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david banner - Ozone Magazine
ozone 29 awards
tj’s dj’s tastemakers & ozone awards itinerary
*subject to change
Friday August 4, 2006
Don Diva Magazine), Wendy Day (CEO, Rap Coalition), & Wendy Washington (Senior Vice President of Media Relations, Universal Records)
10 AM - until
On-Site Registration at Host Hotel
Ivanhoe Plaza/Sheraton Hotel
60 S. Ivanhoe Blvd. downtown Orlando, FL
1:30 PM – Manish Man presents the DJ Crew Panel
panelists: 1st Lady El (CEO, Murda Mamis), Cristal Bubblin (Vice President, Bumsquad DJz), DJ Mars (CEO, SuperFriends), Kaspa (CEO, Hittmenn DJs) Scrap Dirty (CEO, Violator All-Star DJs), & Tony Neal (CEO,
*all panels and suite parties take place at Host Hotel unless otherwise
2 PM – Musik Boxx presents the Producers Panel
panelists: Cool & Dre, DJ Toomp, Jim Jonsin, Khao, KLC, Mr. Collipark,
Nitti, & The Runners
2 PM – No Name Necessary presents the Technology Panel
panelists: Corey Llewellen (Digiwaxx), Donya Floyd (AOL Radio),
Roslynn Cobarrubias (Myspace.com), Jamie Chvotkin (CDBaby.com),
Wendy Day (CEO, Rap Coalition) & more TBA
1:30 PM – Bossman presents the Media Panel
panelists: Carl Chery (SOHH.com), Cavario Hodges (Don Diva Magazine),
Jesus Trivino (Senior Editor, Scratch Magazine), Kraze (CEO, All Access
DVD), Matt Sonzala (Murder Dog Magazine), Maurice Garland (Music
Editor, OZONE Magazine), N. Ali Early (Editor-In-Chief, Grip Magazine), Rahman Dukes (MTV News/Mixtape Mondays)
4 PM – Jathar Diamonds presents the Artist Panel
panelists: David Banner, Juelz Santana, Killer Mike, Pimp C, Slim Thug,
T-Pain, Webbie & more TBA
3:30 PM – b.i.G.f.a.c.e. Entertainment presents the Indie Executives Panel
panelists: Bryan Leach (TVT), Chaka Zulu (CEO, DTP Records), Jason
Geter (CEO, Grand Hustle), Ted Lucas (CEO, Slip-N-Slide Records), Mike
Clarke (Swishahouse), Uncle Luke (CEO, Luke Records), & Vince Phillips
(CEO, BME Records)
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM – DJ Suite Parties / Listening Sessions
- Bad Boy/Atlantic Records Suite Party with 8Ball & MJG
- Asylum Records Suite Party with Lil Flip
- Jive Records Suite Party with Dre & M.O.S.
3:30 PM - Royal Blunts presents the DJ Panel
panelists: Brandi Garcia, Clinton Sparks, DJ Chuck T, DJ Jelly, DJ Nasty,
DJ Wally Sparks, Green Lantern, & Greg Street
8 PM - 10 PM - Tastemakers Only Showcase
Club at Firestone
578 N. Orange Ave. downtown Orlando, FL
with DJ-exclusive Serato & laptop raffle
performances by Trillville, Mr. Magic, Tampa Tony, J-Shin, Young A &
5-7 PM – DJ Suite Party/Listening Sessions
- Koch Records Suite Party w/ DJ Unk & Baby D
- Others TBA
7-10 PM – Welcome to Florida Pool Party & Fashion Show
hosted by Khao & Stay Fresh
performances by Crime Mob, Chyna Whyte, B.H.I., Young Capone, THud, Mannish Man, & Da Mouf Records
10 PM - 3 AM - Interscope Records Official TJ’s DJ’s/OZONE Awards
Kickoff Party
Cairo Nightclub
performances by Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, Slim Thug, Rich Boy, Jibbs,
Obie Trice, Hot Rod, & Stat Quo
Music by DJ Q45, Supastar J-Kwik & DJ Greg G
Registered members of the conference are admitted free until MIDNIGHT.
10 PM - 3 AM - Tastemakers Only Afterparty
Club at Firestone
Lil Wayne & many more celebrity guests will be in the building
Music by Cool Runnings, Disco & the City Boyz, Emperor Searcy, &
Supastar J-Kwik
Registered members of the conference are admitted free until MIDNIGHT.
3 AM – until - Late Night Suite Party at Host Hotel - TBA
Sunday August 6, 2006
12 PM - 3 PM - OZONE Brunch - Location TBA
4 PM - 6 PM - OZONE Red Carpet
With comedians Benji Brown & Roland “Lil Duval” Powell
Livingston St. in front of the Bob Carr Auditorium
3 AM – until BME Records Late Night Suite Party at Host Hotel
with Crime Mob, Chyna Whyte, B.H.I. & more
7 PM - 11 PM - 1st Annual OZONE Awards
Bob Carr Auditorium
401 W. Livingston St., downtown Orlando, FL
hosted by David Banner & Trina
Saturday August 5, 2006
10 AM - until
On-Site Registration at Host Hotel
Ivanhoe Plaza/Sheraton Hotel
performances by Lil Wayne, T.I., Pimp C & Bun B, Trick Daddy, Pitbull,
Rick Ross, Too $hort, Shawnna, T-Pain, Young Dro, Slim Thug, Trae,
Yung Joc, Paul Wall & more
*all panels and suite parties take place at Host Hotel*
12 PM – G-Mack of Lost Land Entertainment presents the A&R Panel
panelists: Dart La (Director of A&R, Shady Records), Dino Delvaille
(Senior VP of A&R, Sony BMG), James Eichelberger (Director of A&R,
TVT Records), Joie Manda (Director of A&R & Promotions, Asylum Records), Kawan Prather (Executive VP of A&R, Sony Urban), MeMpHiTz
(Director of A&R, Jive Records), Mike Caren (Senior VP of A&R, Atlantic
Records), Shakir Stewart (VP of A&R, Def Jam), Shawn Holiday (Senior
VP of A&R, Interscope Records), & Wes Phillips (Select-O-Hits)
12 PM – Earthworm Clothing presents the Women In The Industry Panel
panelists: Elora Mason (CEO, E. Mason & Associates), Jill Strada (Program
Director, WPYO Power 95.3 Orlando), Kim Osorio (Editor-In-Chief,
BET.com), Miss Info (On-Air Personality, Hot 97) Supa Cindy (Morning
Show On-Air Personality, WEDR 99 Jamz Miami), Tiffany Chiles (CEO,
appearances by 8Ball & MJG, Aztek, B.G., Bohagon, Bonecrusher,
Cam’Ron, Choppa, Crime Mob, DJ Khaled, ESG, Grandaddy Souf, JackiO, Juelz Santana, Khia, Killer Mike, Lil Boosie, Lil Flip, Lyfe Jennings,
Obie Trice, Rich Boy, Roy Jones Jr. & 3D, Smitty, Sqad Up, Stat Quo, TV
Johnny, Twista, Uncle Luke, Webbie, Young Cash, Young Jeezy, Yukmouth & many more
10 PM - 3 AM - Atlantic Records Official OZONE Awards Afterparty
with Grand Hustle, Bad Boy Records, & Slip-N-Slide
Club at Firestone
578 N. Orange Ave. downtown Orlando, FL
performances by Young Dro, Plies, B.G. & many more TBA
music by DJ Drama, DJ Khaled, DJ Nasty, & Disco & the City Boyz
Registered members of the conference are admitted free until MIDNIGHT.
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meet our panelists
BRANDI GARCIA / DJ & radio personality, KBXX-Houston – DJ Panel (Houston, TX)
The bit of sunshine Brandi Garcia took from her native
state of Florida has paved a bright future. Garcia worked
the radio ladder to become the proud owner of Houston’s
#1 night show on 97.9 The Box, host of the music video
show “Hot TV,” creator of the sultry Southern Stilletto mix
CD series, and becoming 2006 Southern Entertainment Award’s Female DJ of
the Year. A proud member of the Murder Mamis & NoizeMob, Garcia is en
BRYAN LEACH / TVT Records – Indie Exec Panel (New
York, NY)
Bryan was largely responsible for propelling acts like Lil
Jon & the Eastside Boyz, the Ying Yang Twins, and Pitbull
to national success during his time as VP of A&R at TVT
Records. Now on the verge of launching his own label,
Bryan’s thorough knowledge of the music business and
hands-on approach to artist development will guarantee him success.
CARL CHERY / SOHH.com – Media Panel (New York, NY)
CAVARIO HODGES / Don Diva Magazine – Media Panel (Atlanta, GA)
CHAKA ZULU / Co-CEO, Disturbing Tha Peace & Ebony
Son – Indie Exec Panel (Atlanta, GA)
Chaka Zulu has been making his mark in the music
industry for the past 10 years. Much like his namesake,
Zulu relies on education and tenacity for success while
giving back to his people. Chaka Zulu has worn many hats
including Music Director for Atlanta’s Hot 97.5, radio promotions for Sony & Universal, and currently serves as Co-CEO and manager
for entertainment icon Ludacris and the Disturbing Tha Peace brand.
CLINTON SPARKS / DJ, Producer, Entrepreneur – DJ
Panel (Hartford, CT)
Music is universal as Clinton Sparks proves through the
syndication of his “SmashTime Radio” heard in the USA,
Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada and on Sirius
Satellite’s Shade 45. Sparks takes full advantage of his
entrepreneurial skills with two merchandising websites
MixUnit.com & FlixUnit.com. While cats from Kanye West, 50 Cent, Eminem, & Pharrell have all blessed his famous mixtapes, the world is just now
“getting familiar” with Sparks the producer. And as Sparks continues to push it
to the limit with a new album plus deals involving video games and Pepsi, the
world is about to become very familiar with Clinton Sparks.
COOL & DRE – Producer Panel (Miami, FL)
Production credits include Ja Rule f/ Jadakiss & Fat Joe
“New York New York,” The Game f/ 50 Cent “Hate It Or
Love It,” Christina Milian f/ Young Jeezy “Say I,” Juvenile
“Rodeo,” and DJ Khaled f/ Paul Wall, Rick Ross, Pitbull, &
Fat Joe “Holla At Me.”
COREY LLEWELLYN / Digiwaxx.com – Technology Panel (New York, NY)
CRISTAL BUBBLIN / Vice President, Bum Squad DJz – DJ Crew Panel
DART PARKER / Dir. A&R, Shady Records – A&R Panel
(New York, NY)
Most folks in the industry base signing new talent from
charts and bandwagons, but true A&R’s such as Dart
Parker rely on their ear and the conviction to stand behind
the music they sign. Parker has trusted his instincts ever
since leaving Raleigh, NC via Amtrak armed with $800
and a dream. Parker has continued living his dream beginning as a producer
for DMX and De La Soul then eventually moving up to becoming Director of
A&R for Shady Records, signing Stat Quo and Ca$his to the house Em built.
DJ CHUCK T / DJ & CEO, Port City Productions – DJ
Panel (Charleston, SC)
Frustrated with the lack of opportunities available to
independent artists, Chuck T dropped his mic and picked
up the turntable. He decided to fight the game from within
the system and has opened doors for many artists in and
around his hometown of Charleston, SC though his mixtape series, Ghetto
Gangsters including dropping 45 titles in one year! DJ Chuck T has already
had coverage in The Source, Ozone Magazine, Scratch Magazine, and MTV’s
Mixtape Mondays to name a few. His hard work is paying off as DJ Chuck T
was nominated for 14 Southern Entertainment Awards in his first year of eligibility and looks forward to watching his label Port City Productions become
a super power in the music industry.
DJ JELLY - DJ Panel (Atlanta, GA)
DJ MARS / Founder, World Famous Superfriends – DJ
Crew (Atlanta, GA)
As the President and founding member of the World
Famous Superfriends Crew, DJ Mars single handedly
changed the DJ scene in Atlanta. While attending Clark
Atlanta University, DJ Mars started his career DJing in the
cafeteria during dinner for only $75. Mars went from being
Outkast’s original DJ to touring with Usher. Currently Mars is living the life of
legends and happily on tour with Ciara.
DJ NASTY / DJ & Producer, Nasty Beatmakers – DJ Panel
(Orlando, FL)
Now that his partner DJ Prostyle has departed for NYC
and BET, Nasty virtually holds a DJ monopoly on the city
of Orlando, dominating radio and clubs. Widely considered one of the best on the one’s & two’s, Nasty and his
brother LVM have also used their industry connections to
venture into production. Their tracks have appeared on albums by everyone
from Camron to Ludacris.
