,
16,17); King Yella (10); Malik
Abdul (04,06,07,21); Matt Son-
zala (19); Mercedes (11,13);
Promotivation (18); Spiff (08)

OZONE 27
industry101

Shakir Stewart came in and made that transition from Arista, it was important for the
new regime to break a successful new artist in hip-hop. For us, that
Senior Vice President of A&R was Young Jeezy. Considering the legacy that we have and the fact
Island Def Jam Records that we do have a great president in Jay-Z, who’s a legend himself,
it was important to break a new artist and let the streets know that
Who are some of the artists you work with? the new Def Jam does understand what to do. There was a blueprint
I signed Rick Ross and Young Jeezy; those are that was built – how to take an artist with a buzz and deliver double
the two projects I’m working on now. I also have platinum status.
a 14-year-old prodigy named Karina. I’m devel-
oping music for her. She’s an R&B/pop artist, A lot of A&Rs check Soundscan and BDS – what are your methods
classically trained at the piano. for seeking out the next Rick Rosses and Young Jeezys?
I can’t chase BDS or Soundscan for an artist. They might generate
How did you come across Rick Ross and Young Jeezy? Of course spins but only have one or two singles. There’s no longevity. I like to
they each had a real heavy street buzz before they got signed. be in business with an artist that has true talent, that can be around for
Nowadays in the South for a lot of artists, radio is opening up to break- 5, 6, or 7 albums, if not more. Of course you have to monitor radio, but
ing unsigned talent. I don’t go off just the buzz. I strictly judge it off the beyond the song I look at the artist’s integrity and creativity. I have rela-
artist and the music. One thing about both Jeezy and Rick Ross is that tionships in different cities with the lawyers, managers, interns around
these guys really have talent. They really can rap, they have incredible the studios, people like that. You have to listen to as much as you pos-
ideas, and they were unique in their own senses. sibly can and just keep your ear to the streets.

So just because an artist has a buzz, that doesn’t necessarily Have you seen anyone get a deal off a demo or do you think those
mean they’re talented? days are dead?
I think there’s a lot of different kids of buzzes. Sometimes a buzz is I’ve definitely seen people get deals off demos. In the rap game, out-
created but the artist might not warrant that buzz. As an executive you side of the demo you also have to do something to create a real organ-
have to be careful what you go after based on buzz. A buzz can be ic buzz in your region. But it boils down to the artist – can they make
created by one or two people, or a buzz can be created by the streets. songs? Bottom line. Do they make unique records? A lot of rappers
You’ve got to do your homework and make sure you’re going after the out there are great freestylers, great battle rappers, but can they make
right artist. songs? Freestyle albums haven’t sold well.

With some of Jeezy’s content and probably now with Rick coming For someone trying to get into the music business behind the
out, they’ve been criticized by mainstream America with their mu- scenes, do you think interning is the best way to go?
sic being so drug-related. Being an executive, behind the scenes, I definitely think interning is a great route. The music industry is a
since you are really the one promoting the records, is it ever an closed society; somebody has to invite you in. Whether you’re intern-
issue for you personally? ing, being an assistant, bringing water into the building, whatever it
I believe in an artists’ freedom of speech. Of course I’m aware of the takes for you to get to a place where someone in a position of power
sensitivity of a lot of the issues they address. Jeezy’s first album was can recognize your talent. You have to do what you have to do. it’s a
really an excerpt of his life. That was his vision of the life he had lived. by any and all means situation.
So although I realize that some of the things he discussed are con-
troversial, it’s his reality. He understands that there also has to be a Did your college education help you in the music business?
positive message, and as he continues to put out records I think the I think it was definitely helpful considering the fact that there’s a lot
public will see a more mature side of Jeezy. more to the music business than just the music. There’s a corporate
aspect of it, so as far as understanding the marketing and the financial
As an A&R what role do you play in the creative process, and how aspect, my education has definitely played a role in my career for the
do you bring out the best in your artist while still allowing them to success I’ve had.
be themselves?
First of all, every artist is different. You can’t “A&R” every artist the Do you think it’s hard for executives to balance that 9-5 corporate
same, for lack of a better word. Some artists already have a direc- world and still be able to relate to what the streets want to year?
tion; some artists need a direction. I have great relationships and great Yeah, but you have to be able to do that, because that’s the difference
communication with all the artists. It’s about letting their vision and between average executives and top-level executives. You have to do
their message come to life. it all. A lot of times we’re up til the wee hours of the morning and we still
have to get up early and close deals with lawyers and read contracts.
Aside from your communication skills, what are some other im- That’s a part of this business. In order to stay on top of the game
portant qualities for an executive like yourself to have in order to you’ve got to do it all.
be successful?
If you’re an A&R, you’ve got to have ears. You have to hear what you Are you planning to stay in an A&R position or is there somewhere
think the public is going to like. I also pride myself on making sure I else you’d like to go with your career?
have great relationships with my artist. The A&R is the bridge; you’re I’d like to have my own entertainment company that would be a record
the person that connects the artist to the label. You have to have a company as well as a publishing company. I would definitely like to
clear understanding of who your artist is and what and how he wants have equity in something. I wouldn’t want to just continue to make
to be perceived because there’s a lot of money for everybody else without making
meetings that take place in the corporate money for myself. That’s just me being a
office that the artist might not be a part of good businessman. I just want to be affiliat-
and you have to make sure that you are ed with great artists, artists with substance
delivering the correct message and mak- who have touched people’s lives in some
ing sure your speaking on behalf of the art- way. I’m a true fan of music and I just want
ist. You’re their spokesperson. During the to be in business with people who really
recording process, there’s no one closer love music and take this business seriously.
to that artist than the A&R.
Do you have an address where people
Both Rick Ross and Jeezy mentioned can send their demos or CDs?
that Def Jam was the place they’d like to Island Def Jam, Attn: Shakir Stewart
end up. Does working for a label with a 500 Bishop St Suite A4 Atlanta GA 30318
reputation like Def Jam make it easier to
attract talent? - Words and photo by Julia Beverly
Def Jam speaks for itself. When L.A. Reid
(Above): Shakir (in the green shirt) on the set of his
artist Rick Ross’ video shoot
28 OZONE
01: Field Mob and DJ
Dap filming for JAM TV
@ Club 1090 (Tallahas-
see, FL)
02: DJ Envy and Busta
Rhymes @ City for Busta’s
birthday party (NYC)
03: Point Blank @ Blue
Room (Orlando, FL)
04: Stay Fresh and Lil Jon
@ Hot 107.9’s Birthday
Bash (Atlanta, GA)
05: Swimsuit models @
Hotel Victor (Miami, FL)
06: K-Rab and B.H.I. @
Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash
(Atlanta, GA)
07: J Lash and ladies
(Miami, FL)
08: Attitude hustlin’ CDs
on South Beach (Miami,
FL)
09: Rapid Ric and the
What It Dew? family on the
set of his video (Austin,
TX)
10: H Flow and Paula
Michelle @ AG Ent./Terrell
Owens’ pool party (Atlanta,
GA)
11: Shrimp and Marly Mar
@ Quarterly Explosion
(Florence, SC)
12: Real and Lex on South
Beach (Miami, FL)
13: JR Writer and his man-
ager (Houston, TX)
14: Mr. Collipark and P
Stones @ Firestone for
Dawgman’s Crunkfest
(Orlando, FL)
15: Eclipse and Big Bird
@ Hal Mal’s for OZONE’s
Industry Meet & Greet
(Jackson, MS)
16: Corey Cleghorn and
DJ Chill @ Stress Room
for OZONE’s Dallas Got
Next release party (Dallas,
TX)
17: DJ Black and David
Banner @ Stankonia
(Atlanta, GA)
18: Da Muzicianz showing
off their OZONE cover @
Come Together Day (Jack-
sonville, FL)
19: H. Ringer, Angel, Cutty
Ranks, and Sandman
(Tampa, FL)
20: Sticks, Quincy, and
Dawgman @ Firestone
(Orlando, FL)
21: DJ 2-D-Q, DJ South
Paw, Chico Rico, and Ja-
mie Lee of Basswood Lane
at Backroom (Austin, TX)

Photos: Bogan (05); DJ Dap


(01); Julia Beverly (04,06,
08,10,12,14,15,16,17); Luxury
Mindz (09,21); Malik Abdul
(03,07,11,18,20); Rico Da
Crook (02); Sandman (19)

OZONE 29
q&a

Twisted Black (Dallas, TX)

Y
ou recently inked a deal with TVT. How did that come
about?
My man Lee, who is our broker, took the music to Steve Gottlieb
at TVT. He heard it and it was pretty much a wrap from there. Marvin
Mack who does radio over there heard our record and told Steve this
was a deal that had to be done no matter what. So all the numbers
added up and it just made sense. They heard the buzz, man. I got
the mixtapes, Hustle or Go Broke. You can’t forget, I been grinding for
years. It just now came full circle. This was a lifetime in the making.
But really when I came home I got it in three years. It took me three
years to get it so really I was kind of blessed. Just grinding. If you ain’t
on that road, you ain’t eating. If you ain’t putting out mixtapes, and
marketing yourself, you ain’t eating. These labels not giving out deals
no more. They want to jump in business with you. My buzz came from
retail, cause they were making a lot of money off of me. They are in-
terested in me as a businessman too. I been pushing my own records
independently in more markets than my backyard. Indiana, Ohio, Ken-
tucky, it just picked up from there.

Have you been independent for your whole career?


Yeah, but for a minute I flirted with Suave House. That was back in
1998, 1999. Then I got locked up.

How did you get with Suave House?


Bobby Taylor, who used to play for the Eagles, was helping us with the
label and he had the plug over there at Suave House. They heard our from jail to the streets. The good to the bad, you know, family prob-
project, One Gud Cide, which was me and Evil C. That was what made lems, everything. I really just spit life across the records. My life across
me famous. But I went to jail before that ever came out. the records. Know what I mean? That’s where it comes from. All my
dealings in life.
But One Gud Cide had an album out didn’t y’all?
Yeah, we had an album out. We only got a chance to sell about 10,000 Why did you go to jail?
cause I went to jail. That release came out independent. It didn’t come Back then I went for tampering with ID numbers and then assault on a
out under Suave House cause after I got locked up they let us go. police officer. They ran the two concurrent, back to back. It wasn’t no
assault. It wasn’t like they said it was. I was really running from him,
How long were you away for? trying to get away and he fell down and hurt himself and they charged
First I did a year, and then I came back and ended up doing two more me with it. I wasn’t trying to fight or nothing like that. Man, I was 19
years. So I was gone for a total of three years. I had another One years old. I was just a kid.
Gud Cide album before that with another partner called Look What the
Streets Made. That’s pretty much my start. Do you talk much about the prison system in your music?
Yeah I talk about it cause I’m a product of it. I been in and out since
What’s the name Twisted Black all about? Is there a meaning be- I was 13 years old. I definitely ain’t no stranger to it. I spit what I live.
hind that? I been through it so you gonna hear a lot of it. You gonna really hear
When I got shot in my face, I kind of smile crooked. That’s where the it in-depth.
Twisted come from, and Black, I always been Black you know what I
mean? That’s what they call me. What are some of the things you try to tell the young people about
prison and the life you have led?
How did you get shot? Man, when I do it, I want young people to hear my music and hopefully
It was a hit, an organized hit on my life. I was like 19 years old. That’s stay away. I’m really putting this information in they face so they can
all I’m gonna say about that. know to not do it, you know what I mean? My music is not meant to
glorify it. I’ll tell you what I went through and hopefully you’ll stay away
Were you born and raised in Ft. Worth? from it. But you know, rappers ain’t role models. We try to be as best
No, I was actually born in Detroit. I moved when I was in elementary as we can but they get it twisted. If they learn from our music, take
school. I was in Detroit til I was about 12. the mistakes we made and don’t do it. If we can come across like that
then it’s good.
What was Fort Worth like coming up as a rapper in the mid-90’s?
Fort Worth wasn’t really cracking when I was coming out. It was all You seem to actually take that approach seriously.
about Dallas, like it is still to this day. Now we getting a little light be- I really do. I guess that’s what keeps me with a fan base too. I don’t
cause of myself and 6’2 and some other people are starting to get their really look for the single. I don’t really need radio. I’m just now getting
shine, like The Saucy Boys, Big Ben, Kilo the Twin, and Bossalini. radio, but I been selling records without it. “I’m a Fool Wit It” is my
single now. Everybody’s a fool with it out here in Funkytown right now.
Were you working with Greg Street at one point? That’s the hottest single at radio out here. You’ll be hearing it across
We was gonna do a single deal with Greg Street. But it never panned the country now. The second single is called “Tru Hustler” with BG.
out. He’s like a good friend with our career. Much love to Greg Street.
Who produced “I’m a Fool Wit It”?
What all have you released as a solo artist so far? DJ Toomp out of Atlanta gave us that heat. He’s dope, he reached out
As a solo artist to date I just have my Late Bloomer and Life of Tommy to me; much love to Toomp. I’m working mostly with in house produc-
Burns. My new one is called Street Legends. That’s the one droppin’ ers now. It’s all up in the air though. We’re at the beginning stages.
on TVT.
Do you have any contact info?
Lyrically you come with a different approach from a lot of people. www.twistedblack145.com
It’s real personal and reality based. Where does that come from?
It comes from my gut and my soul man. I done seen all facets of life, - Words and photo by Matt Sonzala

30 OZONE
01: Juelz Santana and
Big Kuntry @ Mansion
(Miami, FL)
02: DJs @ Family Day in
the Park (Columbus, GA)
03: Choppa, Tony Neal, and
TJ Chapman @ Get Em
Magazine Awards (Pen-
sacola, FL)
04: Big Swoll, Donny Mon-
ey, and guest @ Hal Mal’s
for OZONE’s Industry Meet
& Greet (Jackson, MS)
05: Big D, Trina, and Lil
Wayne (Miami, FL)
06: DJ Chill, Lil Bowles,
and Pikasso @ Stress
Room for OZONE’s Dallas
Got Next release party
(Dallas, TX)
07: Shawn Jay, Ghostface,
and Trife reppin’ OZONE
@ Come Together Day
(Jacksonville, FL)
08: Paula Michelle and Ray
@ AG Ent./Terrell Owens’
pool party (Atlanta, GA)
09: Uncle Luke (Jackson,
MS)
10: Pretty Ricky promoting
safe sex @ Supa Cindy’s
“I Know I Can” summit
(Miami, FL)
11: Rich Boy and Ray
Ray @ Get Em Magazine
Awards (Pensacola, FL)
12: Steve Austin and Matt
Sonzala @ Stress Room
for OZONE’s Dallas Got
Next release party (Dallas,
TX)
13: Farrah and Jennifer @
Dragon Room (Orlando,
FL)
14: Rick Ross recruiting for
the Army? (Jacksonville, FL)
15: Trick Daddy and
BloodRaw @ Firestone
for Dawgman’s Crunkfest
(Orlando, FL)
16: Cat Daddy and Mia X
@ Gypsy Tea Room (Dal-
las, TX)
17: Lil Wayne and Curren-
sy @ Hot 107.9’s Birthday
Bash (Atlanta, GA)
18: Gotti and Xtaci @
OZONE/Bulletproof’s celeb
bball game (Miami, FL)
19: S.E.G.A. Boys reppin’
OZONE
20: Dirty Mouf of Trillville
with his stunner shades
and Jazze Pha @ Birthday
Bash (Atlanta, GA)
21: Bella reppin’ OZONE
and www.UrbanSouth.us

Photos: Charles Wakeley (19);


Edward Hall (21); J Lash (05);
Jaro Vacek (09); Julia Beverly
(01,02,04,06,08,10,11,14,15,
17,18,20); King Yella (16);
Malik Abdul (03,07,13); Matt
Sonzala (12)

OZONE 31
32 OZONE
01: Guest, J-Money,
Cadillac Don, and Stax @
Hal & Mal’s for OZONE’s
Industry Meet & Greet
(Jackson, MS)
02: Jadakiss, Remy Ma,
and Sheek Louch @ Hotel
Victor (Miami, FL)
03: Yola and his crew @
Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash
(Atlanta, GA)
04: Sqad Up, Stax, and DJ
Hustleman @ Hal & Mal’s
for OZONE’s Industry Meet
& Greet (Jackson, MS)
05: DJ K-Tone and Paul
Wall reppin’ OZONE @
Blue Ice (Denver, CO)
06: Frank Ski and Too
$hort @ 112 (Atlanta, GA)
07: Juicy J, Jerry Clark,
and Blackjak @ Hot
107.9’s Birthday Bash
(Atlanta, GA)
08: Trick Daddy and Dre
@ Mansion (Miami, FL)
09: DJ Chill and Lil G @
Stress Room for Dallas Got
Next release party (Dallas,
TX)
10: Rick Ross and LA
Smooth (Miami, FL)
11: DJ Trademark and
Phantom @ Blue Room
(Orlando, FL)
12: E-40 and DJ Quote
(Denver, CO)
13: G-Mack and J-Holla @
Tampa Music Conference
(Tampa, FL)
14: Malik Abdul and Dawg-
man @ Firestone for his
Crunkfest (Orlando, FL)
15: Brisco, Rick Ross, and
Byron Trice (Charleston,
SC)
16: BloodLine crew @
OZONE/Bulletproof’s celeb
bball game (Miami, FL)
17: Bella, Mousa, and
Parish reppin’ OZONE
@ Street Customs (New
Orleans, LA)
18: Trae and J Prince
@ his listening session
(Houston, TX)
19: Bianca, KC, and Sara
@ Xchange Lounge (Or-
lando, FL)
20: Guest, Short Dawg,
and Akon @ AG Ent./Ter-
rell Owens’ pool party
(Atlanta, GA)
21: DJ Khaled and Kelis
@ Come Together Day
(Jacksonville, FL)

Photos: Bogan (02,10); DJ K-


Tone (05); DJ Quote (12);
Jason Cordes (15); Julia Bev-
erly (01,03,04,06,07,08,09,
13,14,16,20,21); Keadron
Smith (18); Malik Abdul
(11,19); Promotivation (17)

OZONE 33
34 OZONE
01: Marcus Palk a.k.a.
Miles from Moesha, DJ
Demp, and Pleasure from
Pretty Ricky (Miami, FL)
02: Zab Judah and Gotti
@ OZONE/Bulletproof’s
celeb bball game (Miami,
FL)
03: Yung Joc, Jody Breeze,
and Block @ Hot 107.9’s
Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA)
04: Chalie Boy and video
models on the set of Rapid
Ric’s “Pullin’ Up” (Austin,
TX)
05: Akon and Pacman
Jones @ AG Ent./Terrell
Owens’ party (Atlanta, GA)
06: Janky John and
guest @ Hal & Mal’s for
OZONE’s Industry Meet &
Greet (Jackson, MS)
07: Miz, Pistol Pete, and
DJ Khaled @ Mansion
(Miami, FL)
08: Busta Rhymes and
Slick Rick @ Summer Jam
(NYC)
09: Dee Money and Spiff
TV @ Mansion (Miami, FL)
10: Nick Cannon and
Hoopz (Miami, FL)
11: Wickett Crickett and
TV Johnny @ the grand
opening of TV Jewelry’s
new store (Houston, TX)
12: Rock City @ AG Ent./
Terrell Owens’ pool party
(Atlanta, GA)
13: Mista Long and Money
Waters (Dallas, TX)
14: Kristy and Audrey @
Blue Room (Orlando, FL)
15: Too $hort, Greg Street,
and Big Duke @ Yung
Joc’s album release party
(Atlanta, GA)
16: Boogieman, Lil Phil, JJ
Chianese, Money Waters,
Pookie from Urban South,
BoBo Luchiano, Vi’Naam,
Steve Austin, Cho, Thesis,
Coach Cognac, Olmann,
GuGu E. Michaels, and
Dat Boy Baker @ Nexxus
Media Studios (Dallas, TX)
17: Legion of Doom @ Hal
& Mal’s (Jackson, MS)
19: Kiotti and Tomar of
Carnival Beats during
Texas Relays (Austin, TX)
20: Trick Daddy and Jim
Jones @ Mansion (Miami,
FL)
21: DJ Mars and DJ J-Nice
@ Terrell Owens’ pool
party (Atlanta, GA)

Photos: Czar Allen (15); J Lash


(10); Julia Beverly (01,02,03,05
,06,07,09,12,16,17,20,21); Ke-
adron Smith (11); Luxury Mindz
(04); Malik Abdul (14); Matt
Sonzala (13,18); Sophia Jones
(19); Swift (08)

OZONE 35
36 OZONE
01: Jay-Z and Young
Jeezy performing togeth-
er @ Hot 107.9’s Birthday
Bash (Atlanta, GA)
02: Daz, Jermaine Dupri,
and DJ Irie on the set of
Daz’ video (Miami, FL)
03: DJ Doc, Joe Nasty, and
Mista Maine @ Hal & Mal’s
(Jackson, MS)
04: Southstar, Jimmie Boi,
and Sean Paul (Houston, TX)
05: Akon, Devyne Ste-
phens, and Kenny Burns
@ AG Ent./Terrell Owens’
pool party (Atlanta, GA)
06: Turf Affiliates reppin’
OZONE @ Nexxus Media
Studios (Dallas, TX)
07: Dolla Bill and Magno
on the set of Rapid Ric’s
“Pullin’ Up” video shoot
(Austin, TX)
08: Fabo of D4L @ Hot
107.9’s Birthday Bash
(Atlanta, GA)
09: Kinfolk Nakia Shine
and DJ Khaled (MIami, FL)
10: Akon @ Terrell Owens’
pool party (Atlanta, GA)
11: Bebe, guest, and Jea-
nise @ Terrell Owens’ pool
party (Atlanta, GA)
12: @ The Venue (Gaines-
ville, FL)
13: Cadillac Don and Rick
James @ Hal & Mal’s for
OZONE’s Industry Meet &
Greet (Jackson, MS)
14: Eazy E and Yung Joc
@ Come Together Day
(Jacksonville, FL)
15: Gu and Paul Wall
(Denver, CO)
16: Smitty and Cory Gunz
@ The CORE DJs Memo-
rial Day weekend event
(Miami, FL)
17: K Paul, Jamie Lee of
Basswood Lane, Black
Mike, and Duce at the
Backroom (Austin, TX)
18: Too $hort and Lyfe
Jennings @ Come Togeth-
er Day (Jacksonville, FL)
19: Trick Daddy, DJ
Demp, Mr. Collipark, and
P Stones @ Firestone for
Dawgman’s Crunkfest
(Orlando, FL)
20: OZONE street team
Wilk, Mercedes, Brandon,
and Destine @ OZONE ce-
leb bball game (Miami, FL)
21: DJ Stylez and
Freestyle Steve @ Deco
(Miami, FL)

Photos: Craig Bukata (02); DJ


Quote (15); Edward Hall (06);
Julia Beverly (01,03,05,08,10,
12,13,14,16,18,19,21);
Keadron Smith (04); Kinfolk
Nakia Shine (09); Luxury Mindz
(07,17); Malik Abdul (11);
Mercedes (20)

