RAY J SEAN PAUL - Ozone Magazine

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RAY J SEAN PAUL - Ozone Magazine
OZONE MAGAZINE
YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
WE WORK NIGHTS, WE SOME VAMPIRES / GATHER ROUND THE BEAT LIKE A CAMPFIRE
RSHAOYRTJY
MACK
MAINO
SEAN
PAUL
RICH
KIDS
JAVON
BLACK LIKE
UNLADY
NEW
BOYZ
ACE
HO
O
D
YO GOTTI
J
W
WILLY
NORTHPOLE
LOLA LUV
ISSUE #78
OZONE MAG // 1
YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
T’s
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NEW BOYZ
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20 // OZONE MAG
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OZONE MAG // 3
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OZONE MAG // 5
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OZONE MAG // 7
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OZONE MAG // 9
PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF // Julia Beverly
MUSIC EDITOR // Randy Roper
FEATURES EDITOR // Eric N. Perrin
ASSOCIATE EDITOR // Maurice G. Garland
GRAPHIC DESIGNER // David KA
ADVERTISING SALES // Che Johnson, Gary Archer
PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR // Malik Abdul
SPECIAL EDITION EDITOR // Jen McKinnon
cover stories
42-43
54-58
ACE HOOD
RAY J & SHORTY MACK
W12-W13 WILLY NORTHPOLE
WEST COAST EDITOR-AT-LARGE // D-Ray
LEGAL CONSULTANT // Kyle P. King, P.A.
SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER // Adero Dawson
ADMINISTRATIVE // Kisha Smith
INTERNS // Devon Buckner, Jee’Van Brown, Krystal Moody,
Memory Martin, Ms Ja, Shanice Jarmon, Torrey Holmes
CONTRIBUTORS // Anthony Roberts, Bogan, Camilo Smith,
Charlamagne the God, Chuck T, Cierra Middlebrooks, David
Rosario, Diwang Valdez, DJ BackSide, Edward Hall, E-Z Cutt,
Gary Archer, Hannibal Matthews, Jacquie Holmes, J Lash,
Jason Cordes, Jelani Harper, Joey Colombo, Johnny Louis,
Kay Newell, Keadron Smith, Keita Jones, Keith Kennedy,
K.G. Mosley, King Yella, Luis Santana, Luvva J, Luxury Mindz,
Marcus DeWayne, Matt Sonzala, Maurice G. Garland, Mercedes (Strictly Streets), Natalia Gomez, Portia Jackson, Ray
Tamarra, Rico Da Crook, Rohit Loomba, Shannon McCollum,
Spiff, Stan Johnson, Swift, Tamara Palmer, Thaddaeus McAdams, Ty Watkins, Wally Sparks, Wendy Day
STREET REPS // 3rd Leg Greg, Adam Murphy, Alex Marin,
Al-My-T, Ant Wright, Anthony Deavers, Baydilla, Benz, Big Brd,
B-Lord, Big Ed, Big Teach (Big Mouth), Big Thangs, Big Will,
Bigg P-Wee, Bigg V, Black, Bogan, Bo Money, Brandi Garcia,
Brandon “Silkk” Frazier, Brian Eady, Buggah D. Govanah (On
Point), Bull, C Rola, Cartel, Cedric Walker, Cece Collier, Chad
Joseph, Charles Brown, Chill, Chuck T, Christian Flores, Clifton
Sims, Dee1, Demolition Men, DJ Commando, Danielle Scott,
DJ Dap, Delight, Derrick the Franchise, DJ Dimepiece, DJ
D’Lyte, Dolla Bill, Dorian Welch, Dwayne Barnum, Dr. Doom,
Dynasty, Ed the World Famous, DJ E-Feezy, DJ EFN, Episode,
Eric “Crunkatlanta” Hayes, Erik Tee, F4 Entertainment, Fiya, G
Dash, G-Mack, George Lopez, Gorilla Promo, Haziq Ali, Hezeleo, H-Vidal, Hotgirl Maximum, Hotshot, J Hype, Jacquie “Jax”
Holmes, Jae Slimm, Jammin’ Jay, DJ Jam-X, Janiro Hawkins,
Jarvon Lee, Jasmine Crowe, Jay Noii, Jeron Alexander, J
Pragmatic, JLN Photography, Joe Anthony, John Costen,
Johnny Dang, Judah, Judy Jones, Juice, DJ Juice, Kenneth
Clark, Kewan Lewis, Klarc Shepard, Kool Laid, DJ KTone, Kurtis
Graham, Kydd Joe, Lex, Lucky, Lump, Lutoyua Thompson,
Luvva J, Marco Mall, Mario Grier, Marlei Mar, Maroy, DJ M.O.E.,
Music & More, Natalia Gomez, DJ Nik Bean, Nikki Kancey,
Oscar Garcia, P Love, Pat Pat, Phattlipp, Pimp G, Quest, Quinton Hatfield, DJ Quote, DJ Rage, Rapid Ric, DJ Ricky Ruckus,
Rob J Official, Rob Reyes, Robert Lopez, Rob-Lo, Robski, Scorpio, Seneca, Shauntae Hill, Sherita Saulsberry, Silva Reeves,
Sir Thurl, DJ Skee, Sly Boogy, Southpaw, Spade Spot, Stax,
DJ Strong, Sweetback, Syd Robertson, Teddy T, TJ’s DJ’s, Tim
Brown, Tonio, Tony Rudd, Tre Dubb, Tril Wil, Trina Edwards,
Troy Kyles, Twin, Vicious, Victor Walker, DJ Vlad, Voodoo, DJ
Warrior, White Boi Pizal, Wild Billo, Will Hustle, William Major,
Wu Chang, Young Harlem, Yung DVS, Zack Cimini
SUBSCRIPTIONS // To subscribe, send check for $20 to:
Ozone Magazine, Inc. Attn: Subscriptions Dept
644 Antone St. Suite 6
Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone: 404-350-3887
Fax: 404-350-2497
Website: www.ozonemag.com
COVER CREDITS // Ace Hood photos (cover and this page) by
David Rosario; Ray J and Shorty Mack photo by Julia Beverly;
Enfamous Burnaz photo by Julia Beverly; JW photo by Terrence Tyson; Willy Northpole West Coast cover photo by Ty
Watkins; Tha Jacka photo by D-Ray.
DISCLAIMER // OZONE Magazine is published 11 times per
year by OZONE Magazine, Inc. OZONE does not take responsibility for unsolicited materials, misinformation, typographical errors, or misprints. The views contained herein do not
necessarily reflect those of the publisher or its advertisers.
Ads appearing in this magazine are not an endorsement
or validation by OZONE Magazine for products or services
offered. All photos and illustrations are copyrighted by their
respective artists. All other content is copyright 2009 OZONE
Magazine, all rights reserved. No portion of this magazine
may be reproduced in any way without the written consent
of the publisher. Printed in the USA.
10 // OZONE MAG
interviews
44-45 MAINO
46-47 SEAN PAUL
50-51 LOLA MONROE
48unladylike
monthly sections
15
24
62
63
60-61
22
20
30
28
W4
66
12
24
53
10 things I’m hatin’ on
ARE YOU A G?
BOARD GAME
CAFFEINE SUBSTITUTES
CD REVIEWS
CHAIN REACTION
CHIN CHECK
DJ BOOTH
DOLLAR MENU
D-RAY’S I’M JUST SAYIN’THO
END ZONE
FEEDBACK
HOOD DEEDS
INDUSTRY 101
15
18
24
59
32-40
19-39
16-17
W6
26
W16
W17
W18
W10
W5
JB’S 2 CENTS
MATHEMATICS
NAMES OF SHAME
OZONE SPORTS
PATIENTLY WAITING
PHOTO GALLERY
RAPQUEST
SHORT STORIES
SIDEKICK HACKIN’
THA JACKA
WEST CD REVIEWS
WEST END ZONE
WEST PATIENTLY WAITING
WEST PHOTO GALLERIES
OZONE MAG // 11
Send your comments to [email protected]
or hit us up at www.myspace.com/ozonemagazine
First off, I appreciate your magazine 100%. Me being a fan of music, I feel
you’re a pioneer in this rap shit. You definitely changed the whole magazine
game. I’m 19 and since I was a lil dude I’ve been buying magazines, everything from the Sauce to XXL to the [Rolling] Stones to Vibe, even random
shit like boat magazines, real talk. When I first got my hands on a copy of
OZONE Magazine a couple years ago I was like, DAMN. This is different from
all the other shit I’ve been reading. From the forums to the endless pages
of photos to reviews to the covers, I was amazed. You raised the bar to a
higher level. Fuck the other side. You know what the fans and readers want
and you give it to ‘em.
- Carlana Entertainment, via Myspace (Dayton, OH)
I’d like to start by giving OZONE Mag a big ups to the movement in the Hip
Hop community. Coming from a real nigga behind these walls, it’s not often
that you see a magazine with the type of material OZONE comes with every
issue. Especially when the word “real” gets thrown around like it’s a fad. I
especially want to give a shout out to the mag for the Prison Diary section.
It shows that even though we might be behind these walls, we still have an
opportunity to voice our opinion. I’m coming home in a hot second and I’m
still gonna be on OZONE when I touch the street. Shout out to all the real
niggas that are behind these walls, the ones that kept it 100%! Stop snitching, suck ass niggas!
- Andres Nunez, via inmatemessage.com (Atlanta, GA)
I love your write-ups in OZONE, but D.C. has a hidden jewel that you need
to cover. Wale, Raheem Devaughn, J Holiday, etc need to be recognized.
Love the dirty South though!
- Duane Russell, via email (Washington, DC)
I remember when you were trying to get your mag out on a major level, so
it’s great that you’re doing major numbers now. I’m currently in a Federal
prison but I’m a music man myself, and my best homie for a lot of years,
Dramills, is a Hip Hop artist on the rise. You’ve featured him in your mag
before, back in ’05. I’d love to see my homie in your mag again.
- Steven Currie, via inmatemessage.com (Greensboro, NC)
What’s happenin’? I was wondering why y’all ain’t mention the passing of
Dolla, the one with the record “Who Da Fuck Is Dat” featuring T-Pain. I’m a
diehard OZONE fan and he deserves a shout out. Hell, he had a video. Oh,
and I was hoping that y’all could fuck with Arkansas from time to time. It’s
the home of Ne-Yo and others, and we’re not as country as [the TV show]
“Simple Life” with that dumb hoe Paris Hilton portrayed us as. Check out
Lottury (I had to self-promote) because he’s one of the best, period. Listen
to him first, see that he’s worthy, and then print this. Big ups to all of the
South and the rest of the Coasts that get down with it. Y’all ain’t sellin’ out.
- Rome a.k.a. Lottury, via email (Arkansas)
Editor Responds: We did cover Dolla’s passing (R.I.P.) on ozonemag.com and
interviewed his business partner and friend Te-Money as a follow-up in an
upcoming issue.
In your article on notable weed heads [for the drug issue] I can’t believe
you muthafuckers slept on Meth and Redman in “How High.” That was all
about weed. I’m not knocking Ice Cube in “Friday,” but in “How High,” they
were smoking weed AND dead people, man! Y’all need to come out with
a scratch-and-sniff issue about weed. It’s from mother earth. Or even a
scratch-and-sniff issue about [the strip club] Stroker’s, lol. Don’t sleep on
Detroit either.
- Crunkatlantamusic, via myspace (Detroit, MI)
I was reading your editorial and loved it; I’m not sure which issue it was,
but you were speaking about Barack Obama. I loved that whole issue. I’m
currently a federal inmate and am working on becoming a personal trainer.
I actually used to rap myself, but I’ll be doing management and promotion
when I’m released. I did a mixtape with DJ Smallz but got locked up before
I could release it.
- Eagle, via inmatemessage.com (White Deer, PA)
12 // OZONE MAG
The latest sex issue of OZONE is the shit. I think that was my favorite issue
so far. I like the interview with Mr. Marcus and the dominatrix chick. Damn,
the whole thing was awesome. I couldn’t put it down. It made me feel like I
needed to read every article.
- Joker da Bailbondsman, via inmatemessage.com (Anchorage, AK)
I’m a big fan of OZONE Mag and your award show. It reminds me of Murder
Dog, but two times better. You really capture the underground Hip Hop
scene like no one else out there. You are the new Source in the game. I have
plans for an online and print magazine; an entrepreneurial and business
magazine geared towards the urban sector. As a kid I always watched
and studied people like Puffy, Karl Kani, Russell Simmons, Un Rivera, etc.
I remember when I couldn’t wait to the get the Source Power Issue and
tape all their articles to my wall. Today, even though the Source sucks, I still
pick up the Power Issue to see who the new movers and shakers are in the
industry. Most kids I knew were just like me and wanted to start their own
businesses as well. I went on to college with the hopes of owning my own
business and when I graduated my dreams came true. I bought a Quizno’s
franchise, which turned out to be a nightmare. Even though my title was
“Franchise Owner,” that was far from the truth. I basically had no decision
making abilities and felt trapped. Fortunately, earlier this year I sold the
franchise and freed myself from economic slavery! I wanted ownership and
independence and I finally realized that this was something I needed to
create for myself. That’s when God gave me the idea of having something
similar to Forbes Magazine, but flipping it for the Hip Hop community. I
read an interview with you talking about the beginning of your mag and
I was inspired to push my dream into reality. You were talking about how
you would lay your magazine on the bar in the club and watch for people’s
reactions. Thanks for the inspiration.
- Chicago Cruz of Currency/Next Magazine, via email
OZONE MAG // 13
14 // OZONE MAG
JB’s 2cents
F
or the past few months, the million dollar question has been,
“when are the OZONE Awards?” Last year, after the third annual
event in Houston, TJ and I scoured the country for some possible
‘09 locations and I was starting to get excited about the prospects.
10THINGS I’M
HATIN’ON
2. Broke niggas who come VISIT
from outta town
I hate broke niggas who come visit with
delusions of grandeur. Like, “Let’s hit Magic
City, Velvet Room, Strokers, Lenox Mall,
and Onyx. But I’ve only got ten dollars.”
Stay the fuck home, please!
Ray J & I @ my Vegas bday
party
D-RAY
1. The job market
I robbed a bank the other day and the
bitch was like, “Take all the money you
want!” I’m like, “Bitch, give me a job interview. I need a salary, benefits and a desk.”
D-RAY
by aspiring porn star Maurice Stoney
3. The Recession (again)
I hate the recession, but love these food
prices. Even homeless niggas and bums in
line at Church’s Chicken are like, “Can I get
2 titties, a side of pigeon soup, and some
pissy lemonade, hold the ice. Thanks.”
LUIS SANTANA
4. The ghetto
A lil nigga approached my car with a
football helmet on his head, tennis racket
in his left hand, baseball bat in his right,
and asked me to support his swim team.
What the fuck?
Me & Soulja Boy @ my
Denver bday party
DJ Christion & I @ my
Tampa bday party
5. Pregnant women who wanna
use female condoms
Number one, it’s too late. Number two, I
don’t wanna knock the baby out and he
comes out either wearing that shit like a
doo rag, or using it as a parachute.
6. Big ass roaches in Georgia
I moved in my new apartment and had
three unknown roommates. Junior was fixing a sandwich, Trey was watching TV, and
Tyrone was in the corner lifting weights.
One of ‘em looked at me and said, “Nigga,
you got the top bunk. I got a bitch coming
through tonight.”
8. Light skinned nUccas
These light skinned muthafuckers that
think Drake is bringing them back in style
are crazy. Wayne and Drake are like a modern day Kid N Play. House Party 5, ‘nuff said.
9. Jamie Foxx
Somebody whup his ass please; he’s displaying bitchassness characteristics.
10. Anybody that calls at 3am AND
ASKs “What u doing, man?”
Muthafucker, I was asleep. What the fuck
was I supposed to be doing?
D-RAY
7. Sarah Palin
Hoe sit down.
Me & Gorilla Zoe @ my
Anchorage, AK bday party
T-Pain & I in Denver
But as the new year passed and ‘09 slowly progressed, I became more and
more disenchanted with the idea of dedicating another 6 entire months of
my life to this cause, partly because the economy is shit but mostly because people simply don’t know how to act. It’s mind-boggling that even with the amount
of time, energy, resources, and effort we (OZONE & TJ’s DJ’s) put in to create an
event on that scale, all it takes is a few short minutes of ignorance to overshadow
all the work that was put in. And it isn’t limited to the OZONE Awards. At the
Dirty Awards last year I witnessed firsthand the all-out brawl between Shawty
Lo’s camp and TI’s camp, not to mention Jeezy’s camp and DJ Drama’s camp. It
was a complete embarrassment to our entire community. This scenario has been
repeated at countless award shows in years past; Source, Vibe, etc.
We need to grow the fuck up and get our shit together so we can be respected
on a bigger scale. The politics and economics of the music business are fascinating to me; much more so than corporate America. But to corporate America, we
will always be a joke if we can’t have a simple gathering of all our key players in
one place without someone getting stabbed, punched, or killed. To the average
person, anyone associated with Hip Hop is a walking caricature. A punch line.
But from the inside out, I know we are, for the most part, innovative, creative
entrepreneurs who put in as much work if not more than any Wall Street executive. We should be focused on gaining respect worldwide for our business savvy
instead of focused on these petty beefs and altercations. And aside from the
respect factor, our community’s reputation for violence hurts our money. Some
venues don’t want our business because of the negative aspects. We pay extra
for security. We pay extra for insurance. Television networks are hesitant to get
involved because of the inherent risks. All of this is preventable; it’s our own fault.
My time is valuable. My birthday just passed and reflecting on the last 28 years,
I have mixed emotions because I feel that I’ve done so much but at the same
time, done so little. I look at life like a to-do list. “Produce award show” has already
been checked off that list, three times. There’s a long list of new things I want to
explore to move my life forward in a positive direction and I question if the many,
many stressful hours required to produce an award show will be worth the end
result. As Biggie said on “Sky’s The Limit,”“never make moves unless your heart’s
in it.” I’m a firm believer in the idea that if you’re not going to put 100% effort into
something, you shouldn’t be doing it at all.
The main reason I wanted to do the event in the first place was to create a forum
for networking; a place where the key industry players and up and comers could
meet each other face to face and develop lasting friendships. That’s how I got my
start in the game, going to all the Tech.Nitions events and TJ’s DJ’s conferences
and Mixshow Power Summits (even though I had to sneak in), and countless
concerts, etc, where I was able to meet future friends, colleagues, and clients. So
it was only right that I help continue that spirit on for the next generation.
With all that said: when are the next OZONE Awards? I honestly can’t answer that
question right now, but as soon as I know, you’ll know. I want to make progress.