DJ TOOMP – Producer Panel (Atlanta, GA)
Production credits include T.I.’s “Dope Boyz,” “U Don’t
Know Me,” “Motivation,” “What U Know,” “Be Easy,” and
Ludacris’ “Two Miles An Hour.”
DJ WALLY SPARKS / DJ, syndicated – DJ Panel (Chattanooga, TN)
Once upon a time Wally Sparks was OZONE Magazine’s
music editor, but he left us to pursue his true love 24/7:
DJing and breaking new music. He can currently be heard
on 3 commercial radio stations in 3 different states in
addition to his own weekly show on Sirius Satellite Radio
entitled “League Crew Radio.” Wally Sparks currently has
globally distributed mixtapes featuring big names such as
Ludacris, Chamillionaire, Yung Joc, Trae, and 8Ball & MJG.
DONYA FLOYD / Programmer, AOL Radio Network
– Technology Panel (New York, NY)
Donya Floyd programs nearly 40 urban music stations for
the AOL Radio Network, including R&B, dancehall and
gospel – acting as a liaison between AOL Music and labels
and artists. In addition to her radio responsibilities, she is a
contributor to AOL Music’s news and feature articles, AIM
interviews and Sessions. Ms. Floyd’s background includes programming and
on-air stints at WOWI-FM in Norfolk, WPGC 95.5 FM in Washington, DC,
and WUSL Power 99 FM in Philadelphia. Most recently, she also appeared
as a weekly entertainment news contributor on Philadelphia’s top-rated TV
station, NBC-10.
ELORA MASON / Founder, E. Mason & Associates
– Women In the Industry Panel (Atlanta, GA)
Elora Mason is the founder and CEO of E. Mason & Associates, a Miami based Events Management and Publicity
Firm. She is also the co-founder of Young Florida Vote, a
non-profit, non-partisan voter empower program and the
Florida Entertainment Summit, Florida’s most important
entertainment networking summit. Elora, born in St. Croix, has worked with
Atlantic Records, Bigga Rankin, Benji Brown, Caribbean Reggae Fest, DJ
DEMP, DEMP Week, So South, Tarvoria, The Core DJs,
The Core DJs Retreat, Trick Daddy, Trick Luvs Da Kids
Foundation and a host of others.
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1st LADY EL / Founder, Murda Mamis Ent - DJ Crew
Panel (New York, NY)
1st Lady El is the architect of the largest collective of
meet our panelists
women in the urban entertainment industry, The Murda Mamis. This prolific
group covers all industry genres from DJs, recording artists, media personalities, producers, executives, journalists, and models including placements at
MTV, Don Diva Magazine and power stations like KBXX-Houston to name
a few. Lady El notes that “I started Murda Mamis to unify women in Hip
Hop. Women are very powerful and together we can be invincible.” With a
hustler’s ambition this strong, the Murda Mamis will always be respected to
the 1st degree.
GREEN LANTERN – DJ Panel (New York, NY)
Aside from the infamous Jadakiss DVD incident which
led to Green’s dismissal from Eminem’s camp, Green is
known for being one of the sickest mixtape DJs, dropping
unique blends and exclusive songs regularly.
KASPA / CEO, Hittmenn DJs (Atlanta, GA)
and Ray Cash.
KHAO – Producer Panel (Atlanta, GA)
Production credits include Young Jeezy f/ Trick Daddy
& Young Buck “Last of a Dying Breed,” T.I. “Why U
Wanna,” T.I. “Stand Up Guy,” T.I. f/ P$C “Limelight,”
Paul Wall f/ T.I. “So Many Diamonds,” and Lil Kim “Get
GREG “GATE$” DAVENPORT / Murder Dog - Media Panel (N. Florida)
GREG STREET – DJ Panel (Atlanta, GA)
The Ultimate Hustler, Greg once balanced dual radio
shows in Atlanta and Dallas and has expanded his brand
to encompass car shows, sneaker shows, and other entrepreneurial ventures.
Panel (New York, NY)
JASON GETER / Co-CEO, Grand Hustle – Indie CEO
Panel (Atlanta, GA)
As both T.I.’s manager and business partner, Jason can be
largely credited with not only the success of T.I.’s individual career, but the success of the label as a whole. Grand
Hustle was responsible for the Hustle & Flow soundtrack
and, in addition to the veteran P$C crew, recently brought
in new acts like Young Dro and Yola who are set to follow in T.I.’s footsteps
and achieve worldwide success.
JESUS TRIVINO ALARCON / Senior Editor, Scratch Magazine – Media Panel
(New York, NY)
Jesus Trivino Alarcon has been apart of the Scratch Magazine family from the
beginning as a founding editor of the DJ publication. Alarcon is not relegated
to the desk as he has interviewed Nas, Kanye West, Willie Colon, Jay-Z while
writing for Vibe, The Source, XXL, King, People.com and others. As a Brooklyn-born South American, Alarcon provides a unique experience that readers
can’t enjoy more.
JILL STRADA / Program Director, WPYO Power 95.3 FM
– Women In The Industry Panel (Orlando, FL)
Jill Strada is currently the Program Director of Orlando
hip-hop station WPYO/Power 95.3. Jill entered the entertainment industry in January 1996 as a promotion intern
at WJHM/102 Jamz in Orlando. In 1999, she became
the Marketing Director of a new start up radio station in
Orlando, WPYO/95.3 Party. Jill is always challenging herself, and over time
she took on additional responsibilities in the station’s programming department and added Assistant Program Director & Music Director to her title. Jill
also believes that giving back is one thing that is missing in the industry, so she
started up Stradagy Inc. – a non-profit organization that fosters mentorship
within the entertainment industry.
JIM JONSIN - Producers Panel (Miami, FL)
Formerly 1/2 of the Unusual Suspects duo with Big D, Jim
has now branched off into a solo production career and
also maintains an executive position at Southbeat Records.
Production credits include Trick Daddy “Let’s Go,” Pitbull
f/ Piccalo “Dammit Man,” Jamie Foxx f/ Ludacris “Unpredictable,” Pretty Ricky “Your Body,” Pretty Ricky “Grind
With Me,” and Trina f/ Kelly Rowland “Here We Go.”
JOIE MANDA / Head of A&R & Promotions, Asylum
Records - A&R Panel (New York, NY)
Asylum, billed as an “incubator” label, serves as the “umbrella” for many successful indie labels like Swishahouse.
As head of A&R, Joie is involved with projects from artists
like Paul Wall, Mike Jones, Webbie, Lil Boosie, Cam’Ron,
and Bun B.
KAWAN PRATHER / Executive VP of Sony Urban and
Head A&R (New York, NY)
Originally from Atlanta, KP first made his mark as an
A&R by pairing Usher with Jermaine Dupri for the My
Way album. He also discovered and signed T.I. and the
YoungBloodz and signed them to LaFace Records long
before the Southern movement was widely accepted.
Now at Sony, his most recent signees include John Legend
KIM OSORIO – Editor, BET.com
Although you may recognize her name as former editor
of The Source during the Dave & Benzino days, Kim is
now responsible for BET’s online content.
KLC / producer, Beats By the Pound & The Medicine
Men – Producers Panel (Baton Rouge, LA)
Few producers can claim an entire place in time. KLC as
a member of Beats By The Pound served as the backbone
behind the No Limit movement that peaked at over 40
million units sold and opened a brand new sound. Today,
as a member of The Medicine Men, KLC has produced for
mega stars such as Ludacris and Mariah Carey while anticipating the release of the first release for The Medicine
Men’s Overdose/Asylum venture entitled KLC The Drum Major.
KRAZE / CEO, All Access DVD (New York, NY)
MATT SONZALA / Writer, Photographer, Promoter,
Booker –Media Panel (Houston, TX)
Matt Sonzala is a writer/photographer/promoter/booking
agent from Houston, TX. He’s been in the music game
since the age of 16 when he first started promoting live
events at clubs. Since then he has developed into THE
voice for Houston hip-hop. While he is not affiliated with
any artist officially, when you need to get at someone from Texas, you call
Matt first. In recent years he has been published in Ozone, The Source, XXL
and Vibe Magazine, and is currently booking artists like Devin the Dude and
DJ Rapid Ric on tours of Europe, Canada, and the Pacific Rim. His weekly
radio program - the wildly popular Damage Control Show with DJ Chill - is
heard all over the world and is a direct link to everything going on in Dirty
South Rap.
MAURICE G. GARLAND / Music Editor, OZONE Magazine – Media Panel
(Atlanta, GA)
After a stint working at Rolling Out, Maurice joined the OZONE team and
has been responsible for several memorable spreads (“20 Greatest Southern
Albums,” “Bay Area Patiently Waiting,” etc.).
HiTz Committee – A&R Panel (New York, NY)
Arriving in New York fresh from his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, Mickey Wright embarked on a journey
fueled by faith and determination that would eventually
lead him to becoming the most sought after golden ears
of hip-hop. Wright released both the debut album of
his latest signing, Tallahassee R&B singer/songwriter, T-Pain, as well as the
YoungBloodZ’s third album, only a week apart. He is currently back in the
studio, preparing releases with legendary Houston group UGK, J-Kwon, and
newcomer M.O.S. (Money Over Sex), a rapper from Durham, NC. With his
recent promotion to Vice President of A&R at Jive, Wright’s eyes and ears are
always poised for the next big thing, but he particularly cares “more about real
talent, potential stardom, and longevity.”
MIKE CAREN / Senior Vice President of A&R, Atlantic Records - A&R Panel
(Los Angeles, CA)
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MICHAEL CLARKE / VP, Swisha House; owner, M&M Music – Indie Exec
Panel (Houston, TX)
Michael Clarke embarked on a career in the music industry before landing a
coveted executive position at Swisha House Records. A proprietor of the family owned and operated M&M Music, Clarke assumed full responsibilities of
manning and operating the award winning record store in 1996. Since joining
the Swisha House family officially in 2003, Clarke has risen in ranks from a
consultant to Vice President. Clarke expertly outlines the marketing and promotional procedures for all artists on the Swisha House roster simultaneously
working in conjunction with the record company partner’s various departments to provide artists with optimal success.
MIKE RIOS / Mixunit.com (Hartford, CT)
MISS INFO / Journalist, Personality – Hot 97
– Women In The Industry Panel (New York, NY)
Whether on radio, television, or print, Miss Info
brings the same opinionated blend of wit, news, and
gossip that’s become her trademark. Born to Korean
immigrants in Chicago, Miss Info moved to New
York to join the staff at the Source Magazine. She has
since written and edited for magazines such as Vibe,
XXL, King, Mass Appeal, Rolling Stone, Glamour
as well as MTV News and various shows on VH1. Recently, Miss Info joined
New York City’s Hot 97 family, wrote a book, and still has time to pen a
monthly Vibe column and give writing workshops.
During Def Jam’s transition, Shakir helped maintain the label’s reputation for
breaking rap acts by signing bubbling talent like Young Jeezy and Rick Ross
and helping their careers break on a national level.
SHAWN HOLIDAY / Senior VP of A&R, Universal Records – A&R Panel
(Los Angeles, CA)
SUPA CINDY / Personality, WEDR-Miami – Women In The Industry Panel (Miami, FL)
For the past 6 1/2 years Supa Cindy has kept the #1
spot in the Arbitron ratings. First with her partner
Big Lip Bandit in the evenings and now for the last
2 years as part of the “Big Lip Bandit in the A.M.”
Mornings Show. Along with holding the title as
the most popular female radio personality in South
Florida, Supa Cindy also has the responsibility of
running her own non profit organization called “Supa Friends” whose main
goal is to motivate and inspire young women. Supa Cindy plans to use her
bilingual skills (thanks to her Haitian and Dominican parents) to broaden her
resume with a new television venture.
TED LUCAS / CEO, Slip-N-Slide Records – Indie CEO Panel (Miami, FL)
THE RUNNERS – Production Panel (Orlando, FL)
They got their big break with Rick Ross’ “Hustlin’”
and DJ Khaled’s “Born & Raised,” and are now working with everyone from Lil Wayne to UGK.