OZONE 37
01: Skip of UTP, DJ
Demp, and Juvenile @
Cairo (Orlando, FL)
02: Sonny Chulo and
Jonny Bravo @ Blue Room
(Orlando, FL)
03: Reppin’ OZONE on
South Beach (Miami, FL)
04: GG, JB, and KB @
Nexxus Media (Dallas, TX)
05: Fonsworth Bentley
and DJ Khaled @ Come
Together Day (Jackson-
ville, FL)
06: Yayo, TV Johnny, and
DJ Quote (Denver, CO)
07: Little Brother and Co-
coa Renae @ Club Liquid
Blue (Newport News, VA)
08: Busta Rhymes and
Mama Mia with their Hatah
Blockas (Tampa, FL)
09: Guest and Benz @
Hal & Mal’s for OZONE’s
Industry Meet & Greet
(Jackson, MS)
10: DJ Black and Marcus.
@ Hot 107.9’s Birthday
Bash (Atlanta, GA)
11: Udonis Haslem and
K Foxx @ OZONE/Bullet-
proof’s celeb bball game
(Miami, FL)
12: White Boi Pizal and
Plies @ Upper Level (Or-
lando, FL)
13: Supa Cindy, Lil Bri-
anna, and Belkys Nerey
@ “I Know I Can” summit
(Miami, FL)
14: Greg Street and
models @ his car show
(Dallas, TX)
15: DJ EFN, Eddie, guest,
and Keith Kennedy @ The
CORE DJs Memorial Day
weekend event (Miami, FL)
16: Monoply Records
reppin’ their OZONE cover
during Bike Week (Myrtle
Beach, SC)
17: Kid Capri and Slim
Thug (Miami, FL)
18: Greg Street and Nelly
@ his car show (Dallas, TX)
19: Remington Steele and
Voice of Da Streetz @
Xchange Lounge (Orlando,
FL)
20: Fiend and Darkage
reppin’ OZONE on the
set of KLC’s video (New
Orleans, LA)
21: DJ Infamous, B Paiz,
and Chad Brown @ Come
Together Day (Jackson-
ville, FL)

Photos: Bogan (11,17); DJ


Quote (06); Edward Hall (04);
Julia Beverly (01,03,09,10,
12,13,15,21); King Yella
(14,18); Malik Abdul
(02,05,16,19); Matt Daniels
(08); Mesha Clark (07); Pro-
motivation (20)

OZONE 39
01: Rick Ross, D-Roc,
and Kelis @ Come
Together Day (Jackson-
ville, FL)
02: Junebuhg, Jonny
Bravo and crew @ Blue
Room (Orlando, FL)
03: Stacey and Echoing
Soundz crew with Twista
(Miami, FL)
04: The CORE DJs @
Crobar with Kid Capri
(Miami, FL)
05: Sqad Up @ Upper
Level (Orlando, FL)
06: Terrence, Jason Riley,
and Greg G @ Icon (Or-
lando, FL)
07: Klarc Shepard and the
B.R.E. Boys @ The Venue
(Gainesville, FL)
08: Dre and Sandman
(Tampa, FL)
09: So So Def mascot
and ladies @ Hotel Victor
(Miami, FL)
10: DJ Scientist @ Club
Kryptonite (Myrtle Beach,
SC)
11: Bun B and Lil Juan of
Street Pharmacy at Lakev-
iew Club (Bryan, TX)
12: Jermaine Dupri and
Mariah Carey performing
together @ Summer Jam
(NYC)
13: Cedric Walker and
Danny @ The Venue
(Gainesville, FL)
14: Allen Iverson and a
friend (Miami, FL)
15: Young Jeezy and Skip
Cheatham @ Greg Street’s
car show (Dallas, TX)
16: Chaka Zulu, Jeff Dixon,
and Jazze Pha @ Hot
107.9’s Birthday Bash
(Atlanta, GA)
17: D.D.C. a.k.a. Dirty Dia-
lect Click (Dallas, TX)
18: Freestyle Steve and
Jim Jones @ OZONE/
Bulletproof’s celeb bball
game (Miami, FL)
19: Smitty and Tampa
Tony @ The CORE DJs
Memorial Day weekend
event (Miami, FL)
20: Guest, Stack$, and
E-Class (Miami, FL)
21: Pop n Bulletz @ V
Lounge (Charlotte, NC)
22: Carmelo Anthony and
P-Life @ Jadakiss’ birthday
party (NYC)

Photos: Bogan (09); Da Dreak


(17); Greg G (06); J Lash
(14,20); Julia Beverly (01,
03,04,05,07,13,16,18,19); King
Yella (15); Kool Laid (20); Malik
Abdul (02,10); Rico Da Crook
(21); Sandman (08); Street
Pharmacy (11); Swift (12)

OZONE 41
01: Too $hort @ KNOZ (Sacramento,
CA)
02: Young Jeezy and Slick Pulla
reppin’ OZONE @ Greg Street’s car
show (Dallas, TX)
03: AK, Big Kuntry, DJ Sense, and David
Banner @ Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA)
04: Yung Joc and Block (Atlanta, GA)
05: Pimp C and Wild Billo @ Big
Daddy’s (Mobile, AL)
06: Tequila @ Stress Room for
OZONE’s Dallas Got Next release
party (Dallas, TX)
07: Young City @ Crobar (Miami, FL)
08: Pookie, guest, and Uncle Pauly
@ Stress Room (Dallas, TX)
09: Tampa Tony, Tarvoria, and J-Shin
@ OZONE & Bulletproof celebrity
bball game (Miami, FL)
10: Monique (Miami, FL)
11: Ghostwridah and DJ Ideal @
Mansion (Miami, FL)
12: Charles Wakeley, Big Cee Jay,
Big Amp, guests, and J-Holla @ Get
Em Awards (Pensacola, FL)
13: TJ Chapman and Grafh @ Tampa
Music Conference (Tampa, FL)
14: Kevin Black @ Quarterly Explo-
sion (Florence, SC)
15: Riskay @ Tampa Music Confer-
ence (Tampa, FL)
16: DJ Khaled @ WJBT’s Come
Together Day (Jacksonville, FL)
17: Chyna Whyte and Keith Kennedy
@ Get Em Awards (Pensacola, FL)
18: Sqad Up @ Get Em Magazine
Awards (Pensacola, FL)
19: Fully Thug and Mr Fitness @
Backroom (Austin, TX)
20: Boo da Boss Playa @ Seagram’s
Gin model search (Jackson, MS)
21: Pookie and DJ Big Bink @ 97.9
The Beat (Dallas, TX)
22: Rob-Lo and DJ B-Lord @ Quar-
terly Explosion (Florence, SC)
23: Kid Capri @ Hotel Victor (Miami, FL)
24: Bigalow and guest @ OZONE’s
Industry Meet & Greet (Jackson, MS)
25: Craig B, DJ Spin, and KLC @
Infirmary (Baton Rouge, LA)
26: George Lopez and DSR @ Greg
Street’s car show (Dallas, TX)
27: Lyfe @ Come Together Day
(Jacksonville, FL)
28: K-Rab @ Hot 107.9’s Birthday
Bash (Atlanta, GA)
29: Shawn Jay @ Come Together
Day (Jacksonville, FL)
30: DJ Dagwood @ Get Em Maga-
zine Awards (Pensacola, FL)
31: Wendy Day @ Tampa Music
Conference (Tampa, FL)
32: Greg G and Michael Watts @
Blue Room (Orlando, FL)
33: Money Waters, D’Lyte, & MC @
Stress Room for OZONE’s Dallas Got
Next release party (Dallas, TX)
34: Cocoa Renea and Yung Joc @
Club Broadway (Norfolk, VA)
35: Tity Boy @ Hotel Victor (Miami, FL)
36: Jeanise and DJ B-Lord @ Quar-
terly Explosion (Florence, SC)
37: Wolf Gang @ Manila Ave (Virginia
Beach, VA)
38: DJ Tom Tom @ V Lounge (Char-
lotte, NC)

Photos: Berto (25); Bogan (10,23,35);


Charles Wakeley (12); Czar Allen (04);
Edward Hall (20,21); Julia Beverly
(03,07,09,11,13,18,24,28,29,33); King
Yella (02,26); Kool Laid (38); Luxury
Mindz (19); Malik Abdul (14,15,16,1
7,22,27,30,31,32,36); Matt Sonzala
(06,08); Mesha Clark (34,37); Wild
Billo (05); Will Major (01)

OZONE 43
44 OZONE
01: Slick Pulla with his OZONE article
@ Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta,
GA)
02: Jadakiss and Sheek Louch @
Hotel Victor (Miami, FL)
03: Steve Austin @ Nexxus Media
Studios (Dallas, TX)
04: Pastor Troy @ Get Em Magazine
Awards (Pensacola, FL)
05: Play-N-Skillz @ Greg Street’s car
show (Dallas, TX)
06: Ms. Dynasty and Young Cash @
Hotel Victor (Miami, FL)
07: Slick Pulla and Young Jeezy @
Firestone for Dawgman’s Crunkfest
(Orlando, FL)
08: Dior George and Tuesday Don-
aldson @ Get Em Magazine Awards
(Pensacola, FL)
09: DJ Caesar @ Blue Room (Or-
lando, FL)
10: AK, Big Kuntry, and Rashad @
Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta,
GA)
11: Jizno and Kottonmouth @ Stress
Room for OZONE’s Dallas Got Next
release party (Dallas, TX)
12: S Dub @ V Lounge (Charlotte,
NC)
13: Wine-O @ Greg Street’s car show
(Dallas, TX)
14: Pimp G and guest @ Come
Together Day (Jacksonville, FL)
15: Frank Ski @ Yung Joc’s album
release party (Atlanta, GA)
16: Johnny Louis @ Miami Dade
Comm. College (Miami, FL)
17: Mobb Deep @ Oxygen (Coconut
Grove, FL)
18: Cheri Dennis @ Come Together
Day (Jacksonville, FL)
19: DJ Quote and Yeyo @ OZONE
& Bulletproof’s celeb bball game
(Miami, FL)
20: Rasheeda @ Quarterly Explosion
(Florence, SC)
21: Dolla Bill and Chalie Boy during
Texas Relay Weekend (Austin, TX)
22: DJ Drop reppin’ Dallas Got Next
@ 97.9 The Beat (Dallas, TX)
23: Snipe and Big Gen (Birmingham,
AL)
24: Black Widow and Latina (Dallas, TX)
25: Charles Wakeley @ Get Em
Magazine Awards (Pensacola, FL)
26: Wild Billo and Rich Boy @
D’Marie’s fashion show (Mobile, AL)
27: Young Shad @ Hal-Mal’s (Jack-
son, MS)
28: Lil Fate, TJ Chapman, and Shawn
Jay @ Come Together Day (Jackson-
ville, FL)
29: Models @ Hotel Victor (Miami, FL)
30: Juvenile (Jacksonville, FL)
31: Charlieo @ Quarterly Explosion
(Florence, SC)
32: DJ Princess Cuts (Dallas, TX)
33: Adassi and Hype (Miami, FL)
34: Greg Street (Atlanta, GA)
35: Meghan Rochelle @ Family Day
in the Park (Columbus, GA)
36: Piazo and DJ B-Lord @ Studa-
bakers (Myrtle Beach, SC)
37: Corey Cleghorn and Big Chief @
Stress Room (Dallas, TX)
38: Ms. Sassy and Krazy (Tampa, FL)

Photos: Bogan (02,06,17,29);


Czar Allen (15,34); Edward Hall
(03,11,22,24,32); Johnny Louis (16);
Julia Beverly (01,04,07,10,14,19,23,2
7,28,33,35,37,38); King Yella (05,13);
Kool Laid (12); Luxury Mindz (21);
Malik Abdul (08,09,18,20,25,31,36);
Ron Locklear (30); Wild Billo (26)

OZONE 45
q&a

Acafool (Tampa, FL)

I
hear you’re in the middle of a nice little bidding war right now
thanks to the success of your single “Hatah Blockas.”
Yeah, Sony, Universal, Asylum, and we’re going to go meet with
Capitol and Interscope.

Has your head blown up yet?


Head blown up? No, ma’am. No reason to, it’s just progress that you
work towards and see the results. No reason to get a big head be-
cause it’s just work.

How long have you been in the game?


I’ve been doing this for about six years, and been promoting Acafool
for three years. I was a producer before I was even Acafool as an art-
ist. the radio stations, all the DJs have showed hella love. It was after three
years of building relationships that we finally got the record that ev-
Do you still produce? erybody felt confident in. They got behind it 100%, so to me, Tampa
Yeah, I produce most of my own stuff. I produced the track for “Hatah showed a lot of love.
Blockas” and I do most of my production. I’m also going to get some
production done by the Justice League and I’m working with some What methods did you use to build relationships?
guys that I teach. Off rip, man, I learned the building relationships aspect when I was
first marketing and producing for my initial artist. I understood that you
Where do you teach? need to be in the clubs at 10 PM before the DJs set up. You need to
I teach at the International Academy of Design & Technology. I teach be buying them drinks, staying in contact, trying not to be annoying
audio production and Pro Tools to students that are interested in get- but still doing follow-up and trying to get their advice and trying to get
ting into the music industry. I help them get their feet wet in all the them involved in what you’re trying to do so they feel like they’re a
programs that are industry standard. part of it. I think it’s important for any artist trying to make it happen in
any market – if you just started out, one, don’t quit your day job. Two,
Once your rap career really takes off, do you think you’ll be able to work on putting out the best music possible and build relationships
continue teaching? How will you balance both? with the DJs.
Right now I’m just gonna keep working. Depending on the success of
the record, it’s taking off. Based on the income I’m getting from show Most aspiring rappers don’t admit to having a day job.
money I more than likely won’t be teaching anymore. To each his own. It all comes down to how you hustle and grind. As
for myself, I always knew that the cardinal rule of trying to get into
Are the labels impressed with the fact that you’re a producer also? this business is that you’re gonna go broke first before you see any
Do you think that plays a key part with their interest in you? results. I came from a situation where I started off broke, and I didn’t
A lot of people don’t know that I’m a producer. They bought into the wanna go back to that position. I went to college, got my education,
song and the “Hatah Blocka” movement itself. A lot of people still and got a job. Even when I was just a producer no one knew who
aren’t aware that I’m the producer as well. Acafool was. I was still working a 9-5 and hitting the clubs, doing what I
gotta do. The same thing with my people. Everybody works; that’s our
The song itself could be seen as a gimmick. How can you be rec- hustle. That’s how we grind. To each his own. If you’re moving weight,
ognized as an all-around artist, not just the “Hatah Blocka” guy? that’s what you do. But hey, I’d rather have another means of making
To some degree, it’s tough to avoid because this is the record that’s money until my hustle starts to pay off.
getting the name out there. So for those that think it’s a gimmick, cool.
But this isn’t the first song to come from Acafool. The first song was What’s the image you’re going for?
“Hell No,” and that wasn’t a gimmick. As far as the follow-up record, Nappy hair, straw hat is what they’ll see. I’m from Florida. I’m from
we’re gonna go out there and allow the people to decide what’s the the South, Dickies and all. Sometimes you’ll see me in jeans; but it
best song. It’s just like the test marketing we did for “Hatah Blockas.” all represents Acafool. The hair represents the commitment, the hat
People responded well, so we’re gonna let the DJs and the people represents my Haitian heritage, and I wear whatever makes me com-
decide what should be the next single. On the next single, they’ll get fortable on stage to connect with the people.
to see all the different aspects of Acafool. They can get a real introduc-
tion. Most of the production is by me, so they can see I’m far from a You’re known for your live performances.
gimmick rapper. I call myself an entertainer. (laughing) That’s the key right now. Performance is key. I like to perform
as if I’m a fan. I want to be able to connect with the audience when it
Where did you come up with the concept for “Hatah Blockas”? comes to my performances. I like to get involved with the crowd, jump
The concept came right around last November from my homeboy Tim out, stop and talk to them, give out drinks. Those fans are like family to
from Street Grinders out of Polk County. He had the idea for the song me. It’s like a regular holiday festival, getting with your family.
but no specific hook. I just pulled out a track I had and we put the song
together. I thought the best way to market it would be to actually get How does your hair represent commitment?
some shades and market them to DJs. We gave them a pair of Hatah I haven’t cut my hair since I really got into music production. The goal
Blockas as well as the record, and it worked. initially was to help my artist get signed. Things didn’t work out so then
it went over to me and I decided I wasn’t gonna cut my hair until things
As an “entertainer,” what other forms of media are you planning took off. But now, it’s a double-edged sword, because I might not be
on going into? able to cut my hair. A lot of people have pulled me to the side and told
I’m looking to get into any avenue that’s gonna best bring notoriety for me, “Don’t cut your hair.” So I can’t predict what’s gonna happen with
me as a producer, artist, actor, and songwriter. All those things come my hair. I’m gonna stick with it because that’s what people are familiar
with the entertainment business. Those are just stepping stones. My with; it’s a cool persona. If that’s what people like to see, that’s what
plan was always to find a way to break in and showcase more of my they’re gonna get.
talent; on the movie side as well. It’s always been in the plan. I’m gon-
na try to capitalize on all that God gave me. Do you have a website?
Yeah, check out www.acafool.com or myspace.com/acafool.
Do you feel that Tampa’s music scene has been supportive?
Tampa’s been very supportive of the record. Wild 98.7, The Beat, all - Words and photo by Julia Beverly

46 OZONE
01: Young Dro @ V Lounge (Char-
lotte, NC)
02: Rick Ross showin’ off his OZONE
cover @ Mansion (Miami, FL)
03: Treal and White Boi Pizal @ Upper
Level (Orlando, FL)
04: Twisted Black @ Greg Street’s car
show (Dallas, TX)
05: Twista and K Foxx (Miami, FL)
06: Jody Breeze @ Yung Joc’s
release party (Atlanta, GA)
07: Trae @ SUC concert (Houston,
TX)
08: QuickMixx Rick and LXBUB @
Stress Room (Dallas, TX)
09: DJ Cleve @ Quarterly Explosion
(Florence, SC)
10: Bigga Rankin and Disco @
Firestone for Dawgman’s Crunkfest
(Orlando, FL)
11: Brannon Scales @ Quarterly
Explosion (Florence, SC)
12: Chamillionaire @ Hot 107.9’s
Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA)
13: Big Duke @ Yung Joc’s album
release party (Atlanta, GA)
14: Oozie @ Hot 107.9’s Birthday
Bash (Atlanta, GA)
15: Clout Models @ Stress Room for
OZONE’s Dallas Got Next release
party (Dallas, TX)
16: DJ Finesse @ WJMI 99 Jams
(Jackson, MS)
17: Sir Knight Train and DJ @ The
Venue (Gainesville, FL)
18: Jeanise @ Studabakers (Myrtle
Beach, SC)
19: Citty @ Come Together Day
(Jacksonville, FL)
20: Rick Ross @ Greg Street’s car
show (Dallas, TX)
21: Bigg V (Jackson, MS)
22: Kelis @ Come Together Day
(Jacksonville, FL)
23: JT the Bigga Figga and Khao @
Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA)
24: Bigga Rankin (Jacksonville, FL)
25: Xtaci @ OZONE & Bulletproof
celeb bball game (Miami, FL)
26: DJ Roc @ Studabakers (Myrtle
Beach, SC)
27: Piazo @ Studabakers (Myrtle
Beach, SC)
28: D’Lyte @ Stress Room for
OZONE’s Dallas Got Next release
party (Dallas, TX)
29: Gazelle @ Quarterly Explosion
(Florence, SC)
30: J Blaze @ Club Kryptonite (Myrtle
Beach, SC)
31: Remy Ma @ Hotel Victor (Miami, FL)
32: Skip Cheatham, DJ Chill, and
Steve Nice @ K104 (Dallas, TX)
33: Lil Fate and Shawn Jay @ Come
Together Day (Jacksonville, FL)
34: BloodRaw and Cristal Bubblin @
Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA)
35: Young Fella and Lord Drake @
Tampa Music Conference (Tampa, FL)
36: Too $hort @ Yung Joc’s album
release party (Atlanta, GA)
37: 103.5 The Beat @ Hotel Victor
(Miami, FL)
38: Fonsworth Bentley and Ray Cash
@ Come Together Day (Jacksonville,
FL)

Photos: Bogan (25,31,37); Cap One


(08); Czar Allen (06,13,36); Edward
Hall (15,21,28,29,30); Julia Beverly
(02,03,05,10,12,14,16,17,19,23,
32,34,38); Keadron Smith (07); King
Yella (04,20); Kool Laid (01); Malik
Abdul (09,11,18,22,26,27,33,35);
Ron Locklear (24)

OZONE 47
q&a

Pitbull (Miami, FL)

Y
ou’ve always repped hard for Cuba, especially on your new
album El Mariel. Americans are kinda oblivious to stuff go-
ing on in other countries. Do you stay in touch with what’s
happening there?
I’m always in touch with Cuba. You really have no choice when you
live in Miami. Oh, man. In Cuba you have no right to speak your mind.
There’s no opportunities. You have people hungry over there. Poverty,
bottom line.

What do you think about all these immigration debates?


Well, as soon as Cubans touch ground they have the right to stay in
America and they have a chance at citizenship. All of my family were
immigrants, so I feel for them. The way they’re setting up the laws,
they’re stripping them of their rights and setting them up for failure
because anybody that tries to help them gets in trouble. The way I see
it is this: America is supposed to be the land of the free and the land of
opportunity, so everybody should get equal opportunity to the rights
and freedoms of being an American.

Do you touch on some of these subjects on your new album or is


it mostly party records?
Of course we’ve got party records, but I’m touching on a lot of differ-
ent things. You’ve got to cater to everything in the game. That’s why I
called it El Mariel; it’s my boat lift. I’m coming, and hopefully I’ll be able
to take advantage of all these opportunities.

Your boat lift? You don’t feel like you’ve achieved your full poten-
tial yet in this game?
In no way, shape, or form. This is just the beginning. The next step is
making a stamp. All I really need on this album right here is for one
song to bust open like three times the size of “Dammit Man.” Once I
do one of those, it’ll put me in a whole different category in the game
where I’ve covered all bases. Spanish, in the club, in the streets, po-
litical, deep, storytelling, whatever. Pit can cover all the bases. That’s
basically what I want to do with this album – show my versatility.