I want to grow. I want to create bigger and better opportunities for myself, my
friends and employees, and all the artists and contributors and readers who have
supported the OZONE movement from day one. It’s been GREAT so far this year
to have a little time to breathe without feeling like the weight of the world is resting on my shoulders. I’m just taking some time to make sure I’m making the right
moves. I’m working on some things, trust me. Whatever comes next, my heart’s
gotta be in it. Sky’s the limit - Julia Beverly, [email protected]
Gucci Mane f/ Esther Dean “I Think I Love Her”
Trey Songz “Yo Side Of The Bed”
Mario f/ Gucci Mane & Sean Garrett “Break Up”
Young Jeezy f/ JW & Boo Rossini “Biggest Movie Ever”
Wale f/ J. Cole & Curren$y “Rather Be With You”
Juice f/ Bun B “Can’t Crush My Cool”
Al Be Back f/ Fabolous “Mira Mira”
RE “Hip Hop Legend”
RE’Splaylist
[email protected]
Jay-Z “Death of Autotune”
Yo Gotti “5 Star Chick”
J. Cole “Lights Off”
Twista “Wetter”
OZONE MAG // 15
BALTIMORE, MD:
Bossman has been making a lot of noise lately. After brief stints on Virgin
and Capitol Records, the homie is back in the spotlight with tons of new
music. Fresh off a deal with Myspace Records, he has two mixtapes out: ATM
and Street Kings. He also has two singles killing nationwide radio right now.
Speaking of radio, Bmore’s own DJ Class is killing the airwaves as well with his
banger “I’m the Ish.” The song now has multiple remixes with different artists
ranging from Jermaine Dupri to Kanye West.
- Darkroom Productions ([email protected])
CHICAGO, IL:
Sly Polaroid, a.k.a. Sly P, has started a campaign to become President of the
Streets of Chicago. DJ Solo has a new record called “Chicken Wing” which is
accompanied by a dance. Another record making noise on the radio is “Lil
Mama.” Artists to check for are Bullet, Boss Kane, Pugslee Atoms, Project Fresh,
Hollywood Holt, Mic Terror and Big Bane.
- Jamal Hooks ([email protected])
CINCINNATI, OH:
GraphicsandLogos.net, located on Reading Road, is said to have the best
full-color printing in the nation. Heavy Risk Entertainment features artist O.P.,
who is a swag savvy artist with catchy hooks that is destined to rise to the top
of the underground rap scene. Mac Niff, Spakz Tha Trak Man, and Moe Beats
have teamed up to make beats that are clean, crisp, and radio ready. Lyric is a
young, fresh three-girl group with a hot single entitled “Dolla Bill.” Bump being
a dime.
- Judy Jones ([email protected])
COLUMBUS, GA:
Cedric the Entertainer came down and did a show. Afterwards he hung out
and went to a few spots. SOA has thrown a host of successful parties, and
Mario’s seems to be the new spot of choice. The Hookah bar is also becoming
popular, but people still look at you funny when you order a hookah, go figure. By the time this is posted, Foxie 105 will have hosted its Summer Concert
“Family Day in the Park” so details are on the way.
- David Britt ([email protected])
16 // OZONE MAG
DALLAS/FT. WORTH, TX:
Big Hood Boss premiered his new “I Got It” video feat. Tum Tum and
Lil Wil. Peaches from Onyx has the biggest ass in the city. B-Hamp
dropped his B-Dash album and Dorrough’s “Ice Cream Paint Job” video
entered the 106th & Park countdown. Mesha D from Eminent Models
is the official model feature for DFW videos. Definition DJ Tuss is in
the mix at Peep N Tom’s. R&B artist Doo Dez is starting to make ladies
sing “Sassy Girl” and GO DJ Phatz is spinning DFW artists strong on
Port City’s 99.7. Free Stubb-a-lean, Pat Bush in Yazoo, and everybody
reading this in TDC.
- Edward “Pookie” Hall ([email protected])
GAINESVILLE, FL:
The original Bad Azz, Lil Boosie, put it down performing his latest
single “Loose as a Goose.” He shared the stage with Jacksonville’s own
Street Money Riders, and a slew of other big names such as Def Jam
Recording artists UnladyLike, DTP’s Willy Northpole, Playaz Circle,
and DJ Drama. Certified DJ’s own DJ Flow dropped his latest mixtape
entitled Certified Bangaz Vol. 1. The hometown hero DJ Terrah is still
putting up classics with local talent so hit him up for a feature.
- Jett Jackson ([email protected])
HOLLYWOOD, CA:
Jay Z and Eminem murdered the stage at the Wiltern Theatre for the
new DJ Hero game. Seeing them on stage doing “Renegade” live set
the bar for any show I’ll ever see again. The West Coast was in the
building as well - Warren G did “Regulator” during DJ AM and Travis
Barker’s set, and Nipsey Hussle, Crooked I, and Tyrese rolled through
to show support. I also had the chance to peep some new music from
Maxwell at his exclusive listening session in Beverly Hills. Make sure
you get some R&B in your life. Bishop Lamont had his second annual
“Bishop Lamont & Friends” show at House of Blues on Sunset.
- Devi Dev ([email protected])
PITTSBURGH, PA:
Pittsburgh lost its only Urban Radio Station,
WAMO, after it was sold to St. Joseph’s Mission.
After more than 30 years of serving the African
American community with music and events, it
is now expected to become a religious station.
We may be down some, but don’t count us out
yet. Everyone’s in the streets with new music and
projects. Wale, Trey Songz, Lil Wil, DJ Drama (pictured at left), DJ Holiday, and Shawty Lo have all
stopped through to kick it, while Pyrex Press and
Moola Gang just got back from overseas. Paper
Boys Entertainment is gearing up for another run
and F-Block Records is taking major meetings.
- Lola Sims ([email protected])
HOUSTON, TX:
Paul Wall’s album release party at Bambou and
listening party at the Galleria TV Johnny location
were both successful. The city was also filled with
guest performances by Drake, Rick Ross, Soulja
Boy, and Maino, but one of the most interesting
weekends of last month was Vince Young’s Birthday/ Celebrity Basketball game featuring Young
Jeezy, Nelly and Jermaine Dupri.
- Ghost Da Hustla (Ghostdahustla.blogspot.com)
HUNTSVILLE, AL:
The June Black Arts Festival was canceled due to
the economy. There goes the biggest thing we
had to look forward to this year. G-Side has been
traveling the East Coast. 6 Tre G is gearing up
for the release of Boss Muzik. Can’t Stop Records
has been putting in work. Short Change leaked
a banger with “Dirty Like That.” Untamed threw a
crazy party at the Homeport. DJ Drama, Gorilla
Zoe,Young Dro, Project Pat, and Rich Boy all hit
the city. Lookout for VIP TV from Pleasure Houze.
The PRGz signed to E1 (Koch).
- Codie G ([email protected])
TAMPA, FL:
Laws proves why he’s Your Future Favorite Rapper
on his latest mixtape release (pictured at left), a
collabo with DJ Smallz and Grammy–Award Winning producers J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. DJ Christion
released his own mixtape entitled Overtime. 2
Pistols and Young Joe filmed the video for their
smash hit “Lights Down Low.” The rest of the music scene prepared for the 6th Annual Tampa Music
Conference at Ritz Ybor. This year’s panel of speakers
included Sean Kingston, DJ Noodles, Pleasure P, 3rd Leg
Greg , Jacki-O, Orlando, and DJ Christion, as well as others.
The Hip Hop Soda Shop closed its doors.
- Slick Worthington (Myspace.com/SlickWorthington)
JACKSONVILLE, FL:
Young Cash had a big birthday week with all the promoters in the city.
HighLife Music is still pumping strong in the Westside with their new club
nights. Bigga Rankin has been trying to bring the local artists together with
little success, being that the independent grinders in Duval County are
remaining totally independent, and in the process nobody is really working
together. Derek Washington has been trying to keep the record pool going,
and Big L is in the same boat with his newspaper. These guys have good
intentions, so hopefully the city can get behind them and open the flood
gates for Jacksonville’s music scene.
- Lil Rudy ([email protected])
INDIANAPOLIS, IN:
I-Hustle Ent. brought Boosie and Webbie for the thickest event of the year.
DJ Don Don celebrated his birthday at Club Tropicana as Young Dro and
Yung LA rocked the set. OJ da Juiceman performed in front of a sold out
crowd. Keri Hilson and The Dream brought out the city’s finest at the Vogue
nightclub. Trill Tight DJs and Greatest DJs are keeping the city pumped.
DJ Black and his Dragged Up DJ crew are releasing the official Naptown
anthem produced by Three 6 Mafia. Mz Fe, Cold Hearted, and Lady Free are
repping for the ladies.
- DJ Black ([email protected])
KANSAS CITY, MO/KS:
Hot 103 JAMZ Summer Jam II went down at Sandstone Park. The lineup
featured Soulja Boy, Plies, Rick Ross, Hurricane Chris, Yung LA, Dorrough, the Kansas City King Tech N9ne, Black Walt and Block Life Ent. Got
spins? Underground Heat is still breaking music in KC. You can now see
the show live on the web at 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Tech N9ne
released his new collabo album Sickology 101 and Van Brunt Ent. is dropping Red Ragz and Blue Flagz this summer.
- Kenny Diamondz ([email protected])
LOUISVILLE, KY:
J Skillz da Bandman has a hit single called “Simon Sayz” and Kenzo’s
single “Do da Shiz” is also getting support in the city. Both artists shot
videos recently. Young Miz is killing the scene with his Certified mixtape.
KD is back with a track called “My M.O.B. (My Michelle Obama).” Young
Bell dropped his mixtape Let’s Talk Bricks. Look out for Harolin back at
B96.5.
- Divine Da Liaison ([email protected])
MEMPHIS, TN:
Lil Wyte is pushing his new single “Take Yo Moni” off his newest mixtape
Cocaine & Kush Reloaded featuring Partee. Upcoming artist Big Face Mike
has hit the ground running with his new mixtape Gangsta as I Wanna Be
and is fitting into the Memphis rap scene quite well. The underground
Memphis dance style called “juking” made its debut on “So You Think
You Can Dance” by Memphis police officer Marico Flake. After locking
himself in the studio for weeks at a time, Yo Gotti has produced a slew
of mixtapes including Cocaine Cowboy, 5 Star Chef, and his latest Cocaine
Muzik 2.
- Deanna Brown ([email protected])
NASHVILLE, TN:
Cashville’s goin’ off courtesy of Cheezy, who’s new single “I Go Off” is
carrying the heat of the summer with it. The City Paper is in stores and is
guaranteed to show you why Paper is the 09 SEA Slept on Artist of the
Year! The Cancer/Leo Bash II hosted by Serious featured performances by
Ms. Honeysiccle, Ashthon Jones, and Mario, a.k.a. Rio Moore. AG Entertainment, WUBT, Diavontti, and Flymajor.com brought something new
to the table for the grown and sexy in Nashville courtesy of the All White
Beach Affair. The event featured 5 DJs, celebs, and class.
- Janiro ([email protected])
RICHMOND, TRI-CITIES, VA:
Streetz Deep shot a video for his new single “That Go Round” produced
by VA’s next hot producer Murda One. The song features Bola of Grand
Hustle’s group Xtaci. Our City Boyz are performing at the South Carolina
Music Awards in July. Charles Owens, a.k.a. Vito, is in the studio working
with VA producers The Incredibles who are best known for their work on
Jeezy’s “Vacation” and Ace Hood’s “Ride” featuring Trey Songz. Canayda
releases hot new digital music on Myspace.com/CanaydaMusic.
- Atiyyah Wali ([email protected])
ST. LOUIS, MO:
Loose Cannon Ent. beat Derrty Ent. in a charity basketball game that
raised money for Nelly’s 4 Sho 4 Kids www.4sho4kids.org. Derrty DJs
held the Midwest Summit that brought DJs from all over the country.
Several artists made an impact but it was Louie V. with his “Do Ya Own
Dance” that had people talking. The Midwest Summit ended with the
St. Lunatics all on the same stage for first time since 1999. Jibbs has a
new single rotating called “Ay DJ” featuring Lloyd. DJ CD’s mixtape with
Murphy Lee has been a top seller at Vintage Vinyl for three months now.
Check out the newest STL mixtapes at www.MidwestMixtapes.com.
- Jesse James ([email protected])
WASHINGTON, DC:
DJ Heat from WPGC, a.k.a. The Mixtape Madame, recently released 2
brand-new projects: This is the Remix Vol. IV and Fiyah: The T-Pain Edition.
The DMV Music Movement continues to gather momentum and there
have been a slew of red-hot singles hitting the streets: “Spotlight” by 32
and Y’anna Crawley (BET’s Sunday Best winner); “Natural” and “Smoke
Break” blazed by Whitefolkz; “Blog Food” by Pro’ Verb; and “I Remember
Hip-Hop” by Go-Go Michelle. Go-Go Michelle is also ready to drop her
new album Hegemony. Judah, who is one of DC’s top producers, also
has one of the best blogs in the city: www.forthedmvonly.blogspot.
com.
- Sid “DCSuperSid” Thomas ([email protected])
- Compiled by Ms Rivercity, [email protected]
OZONE MAG // 17
SELLING MUSIC IN A CHANGING ECONOMY | By Wendy
The most dangerous person in the music industry is the one who doesn’t understand
how it actually works. They chase false goals and are doomed to follow wrong paths!
--Wendy Day Twitterism
W
e’ve all heard the adages about how during a recession, music sales
increase. But we’ve never been through a depression before (they
won’t start calling it that until we come out of it, for fear people will
grip onto their spendable dollars even tighter). And prior to the shitty
economy, music sales were taking a nose dive anyway…some say because
of bad music choices, and some say due to downloading and free P2P music
swapping. Others say it’s due to too many entertainment choices vying for our
attention; we all only get 24 hours each day.
Chris Anderson wrote a great book called “The Long Tail,” and what I took away
from it was that each artist now needs to reach his or her own niche directly-through building their own movement and interacting with fans, and potential
fans, directly. I see it reinforced everyday on Twitter. Those who are skilled at
interacting and inviting their fans into their circle will fare the best. Ludacris
(@Ludajuice) and Tyrese (@Tyrese4Real) are exceptionally skilled at this. Gucci
Mane and Yo Gotti are exceptional at working the streets and clubs. Drake and
50 Cent are great on the mixtape circuit. But the real challenge is to be great at
it all!
I’m fortunate in that the indie labels that I consult are doing very well. They still
are able to sell CDs and downloads by spending promotional dollars in places
where it matters, with people who are legitimate, and grind like their lives
depend on it—which they do. But not everyone has this same experience. The
key is to make great music, market and promote it well to people who would
buy it, and work harder than every other artist out here.
Word of mouth and people hearing songs that they like are what sell music.
Therefore, promotional efforts should be based around letting people hear
your music, and sparking people to talk about you. Everything you do needs to
revolve around working your single and getting your word of mouth buzzing.
Spreading your music, while showing your image is important. Some artists use
mix CDs, snippet CDs, YouTube videos and footage, and upload stuff to places
like WorldStarrHipHop. Most artists tour and do shows whenever and where
ever possible. The more someone sees you, the more they recognize you!
Artists with bigger budgets use radio spins, promotional tours within a 3 to 5
state area, and songs featuring other artists in addition to the other promotional methods. Keeping in touch with fans via phone calls, email, newsletter
e-blasts, twitter, websites, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, etc. With the over
saturation of music and rappers, it takes more work and more time to sell less
music. It almost seems like giving away music for free and selling merchandise,
shows, and endorsements makes more sense. It’s about good music and an
interesting story to get people talking about you. A fucked up image can do
more damage than bad music, however.
While most artists are still begging the major labels for record deals, the
smarter artists have realized that working their own project to build a buzz and
sell their own music is the ticket to success. The best start is to make good music that has a competitive sound. That doesn’t mean that it needs to sound like
all the other crap out there, but it can’t be so completely different that no one
wants to hear it. The quality needs to be relatively tight, at least professional
enough to compete in the marketplace. Can your single be played on the radio
between Young Jeezy and Kanye and still sound good?
When you’ve got good music, it’s best to get feedback from DJs and retail
18 // OZONE MAG
Day (www.RAP-COALITION.COM)
stores to see what they feel are the best songs (let them choose your singles).
Then focus on the single to build awareness. Depending on the budget you
have available (and like EVERY business, this one also takes some money to
make money), you draw a circle around your city. For example, you draw a
circle that’s a 3 hour driving radius around your city, or with a bigger budget,
you draw a circle that’s a 5 or 6 hour driving radius around your city. That circle
becomes your target market area.
You cover every inch of that market promoting at clubs, barber shops, malls,
high schools, flea markets, clubs, hair salons, colleges, car washes, strip clubs,
community centers—anyplace where your market hangs out. If your music is
more street (like Gucci Mane, Maino, or Young Jeezy) you focus more on the
‘hoods and streets. If your music is more lyrical (like Kanye or Drake) then the
focus is college and high school campuses. I believe every artist should hit everywhere, even if your stronger focus is more street or more college oriented. If
your music is geared towards the youth (like Soulja Boy), make sure your focus is
high schools, middle schools, community centers, arcades, teen clubs, and skating rinks. Make sure your music is clean if you’re promoting to younger people.
The best tools to utilize are posters, flyers, t-shirts, wrapped vehicles, snippet
CDs, mixed CDs, postcards, so people can see your image and hear your music.
E-blasts of your single, YouTube videos and footage help tell the story of who
you are and what your music is about. Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter let fans
see personal aspects of you and your personality. Filming behind the scenes
footage also involves your fans in your movement.
Gone is the day where fans want to see artists flaunt that they have more material goods than the fan will ever possess. Gone is the day of having one or two
good singles and a bunch of filler to make a $20 CD sale. Today, fans pick and
choose the songs they like and free music is all the rage. I read a post on Bob
Lefsetz’ blog by the artist Moby, who said that his #1 sold download on iTunes
was a song that he’d been giving away for free for two months. Free does help
sales as we all suspected.
In this industry, there are so many bogus people! It’s really important to check
the credentials and track record of anyone you give your hard earned money
to. 99% of the people in the music industry are full of shit just trying to make a
come up off of an uninformed person with money.
Once you market and promote within that 3 to 5 hour radius, which is your
market area, you build the buzz until there is a strong enough demand for
your album (usually after fans have heard a couple of songs and a mix CD or
two). You’ll be able to feel the buzz because you will most likely be getting paid
to perform at shows now. Your demand will be increasing….more incoming
phone calls, more web hits, more Twitter followers, more MySpace friends,
more followers at shows, more invites to events, etc. Also, more local artists
and producers will be hounding you to work with them. At this point you can
upload your music to an aggregator like TuneCore.com for digital sales and an
independent distributor (someone LEGITIMATE who can get CDs into stores
for you—REALLY, REALLY, REALLY check references here! More distributors are
bullshit than legit). Once your music is for sale in the marketplace you have to
work even harder to get people to support you and buy it. It’s truly a popularity
contest, and fans vote with their dollars whether they like you or not!