MR. COLLIPARK – Producer Panel (Atlanta, GA)
Also known as DJ Smurf, Collipark crafted the sound
and progress of the Ying Yang Twins career and now
is working with several new acts including P Stones
and Homebwoi. He produced the infamous “whisper
song” for the Ying Yang Twins as well as David
Banner’s “Play,” Bubba Sparxxx’ “Ms. New Booty,”
Bun B’s “Git It,” Pitbull’s “Shake,” and dozens of
other Ying Yang Twins hits.
TIFFANY CHILES / CEO, Don Diva Magazine – Media Panel (New York, NY)
Panel (Milwaukee, WI)
After a rather vocal departure from the Tech.Nitions, Tony pushed forward to create his own DJ
crew The CORE and has assembled an all-star cast
of DJs and industry movers & shakers from across
the country that moves as one unit. A former boxer,
Tony’s take-charge attitude has enabled him to build
a strong, valuable army of DJs.
N. ALI EARLY / Editor at Large, Grip Magazine
– Media Panel (Atlanta, GA)
A proud graduate of Clark Atlanta University, N.
Ali Early began humbly with UrbanStyle Weekly
serving as Music Editor for 2 years. Since then Early
has set the world on fire with credits in XXL, The
Source, Vibe, and more while still having time to
launch his media umbrella, www.KreativeSouls.
com. Now as Editor-At-Large for Grip Magazine,
Early is optimistic knowing that “the sky’s the limit
as to what we can accomplish – and we want it all.”
UNCLE LUKE / CEO, Luke Records – Indie Exec
Panel (Miami, FL)
A veteran in the game both as an artist and a businessman, Luke can provide valuable information of
what to do – and what not to do – when running
your own record label.
Panel (Atlanta, GA)
In addition to his work as an entertainment attorney
for some of the biggest names in Atlanta music,
Vince owns BME along with Lil Jon, Rob Mac, and
Emperor Searcy. The upstart label which launched
Lil Jon’s career now boasts a promising roster that
includes Lil Scrappy, Trillville, E-40, Chyna Whyte,
Bohagon, B.H.I., and more.
NITTI – Producer Panel (Atlanta, GA)
“This is a Nitti beat,” c’mon, you had to have heard
that at least a million times by now on the intro to
Yung Joc’s “It’s Goin’ Down.” Nitti has also crafted
beats for 8Ball, Young Jeezy, Rasheeda, and a crop of
talented upcoming Atlanta artists.
RAHMAN DUKES / MTV News - Media Panel
(New York, NY)
WENDY DAY / Founder, Rap Coalition - Women In
The Industry Panel (Atlanta, GA)
In chess, the Queen is the most powerful piece on the
board. Likewise, Wendy Day runs the boardroom as
if she wields the power, continuously crafting deals
for the likes of Cash Money, No Limit, Eminem, and
David Banner. Founder of the Rap Coalition, she is
an advocate for artist rights and believes firmly in the
adage “knowledge is power.”
MySpace.com – Technology Panel
Roslynn Cobarrubias started “Third Floor
Radio” in college in 1998 where she acted
as host, producer and DJ. In July of 2004,
she came to MySpace. While holding the
position of Director of Marketing for the
National Association of Record Industry
Professionals (NARIP), Cobarrubias met Chris De
Wolfe (CEO of MySpace.com) via her former boss, president of the network,
Tess Taylor. The web community had just begun MySpace Music and only
had 3.5 million users compared to the 90 million +
that it has to date. Friends know her as a work-aholic that calls herself the “traveling janitor.” She
prides herself most in the ability to help others and
has a strong belief in coincidences after reading the
Celestine Prophecy numerous times.
SHAKIR STEWART / Senior VP of A&R, Island Def
Jam – A&R Panel (Atlanta, GA)
WENDY WASHINGTON / Senior VP of Media Relations, Universal Records – Women In The Industry
Panel (New York, NY)
Once a law school student, Wendy now runs Universal’s media relations/publicity department. During
her first years in the music industry, she helped Bad
Boy launch Biggie’s career. Since then, she’s been
responsible for securing press coverage for everyone
from A Tribe Called Quest to Nelly to Juvenile.
WES PHILLIPS / Select-O-Hits (Memphis, TN)
ozone 12 awards
First Annual OZONE Awards: Sunday, August 6th
at the Bob Carr Auditorium in downtown Orlando, FL
red carpet: 4-6 PM showtime: 7 PM
in association with TJ’s DJ’s Tastemaker’s Music Conference (August 4th-5th)
visit www.ozonemag.com or www.tjsdjs.com to register for weekend passes to all events
Tickets to the OZONE Awards are also available through www.ticketmaster.com
Nominees were selected by a panel of DJs, journalists, and other knowledgeable, non-biased individuals in the rap community. OZONE is widely known and respected as
the premiere voice of Southern rap music, so it’s only right that our nominations this year are focused on Southern artists. Keep in mind that this year’s nominations are based
solely on music released between May 1, 2005 and April 30, 2006.
Bun B - Trill
The king of collaborations brought together the entire South
for his perfectly-timed first solo album, even uniting Houston - if only for a few minutes - on the “Draped Up” remix.
Juvenile - Reality Check
Facing with the challenge of adjusting to a new recording
home and picking up his life after Katrina, Juve came with
his best material since his groundbreaking Cash Money
release 400 Degreez.
Lil Wayne - The Carter 2
Cash Money/Universal
Wayne became a critical and media darling with the superior
lyrical dexterity he showcased on his latest project.
T.I. - King
Grand Hustle/Atlantic
He claimed the throne years ago, and backed it up in a major
way in 2006 with one of his strongest efforts to date.
Young Jeezy - Thug Motivation: Let’s Get It
Def Jam
The highly-anticipated major label debut from the South’s
hottest underground commodity spawned numerous hit
singles and club anthems.
Bun B
Crime Mob (Diamond & Princess)
Left alone to keep the UGK flame burning, the Trillest of the Trill came
strong with a gang of top notch collaborations and elevated himself to
become one of the finest solo artists in the rap game.
Lil Wayne
Cash Money’s most loyal soldier took shots at former labelmates Juvenile
and B.G., but backed it up with a release that captured his confidence,
growth, and versatility.
Paul Wall
In addition to dropping his first national release, The People’s Champ was
everywhere this year. He dropped verses for everyone from T-Pain to
Nelly to Bun B and even using the birth of his firstborn son as an opportunity to market his side hustle selling grills.
This young duo kept their crew’s name alive after people got tired of
knucking and bucking.
The self-proclaimed Madam of Miami will take your attention, your man
and your jewelry if the cameras aren’t watching. But, when on the mic,
she takes no shit.
Raw and uncut, Khia still represents for the ghetto females in the ongoing
battle of the sexes (“J.O.D.D.,” “Snatch the Cat Back”).
The “R” in her name must stand for resilient. This “Georgia Peach” has
proven that she’s here to stay.
This Urban Legend told you he was Serious, but he still had to Trap you
with his Muzik until you crowned him the King he’d always claimed to
Young Jeezy
After helping to establish Boyz N Da Hood, the Snowman used his charisma to entrance the entire nation as he vividly described the realities of
street life.
Slowly but surely stepping out of Ludacris’ shadow, this Chi-Town queen
is about to make the world respect female emcees again.
Attitude for years, sassiness for months and ass for days, Trina “blah blah
blah”-ed her way to the top and snagged Birdman Jr. on the way.
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Originally written off as an R Kelly Jr., Trey Songz created his own lane
and brought a breath of fresh air to R&B.
Anthony Hamilton
The raw emotions in his voice catapulted him to near iconic status in
today’s climate of soulless music.
Boyz N Da Hood
Bobby Valentino
This former Mista front man went from Organizing Noize to Disturbing
Tha Peace and created a sound hit in the process.
A collective comprised of two underground rap vets and two flashy newcomers, Boyz N Da Hood took the South by storm, drawing comparisons
to the legendary gangsta rap group N.W.A.
Chris Brown
This smooth teen catapulted to the top of the charts virtually overnight.
After penning hit records for Mario and others, Ne-Yo stepped out into
his own limelight.
Pretty Ricky
Love them, hate them, or hate them a lot, ATL foursome D4L ignored the
dissenters and made an undeniable run for the top.
Dem Franchize Boyz
Right when you thought they got worn out, Dem Franchize Boyz dusted
off the “White Tees” and reminded us why we like them.
A little raunchy for your mother’s liking, but Pretty Ricky snuck their
way into the hearts of teenage girls everywhere. Their “Grind” finally
paid off.
Little Brother
Three 6 Mafia
Ying Yang Twins
With his seamless songwriting abilities, this Rappa Ternt Sanga made it
seem classy to fall in love with a stripper.
Christina Milian
Although born in New Jersey, this talented singer spends a lot of time in
the Dirty Dirty these days, collaborating with Young Jeezy, Lil Jon, and
Miami production duo Cool & Dre.
They held up a mirror and forced hip-hop to take a good look at itself
with their critically acclaimed major debut The Minstrel Show.
It’s a little easier out here for a pimp now that Memphis legends Three 6
Mafia have received their mainstream respect.
Best known for their strip club anthems, this Atlanta duo expanded their
horizons into grown-man territory with United State of Atlanta - and still
managed a few “HANH?!?”s in the process.
Bun B
Destiny’s Child
This overnight celebrity dropped an album and had a run that proves she
will be here for many moons.
Houston’s angels bid farewell, but did so in grand fashion.
Even though he’s reppin’ the Screwed and Chopped state of Texas,
Cham’s flows and lyrics are anything but slow.
George Clinton, Big Gipp, Bun B and Pastor Troy can vouch for her. She
is the Queen of the Underground.
Keyshia Cole
Swiftly becoming the Mary J. Blige of her generation, Ms. Cole got hyphy
with the fellas but still represented for the ladies.
LeToya Luckett
Showing that there is indeed life after Beyonce, Luckett crept in with the
Houston wave and found her niche.
Anthony Hamilton - Ain’t Nobody Worryin’
His second studio album clearly indicated that he was not a flash in the
Lyfe Jennings - Lyfe 268-192
If every convicted felon had a soulful voice and songwriting skills like the
ones displayed on Lyfe’s autobiographical debut, we wouldn’t see many
repeat offenders. Fuck a license plate – give them a guitar!
Ne-Yo - In My Own Words
Def Jam
R&B’s new man of the hour scored big with “So Sick” and his debut
T-Pain - Rappa Ternt Sanga
Killer Mike
Shaky release dates and a shelved album almost deaded his name, but
Killa Kill managed to stay alive with the amazing freestyles and lyrical
dexterity of The Killer mixtape and the Got Purp? compilation.
Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne finally gained nationwide respect for being the talented emcee
that he has been since his pre-teen years.
For well over a decade Scarface has proven why he is one of the most
revered voices in all of hip-hop. In 2006 he continued to add to his legendary status with his group The Product.
He talks cash shit and he’s money on the mic, but T.I. still spits like he
struggling in the trap.
Mike Jones
He may not have picked up his phone when you called, but Mike Jones
saw his career go from off the radar to off the hook.
Paul Wall
Tallahassee’s multi-talented son dropped an album laced with his trademark singing and production style, and produced two massive hits in the
process. Not bad for a rapper.
Trey Songz - I Gotta Make It
The South ain’t got lyrics, huh? Tell that to Bun B. There’s a reason why
he’s been featured alongside virtually every rapper you’ve ever heard of.
On top of single-handedly birthing (and soon killing) our fascination with
Grillz, Paul Wall went from being a local Chick Magnet to The People’s
Rick Ross
Hustlin’ every day (for years) led Miami’s Rick Ross to a major label bidding war and a multi-million dollar Def Jam deal.
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Slim Thug
They say everything’s bigger in Texas. Houston’s 7-footer was ridin’ a
Bentley even before the album dropped.
Save for the now infamous chain-snatching incident, T-Pain’s breakthrough has been a pleasurable experience. Being “Sprung” and “In Luv”
never hurt nobody.
Coming from Lousiana’s ‘other’ city, Baton Rouge’s Webbie brought back
the I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude that others have forgotten.
Bun B f/ H-Town All Stars (Lil Keke, Slim Thug, Paul Wall,
Mike Jones, Aztek, Lil Flip, Z-Ro) “Draped Up (remix)”
Rodney King and DJ Screw would be so proud to see everybody just get
along. Or at least they edited it that way.
by the Ying Yang Twins’ “Wait.”
Dem Franchize Boyz “Lean Wit’ It, Rock Wit’ It”
DFB ruled the airwaves in the year of the snap, with back-to-back radio
cuts that were unavoidable.