Do you think being with an indie label has limited your potential
reach or prevented people from seeing you as a superstar?
I don’t think it’s limiting. No matter where you are, if you’re a star you’re
a star, bottom line. But I like it better like that. If they throw you out
there quick and you blow it up, it ain’t a slow grind. You know how we
say in the South: a slow grind is a fa’ sho’ grind. That’s how I look at it
with my career. I want a career like T.I. and Jay-Z. I want a career that’s
constantly growing, no decline. A constant incline. I sold 600,000 on these Def Jam and TVT issues.
M.I.A.M.I. and 300,000 on Money Is Still A Major Issue with no promo-
tions. So if I do 800,000 or 900,000 on my next album, I’m happy. If I Do you think your rap skills are underrated?
hit a million, it’s a blessing. And I’m gonna come back to back with a People can call me anything but broke, because at the end of the day
Spanish album, so it’s a blessing. that’s all I care about. I don’t care what they think. If they’re thinking
about me that’s a beautiful thing because that means they’re listening
Your last album seemed like it had a lot of commercial/radio re- to me and adding fuel to the fire. So for those that don’t know Pit, I’m
cords. Is this one going to have more of a raw sound to it, like not in a rush. What comes quickly leaves quickly. Those that know Pit
your mixtapes? know how I get down and what I’ve done. If I’ve got an opportunity
Well, a lot of my records didn’t get cleared cause of sample issues. that I can take full advantage of, why not? I’d be a foolish business-
So a lot of the records that I wanted to put on M.I.A.M.I., I couldn’t man not to.
use. So that’s basically what happened. With this album, I’m getting
the chance to work on some things. So if it outdoes the last album, Are you still dealing with Diddy and Bad Boy Latino?
it’s great. It’s gonna be more like a mixtape, exactly. There’ll be like I’d doing non-exclusive consulting for them. I respect them. I idolize
four club-oriented records on there like a “Bojangles,” and the rest is Diddy and Emilio. I’d love to be in their shoes ten years from now. But
gonna be those mixtape records. the way things were being handled, I wasn’t really too happy with it.
I’m rather step out and bring them whatever I’ve got, and if they’re
In Uncle Luke’s interview he said that you and Rick Ross are gon- interested, cool.
na be the ones to take Miami’s music scene to the next level. Do
you agree? Who’s producing this album?
I think that’s 150% accurate. Rick Ross is gonna help show the world On production, of course you’re gonna have Lil Jon, the Diaz Broth-
what I’ve been doing in Miami. I jumped on the “Holla At Me Baby” ers, Jim Jonsin, Mayhem, and I’m trying to hook up with Pharrell right
song with DJ Khaled and all them folks, and “Born And Raised” with now. We’ll see if that works out. As far as features, we’re working with
Trick Daddy and Rick Ross. People are starting to see the other side Twista. I got one with Ying Yang, and I’m trying to get Luke and Rick
of Pitbull. Cats like Rick Ross, he doesn’t make the type of records I Ross on there. Cubo, Piccolo, a new cat named Bang that just jumped
make. But when he comes out and says that Pit been doing it for years out. Really, I just wanna make sure the hometeam gets that look so we
and they love Pit in Miami, that’s another stripe earned. That’s only can take this thing to the next level.
gonna help the whole Pitbull movement. As far as me and [Rick] Ross
doing a record together, I’d love to do it but I don’t know, because of - Julia Beverly (Photo: Ray Tamarra)

48 OZONE
50 OZONE
52
52 OZONE
OZONE
FIEND
WORDS: LEON BAILEY
song should be?

Y
ou been laying low. What have you been up to? All the time. Some less than others, but for the most part its smooth
Ain’t nothing, man, Beats, hooks, lyrics, ya know what I’m say- sailing. Sometimes it’s creative differences because they might be
in’? Running this label FE. Getting ready to release this The Ad- young and used to doing things by they selves which is great if you
diction album on June 27th. This album is what everyone been waiting can do it yourself. I’m just along to make sure things go smoothly. It’s a
for six, seven years. Look out for the DVD also, Fiend The Addiction part of the business. You just need to be prepared and willing to com-
DVD. municate with that artist and see what it is that y’all can do. Perform
some kind of median between the record label and artist.
What are the features and production lineup looking like?
Beats By the Bound and Crack Alley. Beats By the Pound go by the I heard that you got a deal with Atlantic now. What made you de-
name Medicine Men, but it’s still the Pound. As far as features I kept it cide to sign with them?
basically a solo like a Fiend album like what the people been wanting It was the people, Mike Caren, Craig Kallman, Damon Eden, Aaron
from me. I introduced my artist Corner Boy P and a few other cats, but Bay-Schuck, those types of people that made me look beyond just
I kept it how the fans been wantin’. Beats By the Pound did about half company brick walls and steel rods. They made me look more into
the CD, and Crack Alley is me. that. They more real people then just business and them the kind of
people that I rather make my dollar with.
How do you think your production has progressed since you be-
gan to produce? When will your debut album with them come out?
Oh, it’s crazy. I’m ready for a nigga ass. Being ready, I got a little bit Some time in 2007. I’m still trying to figure out where I want to re-
ahead of what’s happening right now. We on time like a muthafucka cord the album. Sleepy Eye Jones “International Jones” that’s going
right now. Beats knock like them bitches tryin’ to collect rent. to be the release on Atlantic and its gon’ be something enjoyed by all
ages. It’s like Fiend meets Curtis [Mayfield], Isaac [Hayes], and Barry
What are some tracks that you consider your favorites? [White] for a weekend session jam.
“That Iron Gang,” that’s one of my favorites, “Do Right, Do Better,”
“Bottom of the Map,” that’s crazy, “Want It All.” There’s so many It’s a little bit far off, but do you think with the right promotion on
songs, and we took the best 18 songs off the project and kind of put it your Atlantic debut that you will receive the proper recognition for
together. I did like 100 songs or whatever. the music that you have created through out your career?
Yeah, of course I’ma gain some new fans, a lot of new ones, but at the
Tell me more about the DVD; I’m interested in hearing about that. same time we right on time. Our fans that’s been there gon’ be able to
The DVD is crazy; some buddies got together and put together some enjoy and get kicks out of something new as well.
thoughts. We freestyling and doing some things together and let peo-
ple see the day to day operations that are going on with myself and the Let’s talk more about your label. Is it your primary focus to estab-
company. A few questions that haven’t been asked maybe in maga- lish it or are you more concerned about The Addiction?
zines, video shows, internet radio, or regular radio shows. All on the The label’s already established; we got over 450,000 units sold inde-
DVD and should be out the following weeks after the album. pendently. We just haven’t decided to sign with a major and we just
aren’t as consistent with the releases, but we are quite established
Are DVDs and movies something you will do more in the future? as a label. As far as making it a competitive label with the rest of the
I’m putting together a few films, but it’s strictly gonna be on some companies that’s out there that’s kind of on the consumers. They will
comedies. A few dramas, but mostly comedies. I want to keep us as have us all in that switch up of things going out there of who got this
people laughing with a smile on our faces. year or don’t have it. We just focused on making good music man, real
good music so the people can relate to it. People that want to create
Are you the one that is writing the scripts? standards more than people that just follow.
So far I am, but I’m open minded to scripts, but I’m a small company
and believe moving one step at a time to when I know that something Tell me about the artists that you have signed to your label.
I can do. I don’t want to over commit and not deliver on nothing I do. Corner Boy P, first release after The Addiction on my label Fe. We got
Writing a script doesn’t necessarily need me to write it in rhyme form. a few other artists, but right now we just focused on this one, one at a
Writing a CD needs me to put it in rhyme form for you to catch on im- time so we can get everything up and running. He’s one person that
mediately soon as I said or I’m gonna say what I’m saying. have recorded a lot of music with and he’s seen the structure of our
company over the years. He’s become part of the company, so Corner
How did you get into doing that? Boy P is who I put the label on. He’s the truth. If you looking to who
I was doing some of that for No Limit Records without actually being I’m a handle it over to that’s who I’m turning my things over to Corner
labeled that. I played my part with hooks, listening for a hype track, Boy P. He might come out on Atlantic too, Atlantic been looking to sign
or whatever. I did it for a lot of independent companies. Puff used to him. I don’t want to expose a few of the labels, but a brother company
always tell me, “I’m a fan of yours and you make great music.” Maybe that I work with. Y’all know that they know wassup too.
that’s all what I need to hear right there in order to do what I need
to do. I don’t need no co-signer by me to know that I must be doing You have been signed by a few labels throughout your career. Do
something right, so I just offer my services to other people. We make you take anything from your former CEOs to make sure you do not
great music together and we make a financial something nice also too. make the same mistakes in the future?
If anybody out there need a hit record whether it’s R&B or rap just yell Don’t do what other niggas do. Simple as that. Don’t do what other
at us stcustoms@hotmail.com. niggas do. I ain’t got no mistresses, I ain’t got all sorts of people I don’t
know about, I ain’t no fuck ass nigga trying to fuck nobody. If I don’t
I want to get more in depth with the writing. It’s really not only writ- got it I don’t got it, if I have it I have it.
ing the lyrics for an artist right? There is more to it.
It’s like an A&R basically. It’s showing a person how to say, perform, Anything else that you want to say?
create a hit record, or search for the hit record to get it out yourself. I Check out www.myspace.com/fiendent. Look out for my album The
come in and help create something new and something next without Addiction. It’s serious that people get it because it’s on. If you thought
it leaking to another company for them to get the dollars of the new you was thirsty or salivating since Street Life then this right here will
song. quench your thirst no doubt. Look for me on the next MTV Jamz and
if you need beats, hooks, records call us up. You can check our hood
Do artists have any issues with you trying to guide them how the records and Billboards to see what we doing.

OZONE 53
56 OZONE
K-RINO
WORDS & PHOTO: MATT SONZALA

Y
ou were one of the first people to release rap music in Hous- early ‘90’s when the Terrorists was doing they thing. I feel that there’s
ton. You’ve been around this scene since day one. In the a hidden hand that don’t want to see the black community awake and
past few years, all eyes seem to be on Houston and the city don’t want to see us focusing on conscious topics. So when the gang-
is blowing up. Have you, one of the pioneers of this music, ben- sta rap, materialism and all that did hit the scene, that was something
efited at all from this Houston resurgence? that diverted our minds away from positive thinking. Let’s talk about
Yeah, I think I have benefited from it. It might be indirectly but I have. these rims, let’s talk about sex, let’s talk about violence. And it took
With all the attention that the mainstream cats are getting in Houston the focus off of that. So I do think that the industry had a strong influ-
it’s making people focus on Houston who might not ordinarily focus ence in doing that. A lot of what we see on the surface, it’s bigger than
on Houston. So whether it be through the internet or somebody just just the music. Notice that you don’t hear conscious rap on the radio
might be in a different state and see a record that’s from Houston and much anymore. Nobody’s mind is on uplifting. Everybody’s mind is
they interested in the Houston sound now, it might lead to a sale or a either on partying, or obtaining material things. To me, that was done
hit on the website. So indirectly, yeah I think I have benefited but for intentionally.
the most part it’s just about the people who been down with me and
the SPC for years. Even deeper than that, besides the music, people aren’t really
looking for any kind of a message today. There’s so many things
You haven’t seen that expand much since all this came about? going on in the world that they should pay attention to but it’s
Not really. I think the game has changed so much to where the things never really brought to light.
that I talk about, the topics that I speak on in my records really ain’t To me that was a process, because there was a time when it wasn’t
popular topics. So it’s still not something that’s appealing to the mass- like that. There was a time when you could just listen to a record. Even
es to where I could look and see a dramatic change as far as record the Geto Boys. The Geto Boys, a long time ago, had a song called
sales or an overall popularity. It might be getting that way because “No Sell Out.” They were speaking on conscious topics back then
I feel a little buzz developing but 10 or 12 years ago and I was way and they used to play that song on the radio a lot. It’s a situation now
stronger than I am now as far as buzz and popularity. where over years, they stopped letting that kind of rap be heard and
be exposed to the public, then new generations grow up never even
I think that may be true in the Houston streets, but lately I have knowing that type of rap even existed. So all they are exposed to is
heard from people all over the world asking about K-Rino and the 20 inch rims and grills in yo’ mouth and ice on the wrist and whatever
South Park Coalition and wanting to hear more. the case may be, which is cool, but when you make your music you
I attribute that mostly to the internet. At the time when we really was gotta have balance. You gotta give some balance so there’s always an
just getting started, the internet really wasn’t around. It wasn’t some- alternative. If I’m gonna talk about my rims and my grill and what I got,
thing that everybody was just plugged into like they are now. But we it’s cool, but what about me talking to the hood and telling them how
had the streets on fire. And really that’s what we trying to do now. We they can obtain it? A lot of people have told me, “He got it, but there’s
trying to recapture the streets like we had in the early to mid-90’s. I a whole lot of other people in the hood who ain’t got it. So it’s like, you
think that for me and the type of music that I do, that’s gonna be the throwing it in our face, give us some game on how to get it.” You gotta
best option for me. I go into these streets and go into these hoods and give another side.
find the people who were down for us back in the days, who might be
wondering where we are. The people that I honestly make my music A lot of the music today is just about cocaine too, aside from all
for, that I think about when I’m writing, the majority of them cats don’t the other shit. These cats have one topic in their whole reper-
have internet access. They don’t have computers. They living in proj- toire.
ects, the ghetto. There was a time when we didn’t have to focus on the That’s right, drug sellin’. All of that, man. There gotta be an alternative
radio stations or none of that because we had the streets on lock. We to that. You can’t just glorify drug sellin’. A lot of that has gotten better.
was moving 20,000 - 30,000 units in the streets without no radio play The reason why I was focusing on the materialism is because that’s
and limited promotion. kind of what’s in the forefront right now - the flash and all that. In the
beginning, the gang life, the drug sellin’, that was glorified in records.
The topics I hear on your records are about the streets and are re- Now it’s still glorified but it’s kind of explained, and people offer solu-
ality based, so why do you think the streets are so into the fantasy tions: “This is why I did what I did.” They give reasons why. Whether
raps being kicked by the mainstream? they studio with it or they real with it, but the materialism is what’s in
It’s a couple of reasons. Number one, I think that the hand of the indus- the forefront right now and it’s clouding the mind of the listener. This
try is so strong that they flood the streets, they flood the whole entire music is so influential. Kids hear the stuff and they feel like this is what
market with that type of rap. So you see a lot of it on the videos, you they need to strive for, when in reality, everybody not gonna make it in
hear it 15 - 20 times a day on the radio from 15 - 20 different artists. At that. You gotta find out what your gift, what your talent is, and pursue
some point if you’re getting fed something enough, then it catches on that.
like that. But as far as me, there’s a difference, I’m on some subliminal,
make you think type topics. Or just something that the little man in In a sense, that’s all part of the American way - get things rather
the street that’s going through things struggling can relate to. I don’t than do things.
glorify a lot of flash, a lot of glitz, a lot of glamour. Grills in your mouth, Right, but there’s gotta be substance. There’s nothing wrong with hav-
rims on your car, I don’t have no problem with that, but I don’t glorify ing those things, but you gotta have substance within yourself so that
that and that’s what’s in right now. Also I feel like it’s a situation of me those things don’t ruin you. A lot of people have those things and
being from the old school like I am, growing up in the era with KRS- have had those things and lost them. A lot of people in Houston have
One and Public Enemy, I think the industry intentionally filtered out that reached a mountaintop, and then they end up back in the valley.
type of rap, what we call conscious rap, and replaced it with a lot of the
materialism and the sex, drugs and violence. To really dumb down the How did you actually start putting out records?
minds of the listeners. I saw Rap-A-Lot, I saw how they were doing what they were doing
and I always wanted to do what they did. I always had respect for J.
Why would it be in the industry’s best interest to dumb down the And I always looked at the situation like, “I wanna do what he doing.”
mind of the listener? Me and my old man, we was like “Let’s do what J did. Let’s do what
Well you gotta look at it like this. The rap game is something that start- Russell did.” We was always in the mode that if somebody offered us
ed in the black community. The black community was waking up when something that we couldn’t refuse, then yeah we gonna take it, but as
they seen groups like Public Enemy, KRS-One, X-Clan, and even in the of now we just gonna do it ourselves.

OZONE 57
You started your label with your father? Yeah, last year we released a B-1 album on our group label. I got my
Yeah, see, I came up in a time when people weren’t even thinking label Black Book International and we, the South Park Coalition got
about making records in Houston. It was unheard of. It was just about our own label called Full Circle Entertainment.
rapping on the street corner, rapping on the talent show and it just
crossed my mind. Matter of fact, we sitting in MacGregor Park doing South Park Coalition was one of the first groups I heard about in
this interview, and we was riding through MacGregor Park on the other Houston. Can you tell me a little about South Park? Where is it in
side. I might have been about 15 years old and my dad asked me Houston, and who were some of the artists who came up around
what I wanted to do with my music and I said, “Man, I wanna make a you?
record.” It don’t sound funny now but in 1985, coming from Houston, South Park is on the Southeast side of Houston, TX, and the hood
my old man was like, “Alright, let’s make a record.” He never looked at stretches for a long, long way. It’s a huge neighborhood to a point
me like, “What you mean? Aw, man you can’t do that man.” He said, where you got hoods inside of hoods. You got Sunnyside, you got
“Let’s do it.” And we did it. We went right in the studio, and we didn’t Yellowstone, you got just people claiming hoods inside the hoods.
know what we was doing. It was on the job training and we went in South Acres. People will make streets popular. Hershelwood. So it’s
the studio and it was one of the first rap records to drop in Houston. It a situation where people started taking pride in where they are from,
dropped in like ’86, ’87. We were in a learning situation, and we made even though South Park is the whole area. The Dead End is where I’m
a lot of mistakes. We were in situations to sign with majors, we tried to from. It’s a beautiful thing because a lot of the rappers in the city are
go that route and the independent game was just starting with Rap- from the South Park area or just this side of town. And now you got a
A-Lot. It took us all over the country but it didn’t work for us. It really lot of cats on the North Side that’s holding it down and representing for
wasn’t for us, but I was glad I went through it. Houston too. That’s what it’s about, bringing it all together.

Was that with the group Real Chill? What is the Dead End?
Right, that was with the group Real Chill. Me and my boy Preppie J The Dead End is like, if we got on Martin Luther King and went straight
and GT. We went everywhere - New York, L.A., Atlanta - dealing with south without stopping, you would run into the Dead End. It’s not a
different record labels. A lot of labels were interested in us but we just Dead End no more because they opened the street up and the street
couldn’t find nothing that suited us, or suited our camp. Nobody really run all the way through now. But it used to really be a Dead End. You
respected us. They didn’t respect Houston. They didn’t respect what couldn’t go no further down Martin Luther King. It had about 4 or 5
we could bring to the table. People had interest but we’d have been huge apartment complexes down there. You had the Orleans, Kings
more of an experiment to them. That’s just how I looked at it. Gate, the Esperanza and Summerwood. Summerwood and Esperan-
za, they tore those down. Orleans and Kings Gate are still around but
Did you release a 12” single? just have different names. Anybody from the hood they know, that’s
Yeah we had a 12” single of a song called “Rockin’ It.” You know we Kings Gate and the Orleans. So when people say the Dead End, they
came up in the Run DMC, Whodini, Fat Boys era. We was on some old still say Dead End to this day even though it’s not a dead end no
school in and out, wearing your warm ups like Run-DMC, we was in more.
that mode you know? Trying to be what we thought was what you had
to be in the industry at that time. But we was true to it and had love What stopped the road?
for it. So once we started seeing what the industry really was about, It was a real dead end. You just drive until you get to the block and it
started learning the game, a couple of cats started losing love for it, got a dead end sign and it’s nothing but fields. Just fields after that.
but I’ve never really lost that love for it man. I’ve seen the potential to But they busted it open and made the street run all the way through
grow in it and it started to become a job for me. I have always been it.
able to go back to my roots and remember
how fun it was. That’s what kept me doing
it so long.

Back in 1985 or ’86, were there any Hous-


ton artists that influenced you?
Yeah, in the streets. Not putting out no re-
cords. Of course you got people like Jazzy
Red, he had Kids Jam on 90.9 KTSU crunk
on Saturday morning. That was the station.
You had Jazzy Red, Lester Sir Pace, Wickett
Crickett, OG Style, all those cats was peo-
ple that everyone in the city would listen to
them to hear all the hits that was coming out
of New York, plus you could walk your own
demo in there. There was this one cat who
came down here from New York. His name
was T Mack T. He was really the one who I
give a lot of credit to as far as teaching me
a lot about how to rap, and teaching me the
game and how to battle. This dude at the
time, personal opinion, I had never heard
anyone that was better than him in person,
outside of Run-DMC. I was like, “Man this
dude here is the greatest dude I ever heard
in my life.” So I just gravitated towards him
and hung around him every day.

How many records have you released


since 1986?
In total, I think about 14, give or take one or
two. 13, 14 or 15 projects. If you take Real
Chill to the COD album that me and Dope
E. did in 1990. Those were the two groups I
was in and the rest were solos with a couple
of SPC projects. So about 15 all together.

Have you released albums by any other


artists in South Park Coalition besides
yourself?

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Z-RO
I hear you’re about to go away for a minute.
We’re not gonna talk about that.

Okay. What projects are you working on right now?


I’ve got a couple projects I’m working on right now. My solo project, me and
Pimp C doing a project, me and K-Rino doing a project, and I’m putting out my
mixtape with King of the Ghetto Entertainment: Some Jammin’ Ass Shit Volume
WORDS: JULIA BEVERLY 1. And I can’t forget the Kings of the South Volume 2 with me and Lil Flip that’s
gonna be coming out also. A lot of shit coming out right now.

Are these projects mixtapes or actual albums that will be in-stores?


Of course the Rap-A-Lot projects are gonna be in stores, but the rest of the
other shit is mixtapes. The Lil Flip shit, the K-Rino shit, and the Pimp C shit are
actual albums. There’s a lot of shit going on.

With all the attention that’s on Houston right now, do you think it’s time for
the rest of the world to recognize people like yourself and K-Rino?
Most definitely, especially K-Rino. He’s the most talented nigga in the rap game,
I don’t give a damn what nobody else say. I know I’ve got more attention than
he’s got right now, but he deserves at least the attention that I’ve got and then
some. We’re real about this rap shit. Our shit can’t hit the radio cause it’s not
radio friendly. That’s basically it. We don’t own no diamond chains, millions of
dollars, and 40 acre houses and shit. We’re on that other shit, that street shit.

Who are some of the other rappers in Houston that the world hasn’t heard

yet?
Shit, most defiantly Street Military. The whole South Park Coalition. There’s a
whole lot of cats that are real, real talented but on a national level they haven’t
been heard yet. Point Blank, cats like that have been grindin’ for ten, fifteen
years and they started this shit for the Houston boys. Them niggas really de-
serve a crown; they kings in this shit. Kings need to get their fair shot like
everybody else.