In today’s declining and challenging marketplace, it’s no longer necessary to
be backed by a major label or a sub-label (usually owned by another artist or
producer). Provided you have the budget, or the ability to find an investor, the
playing field is more level today than it ever has been in the history of the music
business. Just make sure you know what you are doing and have found good
guides along the way to help you. If not, this can be a very expensive hole into
which you could waste a lot of money! //
(above L-R): Gorilla Zoe & a colorful fan @ UCF Arena for DJ Prostyle’s birthday bash in Orlando, FL; OJ da Juiceman & DJ Prostyle @ UCF Arena for DJ Prostyle’s birthday bash in
Orlando, FL (Photos: Malik Abdul); Young Jeezy & Ocho Cinco @ Gansevoort Pool Party in Miami, FL (Photo: Thaddaeus McAdams)
01 // Dru of The Runners, J Lash, DJ Khaled, & DJ Dempi @ Mansion for Rick Ross’s album release party (Miami, FL) 02 // Kingpin & Grand Prix @ Def Jam Showcase during the
CORE DJs Retreat (Atlanta, GA) 03 // Geter K & Gucci Poochie @ Mansion for Rick Ross’s “Deeper Than Rap” release party (Miami, FL) 04 // Playaz Circle @ the W Hotel for the
CORE DJs Retreat (Atlanta, GA) 05 // Boomtown, Mike Jones, & guest on the set of “Swagg Thru Da Roof” (Houston, TX) 06 // DJ Princess Cut & Cory Mo @ The Loft (Atlanta, GA)
07 // TMR Models, Mack 10, & K-Boy on the set of “Sun Come Up” (Miami, FL) 08 // TayDizm, DJ Khaled, Ace Hood, T-Pain, & Young Cash on the set of “Overtime” (Miami, FL)
09 // Damm D & Spark Dawg @ Crystal’s (Arlington, TX) 10 // Roc Harder DJs @ the Hot Block Awards (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Arrogant Music @ Velvet Room (Atlanta, GA) 12 // Verse
& Rob Green @ Velvet Room (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Big V & Scales of the Nappy Roots & DJ Scorpio (Atlanta, GA) 14 // Hip Hop Friends & Mercedes Streets @ Justin’s for The CORE
DJs Bad Boy event (Atlanta, GA) 15 // DJ K-Roc and Damm D @ Crystal’s (Arlington, TX) 16 // Nard & B & Yung LA on the set of Yung LA’s “Futuristic Love” (Atlanta, GA) 17 // Cole
& Grand Prix @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 18 // Big Hood Boss, Lil Wil, & Doughski G on the set of Big Hood Boss’s video shoot (Dallas, TX) 19 // Jazze Pha, Vawn, & Drumma Boy @
Red Carpet Lanes for their Dream Land event (Atlanta, GA)
Photo Credits: Devon Buckner (10,19); Edward Hall (09,15,18); J Lash (01,07,08); Julia Beverly (03,04); Lamont DeSal (05); Ms Rivercity (02,06,11,12,13,16,17); Terrence Tyson (14)
OZONE MAG // 19
CHIN
CHECK
By Charlamagne Tha God
D.O.A.A.:
DIE OLD
ASS
ARTISTS
(YOUR CAREERS, THAT IS)
Older rap artist’s careers are already dead. They’re
just carrying them along, like Larry and Richard
did Bernie in Weekend At Bernie’s. It doesn’t have
to be like this, though. If older artists catered
to the people who actually grew up listening
to their music and started making music that
people at their age could actually relate to, their
rap careers could still prosper.
Take LL Cool J, for example. James Todd Smith is
41 years old. He’s married with four kids. On his
last single “Baby” featuring Dream, he talks about
banging out a chick at a truck stop and banging
out a chick in the back of a pickup truck. He even
says in the record that the girl he’s with doesn’t
care if he’s married or single.
But the reality of the situation is this: LL, you are
married! Act like it! That record could’ve been
so much harder if you as a married 41-year-old
man made a record about your wife. Imagine
husbands all over the country coming in the
house singing to their wives, “You’re my baby, my
baby, my baby, my baby.” That’s some G shit; G for
Grown. That’s the problem with old artists in Hip
Hop. They don’t want to grow up.
Radio is partly to blame for this also. Your favorite
Hip Hop and R&B station caters to the 18-34 demographic. So when these old artists are making
records, they’re targeting that audience. People
my age – 29 – and up are still in that demo, but
truthfully, outside of my career in radio, I don’t
listen to the radio too much because the playlists
are way too redundant. I like Soulja Boy’s “Turn
My Swag On,” but one station is playing it a hundred times a week. That’s insane.
Some radio stations are called Urban AC stations,
which cater to the 25-54 demographic. They play
a lot of older music, but when you listen to these
stations, you have to ask where the Hip Hop is.
Most of these Urban AC stations ignore the fact
that Hip Hop has been the most dominant form
of urban music for the past 20 years. They’ll play
old school R&B but won’t play old school Hip
Hop. Why not? The people that are in the 25-54
demo grew up on Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, LL
Cool J, Outkast, and Scarface.
Since these Urban AC stations ignore these older
records and don’t include them in their playlists,
a lot of artists have nowhere to go. Imagine if
there was a Hip Hop Urban AC station that played
the best Hip Hop from the 80s and 90s. That
would bring revenue to so many older artists.
20 // OZONE MAG
People would start buying Hip Hop catalogues
again, more older artists could tour, and most
importantly, when these older artists still want to
record and put out albums, the people who grew
up listening to them probably would still go out
and purchase them.
It’s not that older rappers shouldn’t record anymore. They just need to rap about what they’re
going through now in life and stop trying to
relive their youth. I don’t want to see Fat Joe ice
grilling the camera and rapping about shooting
people anymore. I don’t want to see him laid up
in the project hallways; he looks ridiculous at 40
years old. I like what artists like Ghostface, Nas,
and Andre 3000 do. They rap about life as it is for
them now; they don’t make records catering to
the youth. They’re not stressing whether or not
they get radio play, or if the young kids will embrace them at Summer Jam. They’re just painting
their pictures from a grown man’s perspective.
Ghostface spoke on his new album recently saying, “You gotta tell the fans that you’re not gettin’
no younger here. We’re gettin’ older and everybody doesn’t sell crack no more, man. I don’t sell
crack, you. I ain’t movin’ no bricks or none of that
other shit. I ain’t shoot nobody in like since the
early 90s, man. How long you gonna be 40 years
old and actin’ like you still sellin’ crack and you on
the block and you doin’ this and you doin’ that
when times is more serious, man. It’s time to talk
about grown-man situations.”
This leads me to the one artist who just won’t
grow up: Jay-Z. He tried on Kingdom Come, but
when that album wasn’t critically acclaimed, he
resorted back to the same drug-dealing street
talk he’s been doing his whole career on American Gangsta. He said he was influenced to record
the album by watching the movie American
Gangsta; he said it took him back to that era of
his life when he was running the streets. That’s
bullshit, Hov. You just wanted to rap about trapping again because you want to be relevant to
the young crowd. His latest attempt at reliving
his youth is “D.O.A. (Death Of Autotune).” I find it
humorous that of all the things he could declare
Death on in the rap game, he chose Autotune.
That’s pretty weak, Jay.
How about Death to celebrating the drug culture? If you really lived it, fine, tell your story. But
if you didn’t, stop using the trap as a gimmick.
Trap music is not crunk music. Everybody can’t
make a trap record just because that’s what’s “in.”
Why didn’t Jay-Z declare Death to gangbanging
on records? This is Hip Hop and all these rappers
become gang members after they get deals.
What part of the game is that? Why didn’t Jay-Z
declare Death to bling? It’s a recession, stop
spending money on Big Ass Chains (T-Pain, this
means you) and invest in something that doesn’t
depreciate with value. Why didn’t Jay-Z declare
Death to older artists not acting their age? Why
didn’t he co-sign what Ghostface said? Because
he would’ve ethered himself.
Autotune never heard anybody. It’s amazing
that the same guy who said “what you eat don’t
make me shit” is now declaring Death to the
way others are eating. What if back in the day
someone like 2Pac declared Death to Big Money
Talk while Jay was on the come-up? How would
that have affected him? Why is Jay getting points
for making a song about what the internet has
been saying for the longest? I personally don’t
believe Jay feels strongly about the “D.O.A.” thing.
He just needs a quick gimmick to jumpstart hype
for the Blueprint 3.
Do I find Autotune annoying? Yes. Is it necessary on every record? No. Does it sound good
on some records? Yes. Did Jay-Z have to declare
death to it? No. Will it have an affect on people
using Autotune, or fans embracing Autotune
records? Not at all. Jay-Z doesn’t have the same
influence he had when he declared “I don’t wear
jerseys I’m 30+ / Go get a button-up.” If he does,
how come nobody is dressing like him now?
Where’s your nappy Afro and glasses like Roger
from the old TV show “What’s Happening”?
Jay-Z, if you want the culture of Hip Hop to move
forward, you need to step back. We need people
like you in the board room. You did all you could
do as a player. If you’re the Michael Jordan of rap
like you say you are, sit down and own your tea.
Groom the next generation of artists.
All of you who are saying Hip Hop is dead or
the rap game is whack must be listening to the
radio way too much. Hip Hop is in the best space
it’s been in a long time, but you won’t realize
that if you keep trying to bring that old feeling
back. Life is about forward motion; it’s not about
bringing back what was. It’s about embracing
what it is and what it’s going to be. What it is: T.I.,
Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, and Plies. What
it’s going to be: Glasses Malone, Nipsey Hussle,
and Strong Arm Steady from the West Coast;
Maino and Red Café from New York; Drake from
Canada; Killer Mike from Atlanta; and the whole
Stupid Dope Moves regime from South Carolina
which includes Trapstar, A Rizzla, and Marly Marl.
Respect the past, but embrace the future. That’s
my motto, and for all older artists who don’t
feel that way, D.O.A.A.: Die Old Ass Artist (your
careers, that is).
Streetfully Yours, Sincerely Gangsta, Gutter
Always,
Charlamagne Tha God
(above L-R): Young Jeezy & Maino @ Gansevoort Pool Party in Miami, FL (Photo: Thaddaeus McAdams); Mike Jones & Diamond @ The Loft in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Ms Rivercity);
Mack 10 pourin’ out some liquor for the homies on the set of Glasses Malone’s “Sun Come Up” video shoot in Miami, FL (Photo: J Lash)
01 // Kwame Kilpatrick & Skip Cheatham @ Stankofa for the Stop the Violence event (Dallas, TX) 02 // DJ Impact, Bigg DM, Sean Garrett, Tony Neal, & Akon @ the W Hotel for the
CORE DJs Retreat’s Def Jam Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 03 // Spectacular of Pretty Ricky & Freestyle Steve @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 04 // Rolemodelz & Slim Thug @ 97.9 The Beat car
show (Dallas, TX) 05 // Garfield & Disco Jr @ UCF Arena for DJ Prostyle’s birthday bash (Orlando, FL) 06 // DJ Nasty, DJ Khaled, & DJ Trauma @ Esso for the BMI Urban Showcase
(Atlanta, GA) 07 // Cool & Dre & Rage on the set of 2 Pistols’ “Lights Down Low” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 08 // Big Kuntry, Yung LA, & Lil Duval on the set of Yung LA’s “Futuristic
Love” (Atlanta, GA) 09 // Magazeen, Gorilla Zoe, & Masspike Miles @ Mansion for Rick Ross’s album release party (Miami, FL) 10 // DJ Storm & Erin Barna @ Crucial for the CORE
DJs Grand Hustle event (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Jeff Dixon, Kim Ellis, Ace McGinty, Wendy Day, & Lola Sims @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar (Atlanta, GA) 12 // Princess of
Trill & Doughski G (Austin, TX) 13 // Odd & Even & Big Rich @ the W Hotel for the CORE DJs Retreat’s Def Jam Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 14 // Total Kaos, bodypainted models, & TJ
Chapman @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 15 // Hurricane Chris & ladies on the set of Hurricane Chris’s “Halle Berry” video shoot (Dallas, TX) 16 // B Rich & Rob Green on
the set of Yung LA’s “Futuristic Love” (Atlanta, GA) 17 // Willie C & Bay Bay @ BTB Records party (Texarkana, TX) 18 // The School Boyz @ Justin’s for The CORE DJs Bad Boy event
(Atlanta, GA) 19 // Dru of The Runners & Bali @ Mansion for Rick Ross’s album release party (Miami, FL)
Photo Credits: Edward Hall (01,12,15,17); J Lash (19); Julia Beverly (02,03,06,07,13); Malik Abdul (05,14); Ms Rivercity (08,16); Terrence Tyson (10,11,18); Thaddaeus McAdams (09);
Tre Dubb (04)
OZONE MAG // 21
She Liked my NECKLACE and started relaxin’, that’s what the fuck I call a…
YO GOTTI
YO! MTV RAPS TRIBUTE
Y
O! MTV Raps was probably one of the first shows
that I had seen with rap videos on it back in the day.
I saw somebody who had a shirt with the [YO! MTV
Raps] logo on it but it had my name, Yo Gotti. I saw
the shirt about a year ago so when I decided to get a new chain,
that’s the design I decided to use. I always wanted to get a chain
that’s unique.
I don’t remember the exact videos on YO! MTV Raps that were my
favorite, but all the [old school] rappers were on there. It wasn’t one
video in particular; I was into the whole Hip Hop thing back then.
They’d have Kool Mo Dee and them on the show. I never knew what
area they were from back then. When I was lookin’ at it, it wasn’t
even broken down to [West or East] Coast or [down] South. They
were all just artists to me.
22 // OZONE MAG
Emmett [the jeweler] in Houston did the piece for me. Emmett’s
good. He does a lot of people’s shit. I paid about $25,000 just for
the piece and the chain was another $2,000. I bought a watch and
a ring and all that with it, so he gave me one price for everything. A
white watch and a white ring.
You can tell if a chain is real or not. For one, if you see three or four
people with [the same design] it’s probably not [real]; that’s what I
call a “stock chain” because [the jeweler] has already made them up.
With certain people’s chains, you can see the work that goes into
them. That’s not saying that it still couldn’t be fake, but why would
they put that much work into a fake piece? It takes a lot of work to
do the detailing on [some chains]. //
Words by Julia Beverly
Photo by Terrence Tyson
(above L-R): Lil Wayne & Pee Wee @ Phillips Arena for Birthday Bash in Atlanta, GA; Trey Songz, Sean Garrett, & Mario @ Phillips Arena for Birthday Bash in Atlanta, GA; DJ Khaled
& Lil Jon @ Esso for the BMI Urban Showcase in Atlanta, GA (Photos: Julia Beverly)
01 // JB, Nick the Next Wun, & Peanut @ Mambo’s for Stephanie of 97.9’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 02 // Physha P & Ed the World Famous @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know
Seminar (Atlanta, GA) 03 // DJ Merk, D’Lyte, Dorrough, & Ebony, @ the W for CORE DJs Retreat (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Ms Go Ham & G Fresh @ Club Mariachi (Atlanta, GA) 05 // Fortune, Tracy T, Zaytoven, & Diamond @ the W for CORE DJs Retreat (Atlanta, GA) 06 // DJ Christion, Cool, & 2 Pistols on the set of 2 Pistols’ “Lights Down Low” video shoot (Tampa,
FL) 07 // Vernon Forrest & Gorilla Zoe @ Mansion for Rick Ross’s “Deeper Than Rap” release party (Miami, FL) 08 // Caviar, T-Roy, & Cali @ Bourbon St Station (Jacksonville, FL)
09 // Rick Ross & Gucci Poochie on the set of Birdman & Lil Wayne’s “Always Strapped” video shoot (Miami, FL) 10 // Justice League, OJ da Juiceman, & Orlando McGhee @ Hot
Beats (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Big Chief, Doughski G, Chase Pat, & T-Cash @ Mambo’s for Stephanie of 97.9’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 12 // Mickey Factz & Jessie Maguire @ the W
Hotel for the CORE DJs Retreat (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Adept & guest @ UCF Arena for DJ Prostyle’s birthday bash (Orlando, FL) 14 // Dolla & Sway @ Mambo’s (Dallas, TX) 15 // DJ
Scream & Cosa Nostra on the set of DJ Scream’s “On My Grind” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 16 // Guest, Big Kuntry, & Bola on the set of Yung LA’s “Futuristic Love” (Atlanta, GA)
17 // FLY @ the W Hotel for the CORE DJs Retreat (Atlanta, GA) 18 // TJ Chapman & Wayne Williams @ Justin’s for The CORE DJs Bad Boy event (Atlanta, GA) 19 // Lil Wil & JuJu of
Fam Life @ Richmind Records party (Dallas, TX)
Photo Credits: Edward Hall (01,11,14,19); J Lash (09); Julia Beverly (06,07,12,17,18); Malik Abdul (13); Ms Rivercity (03,04,05,10,15,16); Terrence Tyson (02,08)
OZONE MAG // 23
Are You a G? TRIBUTE
abcdefG
7 Questions to FIND OUT if THE KING OF POP
MICHAEL JACKSON WAs the 7th letter of the alphabet.
are even more artists who
wanna be like Mike. But
Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, and Ne-Yo could ever
top the King at his peak.
Sure, Michael Jackson was
strange. He wore weird
disguises and had questionable relationships
with little boys. He was
born a poor black boy,
died a rich white woman,
and became the most
famous person on Earth
along the way. OZONE
has researched the annals
of Michael Jackson history
and found 7 interview
questions to determine if
your favorite King of Pop
was in fact the 7th letter of
the alphabet.
A. Have you ever been
scared to go on stage?
No, I don’t remember ever
being afraid to go on stage.
I’m more comfortable on
stage than giving this interview right now... In truth,
I really don’t like being interviewed; I feel it’s such an
intrusion. Every interview
I’ve ever done I’ve been
forced into it. [The fans]
have been so nice to me
and that’s the only reason I
agreed to do this.
(VH1, November 1996)
Michael Jackson
performed in front
of a damn near
a quarter billion
people over 40 years, and
the fact that he never once
felt stage fright gives him
a point.
B. Does it bother you to
see people emulate you,
like Usher, Sisqo, Ginuwine, Destiny’s Child?
I don’t mind it at all. These
are artists who grew up
with my music. When
you grow up listening to
somebody you admire,
you tend to become them.
You want to look like them,
to dress like them. When
I was little, I was James
Brown, I was Sammy Davis
Jr., so I understand it. It’s a
compliment. (Vibe, March
2002)
It’s been 7 years
since Jackson
answered this
question and today there
24 // OZONE MAG
C. Does the real Billie Jean
know about the song, and
if she did, what was her
reaction?
There is a girl named Billie
Jean, but it’s not about
that Billie Jean. Billie Jean
is kinda anonymous. It
represents a lot of girls
who used to - they used
to call them groupies in
the ‘60s - they would hang
around backstage doors
and any band that would
come to town they would
have a relationship with.
And I think I wrote this out
of experiences with my
brothers when I was little.
There were a lot of Billie
Jeans out there. (TV Guide,
December 1999)
Damn, Mike was
gettin’ it in with
groupies all the
way back in the
60s. Guess he used to be
commander in chief of his
pimp ship, flyin’ high.
D. What’s your favorite
Steven Spielberg Movie?