Dem Franchize Boyz f/ Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat, and Bow
Wow “Oh I Think They Like Me (remix)”
Jermaine and his entire So So Def roster came through to remix this
“White Tees” spin-off.
Webbie f/ Bun B “Gimme Dat”
We’re not condoning rape - but when a woman says “no,” sometimes she
actually does mean “yes,” which could explain this record’s widespread
Bubba Sparxxx f/ Ying Yang Twins “Ms. New Booty”
After a disappointing reaction to his sophomore attempt, Bubba came
back strong with his third-time’s-the-Charm project and gave the people
what they wanted.
DJ Khaled f/ Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Fat Joe, and Pitbull
“Holla At Me Baby”
Miami’s DJ Khaled called in a bunch of favors for this energetic lead
single off his debut album.
Rick Ross “Hustlin’”
Everybody in the country can relate to this record, no matter what their
hustle is.
Purple Ribbon All-Stars (Big Boi & Killer Mike) “Kryptonite”
Yeah, the song was jamming. But you may need to go back and listen
closely to Big Boi’s verse. He’s no slouch.
Three 6 Mafia f/ Young Buck & 8Ball & MJG “Stay Fly”
This Tennessee union was a long time coming, but well worth the wait.
Trae f/ Big Hawk & Fat Pat “Swang”
Only God can bring the whole crew back, but until then, Screwed Up
Click fans have Trae’s tribute to hold them down.
Beyonce f/ Slim Thug “Check Up On It”
T.I. “What You Know”
The lead single off King set the stage for both T.I.’s big screen debut and
his biggest album to date.
Ying Yang Twins f/ Pitbull “Shake”
First they caught the country’s attention with a whisper - then back to
the usual ass-shaking ruckus, teaming up with Pitbull for added effect and
multi-cultural appeal.
Yung Joc “It’s Goin’ Down”
This breakthrough record from Bad Boy South’s newest representative
came complete with its own dance.
This H-Town radio friendly combo had clubs jumpin’ all across the
Field Mob f/ Ludacris & Jamie Foxx “Georgia”
Texas’ tamale king stays in the kitchen, whipping up new product.
Chingo Bling
These underrated country boys paid tribute to their home state along
with Luda and a damn good Ray Charles impersonation by Jamie Foxx.
T-Pain f/ R Kelly, Twista, Pimp C, Paul Wall, MJG, & Too
$hort “I’m In Luv (Wit’ A Stripper)” remix
Dallas’ T-Town Music collective landed a $7 million dollar deal with
Universal Records off their impressive underground grind.
Better known as “T-Pain featuring everyone,” the only hit bigger than the
original version of this song was the remix. Apparently, a lot of men can
Ying Yang Twins f/ Avant “Bedroom Boom”
Young Jeezy f/ Akon “Soul Survivor”
Young Jeezy
Atlanta’s wildest “twins” got grown and sexy and hooked up with Avant
to serenade the ladies.
Akon’s unique vocals were a perfect match for Jeezy’s street tales on this
massive hit from Jeezy’s debut album.
The record that was such a huge hit you literally could not escape it if you
wanted to - from the radio to the clubs to the streets, it was everywhere.
D4L “Laffy Taffy”
Love it or hate it, music lovers of all ages were introduced to snap music
in a big way through D4L’s breakthrough record.
David Banner “Play”
Banner stepped outside of his element and showed his versatility by creating a smash hit with Mr. Collipark that blew up, riding the wave created
Mike Jones’ (who?) former partner Magno now represents DJ Clue’s
Desert Storm South and stays on his mixtape grind.
No longer just Mr. 305, this internationally recognized superstar still stays
true to his humble beginnings and releases mixtapes frequently.
Ft. Myers, FL newcomer Plies’ 100% Real Nigga mixtapes with Cool
Runnings’ DJ Bigga Rankin helped him amass plenty of fans, and haters,
in 2006.
This category wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Jeezy’s accomplishments with mixtapeS like Trap or Die and Can’t Ban the Snowman.
Although he’s been in the game for a decade plus, B.G.’s independent
releases and lyrical skills have been largely underappreciated by the
mainstream rap audience.
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Lil Jon’s secret weapon helped everybody “Get Crunk,” but he’s just a
soulful country boy at heart.
Jody Breeze
Jazze Pha protege and Boyz N Da Hood member Jody Breeze is still waiting to drop his solo album, and fans are waiting also.
Little Brother
Allegedly dubbed “too intelligent” for their audience by BET, the lack
of recognition for this North Carolina trio proves once again that catchy
hooks unfortunately often win over substance.
ist added “inventor” to his list of job titles this year with the ingenious
smoker’s device Da Splitta.
Tony Neal
The founder of The CORE DJs, Tony goes the extra mile to make sure his
crew eats.
DJ Screw
Although he’s gone (R.I.P.), his legacy and music lives on through
Houston’s recent rap explosion.
Grimy, gutta, and unrefined, this truly talented Baton Rouge rhymer
stayed somewhat under the radar despite two big singles.
Yo Gotti
Respected in the streets of Memphis and beyond, Yo Gotti is still awaiting
national recognition.
The trailblazing artist/individual who’s influence can be clearly seen in
the music released during this time period.
8Ball & MJG
Before all the radio play and mainstream attention, it was 8Ball and MJG
who helped put Southern music on the map with Comin’ Out Hard. Since
then, they’ve maintained their core fanbase.
After parting ways with the Geto Boys, this Houston emcee developed a
ghetto-nurtured rap trademark, leading a wave of Southern emcees who
emulated his style.
Three 6 Mafia
By now, we all know that they made history by winning an Academy
Award. But even before the Oscar, these Memphis legends’ impact was
Too $hort
Sharing his sexual tales and stories of violence, Too $hort pioneered a
movement while earning two gold and four platinum plaques. More importantly, he blazed a trail for the South’s independent explosion.
Port Arthur, TX, rap partners Bun B and Pimp C have each earned the
title of Underground King. Bun B also gets the loyalty award for his
relentless (and apparently, successful) “Free Pimp C” campaign.
Snap, crackle, pop. The “inventor” of Atlanta’s newest trend, snap music,
K-Rab’s impact is clear.
Lil Jon
Even though somewhat silenced this year by label issues, Jon ventured
beyond the South and kept his sound alive by linking up with rock groups
like Korn and California legends like E-40.
Mr. Collipark
Although its longevity remains to be seen, Mr. Collipark’s vision for a
new genre of “intimate club music” became a reality with the success of
the Ying Yang Twins’ “Wait” and David Banner’s “Play.”
Florida’s dreadlocked rapper, singer, and producer discovered a new vocal
effect in the studio and “went crazy” with it. Love it or hate it, you’ve got
to admit that it worked.
Dem Franchize Boyz
White tees have become hip-hop’s official uniform, thanks in part to
Fabo of D4L
Famous for his white sunglasses, Fabo’s unique style kicked off a new
Lil Wayne
Bling, bling. Every time I come around your city, bling bling.
Uncle Luke
Paul Wall & TV Johnny
From challenging censors to paving the way as a businessman, Miami’s
bass king has earned the title of “pioneer.”
Not only is T.I. a great rapper, but he’s also become a sex symbol.
DJ Chuck T
Carolina representative “Mr. Publicity” lives up to his name, churning out
mixtapes consistently and maintaining numerous other hustles.
David Banner
Whether rapping, producing, acting, or aiding hurricane victims in his
home state of Mississippi, Banner redefines 24/7.
DJ Drama
Drama and his Affiliates’ crew are literally everywhere, and he played a
key role in the success of artists like T.I., Young Jeezy, and Paul Wall.
Mike Jones
You don’t grind, you don’t shine. You don’t work, you don’t eat. Call 281330-8004 for more information.
Tampa Tony
Everyone and their brother, sister, mama, and grandmomma has a grill
now, thanks to Paul Wall’s side hustle and his comedic - but presumably
rich - business partner, Johnny Dang of TV Jewelry.
Known for his Florida anthem “Keep Jukin’,” Tampa’s most creative art-
Young Jeezy
Although CNN tried, they couldn’t ban the Snowman. Jeezy’s trademark
t-shirts became a best-seller at hip-hop clothing stores worldwide.
Chamillionaire f/ Krayzie Bone “Ridin’ Dirty”
Kudos are already in order for having Debo in the video, but the parallel
between pro wrestling and police brutality was ingenious.
Da BackWudz “I Don’t Like The Look of It”
The Willy Wonka movie is already weird enough, so calling this video
weird is mundane. But you have to appreciate a vid where the models
don’t get more face time than the artist.
David Banner “Play”
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Speaking of models, this one was a who’s who. Sweaty, steamy and sticky,
Banner gave his fans a little eye and ear candy.
airwaves and streets for quite some time.
Juvenile “Get Ya Hustle On”
When workaholic Greg Street isn’t planning a celebrity car show, sneaker
show, or party, he can usually be heard blazing the Atlanta airwaves.
This video had more accurate Katrina reporting than Fox News on their
best day. Juve reminded us of the forgotten.
Rick Ross “Hustlin’”
Greg Street (Atlanta, GA)
DJ Nasty (Orlando, FL)
Now branching off into the production world, Nasty’s skills on the turntables remain top-of-the-line.
Crossing the bridge into the real Miami, Rick Ross gave the world a
glimpse of the everyday hustle in his Carol City ‘hood.
Three 6 Mafia f/ Young Buck and 8Ball & MJG “Stay Fly”
A night in the life of a rap star: endless partying captured by great camera
work made us feel like we were right there with them.
Honorable mention: Although Korn is not a Southern rap group,
their video for “Twisted Transistor,” which featured Lil Jon, David
Banner, Xzibit, and Snoop Dogg playing the roles of the band, certainly
deserves mention.
The artist from outside our region who showed the most love the South
and/or was most accepted in the South.
Don’t forget, this guy rapped on the “Neva Scared” remix and did a “Bout
It” remake a while back. So his collabos with Webbie and Lil’ Wayne
should come as no surprise - he’s no bandwagon jumper.
He unified crunk with hyphy and still maintained his O.G. status.
Michael Watts (Houston, TX)
Swishahouse’s Michael Watts carries on the legacy of DJ Screw through
the fine art of chopping and Screwing.
Cool & Dre
Miami’s Terror Squad affiliates Cool & Dre have put their stamp on the
industry, producing massive hits for Ja Rule and Game and more recent
records like Christina Milian’s “Say I” and Juvenile’s “Rodeo.”
Jermaine Dupri
After landing both an executive position and a label deal at Virgin Records, he bulked up his roster by producing hits for Dem Franchize Boyz
and Bow Wow post-puberty.
Lil Jon
After a few years as the reigning King of Crunk, Jon kept up his winning streak with the YoungBloodz’ “Presidential” and E-40’s “Snap Yo’
Mannie Fresh
Juelz Santana
His Jeezy mixtape hasn’t dropped, but Juelz earned his Dirty South pass.
Too $hort
Having lived in Atlanta since the 90s, he’s damn near a Southerner now.
But at the end of the day he’s “still coming straight from Oakland.”
Chi-town’s rapid-fire spitter’s trademark style has universal appeal, and
Twista is no stranger to Dirty South collabos.
Bigga Rankin (Jacksonville, FL)
Cool Runnings’ O.G. Bigga Rankin faithfully preaches his Ghetto Gospel
to clubgoers all throughout the South, no matter how drunk they are.
DJ Irie (Miami, FL)
Widely regarded as one of the top mixers in the country, the official
DJ of the Miami Heat still finds time to rock your favorite South Beach
DJ Khaled (Miami, FL)
Waited in line too long and your favorite record was over by the time you
got inside? Don’t worry, the Southern version of Funkmaster Flex is sure
to bring it back and drop a bomb on it - three or four times.
Although somewhat low-profile since departing Cash Money, Mannie’s
production skills are still on point, as evidenced by records like Young
Jeezy’s “And What,” Bun B’s “I’m Fresh,” and B.G.’s “Move Around.”
Mr. Collipark
Otherwise known as DJ Smurf, the man behind the Ying Yang Twins
took bass music to a whole new level and created “intimate club music.”
The Unusual Suspects (Big D & Jim Jonsin)
Although Big D and Jim Jonsin have since moved on to pursue solo projects, they achieved major back-to-back successes as a duo, crafting Pretty
Ricky’s album and hits for Trick Daddy, Trina, and Twista, among others.
Bigga Rankin (Jacksonville, FL)
Bigga’s trademark WRNR: Real Nigga Radio mixtape series is ghetto
platinum in the streets, introducing artists like Plies and Young Cash and
reintroducing Jacki-O to ‘hoods across the South.