Since you do represent the streets, but you’re also a rapper, do you think
the street element has affected the rap game too much to the point where
we’re seeing rappers like Hawk getting killed?
When you talk about violence in hip-hop in Houston, it’s way different than
hip-hop in any other city and state. Down here in the South, like Flip said in
the Beef 3 DVD, we ain’t got too many opportunities down here as far as major
record labels are concerned. We don’t get paid as often as other muthafuckers
in New York. It’s hard to make money with rap money down here, I’ll put it like
that. So a lot of us down South rappers, especially here in Houston, we’re still
living in the streets trying to make ends meet. Half of us are still hustling, doing
whatever the fuck we got to do to get by. A lot of times if you get into bed with
somebody on some dirt, you can’t really get out of the bed as easy as you got
into the bed. So if a muthafucker is owin’ a nigga money, you know, shit like
that, a nigga got videos to pay for. We got features to pay for. Getting a chick
and a blunt every now and then don’t front that bill. A lot of us are still in them

60
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OZONE
crack alleys and shit. A lot of us are still in them duplexes fuckin’ with to that?
the pyrex, makin’ that shit come back. So that’s why casualties hap- Yeah, it’s some truth to it. You’ve got people from the projects and all
pen. We’re trying to make it cause it’s harder than a bitch to make of a sudden their shit is gone from a hurricane. A lot of them got out in
it down here where you ain’t really got no label support; no major time but when they made it to where they were going, they ain’t have
labels to just really fish out some heavy-ass signing bonuses or living nothing but the clothes on their back and the car they was driving.
expenses. Down here we’ve got our labels and that’s really about it. So you’ve got these ultimately broke people driving into the big city,
The rest of the shit is on us. Some labels help muthafuckers, and some seeing a whole bunch of money. I was a victim of that shit, about 16
labels don’t help and you just sign just for the fact of being signed. or 17 years ago when a nigga was coming up, sleepin’ in the mutha-
So while you’re sitting on somebody’s label you gotta do something fuckin’ projects in my hood. We was sleepin’ in the park. We didn’t
to get some bread. You can’t just sit there waiting on a label thinking have no money in our muthafuckin’ pockets, so let a nigga pull up on
that one of these years they’re gonna cut you a check. Naw, fuck that. some chrome rims and leave his keys in the car while he run in the
You’ve got to get out while you waitin’ on that check and however you store. You’ll take it! We takin’ that shit, cause 15 or 16 years ago, we
can, you’ve got to make ends meet. know a baby ‘Lac on some chrome rims, we can take it to the chop
shop and get at least $2,500 - $3,000. Today it’s the same shit going
For you, what’s the benefit of being with Rap-A-Lot? on and it’s worse now because a whole lot of rappers live in Houston.
The main benefit is the exposure, cause I got a following like a mutha- Everybody’s got a live-ass car and some live-ass jewelry. Half of the
fucker. I had my following before I got to Rap-A-Lot. I sit back and look shit is them and the other half of the shit is us. Those of us that are
around and see how over the past two years I’ve witnessed my follow- from Houston, we do it just because we know society is gonna blame
ing getting larger. I used to go to muthafuckin’ venues and walk out it on the New Orleans people. That’s why muthafuckers in Houston
on stage and count every muthafucker in there before my first song contribute to the jackin’ and shit. As far as the New Orleans people,
came on. Lately, I can’t count that shit no mo’. It’s like, wall-to-wall, fire don’t get me wrong, I ain’t tryin’ to justify what muthafuckers be doin’.
marshals in this bitch threatening to shut it down. I’m going a whole But these people don’t have shit, not even a change of boxers. So if
lot of places I ain’t been before on some music-related business, just they roll up on some square-ass nigga, showin’ his money, counting
cause a nigga’s signed to Rap-A-Lot. And I’m meeting muthafuckers; his money in front of a muthafucker, yeah, he gon’ get got. This is
if I wasn’t on Rap-A-Lot, I wouldn’t know half these music celebrities I my ratio right here: 50% New Orleans, 50% Houston to make it 100%
know now like David Banner. It’s a whole lot of them. I wouldn’t have fucked-up. That shit is sad, but it’s reality down here right now. 26
known Flip, which is most definitely exposure. I’m going to different people a month die in Houston right now. That’s how many mutha-
cities all the time and it’s mainly because of my two biggest albums on fuckers are returning to the dirty every month in Houston right now.
Rap-A-Lot. The production was better. The whole quality stepped up a Jackin’ and drug dealing, crazy shit. Muthafuckers pullin’ up to buy a
notch as opposed to the King of the Ghetto Days when a muthafucker key of dope and they ain’t got no muthafuckin’ money, just guns and
didn’t know how to mix and master properly, had a nigga sounding all shit. Crazy, but it’s reality though.
rinky dinky and shit. The exposure and the quality of music has been
a good experience. Any release dates we should be looking out for?
My mixtape Some Jammin’ Ass Shit Volume 1 will be out next month.
What was your relationship with Hawk? I don’t know when Ra-A-Lot’s going to release that album. Power,
Hawk was my nigga. That nigga would just call me up out of nowhere my independent album, will follow two months after the mixtape hits
and speak to a nigga, just checkin’ up on me and shit. We used to ride shelves. And the same day Power drops, I’m dropping my monthly
around, smoke, get high off that good kush, that good weed, do songs DVD magazine entitled Z-Ro Vision. That’ll be coming out every month
and shit together. He was like a brother and a father. But when I was like a regular DVD magazine. It’s some extreme interviews, new Z-
going through it, that nigga would talk to me like Screw used to talk Ro songs debuted at the end; it’s gonna be some live-ass shit. New
to me, like, “It’s gonna be alright, look at the bright side” type of shit. songs, unheard songs, freestyles and shit, fights, a whole lot of shit
He had just got married and had another baby. I was fuckin’ with this is gonna be on there. That’s gonna be dropping simultaneously with
man. If he didn’t have a show that night, he was gonna ride with me the Power album. As far as the Z-Ro and K-Rino album, we’re still in
in my car to my show just to show homeboy support. The weekend the lab with that. Me and Pimp C are still in the lab with our project. I
before he died, me, Point Blank, Lil Keke, and Hawk had a show in also got a compilation coming out, Kings of the Ghetto Entertainment,
Marshall, TX. That’s the last time I seen that nigga. I got footage on where I’m gonna introduce another nigga to the rap game kinda like I
my DVD and everything. Hawk is just a real nigga; I can’t even put did with Trae. I’m takin’ this nigga Big Boss from Detroit and I’m fuckin’
it in no other words than that. That shit hurts. They knocked a good with him. He’s dangerous on the microphone, and he’s dangerous
nigga out the game. In my personal opinion, Hawk was like the closest with that pen and pad. Plus he’s dangerous with the freestyles so I’m
form of Jesus in a non-superhuman body. It’s just funny; I just flashed fuckin’ with him. The album is ready right now so I’m doing a lot of shit,
back. I ain’t seen that nigga frown before. Even when that nigga was tryin’ to make this shit work. Tryin’ to get rich.
dead broke he was smiling with you, huggin’ and shakin’ your hand.
Take all the pictures you want. He was a model citizen, for real. Fuck Do you know when the Screwed Up Click album is going to come
rap, that nigga was just John Hawkins, the coolest nigga on the face out?
of the earth. For that bullshit to happen to him, that’s fucked up. That We through with that muthafucker now. Really, to tell you the truth, it
nigga ain’t never do no left-handed shit to nobody. That nigga ain’t was supposed to be out last year. We were going through so many
never harmed nobody. He was raising his family, trying to make sure problems and shit amongst ourselves. The date kept getting pushed
this Screwed Up Click album comes out jammin’. We got a lot of beef back, kept getting pushed back. We couldn’t agree. Instead of releas-
and shit in our clique but that nigga was the glue holding us together, ing it and causing conflicts amongst ourselves, we chose to step back
keeping us focused and keeping our eyes on the prize. That was his and let Hawk decide when the album gonna come out. He was like,
passion. That was his last passion that dude had before he laid down, “Okay, look, let’s get all of us back together as a family and start fuckin’
to make sure the whole Screwed Up Click got back together and did around with each other and then hop back on the Screwed Up Click
this album for Screw and Fat Pat and put it in stores so we can finally album. Every weekend we was having a lil’ meeting at the Screwed
have our crown as a group for the South. That nigga was hard workin’. Up Click studio in the 3rd Ward. We up there listening to Hawk talk.
That nigga ain’t shot nobody. If that nigga owed you some money, you Now that he’s gone, what we’re gonna do first is release his DJ Drama
was gonna get your money back the next day. He was on that type of mixtape. Screwed Up Click gon’ drop and DJ Drama gon’ drop and
shit. That nigga was just love. Hawk’s album gonna drop. I ain’t got to lie, we got some jammin’ ass
shit on that album
Do you think he was just in the wrong place at the right time?
That’s one of the ways to look at it. Shit been fucked up out here like You and Trae were having some problems – did Hawk’s passing
a muthafucker for the last six months. Our shit been fucked up, from bring you back together in any way?
regular 211s to 187s. The 187s been multipled by threes lately. Mutha- I can’t really speak for him. I don’t really know. I ain’t really thought
fuckers are getting murdered and robbed every day, every night, in about that shit like that. To me, it was like we lost another soldier and
broad daylight. Just yesterday a muthafucker ran in the video game we came together right quick to show our condolences. I think eh
shop and went in that bitch shootin’ everybody to go steal some fuck- wants to fuck with me more right now. And I kinda want to fuck with
in’ X-Box games. It’s off the chain down here right now. that nigga too. We’re people, you know what I’m sayin’? And more
importantly, we supposed to be kinfolk. I’ll say it. We ain’t beefin’ or
Some newspaper articles have blamed the rise in crime to the Ka- nothing. We ain’t really talking to one another but we ain’t beefin’. So
trina survivors that moved to Houston. Do you think there’s truth everything’s copacetic.

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62 OZONE
SQAD UP
WORDS: JULIA BEVERLY
PHOTOS: JARO VACEK

64 OZONE
L
et’s start by introducing yourselves. about us is that before they seen Sqad Up, they thought Gudda was
Young Yo: It’s your boy Young Yo. Sqad Up! I’ve been doing this like 300 pounds. When they finally see that Gudda is fly as fuck, we
for about five or six years. I started out with Lil Wayne and Cash take advantage of that. The niggas accept us through our music; they
Money; started the Sqad Up and been doing it ever since, mixtape know that we’re hard not just pretty boy ass niggas. But we like to get
after mixtape. Now we’re about to do it big. Still doing the underground fly like everybody else. That’s where I feel we caught the advantage.
thing, we’re about to take it nationwide. Album coming out August Niggas felt our music before they even knew what we looked like. And
8th. we ain’t glorifying the street thing, but all of us did get our hustle on. If
you’ve seen us for the last three or four years, all the jewelry, the ice,
Supa Blanco: This is your boy Supa, the Mouth of the South. We’ve that’s all street money. Mixtape money. We’ve been in the streets; we
been doing it for about five years. It started as a friendship, everybody ain’t just started rappin’. That’s why we talk about what’s real. This is
originally started out with Lil Wayne. We were friends before we were some real shit. I’ma tell you some shit. A lot of that shit Wayne wrote,
rappers. We were on the Nellyville tour and we just started playing in he might have caught me comin’ in and baggin’ up some shit. That
the studio. We pressed up a hundred CDs of our first Sqad Up and it dude is a genius. He’d be like, “How much are you gonna make off
just caught fire from there. We’ve been doing it ever since. that?” Went to the back. That muthafucker’ll have a rap thinkin’ he’s
Tony Montana. He can call it like that, ya hear me? If you look aback at
Gudda: This ya boy Young Gudda, when I started rappin’, man, Wayne his old album, I think it was called “Grown Man.” That whole song was
caught me fresh off the stoop for real. I was out there in the streets based on me. He came to me and was like, “I wrote this song, Gudda.
doing my thing. Me and Sup’ go way back to the sixth grade. Sup’ You’re gonna love this song, cause I wrote this song just lookin’ at you
was out in Arizona, I was out in the streets. Wayne and Yo’ was runnin’ and what you do.” And it wasn’t bad cause we was all brothers; so
around together. I caught Wayne at a dice game at Yo’s house. Me you’re watching your big brothers do something, so it’s not false. He
and Wayne were shooting dice and we became friends from there. He was around it, feel me? So they can’t get mad cause we like to get fly,
wanted to start his own record label called Young Money Records. He man. That’s that bullshit. The hoes be choosin’ and that’s where the
asked me if I wanted to rap on it. It was Money Youngin’ at first, but conflict comes in at.
Baby changed it to Young Money and asked me if I wanted to rap. So
I started writing raps. The first rap I ever wrote was a hit. For people that are fans of your mixtapes, what’s different about
the album? Why should they go pick it up?
Nutt Da Kidd: We been out here doing it since the Spike Lee days, the Gudda: It’s way more than a mixtape. A lot of people used to hand
school days. This is K-I-Double D, ya feel me? Me and Wayne was try- us all the mixtapes, but we were like, how can we come up with a fire
ing to get the label together and the cat picked me fresh off the block. album? We took our time with it. We sat back, looked at all the kinks in
He put together some real niggas. it from the first album. We had to get all the way focused on our music
and step our game up. Believe that. Y’all gonna love it. All of us gotta
How did things deteriorate between y’all and Lil Wayne? speak, and all of us gotta just have better lyrics. They all know us from
Supa: See how he’s takin’ over the game right now? I’m proud to see goin’ back to back, just smashin’ shit up on a mixtape and not givin’ a
that’s what he’s doing. That’s really what we broke up behind, cause fuck. We got songs for the ladies, we got songs for the clubs, and we
he coulda been did that. If you think about it, he might be the best, for still got songs for the street.
real. But it was just about him putting his foot down. We was running
around the whole circuit. We was in Ft. Lauderdale five times a month Supa: A lot of people, they label us as the bad guys. We bombin’ on
just doing Sqad Up shows. When he had 500 Degreez, we was all everybody. But niggas ain’t know that we got caught between a situa-
doing Sqad Up shows. He was trying to put our company in Baby’s tion where we gotta choose either Wayne or the Sqad. It’s cool to like
hands. We seen how Baby was doing them artists, you know? Every- Wayne and the Sqad, you know? Everybody’s grown, man, we ma-
body left for the same situation in the Cash Money camp, so we wasn’t tured. That beef shit is out the door. A lot of the mixtapes were just fu-
trying to fall under that umbrella. We ain’t wanna get stuck under that eled off pure emotion. We lost our best friend. A lto of that shit was just
so we had a better chance of tryin’ it ourselves. We watched TQ leave, in the studio. We make real songs, we make real music. We got David
we watched Juvy leave, we watched Turk leave, we watched B.G. Banner, Mannie Fresh – if you look at Now or Never, we recorded that
leave, and finally we just rode, man. in two weeks just off emotions, just trying to show people how we do
this shit without Wayne. Crack Tracks produced the whole album. This
Why did everybody leave? shit was just a lot; that’s why it took us a long time to come back. We
Gudda: Everybody looked at it like we just left dude hangin’, but it had to get our business in order. We had to sit back and realize that we
wasn’t like that. We asked dude before we left him: Why don’t you couldn’t be hot-heads. We was whilin’, and you know that for a fact.
come out here and go do your own shows? We’ll get our own label We was really out here whilin’. We look at it like, the music business
on the side and we can do the Sqad Up thing and you can still do is a business. And we’ve got it in order now. We’ve got a staff, J-Rock
your Cash Money thing. He’s like, “My daddy’s Baby,” and all that. and JX, and it’s goin’ down.
We weren’t with that. We know what kind of business they do, and we
don’t do our business like that, so we told them we was gonna do our Gudda: Free Big League! This is Gudda speakin’ for the whole Sqad.
thang. He was like, “Go do your thang,” and we left that day. As far as Free Big League! When you read this article, I want y’all to throw up
the dissin’ goes, a lot of people look at us like we bombed first, but your “L” when you read that quote right there. Free Big League. He’ll
really he made songs on the low and never put ‘em out. We got word be home soon.
from the inside, from people he was dealing with.
Of course you guys are representing New Orleans, and everybody
Is there still beef between you and Wayne? knows New Orleans had a rough year last year. What did y’all go
Supa: No, he’s the man. I love his daughter. Man, him and Yo used to through during that time period when Hurricane Katrina hit?
catch the bus together. Gudda: I was stuck out there for real, for real. For three days. We was
sittin’ in the crib, about two stories up. We fell asleep through the hur-
Young Yo: Yeah, you know, it’s all good. I’m happy for him and what ricane and when we woke up, they had like eight feet of water outside.
he’s doing. We ‘bout to do it real big. We stood up on our own two feet We sat around for a couple days, helicopters flying around. Some po-
and we about to do it like it’s supposed to be done. lice on the boats said they were coming back to get us; they never
came back. After the second day, I told my dude, “We gotta get in this
Is it fair to say that you guys are almost like a rap boy-band kinda water.” Everybody said a little prayer, and we just hopped in that water
thing? and swam for it, man. We got out on the third day. We had to hotwire a
Everyone: Nah, nah, nah! (laughing) truck to get out of New Orleans. I really don’t wanna say this, but I had
to put a pistol in the police’s face to get a boat to get out of this mutha-
Nutt Da Kidd: Gudda will knock ya shit loose! (laughing) Then I’ll come fucker. They was doing us bad out there. People strugglin’, dying out
behind him and finish ‘em off. there. We stealing food for old folks, trying to help out infants and kids
on the interstate that was stuck. That muthafucker wasn’t even trying
Gudda: I’ll tell you why we get that. See, the ladies love us. The thing to help us. Bush flew clean over us, three times. Right over us. We was

OZONE 65
waving at the muthafucker like, “C’mon, what are you gonna do?” and he’s just flying back and forth.

Supa: Yo, we was watching the VMAs. They told us, “Go get your water, go get your candles,” they do that shit to us every year. Fuck all that, we’d
be stuck with candles and water, the young lil niggas that we are. So the VMAs were on that night and we got some barbeque and some lean,
we gonna do our thang.

Young Yo: We passed out. Everything’s flashing and we’re like, “Shit! Damn!” We ain’t never stole a car in our life, you know? My man has stolen
cars so we got him on the phone like, “You gotta connect what wire to what wire, nigga?” It was hectic, man. Me and Sup’ had a little fight, you
know? Nine niggas in one room fighting. I lost my grandfather out there during the hurricane. I just found out, cause I hadn’t been able ot get in
contact with him. I just found that out. Rest in Peace Freddie. Rest in Peace to all the people we lost during Katrina.

Are you living in Houston now?


Supa: I’ma tell you for real, they runnin’ us like slaves. We’re on a 52-day promo tour, but yeah, we are settled in Houston now.

Did you lose a lot of stuff in the hurricane?


Gudda: We lost everything. We still don’t have electricity where we from.

Nutt Da Kidd: I’m back in the N.O., stayin’ in the same hood like it’s all good. Shouts to Lil Flip, man, he held us down when we got out there. And
fuck FEMA. And thank you to the Red Cross – I know I made up about 50 children, but you know, we all needed that bad. So I’m sorry if y’all gotta
come back and ask for your money back.

But you look like you’re doing okay now. Ice and everything.
Supa: If you look at the blue star, that’s for Katrina. That’s blue ice for Katrina. Soon as we got to Houston Flip had these waitin’ for us.

What is your affiliation with Lil Flip?


Supa: I’ma break it down for you. When it
was forbidden to fuck with the Sqad, dude
had “Game Over” poppin’ and he was one of
the hottest niggas in the game. We seen him
at The Source Awards and he was like, “I’m
a fan of y’all. I fuck with y’all.” We knocked
out about four or five mixtapes. Truly, that’s
my dawg. That’s our friend. I don’t give a
fuck what the situation is; no one man is
gonna make me turn on him. People out
here can’t really tell you why they don’t
like Flip. It was some bandwagon shit. Flip
don’t ever gotta make another song in his
life – that’s still my dude, feel me? That’s our
friend. We hold him down. But as far as the
Clover G situation, he has his situation, and
we have Money Yung’N records. But we’re
some real niggas. We can’t turn our back on
him just cause everybody likes T.I. and Slim
Thug right now.

Speaking of Slim Thug, he made that


comment that y’all looked like B5.
Supa: And what the fuck he look like? He
lookin’ more like Frankenstein than we look
like B5. You was a fool for that one. Nah, but
we ain’t even thinkin’ about that clown. His
album went double wood, so fuck it.

So give me a little info on the album.


Gudda: The album comes out August 8th.
We got Fresh on the first single, got David
Banner on a track, my dude Real on the
track “Man I Miss My Dawg,” that’s strictly
to hold the city down, you know? Shouts
to L.O.G., Joe Atlanta, Smooth Jizzle, and
that’s a wrap. Flip on that album fo’ sho’.
August 8th go catch the album, we’ll rebuild
that bitch and we’re coming home. Don’t
forget that website, man. www.sqad-up.com
and don’t forget about myspace. We ain’t re-
sponsible for that thing. We didn’t know we
had a myspace until there was 40,000 views.
That’s www.myspace.com/sqadshitbitch.
And we got a DVD that’s gonna be with
the album too, so you can get all the foot-
age from Hurricane Katrina, from now and
before. We got Volume 1 in the streets and
that’s gonna be with the album August 8th.
And shouts out to Julia Beverly, the hard-
est working woman in show business, man.
Everywhere I’m at, I see her. Shouts out to
OZONE. Y’all know she’s on your asses,
man. Sqad Up, baby!

66 OZONE
68 OZONE
G DASH
WORDS: JULIA BEVERLY PHOTO: MIKE FROST
A lot of people affiliate Michael Watts with SwishaHouse. abandoned the label, and T Farris just took the initiative to go out there
Yeah, Watts is the co-CEO and he plays more of the creative part of the and find new acts. He came back with Magnificent and Mike Jones,
SwishaHouse. I handle the business part of the SwishaHouse. Basical- and around that same time he signed Paul Wall back to the label.
ly, we’ve got two different roles. He plays his role and I play my role. I
give my role 100% and he gives his 100% and as long as we both play Why did everyone leave the label in the first place?
our part everything will come out successfully. Me and Watts are kinda I don’t know. Listening to those guys at the time, I’d have to say that
like brothers. We have our disagreements at times, but it’s business so it was a money issue. They were complaining about money being di-
we’re always able to settle our differences and compromise. vided too many ways. That’s when I jumped in on the business end
and started running it like a business.
Paul Wall has name-dropped you in several of his songs as the Swisha-
House check-writer. Do you enjoy the publicity? Slim Thug used to be part of SwishaHouse, right?
Really, I don’t even trip on it. I’m sorta like a low-key type of guy, so Slim was never signed to the label, he was just part of the clique. We
it don’t bother me. They definitely know my name now with Paul Wall still have a working relationship with Slim, so it wasn’t never one of
and Lil Keke and other artists shouting me out in their songs. those things where he left and was bitter.

On the flip side, Mike Jones has distanced himself from SwishaHouse With SwishaHouse’s indie success, I’m sure you attracted a lot of ma-
and he definitely doesn’t name-drop you. jor labels. What made you decide to hook up with Asylum?
It don’t bother me. We support Mike Jones and everything he’s doing. Sony and Universal came to us. I’d have to say that it was money that
At the end of the day it’s all business. attracted me to take the Asylum Deal. It was also the P&D situation
before the upstream, meaning that with our P&D situation we have an
How long ago did you and Watts actually hook up? option to upstream our artists to either Warner Bros or Atlantic. So ba-
Me and Watts hooked up in the mid 80s. Watts was still in high school. sically I’d have to say it was the money, and also they were interested
He was a DJ back then and I was actually rapping. I started getting in the label. Sony and Universal were interested in artist deals.
older and the rap thing really wasn’t going nowhere. I didn’t want to be
one of those guys that’s 30 years old talking about getting a deal. I just Are you happy with your situation at Asylum?
started concentrating on the business aspects of the game. I’m happy with the way things progressed for my artists, but as far as
dealing with my partners, I’m not happy. But right now we’re negotiat-
Did you ever picture SwishaHouse becoming as big as it is now? ing and trying to work it out to make me happy. I’d like to do a deal
From day one I had the big picture, and I knew it was gonna take years directly with Warner Bros. Asylum was designed to be an incubator
of hard work and grinding. Now, it paid off. I’m a visionary. If I’m try- label for new indie labels. They were kinda providing marketing and
ing to accomplish a goal, I don’t go into it thinking it’s gonna happen promotions to help build up that indie label to a certain point. Our
overnight. Everything you do that’s a success takes years of work and entity has surpassed the incubator system, and we don’t need to be
grinding. SwishaHouse started out as Watts’ mixtape hustle. It was just groomed. It’s time for them to find the next indie label and groom them
a clique of guys that used to get on Watts’ mixtapes. The popularity of into the next SwishaHouse.
the mixtapes is what started the label’s vision. Back then, in the begin-
ning, I was just helping Watts with his mixtapes. In 1999 we partnered What made you decide to sign Lil Keke?
up and formed the actual label, which is actually called Swishablast. He’s actually signed to TF Records, which is T Farris’ label. He was
also the president of SwishaHouse before he resigned to start his own
Why do you think Houston, in particular, is such a hot spot for indie label. We’ve always been interested in Lil Keke. He’s a very talented
labels to become successful? guy. Him and Fat Pat started the candy paint and the syrup sippin’ and
For a long time, besides Rap-A-Lot, major labels wasn’t really looking all the slang they use down here in Texas on the underground raps.
for talent down in these parts. So a lot of guys that was rapping had
to do it independently, out of their trunk. At one time they had alright The industry spotlight has been on Houston for a minute now. How
distribution through Southwest Wholesale, and the mixtape was just long do you think that’s going to last?
so profitable down here. That’s why it took a long time, even when the The Houston movement is just getting started, but it’s gonna keep go-
majors started paying attention, for them to even sign deals. They were ing around. People forget that Houston had its time once before with i
getting like $8/CD at the time so they was like, “Fuck a deal.” Honestly, Rap-A-Lot’s explosion. And if you wanna be technical, the South ihad
I had a different experience than a lot of other artists because I didn’t its time once before with No Limit, Cash Money, and Suave House.
let [Southwest Wholesale] press up my product. A lot of guys had
problems cause they was letting them have their master and press up I heard that J Prince actually owns part of SwishaHouse. Is that true?
their product, but we were getting our own product manufactured. So I That’s not true, but Rap-A-Lot and Asylum are partners on our deal.
ain’t really have any complaints about getting paid. I’d make them pay Rap-A-Lot and SwishaHouse are not partners, but Rap-A-Lot and Asy-
me. In order to fill an order, I had to get a check. So the money kinda lum are partners related to our deal. They split the distribution fees.
stayed flowing with us. Asylum was gonna back up out of our deal because we needed a lot
of money up front. They were gonna back up out of the deal, and J
What do you think makes you successful as a business owner? Prince had just inked his deal with Asylum. He basically told them that
I try to be detail-oriented with everything I do. I try to be involved with he was willing to put his money where his mouth was. That’s actually
everything that’s going on with my label. I don’t just let the label tell how it happened. I think J Prince actually funded the deal. I guess they
me what they’re doing. We get in contact with these people; we re- didn’t have enough faith in us to put that money up, but J stepped up
ally don’t let nobody middleman us with none of our business affairs. and put his money where his mouth was.
That’s where a lot of the problems come with these major labels – mid-
dlemen. If you’re not on your business there’ll be something going What upcoming projects should we be looking out for?
on over there that you don’t even know about because you’re not in- Paul Wall’s project Get Money Stay True will be coming in September.
volved. So we try to be hands-on with all our stuff, all our businesses. We’ve also got a movie coming out, and The Day Hell Broke Loose 3
coming out in August. Also in August we’ve got Lil Keke’s Loved By
How did Paul Wall and Mike Jones come to the SwishaHouse camp? Few Hated By Many coming out. That “Chunk Up The Deuce” is the
I’d have to credit that to T Farris for bringing Mike Jones and Paul first single; it’s blowing up everywhere. We’ve also got Archie Lee’s
back to the label. At the time, we were kinda rebuilding. There was a mixtape coming out; the title of his album is Hollyhood. Look out for
time when all the previous artists from the previous cliques had kind of Cooda Bang’s Big Bang Theory and Yung Redd and E-Class.