I love E. T. ‘cause it reminds
me of me. Someone from
another world coming
down and you becoming
friends with them and this
person is, like, 800 years
old and he’s filling you with
all kinds of wisdom and
he can teach you to fly. I
mean, who don’t wanna
fly? (Smash Hits, January
1983)
Mike was either
admitting he’s an
alien or advocating
cocaine use. Either way,
it explains a lot, but still
doesn’t earn him any G’
points.
E. These performers[like] 50 Cent... they’re
well-known because they
survived violent attacks
where they almost died
and now they’re into Hip
Hop... it’s a different era in
pop music. Do you think
you’ll be more like them
or will the world come
back to more pop and
traditional rock?
I’ve done a lot of it already. I
don’t really rap, but I could
if I wanted to... I’ve written
songs with rap verses in
them for very famous
rappers, but they’re much
better at it than I am. (At
Large with Geraldo Rivera,
May 2005)
MJ was probably referring to
Diddy when he
proclaimed to have ghostwritten for “very famous
rappers,” which doesn’t
count. But he gets credit for
having collaborated with
Biggie Smalls, R Kelly, and
Jay-Z over the years.
F. If you were invisible for
a day in London, what
would you do?
Oh boy. Who would I like
to slap? I think I’d find one
of the tabloid paparazzi
and kick his ass, moonwalk
style. I’d really like to knock
them off one of those little
scooters they ride around
on, I really would, knock
the cameras right out of
their hands. They’re so annoying. I’d go for them first.
They drive you nuts. You
can’t get away from them.
It’s terrible.” (Gold Magazine, November 2002)
Hard to believe,
but yes, Mike actually said this. So
we have no choice
but to award The King of
Pop for such a gangsta
statement.
G. Your home is quite
modest... and I don’t see
any bling. How come
you don’t have the big
diamond thing that says
Michael?
I’m modest in that way.
If I had it on, I would
probably give it away to
the first kid to say, ‘Wow, I
like your necklace.’When I
was growing up, stars like
Sammy Davis, Fred Astaire,
Gene Kelly, if I simply said,
‘I love that shirt you’re
wearing,’ they would give it
to me. It’s a show business
trait. Hand it over.” (At Large
with Geraldo Rivera, May
2005)
Imagine Mike
Jackson rocking a
big ass chain with
a Bubbles the Chimp piece
by TV Johnny. Not a good
look, but since he’d “hand it
over” to a little kid like Plies
did at the Orlando Magic
game, MJ earns the title
of Da Realest Goon from
Gary, Indiana.
Score 6/7
Overall, Michael Jackson
earns the highest rating in
“Are You A G’” history. Say
what you want about his
tragic life, but you can’t
deny the fact that Michael
Jackson was BAD.
- Compiled by Eric Perrin
Hood
Deeds
WORDS By Eric Perrin // PHOTO COURTESY OPRAH.COM
Twelve months ago anything associated with Barack Obama was in
style. And like most other pop culture icons, Black Eyed Peas front man
Will.i.am was fully dedicated to the “Yes, We Can” campaign. But when
the campaign concluded and the last bottle of champagne at the
last Inaugural party was popped, most Obamaniacs returned to their
normal day-to-day lives, feeling content that they had completed their
end of the deal.
Will.i.am is one of the few that has continued to be inspired. Earlier this
year he contacted representatives for the Oprah Winfrey Show and
expressed a desire to fund his own educational stimulus package—a
scholarship he calls the “I Am Scholarship.”
“Even though there’s an [economic] crisis, that doesn’t mean you stop
dreaming,” explained Will.i.am. “So If I’m gonna go out there and say,
‘Hey, let’s get Obama in the White House.’ And [then] expect him to do
everything, that’s pretty silly, right? I want to do my part.”
In “doing his part,” the Los Angeles-bred musician is sending Elijah
Williams, Jaiquann Beckham and twins Darien and Barien White to the
colleges of their dreams: Hampton University, Wilmington University,
Virginia Tech, and Cabrini College, respectively. The underprivileged,
overachieving high school graduates will all receive full scholarships
including tuition and fees, books, and room and board for four years
beginning in the Fall of 2009, paid for entirely by Will.i.am.
By investing in America’s future, the producer reared in the projects
by his single mother is pledging to help even more students of single
parents who are unable to afford to rising costs of college. “You can
take your money and put it in the bank, or you can put it in our youth;
you can put it in our future,” he concludes.
1. Mr. Hit Dat Hoe
Carrying on in DFW, Texas’ current wave of dance
music (“The Dougie” & “Stanky Leg”), a character
named Mr. Hit Dat Hoe is putting his bid in to be
the next dance phenomenon. Oddly, his dance
doesn’t involve any punching, slapping or kicking.
Its actually made up of hoe girl-like moves including
hip-shaking, waist-twirling and finger-snapping.
2. Extortion Ent.
Ironically, this label is based in Boston, home of OZONE’s 2004 Extortionist of the Year Ray Benzino. From looking at their myspace page
they house artists, DJ and host events. Hope they pay their staff.
3. Mac Mustard
This rapper comes from same circle as Max B. and French Montana. He
raps pretty good, but his name sounds like a failed A1 Sauce flavor.
(above L-R): Ace Hood & Rick Ross @ Phillips Arena for Birthday Bash in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly); JW & Young Jeezy @ Club Cinema for JW’s CTE signing party in Pompano Beach, FL (Photo: Terrence Tyson); TI & Maino @ Crucial for the CORE DJs Grand Hustle event in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Terrence Tyson)
01 // Johnnie Cabbell & his wife Sasha @ Johnnie Cabbell’s TV show launch party (Atlanta, GA) 02 // DJ Bigg V, Blessed, & Bigga Rankin @ Mississippi Delta Music Fest (Leland,
MS) 03 // Byron Wright, Don Vito, Bishop of Crunk, & Lil Jon @ Esso for the BMI Urban Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Yung Ralph & Young Strizzy @ Fox Sports Grill for Yung
Ralph’s Big Cat Records signing party (Atlanta, GA) 05 // Elsa, Bibi Guns, & Maisha @ Esso for BMI Urban Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 06 // Shawn Prez, Diddy, Sean Garrett, & Tony
Neal @ Justin’s for the CORE DJs Bad Boy event (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Ray J & Shorty Mack @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 08 // Stevie DaMann, DJ Prostyle, & Soulja Boy @ Power 95.3
(Orlando, FL) 09 // Lil Jon & TJ Chapman @ Esso for BMI Urban Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 10 // Devi Dev & Terrence Tyson @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar (Atlanta,
GA) 11 // J Holiday & fans @ Velvet Room (Atlanta, GA) 12 // Cash 64 & Ms Rivercity @ the W for CORE DJs Retreat (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Big CO & Jackie Chain @ The Loft for the
CORE DJs Retreat (Atlanta, GA) 14 // Maino & DJ Skream @ UCF Arena for DJ Prostyle’s birthday bash (Orlando, FL) 15 // DJ Kool Aid & Johnson Boy @ Mississippi Delta Music
Fest (Leland, MS) 16 // Black, Rick Ross, Geter K, & Karmo @ Diamonds (Miami, FL) 17 // Aleshia Steele & DJ Juice @ the W Hotel for the CORE DJs Retreat (Atlanta, GA) 18 // Paul
Wall & DJ Scorpio @ The Loft (Atlanta, GA) 19 // Grand Prix & DJ Speedracer @ The Loft for the CORE DJs Retreat (Atlanta, GA) 20 // DJ Quote & DJ Rip @ Justin’s for The CORE DJs
Bad Boy event (Atlanta, GA)
Photo Credits: Devon Buckner (04); Edward Hall (02,15); J Lash (16); Julia Beverly (03,05,06,07,09,17); Malik Abdul (01,08,14); Ms Rivercity (11,12,18); Terrence Tyson (10,13,19,20)
OZONE MAG // 25
SPECTACULAR (OF PRETTY RICKY)
& RILEY (OF THE BOONDOCKS)
Riley: Hey Spectacular, since I like yo music and you gay, does that make me
gay? Cause that video you made was real gay, nigga.
Spectacular: That video wasn’t gay, it was for my fans. They asked me to do it
so I did it.
Riley: Well, I’m yo fan nigga, and I ain’t Gay!
Spectacular: It wasn’t for you, Riley, it was for the ladies. And people don’t
really buy records like that no mo’ so you gotta satisfy ‘em.
Riley: But I watched that shit and I wasn’t satisfied. It looked pretty gay to me.
Spectacular: Did you watch the whole thing?
Riley: Yeah, I watched the whole thing, nigga. Why?
Spectacular: Damn, since you watched the whole thing you might be gay lil’
homie. But at the same time, I ain’t got nothing against gay people. The homosexual community supports Pretty Ricky and you buy our albums and come to
our shows. So I got nothing against you.
Riley: Hold on nigga, I ain’t homo! Hell naw…nigga, you gay! And I heard you
was bout to get paid 100,000 to be in a naked gay magazine.
Spectacular: I mean, I’m flattered that they would offer the opportunity, cause
I just started my modeling, you know what I’m sayin...
Riley: Not really, nigga. I know you need the money, cause yo group ain’t makin it without Pleasure P, but posing naked in gay magazine is…gay!
OZONE EXCLUSIVE
Spectacular: But really, I’m bout to be in all the magazines, Playgirl, Playboy,
GQ, Men’s Health, Business Week, XXL, Maxim, OZONE, Home and Gardens,
pretty much all of ‘em. So at the end of the day, a gay magazine is just another
magazine for my fans.
Textin’ is no longer safe now that OZONE’s
dangerous minds have hacked the system.
Riley: Hold on nigga, you ain’t bout to be in OZONE. Hahahahaha!! Nigga, you
crazy. I know them fools at OZONE and they ain’t gay!
Spectacular: Well maybe not OZONE, but definitely XXL.
Riley: Well that makes more sense…but I don’t care what magazines you be in,
I just wanted to make sure I’m not gay for liking yo’ music.
Spectacular: Just make sure you support my new company, Spectacular Ice.
Big Boy Ice at Little Boy Price.
Riley: Okay, I will as long as you give me a discount... Hey, are you gonna be at
the Gangstalicious Album release party tonight?
Spectacular: Yeah, he asked me to a dancer in his next video so I’ll definitely
be there.
Riley: Cool, see you there
Spectacular: Fa sho. Homies over hoes.
From the minds of Eric Perrin & Randy Roper
Photo by Julia Beverly
26 // OZONE MAG
(above L-R): OJ da Juiceman & Shawty Lo @ Phillips Arena for Birthday Bash in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly); Glasses Malone & Mack 10 on the set of Glasses Malone’s “Sun
Come Up” video shoot in Miami, FL (Photo: J Lash); 2 Pistols & video model on the set of 2 Pistols’ “Lights Down Low” video shoot in Tampa, FL (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // Janine, Diamond, Attitude, & Jackie @ CORE Models pool party (Atlanta, GA) 02 // Corey Cleghorn & JuJu of Fam Life @ Dallas Convention Center (Dallas, TX) 03 // Doughski, Youngbleed, & Mr Pookie @ Stankofa for the Stop the Violence event (Dallas, TX) 04 // Hen Roc, DJ Bobby Black, & Gorilla Zoe @ UCF Arena for DJ Prostyle’s birthday bash
(Orlando, FL) 05 // Spike, 2 Pistols, guest, & Chris on the set of 2 Pistols’ “Lights Down Low” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 06 // Young Dro & BOB @ Crucial for the CORE DJs Grand
Hustle event (Atlanta, GA) 07 // DJ Nasty, DJ Demp, & DJ Khaled @ Mansion for Rick Ross’s “Deeper Than Rap” release party (Miami, FL) 08 // DJ Spinz, Rocko, & DJ Scream on the
set of DJ Scream’s “On My Grind” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 09 // Sean Garrett & Manny Halley @ Esso for the BMI Urban Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 10 // Unladylike @ the W Hotel
for the CORE DJs Retreat (Atlanta, GA) 11 // MTV’s Rahman Dukes & Shaheim Reid @ Mansion for Rick Ross’s “Deeper Than Rap” release party (Miami, FL) 12 // DJ Frogie & DJ
Aaries on the set of DJ Scream’s “On My Grind” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Butta & the Merk Camp @ Ear to Da Street music conference (Birmingham, AL) 14 // Block Life &
DJ Fresh @ the W for CORE DJs Retreat (Atlanta, GA) 15 // Tabbie, JuJu of Fam Life, & Bigg V @ DSU (Cleveland, MS) 16 // Ray J & Monika Olimpew @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL)
17 // Scales of the Nappy Roots, Mickey Factz, & Big V of the Nappy Roots @ Esso for the BMI Urban Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 18 // Bay Bay, Sipp the Surgeon, JuJu, Veda Loca,
Porscha, Pookie, Ike, J Kash, & Loaded @ Urban South Radio (Dallas, TX) 19 // Bigga Rankin, DJ Impact, TJ Chapman, & DJ Nasty @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar
(Atlanta, GA)
Photo Credits: Edward Hall (02,03,15,18); Julia Beverly (05,07,09,10,11,16,17); Malik Abdul (04,13); Ms Rivercity (08,12,14); Terrence Tyson (01,06,19)
OZONE MAG // 27
Philadelphia native
Covergirl probably knows
more about sex than your high
school health teacher, but then
again, she’s supposed to.
As a biology major with plans of one day becoming a pediatrician, the 23-year-old Georgia State University student spends
her mornings learning about the human body, reproduction,
and anatomy, and nights entertaining her future patients’
fathers with displays of her own anatomy.
Her 36-25-38 structure is definitely a gift of nature, but the
surprisingly humble stripper is quite modest in regards to her
appearance. “When I’m at work I just dance,” she says. “I’m sure
my looks have something to do with it, but I never think about
that.”
In fact, she didn’t even think of her own alias, it was simply
given to her by a friend. “Originally, my name was going to
be Desire,” she reveals. “When I first started dancing a friend
convinced me to go with the name Covergirl, and I didn’t really
care either way.”
The vivacious Virgo does, however, care about her future career.
She loves kids, but doesn’t have to time to start a family of her
own yet and is far more studious than most models, evidenced
by the fact she is perhaps the only chick in the industry without
a Myspace page.
“Whenever I’m on the computer I’m studying and doing homework,” she admits. “I don’t have time for all that other stuff.”
A former grocery store cashier, Covergirl fled frigid Philadelphia
for Atlanta after high school and hasn’t looked back in 7 years.
She believes the biggest difference between the two cities
is the mentality.
“In Philly, nobody is doing nothing with their lives. [In
Atlanta] at least people are trying,” she says. “I know
I’m gonna have a lot of challenges as a pediatrician,
but I’m not worried about that. I’ll just have to deal
with it when I get there.”
Words by Eric Perrin
Website: Strokersclub.com
Booking: myspace.com/strokersatl
Photography: DC The Brain Supreme
dcphotoimaging.com
Make up and Hair Styling by
Mike Mike 678-732-5285
28 // OZONE MAG
(above L-R): J Money & Meany of the Shop Boyz on the set of DJ Scream’s “On My Grind” video shoot in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Ms Rivercity); Glasses Malone & First Lady on the set
of his “Sun Come Up” video shoot in Miami, FL (Photo: J Lash); Maino & Big Kuntry @ Crucial for the CORE DJs Grand Hustle event in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Terrence Tyson)
01 // G Mack, Kim Ellis, & Acafool @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar (Atlanta, GA) 02 // Jessie Maguire & Willy Northpole @ the W for CORE DJs Retreat (Atlanta, GA)
03 // DJ Drama & Chill da Million Dollar Man (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Ray J & Freestyle Steve @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 05 // Spiff TV, DJ Nasty, The Incredibles, Bali, The Runners, & DJ
Khaled @ Mansion for Rick Ross’s “Deeper Than Rap” release party (Miami, FL) 06 // Glasses Malone & Haitian Fresh on the set of Glasses Malone’s “Sun Come Up” video shoot
(Miami, FL) 07 // Chaos & DJ Q45 @ Sobe Live for JB’s Miami Bday Bash (Miami, FL) 08 // 2 Pistols & Boy Wonder on the set of 2 Pistols’ “Lights Down Low” video shoot (Tampa,
FL) 09 // Sean Garrett, Catherine Brewton, & Lil Jon @ Esso for the BMI Urban Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 10 // DJ Montay & Dorrough (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Ike G Da, Ed the World
Famous, & DJ Nasty @ the W Hotel for the CORE DJs Retreat’s Def Jam Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 12 // DJ Scream, DJ Spinz, Shawty Lo, & Braski on the set of DJ Scream’s “On My
Grind” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Bizzle & guest @ Tabu for Dawgman’s Crunkfest (Orlando, FL) 14 // Kim Ellis & Rob Gold @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar (Atlanta, GA) 15 // DJ Dre & Ricochet @ Wet Willies (Fort Worth, TX) 16 // Lil Wil, Doughski G, & DJ Tiger @ K104 (Dallas, TX) 17 // Wayne Williams & Chaka Zulu @ Red Carpet Lanes
for the CORE DJs DTP bowling event (Atlanta, GA) 18 // Bibi Guns & DJ Nasty @ Esso for the BMI Urban Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 19 // Nino, Hot Boy Star, & Lady C @ Mambo’s for
Stephanie of 97.9’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 20 // Dorrough & DJ Dr Doom @ the W for CORE DJs Retreat (Atlanta, GA)
Photo Credits: Edward Hall (15,16,19); J Lash (06,07); Julia Beverly (04,05,08,09,11,18); Kingpin (03); Malik Abdul (13); Ms Rivercity (02,10,12,17,20); Terrence Tyson (01,14)
OZONE MAG // 29
S
hreveport, Louisiana native DJ HollyHood Bay Bay is one of the
most influential DJs in the country. Known as the inspiration
behind Hurricane Chris’ breakout single, “Ay Bay Bay,” and for his
ability to launch an artist’s career, Bay Bay attributes his success
to hard work and solid relationships. Currently an on-air personality on
Dallas’ K104, the self-proclaimed “Street A&R” who began as a dance
choreographer is witnessing his own career take off. Here, he tells his
story:
“I was the ambassador of the Ratchet City movement, born and raised in
Shreveport, Louisiana. Throughout the whole success of the “Ay Bay Bay”
record, situations happened that tried to set me back, but it was just minor
setbacks for a major comeback. After all the hype and success I was recruited to the number 4 [radio] station in the country, which is in Dallas, TX.
I’ve been in the industry for 11 years, but I’m actually not a DJ. I’m a motivational speaker; a person of influence. I got started as a dance choreographer for the band at Grambling State University. I did a year and a half there
and then I came back to help my alma mater, Fair Park High School’s band.
One day the announcer got sick, so they asked me to announce for the
band. Being the hype man for the band helped me with my speaking skills
and I became a real popular guy around town.
Whenever I went to the club, I would just walk in, the DJs would hand me
the microphone, and I would say shit that got everybody crunk. The club
owner noticed it, so I stopped doing it for free and they started paying me
for it. I was the guy that came in with all the energy and made people party.