DJ Chuck T (Charleston, SC)
The cockiest DJ in the Carolinas talks a lot of shit, but consistently backs
it up with a flurry of releases showcasing the hottest new music and
breaking indie acts.
DJ Drama (Atlanta, GA)
Lil Larry (Memphis, TN)
Larry keeps the clubs poppin’ in Tennessee.
Drama took his mixtape series Gangsta Grillz to a whole new level. DJ
Chuck T asserts that Drama’s career path is the blueprint for all other DJs
- a strong statement coming from a fellow nominee.
DJ Mars (Atlanta, GA)
DJ Ideal (Miami, FL)
Rapid Ric (Austin, TX)
The CEO of the SuperFriends’ DJ crew, Mars keeps the party jumpin’.
DJ Khaled (Miami, FL)
If you had a bad day at work, Khaled’s afternoon mix is sure to liven up
the rest of your day.
Freddy Hydro (Memphis, TN)
Yo Gotti drama aside, Freddy Hydro has been holding down the Memphis
Straight from Da Bottom, Ideal played a role in Pitbull’s success and
dropped solid projects with everyone from Ludacris to Smitty.
The Mixtape Mechanic’s Whut It Dew? series consistently captures the
essence of Texas music, highlighting the best of the best.
DJ Smallz (Tampa, FL)
Smallz’ peers have mixed feelings: some hate him, some love him, some
envy him, but most do respect his hustle. Smallz’ created a career with
exclusives and industry connects, not hype and image.
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Acafool (Tampa, FL)
Tampa’s class clown put his “Hata Blockas” on and sparked both a radio
frenzy and label bidding war.
BloodRaw (Panama City, FL)
Rejuvenated after winning a Federal court case, the Bangin’ Bay representative is back on the road with Young Jeezy and his CTE camp and taking
full advantage of all opportunities.
Plies (Ft. Myers, FL)
Stirring up controversy with his bold “100% real nigga, dawg” campaign,
Slip-N-Slide’s newest recruit rocked packed clubs throughout Florida
without an album or a video.
Treal (Orlando, FL)
Central Florida’s hypest foursome, known for their crunk performances,
stayed on their grind and landed in regular rotation on local radio.
Triple J (West Palm Beach, FL)
Arguably one of Florida’s top lyricists, Triple J has survived record label
politics and gunfire and still managed to create a name for himself with
witty rhymes and creative mixtape records.
Young Cash (Jacksonville, FL)
Jacksonville’s head honcho stayed on the scene this year with his Duval
County Rockstars, dropped records with Webbie, Paul Wall, and Mike
Jones, and landed a deal with SRC/Universal.
lorida has had its spurts in hip-hop. Luke and the 2 Live Crew movement was the first, but fizzled out when the
group broke up. 69 Boyz went platinum with their classic hit “Tootsee Roll.” Trick Daddy and Trina were soon to
follow with their barrage of hits coming out of the MIA. Now Florida has Rick Ross at the forefront to show the
world exactly how M-I-Yayo be hustlin’. However, for the first time in the state’s hip-hop history, the future looks
bright with talent from all areas looking to break out and show the world that Florida is here to stay.
Nicknamed the Gunshine State for the shape of the state, first up is Bloodraw hailing from Panama City. Soon after
signing to Young Jeezy’s CTE label, Bloodraw was arrested, and eventually acquitted on drug charges. Working on a
Gangsta Grillz mixtape as well as group U.S.D.A.’s album, Bloodraw is the leader to break North Florida.
Five hours across the state is Duval County’s own Young Cash. Signed to SRC/Universal, he is patiently waiting to
release his debut album. Recording a local hit track with Paul Wall, “Disco Ball,” Young Cash has much more to come
from Jacksonville.
Treal have been local stars for years ever since they dropped their Orlando classic “Orange County.” With their recent
independent release “Crunk Tested and Approved,” Treal are ready to show the world what it is like to be crunk in a
city that outsiders consider Mickey Mouse territory.
Everyone across I-4 has their “Hatah Blockas” on. One of the few Tampa artists to break through and receive local radio
support after years of hard work, Acafool found his niche and has the Hatah Blockas shades craze spreading throughout
Florida. It’s only a matter of time before he blows.
One of the more underappreciated artists in Florida, Triple J reps West Palm Beach to the fullest. He wasn’t even one
to appreciate his talents until after he was shot. He made a transition, but kept the streets locked. With his MLK BLVD
album, he is sure to have labels hunting for him.
Finally, “the hottest nigga in Florida” is the street’s own Plies. Hailing from Ft. Myers, Plies carries an “I don’t give a
fuck” attitude with Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic backing him. This South Florida new breed of MC is destined to blow nationwide.
With just this small group of Florida talent, who is to deny them as the next to shine?
- Leon Bailey
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Citty (Atlanta, GA)
Even with a Slip-N-Slide/Def Jam deal, you can still find the Cookieman in the streets and the hole-in-the-wall clubs that made him hot.
Da BackWudz (Atlanta, GA)
They waited for quite a while, and their patience finally paid off this
year when they linked up with Dallas Austin.
Lil Weavah (Atlanta, GA)
Weavah’s widely respected independent hustle extends from the
internet to Soundscan.
Slick Pulla (Atlanta, GA)
Young Jeezy’s smooth-talking CTE sidekick’s rap skills have improved
rapidly - Pulla represents the trap with lyrics and clever wordplay.
Yola (Atlanta, GA)
With “Ain’t Gon’ Let Up” currently the most requested song on
Atlanta radio stations, the future is bright for Yola.
Young Dro (Atlanta, GA)
After stints with various Atlanta collectives, Dro finally found a home
with Grand Hustle and landed a hit with “Shoulder Lean.”
uilt on the blueprints of more recent breakthrough artists like Ludacris, T.I. and Young Jeezy, 2006 saw a new crop
of Georgia artists make their presence felt. And with crunk fading into its last stages in popularity and snap music
reaching its apex and eventual fall, it was prime time for lyricists to come back to the forefront.
Slip-N-Slide/Def Jam signee Citty proved that he was indeed a soldier ready to go for his in the war that is the rap game.
The former Marine and Field Mob protégé toured every nook and cranny that had a microphone, creating his buzz
from the ground up. His underground single “Da Cookieman” showed that there are more hustles than selling dope
and pimping women. Then songs like “That’s Gangsta” proved that you can get a crowd amped without brandishing
weapons in every line.
Another group that gave us plenty of alternatives were the Da Backwudz, reminding people of Outkast, but yet showing that Southern Hip Hop’s future is in good hands. Hell, the simple existence of their debut Wood Work is historic in
the fact that it made Dallas Austin resurrect Rowdy Records just for them.
You can’t mention the new talent coming from the Peach state without talking about Lil Weavah either. Correction,
you can’t mention mixtape grind without talking about Lil Weavah. True to the underground, this Southwest Atlanta
bred artist has his name on the minds of everyone in the country with no radio support, although an appearance on
ESPN’s Cold Pizza and mention on MTV.com definitely helped. Appearing on 200 mixtapes since last year and getting
massive support from overseas is evidence that Weavah won’t be patiently waiting for too much longer.
Even though Slick Pulla hasn’t been on a bunch of mixtapes, his appearances on Young Jeezy’s have given him a muchdeserved spotlight. Him bringing wordplay and wit to the much talked about “trap life” shows that there is more than
one way to skin a cat. Now, with his debut album The Trapublican slated to release later this year, Slick is bound to pull
a lot of attention his way.
Keeping in tune with that, Yola Da Great has been able to motivate thugs in his own way as well. His infectious single
“Ain’t Gon’ Let Up” has been killing Atlanta radio for months and his grind was rewarded with a deal through Grand
Hustle/Atlantic Records.
As your reading this article, odds are you’ve heard Young Dro’s “Shoulder Lean” at least twice today. Already a name in
the streets through regional hits like “Yes Sir” back in 2002, he eventually signed with Grand Hustle this year and plans
to burn the scene with his debut Best Thang Smokin.
If these six artists are an indication of what Georgia has to offer for the future, your best bet is to hop on the bandwagon
right now.
- Cedric Boothe
ozone 19 awards
All Star (Nashville, TN)
The self-proclaimed Cashville Prince scored a huge hit with “Grey Goose”
and landed a solo deal with Cash Money.
Cadence (Nashville, TN)
A witty emcee with striking versatility, Cadence toured the world opening for Kenny Chesney but still makes records that can get the most
thugged out club poppin’.
D. Cooley (Chattanooga, TN)
Thanks to his consistent grind, D. Cooley has seen his record “Trap
Clothes” grow into a bonafide regional smash.
Kinfolk Nakia Shine (Memphis, TN)
This indie hustler played an integral role in other Memphis’ artists careers, but now he’s telling you to “Respect My Fresh.”
Lutinent G (Memphis, TN)
Representing for Memphis’ underground rap breeding ground, Lutinent
G had every club in Tennessee screaming “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” to his
monster club banger.
Yo Gotti (Memphis, TN)
Never one to wander far from the streets, the hottest up-and-comer in
Memphis hustled his way through the mixtape and indie scene and is
poised to achieve national success.
ast year, hip-hop witnessed a first when Three 6 Mafia took to a Hollywood stage and accepted an Academy
Award. Tennessee, which has had its fair share of musical adversity, was finally able to bask in a shining moment
again. Add to that the strong reemergence of the state’s crowned princes via the bonafide hits “Stay Fly” and “Poppin’ My Collar,” the release of Project Pat and Playa Fly from jail, and the influx of young visitors to Memphis for major
boxing matches, and it’s obvious that Tennessee is on the rise once again.
While “Tennekey” has been on the music scene for years, producing the likes of Al Green and 8Ball & MJG, in recent
years it’s remained relatively quiet while surrounding areas have stepped into the spotlight. Even still, talent continued
to bubble quietly, and 2006 was the year for it to be manifested publicly.
Take Cadence, for example. Hailing from “Cashville,” this rapper proves that witty lyricism and concentrated storytelling can be just as entertaining as snapping your fingers and two stepping with his debut, Songs of Vice Virtue. Having
previously toured with alternative rock group Uncle Kracker and country phenom Kenny Chesney, folks couldn’t help
but compare him to Kanye West, and with due cause. His easy charm and penchant for diversity made him an underground favorite. It’s only a matter of time before everyone else catches up.
Memphis rapper Yo Gotti’s persistence and familiarity made his TVT debut Back 2 Da Basics one of the most anticipated of the summer season, propelled by the single “Gangsta Party” featuring Bun B and 8ball. He continued his rise
to success with his artist All-Star, who also hails from Nashville. After garnering a buzz with his impressive showing on
Young Jeezy’s “Grey Goose” the rapper is poised to make a significant mark in the rap game.
Even the often ignored city of Chattanooga produced the regional hit with D. Cooley’s “Trap Clothes,” featuring Atlanta
rapper, Maceo. Reaping the benefits of his consistent grind, D. Cooley has undoubtedly shown that a little hustle can go
a long way.
And of course, the Bluff City remained on the cusp of innovation with Kinfolk Nakia Shine and Lutinent G. Kinfolk’s
single “Respect My Fresh” quickly became an underground favorite, defined by the rapper’s natural swagger. Newcomer Lutinent G made significant waves with his catchy, humorous single, “Mangla,” from his debut Out Da Gate on
It’s clear that Tennessee is a haven for inspired artists. Seems like “Patiently Waiting” may not be an accurate description
for the state’s talent much longer.
- Jacinta Howard
ozone 20 awards
Chyna Whyte (New Orleans, LA)
BME’s female rapper made noise with Lil Jon when he first
dropped, but fell off the radar momentarily. Now she’s back and
ready to make a solo statement.
E-Vicious (Lake Charles, LA)
This former member of the X-Mobb is now signed to UGK Records.
Lil Boosie (Baton Rouge, LA)
Webbie’s labelmate is a diamond in the rough, with one of the
most unique voices in rap and highly underappreciated lyrical
Max Minelli (Baton Rouge, LA)
One of Louisiana’s most persistent artists, over the years Max has
collaborated with everyone from C-Loc to Paul Wall.