OZONE 69
YUNG JOC
WORDS & PHOTO: MAURICE G. GARLAND

T
he day is June 6, 2006. 666. The day that Block Ent./Bad Boy South artist Yung Joc sees his debut album New Joc City hit the
shelves. The numbers in the date are all too fitting because so far the day has been a beast and its left its mark on Mr. “Its Goin’
Down.”

Already running on fumes from the day before that saw him in New York taping for BET’s 106 and Park, Joc is up at 6 in the morning getting ready
to make a couple of radio station appearances. Unfortunately, a glitch found its way into the matrix and threw everything off. Preventing him from
taking over Atlanta’s airwaves to promote his album. But the mix-up was not a total loss. Because of the mishap, Joc and crew have little more
time on their hands so they head back to Block Ent.’s headquarters. Joc heads straight for the studio as if he’s trained himself to do that every
time he walks inside the Decatur-based compound. But, this time vocals are taking a back
seat, or couch for that matter. The only thing Joc is laying down is his head.

< As his colleagues laugh at his loud snoring, Joc’s publicist Joyce A. Wilson is coordinat-
ing the rest of his day. The first order of business is figuring out what Joc is going to be
wearing to his album release party at Visions later on that night. Since Joc is still sleep the
daunting task of picking sneakers is left up to Bad Boy marketing director Jason Wiley who
confers with shoe maker Archie to figure out
which pair will look best on Joc’s feet. >

The second order of business is getting Joc


ready for his interview with local entertainment
show The Daily Buzz. The show’s producer and
crew are ready to roll as soon as they hit the
door. But a drained Joc is still trying to sneak
some sleep in as his discusses what’s about to
happen with the show’s producer.

Eventually, he wakes up and is


ready to roll. After recording
footage of him rapping in the
booth, signing autographs for
kids and eating at Ms. Ann’s,
he finally gets some more
down time. But by now, Joc
is wide awake reading about
how his song and album are
now climbing the chart. >

< The next stop is Justin’s


Restaurant for DJ Apprecia-
tion luncheon where Bad Boy
Entertainment will be show-
ing some hospitality to the
DJs that helped Joc’s record
blow up nationwide. The label
flew in DJs from Mississippi,
Florida, Virgina, North Caro-
lina, Houston, Memphis and
New York City.

While being treated to free chicken wings, egg rolls and crab cakes, the lucky DJs get to hear Joc’s
album in its entirety. Even though “I Know You See It” has been chosen as the second single, the
DJs seem to love “See Me Coming.”

After lunch is over with, everyone heads over to the West End to visit the Boys and Girls Club where
Joc reminds kids to stay in school and chase their dreams. Of course the kids were probably more
interested in hearing about the famous people he’s met and how much money he’s made, but Joc
made a lasting impact on the youngsters. >

The rest of the day included doing retail walk-thru and radio interviews. And the crescendo was the hectic album-release party at the highly-
popular Club Vision in the heart of Buckhead.

Of course a lot of partying was done, but in moderation. Because Joc has to wake up the next day and do it all over again.

70 OZONE
KHIA
“I’m pretty
without
makeup. I
don’t need
a stylist and
I don’t need
thousand dol-
lar hairdos.
Keep it real,
you know
those hoes
look a hot
mess. You
catch Trina
early in the
morning
without all
that makeup
on her face
and that hoe
looks a hot
mess.”

72
72 OZONE
OZONE
I
n one of the very first issues of OZONE, when you had first come out me and they wasn’t gonna be nothing after me. They did some shady
with “My Neck My Back,” we printed all your mugshots and jokingly shit. I found out early on that they were thieves and I decided I didn’t
suggested that you use them as part of your promotional materi- want to sign a contract with them. After that, they spread rumors that I
als. What made you decide to finally use your mugshots as your new was dead and that I had AIDS and put out the DSD “Look Back At It”
album cover, years later? featuring Khia. They did all kinds of slimy, crazy stuff, booking shows
Just because I came up with the name Gangstress [for the album]. in my name. They’re just crooked all they way across the board. I
i am a gangstress, so what better to use than my mugshtos? I just would never do business with them again. It’s no beef and no hate.
thought it was cute. It matched the name so perfectly. I’m not really The bottom line is that they’re crooked and I chose not to be a part of
inot the “sex sells” thing, so the mugshots seemed fitting for me. their situation, so they tried to sabotage me instead of just keeping it
real. But real recognize real and the hood knows the truth. At the end
So have you been getting into any trouble lately? You got any new of the day, where’s Dirty Down Records? I’m so high and they’re so
mug shots? low. Until they learn how to build good relationships with people and
No! I ain’t got no new ones. I’ve been good lately. be honest and be good businessmen, they’re never gonna have good
luck. What goes around comes around, and whatever you do in the
Why? You have money now so you don’t have to do anything crazy? dark will come to the light. They’re some shady-ass niggas and they’re
My last charge was in ’97, so I haven’t been in trouble in almost ten never gonna prosper. Even through all that, I still continue to succeed
years. Those were the younger days. I don’t have to run in stores and and thrive. They had a good opportunity with me and we could’ve
steal clothes and stuff. I write my raps. made millions of dollars together. They had to offer me a million dol-
lars cause they know that’s the type of deals that are getting offered to
Running in stores and stealing clothes – are you referring to someone me. Why would I let [Taz] be a part of that? He doesn’t rap, he doesn’t
in particular? produce, he doesn’t do shit. He just walks around tryin’ to play like
No, no one in particular. I’m not tryin’ to just use my mugshots like he’s got a label and trying to take advantage of people. They seek out
goin’ to jail is something I’m proud of. That was my past; things that artists that aren’t really educated on the music business and try to get
happened in my youth. It’s been almost ten years, so that was then them to sign these bootleg contracts that they print up on their home
and this is now. computer. They try to take advantage of people’s lives and people’s
talent, so I’m exposing their ass because they’re wrong. If they were
Most of the charges sounded like bullshit – disorderly conduct and fair and built relationships with people, they’d be able to make money.
things like that. Why did you keep getting arrested? But when you lie and cheat and steal and try to take advantage of
When I was like 17, 18, 19, it was just boyfriend stuff, breaking out people there’s no way you’re gonna achieve anything. Those niggas
windows, carrying a concealed weapon. I got in a shootout one time are clowns and until they learn that, somebody’s gonna fuck ‘em up.
at the club. That’s just the kind of stuff that happens. I was young and
wildin’ out. I’m not into that kind of stuff now. Every [mugshot] on Taz claims that he gets a cut off all the albums you put out because
there, I was a baby. you still have some type of contract with them.
He wants people to think he’s on top, but he’s at the bottom. I’ve never
When your single “My Neck My Back” blew up, you were living in been signed to Dirty Down Records. I have my own label now, and I’m
Tampa. Now that you live in Atlanta, people in Tampa kind of feel like putting my album out myself. Taz has nothing to do with this, so for him
you abandoned them and stopped representing the city. to lie and try to make people think that, why would he do that? Taz is
I represent Florida. I love Florida. I rep the South to the fullest, but Tam- obsessed with me. He’s so in love. I think he eats, sleeps, and dreams
pa never really showed me any support. That was the reason I moved about me. I love you too, Taz. It’s all good. I’m so blessed right now.
to Atlanta. There wasn’t enough recording studios there [in Tampa], It’s no beef. If he was man enough to apologize for what he did and
there wasn’t much of anything for what I was tryin’ to do. Tampa didn’t didn’t try to steal little petty show money, he coulda made big money
have anything to offer so it was time for me to move. if he would’ve just kept it real. He wants to be my friend so bad. He
uses my name everywhere he goes. He tries to affiliate himself with
You don’t feel like Tampa played a part in the success of “My Neck My Khia. I already know I’m a queen, so that makes me look so good and
Back”? If I remember correctly, that song was in rotation on Tampa makes him look so simple and stupid. If you’re trying to promote ev-
radio pretty early. erything you can with my name on it and people in the industry know I
Can’t blow something up that’s already hot. I sold records all over the don’t fuck with you, it’s making you look stupid. Just let it go. Be man
world and that definitely didn’t have anything to do with Tampa. Tampa enough to admit that you fucked up and let it go, baby. I got a song on
didn’t support me from day one. Tampa doesn’t have anything to do my album called “Forgive Me For My Sins.” Be man enough to ask me
with my success at all. for forgiveness and let’s move forward. Don’t continue to lie to kick it,
cause everybody knows the truth.
Tampa artist Owe Jive has accused you of stealing his song; he did
the original song that “My Neck My Back” was based on. So when does the album come out?
His name is Willie Hill, and I’m through talking about Willie. That’s old. It comes out July 11th on Thug Missus Entertainment. Warlock is do-
I got a new record and it’s gangsta, so now he’s not gonna be able to ing the distribution.
say, “She stole my song.” We’re gonna see what he has to say now
that I have a new album. I’m just through talking about that; it’s funny You’ve been pretty vocal about your beef with Jacki-O. It seems like
to me. I got much love for Willie. I went to school with Willie and I know you have a lot of animosity towards her. Is it personal?
his family. He’s gotta get over it. I never had a problem with him, but I I just feel sorry for her. It’s no animosity; I don’t know her personally.
guess he felt that I took an opportunity from him. But it was never like Jacki-O got in the same situation with Poe Boy just like Dirty Down
that, and you can’t blame somebody for being talented. I have talent, tried to do to me, but she just ain’t as strong as me to get out there
and “My Neck My Back” wasn’t the only hit I had on the Thug Missus and get it on her own. It’s a lot of fucked up shit goin’ on. She signed
album. Every song on that album was a hit. My music was played all to a label with somebody and only sold 60,000 copies so she owes so
over: Tampa, Orlando, Germany, Greece, everywhere. If he thinks that much in promotion that she had to go bankrupt. Why would there be
I was the reason he didn’t succeed, he needs to really wake up. I took animosity? I sold 800,000 copies; she sold 60,000. I own all of my own
control of my situation and I’m out here grinding. I write my music and publishing and I write my own stuff and I don’t owe nobody nothing.
I do my shows. Come on, Julia, you see me on the grind just like you. My situation is much, much better than hers. That’s just my opinion.
I’m grindin’ doing everything by myself. I didn’t stay in Tampa trying I’m not a fan of hers. She said I was a one-hit wonder and I looked a
to make somebody like me and support me and be on my side. Either hot mess. Well, this is my hair. I’ve got dreads. I don’t need makeup
you’ve got talent or you don’t. Either you’re gonna get on the grind or and expensive hairdos to make me look like something. I’m beauti-
you’re gonna be left behind. I love you, Willie. I pray for you. Either you ful even on my worst day. I don’t have to get my ass pumped and I
got it or you don’t, and you can’t blame somebody else for something don’t have to walk around butt-naked to sell records. Anybody that
you just don’t have. knows me knows I’m real. I’m hood. I’m street. I walk around selling
CDs. I sell t-shirts. I’m out there networking with my fans. I’m not on
I don’t know if you saw this, but one of Taz’ partners with Dirty Down that cutie-cutie shit, I’m from the street but I’m beautiful. So it’s not
Records actually sent OZONE a feedback email in response to your animosity or beef, it’s just that she has her opinion and I have mine. I
last interview. He publicly offered you a million dollars to sign back don’t listen to her music. I’m a better rapper than her. I have sold more
with their label. How do you feel about that? records than her, and that’s why I can say I’m the queen of the South.
That was their last cry for help. They know they wasn’t nothing before How’s she gonna say she’s the queen of the South when no one even

OZONE 73
really knows her? getting the check. I say what goes and what doesn’t go. I write all my
own stuff, so trust me, my publishing and royalties are coming to me.
Wouldn’t you both have something to gain if you worked together or Where are they making money? They can’t make show money cause
collaborated instead of talking shit about each other? every song they’ve got has a feature and their shows are horrible.
No. I don’t feel that she has talent. I pick and choose who I decide They’re not making writing or publishing money because they’ve got
to work with. If I don’t respect you as an artist, why would I work with to pay ghostwriters and the label is in control of their masters. So even
you? I just don’t like her music and I don’t feel that she’s talented, though I’ve been out of the scene for a long time, I’ve been eating. I
so I wouldn’t want to work with her – her or Trina. I don’t feel like do shows every weekend. Everybody in the streets sees me. I’m still
either one of them are talented. They don’t write their own stuff. They eating off my first album that’s five years old. Ask other artists if they’re
have big-name features and major labels helping them. I’m by my- still eating off their first single. I don’t think so.
self. I stand alone. How can you be a queen when you’re working for
somebody else? You’re a servant if you’re working for somebody else. You have kids, right? How do you balance being a mother and a rap-
How are you the queen of the South when Trick or Deuce or Poe Boy per?
got people ghostwriting your stuff? Every female artist that has come Yeah, I have two kids. It’s fun, you know? Sometimes I take them
out was piggybacking off a man. Jacki-O had Poe Boy to back her on the road with me when they’re out of school. They’re teenagers;
up and Trina had Slip-N-Slide to back her up. They had radio promo- they’re big. My son gets on stage with me and gets excited. He goes
tions. They had street teams. I didn’t have that. I feel like I’m a queen in the DJ booth and plays my CD in the right order. He’s gonna be
because I stand alone and I write my own shit. I manage myself and a DJ. I’m trying to get him in this music business already. He’s only
book my own shows. 14 years old but he goes out to the shows and sells CDs just like
me. They check me into the hotel and carry my suitcases and every-
Are there any other female rappers you would want to work with? thing. They’re great. They’re excited and proud of their mommy, cause
To me, the only other queen is Queen Latifah. There’s no female artists they’ve watched how hard I work. I love them to death. I do what I do
that I listen to. When they rap, they try to sound too hard to be pleas- for them.
ing to men. That’s what makes me feel that a man is writing their stuff,
cause it sounds like something a man would want a woman to say or “Snatch the Cat Back” has been out for a minute. Is that the first single
do. My fan base is solid. My girls don’t want to hear that mess. My girls you’re going with off this album?
don’t want to see you give a lap dance on the stage to try to entertain a We just shot the video which is gonna be dropping at the end of this
crowd. Females don’t want to see that. They relate to me because they month. It’s hot, hot, hot. “My Neck My Back” was out for two years
know that I’m writing my own stuff, cause it sounds like something before it picked up and got big. So it took time to get into the right
a woman would say. I write about situations; relationships and men. situation but yeah, “Snatch the Cat Back” is gonna be the first single.
They’re rapping all hardcore about licking pussy and ass and all kinds The response is crazy. We just did the video. I wrote and produced
of crazy stuff, and you can’t get a female fan base like that. You can tell this whole album and I’m just so excited that it’s all me. Everybody
that men are writing their stuff, cause ain’t no way a queen would say will have the chance to see that the old Thug Missus is back. We got
no mess out of her mouth like that. Women can’t relate to their stuff the streets on lock. The hood already knows. I have a point to prove
and that’s why their records are sitting on the shelf. Of course women for those who thought I was a one-hit wonder. There’s a lot of hating
talk about sex and relationships and guys, but you can just tell that going on. There were a lot of people in positions where they could
men are writing their stuff and women don’t wanna hear that. help me but they were intimidated by my strength so they wouldn’t.
A lot of DJs hated on me. They knew my shit was hot but just chose
As far as your image, do you think you’d be embraced more by the not to play the music. But real niggas don’t listen to the radio; real
mainstream if you did have hairstylists and stylists? niggas buy CDs. All the radio stations follow the haters, cause they’re
If you’ve got talent and skills, what do you need all that for? I’m pretty followers and not leaders. They don’t know how to make their own
without makeup. I don’t need a stylist and I don’t need thousand dollar decisions. “Oh, Khia’s a bitch. Oh, Khia’s difficult.” Oh, no. Khia is real.
hairdos. Keep it real, you know those hoes look a hot mess. You catch If you know me you love me, but if you hate me then hate me. But the
Trina early in the morning without all that makeup on her face and bottom line is, what’s the reason to hate me? What did I ever do to
that hoe looks a hot mess. Jacki-O’s got thousand dollar hairdos and you? I never did nothin’ but get out here on my grind and hustle and
big money features and big money videos. Trina’s got all that and her make a way for myself.
budget’s off the chain. That’s why she’s still paying Slip-N-Slide and
she’s been signed to them for ten years. Hoe, they ain’t gonna let you Well, a lot of people do say you’re difficult. Not just Dirty Down.
go cause your ass still owes them for all the stylists and hairdos and This industry is full of bitch ass niggas, for real. They’re intimidated
makeup that make you feel like Homie the Clown. That’s all fake; it’s by me. They’re some soft ass niggas and I’m just too real for them.
just a pretty picture they’re painting. How you gon’ say you’re reppin’ They ain’t thugs; they’re bitch ass niggas with egos. They get intimi-
the hood and get on TV with Gucci and Fendi and hairdos and Bent- dated so quickly. They don’t like a woman to be on the same level as
leys, fakin’ with cake like you on The Young and the Restless? That them. They don’t respect my strength and drive. They feel that women
ain’t how it is in the streets. We don’t walk around with our face painted should submit and bow down. If you come in here strong and know
up like that in the projects. How you gonna say you ghetto and street what you want, and you’re not fuckin’ everybody in the industry, they
but then you getting on TV looking like Tyra Banks the supermodel? say that you’re a bitch or you’re hard to deal with.
I’m not gonna let the industry change me. I’ma be me. That’s all I can
be. I’m not trying to paint a pretty picture or sell an image. I’m just Trina has gotten a lot of publicity lately because of her relationship
Khia. I wake up, get dressed, wash my face, put on my clothes and I’m with Lil Wayne. Are you eyeing any famous rappers to help raise your
out. I’m not gonna pay somebody to dress me or make my face up. profile a bit or you’re not concerned with that?
For what? Y’all are not keeping it real in your videos. Y’all are selling Didn’t you hear what I just said? Trina’s fucked everybody in the in-
an image that you can’t even live up to. dustry. Trina’s name is trash in the industry. Lil Wayne had a crush on
Trina when he was young, and those fantasies are filling his mind but
Well, the critics could say that even though you did sell a lot of re- he already knows. Honey, tell Lil Wayne to get him a natural beauty
cords, that was a few years ago. You haven’t been on the radar too with some dreads. How’s he gonna represent the hood when he’s got
much lately. a bitch with four different types of hair? I wrote the whole Thug Missus
My stuff is still hot and I travel all over the world. I just got the type of album listening to his CD. I love Lil Wayne, and this ain’t got nothing to
deal that I wanted for myself, and those types of things take time. You do with Trina. I’m mad cause he even fucked her. That makes me not
can’t just rush into a deal. Do you own your masters? Are you getting even want him no more. But tell him to holla at Khia. Tell him to get a
hundreds of thousands of dollars up front? Are you in control of your girl with dreads. I know Trina looks cute but when he wakes up in the
own situation? Do you get money? No. You’re paying a whole bunch morning and sees how she looks, I know he regrets it.
of other people and in the end your account is zero. Yeah, they’re
gonna give you the thousands of dollars and clothes and put you in Is there anything else you wanna plug?
a nice hotel, but you’re paying a hundred people and you’re not in Yes, my engineers, J.A. and John Miller, I couldn’t have done it without
control of your situation. They’ve got all your publishing. You don’t them. Make sure you go to www.myspace.com/khia or www.Thug-
write so they’re giving all your writers credit, all your mechanical royal- MissesEntertainment.com. The wait is over, for all those who thought
ties, all your masters. You don’t have nothing, you’re bankrupt. I had it was a game. July 11th, you be the judge. Oh yeah, and for all those
to wait til it was my turn; til I found the situation that was right for me. who want to claim they the Queen of the South, we can do a show
Thug Missus Entertainment is in control. Thug Missus Entertainment is anytime, anywhere, and let the streets be the judge.

74 OZONE
q&a

Daz
Do you live in Atlanta now?
Yeah. Atlanta, California, L.A., Miami, St. Louis, you know, it all de-
pends on where I want to go this week.

I heard that you’ve got some kind of CD pressing plant in Missis-


sippi. Is that true?
Yeah, it’s still up and running. I don’t really do duplication for other
people. I do it for myself, cause it’s too much work dealing with other
people, you know what I mean? I just do it for myself.

You’ve been kind of out of the spotlight for a minute. What made
you decide that now is the time to go ahead and come out with a
new project?
It’s just that the time is right. The Dogg Pound is dropping, so I’ma
drop my solo album around that time. I look at the same game plan
the other homies are using like Jeezy, how he had his group album out
and then bounced off into his solo album.

Do you have release dates for your projects yet?


Yeah, June 27th is the Dogg Pound album, and September 12th is my
solo project.