This led me to radio, and soon I had the number one radio show on a 3000
watt station in Shreveport going up against a 60,000 watt station in Dallas.
Radio gave me the ability to give a lot of local love on the airwaves. The
[program directors] let me do whatever I wanted to do as long as the num-
30 // OZONE MAG
bers didn’t fall. Since I was in a small market I had a lot of freedom and a lot
of influence. Becoming a respected radio personality enabled me to build
and maintain good relationships with people in the industry.
The key to a good industry relationship is the same as with any relationship:
Always have communication and an open understanding. You have to do
what you say you’re gonna do, keep it as real as you can, and don’t promise
nobody nothing that you can’t deliver. If you can’t do it, just say you can’t
do it. If you do agree to do something and realize later that you can’t do,
call them and let them know you can’t do it. Accountability is important.
By building good relationships with A&Rs and people in high places, along
with me being able to break an unknown artist in both the club and on
radio, I really have a monopoly. I’ve used this situation to break several
artists. I’ve been responsible for breaking and launching Hurricane Chris,
The GS Boyz, Dorrough Music, and Lil Josh and Ernest outta Baton Rouge.
II think I’ve been very inspirational to most of the artists in the game. They
know who they are!
People always ask me about [the current situation with] me and Hurricane
Chris, and the thing about me and Chris, it’s like family. You gon’ have
disagreements as far as ups and downs. We haven’t spoken in a while, but
I stay in contact with his mom and his manager and I just know if I really
needed him he’d be there for me and I’d be there for him. It’s just two
people that have egos—but I don’t have that big of an ego where I would
let it end a friendship.
Before I go, I gotta shout out Big Poppa, KP, Wild Yella, Baby 3, Blitz, T.O.B,
Lil Six, TNT, T-Willz, Dazasta, Big Chief, D-Bo. I mess with the underdogs, the
people who ain’t got it, because we’re trying to change people’s lives.”
As told to Eric Perrin // Photo by Eric Perrin
(above L-R): Mack Maine & Bow Wow @ Phillips Arena for Birthday Bash in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly); Al Sharpton & Young Jeezy @ Hot 97 Summer Jam in New York, NY
(Photo: Thaddaeus McAdams); Wendy Day reppin’ Big Meech @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Terrence Tyson)
01 // Diamond & guest @ Esso for the BMI Urban Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 02 // Cory Mo & DJ T-Roc on the set of DJ Scream’s “On My Grind” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 03 // Big
Tuck & ladies @ Club Flow for Trina concert (Dallas, TX) 04 // Yung Ralph & Skoolboy @ Fox Sports Grill for Yung Ralph’s Big Cat Records signing party (Atlanta, GA) 05 // FLY
& ladies @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 06 // Slim & Dre on the set of 2 Pistols’ “Lights Down Low” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 07 // Maino & Devi Dev @ Crucial for the CORE DJs Grand
Hustle event (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Candy & Tony Neal @ Young Cash’s birthday party (Atlanta, GA) 09 // Ricco Barrino & Yung LA on the set of Yung LA’s “Futuristic Love” (Atlanta,
GA) 10 // Lil Jon, DJ Trauma, & Bryan Michael Cox @ Esso for the BMI Urban Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 11 // DJ Rip & Jarvis @ Justin’s for The CORE DJs Bad Boy event (Atlanta, GA)
12 // Sweetness & Bigga Rankin @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar (Atlanta, GA) 13 // TMR Models, Glasses Malone, Baby, & Mack 10 on the set of Glasses Malone’s
“Sun Come Up” video shoot (Miami, FL) 14 // Bama & Meany @ Club Mariachi (Atlanta, GA) 15 // Paul Wall & Ms Rita @ 97.9 The Beat car show (Dallas, TX) 16 // DJ Lil E, Lady C, &
JuJu of Fam Life @ Ju Ju’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 17 // J-Kash & Big Chief @ Mambo’s for Stephanie of 97.9’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 18 // Papa Duck & Bali @ Skye Nightclub
(Tampa, FL) 19 // Juggie & DJ Finesse @ Justin’s for the CORE DJs Bad Boy event (Atlanta, GA) 20 // Young Cash & Grand Prix @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 21 // Uncle Luke & porn
stars @ Cameo (Miami, FL)
Photo Credits: Devon Buckner (04); Edward Hall (03,16,17); J Lash (05,13,21); Julia Beverly (01,06,10,11,19); Luis Santana (18); Malik Abdul (08); Ms Rivercity (02,09,14,20);
Terrence Tyson (07,12); Tre Dubb (15)
OZONE MAG // 31
Patiently
Waiting
F
or years, the term “Zoe” has been used as an expression of
endearment amongst people of Haitian decent. But according to
Florida rookie Black Dada, his breakthrough single “I’mma Zoe”
is more than a song that pertains to his Haitian roots. It’s a song
that can represent anyone that’s been through a struggle. “If you’re somebody that’s been through a lot, and has still been able to overcome, no
matter what it was, you’re a Zoe,” the singer explains. “Being that we were
considered as slaves first, we were able to overcome all of that, and be on
top, where in a sense, we run the US, when it was something that people
thought it’d never happen. But that’s what a Zoe is, what [Barack] Obama
did. But at the same time it’s a Haitian root word.”
Long before our president was Black, Dada was born in Haiti’s capital city,
Port-au-Prince. His father, a welder, and mother, a nurse aide, first left Haiti
when Dada was five-years-old and two years later, their family relocated to
Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Growing up, Dada’s love for music and singing in
the church choir lead the Broward County vocalist to pursue a career in music. He began performing throughout South Florida, and built relationships
with artists like Ace Hood, Rick Ross, Ball Greezy and Iconz Music.
32 // OZONE MAG
Once Florida’s Haiti community caught wind of “I’mma Zoe,” his single
quickly became a Haitian anthem throughout the Sunshine State. Dada
signed with Miami indie label Strictly Business Records (also home to
standout Miami rapper Redd Eyez), and due to his single’s continued
growth, coupled with a winning Wild Out Wednesday performance on
BET’s 106 & Park, major labels started calling. Universal, Atlantic, Def Jam
and Warner Bros. all showed interest, but in the end Dada inked a deal with
Universal Republic.
He’s currently working on his debut album, tentatively titled, F.L.A. (First
Love and Addiction), and with all eyes on Black Dada, the Florida neophyte
is aiming to use the attention to unite the state that raised him. “I want
to rep Florida to the fullest,” he says. “I wanna start a Florida movement,
instead of Dade County [and] Broward County. We need to merge the shit
together and make it big, and become the next New York and Atlanta.” Zoes
and Floridian citizens should be proud.
Words by Randy Roper
Photo by David Rosario
(above L-R): Sean Garrett & Lil Jon @ Esso for BMI Urban Showcase in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly); Dancer reppin’ OZONE @ Stiletto’s in Euless, TX (Photo: Edward Hall);
Young Dro & Maino @ Crucial for the CORE DJs Grand Hustle event in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Terrence Tyson)
01 // Lil Wil & DJ Bigg V @ DSU (Cleveland, MS) 02 // Paco, DJ Lil E, & Turro @ Ju Ju’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 03 // Sherrie & Tamiko Hope @ Johnnie Cabbell’s TV show launch
party (Atlanta, GA) 04 // J Kash & Big Chief @ Mambo’s (Dallas, TX) 05 // Fredo & JuJu of Fam Life @ Club Flow for Trina concert (Dallas, TX) 06 // Gucci Poochie, Rick Ross, &
Masspike Miles @ Karu & Y for Rick Ross’s birthday party (Miami, FL) 07 // DJ Christion, Cool & Dre, 2 Pistols, & Young Joe on the set of 2 Pistols’ “Lights Down Low” video shoot
(Tampa, FL) 08 // Red Cafe, Akon, & Tony Neal @ Justin’s for the CORE DJs Bad Boy event (Atlanta, GA) 09 // Stephanie & BC @ Mambo’s for Stephanie of 97.9’s birthday bash
(Dallas, TX) 10 // Bigga Rankin, G Mack, & Lil Cali @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Colione, Ms Rivercity, & Rook @ Hot Beats (Atlanta, GA)
12 // Matt Daniels & 2 Pistols on the set of 2 Pistols’ “Lights Down Low” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 13 // DJ Magic, Trina, & JuJu of Fam Life @ Club Flow for Trina concert (Dallas, TX)
14 // DJ Rip, Devi Dev, & Roccett @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar (Atlanta, GA) 15 // Kiki J & Pookie from UrbanSouth @ K104 (Dallas, TX) 16 // Hen Roc & Shawn
Prez @ Justin’s for The CORE DJs Bad Boy event (Atlanta, GA) 17 // Big Hood Boss & Tum Tum @ Tini Bar for Dorrough’s signing party (Dallas, TX)
Photo Credits: Edward Hall (01,02,04,05,09,13,15,17); J Lash (06); Julia Beverly (07,08,12); Malik Abdul (03); Ms Rivercity (11); Terrence Tyson (10,14,16)
OZONE MAG // 33
Patiently
Waiting
A
lthough Tampa has become known as the homeland of “jook”
music, Tampa resident and Orlando native Javon Black doesn’t
want to be categorized solely as a “jook” artist. “I do jook records
for other artists, but it’s not something that I do personally,” the
rising singer/songwriter says of the upbeat blend of Hip Hop, bass, reggae
and dancehall music. “It is good music, [but] my style is like old school R&B,
with a new school feel.”
Black’s interest in music began around the year 2000. As a big fan of the
R&B group Dru Hill, he witnessed the solo success of the group’s lead singer
Sisqó, and figured, “if someone like that can do it, then, hey, maybe I can
do it.” With that, he began studying the art of music—singing, songwriting,
and producing. He later departed Orlando for the city of Tampa, where he
enrolled in college at the International Academy of Design & Technology,
majoring in recording arts & sciences.
Not long after moving to Tampa, he met Lil Kee, a local producer/rapper.
The two began collaborating, and Black soon signed to Kee’s company,
KeeZone Productions. Their key collaborative effort came in the single
“Shawty Tear It Up,” which caught fire in Tampa. Before they knew it, the
single was spinning in every club and urban radio station in Central Florida.
34 // OZONE MAG
“Kee heard [‘Shawty Tear It Up’] the first time, and he said, ‘I don’t think this
track will be that [big],’ Black recalls. “We played it at a club one night, and
everyone started vibing to it. Ever since then it took off.”
The single did more than take off. With this year’s NFL Super Bowl taking
place in Tampa, the buzz in the city surrounding the record was enough to
garner attention of record executives and music industry insiders vacationing the town for the weekend’s festivities, which ultimately landed Black
and KeeZone Entertainment a deal with Universal Republic. In addition,
Miami rapper/singer Sean Kingston reached out recorded a remix to the
record with Black.
Now that his major label deal is secured, and his yet to be titled debut
album is in the works, Black is primed to put himself, KeeZone and Jook
City on the map. And although he doesn’t want to be pigeonholed as a
jook artist, he does understand his role in his region’s movement. “It’s a
big Jook City movement right now,” he says. “It’s a real smooth flavor, from
Miami back down to Tampa, it’s real big. So, hopefully this year, people will
start realizing that jook music is music that you can vibe to, party to, dance
to.” We’ll jook to that.
Words by Randy Roper
y
(above L-R): Hurricane Chris & Cassidy @ Sobe Live in Miami, FL; T-Pain & Ace Hood on the set of “Overtime” in Miami, FL (Photos: J Lash); 2 Pistols pourin’ some Hennessy for
C-Ride on the set of 2 Pistols’ “Lights Down Low” video shoot in Tampa, FL (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // DJ Khaled, Manny Halley, Bryan Michael Cox, guest, Lil Jon, Bishop of Crunk, & DJ Trauma @ Esso for the BMI Urban Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 02 // Roccett, 211, & Traxamillion @ Justin’s for The CORE DJs Bad Boy event (Atlanta, GA) 03 // Slim, 2 Pistols, & Rage on the set of 2 Pistols’ “Lights Down Low” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 04 // Drumma Boy &
DJ Trauma @ Luckie Lounge for DJ Trauma’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 05 // Director Peter Spirer & Trick Daddy on the set of the movie “Just Another Day” (Orlando, FL)
06 // VIC & Gravy @ Esso for BMI Urban Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Pretty Ricky & Ray J @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 08 // OZONE crew Malik Abdul, Kenny Brewer, Kerisha Smith,
Kisha Smith, Eric Perrin, Tasha Heran, Mz Skittles, & Julia Beverly @ Luckie Lounge for JB’s ATL Bday Party (Atlanta, GA) 09 // DJ Princess Cut & friends @ Crucial for the CORE DJs
Grand Hustle event (Atlanta, GA) 10 // Maguire, Mickey Factz, Ms Rivercity, & Devi Dev @ Def Jam Showcase during the CORE DJs Retreat (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Mr CC & David @
UCF Arena for DJ Prostyle’s birthday bash (Orlando, FL) 12 // Ladies @ CORE Models pool party (Atlanta, GA) 13 // The Package Store @ Esso for the BMI Urban Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 14 // Green Lantern & Jason Geter @ Esso for the BMI Urban Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 15 // Bryan Michael Cox & DJ Khaled @ Esso for the BMI Urban Showcase (Atlanta,
GA) 16 // JT tha Bigga Figga & Ms Rivercity @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar (Atlanta, GA) 17 // 2 Pistols, Young Joe, & C-Ride on the set of 2 Pistols’ “Lights Down
Low” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 18 // Cassie & Shawn Prez @ Justin’s for The CORE DJs Bad Boy event (Atlanta, GA) 19 // Bertell & Trey Songz @ Esso for the BMI Urban Showcase
(Atlanta, GA)
Photo Credits: Devon Buckner (04); Eric Perrin (08); Julia Beverly (01,02,03,06,07,13,14,15,17,18,19); Lawrence Odum (05); Malik Abdul (11); Ms Rivercity (10); Terrence Tyson
(09,12,16)
OZONE MAG // 35
I
nitially just a group of “swagged up kids
in school,” the Rich Kids (Khaelub, Baby
Charles, Skateboard Skooley, Shad and
June) became a rap group less than a year
ago. That may not be a long time by most people’s
standards, but when you’re gifted with a mix of
entertaining personalities, word spreads quickly.
The group soon found a home with Grand Hustle
Records.
“We started rapping like 8 months ago,” Khaelub
says. “We were already in the studio, but we were
just playing around and never thought about rappin’. ‘What’s Up’ was the first song we recorded.”
A week after finishing “What’s Up,” the group
recorded “My Partna ‘Dem” with Young Dro, giving
The Rich Kids two instant hits in Atlanta.
Their mesh of sounds, fun energy, and signature
dance moves made them most requested in their
hometown, both in the clubs and on the radio.
Skooley, the Rich Kids’ youngest member and hook
singer, explains their fast rise to fame. “Not being
big-headed,” he says, “but as more experienced
people told us how big we were gonna be, the
more we felt the same way.”
Currently working on a mixtape with DJs Southanbred and Infamous titled Money Swagg, which is
also the name of their dance, The Rich Kids are still
in the development stages. KT, their manager and
longtime Grand Hustle affiliate, says, “We’re working on getting the records in rotation, working on
this mixtape, and getting the paperwork right.”
With all the pieces falling into place, the records
are starting to make their way into other markets
like Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and South Carolina, making The Rich Kids regional celebrities. It’s
an experience the boys are more than appreciative
of. “I’ve been in the club before, but I ain’t never
been in the club like a star,” Shad explains. “It gave
me a better feeling about myself. I hope for much
success in the future, and money.”
“I really love doing this,” Baby Charles adds. “I love
going to the studio and doing the shows and stuff.
We doing this for y’all.”
Their energetic spirits have gotten them a long
way thus far, and everyone is looking at the Rich
Kids as the next big trend in Atlanta. “They are
very talented and what they are doing hasn’t been
done in a long time,” concludes KT. “They bring a
lot of energy to the stage and in the booth. They
some dang characters for real; that’s what we’re
selling. They’ve got what it takes.”
Words by Ms Rivercity
Photo by Devon Buckner
36 // OZONE MAG
Patiently
Waiting
(above L-R): TI & Tiny @ Crucial for the CORE DJs Grand Hustle event in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Paul Wall @ The Loft in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Ms Rivercity); Playboy Tre @
Crucial for the CORE DJs Grand Hustle event in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Terrence Tyson)
01 // DJ Dave & Tity Boy of Playaz Circle @ Luckie Lounge for DJ Trauma’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 02 // Jermaine Dupri @ Magic City (Atlanta, GA) 03 // Zaytoven @ The CORE
DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Lo Fat @ Johnnie Cabbell’s TV show launch party (Atlanta, GA) 05 // Young Dro @ Crucial for the CORE DJs Grand Hustle
event (Atlanta, GA) 06 // Yashi @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 07 // Bishop of Crunk @ Luckie Lounge for DJ Trauma’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 08 // DJ Koolaid @
Plush (Jacksonville, FL) 09 // Total Kaos & ladies @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 10 // Twaun Pledger & guest @ Ear to Da Street music conference (Birmingham, AL)
11 // Alfamega @ Crucial for the CORE DJs Grand Hustle event (Atlanta, GA) 12 // M16 @ Ear to Da Street music conference (Birmingham, AL) 13 // JW & Boo da Boss Playa @
Luckie Lounge for DJ Trauma’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 14 // Big Chief on the set of Big Hood Boss’s video shoot (Dallas, TX) 15 // Carol City Cartel @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s
(Tallahassee, FL) 16 // Atiba @ UCF Arena for DJ Prostyle’s birthday bash (Orlando, FL) 17 // Rico Brooks @ UCF Arena for DJ Prostyle’s birthday bash (Orlando, FL) 18 // DJ 151 @
The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 19 // Kevin Shine & DJ Dave @ the Hot Block Awards (Atlanta, GA) 20 // Physha P & Kim Ellis @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar
(Atlanta, GA) 21 // Purrdy Girls & Strizzy @ the W Hotel for the CORE DJs Retreat’s Def Jam Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 22 // Keinon Johnson @ Luckie Lounge for DJ Trauma’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 23 // Southern Syrup DVD @ Tailgate Park (Jacksonville, FL) 24 // Sweetness & TJ Chapman @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar (Atlanta, GA)
25 // Bruck Up @ UCF Arena for DJ Prostyle’s birthday bash (Orlando, FL) 26 // T Rose & Chelsie @ Ear to Da Street music conference (Birmingham, AL) 27 // Mob Boss & ladies
@ Tailgate Park (Jacksonville, FL) 28 // DJ Dr Doom, Hen Roc, & DJ Impact @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar (Atlanta, GA) 29 // Chase Pat, Bruce Wayne, & Rico @
Stankofa for the Stop the Violence event (Dallas, TX) 30 // JoSki Love & guest @ Ear to Da Street music conference (Birmingham, AL) 31 // Guest & Vawn @ Luckie Lounge for DJ
Trauma’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 32 // DJ Holiday & DJ Trauma @ Luckie Lounge for DJ Trauma’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 33 // Geter K @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 34 // DJ White Chocolate @ 97.9 The Beat car show (Dallas, TX) 35 // Mic Wrecka & Big Will of Mentally Sedated @ Club Inferno (Killeen, TX)
Photo Credits: Devon Buckner (01,07,13,19,22,31,32); Edward Hall (29); Julia Beverly (21); Malik Abdul (04,06,09,10,12,15,16,17,18,23,25,26,27,30,33); Ms Ja (02); Ms Rivercity
(08,14); Terrence Tyson (03,05,11,20,24,28); Tre Dubb (34,35)
OZONE MAG // 37
N
ew Corporate Thugz Entertainment
signee JW has already made an impression on both his co-workers and even
some of his fans.