Partners-N-Crime (New Orleans, LA)
This duo inked a deal with Juve’s UTP Records and linked up with
Sqad Up (New Orleans, LA)
Lil Wayne’s former crew, still intact after Hurricane Katrina, is
now dropping a solo album.
o Limit and Cash Money Records came and went with a gangload of gold and platinum plaques. Other then
those two labels, Louisiana has been quiet on the national scene. Last year Webbie made some noise with his
hit single “Gimme That”, but that’s about it. The following artists have been patiently waiting their turn and
are on the verge of breaking loose.
E-Vicious is from Lake Charles, LA, which is close to the Texas line. He linked with Pimp C and is signed to his label
UGK Records. The former X-Mobb member is featured on Pimp C’s “Pimpalation.” He is definitely ready to show
you that Louisiana is not just New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
Southside Baton Rouge, Louisiana native Lil Boosie has been through his trials and tribulations. A Baton Rouge favorite, he’s released several solo albums and has undeniable talent, but it all depends on the label to show the world
why many consider Lil’ Boosie Bad Ass the best out the boot. He will be a problem once he releases Bad Ass.
Another Baton Rouge native, Max Minelli, has been putting it down for years. An original member of the Concentration Camp, he is highly slept on as a lyricist. Releasing many successful selling albums, he is currently in a bidding
war with major labels. While patiently waiting on that chance to blow, he is scheduled to release Pain Medicine on
Koch in October.
Godfathers of the popular genre called ‘bounce music’, Partners-N-Crime embody New Orleans. They were holding
their city down before anyone knew who the Hot Boyz or TRU was. Having just releasing their album Club Bangaz
on UTP/Rap-A-Lot, PNC hopes to show the world that New Orleans is still bouncin’.
Exploding on the scene with her aggressive verse on Lil Jon’s “Bia Bia,” Chyna Wyte has been quiet for a few years.
But this New Orleans bred femcee recently stepped back on to the scene, dropped a mixtape with DJ Smallz, and is
waiting to raise the bar that previous New Orleans female artists left high.
Many thought that they were just Lil Wayne’s sidekicks. But since branching off into their own, Sqad Up has made
plenty of noise independently. Releasing their debut album Now or Never, numerous mixtapes, and their new
album We Here Now, Sqad Up is poised to show the world that New Orleans rap is to stay.
No disrespect to No Limit or Cash Money and what they have done, but these artists are the new generation, and all
come to the forefront with different styles.
- Leon Bailey
ozone 21 awards
Big K.R.I.T. (Meridian, MS)
At the young age of 19, K.R.I.T. is a more complete artist than some
who have been making records for a decade. He is not only an extremely talented producer, but also a rapper with solid subject matter.
Boo da Boss Playa (Canton, MS)
Having spent years on the shelf due to record label politics at both
Interscope and J Records, Boo is still waiting for his turn to shine.
Jewman (Jackson, MS)
This newcomer’s “Swag” created a buzz in the streets of Jacktown.
Kamikaze (Jackson, MS)
David Banner’s former rap partner will split your head to the white
meat with his hard-hitting lyrics. In addition to his regional successes
as an artist, he founded the Mississippi Artists & Producers Coalition.
Scar (Columbus, MS)
Big Boi’s “secret weapon” has a story to tell and talent to match.
Smoke D (Jackson, MS)
This soulful UGK affiliate appeared on the group’s classic Ridin’ Dirty
album, live from the penitentiary. Now free like Pimp C, he’s focused
on GFM (God, Family, & Music).
n the 90s, during the rap world’s infatuation with the East Coast vs. West Coast, one would have thought it absurd to
suggest that a rap revolution was brewing in Mississippi. The average American’s impression of the ‘Sipp is perhaps
one of racial strife and backwards thinking.
But over the past few years, as rap has gradually turned Southward and remains below the Mason-Dixon line, country
vocals became more acceptable and Mississippi representatives like David Banner have broken through the stereotypes
to take the Mississippi mentality worldwide. In 2006, a new crop of country rap tunes is brewing.
Speaking of David Banner, he recently sought out Meridian-based producer/rapper Big K.R.I.T. for some beats. And he’s
not the only one noticing the promising young talent. K.R.I.T. is quickly making a name for himself amongst industry
heads as an all-around hustler who’s taking the right steps to succeed.
Formerly signed to Interscope and now waiting for J Records to drop his major label debut, Boo da Boss Playa, a.k.a. Boo
Rossini, is perhaps best known for his street single “Miss Me With That Rap Shit.” The single, which featured Jeezy just
as he blew up, was perhaps a blessing and a curse because Jeezy’s street buzz almost overpowered the fact that it was
Boo’s song. Still, Boo has stayed true to his grind and can usually be found anywhere between Miami and Houston.
Already a local celebrity, Jackson-based newcomer Jewman’s “Swag” has the streets talking. Combine that with mixtape
appearances and you’ve got a strong start to a potentially fruitful career.
Moving right along from a newcomer to another veteran, Kamikaze has enjoyed regional success with singles like “U
Ain’t Hard,” and is still on the verge of a big breakthrough. Perhaps best known to the average rap fan as the other half
of David Banner’s Crooked Lettaz, Kamikaze lacks the charisma and ridiculous stage antics of his former rap partner but
can lyrically compete with your favorite emcee. Still a hometown favorite, Kamikaze’s The Franchise drops later this
Hailing from Columbus, Mississippi, you can catch Scar - guess how he got that name - in the new Outkast video for
“Morris Brown,” dropping that Dungeon Family flavor alongside Big Boi’s sharp vocals. One of the most promising
members of Big Boi’s Purple Ribbon camp, Scar’s background story is just as intriguing as his musical abilities.
Smoke D, once the unofficial third member of UGK, spent seven years in prison which prevented him from nationwide success with the group. After his release he began recording for a solo project, with his trademark soulful vibe that
explores all aspects of the streets and life in general.
- Mayson Drake
ozone 22 awards
Big Tuck (Dallas, TX)
The lead-off solo artists from Dallas collective DSR, Tuck is prepared
to carry the city on his back.
ESG (Houston, TX)
Although he’s been in the game for years, national acclaim has thus
far eluded ESG, known for his wicked freestyles.
G.R.i.T. Boys (Houston, TX)
This group, affiliated with Paul Wall, brings a fresh new flavor,
speaking on Ghetto Reality in Texas.
Kiotti (Houston, TX)
Young and charismatic, this former battle rapper has a bright future
in front of him.
Money Waters (Dallas, TX)
As the Houston hype slowly dies down, it looks as if Dallas is next
to blow, with Money Waters ranking high on the list of the city’s
talented artists.
Trae (Houston, TX)
Trae is straddling the thin line between patiently waiting and full-out
blown up. After gaining the attention of several major labels with his
single “Swang,” he signed with Rap-A-Lot.
p until maybe last year, the Patiently Waiting column was practically tailor-made for Texas. The rap scene in that
great state had been bubbling and building for years, until finally it peaked and a bunch of artists from Houston
reached the top. Well, Houston is a big city, but Texas is a huge state and hot on the heels of Paul Wall, Chamillionaire and Slim Thug are a hot new crop of artists who are popping off from border to border. Here’s a look at what’s
next for Texas.
A lot of people have Dallas metro star Big Tuck pegged as the next to blow out of Texas. His countrified voice has a very
direct and imminent delivery that makes what he has to say hard to ignore. A member of the group Dirty South Rydaz,
Tuck’s reputation is solid in the streets, the clubs and the booth. DSR is certainly the biggest group in Texas from outside
of Houston.
Houston-based ESG has been patiently waiting to get that national exposure for some years now. His 1995 hit “Swang
and Bang” is a Texas anthem to this day and ever since then he has consistently dropped some of the hottest independent releases in the region. He’s been eating well off of the rap game for over 10 years, but is now pursuing that major
label status. He’s the backbone of the Houston rap community and one of the folks who pioneered the sounds you are
currently hearing from the Lone Star State.
Also hailing from Texas, the G.R.i.T. Boys are one of the hottest young groups in the streets of Houston and their affiliation with Paul Wall has been taking them all over the United States. Their name stands for Ghetto Reality in Texas, so
you won’t hear a lot of the same ol’ same ol’ from these guys. Their stories are ones of struggle and pain, coupled with
the lighter side of life in the hood. They are some lyrical giants who come from the same area as most of the Screwed Up
Click and hold those values tight, but have an original sound and a whole different energy than their predecessors.
Recently signed to Asylum Records, Kiotti is best known as a battle rap champion around Houston. But you can’t sleep
on the regional hits he has been a part of, most recently “Minute Plan” also known as “The Phone Song.” He’s a serious
hustler who has been at it since his early teens and seems set to finally blow nationwide.
Dallas representative Money Waters comes with a whole different perspective than the other artists on this list. He is
more like the old sage - though he is young – who you can turn to for advice or a funny story. This vibe runs throughout his CD’s and his live show where often he comes off as a brilliant blues man rather than your average rapper.
Recently signed to Rap-A-Lot Records, Trae has been hot in the streets of Texas since his first release in 1999, the debut
album from his group, Guerilla Maab. He is a voice for the voiceless in Houston and beyond, representing the hard
streets with his reality based raps. He’s seen a lot of struggle and strife in his life and has no problem telling you all about
it. He is possibly the most reality based rapper the game has seen since the early days of Scarface.
- Matt Sonzala
ozone 23 awards
334 M.O.B.B. (Montgomery, AL)
Representing the Montgomery area code to the fullest, 334 M.O.B.B.
parlayed their intense mixtape grind into national opportunities.
Attitude (Birmingham, AL)
Formerly signed to Timbaland, this underrated lyricist has penned
rhymes for Diddy and Bubba Sparxxx. Now living in Atlanta, he’s poised
and ready.
Birmingham J (Birmingham, AL)
Birmingham’s official hood representative has dropped several indie
albums over the years, catching the majors’ attention.
Rich Boy (Mobile, AL)
Multi-talented Mobile representative Rich Boy landed a deal at Interscope through Jim Crow rapper/producer Polow and has since been
working on his debut album.
The Last Mr. Bigg (Mobile, AL)
Mobile’s O.G. has survived court cases, prison time, and a near-death experience. Now sporting a glass eye, he’s collaborating with Three 6 Mafia
to expand his musical reach beyond the region.
Tyte Wurk (Enterprise, AL)
Coming from a small town in South Alabama, Tyte Wurk had to double
up their grind to get noticed.
ven beyond their music being overlooked, Alabama has had to fight stereotypes and scrap for respect for years. A
lot of times, the only time you hear them mentioned is when someone hurls an insult like, “You’re ‘Bama.” How
flattering can that be? Well, this year, things took a turn in the right direction for the state that rests in the heart
of the South.
Headlines were made when word broke that Montgomery’s 334 M.O.B.B. got signed to Def Jam. But instead of letting that get to their heads, they continued to work as hard as they did before they got the deal and it worked out in
their favor. Releasing mixtapes on top of mixtapes, this duo received plenty of exposure with hardly any help from
their pioneering label. If you need more proof, just peep them on Myspace.
“Patiently Waiting” is definitely appropriate when speaking on Birmingham’s Attitude. Poised to blow by way of
a deal with Timbaland’s now defunct Beat Club, ‘Tude got a chance to travel the world and work with the likes of
Missy and Diddy. Even though no record came from out of that deal, it was not a wasted experience.
Birmingham J reps so hard that he puts his city on the map without even saying a word. But, when he does finally
speak, people listen. And that includes everyone from local retail and radio to big time A&Rs. And with his city prepping to be the next area to blow in the South, J is sure to lead the charge.
About three hours away, you can hear what Mobile has cooking too. Rapper/producer Rich Boy is slowly proving
that casinos aren’t the city’s only attraction. His single “Get To Poppin” generated just enough buzz to make is Gangsta
Grillz mixtape one of the most anticipated releases of the year. Still signed to Interscope, Rich is bound to get richer.
Right around the corner, we also saw the resurgence of The Last Mr. Bigg. Already a legendary figure in his region, he
got a lot of face time due to his cameo on Three 6 Mafia’s “Poppin’ My Collar.” Now, with people going back to peep
his older music after his unfortunate shooting earlier this year, his new music is guaranteed to open some more doors.
A drive east to Enterprise, Alabama will bring you to Tyte Wurk. Their smash “Mary Jane: Remix” had smokers singing their praises while their other song “What It Is” served as the opening song for ESPN’s Sunday Night Football this
past season.
With this crop of artist leading the charge Alabama just may turn “Bama” into a compliment.
- Kale Swanson
ozone 24 awards
Big Cas (Fayetteville, NC)
Cas has effectively captured the internet, the streets, and mainstream
media with his music, buildling up his fanbase equally in each area.