When you say you’re using Jeezy’s blueprint as far as with the
group, are you also doing a lot of things on the underground
scene as far as mixtapes and such? What else are you doing to
push that hype?
Just releasing music on my website, on the web mainly. Doing shows.
I just got off the Ice Cube tour. I’m just putting my money where my
mouth is and using it for my own label too. The label is called Dogg
Pound Gangsta and it’s distributed through Universal, Fontana. And
I’ve got Kurupt’s solo album dropping the same date as the Dogg What similarities do you see between, for example, the Bay area
Pound, so I’m coordinating. and Atlanta on the independent scene?
Southern California ain’t that independent. They want to get deals and
So you’re actually signed to Virgin as a solo artist, but then you’ve all that other stuff. The Bay, Atlanta, and Houston, they’re all about the
got your label through Universal? independents. That’s what I’m about: independent. It’s about getting
Yeah, I’ve got two labels. I got one at Sony and one at Fontana/Univer- your record played in the club.
sal. Dogg Pound Gangstas, Daz Entertainment at Virgin, I’m bouncing
around. I’ve got four deals. Koch and all that other stuff. So for you, you’d rather be signed on Koch and making a high
dollar amount per album than being on a major looking like a su-
You mentioned that you spread your music through the internet. I perstar but not making much money off your album sales?
know there’s been some controversy in the past with posts made It all depends on how you structure you deal. I recoup all my money.
under your name on certain message boards and such. Is that I went through a situation where I had like 16 albums. As long as they
actually you, or people using your name? sell 30,000 – 40,000 units, that’s $300,000 times 16. I’ma just keep
Sometimes it’s me, but sometimes it’s people using my name cause putting out records and having them press up some more, ship them
they want to get access. I can go out and use anybody’s computer. All to the distributor, and keep doing the So So Def shit.
you gotta do is just pull up the website.
What’s important to you? The fame, the money, the music? What’s
I remember a while back, somebody had posted Suge’s cell phone your main motivation?
number on the internet under your screenname. All of the above. My kids, the fans, moms, pops. It just keeps me go-
Yeah, that was a long time ago. ing; all that stuff. Trying to get to bigger things. I can see myself living
where I’m living now and see myself living in a bigger house. I’m going
So that was really you? to move, cause it’s getting bigger.
Probably, yeah.
As a successful indie artist, what are some of the mistakes you’ve
I’m sure you’re tired of talking about the whole Suge situation. seen other indie artists make that hurts them in the long run?
That’s kind of old, right? Spending their money in the wrong places and all that types of stuff.
I mean, he ain’t got nothing no more. You know, he needs a little help You just gotta get out there. We got a good name; we’ve been around
right now. He just filed bankruptcy. That’s tricking. Buying all this shit since Tupac. We put in a lot of work so we’re like household names.
and you know you ain’t making no money, just spending money. He We’ve been here for almost 17 years and we’re still coming with it.
ain’t make nothing when we left. He was getting it and spending it,
trying to keep putting out Tupac albums. He ain’t never put out a Daz Having been around since Tupac and seeing the legacy that he
album, ever. created, do you think that’s something that’s lacking in music to-
day? We don’t really have a ‘Pac or Biggie figure.
What’s your opinion on the direction of the music movement? It’s all about the people. Time goes by; we missed some things that
You’re based in the South now, and of course the South has really happened. I think we have to look at what it is now. The music is go-
dominated the charts the last couple years, but then we’re seeing ing to come. It just depends on how the people feel about it. People
this hyphy movement in the Bay area and such. Do you think it’s change, you know? The people who was younger back then are older
about to go back to the West coast, or do you think the South is now. Now it’s all about them youngsters.
gonna be on top for a while?
It’s going to be global. We’ve got to be right there with them, getting Who do you have as far as features and production?
money together. Now, everybody can get it. We’ve all had our turn, so We got Rick Ross on there. The first single I got Snoop Dogg. I got Ice
now it’s time to get it together. That’s how I look at it. Cube, Kurupt, Avery Storm, Jagged Edge, JD.

76 OZONE
RICK ROSS

“My record is a hit because life is a hustle. Gas is $3.50 a gallon


after we went over there [to the Middle East] and killed all them
people. I wish somebody would give me [President] Bush’s cell
number, so I can call him and ask him. I’m confused... Some-
body’s hustlin’. Somebody’s hustlin’ us!”
78 OZONE
L
et’s start off by telling the people where we’re at right now. what they wanted when they came. If you’re gonna sit out there, you
We sittin’ in the M-I-Yayo, we in Miami, downtown, just chillin’ in might as well make some money, right? That was my outlook. It was
front of the Miami Herald in a Phantom. It’s Springfest weekend just the way of life.
and I just performed and rocked 50,000 people without an album. I feel
good right now. I’m chillin’ with the number one mag, OZONE. So what’s the solution to that problem?
We could get real, real deep on that one, man. That’s just a struggle
Yeah, I’m feelin’ the Phantom so I’ve gotta ask – is this Def Jam mon- that me and my people got to live with. Of course we always pray for
ey? Street money? What’s Rick Ross’ real hustle? the best, but this is the reality.
Man, it’s everything. I’m just trying to spread my feet and run around
a little bit and see what’s really happening. My album Port of Miami is A lot of people talk about certain aspects of hustling but they don’t
slated to be released this summer and it’s a classic record. Other than really get into the consequences of it.
that, I’ve got a documentary production named M-I-Yayo: The Cocaine Naw, I always make sure that I talk about both sides when I talk about
Capital being directed by Antoine Smith. It’s like the top ten count- the streets. When I’m at radio stations they always tell me, “Rick Ross,
down of the ten biggest hustlers in the history of Miami, and it goes you’ve been doing this for so long, I remember when people said that
really in-depth when I talk about the other side of the bridge. Along you were finished.” You know what I tell ‘em, man? The best advice I
with my partner E-Class we’re gonna release a compilation CD called can give anybody is to put God first and go hard. Say whatever you
Live from 305 featuring Trick Daddy, Pitbull, and Rick Ross. want, but Rick Ross gonna go hard. I’ma outwork you and I’ma out-
hustle you. That’s my whole goal, to do better than you’re doing in
Do you think the whole cocaine thing in rap is a little bit overdone every aspect cause that’s just how it goes. That was my attitude grow-
these days? ing up. My father passed away, and my mama took care of me and
Nah, I ain’t gonna say that, cause that’s the era that I came from and my sister by herself. She did a great job and I love her very much for
that was the hustle. So for street cats that are really involved in the mu- that. That’s why she’s got a new Mercedes now. But I remember her
sic, they know the importance of that. I know real street cats and when having three jobs at one time. I remember me seein’ her just a little
they first get up at 10 in the morning and cut their phone on, that’s bit. I remember bein’ like, “Fuck school,” and I remember her damn
the first thing: “What’s it lookin’ like? What’s happenin’?” You know? near wanting to kill me cause she was being called to my school when
So when I think about my immediate surroundings, that’s a part of I got in trouble and she couldn’t afford to leave work. That was the
the struggle. And it’s not so much that I’m glorifying it, but I’m talking whole problem. “When your school called my job and I have to leave,
about the struggle side of it. A lot of times, dudes don’t have any other I don’t get paid. You don’t understand what that’s doing.” That’s what
choice, for real. I can only speak for real hustlers that go out there on she told me. When she said it like that, I realized it was real. When it’s
a limb every day. A lot of times, they don’t have a choice. They lifestyle real like that, you wanna help your mom out because you see what’s
that they get caught up in, there’s no way out. There’s no way you can going on. You see where you can help. So that’s why my record is a
just stop living today. There’s no way you can just stop running your hit, because life is a hustle. Gas is $3.50 a gallon after we went over
business. So many people depend on you. It’s a lot of responsibilities there [to the Middle East] and killed all them people. So what’s the
and cats in the streets. fuckin’ purpose? I wish somebody would give me [President] Bush’s
cell number, so I can call him and ask him. I’m confused. I thought that
Who was your biggest influence when you came into the rap game? when we went over there [to Iraq] and took the whole country, all the
Luke Skywalker. I remember it like it was yesterday: I was in elemen- riches, all the wealth, and all the resources of the land was gonna be
tary school when I first seen the “Move Something” single cover. They ours after we put U.S. flags in there. I just knew we was goin’ back to a
took it in the back of the alley, standin’ in front of a Cherokee, with his buck fifty a gallon. But the shit has gotten higher, so that just tells you
pants down to his knees. And the Cherokee said “Luke Skywalker.” I that somebody’s hustlin’. Somebody’s hustlin’ us!
could remember being a kid and riding around in the back seat with
my mom and I was always lookin’ for that Cherokee, cause there was Everybody’s hustling.
just something about that picture. When I realized that he was from Exactly, exactly, and the gas companies are exploiting everybody. But
where I was from, man, I knew that dreams can come true. To me, as guess what? You don’t have a choice. We’re a slave to the gas com-
a kid, just being on a vinyl cover was good enough. So that stayed panies. I’m a slave to them. They’re showing us their true colors. After
on my brain. That album cover Luke did most definitely influenced all this – the Weapons of Mass Destruction and the bin Ladens – Bush
me to become an entrepreneur and pursue my music career. My big- don’t have an answer for that. Bush, call me, man, if you got the an-
gest influences were Luke, Ice Cube, and Big Daddy Kane. I loved Ice swer. You read the OZONE, I know you do, cause you smoke weed.
Cube’s album Amerikkka’s Most Wanted. That was the turning point And you like Julia, I know you do. So call me and let me know. I’ll put
when I knew I wanted to make music. I felt like I related to his music it in my music and let niggas know. But I’m fuckin’ lost, I thought this
so much, as far as what was going on in my community and shit. That shit was supposed to get cheaper. So if y’all driving those Hummers
was a great fuckin’ album. That’s one of the top five greatest albums in and shit, y’all better start fuckin’ hustling. If you’re driving them Sub-
the history of rap. Rick Ross said it and if somebody don’t like it, I’ll sit urbans and you wanna ride big you better start fuckin’ hustlin’, cause
down and we can break it down. I’m a student of the game. You got to it’s gonna be $5/gallon next year. Who’s gonna stop it? Only Bush can
understand, I was skipping school and hanging out at the gameroom stop it. It’s a big business!
where they had the big screen TV playing videos. I remember this fine
girl walked in. I was a shorty. She had one of those little Luke booty Switching topics, a lot of people heard that you have beef with T.I.. Is
shorts on and when I seen her, I was like, damn! As soon as Big Daddy that true?
Kane walked in with his flat top [on the TV screen] I’ll never forget the Nah, that ain’t true. I just jumped on the remix to [T.I.’s record] “What
face that girl made. I was convinced. I was sold on hip-hop. I was sold! You Know.” You know, a couple years ago we had our little differences
I started growing my flat top the same day. or whatever, but that was just two bosses, you know what I’m sayin’? I
was a boss at the time. I respected his grind. I just wanted everybody
Going back to what you said earlier about the fact that you came up in to recognize where I was coming from and where I stood. But I always
the cocaine era, what do you think is the new hustle for this era? respected dude and I just wanna congratulate him on the success of
I don’t know. The streets always change, but there’s always gonna his last album and all of that.
be people who have and people who don’t have. And those people
who don’t have, they’ve got a lot of heart and a lot of charisma and When did you start rapping?
they ain’t gonna just lay down. So in our time, that’s what it was on I was around 14 or 15. But even in elementary school, I was a big fan.
the streets. For people who really hustle, it’s because they have to. I I was just a reciter. You know, I just loved it so much I may have picked
go to some of my homeboy’s houses and it’s crazy. They’ve got six up a pen and shot little lines. And it was super whack but I just liked
sisters, each one of them got four kids, and it’s crazy. It’s sad. If you doing it so much. I actually got serious my 11th grade year of school,
were in that position you’d be selling drugs in a week, without a doubt. cause I knew I was finna be out of school. U.C.L.A. ain’t kickin’ in the
It’s when people are put in those kind of positions, man, you do what doors for the boy, so I had to keep it real. I had a football scholarship,
you have to do. Me, when I was young, hangin’ at the places I was but I left. The motivation wasn’t there.
hangin’ at, it wasn’t hard for me to hustle. All I had to do was just have

OZONE 79
How did your Slip-N-Slide situation originally come about? Poe Boy Records is owned by E-Class – he’s my manager and he’s
To be honest, you know, most people barely get to the root of it. But always been my business partner. We did a lot of business with his la-
this is the OZONE. Slip-N-Slide came into play after I was signed to bel Poe Boy Entertainment. I was a silent partner in every project they
Suave House. My first record deal was with Suave House – shout out were involved in. E-Class is my roll dawg from the old school, that’s
to Tony Draper and Block Entertainment. That was my homie; me and my brother and he’s a real street nigga. That’s why when you see Rick
Block were dawgs from the streets. That’s how we met. We connected Ross from Def Jam and Slip-N-Slide, Poe Boy is there too, cause that’s
and kept it real gangsta and he was real cool with Draper. My first deal my way of showin’ love.
was with Draper, and Slip-N-Slide bought me out of the contract in
2000 or 2001. Now that Jacki-O got out of her contract with Poe Boy, she claims
E-Class is blackballing her new single. Since you were close to both
How did you get Slip-N-Slide’s attention. sides, what’s your opinion on the problems between Poe Boy and
I was doing my thing on the streets of Miami, so they had heard about Jacki-O?
me. After the Draper situation, one of the homies out in Atlanta reached I don’t even know why there is a problem, because during the time
out to [Slip-N-Slide CEO] Ted [Lucas]. Ted let him know that he was she was at Poe Boy, she was successful. She had a successful career.
most definitely interested. They liked the fact that I was coming in a She’s talented; she just needs to refocus and get someone else to put
whole other lane from Trick [Daddy]. Trick always represents for the out her album. In my personal opinion, I know what E-Class did for her.
thugs, and he’s the best at that. But I was kinda comin’ on some fly My dawg wanted the best for her. She had a good support system. I
Miami shit. Trick Daddy would be talking about Dickies and I would be don’t really know what happened with them personally, because I ain’t
talking about Prada. never really asked the details. I wish her the best.

A few years ago, you were frustrated with Slip-N-Slide because they Do you think you’ll be able to capture the female audience as well as
hadn’t put your album out. the hustlers?
At that time, I felt like I was ready. I may have been wrong, but I hon- What? Have you been to my shows? They be pullin’ on me, girl. All
estly felt like I was ready. I was just being mishandled, and we all know those girls love Rick Ross. I’m loved. I’m so lovable, colorful, and fuck-
that the pen is mightier than the sword so I just vented. Me and Ted sat able. I’m all that. This Ross. This is what I do. I’m wearing these $800
down like G’s and we handled that. We worked out our differences. jeans for you, baby. I’m wearing this cologne for you, baby. Most defi-
nitely. I got a record with me and Ne-Yo that’s strictly for the ladies.
What do you think ultimately changed your situation? The “Hustlin’” It’s gonna make the ladies just want to cry in the rain. And I got a big
record? record with my homie Rodney from Poe Boy that’s definitely for the
Yeah, but even before the “Hustlin’” record came along we had started ladies.
back communicating. We were just tryin’ to decide how we were finna
move. Either I was gonna buy myself out of the contract or renegoti- What was the significance of shooting your video at the Carolmart?
ate and see how the numbers looked. But it wasn’t no pressure. I was It’s the heart of Carol City. It’s real hood. That’s where all the trap stars
surprised on how he was handling it, and I let [Ted] know straight up. and the hustlas go, and that’s where all the young females go to get
When I brought him the “Hustlin’” record I told him we got to do it their gold weaves and their red weaves. That’s where I saw the Big
big. We got to make a whole new move, I didn’t want to just do that Daddy Kane video when I was young. I’ve been going there my whole
Atlantic shit. I wanted to do some shit that people were really gonna life. I bought my first vinyl their – Run-DMC. I was up there today.
talk about. So let’s just fuck with the biggest of the biggest. Jay-Z don’t
get no bigger. You’re known to rock a lot of jewelry; why do you think there’s so
much emphasis on that in hip-hop today?
There was quite a bidding war for your project. What was the actual Because, man, we grew up with nothing. My mama was from Missis-
deal with Def Jam? sippi and then my dad left. You’ve got to understand, when you grow
It was in the millions. It was a real, real big situation. With Slip-N-Slide up without nothin’ and when you ain’t got nothing – when you eatin’
being involved, it was a bigger deal. The average artist can get half a cornflakes at 5:00 in the afternoon and then oatmeal at night – once
million dollars with no pressure, with just a cold set-up or a good buzz. you get it, you wanna overdo it. Since I was small, I used to take my
But when you’re predicted as being the biggest new dude in rap, the neighbor’s lawn mower out their garage and cut yards all day just to
label knows what they’ve got to bring to the table. I let them know off be able to buy a Big Mac, I swear to God. We was kids and we called it
the jump: I know what I need, and I don’t care about none of the small “hustlin’.” We used to sit outside the grocery store and wait for families
talk. That’s how we handled it. to come out pushin’ they buggies and just ask to push the buggies for
a quarter. We were doing that in elementary school, pushin’ buggies
So from the beginning you knew that you wanted to go with Def for six or seven hours a day to make $10. I used to wash cars, too. That
Jam? was one of my best jobs.
No, I just knew that I wanted it to be one of the top three. We all know
that there’s really only two or three real labels and everything else falls The video was cool because you showed all different types of hustlin’.
under the same systems. I know the kind of people I want to be affili- Most people assume the song is about selling drugs.
ated with, something different and something big. Everything worked Yeah, it ain’t just about that. It ain’t just talkin’ about yayo. This is the M-
out good – I just wanted to put that little twist on it and be able to rep I-Yayo, but there’s hustles going on everywhere. There’s fake Jordans
the South alongside the great names over there at Def Jam. And Jay- for sale. Not only are the shoes fake, but they make the fake boxes to
Z, you know, that’s big for the hood period. They love that. go with them and all that. But even in South Beach, there’s a lot of big
time hustlers over there on Star Island. It’s a lot of yay on both sides of
You’ve claimed to be one of the greatest ghostwriters in the South. the bridge. A lot of yay got a lot of people over there on South Beach.
Who are some other artists you’ve written for? It’s the movie stars and the big timers who fuck their money up quicker
(laughs) I love keeping my clients happy. You’ve definitely heard a lot than anybody and would do anything to stay out of the red.
of Rick Ross tunes.
It’s the American way.
Lyrically, do you think you’re on the level of a “East Coast” artist? How That’s why the bookies are so rich in Miami, muthafuckers, man. But
do you feel about people who say the South doesn’t have lyrics. on the other side of the bridge, that’s where the hard hustlin’ is at.
I don’t know. Who would say that?
If you had to work a 9-5 would you consider that a hustle?
New York says that. Hell yeah, I swear to God. That’s what motivated me to really do the
I’d like to find somebody to tell me that the South doesn’t have lyrics. music, cause I can’t do a 9-5. I wouldn’t be happy with life. I wasn’t
If somebody says that, it’s obvious they haven’t heard of Rick Ross. happy watching my mama and my neighbors. Every day, this is what
It’s obvious they haven’t heard of Lil Wayne. It’s obvious they haven’t y’all do? Get up and go to work and make $30,000 a year? Are you
heard of T.I. It’s obvious they haven’t heard of Ludacris. The list goes fuckin’ serious? How much? To make the kind of money you want to
on and on. There’s not too many artists that you can put in front of make, you would have to be a fuckin’ rocket scientist. I’d have to go to
those names I just named that’s gonna get past them. If you feel differ- college, and I had a problem with multiplication. I can’t go past 5’s.
ent, God bless your heart.
What’s six times six?
What exactly is your situation with Poe Boy? 36.

80 OZONE
Good guess. What’s seven times eight? the “Hustlin’” record, but how do you ensure longevity in the game
I don’t know. But this is what I’m tellin’ you. It’s hard, man. as an artist?
The records. The music. If they love it now, it’s only gonna get better.
Do you think rappers take advantage of all their opportunities? The more things I experience and the more places I go, the more
Rap is definitely a hustle. You can get endorsements. You’ve got to money I blow, the more shit I get. It’s only giving me more ammuni-
go hard. That’s why I’ma outwork them. I just got off a five-week tour. tion to make music and talk about the things I know the hood wants
I was on a Def Jam promo tour doing radio runs, five different cities to hear about. You’ve got to keep reinventing yourself. Every song’s
a day. In between those cities, I was writing records. I completed a gotta be hotter. There can’t be no gaps. We droppin’ Port of Miami on
whole mix CD, twenty different freestyles within that time, not to men- August 1st, Carol City Cartel coming next, and then the documentary
tion the features that I was doing on the road. I’m tryin’ to do every- M-I-Yayo is coming. In between that we’re gonna drop a little compila-
thing. I ain’t missing nothin’ because I’ve struggled for so long. tion independent. That’s just extra side money. Then we’re gonna hit
them with another Rick Ross.
Do you think it’s a good thing that it took you so long to get your big
break? Are you rushing to get Port of Miami in stores since the single is so
Of course. It made me a better businessman. Now, I’m into real es- hot right now?
tate. Before, I wouldn’t have thought about none of that. I would have Naw, cause they feel like the single ain’t even reached its peak poten-
bought 500 pounds of weed or some shit. When you blow up, that’s tial right now. I was on the road last week and we went to a few sta-
when you’re supposed to hustle harder. Why not? Buy 50 acres. Set tions where they just added it that day. So we’re gonna let the single
up some hydro lamps everywhere you go. Do anything you want to do what it does. We’re gonna slip the remix out there and then we’re
do. gonna come with the follow-up single. I’m getting a lot of love in the
streets right now. DJs are calling for vinyl and clean versions and all
You said that Uncle Luke was one of your biggest influences – are you that. And it’s not even that kind of record, that’s a real performance
hoping to be one of the biggest influences for other rappers? record that I love performing just to set the tone.
Of course. It hurt me to see how the Luke thing ended. But I still see
him and I still respect him; he’s still ridin’ big Benzes. He was parallel Carol City Cartel is the name of your group?
to Russell Simmons in the 80s. He was owning Luke Records, having Yeah, that’s my artists and I’m in the group too. They’re gonna be the
his own distribution, getting all that money for one record, selling two offspring of Rick Ross. They’re so hard. We’re finna have a lot of fun.
million and selling one million. If I could impact the kids the way Luke
did me, of course, I’d be proud of that. Is there anything else you want to say?
I wanna most definitely plug my debut album Port of Miami coming
Tell us a little about the album Port of Miami. The Runners produced August 1st. I’m representing the South; much love to everybody from
the single, right? the 305. Carol City Cartel on deck, the documentary M-I-Yayo: The
Yeah, The Runners produced “Hustlin’.” They’re some young, tal- Cocaine Capital executive produced by Rick Ross and directed by
ented dudes from Orlando. They’re on fire right now. They’re being Antoine Smith. Keep your eyes open for Slip-N-Slide Records, Poe
managed by my brother, my homie DJ Khaled. The Runners gave me Boy Entertainment, E-Class, Def Jam Records, Jay-Z, DJ Khaled, Mr.
that fire. Jazze Pha and Cool & Dre gave me something real special. Mauricio, everybody at Def Jam. I just wanna salute everybody who
Just Blaze came to the studio and gave me a gift. Swizz Beatz, Mr. played a part in me getting here. It’s the whole movement. Make sure
Collipark, Shawty Redd, and I’m still recording. I’ve got eight records you look out for that DJ Khaled album and that Dre album. I’m just
to lay right now. Next we’re gonna hit them with the “Hustlin’” remix waiting for the OZONE compilation to come out. See, that’s where
featuring Jay-Z and Young Jeezy. I’m finna come out and make sure these niggas do they verses and
get their music together. After the Awards it’s gonna be the OZONE
How was the vibe with Jay-Z? compilation CD. I wanna be a partner in that, JB.
It was real, man. That just made me more excited about [the Def Jam
deal]. I sat down with dude and he’s a real nigga. We just sat there - Photos and words by Julia Beverly
and chopped it up. We walked the halls together; I wanted to get in
the heart of the system. We sat in the conferences, he introduced me
to everybody.

Do you feel pressure to sell records at Def Jam? There’s been some
criticism of Jay-Z that he hasn’t proven himself as an executive yet.
Ne-Yo just broke records his first time out. Def Jam is doing good.
You’ve seen the success of Young Jeezy and all of them. I don’t re-
ally feel no pressure, and it’s obvious that he doesn’t
feel pressure either because he just lets me do
what I do. He’ll put a bug in my ear for some
things, but for the most part I’m just doing what
I’m doing and Def Jam is loving it.