“They think I’m crazy,” says the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
native, with an intensity in his eyes rivaling 2Pac’s
“I am crazy” scene from Juice. “But I’m blessed. They
think I’m crazy when I talk like this, about God all
the time. But I have to talk like this. If I don’t I’m not
being true to who I am. God gave me this vision, and
I’d be wrong if I don’t mention that. I know what it is.
I’ve only been rapping a year and a half. I’d be wrong
to say my name is buzzing in Florida only because of
me. Big up to God.”
Powered by his street single “Baik At It” and his guest
appearance on Young Jeezy’s “Biggest Movie Ever,”
JW’s current mixtape series Get It From the Muscle
is more chest-pounding than bible-thumping, but
he makes sure his music is as honest as possible. So
yes, you will hear him talk legal problems he had a
decade ago and the lavish lifestyle he lives now. But
you will also hear him talk about earning a football
scholarship to Auburn University and graduating
from Illinois State University with a degree in business.
“When you see people’s mixtape or album covers,
they’re standing there with money, dope, guns and
scales,” JW sighs. “Mine is just me. You’re gonna hear
my life situations. I’m from the hood and I’ve been
through good and hard things like everybody else. I
just want to be a voice and relate to the people.”
While his speaking voice may remind you of Trick
Daddy, JW’s fiery vocal inflection on his records
immediately kill any impending comparisons. The
excitement may stem from the fact that JW has only
been rapping for a short time, leaving him with
plenty of untapped energy to get out when in the
booth. In fact, the entire first volume of Get It From
the Muscle were comprised of the first recordings
he’d ever made. Every song he’s done up to this
point is the soundtrack of his life.
“No disrespect to any rappers and I hope no one
takes this the wrong way, but I’m not a rapper,” he
says. “I’m more like a preacher. This shit comes from
my heart. I’m not one to say ‘Give me a beat and I’ma
kill it.’ I’m confident that I could, but my shit has to
make sense. It has to be something the people can
relate to. The beats tell me what to say.”
He adds, “Don’t get me wrong, I respect the Hip Hop
culture. I have to. I can’t lie and say that I indulged
in it for years, because I haven’t. But I am growing
with it.”
Words by Maurice G. Garland
Photo by Terrence Tyson
38 // OZONE MAG
Patiently
Waiting
(above L-R): Neechie & Spark Dawg @ All Pro Studios in Jacksonville, FL (Photo: Ms Rivercity); Jeremih @ Luckie Lounge for DJ Trauma’s Birthday Bash in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Devon
Buckner); Maino @ UCF Arena for DJ Prostyle’s birthday bash in Orlando, FL (Photo: Malik Abdul)
01 // Ray J @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 02 // Lyfe Jennings @ Crucial for the CORE DJs Grand Hustle event (Atlanta, GA) 03 // DJ G Mack @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Midget Mac & Duval crew @ Bourbon St Station (Jacksonville, FL) 05 // Unladylike @ Luckie Lounge for DJ Trauma’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA)
06 // Lil Scrappy @ Platinum 21 (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Pretty Ricky @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 08 // Acafool @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar (Atlanta, GA)
09 // Keisha @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 10 // Yung Ralph @ Fox Sports Grill for Yung Ralph’s Big Cat Records signing party (Atlanta, GA) 11 // DJ Smallz & Ms Honey
Siccle @ Ms Honey Siccle’s release party (Oklahoma City, OK) 12 // DJ Ace & DJ Teknikz @ Fox Sports Grill for Yung Ralph’s Big Cat Records signing party (Atlanta, GA)
13 // T Rose & Butta @ Ear to Da Street music conference (Birmingham, AL) 14 // Gorilla Zoe & Shawn Prez @ UCF Arena for DJ Prostyle’s birthday bash (Orlando, FL) 15 //
Honee & Malik Abdul @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 16 // Johnnie Cabbell @ Johnnie Cabbell’s TV show launch party (Atlanta, GA) 17 // MLK @ Luckie Lounge for DJ
Trauma’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 18 // Jessica Rochelle, Teddy T, & Miss Ricki @ The CORE DJs Retreat In The Know Seminar (Atlanta, GA) 19 // Tina, Kiki J, & Ebony J on the
set of Big Hood Boss’s video shoot (Dallas, TX) 20 // Mr Vegas @ UCF Arena for DJ Prostyle’s birthday bash (Orlando, FL) 21 // Shane of Cool Runnings @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s
(Tallahassee, FL) 22 // Arab @ 97.9 The Beat car show (Dallas, TX) 23 // Black-Jackk @ Kalyko’s Video Shoot (Cincinnati, OH) 24 // DJ King Ron @ Bourbon St Station (Jacksonville,
FL) 25 // Young Capone @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 26 // Turro & John 20 @ Richmind Records party (Dallas, TX) 27 // Jackie Chain & guest @ Crucial for the CORE
DJs Grand Hustle event (Atlanta, GA) 28 // Don Cannon & DJ Infamous @ Luckie Lounge for DJ Trauma’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 29 // Calico Jonez & guest @ Ear to Da Street
music conference (Birmingham, AL) 30 // B Luck @ Kalyko’s Video Shoot (Cincinnati, OH) 31 // Spectacular @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 32 // Ceasar, Que P, & Bigg
Buck @ Richmind Records party (Dallas, TX) 33 // DJ Demp @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 34 // Chop Chop @ Ms Honey Siccle’s release party (Oklahoma City, OK)
35 // Big Nick & Cole @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL)
Photo Credits: Devon Buckner (05,10,12,17,28); Edward Hall (11,19,26,32,34); Judy Jones (23,30); Julia Beverly (01); Malik Abdul (06,07,09,13,14,15,16,20,21,25,29,31,33,35);
Terrence Tyson (02,03,04,08,18,24,27); Tre Dubb (22)
OZONE MAG // 39
W
hen the So Icey brand name comes
to mind, off top you probably think of
Gucci Mane, followed by newcomer
OJ da Juiceman. Now there is another
So Icey offspring growing in the South – Waka Flocka
Flame. Taken under Gucci’s wing to learn the ropes,
Waka surprised himself with how easily he took to the
sport of rapping.
“Gucci showed me how to rap. He said, ‘Bro, dis shit
easy.’ I just listened to what my boy said, and this shit is
easy. I been rappin’ for like a year now.”
Though he claims it’s been easy, Waka may not realize
how difficult it is for the average rapper to collect a
fanbase his size, especially in such a short amount of
time. With the release of his first mixtape earlier this
year, the 23-year-old quickly found out his forte was
with the female audience.
“I’ve got more girl fans than anything,” he claims. “I’ve
got a song called ‘Down Ass Girl’ and I was just playin’
[when I made that song] but they liked that a lot. That’s
like the #1 song on the mixtape.”
The entire mixtape was recorded in a week, and during
that week Waka created several hits: “Down Ass Girl,”
“Dreads and Golds,” and his current club record, “O
Let’s Do It.” The latter song has increased his scope of
listeners and made him one to follow in the streets of
Atlanta.
Self-described as a mix between Eazy E, Lil Jon, and Gucci Mane, Waka’s goal with music is to get people crunk
and make girls dance. Sounds simple enough, but it’s a
far different goal than what he might have had growing up. Originally from New York, Waka relocated to
Riverdale, GA when he was 9 years old, over a decade
before his music profession materialized.
“Swear to God, I liked drug dealers and basketball players when I was growing up,” Waka says of his childhood
role models. “It was either sell drugs or play basketball.”
But now an entirely different set of doors has been
opened for him, and he feels it’s important to let others
experience his life through lyrics. “It’s just a struggle.
You gotta make people believe in what you went
through in life. You gotta emphasize that and make
them feel it, and at the same time make it entertaining.”
With a clear purpose behind his music, Waka is presently working on the double-disc sequel to his debut
project. He’s also contributing to the 1017 Brick Squad
mixtape, a group which consists of Gucci Mane, OJ da
Juiceman, Waka, Wooh the Kid, Frenchie, and more.
“We’re like the new N.W.A,” Waka says. And even while
comparing his labelmates to the legendary group,
Waka explains why he does so well as a solo artist. “I’m
in my own lane, I’m rapping my own way, doin’ my own
thang. I guess the shit I say touched so many people
that they fuck with me.”
Words by Ms Rivercity
Photo by Donna Permell
40 // OZONE MAG
OZONE MAG // 41
WORDS BY MAURICE G. GARLAND
PHOTOS BY DAVID ROSARIO
42 // OZONE MAG
Ace Hood is en route from Indianapolis, Indiana to Atlanta, Georgia, on his way to
grace the stage at the annual Birthday Bash concert that is pretty much known as
the Summer Jam of the South. Currently passing through Memphis, Ace sounds tired,
but refuses to let the cousin of death whisper in his ear. Why should he? Staying
awake is what got him discovered by DJ Khaled. Staying awake is what got him signed
to Def Jam. Staying awake is what’s blessed him with the opportunity to follow up his
debut album, 2008’s Gutta, with his sophomoric effort Ruthless less than a year later.
Ozone caught up with fiery Floridian to find out how life has been since he’s gotten
some “Cash Flow.”
During your campaign for Gutta you hit the road heavy. What have you
been up to since then?
I’ve just been grinding on this tour, letting people get to know Ace Hood
as a person. That’s why I took the route I did with this album, to show my
growth.
Yeah, the video was about grinding. But we didn’t want the video to be a
traditional grind, being on the block, shooting dice. We didn’t want to make
a typical video, I wanted to provide hope. Throwing money isn’t what we
needed for this video. So I wanted to show the youth an academic grind, an
athletic grind, show them that they can be victorious.
What kind of growth will you be showing on this album? Many new artist
don’t really get to do all that they want on their debut albums so the
second one is where they get to have a little more control.
With this album, there’s just a lot more personal records. I got to do a lot of
records of my strength and not relying on a lot of people. I have features
but it’s mostly me.
This time around there isn’t a big “Florida movement” as your album
drops. Granted, artists like Plies, T-Pain, Rick Ross, etc are still putting out
music, but it seems to be more on an individual basis at this point. What
are you anticipating as you come back out in this new climate?
Just more love, man, and a better response. I look forward to people talking
me more seriously this time. The first time people didn’t know where I came
from or know too much about who I was. As far as the album goes, I have
a crazy record with Jeremih, it’s a next level “Ride.” I got a lot of hot street
records too. I have a song called “Born an OG” with Ludacris on it. I got a
record with The Dream and one with Lloyd. The album goes hard. I’m trying
to show that this ain’t just music, it’s a celebration. When you open the CD,
you’ll see where I came from and where I got to. I didn’t build me by being
a nice guy. //
As far as you as an artist, the general consensus so far has been that you
rap hard as hell, but don’t say much.
That’s what I’m saying. That’s why I portray more of myself with this Ruthless
album. Gutta was the introduction. People asked me why I rapped so hard.
I was so excited to represent my city, my hood, plus I was excited to be on
Def Jam, so I was going hard. I’m getting ‘em every time I open my mouth.
Even in my interviews, if Khaled said, “Get ‘em, Ace,” I’m getting ‘em.
So this time I wanted to portray my personality more on this album,
the type of person I really am. Ruthless will show people why I go as
hard as I do.
What kind of person are you really? Because to let photos and
videos tell it, the first thing we see is the “We The Best” chain
which makes you look flashy by default.
Before that situation, I was a low key dude. I still am now. People
interview me and be like, “Why don’t we hear anything crazy about
you?” I know how to turn it on and off. I’ve always been low key, but
when I got the chain, I was like, “Okay, it’s time to get it in. I have to
portray [myself as] a star.” But it’s for TV. It’s what people want to see
for entertainment. I leave that on the stage though. Outside of that
I’m a low key dude.
Had you ever left your town before you started traveling as an
artist?
I stayed around my parts. If I did leave the city it was only an hour
away, if anything. So when I started hitting the road, it was crazy
going to other cities and seeing how they do it. Seeing the differences in people. I didn’t know what was going on, it was crazy in
the beginning, but they were showing love. I felt like I had more in
common with people than I had differences. I saw how my music
touched people in Chicago and places like that. It’s big. Anytime
people love you, it’s big. They’re checking for good music, at the
end of the day. It’s big to have that anticipation.
Has the experience of traveling to new cities affected how you
make your music nowadays?
It just lets me know that people have love for me. People 15, 16
hours outside my city know who I am. So I just take those experiences and incorporate it in my music. Staying in tune to the recession situation and stuff like that. So find out what goes on in every
city and try to incorporate that into my music.
How do you find that balance between rapping about enjoying
the good life but still relating to the fans who aren’t?
One thing that keeps me at that level is, I know it ain’t all about the
jewelry. I’m trying to let people in the ‘hood know I’m just like them,
I want to let them know that we relate. I feed off being able to relate
to people instead of flashing jewelry in their face. I’ve been through
the poverty just like them.
Your video for “Overtime” has that kind of feel to it in a way. It
showed regular people doing regular things like trying out for
football and studying to get into college.
OZONE MAG // 43
WORDS BY JULIA BEVERLY
PHOTO BY Mike Schreiber
How does this life that you’re living now compare to what you envisioned for yourself back
in the day when you were locked down? Did
you ever see yourself getting to this position?
I’m a miracle baby, Julia. I’ve dreamed of this.
I’m living a dream. Anytime you can take a dude
that spent half his life in prison and make it
to the position I’m in now, it’s amazing. I don’t
wanna take it for granted. I don’t wanna underappreciate it. And to be honest with you, there’s
no words that can even describe how I really feel.
You know what I mean? Every day I wake up and
feel blessed. I feel like, man, this is unbelievable
for me to be here right now. Especially when I
think back on the life I was living and think about
where I come from and what I’ve been involved
in. So for me to be here and see people react - to
see that I have fans out there and people that are
interested in me – it’s bananas.
In the Hip Hop community, having a prison
background is almost like a plus – it gives you
credibility. Do you feel like the time you spent
locked up was necessary in order for you to
get into the position you are now, or get in the
mindframe where you were able to turn your
life around?
Sometimes you have to go through hell to get to
heaven. If I didn’t go to prison I wouldn’t be here
rapping right now because I started rapping
in jail. I never rapped before that. I never had a
dream of being a rapper; it never crossed my
mind to even write a rhyme. It was because I was
in jail and I had time and had nothing to do. I
started to write out of boredom, and then I loved
to do it. After a while I decided I wanted to come
out and take it seriously. So, me being here is a
direct result of going to jail.
What do you think you’d be doing if you hadn’t
gone to jail?
I’m afraid of that thought.
It probably would’ve been a worse scenario?
Oh, definitely. I come from that mentality of
people who feel like they’re going to be in the
streets for the rest of their lives. There’s no real
difference between me and the dudes you see in
the streets that are hustling and getting money
in and out of jail. It’s just that when I did go to
jail I had a revelation. I don’t even know [how]; it
had to be divine for me to be here. You have to
understand, when I was in jail I always thought
I was gonna go home and do the same thing I
had been doing. It didn’t matter if they locked
me up for ten years or twenty years, I was gonna
go home and continue doing what I had been
doing. I wasn’t learning anything in prison. I was
just there, you know?
What made you ultimately decide to go a more
positive route?
After seeing what Biggie had done and what
[Lil] Kim had done, I felt like I was close to it. I
44 // OZONE MAG
felt like, man, if people I know can get on and
become rappers, maybe I could too. I have that
type of hustler mentality and that type of drive.
I decided to give it a try and if it didn’t work, I
could always fall back on the streets anyway. The
streets ain’t going nowhere so I felt like I didn’t
have anything to lose by trying, you understand?
When you did make the decision to go the
music route, did things happen faster or
slower than you expected? A lot of people
start rapping and think they’re going to have
immediate success and blow up overnight, but
it doesn’t always happen that way.
I guess it’s a combination of both, but for the
most part I felt like it was kinda quick. I came
back home [from prison] in 2003 and a year and
a half later I was signed to a major label. So that
was quick. My career didn’t actually pop off at
that point [in 2005] but I was signed, so I felt like
I was making progress. That was good enough
for me to continue to do it. If there wasn’t any
progress being made, I would’ve left [the rap
game] a long time ago.
You were with Universal at the time, right? Why
didn’t that situation work out, and how did you
end up at Atlantic?
Bottom line, I guess [Sylvia Rhone] didn’t think
I could work [as an artist]. They let me go. They
dropped me, but I didn’t have a problem being
dropped. I felt like it was her loss.
That wasn’t discouraging for you to get
dropped from the label? You didn’t feel like it
was a setback?
Nah, not at all. At that point, that was the best
thing that could’ve happened to me. Gene
Nelson, who I had already became close with
throughout the whole Kim era, had just been
[appointed to] an executive A&R position [at
Atlantic]. I wanted to be around people who I
knew cared about me. I wasn’t getting that type
of attention at Universal, so when I heard they
were potentially considering dropping me, I was
like, “Aight. Let’s get it poppin’.
Around the time you were first buzzing there
were a lot of expectations placed on artists like
yourself, Papoose, and Saigon, as far as being
“the one” to bring New York back. From what
we’ve seen so far, it hasn’t really happened like
that. Do you look at yourself as having moreso
an individual movement, or do you feel like
the New York movement is still coming behind
you?
We’ve got to be honest. Those things you’re
saying, I’ma have to agree with you. There was a
time when those individuals were named, and
let’s not act like their time is still here. You know
what I mean? When it came time to put out hit
records and all that, I feel like I was the only one
able to make that transition. And that’s not me
taking shots at anybody.
The T-Pain hook didn’t hurt either. (laughs)
Naw, it didn’t. But that was after “Hi Hater.” [The
record with] T-Pain wasn’t my first joint. I came
in the game with “Hi Hater,” which was just me
on the hook and the verses by myself. No big
producer, no nothing. That opened up the doors
for me so I was able to come back with [features
and producers from artists like] T-Pain and Swizz
Beatz. I had already made the introduction. As far
as the New York movement, I feel like there are
opportunities for everybody to get in the game.
It comes down to making good music. To me,
as long as you can make some great music, the
more the merrier. I don’t think one man can do
it on his own, and I never professed to being the
dude [to bring New York back].
Do you think it’s the music, or more the mentality of New York artists?
It’s a little bit of both. It’s the attitude and the
music. It’s the way we think. As long as you think
you don’t need a hook in your music, I mean, the
people around you have gotta be honest with
you. I’ma tell you right now, Julia, there’s never
gonna be a time you hear a whack Maino record.