Fat Boy (Charleston, SC)
The diplomat of the Carolinas, Fat Boy has the respect of his peers and
good relationships with record stores, other artists, radio personalities,
producers, and ‘hood dudes.
J-Khrist (Fayetteville, NC)
J-Khrist got his swagger back and is ready to carry the flag for the Carolinas.
Mac-A-Don (Columbia, SC)
Over the past year, Mac-A-Don has grown lyrically and developed his
own style, creating a buzz from the ground up.
Marly Mar (Charleston, SC)
Charleston’s most consistent artist has dropped over ten albums over the
past three years and maintained a steady radio presence.
Piazo (Columbia, SC)
Piazo’s steady mixtape grind has helped him lock down the streets of
South Carolina and create a fanbase.
he Carolinas aren’t known for being a hotbed of talent. For years, we’ve sat back and watched Southern hip-hop
evolve, moreso as fans and not active participants. We’ve seen artists from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and other smaller areas receive major deals and nationwide exposure, while we sat on the sidelines patiently waiting for our turn to shine. For years we screamed that the game is coming to us. But it seemed like success and
recognition in the hip-hop industry went to every Southern state surrounding us and then took a wild turn and headed
to Texas and skipped right over us here in the Carolinas. We thought we’d get the look we needed when Petey Pablo
went platinum and Little Brother finally signed with Atlantic, but neither one of those artists created enough buzz to
catch the attention of A&Rs.
Through all our misfortune, we’ve come to realize that we can’t depend on the industry to come to us. We have to
create our own industry. Just like the blues and jazz performers of the 40s and 50s created the Chitlin Circuit to gain
exposure, Carolina artists have ben forced to do the same.
Marly Mar, from Charleston, SC, was the first artist in the city to have a song in regular rotation on the radio. His hit
single “Act A Donkey” is over four years old and still continues to get heavy spins on the radio and in the clubs. He’s also
one of the most consistent artists in the state, having released 3 albums per year for the last 3 years.
Big Cas, from Fayetteville, NC (also know as Fayettenam) has taken the mixtape game by storm. He’s appeared on over
60 mixtapes in the last 2 years and has shared songs with Jae Millz, Freeway, Grafh, Remy Ma, Geolani, Corey Gunz,
and other prominent East coast hip hop artists. Also causing a ruckus on the streets is Meccadon, from Columbia, SC,
and J-Khrist from Fayetteville, NC. These two artists are relatively new to the Carolina hip-hop scene but both have
taken the game by storm. They’re constantly doing shows all throughout the state and have singles blazing the radio
airwaves and tearing up the clubs. Meccadon’s last single “No” was a huge hit and his new song “We Ball’n” is following
in the same pattern. J-Khrist’s single “Swagger Back” is a club banger that can go toe to toe with any other song on the
Billboard charts. It’s a guaranteed hit once it touches mainstream radio.
As far as longevity and street credibility are concerned, Fat Boy and Piazo both have that aspect of the game sewed up.
Fatboy, representing Charleston, SC, not only had one of the best selling albums of 2005 but has also been a key figure
in easing the tension between hip-hop artists from Downtown Charleston and North Charleston. His new album,
Laughing Hyenas, drops this fall and features artists from both areas on the same tracks and is set to be one of 2006s
most highly anticipated album. Columbia, SC’s Piazo is one of the Cackalack’s most sought after artists and has a slew of
albums and mixtapes on the streets that date back to 1995. He’s been pounding the streets longer than any other artist
from the Carolinas and has maintained a consistent a buzz both on the streets and on the radio throughout his career.
His music has caught the attention of many label A&Rs, most recently G-Unit Record’s Sha Money XL, and he has had
had offers on the table from many major record labels. now!
- DJ Chuck T
ozone 25 awards
tj’s dj’s tastemakers xclusives disc 1
1. Rich Boy / Throw Some Dees – Interscope
Contact: Rosalie – 310.865.7929
On this track you can tell that Rich Boy is steady smirking ‘cause
his flow is dangerous. What’s more, like Indego Montoya, he knows
something that you don’t - he’s not even right handed. His natural
talent is production rather than rapping.
2. Rick Ross / Push It - Slip-N-Slide/Def Jam
Contact: [email protected]
“Push It” features an interpolation from one of the greatest montage
records made famous by Scarface the movie and South Park. Rick
Ross’ Miami gangsta tales are so boss that they would make Crockett
& Tubbs look silly.
3. David Banner ft. Yola / Get Money – b.i.G.f.a.c.e./SRC
Contact: Willie Nash – 601.238.5658
David Banner cleverly samples Yola’s “Ain’t Gonna Let Up” and
proves that he’s ahead of his time as the rest of the world has yet to
discover what Yola has to offer. Scroll down to track 9 and you’ll see
why Banner decided to run with this lil monster.
4. Trick Daddy / I Pop – Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic
Contact: Sam Crespo – [email protected]
Trick Daddy’s got another notch for the catalog. This record is funky
and shows Trick on a different level. Plus Trick continues to spit
thought provoking word play when he explains why “$100 bills smell
like pubic hairs.”
5. BHI / Dat Bubble Gum – BME
Contact: Sabrina Montgomery – 404.367.8130
Just when you thought snap music was through, BHI will have the
genre sticking around like “Bubble Gum” with this juicy record.
6. Young Dro / Rubberband Banks – Grand Hustle/Atlantic
Contact: Sam Crespo – [email protected]
Young Dro takes a break from making his shoulder lean to show that
that record has set him up rather lovely. In other words his rubberbands have expanded like his bank account.
7. Bohagon ft. Crime Mob & Fabo / Wuz Up – BME
Contact: Sabrina Montgomery – 404.367.8130
Bohagon, the B-M-E- representa, strikes a strong blow for those who
are interested in having their bass bins blown up by an MC that will
make your cones snap to the music. Plus, with Crime Mob checking
in on the track shaking their dreads, the track is elevated to another
club banging dimension. And that’s wuz up!
8. Young Buck ft. 50 Cent / Do It Myself – G-Unit/Interscope
Contact: Rosalie – 310.592.2121
The theme of the record is really simple. When you need to make
improvements on how you live, like Home Depot you should do it
yourself and G-Unit with 50 Cent can help. In fact, 50 lets a few bullets off of his chest by drawing a retaliatorial line in the sand.
9. Yola / Ain’t Gonna Let Up – Grand Hustle/Atlantic
Contact: Sam Crespo – [email protected]
At first listen, the Caribbean steal drums in the production lead to a
laid back vibe until Yola gets on the track and crushes all haters in
the way. Straight up, Yola is a monster in training. By the way, watch
out for T.I. - the executive. Quiet though.
10. Young Capone / Wat It Iz – So So Def/Virgin
Contact: Tikke Chaney – 212.786.8215
This is a Nitty beat that Young Capone takes full advantage of. Young
Capone is a nice addition to the So So Def/Virgin stable. He’s been in
the minor leagues getting his weight up and from the sound of this
record; it is time for him to be called up to the majors.
11. Magic ft. Detroit / Shorty – BHE/TVT
Contact: TVT – 212.979.6410
Magic knows that shorties love a gangsta. And Magic is more than
eager to deliver yet another quality tune that the people want. Be on
the lookout for Magic, he is on another level since his rise from the
ashes of New Orleans.
12. Obie Trice / Jamaican Girl – Interscope
Contact: Rosalie – 310.592.2121
Taking the lead from Eminem the producer on a carefully crafted
island tune, Obie Trice demonstrates that he is not afraid of change.
And in fact, flows well on the oceans of this tropical melody.
13. Chyna Whyte ft. Gangsta Boo & DJ Demp / Drop A Bundle
Contact: Sabrina Montgomery – 404.367.8130
Finally, China White has come back to whup tracks and beat bass
with a gangsta style unmatched by any other MC. She has recruited
Gangsta Boo and DJ Demp, the shorty pimp to accentuate an already
club crunching record soon to break needles across the South.
14. Jibbs / Chain Hang Low – Geffen
Contact: Rosalie – 310.592.2121
Jibbs perfectly translates a children’s nursery rhyme into a tune that
celebrates opulence. If the thought rolls eyes, keep an open mind,
remember there were many people who felt Nelly could never sell a
record with a nursery rhyme, and he turned out alright.
15. Daz ft. Kurupt / Daz Thang – So So Def/Virgin
Contact: Tikke Chaney - 212.786.8215
Daz reached back to his roots with a jam just short of “7 Minutes of
Funk” and he brought The Whole Darn Family by reuniting with the
OG DPG Kurupt. Jermaine Dupri is in a great zone right now and
continues the trend with another hot one. Oh, and the XXX rated
video of this tune is a great way to have your break today.
16. M.O.S. / Drug Related – Jive
Contact: Chad Brown – [email protected]
On “Drug Related,” M.O.S. speaks of life in the land of Carolina
blue where life wasn’t guaranteed. It’s not the life that’s celebrated,
M.O.S. is happy he made it and with tracks this good, I’m sure Jive is
17. Young Hot Rod ft. Mary J. Blige / Be Easy - Interscope
Contact: Rosalie – 310.592.2121
Anytime the Queen blesses a track a certain polish remains leaving
the listener with the understanding of what makes soul music feel
so good. Young Hot Rod is old enough to know when a blessing is
bestowed upon him and crafts a record worthy of royalty.
18. Plies / Take Off – Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic
Contact: Sam Crespo – [email protected]
For the record, Plies is not the future of Slip-N-Slide, he’s the right
now. And if you come up shorting Plies, you better take off cuz he
has no problems seeing you about it - he’s got lots of bond money
behind him.
19. Trillville ft. Kandi & Cutty Cartel / Eat It Up – BME
Contact: Sabrina Montgomery – 404.367.8130
Trillville has teamed up with everyone’s favorite multi-platinum
flavored Kandi to make a track that tastes so good, you have to “Eat
It Up.” Be prepared to dance off the pounds because a joint that tastes
this good can’t be good for your health.
20. Lyfe Jennings ft. Lala Brown / S.E.X. – Sony/Columbia
Contact: Cara Lewis – 212.903.1316
One word: wow! This is the definition of a great record that is sure to
boost the population 9 months from its release.
- Keith “1st Prophet” Kennedy, [email protected]
ozone 28 awards
tj’s dj’s tastemakers xclusives disc 2
1. Plies ft. Akon / I Wanna – Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic
Contact: Sam Crespo – [email protected]
If you were trying to find a great way to express your feelings about
how talented a dancer in the pole position is, this is the record for
you. Akon opens many mainstream doors for the judicially prepared
Plies as this record will get more action than the champagne room.
2. 8Ball & MJG ft. Diddy / Ridin’ High – Bad Boy/Atlantic
Contact: Sam Crespo – [email protected]
Traditional 8Ball & MJG fans may not be used to the duo on an up
tempo S. Florida ride out vibe, but give them a chance and you’ll be
impressed. And if you’re worried about how Diddy mic checks; don’t
worry if he writes rhymes, he writes checks.
3. DJ Unk / Walk It Out – Big Oomp/Koch
Contact: Gazelle – 212.353.8800 x266
DJ Unk with “Walk It Out” continues the Big Oomp tradition of
keeping folks musically intoxicated while they shake jelly on the
dance floor. One time to DJ Montay who is in a great production
zone right now.
4. Da Backwudz / The World Could Be Yours – Rowdy
Contact: Eli Brown - 404.345.0609
Milwaukee Black turns in another masterpiece with Da Backwudz
lacing the verses. Women, listen closely and Da Backwudz will tell
you the tale of why men need space. The lesson - be easy and the
world could be yours.
5. Smoot ft. Slim Thug, Chamillionaire, & Killa Kyleon / Grain Grippa
- Kwik
Contact: Smoot - 310.497.2880
Direct from the town that’s so cool it’s got two drop top stadiums,
Smoot helps Houston continue its run of candy painted tunes that are
sweet to your CD player.
6. Blak Jak / Bobbin’ My Head – 1972/Vintage Sounds
Contact: Jerry Clark – 404.966.0010
When this record drops, you’ll have no choice but to ride & swerve,
throw up deuces, and start bobbin’ ya head. Blak Jak has a knack for
making those records that just make you feel good in your ride as if
you just left a fresh detail shop.
7. Shawt prod. Mannie Fresh / I’m Da Man – Akright
Contact: Heidi Buech - 310.869.4010
With a proclaimed beat king like Mannie Fresh behind him, it’s no
problem for Shawt to claim that “I’m Da Man.” Thankfully, he has
the skills to make the track Akright and develop into a record worthy
of such acclaim.