Of course you’ve got the buzz right now with

OZONE 81
djprofile
DJ Christion (Tampa, FL)
When did you start DJing?
DJ Christion: Back in the day when I was 13,
I went to my cousin’s graduation in New York
City. I heard Funkmaster Flex on the radio,
saw Kid Capri live on Def Comedy Jam, and I got to witness the whole
essence of it live and in the park with DJs on the ones and twos cut-
ting them up real nasty. Once I saw the whole vibe and how the DJs
could basically manipulate the crowd and make them dance, that’s
what made me want to get into it. Remember the old stereos with the
two tape decks? I had to call people to find them. I had a couple vinyls
that were always scratched and I’d make mix CDs – well, mixtapes
back in the day. I’d get a CD and place a record player on top of that Wild 98.7, correct?
and two tape decks. To make a long story short, my sister felt sorry for DJ Christion: Yeah, Wild 98.7 and Turntable Assassins, that’s my family
me and bought me a pair of turntables for Christmas. Her boyfriend right there. Turntable Assassins got a lot of DJs all over the place, like
was a DJ, so he kind of gave her the hookup on some Gemini 1800s. Smooth Denali, J-Love, Irie, Entice, DJ Chill in Louisiana, and a couple
big mixtape DJs in New York. We’re just trying to build our organiza-
What do you think Tampa’s music scene needs to really blow up? tion over here real heavy.
There’s been a lot of hits out of Tampa but not a lot of artists with
longevity. Why do you think Wild is known for breaking party records mo-
DJ Christion: I think it needs more consistency and promotion. Tam- reso than mainstream radio stations in other cities?
pa’s kind of known for their jukin’ records. But there’s a couple people Wild 98.7’s PD Orlando: Because we’re a station that doesn’t want to
out there now that are really bringing it, like Tom G. He kinda blew up dictate culture. Whether it’s Hot 97 or Power 106 or Power 96 or 99
off that “City Boy” record but he really has some hot shit. There’s some Jamz in their respective cities, stations like that pretty much dictate
other cats out here that really have some hot shit that’s not dance shit. the culture because they’ve been here so long and they’re swagger is
It’s more like a Rick Ross where they can spit, they have those club like that. We never really wanted to ride like that. We never really want
records, those hits, those radio records, but they also have the street to think of ourselves as stars, we’re just people lucky enough to be in
singles. So hopefully within this year 2006 a couple more people are front of the mic. So we ain’t goin’ to tell you what’s hot, we’re going to
gonna step up and really put Tampa out there. I thin we’re just waiting wait for you to tell us what’s hot. So, we actually listen.
for the right artist to come around. It takes a lot, you know? The artist
has to be hungry. You’ve got to be willing to do a hundred drops for Every time I log onto TampaHipHop.com there’s a post like, “Fuck
DJs in your own city, out of your own city and in another state, wher- Orlando, he doesn’t support local music.”
ever it may be. We need one of those Pitbulls. You know how hungry Wild 98.7’s PD Orlando: Always. (laughing) I mean, it’s frustrating for
Pitbull was! these artists, so I understand. I know major artists that get frustrated
cause they’re not getting played. So I know if you’re out there and
What role do you think the DJs play when it comes to cities like putting your all into it, whether you’re doing it dirty or just borrowing
Tampa where we have seen a lot of records come up? Do you think money from moms, it gets a little frustrating. I’m an easy target cause
if more cities had DJs willing to take risks on records we’d see I don’t really care; I’ll let them bust shots at me all day. There’s whack
more hit singles from “unknown” groups? DJs mad out there cause I won’t hire them so they start up a label. I
DJ Christion: I think so. At the end of the day, an artist can’t make a re- don’t even want to say names because I wouldn’t want to give them
gional record or a local record. On my show the Sunday Night Bomb, any pub. They threaten to fight me and kill me and I’m like, whatever.
we have a special section for that local artist to get their local shine and I’m just trying to win.
nine times out of ten if it’s hot enough we just continue to play it. All the
DJs drop the station and it breaks, you know? First it hits the streets, Do you look at records like “Keep Jukin”” or “City Boy” as being
then the clubs, then it goes to radio. We’re behind the artist as long as hip-hop records or another genre?
they bring the smash; that heat. They just can’t come half-stepping. Wild 98.7’s PD Orlando: I think it’s all hip-hop. Hip-hop just has dif-
Wild 98.7’s PD Orlando: It depends on which DJs you’re talking about. ferent cousins, family, friends; it’s like black people. Black people are
The club DJ has his finger on the pulse. We just had Rick Ross on our light-skinned, dark-skinned, all this stuff. Hip-hop is just taking a dif-
show on Friday and he was talking about that. I told him to explain ferent turn where you’ve got “Laffy Taffy,” which is somewhere in the
how he got on to the people who send us boxes and boxes of CDs hip-hop family. You’ve got a retarded cousin in the family that every-
and take us to lunch and all that. He said you basically have to just get body never talks to, but he’s part of the family too. “Laffy Taffy” is the
your hustle on. Radio is always the last step. It’s never the first. People retarded cousin. Just look at Vanilla Ice – everybody’s got their page
make a record, burn a copy, and run down to the radio station. The in history. “Laffy Taffy” and “Bet You Can’t Do It Like Me,” same thing,
days of Michael and his brothers getting signed with no record, that’s those are the records that force their way on the air. You don’t want to
over. Now you’ve got to show that you have a marketable product, play them cause they ain’t sexy, but they get a big response and kids
like Luda. Kevin Liles said that if you spend $100,000 on your project start downloading them online.
and show that you recouped your dollars, they’ll sign you and spend
$200,000. If you spend $200,000 and recoup it, they’ll spend $2 million What do you think sets DJ Christion apart from other DJs?
on a project because they know that when they put their promotions Wild 98.7’s PD Orlando: We’ve had a lot of cats that can mix and do
machine behind you they’ll get their money back plus a return. stuff in the club and it’s hot and they got their own position, but he was
the number one draft pick. He was the kid everyone was talking about.
What’s the best way for an artist to approach you to get their re- He’s always been on the outside looking in but when he came to the
cord played? table he was interested in other aspects. I have mixers that just want
DJ Christion: Just approach me like a normal person. Don’t just throw a to perform on air. That’s all they want to do. They don’t want to talk to
CD in my face and be like, “Play this.” It doesn’t happen often, though. labels, they don’t want to network with other people. Christion comes
Nine times out of ten they come up like, “Nice to meet you, I’m work- in like, “Hey, here’s my man DJ Khaled,” and “Hey, here’s Cool & Dre.”
ing hard, this is my record, can you just listen to it, you don’t have to He’s in my office every day with a new friend. And he comes in with
play it tonight.” When they come to you with a humble attitude like that records, too. Some of them have been whack and some of them have
you’re more likely to take a listen to it. If it’s hot I’ll play it right there in been hot, but I mean, he’s been out there on the grind. He was in my
the club. They give DJs a bad rep sometimes cause they say we don’t office really screaming about Rick Ross’ “Hustlin’,” and Dre’s “Chevy
push local artists, but the record has got to be a smash and it’s got to Ridin’ High” record. It has a sound that could really work in St. Pete
keep the people moving. No one wants to play the whack shit. and Tampa – everywhere there’s candy painted cars.

You’re a part of the Turntable Assassins and you also DJ on WLLD - Photo and words by Julia Beverly

82 OZONE
PROUD ‘BAMA

TO BE
WORDS: MAURICE G. GARLAND
PHOTO: JARO VACEK

F
irst-hand experience is always better, and more accurate, than Alabama. They were listening to LL Cool J and Run-DMC during the
simple research. There’s only so much a text-book, newspaper, 80s just like the rest of the country. And yes, they got to see them live
website, or [gasp] magazine can tell you about a city and the too. So be careful the next time you throw around that word “Bama” to
people who live there. Its not until you are able to touch a person’s hint that someone is stupid. Unless you’re adopting its new meaning
hand, hear their voice, walk their streets and breath their air that you courtesy of Mobb Tied’s hit, “Beat A Muthafucka’s Ass.”
really get a full understanding of what they’ve seen and what they’ve
been through. “People are stuck on that crap the comedians be saying on television
about us,” smirks DJ Serious, who holds down shows on Birming-
Birmingham, Alabama has seen a lot since it was founded in 1871, ham’s WBHJ and Huntsville’s WEUP. “It takes people coming down
after the Civil War. It flourished widely during the Industrial Era, and here to see that we’re getting it just like them. Ten, fifteen years ago
suffered greatly during the Great Depression. While outsiders were all the clubs was playing hip-hop. People don’t think we played Eric B
reading about notorious segregation proponent Bull O’Connor and and Rakim and New York hip-hop down here, but we did.”
watching the Civil Rights movement develop on television, the people
here lived it first hand and have the scars to prove it. On the lighter Of course, every hip-hop loving youngster imitated their favorite rap-
side, Michael Jordan played for their Minor League Baseball team dur- per in the bathroom mirror, scribbled a couple rhymes at school or
ing his brief stint in the sport. The city is also home to two American even performed in a talent show or two. But it wasn’t until the early
Idol winners, Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks. But still, the city car- 90s when groups like Legion of Doom and R.O.A (Reality Of Alabama)
ries a struggling, underdog attitude. came on the scene that Birmingham got something that they could
call their own. Initially both groups were recognized more for their
“The times are real hard right now,” says Aquil Abdur-Rasheed, CEO street reputations than lyrical prowess, but R.O.A managed to become
of Kottage Boy Records and owner of landmark retailer Music & More. a presence musically.
“People out here are either rapping, doing drugs or in jail. Things are
slow for everybody.” Feared as a “gang” or “movement,” the primary members rappers
Loc and Monk, producer Kano and executive producer Andre Murrell
That simple research we mentioned earlier would tell you differently. released their first album, G’s 4 Life, on Creeppstyle Records. The
To have www.wikipeia.org tell it, Birmingham is becoming a “major immense popularity of songs like “Giggiddy Bang” and “Nina Nina”
medical research center and a regional banking and publishing pow- made them local stars by the time their sophomore effort, Ready 4
er.” That may be true for some, but not for all. Anything, came out on Chip Records. In addition to nearly signing with
Rap-A-Lot Records, the group’s album sold 1,000 copies a week in
“This is a robbing city; everybody trying to get paper here,” bluntly local retail and was picked up by national retailers like Sam Goody,
states Kottage Boy recording artist Birmingham J. “By the time I turn Blockbuster and Camelot.
35 I think there will be more junkies than successful people here. I’ve
had a lot of homies go to jail at 16 who are getting out now and going “We had to be pioneers and learn how to do shit on our own,” remem-
back to what they do.” bers Kano, mentioning that they had a buzz all over the Southeast and
as far as Chicago. “It was the fans that made us who we were, we was
Of course, that is no new trend to urban America. Crime and desola- just making hood music and they took it in.”
tion have always been neighbors to the inner-city. Especially in places
like Birmingham, where 74% of the population is black. And like most Unfortunately, Chip Records could not supply the demand that the
metropolises with a predominant African-American presence, hip-hop
is the main outlet for expression - and alternative for trouble.

Contrary to popular (close-minded) belief, hip-hop did not skip over

(l to r): Big A, Aquil, Calvin, Rome K, D, DJ Serious, Silkk, CJ Tha Stickman, SLP, Pinky, BTDT, Don Dada, MP, Bill Gunnz, JD, Norris Webb, DJ Lee, Attitude,
Larry Mosley, Ron White, Murc, Pepper Hamilton, DJ Stickuhbush, Rap God, Big Magic, Super King, Mista Mal, Dirty D, Young Streetz, Caino, Lyrisis, Ab-
84 OZONESincere, Nikki Wells, Modesty XO, Yapoet, K Smith, Chi Chi, and Uncensored
soloot,
“The Civil Rights movement taught us to pursue what we want. Just
like Dr. King fought for what he believed in, we fighting for what we
believe in. And we think our music can help people. We’re still living
the same dream of helping someone else.” - Snipe
group garnered, thus they were unable to capitalize completely. Add Bohagon or rappers like Gunnz signing with Jimmy Rosemond’s Czar
this to the fact that R.O.A. was indeed living out the gangsterized par- Entertainment.
ables that they spat and you have Birmingham’s first crack at national
recognition put on hold. “The music has to be bigger than Birmingham, we have to be respect-
ed on the level of the bigger artists,” says Big Magic, CEO of B.O.M.B
“We was living like New Jack City times ten,” remembers Kano who Records. “Our competition isn’t each other, it’s the big guys.”
went on to work with No Limit Records and the likes of B.G., Roy
Jones, Jr. and The Last Mr. Bigg. “Loc went to jail, and other members From day one, its been “the big guys” who have played a role in Bir-
like Calm Down and Killa were killed.” mingham not getting recognized yet. Whether its labels overlooking
them, or not looking period. But unlike other cities, you won’t find a lot
Proving that Birmingham artists could seriously have a run in the mu- of anger in Birmingham when it comes to them being one of the last
sic industry, R.O.A. ignited a fire that would lead to more artists press- cities to enjoy the Southern hip-hop explosion. In fact, when you ask
ing up professionally packaged and quality sounding music. about it, you get practically the same answer from almost everybody.

Among them were Red Light District and then-Chip Records artist, At- “You can say we was overlooked, or u can say that we wasn’t. But
titude. It was around this time, the mid-90s, that Birmingham began to what’s first shall be last, what’s last shall be first, it depends how you
formulate, or at least try to, their own sound. Many say that Red Light look at it,” says Kano.
District’s sound was reminiscent of the Native Tongues era, thus mak-
ing their music more viable for local radio to support. At the same time, “I believe that the last should be first and the first should be last,” adds
most Birmingham artists infused the sounds of neighboring cities like Derrick Webb, CEO of Ncyte Records, home to the Gator Boys and
New Orleans, Memphis, Houston and Atlanta; adding their own sense female R&B duo Lyrsis.
of struggle into the mix.
“I can’t say we been overlooked, what’s last will come first,” says the
“We do ‘hood music,” implies show promoter Superking who hosts increasingly popular Modest XO.
the Last Sunday Showcase at city hodgepodge The High Note. “We
make music that comes from the community. We don’t do snap, trap Attitude sums it up by saying, “It’s good that all of us aren’t frustrated.
or crunk. Alabama artists gonna have something in their music, like This way, we can keep our focus and do better to get noticed.”
the Goodie Mob did. We exemplify the Black struggle.”
Frustration and anger took its toll on Birmingham decades ago during
“I can’t say that Birmingham has a sound, which is what makes us the Civil Rights movement. Perhaps that’s why you get that feeling
so dope,” says former Timbaland protégé Attitude who is currently from the artists when you meet them. Because lets face it, the city
signed to Atlanta-based Aphilliates Music Group. “We’re the pipeline, has lived through worst times than record labels not paying them at-
everything comes through here. Since we’ve been forced to listen to tention.
everyone else, our city is a melting pot now.”
“The Civil Rights movement taught us to pursue what we want,” says
“Musically, Birmingham is so brand new,” says Lil Homie of 95.7 Jamz. Snipe, one half of Big Gen & Snipe. “Just like Dr. King fought for what
“I’ve seen the culture here change a lot in just the past 5 years. Being he believed in, we fighting for what we believe in. And we think our
so close to Atlanta, its easy for the artists to latch on to them. But I see music can help people. We’re still living the same dream of helping
people trying to get their own identity. Because of that, the city’s music someone else.”
scene is leaving its incubation stage and is maturing into a vibrant
industry.” “We are the children of the Civil Rights movement so we got the
strength and fight in our blood,” says Kano. “You remember Bull
While Birmingham’s music scene is starting to grow legs and crawl, O’Connor, this city was built for us not be together. But this music is
they are careful not be too self-contained. Which is why you see new bringing people together.”
up-and-coming artists like Mista Mal working with Houston-based pro-
ducers Mr. Lee, groups like B.A. Boys making moves with Lil Flip and He pauses and laughs, “Look at Taylor Hicks and Snoop Dogg.”

If Birmingham’s hip-hop artists stay on track, America will be idolizing


all of them eventually.

(l to r); Qousto, PR of the Gator Boyz, Handsome King, Entruda, Lucci of the Gator Boyz, DJ Blaze, Anthony, Thedweller, Kid, Big Reese, Reque, Sam
Addams, Doc6, Kami Dee, Sonny Blac, Lil Booh, Shawt, Miss Katt, Hustle All Day, Chucky Chuck, Gee, Venus, Jus Chris, Big Gen, and Snipe OZONE 85
NINE MONTHS LATER

The news cameras are gone and the country’s attention has turned elsewhere,
but it’s hurricane season again down South. OZONE took a trip to New Orleans’
infamous Ninth Ward to check on the progress - or lack thereof.
PHOTOS: JULIA BEVERLY (pg 90-99)
JARO VACEK (pg. 88-89)
W
e passed through New Orleans earlier this year en route
to the All-Star game in Houston, and even the quick
drive on I-10 was a shocking reminder of the devastation
that had occurred there just a few short months before.

Since then, I’d had the idea to do a photo spread documenting the
aftermath - what’s left in the city now that most of its residents have
relocated to Houston, Baton Rouge, Atlanta, and other parts of the
country. So when I had a spare day in between OZONE release par-
ties in Jackson, MS and Dallas, TX, me and my homie Stax hopped
in the OZONE/CRUNK!!! truck and took a trip down to the N.O. to
see what remains nine months after Hurricane Katrina.

To be honest, these photos don’t capture it at all. I was a little


disappointed with how they turned out. The photos just look like
snapshots of rubble; a random junkyard. There’s no way to express,
in print, the feeling you get when you see blocks and blocks and
blocks of flattened buildings that once were home-sweet-home to
millions of people; miles and miles of devastation that has largely
been forgotten in the minds of the American people.

(below) Beachfront hotel in Pass Christian, MS


“We fell asleep through the hurricane and when we woke up, they had like
eight feet of water outside. We sat around for a couple days, helicopters flying
around. Some police on the boats said they were coming back to get us; they
never came back. After the second day, I told my dude, ‘We gotta get in this
water.’ Everybody said a little prayer, and we just hopped in that water and
swam for it, man. We got out on the third day. We had to hotwire a truck to get
out of New Orleans. I really don’t wanna say this, but I had to put a pistol in the
police’s face to get a boat to get out of this muthafucker.”

- Gudda (Sqad Up)

90 OZONE
The first floor of this elementary school in the Ninth Ward was
underwater, as seen in the library (above and at left). The building’s
upper levels were spared and apparently the roof of the 2nd floor
served as home for a few people during the hurricane (below).

OZONE 91
Most of the cities’ overpasses still look like this - a virtual
graveyard of flooded vehicles, stripped of anything
remotely valuable.

92 OZONE
“My homie in Pass Christian, MS, says that
their whole neighborhood is being bulldozed.
The places where the most affluent people
stay, of course they’re being refurbished. But
in most places, it ain’t too much different right
now than it was right after the hurricane, and
that’s really pitiful. But as long as the cameras
are not on, people are gonna take their time.”
– David Banner

OZONE 93
“How do you rebuild Iraq but you don’t
rebuild New Orleans? That’s what I want to
know. You gotta help the people first, and the
people will clean up their own mess. Instead of
going straight for the contractors, put the vic-
tims first! Help the people first and the people
will clean up their own mess. You can kill two
birds with one stone. ”
– Skip (UTP)

94 OZONE
OZONE 95
“They’re slowly but surely rebuilding, but I
don’t see no major improvements. They’re
still price-gouging everybody; still raising
the rent up on everybody. I think they
made a lot of promises they knew they
couldn’t keep. They said the levees were
gonna be ready before this hurricane sea-
son; this hurricane season is here and the
levees aren’t ready.”
– 5th Ward Weebie

96 OZONE
In the hardest-hit areas of the Ninth Ward, closest to the levees, many homes
were completely swept off their foundation into neighboring properties. Most
sobering is the little signs of humanity amongst the piles of junk, like the purse
below.

OZONE 97
Neighborhoods like the one shown above resemble ghost-towns; completely abandoned.

98 OZONE
“I learned a lot from [Katrina]. I lived to learn how to learn
from everybody. I lived to learn how to learn from any situ-
ation that I went through. I had an experience of my own. I
had people in the past, people in my family tellin’ me about
Hurricane Betsy and stuff like that; hurricanes that came
through and did the same thing.”
- Juvenile

OZONE 99
cdreviews

YO GOTTI DA MUZICIANZ BUSTA RHYMES


BACK 2 DA BASICS IN STORES NOW THE BIG BANG
TVT Records TVT Records Aftermath

Just as advertised, Yo Gotti keeps it basic with Thanks to a couple “HANH??!?!”s here Sometimes change is hard to accept. That
his latest effort. He opens with the Drumma and there, D-Roc earned a reputation as being said, it’s been kind of difficult to
Boy-produced “That’s What’s Up” which uses being the more animated half of the Ying accept the new Busta Rhymes that we’ve
the tried and true formula of using a phrase Yang Twinz. Now that he has teamed up been seeing over the past couple of years.
to build a song around. Example: “What up with his younger brother Mr. Ball and Da You know, the one who wore throwbacks
haters, what up hustlas, what up real niggas, Birthday Boy to form Da Musicianz, you and fitted caps instead of neon-green
what up bustas.” This method is used again on can expect exponential energy. leather jackets. The one who started pack-
“Shawty.” ing pistols on DJ Whoo Kid DVD’s instead
For starters, D-Roc puts out a PSA telling of “coming through like G.I. Joe.” And oh,
He then takes time to remind you where he’s listeners that this album is strictly for the don’t forget the one who made ballads with
at and where he’s from; the streets. On “Where clubs and he keeps his promise. “Bust Mariah Carey.
I’m At” he walks the listener through Memphis’ It Wide Open” has Mr. Ball establishing
crackhouses, strip clubs, hoe tracks and other himself as the melodic one of the group, Well, get ready for more change as a
seedy areas. Later on he reiterates what he’s with Birthday Boy showing he is the dread-less Busta drops some of his
about on “I’m A Thug” featuring D’Nero of the rambunctious one. Especially on “Crazy- strongest work since the late 90s. By now,
Blockburnaz where Gotti boasts, “I’m a gangsta man” where the Da Musicianz make an “Touch It” and its all-star cast remix has
you an actress / You be dreaming, I make it attempt at creating yet another Atlanta been engrained in your head while the
happen / I ain’t a G, I ain’t a Crip, I ain’t a blood, dance craze. The difference here is that follow-up single “I Love My Bitch” is on its
but I be fuckin’ with them niggas, I’m thug.” they encourage you to make up your way to doing the same. So we won’t embel-
own move and simply name it after the lish on those songs.
And like most thugs, Yo Gotti definitely knows song. They come with another dance on
how to deal with females. “Shawty Violating “Go Dumb” where they borrow from their But this album is full of songs that you your-
(Wup That Hoe)” has Gotti, with assistance from friends in the Bay Area and throw some self will probably play over and over again.
La Chat, insisting that the ladies duke it out with Down South strip club flavor on a hyphy One of them is “New York Shit.” Even if you
any woman getting on their nerves. On “War- beat. aren’t from the five boroughs, this song can
rior” he talks about meeting a well-proportioned be appreciated when Bussa Bus lays it out
woman so mesmerizing that he thought “she After that, Da Musicianz focus on making simple and plain, “I’m on my New York shit,
was Serena” and “looks thicker than Trina.” But people dance instead of creating new you niggas know we deserve the props
he is also sure to let you know that not every ones. On “Til Yo’ Back Get So’” they we get.” He attempts to add validity to that
woman is as good as they look on “That’s Not applaud the ladies who like to shake their statement by enlisting Q-Tip for two cam-
Yo’ Bitch” where he admits that a bad experi- asses until…their back gets sore. They eos (“Get You Some” and “You Can’t Hold
ence in seventh grade, and another years later, hook up with Mr. Collipark “Gyrate” to A Torch”), Nas (“Don’t Get Carried Away”)
changed his outlook on females completely. make a derriere-shaker that sounds like and Raekwon (“Goldmine”).
“Breakin’” meets “The Player’s Club.”
Another “Basic” covered on this album is of While most of this NYC contemporaries
course disposable income and how to get it. At times, Da Musicianz good-natured are complaining about their down period,
“Spend It Cuz U Got It” featuring All Star comes dance tunes take a pornographic turn. Busta uses this album to not only show that
off as a Memphis version of Jigga and JD’s So be sure to keep the kids away from his city can still crank out good music, but
“Money Ain’t A Thang.” Gotti hooks up with his songs like “On Me” where D-Roc does that he may be getting better with time. On
Cash Money partners Lil’ Wayne and Baby for his best Mr. Marcus impersonation and “Legend of the Fall Offs” he takes on a per-
“I Got Them” to exchange some good old-fash- rhymes “skin, skin me and shawty put- sonality of a hip-hop grim reaper, illustrating
ioned dope game business tips. ting it in, a brand new bed so we gotta what happens to rappers who no longer
break the bitch in… / It’s time to let the have the spotlight.
Fortunately, Gotti does leave some food for fucking begin, say hello to my little
thought at times. On “Cold Game” he gives friend.” On “Pop That” the group seems He also establishes and backs up his own
aspiring crack dealers a dose of reality, warning to make a throwaway song with a hook legendary status by making songs with the
them about disloyalty, bad product, undercover that repeats “pop that pussy, shake that likes of Stevie Wonder (“Been Through the
agents and the possibility of getting caught. He ass” over and over. Storm”) and Rick James (“In The Ghetto”).
then reveals the pitfalls of running a street phar-
macy on “25 To Life” where he cleverly uses the Outside of blunders like “Girls I Know” His Aftermath affiliation is felt throughout
number 25 in repetition to get his point across. featuring Fabo of D4L and the laughable the album, whether it’s the dark production
“Hush,” Da Musicianz succeed at making or the occasional 50 Cent/Eminem sound-
Ultimately, after listening to this album Yo Gotti a party on CD. Hell, some of this stuff ing hooks. But the sound is cohesive and
shows that he is a guy with common sense and may even get some burn at your favorite effective. The Big Bang makes the impact
something to say. But it rarely comes out. gym. that Busta promised.