You may not love [a record] as much as you
loved the one before, but you’ll never be able to
say I’m whack.
Tell us about your album, If Tomorrow Comes.
Of course everybody has heard the single “All
The Above,” but tell us about some of the more
personal cuts you have on the album.
Aw, man. My new album is great. Shout out to
the people that bought my album. It’s an album
about my life. I just told my story from beginning
to end. I came out of prison with a plan, I went
through the trials and tribulations of just trying
to exist. I was a street nigga trying to be a rapper,
you understand? That was very hard making that
transition. That was probably the hardest thing
in the world for me to do. I got a joint on there
called “Remember My Name.” From the feedback
I’m getting, that’s a favorite. A lot of people like
“Runaway Slave.” I don’t do it for me, you know?
I do it for the people, so I [judge] the records
off the feedback. I go back to the lab with that
feedback, and so far, it’s been great.
Were you happy with your first week numbers?
I’ll tell you what: I couldn’t do much with 45,000
[copies] in stores, you feel me?
What are you saying, the label didn’t ship as
many copies as they were supposed to?
I’m not gonna say who did what and who didn’t
do nothing, because at the end of the day it is
what it is. I’m a miracle baby regardless of my
first week numbers. I was an inmate just a couple
years ago. I didn’t have fans, I had [correctional
officers] telling me what to do and looking in the
crack of my ass. I’m just giving you the raw facts.
I’m not pointing the blame at nobody. I’m just
letting you know that I couldn’t do much [sales-
wise] with 45,000 [units] in the stores nationally.
Obviously the industry has changed and nobody’s really doing the numbers that they’d
like to be doing. I guess the emphasis is more
on the digital sales?
Let’s not act like we don’t wanna sell records.
We do. But at the same time, look at the odds of
even getting to this point. It’s hard enough just
to get to a position to get signed and to actually come out with an album. So my whole thing
is, whether I sell one copy or one million copies,
it’s all good with me. I sold around 25,00030,000 copies, so that’s 25,000-30,000 people
that I know love me, you understand? So I’m
gonna hit them again. And let’s not forget that
my single is almost platinum [in digital sales] so
I’m still gonna bring home a platinum plaque
for New York. I don’t want to get caught up in
[sales numbers] because that’s not something
I can control. My job is to make the best music
that I can, and I think I’ve done that. Sometimes
we don’t get everything that we wanna get, but
as long as we live to fight another day, the war
ain’t over.
There were some people taking shots at
T-Pain and claiming that he supposedly stole
the beat and concept for your single “All The
Above” from them.
That situation got cleared up. T-Pain didn’t even
write that track, so the beef could never be
with T-Pain. I cleared up that situation though. I
talked to the dude [that was claiming it was stolen] and T-Pain didn’t steal that track. It would
be impossible for T-Pain to have stolen something he didn’t even make. We brought the
track to T-Pain, he didn’t bring it to me. Shout
out to Just Blaze and Nard & B for putting the
track together. It was just a misunderstanding.
I don’t know if it was a coincidence [that the
records sounded similar] or what, but I know
the record wasn’t stolen. I watched the record
being created right in front of me, so it would
be impossible. I don’t know, some people just
have agendas. I don’t wanna get caught up
with what people are saying. As long as they’re
talking, it’s cool with me.
Was there one situation specifically that
inspired you to write “Hi Hater” or was it just a
general message to the haters?
Naw, it’s in general. It’s for everybody. Everybody feels like they’ve got haters, so I thought
I’d give them an anthem. It wasn’t a direct
situation with me, it was just an anthem for the
haters, whether you’re white or black or tall or
short or fat or skinny. Everybody can relate to it,
and that’s what I gave them. That’s how I try to
make my music, so that people can relate to it.
You know what I mean? That’s how I try to do it.
So what exactly is the deal with you and Lil
Kim? You’ve mentioned her a few times. Is
that a romantic thing or are y’all homies, business partners?
Kim is a very close person in my life but it’s
never been romantic though. It’s not really business either. We’re family, and we still are.
Is she on your album?
You didn’t listen to my record, did you, Julia?
Naw, I didn’t. I confess. I’ll have to go buy it in
stores. I’ll support.
Yeah, you should, and then you would’ve had
a better respect for an interview with me. You
would’ve liked Maino a little bit more. When
you listen to it, you need to call me back and
tell me what you think. //
OZONE MAG // 45
very emotional experience to me. The whole
country of Africa is an important place to visit
and do shows.
It’s been over three years since Sean
Paul produced a full length album
for his fans. Since then, the dancehall phenomenon has been somewhat quiet, especially considering
his pREVIOUS domination of U.S.
entertainment. Earlier this year the
Grammy-winning artist introduced
the single “So Fine” from his fourth
project, Imperial Blaze, an album
Sean Paul feels is slightly more
mature, but still geared toward the
party crowd. During the album’s
promo tour, the Jamaican spokesman makes a stop in the south to
talk about where he’s been, what
he’s seen, and how it’s affected him
not only as a musician, but also as
a humanitarian.
Tell us about the new album. Everybody is
wondering why it’s taken you so long to give
your fans new material.
The album has been done since about January
’09. I’ve basically been sitting back waiting. I took
three years to finish it off. Everybody’s like, “Yo,
when’s it gon’ come out?” So I was just as much
anxious as my fans were. It was finished in January, but I was told it’s a summer record so I had
to wait. I was setting stuff up and now we’re here
doing the promotion.
Who can we expect to hear on the album? Do
you have any special guest features?
I don’t have no collaborations on my album.
A lot of people ask me, “Who you got on your
album?” And it’s like, “Me, it’s my album.” I did a
lot of songs this time around, like near 60 songs,
so I just wanted people to hear most of it. I think
about 20 songs are on the album.
What types of songs are they?
It’s a party-oriented album. It also gets a little
bit mature. I’m speaking about relationships. I
have a song dedicated to my mom. People might
say, “You did a song to your mommy? You’re a
mommy’s boy?” But really, all of us are. I think
that’s a more mature way of looking at it for
myself. For that reason alone the album is a little
bit more mature.
How many years has it been since you released
46 // OZONE MAG
your very first album?
The first album I had was Stage One in 2000.
So that was nine years ago. Do you still enjoy
making music as much today as you did nine
years ago?
I definitely enjoy making music. I also enjoy
performing it. There’s a lot of things I had to get
used to enjoying, like going around and doing a
lot of meet and greets. But I do enjoy it; I enjoy
meeting new people and everyting.
You’re a huge Jamaican artist in the U.S., but
you’re also big in other countries and continents. How does that feel to be able to touch
such a wide range of people?
It’s an amazing feeling to be able to have a
thought on your mind, even if it’s just to shake
your ass, and people hear it and acknowledge
it and get wit’ it. It’s a beautiful feeling. It’s kinda
what I wanted to do in the beginning, it’s why I
got into spittin’ rhymes and being the DJ that I
am. I had a few things to say, and instead of just
telling one person here and there, I could go on
to tell every woman, “Yo, you the hottest, you the
best.” For real.
So you tell every woman that, or is there one
particular one? Are you single?
Um, at the moment, that’s still my own personal
business.
How do you deal with strangers always in your
personal business? Does it make you uncomfortable or are you used to it by now?
Yeah, when ladies are in my personal business I
feed them bananas, and when dudes try to get
in my personal business I tell them mañanas. You
know what I mean?
Back to your overseas audience, what are some
places that really had an impact on you? Were
there some countries that just really touched
you?
Tahiti was an amazing place to go to. People
always ask me where I like to vacation, and I
always say Jamaica ‘cause it’s the most beautiful
place I know. I still live there. Every time I have
time off I’m like, “Take me back home to Jamaica.”
I go to a place called Portland, a very beautiful
place. But when I went to Tahiti, I was like, wow
this is amazing. And plus it’s a very underdeveloped country. There’s not much infrastructure,
it’s very natural. I loved it. Also, Rwanda was a
What was it about Rwanda that was emotional
for you?
About 15 years ago they had a massacre over
there, genocide. My country at that time, in 1994,
was a violent country, but not as violent as it is
today. Sometimes it makes me feel a bit anxious
for my own country. When I went to Rwanda to
perform, I saw the people back together again
and they said, “We couldn’t do this 12 years ago.
We couldn’t have a concert like this ‘cause we
were all fighting each other.”
Do you see that happening in your country?
It’s so similar to what’s happening in my country
right now. After that performance I cried. I came
off stage and tears was comin’ down. I kept
thinking to myself, is this how Jamaica has to get
before we realize we need to chill out? I always
tell people about that, and it was a very outstanding performance for me. [The Rwandans]
took 800,000 lives of their own people in three
months. Now 15 years later they’re together
again. 800,000 lives coulda been saved, it coulda
gone down different. That show gave me an
overwhelming vibe.
That’s a powerful story. Are you on the road
touring right now?
Yeah, I’m on a promotional tour for the album,
letting people know I’m back out publicly. I’ve
been doing records back home in Jamaica, but
nothing to present as an album to the world.
Some of it’s out on the internet, but I wanted to
let people know my album is out now. About
the end of May I started going to different territories – the whole East Coast, I went to France
and England. I came back to the West Coast and
did a lot of those territories, and now I’m here in
the South. In September when the promotional
tour is done I’ll get a chance to look into touring.
People can go to AllSeanPaul.com. I think I want
to tour in November and December.
How’s your single “So Fine” doing? Is it living
up to your expectations?
Oh, fa sho. It’s putting smiles on ladies’ faces,
I’m bouncing people around, you know what I
mean? I’m glad for that. Unfortunately, Michael
Jackson died, and it kinda took over our whole
consciousness. Twitter and YouTube went crazy,
and it’s still going crazy. Big up to him and his
family and fans. I wish him peace. He’s a great
entity in music – style, music, performances,
music videos. He’s innovative. MJ, rest in peace. //
OZONE MAG // 47
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7
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48 // OZONE MAG
Tennis Shoes Over Heels
We’re ladies, but we’d rather keep it funky when we perform. We do
tennis shoes, the [Air] Forces, but we still keep it sexy at the same
time. – Tee
Book Bag Purses Over Regular Purses
Book bag purses fit the whole Unladylike style. We’re more like the
T.L.C. and Aaliyah style. It’s tomboy-ish, but at the same time we
definitely keep it sexy. And you can put a lot of stuff in a book bag
purse. – Tee
3
2
1
Fitted Jeans Over Skirts
I wear jeans over skirts because it’s more secure, in case the
wind blows by. (laughs) I wear skirts [too] but I wear jeans way
more than I wear skirts. – Gunna
Playing Video Games
I love video games, and I play video games as an art. I’m a
competitor. – Gunna
Walkin’ Outside with Socks On
My grandma always tells me, “Girl, put some shoes on your
feet when you go outside. The bottoms of your socks are
always gon’ be black.” I’m so used to walking outside with my
socks on, walkin’ to the mailbox, it’s just a habit. – Gunna
Fightin’ in the Club
We don’t do that. That’s the old Unladylike. If somebody’s
fighting around us, we might get a punch in, but ain’t nobody
gon’ know ‘cause we gotta keep it professional and ladylike.
– Tee
No Acrylic Manicures
We get our nails done, but not those fake nails. We keep it
natural. – Gunna
Profanity
That’s self-explanatory. – Gunna & Tee
Sitting Unladylike
Sometimes we cross our legs, sometimes we don’t. – Tee
Gettin’“Scummy Dummy” Dawg
Gettin’ tipsy, gettin’ drunk, gettin’ scummy dummy, gettin’
messed up. We use the phrase “scummy dummy” on our first
single “Bartender.” That’s how we talk. – Gunna & Tee
As told to Ms. Rivercity
OZONE MAG // 49
Angel Lola Luv doesn’t care what
you say about her—just as long as
you don’t call her fake. Though the
Washington, DC resident with the Wonder
Woman proportions won’t tell you whether
or not everything on the outside of her is
real, she’s certainly adamant that everything on the inside is 100% authentic.
“I was out on my own at the age of 15,” says
Angel. “And from that point on, it was the
hood that embraced me. When I was coming up and had to support myself, it was
the hood was there for me. So I’m not trying to just claim that I’m hood, I really am.”
While her exterior may not scream “hood,”
her hustler’s mentality certainly does.
Throughout her two year career as perhaps
the number one video chick in the game,
Angel has definitely been aggressive and
knows exactly how to attract attention.
She’s had rumored relationships with everybody from Young Jeezy to Trey Songz, been
accused of augmenting her ample apple
(her measurements are an almost unnatural
36D-22-40!), and has changed names more
times than Sean Combs. But through it all,
Lola Luv has stayed relevant.
Now known as Lola Monroe, the Ethiopian/
Trinidadian temptation is bringing it to the
booth. Though she began rapping only
recently, the 22-year-old has been writing
poetry for years, and has already surprised
many critics with her above-average flow.
True to Angel Lola Luv Monroe fashion,
the drama still follows, even in rap. Within
the last few months, Miss Monroe has
developed suspected beef with both Nicky
Minaj and Karrine Steffans (more notably
with the latter, whom she accused of giving
video vixens a bad name), but regardless
of whatever controversy she creates, the
former model remains content. She enjoys
the fact that so much attention is being
focused on her and her debut mixtape Boss
Bitches World. It’s good for business.
As she preps the release of second mixtape,
Lola Monroe is determined to succeed in
rap. She hopes to one day become just
as iconic as Marilyn—her inspiration and
namesake, and at the rate she’s headed
now, she just may.
50 // OZONE MAG
I have to admit, when I first heard that you were going to become a rapper, I was a little skeptical. But after hearing you spit, I was impressed.
How long have you been rapping?
Well, thank you so much. I definitely appreciate the love and all the support. I actually started rapping last year, but I’ve been writing since I was
like 12 years old. I used to write poems, and when I hit the age of 14 or 15,
I used music as my escape. I was going through so many different things in
my life at that point, whether it was love or family issues. I’ve always been
doing music, but I just officially started rapping last year.
What convinced you to start rapping? Were you bored with modeling?
Actually, modeling for different publications and in videos was a job. It was
something for me to get more exposure and get my foot in the door. Music
is in my heart. Music is what I wanted to do. I look at music as a career, not a
job, and it’s not that I got tired of the whole modeling thing, but it was just
that time to transition.
You have such a pretty exterior, but your personality seems a little less
delicate. Where did that tough mentality come from, DC?
Definitely DC. I came up in the hood and the hood has always been there
for me, that’s why in my music, I speak so much about the hood. It’s love in
the hood, and the love there is not based on money or none of that stuff.
My whole persona and aura comes from that environment.
You once said in an interview that you compare yourself to dudes, not
females, and that you don’t idolize Beyonce; you idolize Jay-Z. If that’s
true, your aura is definitely authentic.
Yeah, that’s funny, and when I made that statement I was infatuated with
Beyonce, but I respected Jay-Z’s movement more. Coming up, I never
compared myself to other females, and I’ve always competed with dudes.
Even with whips, like my first car was a ’96 Chevy Caprice, and I wanted
a bubble because all the boys drove bubbles. I wanted a bubble and I
wanted to paint it pink and put the 23”s on it—back then, niggas was still
on 22”s. I wanted to do it bigger; I thought about 24”s, but I had to still keep
it feminine. So whenever I compare myself to someone, it’s usually a male
in a position of power, because that’s what I’m striving for.
Are men more intimidated by the way you look or the way you act?
I really don’t know, but I’m sure they are intimated by how I compete sometimes. I know it happens because I do compete, but I don’t compete in an
aggressive manner to the point where niggas just can’t stand to be around
me. It’s more of a mentality thing, but it’s not excessive. I can actually be
around, relate to, and have better conversations with dudes than I can with
most females. But of course the intimidation happens, even in the music
business.
Do you think people take you less seriously as a rapper because you’re
known as a model and sex symbol?
People are skeptical at first. Being that I did come into the game from the
modeling aspect people are like, “Oh, she’s rapping? I don’t know about
that.” They’re so used to seeing the sexy layouts and the softness in the pictures that people don’t think I have anything to rap about. But they don’t
know where I came from, and they never heard me speak, and don’t know
my story, so one of the obstacles that I’ve faced is people not believing.
Has that skepticism hindered you from being able to work with some of
the top notch producers or mainstream artists?
Yeah, definitely. It’s hard sometimes, but at the same time I do have people
in the industry who believe in me, and then I have those that don’t fuck
with me. All that is part of the game, but I’m gon’ let you know that I’m gonna let me work speak for me. When I first started out, I had so many people
that didn’t believe. Once I put out this mixtape and they saw that I’m really
serious, now more and more people are starting to support. The more I
keep working and putting out good music, it’s gonna keep increasing.
How would describe your sound to someone who has never even heard
you speak, let alone rap?
I have my own sound. I’m not really South, but I’m not up North. I have
DC swag to my music. My music is something females can [relate to]; it
represents female empowerment. That’s why I called my mixtape Boss
Bitches World. Everything I’m doing music-wise is a movement to me, and I
represent the boss bitches. Aside from representing females, I represent the
streets and the struggle.
Who are you working with and what kind of projects are you currently
involved with?
I dropped my Boss Bitches World mixtape and I’m currently working on my
second mixtape right now. For the first mixtape, I was addressing the critics,
the haters, and just basically talkin’ my shit. On the second mixtape, it’s way
more original beats and I’m just ready to talk more about my life and where
I came from and my story.
I read that you got kicked out of the house at age 15 for losing your
virginity. Is that true, and if so, how’d you get caught?
Actually, that whole thing was put out the wrong way. I didn’t get put out
for losing my virginity. Coming up, I had a lot of issues at home, and I was
going through a whole lot at home. I had to constantly move to and from
different relatives’ homes and at the time, I was staying with my aunt. My
aunt found out I had lost my virginity, but I lost my virginity to my first
boyfriend, my first love, my first everything, someone I really, really loved.
I had to leave [my aunt’s] house because of it and go back to my mother’s
house, but I never got put out for losing my virginity. Around that time,
there was just so much going in around my family, and the fact they really
didn’t accept me dealing with a guy I fell in love with, I decided to leave my
home and move out. But I never got put out.
Okay, well I’m glad you got that cleared up. And I’m not trying to dwell
on negativity, but let’s talk about Nicki Minaj. The industry has so few
successful female rappers, and now the two with arguably the biggest
buzzes have beef. What’s up with that?
Actually, that whole Nicki Minaj thing was really blown out of proportion.
They recorded me while I was being asked about her in my “Lip Service”
interview, and the way they put the video out they titled it, “Lola Monroe
beefing with Nicki Minaj.” But the whole situation isn’t that serious, it was
blown out of proportion; it ain’t no beef. Where I come from beef is taken
very, very seriously, so if it was beef, niggas would know.
DC has never really had a mainstream, breakout rapper. Now you’re
emerging and it’s possible that the first commercial rapper from DC
might be a female. Do you think that will make it harder for upcoming
male rappers from DC?