8. Hard Head Jacob / Trap All Day – Stay Paid
Contact: Rio – 678.283.8057
In order to stay paid, Hard Head Jacob outlines his daily routine
while working at the “Trap All Day.” The hard bass line is strong
enough to scare the trap rats away and vibrates speakers enough to
trap the hood rats.
9. Big Koon & Hollywood / Take It Back – Two Dogg
Contact: Johnny Vickers - 850.443.5999
If you needed extra motivation to get your stacks up, Big Koon &
Hollywood murderize this cut to provide a sense of urgency to collect
that paper.
10. Small Tyme Ballaz / Be Rich One Day – Small World/Long Money
Contact: Uncle Paully - 334.221.8497
Just because you’re a baller on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have
big tunes. If you have an optimistic outlook and hustle hard like the
Small Tyme Ballaz, you’ll “be rich one day” too.
11. Wine-O / Pop My Trunk – Wine-O/Universal
Contact: Heidi Buech - 310.869.4010
Fed up with the haters dipping into his business, Wine-O has popped
the trunk and is ready to lay haters to rest. This jamming track is
your warning - stop the gum flappin’ before this cap’n gets to poppin’!
12. Lil Ru / King Of The Parking Lot – Bout What
Contact: Greg Fish – 803.731.8173
DJ Brad of the Legion of Doom laces a beat that Lil Ru takes full
advantage of. When this track drops in the classic rides outside of the
club, Lil Ru will officially be crowned King of the Parking Lot.
13. Urban Mystic ft. Stacks / I Refuse (Remix) – Sobe
Contact: Buggah – 305.754.6446
Urban Mystic, the lil guy with a big soul has found the right combination to make ‘em make ‘em clap to this like Rakim on repeat.
It involves Rick Ross, Stacks, and a hip-hop classic that makes you
refuse to listen to this record only once.
14. Tiffany ft. Jacki-O / Automatic – Phamus Folks
Contact: Micky Rollins – 786.586.4653
Thanks to Gorilla Tek, Tiffany and the Miami Madame Jacki-O jump
in for a musical ride a la Thelma & Louise that keeps you hanging on
to your seat as if you’re flying off a cliff.
15. Durt Mobb Clik / She Wrong 4 Dat - Da Mouf
Contact: Pope – 910.474.6559
Mixing well with the snap beat sets, Durt Mobb Clik have arrived
to become the club fashion police by drawing attention to all of the
reasons why a club chick goes home lonely.
16. Baby Boy / The Way I Live – Universal/Republic
Contact: O.J. Wedlaw - 212.584.5406
When you live the life of Baby Boy it is standard to be grown and
still ride big wheels. Plus, it helps to have a hook that’s fun to sing
along to as DJs watch this record go round and round.
17. Sonia Collymore ft. Black Majik / No Cash Flow – Manatee
Contact: Doc – 312.226.9034
If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, Sonia Collymore is
one of the hottest artists on the market as she wants to buy her man
so many good things but there’s “No Cash Flow.” With a tune this
vibrant it won’t be long before Sonia leaves her money woes behind.
18. Decky ft. Max Minelli / Louder - Divided Soul
Contact: Brent Dixon - 225.315.1772
Decky made a smart move by keeping the in-house production of
Divided Soul as they laced a beat with a nice mix of scratching and a
protruding bass line. With a track produced this well you will have
no choice but to turn the music “Louder.”
19. Black Majik / Put Your Drink Up – Manatee
Contact: Doc – 312.226.9034
Black Majik fits a perfect slow mo flow over production that makes
your ears hear double as if intoxicated by this Chicagoan’s lyrical
20. Coalition / Alarm – Pure Platinum
Contact: Big Boo - 901.240.5491
Driving two miles an hour so everybody sees the Coalition, haters
will have to raise the alarm to alert the block that true ballers are
on the set. And with a cup of drank in their palm the Coalition ain’t
bout to let no B.S. pass on this cruisin’ tune.
- Keith “1st Prophet” Kennedy, [email protected]
ozone 29 awards
tj’s dj’s tastemakers xclusives disc 3
1. Khao / Keyz In The Air –Intaprize/GTT
Contact: Tanya Marvin - 866.379.0027
Although he has production credits on TI’s “The King,” Khao can’t
rest until he gets a throne of his own. With this cut, Khao with a
solid lyrical beatmaking K.O. will have other artists putting their
keys in the air because it’s time for them to go home.
2. Crime Mob / Rock Yo Hips – BME
Contact: Sabrina Montgomery – 404.367.8130
For those who love chicks rocking hips to that Crime Mob crew, this
joint is for you. When this beat drops make sure you hold on tight
because if she’s got that Beyonce’ lusciousness you may be in for a
long ride.
3. Tampa Tony / Bobbahead – SouthBeat
Contact: James Jackson - 305.695.6730
Tampa Tony takes a break from pushing his Blunt Splitta’s to describe
his favorite chick, the “Bobbahead.” For those who are slow, the
“Bobbahead” is a chick who loves to bob her head like a bobble head
found at the ball game. If a “Bobbahead” acts right, they might end up
on Tampa Tony’s dashboard.
4. Lil Flip / I’m A Balla – Asylum/Warner Bros.
Contact: Asylum Promotions – 212.707.3030
True ballas are the ones that know how to flip their chips over and
over. Even on a new imprint, Lil Flip will continue to define what
ballin’ is all about. Plus, it doesn’t hurt if you have the luck of a leprechaun on your side.
5. J-Shin ft. T-Pain / Sent Me An Email – SouthBeat
Contact: James Jackson - 305.695.6730
Roger & Zapp were years ahead of their time singing about Computer
Love. Now, J-Shin & T-Pain put together a nice lil diddy that explains
what love in the computer generation is all about. And it ain’t always
something to LOL about. Beware of those viruses!
6. Randy B. / It’s Over Now – Southern Boy
Contact: Randy B. - 850.766.6356
Love past its expiration date can be a traumatic experience. Thankfully, Randy B. has been able to encapsulate the feelings of a breakup
and strike the right chords to make the song cry instead of you.
7. T-Hud ft. UGK & Static Major / Never Thought – T-Hud/Nutty
Contact: Nikki - 612-720-8252
T-Hud never thought he would have a track this good unless he
hooked up with certified platinum stars like UGK and Static Major
(songwriter, Ginuwine, Aaliyah). Thankfully, T-Hud will have nothing but clear skies and great weather forecast for his future with this
jamming tune.
8. Jovan Dais / Came A Long Way – Nzone
Contact: Bernard Parks - 404.753.6522
DJ Toomp has shared his bag of Hollywood Magic to have Jovan Dais
pair with the 5 Heartbeats’ Eddie Caine to form a duo who have come
so far but have so far to go. By the end of this record you will know
that on nights like this nobody can be Jovan Dais.
9. D-Shep / Stay Real – Conspiracy Music
Contact: Mike Rojas - 305.672.7562
Opponents of the use of the “N” word stay away from this tune.
D-Shep flips the word by wisely blending the hook to phrase the
emotionally charged term in a way that makes you say, it may not be
right, but I understand.
10. G-Mack ft. Young Ca$h / Checks Out – Lost Land
Contact: Kaper - 614.596.7485
From Kentucky to Duval, G-Mack and Young Ca$h unabashedly run
shit. So if you listen to this tune and you hear them talk about it, you
already know it’s for real. So respect their gangsta or rest in peace.
11. Willo Da Don / Hustle All Day, Ball All Night – Two Dogg
Contact: Johnny Vickers - 850.443.5999
All work and no play makes Willo Da Don a dull artist. That’s why
he has to make sure that if he hustles all day, ya gotta ball all night.
It’s only right to have a party soundtrack so tight.
12. Strangers / Guac – Two Dogg
Contact: Johnny Vickers - 850.443.5999
Although they may be strangers to you, these Strangers are no
strangers to getting plenty of guac. With this bass thumping tune, the
Strangers provide a new use for stacks of chips.
13. Scoundrel Squad ft. Bohagon / Pat Em Down – Invisible
Contact: Pamela Shelby - 706.984.5406
Fresh from a nod by Billboard Magazine, the Scoundrel Squad have
been getting much attention from the haters. So, they need to “Pat
Em Down” at the door to make sure that no foolishness goes down
at the shows. And be forwarned these Savannah sergeants play no
14. Suga Suga / Studio Trap – Nzone
Contact: Bernard Parks - 404.753.6522
DJ Toomp fresh off one of the hottest tunes of the season (TI’s “What
U Know About”) has lent his production talents to his artist Suga
Suga who put some work in the studio. With this much bang in the
studio other MCs don’t stand a chance.
15. Killa Kim / I Pop – Phamus Folks
Contact: Micky Rollins - 786.586.4653
Killa Kim masterfully rides this track into submission and has the
beat in her total control making it pop and bend to her will. Luckily
she’s brought us along for the trip.
16. La Chat ft. Yo Gotti / Baby Mamma Drama – Inevitable
Contact: Mario Myers - 901.406.4528
Yo Gotti & La Chat are the baddest thing smoking from Tennessee
since that hillbilly boogie! Yo Gotti & La Chat has been making noise
on the underground for the longest and with this track the underground will continue to bubble their name like a 5 prong bong.
17. Alozade / Bad Out Deh – Manatee
Contact: Doc - 312.226.9034
Lawdamercy! Alozade knows it’s “Bad Out Deh” so he has to shoot
‘em down wit a bang bang like he was trying to Kill Bill. This is a
nice sample of a rude bwoy living the life of a true shotta on a mellow groove.
18. Haitian Fresh / On My Own – Fresh Productions
Contact: Ms. Rivercity - 904.465.0745
Although Haitian Fresh is in the streets and grinding on his own, he
always has the isle of Haiti on his back. And with a legion that strong
no force can stand against him.
19. Young A ft. Juvenile / Down N New Orleans – Akright
Contact: Heidi Buech - 310.869.4010
“Down N New Orleans” reveals a dark side of the Crescent City that
has become more ruthless since Queen Katrina established her reign
of terror. With Young A & Juvenile tag teaming to tell the truth on
this track, they show that like a stale beignet, it ain’t sweet.
20. Raw LT ft. Bun B / Getcha Mind Right – BBH
Contact: Big Bank Hank - 832.215.7317
Raw LT rides the track like a royal highness should. With Bun B getting her back, I wish somebody would try and disrespect the crown.
21. F.A.S.T. ft. Smoke / Str8’n Me – Fat Fred
Contact: JB - 850.528.5028
Smoke from the po’ folk lyrical assassins, Field Mob reaches out to
F.A.S.T. to lace a track that will Str8’n anyone being disrespectful.
- Keith “1st Prophet” Kennedy, [email protected]
ozone 30 awards
We at TJ’s DJ’s & OZONE Magazine wish to thank the following partners who helped to make the 2006 TJ’s DJ’s
Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference & 1st Annual OZONE Awards the Greatest Event In Southern Music History!
Title Sponsors
Diamond Partners
Atlantic Records
Bad Boy Records
Grand Hustle
Slip-N-Slide Records
Multi-Platinum Partners
Ackright Records
Asylum Records
Jive Records
Koch Records
LRG Clothing
SouthBeat Records
Virgin Records
Platinum Partners
1972/Vintage Sounds
ADL Custom Designs
Bout What Records
Crunk Juice
Da Mouf Records
Fresh Productions
Lost Land Entertainment
Manatee Records
Southern Boy Entertainment
Phamus Folks Booking & Mgmt
Pure Platinum Records
T-Hud/Nutty Boyz Entertainment
Two Dogg Records
Gold Partners
Azzure Jeans
Bernard Moore Bathhouse
Cheese Wagon
Conspiracy Music
Divided Soul Entertainment
Dlishia Clothing
Earthworm Clothing
Envy Me, Inc.
Fat Fred Entertainment
Gino Green Global
Indigo Red
Invisible Records
Juana Records
Key Block Entertainment
Kwik Entertainment
Latino Royalty
Miskeen Originals
Musik Boxx
No Name Necessary Productions
NZone Entertainment
Pinel Swimsuits
Roger Gary’s Aqua Couture
Royal Blunts
Small World Entertainment/Long Money
Stay Paid
Steve Harvey Suits
Struggle Wear Clothing
The Spot
Tye Dye Couture
White Trash Entertainment
ozone 32 awards

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