- Kale Swanson - Cedric Boothe - Patriq Morton

102 OZONE
cdreviews

DJ KHALED FIELD MOB


LISTENNN: THE ALBUM LIGHT POLES AND PINE TREES
Terror Squad/Koch DTP/Capitol

Once upon a time (actually about 5 to 10 years ago), Six years ago Field Mob, T.I., Ludacris and Killer Mike were the starting
high-profile compilation CDs were a music listener’s five for the new wave of Southern hip-hop artists poised to take the
dream. All of the hottest artists at the time brought genre to all new heights. While all have received critical acclaim, only
their A-game trying to outdo each other, thus making two have been able to pair superstardom with it, leaving the other three
the whole album tight. to wallow in “slept-on” status. Hoping to do away with the pillows and
mattresses that have plagued their career, Field Mob’s third album Light
In 2006 thanks to a plethora of mixtapes dropping Poles and Pine Trees acts as an alarm clock for all the sleepy heads.
every week, those types of albums are damn near
non-existent. But Miami’s mixtape king DJ Khaled digs Paying homage to those before them, the hook for “1, 2, 3” borrows
deep into his Rolodex and attempts to resurrect the from MJG’s verse on “Comin’ Out Hard” and best believe Shawn Jay
long lost art of putting together a great compilation. and Chevy P proceed to “go off” just like the song says. Well aware that
people don’t appreciate their music, Shawn spits, “Two years off the
He starts off strong with the 305-stamped “Born N scene I heard enough of your fucking trash / We return now to make
Raised” by Trick Daddy featuring Pitbull and Rick you suffer like succotash” and Chevy follows with, “Your lyrics, I bet
Ross. This is followed by “Gangsta Shit” featuring a they taste sweet / Stop spitting them Kit Kat candy bars and give me a
lyrically-improved Young Jeezy, Slick Pulla, Bloodraw break please.”
and the always consistent Bun B.
The lyrical gymnastics continue on the previously leaked “My Wheels.”
Khaled flexes even more muscles by getting the There’s nothing new under the sun to be said about cars, but Jay damn
Louis Vutton Don Kanye West to craft an exclusive, sure tries with lines like “My sound system is like your life, I got the hi’s
“Grammy Family,” featuring Consequence and John and lows.” Chevy keeps the wit flowing on “Area Code 229” when he
Legend. But even with shiny names like Lil’ Wayne, boasts that he “moves more trees than lumberjacks during Christmas
Paul Wall, Fat Joe, Twista and countless others on the time.”
album, it’s the grimy music that stands out.
The Albany, Georgia a.k.a. Smallbany duo also takes the opportunity to
Already floating in underground circles for months, show they are deeper than their metaphors. “Blacker The Berry” uses
“Problem” by Beanie Sigel featuring Jadakiss is easily 2Pac’s voice from “Keep Ya Head Up” to give Chevy a backdrop to
the stand out track because of the lyrics and on top of speak on his experiences growing up dark-skinned.
that seeing the Broad Street Bully and Al Qaeda Jada
burying their hatchet. More musical unity is shown Fittingly, Jay shows his darker side on “I Hate You” where he does his
on “Candy Paint” with Slim Thug, Chamillionare and best Kelis impersonation talking about his relationship with his baby’s
Trina. mama, summing it up by saying, “Women hold a grudge like piss on a
road trip.” “Pistol Grip” has the usually peaceful Mob speaking some
Other combinations include Freeway and Clipse hook- gun talk, however, their jovial wordplay eliminates any threatening ele-
ing up for “Where You At” and Lil’ Scrappy collabing ment.
with Homebwoi on “Never Be Nothing Like Me.”
There are virtually no missteps on this album, but songs like “Sorry
While it’s rather impressive to see so many names on Baby” featuring Bobby Valentino and the X-rated “Eat Em Up, Beat Em
this album, it becomes evident halfway through the Up” may be the only songs that will have you thinking about pushing
album that one important person is missing: Khaled! the skip button. The strip club themed “Baby Bend Over” offers nothing
new, but it’s still entertaining to hear Shawn and Chevy mimic Nice and
Listennn-ing to the last half of the album will have Smooth’s rhyme pattern from “Hip-Hop Junkies.”
you questioning whether or not this is his album.
No drops, no scratches, nothing. On top of that, the But those minor flaws are easily forgotten thanks to songs like the gui-
overall quality of the music takes a nose dive as well. tar-laden ride out song “At the Park,” “Smilin’” featuring their labelmate
Birdman’s “Still Fly” brings nothing worth remember- and boss Ludacris, and “It’s Over” where they close the album out with
ing while Dre’s “Movement” sounds like a Rick Ross their uncanny ability to create impeccable cadence.
song gone wrong. The only highlight of the last half of
the album is T.I.’s “Dip Slide Ride Out,” which already It’s debatable if this is their best album, but it stands out from 613: Ashy
appeared on his Gangsta Grillz: The Leak release. to Classy and From Tha Roota to Tha Toota because Field Mob keeps
the high-pitched rhymes to a minimum and they don’t get as silly as
Listennn started off with a bang but it sounds like both they used to in their early work.
the artists and DJ forgot that an album is supposed to
go past nine tracks. Point blank, Light Poles and Pine Trees is the epitome of Southern hip-
hop; crafty lyricism with a country twang over trunk-rattling beats.
- T. Shaws
- Maurice G. Garland

OZONE 103
mixtapereviews
DJ SMALLZ PRESENTS hard for over 8 years and it seems like it’s all paying off in 2006. The
CURRENSY & MACK MAINE boy has popped up on damn near every mixtape that’s dropped in
G-SERIES VOL. 1 the last 6 months and “Hustlin’” is without a doubt the street anthem
of 2006. From start to finish, this CD was put together very well. I gotta
As the President of Cash Money Records, Lil’ Wayne give “The Commissioner” Mick Boogie two thumbs up on the arrange-
has a hard task ahead of him: taking the helm of a ment. Rick Ross didn’t really shine like I expected him to, though. I was
record label that has a history of raping artists and amped up like a muthafucka to bump this shit straight through but his
dropping artists just as quick as they sign them. It’s hard to believe flow gets very redundant by the end of the CD and it’s almost like this
that he can resurrect the label that had the game on lock for most CD is one long song with different beats. I gotta give Rick some credit
of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Lil’ Wayne has teamed up with DJ though, he ripped “Whip It Real Hard” and “Grippin’ Grain.” Those two
Smallz to present Cash Money’s newest artists Currensy and Mack tracks are sure to stay on repeat on every real nigga’s CD player. He
Maine. Mack Maine is unfamiliar to a lot of us, but most of us know also came hard on the remix for “Gettin’ Some Head.” I know Rick is
Currensy, a.k.a. The Hot Spitta, from his days as a soldier in Master gonna be doing another mixtape here real soon with either DJ Drama
P’s No Limit Army. To my surprise, both of these artist shine pretty or Khaled so I’mma cross my fingers and hope the boy dont let me
bright on this mixtape. Currensy’s lyrics are his strong point and he down on that one. I believe in Rick Ross and wanna see him win.
shows it on songs like “Poppin’ them Bottles” and “Dro.” His style is - DJ Chuck T
way too laid back and if you aren’t totally awake he may just put you
to sleep. Mack Maine is VERY energetic though. He’s definitely not as LLOYD BANKS & WHOO KID
tight on the lyrics as Currensy is, but he makes up for it with his style MO’ MONEY IN THE BANK
and flare. The boy shines bright on “Front Back” and “Ball Bats” and
even though you can hear some Lil’ Wayne influences in his style it’s Damn! With the G-Unit machine lookin’ like its about
not overbearing. Both artists still need a lil’ work, but they’re both good to run out of gas, 50 Cent looks to Lloyd Banks to
picks for Cash Money. With a lil’ help from the Birdman Jr. these two save his empire from crumbling. After Mobb Deep
artists may be able to lead Cash Money back to the promised land. and Tony Yayo put up lackluster numbers and failed
- DJ Chuck T to live up the hype that was created to promote their albums, the Unit’s
reputation falls on shoulders of the “Boy Wonder.” I popped in this CD
DJ SMALLZ & JODY BREEZE with the hopes of hearing some straight New York crack music, and
THE GAME IS A BREEZE guess what: I did! This CD was a banger from start to finish and had
me nodding my head so hard I caught whiplash. Banks hasn’t lost a
After puttin’ in heavy work in the streets for the last step and still delivers the lyrical masterpieces and witty punchlines that
2 years as part of the supergroup Boyz N Da Hood made most of us feel him in the first place. It’s also very obvious that
Jody Breeze finally gives us another taste of what he he brings out the best in his G-Unit labelmates also. 50 Cent shines,
can do on his own. The “Young Gunna” enlists the Yayo shines, Young Buck shines and so does Spyder Loc and Mobb
help of “Mr. Southern Smoke” DJ Smallz to help him put out his 2nd Deep. This CD took me back to 2004 when G-Unit was on top and it
solo mixtape and hopefully capitalize off of the rep he’s built as being didn’t seem like it was possible for them to fall off. “Cake,” featuring 50
one of the tightest members of Boyz N Da Hood. Jody Breeze stands Cent, is one of the standout tracks on this CD and so is “Shitty City.”
next to a star-studded cast on his mixtape, but proves he can hold his “My House” featuring Timbaland is supposed to be Banks’ first single,
own and not be overshadowed. He rides with 8Ball and Jazze Pha but honestly, it isn’t that great to me. “Killa’s Theme” featuring Tony
on “Ballin’ My Life Away” and goes verse for verse with Slim Thug on Yayo and “Special” are guaranteed bangers and also take you back
Stackin’ Paper”. “Back In Business” feat. Lil’ Wayne and Boyz N Da to G-Unit’ss glory days. After listening to this CD I only have 2 words
Hood is joint also a banger. Jody Breeze is one of the south’s most for you: Cop it!
promising artists and he proves it on this mixtape. This mixtape will - DJ Chuck T
definitely have you waiting on for his album to drop.
- DJ Chuck T ATTITUDE & DJ WALLY SPARKS
KEYS TO THE STREETS
DJ DRAMA & LIL WAYNE
DEDICATION PT. 2 ALABAMA STAND UP!! Attitude a.k.a. The Dirt Road
Mack has teamed up with DJ Wally Sparks to pres-
The mixtape has to be the most highly anticipated ent to you his first official mixtape. No longer with the
mixtape of 2006. The streets have been fiending Aphilliates Music Group, Attitude steps out on his
for this CD for the last 8 months and DJ Drama and own to prove to the dirty South music community that there’s more
Weezy F. Baby have finally hit the block and opened hidden jewels in Alabama then just the 334 M.O.B.B.. After appearing
up shop. I’mma be honest with you, I thought the first Dedication was on countless mixtapes and grinding the streets hard, Attitude finally
kinda whack and I personally wasn’t impressed with it, but I was eagar delivers us a full serving of what he’s capable of. From the jump I was
to peep this one out just to see if Weezy had stepped it up a notch. amazed at the production on the CD. I don’t know who’s doing pro-
Well, he did! The first thing that stood out to me about this Dedication duction for that boy, but they definitely gave him some heat to spit on.
was that the quality of the songs was better. I’m glad dude gave Drama He meshes well with all the original tracks on the CD and that’s the key
some professionally mixed tracks to work with on this CD. Also, his when it come to making a good song. Attitude straight wrecks “First
beat selection was a whole lot better. He ripped every track on this Thing First” and “Right Quick.” These joints were so hot they even had
CD and I only hit the skip button once. Weezy rips tha Biggie Smallz my 3 year old son bouncing around like I mixed some Crunk Juice
“Spit Your Game” track on “Spitter” and murders that Outkast “South- in his Capri Sun. His freestyle over “Hustlin’” was pretty tight and so
ernplayalistc” beat on the “South Music” freestyle. His original tracks was his freestyle over Miss B’s club anthem “Bottle Action.” Attitude
are hot too. “Walk It Off” reminds me of Lil’ Wayne in his younger days has a very distinct sound and delivery that separates him from most
when he was spittin’ flames on that first Hot Boyz album. Weezy has of the Southern rappers out today. His hooks tend to be little average
named himself “The ‘Best Rapper Alive,” and, although he’s not, he and lack originality at times, but I can’t really say that any of the tracks
comes close. The only niggas fuckin’ with him lyrically and stylistically on this CD were worthy of the skip button. I like hearing new artists
are T.I. and Bun B, who are both his elders I might add. from the South rep where they’re from and Attitude doesn’t let you
- DJ Chuck T mistake where he’s from. He makes it plain on about 98% of the CD
that he’s from Alabama, and he’s proud of it too. After blasting this CD
MICK BOOGIE & RICK ROSS for the last 80 minutes. I can definitely say that if Attitude doesn’t have
RICK THE RULER a deal by the end of the summer then somebody must be hatin’ like
a muthafucka!
Second to that Lil’ Wayne and DJ Drama Dedication - DJ Chuck T
Pt. 2 mixtape, this CD has to be the most highly antici-
pated mixtape on the streets. Rick Ross has grinded

104 OZONE
DJ BURNONE & DJ FUNKY & BIG KUNTRY Tell Her” along side Teedra Moses. And you know he gives the street
COCAINE niggas some heat too on “Born and Raised” and “I’m On It.” This CD
is pure fire, but Pitbull really killed it with his freestyles over “Hail Mary”
After being in the shadow of platinum recording artist and “Warning.” Pitbull has every aspect of the game covered as far as
T.I. for the last few years, P$C’s Big Kuntry is ready hip-hop is concerned, but I think he fails to catch a solid fan base be-
to step out on his own and make moves on the solo cause his music is all over the place. Some emcees are just too good
tip. I’ve been a Big Kuntry fan for the last few years for their own good if you know what I mean. If you’re a true hip-hop
and when I got this CD on the mail I couldn’t wait to hear it. Big Kuntry lover and a fan of hip-hop music and you’re not a Pitbull fan by the end
keeps that signature synth-heavy P$C sound thru the whole CD and of this CD, something is wrong with you or you’re just a plain hater.
that right there was enough to make me put my stamp of approval on - DJ Chuck T
this joint. “Loked Out” and “Microwave” are definitely joints to check
for and “Let’s Get It” featuring Loreal is a banger too. One track that’s BIG NEIL & BIGGA RANKIN
a must to listen to is “Underdog.” Unlike that Young Dro CD, Burnone
put this one together tight. The CD flowed real well and was arranged I first got this CD down in Daytona and had it laying around for
perfectly. Niggas need to stop sleeping on Big Kuntry. Dude is the months, but after seeing his ad in OZONE for a few months I figured
truth for real. I’d check it out. I must admit I was pretty surprised. I didn’t expect
- DJ Chuck T much from a rapper from Cincinnati, OH, but this nigga has some real
talent. His standout feature is his voice and delivery. He lyrically spits
DJ IDEAL & PITBULL like a down South nigga, but has the swagger of an East coast rapper.
UNLEASHED VOLUME 6 This is a definite plus because it’s going to allow him to appeal to the
masses and not get stuck in a box. A lot of Midwest artists either try
Pitbull is by far one of the South’s most underrated too hard to be Southern or try too hard to be from NY, but Big Neil has
artists and anyone who listens to this CD will agree. a style that’s a perfect mix of both. I thought that “Dope Boy Music”
I don’t know if it’s because a lot of people know him ft. Rick Ross would be the standout track, but it wasn’t. I had “Mix It
for his uptempo club tracks or the fact that he’s La- With The Bakin’ Soda” on repeat for at least a good 30 minutes, and
tino, but niggas don’t give him the credit he deserves. Not only can “Put ‘Em In The Air” was hot too. He straight ripped a freestyle over
Pitbull put together a hot song for the club, but the boy got some heat the “Diamonds” instrumental and I was bumpin’ “See Me Fresh” so
for the streets too. DJ Ideal reminds us of how well rounded Pitbull is loud my baby mama came and shut my computer off. The CD had
by packin’ this CD with over 30 tracks of exclusive freestyles, classic some songs that were kinda lackluster and Big Neil could’ve picked
Pitbull tracks, and bangin’ guest features he’s done for other artists. some better beats, but I can honestly say that for a nigga from a place
There’s something on this CD for everybody and that may be a gift and that isn’t known for hip-hop he came hard. 85% of the CD was hot and
a curse for Pitbull. He may just be too versatile. He reps for the clubs nowadays that’s a good thing. I get TONS of CDs that get trashed after
on tracks like “Bojangles” and the “Snap Ya Fingers Remix”. He reps the first 2 tracks. This CD wasn’t one of them!
for the ladies on the “In Love With a Stripper (RMX)” and “You Better [IMG]http://www.ozonemag.com/apr2006/600/Apr06-15.jpg[/
IMG]- DJ Chuck T

OZONE 105
dvdreviews by Malik Abdul

HARDCORE: RAW AND PIMP C


UNCUT PIMPALATION: RETURN
www.realfights.com OF THE TRILL
www.rapalotrecords.com
That’s what the title says,
and that’s what it is! If you like fistfights, all-out From the opening intro of this DVD, you’ll see a
brawls, shootings, and bodies lying in the street, live interview with Pimp C from behind bars up
then this is a DVD for you. The makers of the until the day he was freed. You’ll live through
controversial multi-platinum Ghetto Fights have Pimp C himself, from hugging his mom to shop-
put together another DVD filled with uncut brawl- ping for Bentleys and jewelry and hitting the
ing. This DVD also features women fighting, and studio to lay down new tracks. The knowledge
these girls are throwing down! – Malik Abdul Pimp C shares about the Texas prison system is
something you should pay to hear.

CRACKHEADS GONE WILD I could go on and on about this DVD, but it would take a whole
www.crackheadsgonewild.com magazine to let you know how insightful it really is. J Prince, owner
of Rap-A-Lot Records, imparts wisdom about the music business.
You’ve heard of Girls Gone Wild, Latinos There’s also appearances from every major artist in the industry
Gone Wild, and so forth, but Crackheads – Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Young Jeezy, Slim Thug, and Chamil-
Gone Wild is a new one. These are lionaire, just to name a few. This is definitely a DVD you should check
real-life stories; some funny, some hard- out whenever you need knowledge and inspiration. – Malik Abdul
hitting. In most of them, you’ll see the lost
hope of people who had dreams; the lost
hope of families who have also become REALITY TV: LIVE FROM
victims to their loved ones’ addiction. NEW ORLEANS

This DVD shows the reality of an extremely addictive drug. Crack has Imagine being asleep in
been kicked under the rug as the government turns America’s focus your bed with the sound
to terrorism. They don’t show crack addicts on the evening news, but of rain pounding on your rooftop, whistling winds,
they’re out there. This DVD exposes the government’s lost “War on and trees rocking back and forth. Your roof is
Drugs.” creaking and the candlelight flickering. The
power has been out for hours.
If this DVD was edited properly it could be up for some awards, but
the title Crackheads Gone Wild takes away from the seriousness of You crawl deeper under the covers, thinking that
the documentary. This is a realistic view of the world of crackheads. It the storm will be over in an hour or so. When you
deals with their stories, their views, their voices, and their lives. I think wake up, you hear screams all throughout the house. Your family is
it’s a bit inappropriate to rate this DVD with blunts, but I do highly panicking; there’s water inside the house and it’s rising! You get out
recommend it. – Malik Abdul of your warm bed and make it to the roof. Not only are you cold, but
the wind and the rain are pounding. You’re holding your newborn
baby, your four-year-old is crying, and your grandmother is still inside
UNDERGROUND the house because she’s too old to make it to the roof. You have to
make a choice – leave the baby on the bed with the water rising, or
If you liked The Fast & try to get your grandmother onto the roof. You choose to save the
The Furious, here’s a DVD baby with guilt surging throughout your body.
for you, with hot cars,
hot models and underground street racing. It’s Imagine surviving until the next morning and looking around in horror
all hosted by Big C, a wild and crazy Cali dude to see dead bodies float past. Wildlife, dogs, cats, and feces float by,
who seems to have enough energy and exuber- and your newborn is crying from the hunger pains.
ance to feed the whole state. He’s got enough
hot models and clout to get into all the hot spots Two days pass and finally a helicopter rescues your wife and two
and car shows. Don’t mist he Von Dutch photo kids with the baby, take them away, and you are happy because you
shoot, the late night street racing, and pirate radio know anywhere is better than this place. Finally you find a way to
station interviews where you have to paddle-spank the naked Asian float past all the debris, dead bodies, and stench, and you make it
host. – Malik Abdul to the bridge, where there are thousands of people. To your dismay,
there is no food or water – only more angry, confused people looking
for family members. No one seems to know anything. The helicop-
WILL HUSTLE TV ters are coming in and bringing more people onto the bridge. The
dust that the propellers are kicking up only makes your throat more
This exclusive DVD deals parched, your skin more dry, and your clothes more dirty.
with all the new beef in the
Southern rap game and After four days of this, they start putting you on yellow buses. When
features interviews with powerhouses like OG you get to your destination, there’s no food. No place to sleep. No
Willie D of the Geto Boys, who talks some real place to take a bath. You smell, you’re dirty, you’re tired – and you
gangsta shit. The beef is tough out in the state of are in the richest country in the world!
Texas. Austin is on fire right now. They’re going
at Z-Ro, calling him “Z-Ho,” and actually going at This Reality TV: Live From New Orleans DVD really gives you the real
the whole Rap-A-Lot camp. Trae responds. Then inside story. The music played throughout the DVD fits every scene.
Z-Ro responds and tries to set them straight. But the real genius of this DVD is that it shows what New Orleans was
Next, Will Hustle takes us down to Atlanta to talk to Rock, formerly of before Katrina – the Mardi Gras, the murder rate, the good food, the
Three 6 Mafia. Rock literally goes off on DJ Paul and Juicy J, calling good music – and then they show how the government abandoned
them “sucker-ass niggas” who charge their own artists for tracks. He their city. One insightful comment on this DVD noted how George
reveals that Lil Wyte is being charged $20,000 for each track that he Bush gave 45 minute speeches on terrorism, but a 30-second
uses from Three 6. Rock promises that if he sees anyone from the speech about the devastation.
Hypnotized Mindz camp, he will kick their ass. Loaded with under-
ground artists, Will Hustle TV is making its mark. – Malik Abdul All in all, it’s a powerful documentary. – Malik Abdul

108 OZONE
110 OZONE
t.i.live
T.I.’s emotional performance of “Live In The
Sky” in memory of Philant

Phillips Arena in Atlanta, GA on June 17th,


2006

Photo: Julia Beverly

OZONE 113
lilwaynelive
Lil Wayne gets his Bob Marley on @ The
Venue in Gainesville, FL on June 3rd, 2006
Photo: Malik Abdul

114 OZONE
YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE

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