My city has a whole lot of talent. Wale is another artist from my city who is
doing his thing. As far as me being a female, I’m gonna hold down my city
regardless, but there’s a lot of talent in my city. Different artists like Wale,
Tabi Bonney, Raheem DeVaughn—there’s a lot of talent in DC. My whole
goal is to be the female voice, the female representation for DC and I think
it’s our time now. There was a time for the South, there was a time for New
York, there was a time for the West side, and now it’s time for DC.
What do you do during your downtime away from the music industry?
Baby, I’m working 24/7. I don’t have time to do anything else at all. This occupies so much of my time that there’s nothing else that I do, and I’m being
so honest right now.
There’s been so much speculation about certain asspects of your physique not being real. Do all these repeated allegations bother you, or are
you just glad to keep everybody talking?
Like I’ve always said, it helps get my numbers up and I don’t mind at all. If
you pick my Boss Bitches World mixtape I’m actually speaking on it myself.
So none of the things people say fazes me whatsoever.
I know you’re a rapper now, but would you ever get back in the video
modeling scene for the right amount of money?
Naw, I’m done with videos unless it’s a cameo for one of my homies.
If Hugh Hefner offered you some ridiculous amount to pose nude would
you do it?
[laughs] Only if I’m keeping my bottoms on.
That’s no fun. You wouldn’t do it even for a million dollars?
Naw, definitely not.
When you accomplish your goals in music do you plan to pivot into
movies?
Music is my 100% focus, and that’s what I want to do. But I’m definitely
into doing movies. I actually have a film that I just did with 50, Before I Self
Destruct, and then the other film with Wendy Williams, her life story. And
I’m also working on Crazy Like A Fox.
What advice would you give aspiring female emcees about the industry?
You gotta push harder than these niggas. You gotta go harder than these
niggas because it’s way harder for a female to be taken seriously. //
Words by Eric Perrin
OZONE MAG // 51
52 // OZONE MAG
Industry 101
Devyne
StePHens
While many people strive to be
in front of the camera, Devyne
Stephens makes a living making
OTHER people look good for the
cameras. Grooming himself as the
“Berry Gordy of this generation,”
Stephens has had a hand in the
success of almost every popular
artist you can name over the last
10 years.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Devyne was
introduced to the city’s music and lifestyle scene
at a young age. He forming his own dance crew,
Fresh Dance Crew, at age 15 with neighbor Jermaine Dupri. Eventually Stephens added rapping
to the repertoire and soon found himself as the
first act signed to LaFace Records. But eventually, Stephens shifted his vision from wanting to
be a star, to making them. Taking a job in artist
development for LaFace, Stephens groomed
names like Usher, Babyface, Toni Braxton and
Outkast into the stars they are today. He then
aligned himself with Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs
and began working with his roster of Bad Boy
artists as well as choreographing tours for the
lies of Diddy, Jay Z, Mary J Blige, Gwen Stefani,
and Pink.
Now, after a decade of putting in work, Stephens
is building his own empire, Upfront Megatainment. It includes his record label, distributed
by Universal Music; The Complex, a state of the
art incubation facility for artists and athletes,
including a top of the line rehearsal studio, Glam
Squad wing, photo studio, nutrition and fitness
wing, media training, choreography studio and
more; Dreamland, an 18,000 square foot mansion on 19-acres outside of Atlanta, a hotspot
for ATL’s most exclusive and upscale events; and
much more.
Hoping to bring back a time when artists were
actually developed instead of thrown to the
wolves, Stephens hopes his old-school mentality
can work in a new-school industry.
How did you get introduced to Hip Hop music?
Devyne: I started in the music business as a
artist, not as a dancer. I was signed to LaFace as
Devyne and 90MPH. We showcased with Pebbles
and then she took us to L.A. and Babyface. The
group actually got dropped, but L.A. kept me
onboard helping to develop some of his talent. I
worked with TLC, Usher, Outkast, Pink, Toni Braxton, Tony Rich, and Donnell Jones [at LaFace],
among others.
What role did you play in developing these
artists?
In terms of the imagery, the stage presence, the
choreography, doing some television shows, videos. The complete artist development process.
Artist development seems to be like a thing of
the past. I’m just curious, what was it like doing that back then as opposed to now, where
artists try to present themselves as a package
without much development to be done?
That’s the difference in the stage power
nowadays. A lot of artists now are more like
cookie-cutter, with one single in and out, not
fully developed. A lot of times when you have an
[undeveloped] artist, the life span of that talent
is very short.
What inspired you to start Upfront, and what
exactly do you guys do?
Upfront is an artist development company record label. Berry Gordy, and the whole Motown
story, inspired me. Motown was an artist development company as well. That’s really how I got
my motivation; from him.
Lets say I was an artist and I want to hire you,
would you help me out? Or do I have to be
signed to a label or your label to take advantage of this?
No, we’re always looking for new talent and finding new talent, so if you walk in up off the street
and you’ve got what it takes well definitely yes.
Some labels have an artist that’s already signed
and we put them through a 30-day or 60-day
program. So we assist other labels with developing their talent as well.
And you’ve been through that process as an
artist yourself. What are some of the things you
think that your company is doing that some
other companies are not doing?
Like you said, artist development has become a
thing of the past. What we’re trying to do is build
artists that will have longevity. Say Akon, for
instance. He’s a complete package because he
writes, he produces and he performs. Same with
T-Pain; he writes, he produces, and he performs.
Jazze Pha he possesses the same capabilities.
You have to be grounded in today’s market to be
able to sustain in this business.
How were you able to build your company
to such a strong brand? A lot of times, when
somebody starts a company in Atlanta they
stay very localized, which is tempting because
a lot comes out of Atlanta. You already have an
impressive roster of people that you’ve worked
with from all over the place.
My take off was with LA and Babyface and the
way they played the game. That push and that
boost is what introduced me to a lot of key
people in the music business.
What made you put your career as an artist
aside to get more involved behind the scenes?
I was always most intrigued by the business
aspect of it. Creatively, I knew how to produce,
perform and write records, but I felt like at the
time South music wasn’t really being brought
to the forefront. At the time the music was a
little bit ahead of its time. I already had Lil Jon
producing my music. I had Luda and T.I. working
on records with me, and this was before they
were even established. It was a little bit ahead of
its time.
Right now who are some of the people that
you and your company are working with?
Currently we have a girl trio group by the name
of Crave, they’re based out of Atlanta. We also
have Rock City, from the Virgin Islands. We have
Magic Massey, an R&B soul singer out of Chicago,
and Bow Boa, a rapper out of Raleigh, NC.
Interesting you mention Rock City. Some artists
are very talented, have all the connections,
and are known in the industry, but the average
Joe that buys CDs from Best Buy may not even
know of them. How do you try to prevent that
from happening with some of the people you
work with?
It’s like Akon. It took a minute for Akon to get
into the marketplace because he was very
unique, and when there’s something different
and unique about [the artist], it takes a minute
for people to actually get it. I try to find things
that are unique and try to develop those things
and bring those to the forefront to make a bigger impact in the marketplace once people do
get it. Like a Kanye West, for instance. When it’s
something different , it makes a huge impact
once it finally breaks. //
OZONE MAG // 53
We did the OZONE cover shoot at your club in
Las Vegas. Tell us about how you got involved
with the nightclub business.
I became one of the partners of [Poetry Nightclub] a few months ago. I just wanted to bring
a multi-cultural crowd to this Hip Hop culture
we’ve got over here. I wanted to enhance the
sexy ladies and get more people to come out
and buy a lot of bottles and tables and get a lot
of VIP service. I think we’ve done that. I think
we’ve increased it 50% from what it was before.
We’re trying to keep it going and keep it being
successful. We just keep putting out good projects and staying on top of our game.
Is it your aspiration to be an all-around businessman? You’ve got the club and the record
label; what other projects are you working on?
I’ve been independent since “One Wish,” so it’s
destiny for me to do what I gotta do to be my
own boss. With the money I make, I don’t just
trick it off and buy chains and shit. I buy clubs,
invest in real estate, and try to put money up for
new developments. That’s what I try to do but a
lot of people don’t know that about me. I’m really not trying to showcase what I do. I just want
to keep being true to myself.
What happened with the reality show?
I found a good girl, she’s cool, but as far as us being one on one and being faithful to each other,
I felt like that was shaky. So I needed to go back
in again with season two and see what else is out
there for young Ray J.
The relationship was shaky for you or her?
It was shaky for both of us. When you’re in a
relationship you want it to be 100%. You don’t
want to have those weird kinda side relationships going on. That’s just dirty as hell, and I ain’t
with that.
So are you saying she was cheating on you? Or
you were cheating on her?
I’m trying to be a one-woman man, and faithful
as fuck. It wasn’t that [one of us was cheating on
the other], it’s just that we weren’t 100% with
each other. I felt like we were hella good friends,
and we’re still hella cool. I love the shit outta
Cocktail. She hella cool. I fucks with her. But as far
as us just being one on one and being together
forever, that was shaky.
54 // OZONE MAG
Do you think anybody has ever found real
love on a reality show, or is it usually just for
entertainment purposes?
Nah, people find true love. People find true love
at the club. (laughs) Put it like this: if you can find
love at the club, then you can definitely find it
on a reality show.
How long is the time period that you’re actually filming the show?
A month and a half.
So you think it’s possible to fall in love in a
month and a half?
Nah, but I think you can get great interest in
somebody in a month and a half and really see
what they’re all about and spark up something
that may not have been there before. I think
that’s definitely possible.
You mentioned that you have a second reality
show coming out on BET that will be airing
around the same time as your VH1 For The
Love of Ray J show? Tell us about that.
Yeah, I’m working with BET on some stuff, but
I’m really loyal to VH1. They’ve got my back and
they’re paying me a hell of a lot of money, and
I love them for that. I’m going to stay loyal over
there [at VH1] but I’ve got some development
deals going on with BET and a couple other
networks as well. I’m looking forward to that.
I’m just trying to tackle television right now
and build my portfolio as a producer, executive
producer, and creator.
What’s the theme of the first show you’re putting together for BET?
I can’t say because the deal isn’t inked yet. I’m
still speaking too early. But the reason I said that
is because BET already gave me two or three
jobs. I have my own show on BET.com and I’ve
hosted 106th & Park for months, so I feel like
I’m still in the family. We’ve got some stuff we’re
working on over there but again, VH1 is my
home. VH1 is where it’s at.
Tell us about the artists you have signed to
your label, Knock Out Entertainment.
Again, I’ve been independent ever since “One
Wish,” so everything y’all have been seeing from
me was my own projects. We had number one
records; we just went triple platinum digitally
with “Sexy Can I” and that was big independently. Niggas aren’t doing [those numbers] right
now independently or even [on a major label] so
I’m happy about that. I’m about to put out Shorty
Mack’s album The Purp Man for all my cannabis
smokers out there that love to just put it in the
air and vibe out and talk about the high times of
life. That’s what Shorty Mack is speaking on. It’s
very good. I think it’s going to be very, very hot.
Tell us about the group you’re working with
out of Vegas called the Enfamous Burnaz.
They’re straight out of Las Vegas. I own the
club out here called Poetry so they’re out here
representing with me. They’ve got a song called
“Top Notch Chick” that’s already surfacing on the
radio and getting a lot of requests. When The
Enfamous Burnaz came to me with this song and
the whole concept, I just fell in love with what
they were talking about. I really felt like we could
make a connection and do some good music
together.
What does the rest of 2009 hold for Ray J?
I’m just building my empire. I’m working on
some new stuff with some major labels right
now. I’ve got a major machine behind me right
now – VH1 is backing the hell out of me. Season
2 of For the Love of Ray J is in the works. I’ve got
ABC radio on board right now for Ray J’s Bachelor Pad. It’s gonna be syndicated on 85 to 100
stations starting out. It’s like slow jams and shit.
I’m just working, stacking my paper, and saving
and investing at the same time.
Is there going to be a Ray J and Tila Tequila sex
tape?
Ray J and Tila Tequila sex tape? I doubt it. Nah. I
ain’t doing no more sex tapes.
I heard that she emailed you a picture of a positive pregnancy test.
Yeah, she did. It seems like I can’t shake a girl’s
hand without them getting pregnant.
Is that what you did…shake her hand?
I did a little bit more than that, but I feel like a
nigga can’t sneeze without a girl getting pregnant right now so I’ve just gotta lay low. I told
you I’m a one-woman man right now. I only want
one special girl in my life. All the rest of the girls
can kick rocks.
Who’s the special girl?
I can’t say. She’s out there though. Please believe
me.
She needs to go to RayJCasting.com?
She can go to rayjcasting.com, but that’s just for
all the other people that want a shot at it. Is that
a legitimate casting website from VH1?
(laughs) I thought you would know.
I don’t know. I got to check into that. You know,
some niggas been charging girls $50 to come
audition [for my reality show] and niggas don’t
even know me. Sometimes niggas are just hustling and shit. I don’t appreciate that.
The new season begins filming in August?
Yeah, it’s going to be a real good look. I’m real
excited about it. “Danger Smashed the Homies”
t-shirts are selling out already. We already sold
over 75,000 shirts at $20 a pop. Y’all niggas do
the math. And we’re still grinding. You can buy
them at grimyink.com.
Danger wasn’t too happy about the t-shirts.
She said she felt like you were making money
off of her name.
It didn’t say “Monica Smashed the Homies.” It
says “Danger Smashed the Homies.” I created that
name [Danger]. She had her own style so I just
put a little twist to it and brought her into the
limelight. I put the spotlight on her. I feel like she
should let me enjoy my hustle, and I’m letting
her enjoy my hustle. Ain’t no love lost, baby girl.
Call me.
If you found out that your girlfriend smashed
the homie, is that a dealbreaker?
That’s a dealbreaker if my girlfriend smashed
the homies. If she smashed the homies before I
knew her, still, it’s like, damn. I need a girl that’s
one hundred with me; that’s complete. I don’t
want all my friends around me knowing how the
pussy felt. Sorry for being so vulgar.
Is there anything else you want to add?
Nah, everything is perfect. I just want to keep
putting out good music. I want to keep being an
entrepreneur. I’m a boss. I’m not Rick Ross but
I’m a boss, please believe it. I’m running my own
shit and I’m not taking orders from anybody.
I’m making a lot of money right now and I want
to continue to make a lot of money by staying
humble and true to God and true to what I do.
Shit, I’m making so much muthafuckin’ money
I’m giving money away. Just ask Julia Beverly. //
OZONE MAG // 55
56 // OZONE MAG
What’s your history with Knock Out Entertainment? You and Ray J grew up together, right?
Well, actually I made up Knock Out. We used to
be called The Committee. We went to the studio
one day and decided that it just didn’t make
sense for us to be KO and the Committee. So, I
said, “Watch out for the knock out to knock your
block out,” and Ray said, “You know what? That’s
what we’re gonna roll with. Knock Out.” He had
the money and I had the ideas, and we made
it happen. God is great. That was back in 1996,
around the time my first album came out.
You’re from L.A., right?
Nah, I’m from Sacramento. I live in the Valley
now. In the 818 where life is great, ya dig?
So do you bring more of the creative aspect
or the business aspect to the Knock Out family?
I’m the VP of Knock Out and he’s the CEO. We created this together. It was just a dream, and now
it’s happening. God is great. We’re two adults
living out our dream. I get to continue to work
with the same nigga I’ve been seeing for the past
two decades, basically since we were 13 years
old. We didn’t go to school, we both had home
study. So every day we were just doing music,
having fun, and building a relationship. When
you get this high into the game, you can’t just
let no salty business get in the way through no
sideways moves.
You have your debut solo album coming out
this year, right?
Yeah, [my first album] since I’ve been an adult.
It’s called The Purp Man. God is great. I should be
dropping the single in two months and the album in three or four months. We’re going to put
it out ourselves through Knock Out until we get
a strong steady demand going, kind of like your
boy Drake. We’re just gonna do it ourselves. The
music is so hot the people are gonna request
it. They want to hear something fresh and new.
They want to hear The Purp Man, so I’m gonna
give them what they want.
Clearly, an album called The Purp Man is full of
smoker’s anthems, right?
It’s all about marijuana, for real. That’s why I’m
The Purp Man. It’s all about legalizing it too.
There’s a big movement going on right now.
Even Obama, I heard he’s about to go ‘head and
make it legal too, so that’s a good look. I got shot
when I was 18 so I need to smoke weed. I’m not
just smoking this shit [to get high]. I’m smoking
my shit legit. I’m walking into the store and getting receipts. I’m showing the world that there’s
a way you can go about doing this where you
can smoke legit and you ain’t got to go to jail.
So, it’s a message. It’s a lot different from back in
the day. I showed you my [medical marijuana]
paperwork. I’m legit. I even told my grandma
before she passed away, “I can smoke legit now.”
What’s the name of your single?
The Purp Man, of course. I’m going to get that
purp movement out there. The whole purple
movement. Everything purple. I’m from the West
Coast and I’m talking about purple kush; I’m
legally walking in the store buying weed. I’ve
got High Times and a whole bigger movement
than what was going on before, because my
movement is about legalizing weed. On the
West we’re just trying to legalize that purp. We
want everybody smoking. If we’re all high, I don’t
think any of us would be complaining. Plus, I
heard if they do legalize weed within a year’s
time, we would probably be out of our debt
because marijuana is one of the most lucrative
[products] in America.
How would you describe the sound of your
album?
It’s real strong. It’s hardcore. There’s no bubble
gum music at all. It’s on some Biggie and Pac
type shit, you know? It’s amazing. It’s a refreshing sound.
Would you say it has a West Coast sound to it?
Nah, I’ve got some down South beats and some
East Coast beats. I don’t really have any West
Coast beats. The only thing [on my album] that’s
from the West Coast is me. That’s what I think
we’ve been missing on the West Coast; a different type of sound. It’s a different sound, a different style. It’s like fashion. You’ve got to roll with
the times of you’re gonna look like old times.
What about features on the album? Of course
Ray J is featured; who else?
Truth from Knock Out. We just kept it KO. It’s me,
Ray J, and Truth. We don’t need no help. Truth
was on the song “Sexy Ladies” with me. He raps
the first verse and I rap the second verse.
What about production?
We’ve got J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and other than
that, it’s all Knock Out, KO. We’re keeping it
in-house. We don’t really want to work with anybody right now, we want them to work with us.
When you come in the game and you tell people
you don’t need any help then people want to
help, but when you’re reaching out, nobody
wants to help.
Is there anything else you want to say?
Pick up that Purp Man album. It’s refreshing.
When you grab it, grab something to roll up. If
you don’t, get some herbal tea and drink that. It’s
refreshing. It’s for the streets; remember that. //
OZONE MAG // 57
Where are you guys from?
J Sha: I was born in Long Beach, California, and
[my partner J Smilez] was born in Compton. I
moved out here [to Vegas] in 1996 and pretty
much started my career out here.
There isn’t too much of a local rap scene in
Vegas, is there?
J Sha: Nah, we’re some of the first that are trying
to do it. We’ve got an underground scene out
here but there are a couple of us that are finally
breaking through the mainstream.
How would you describe your style? Does your
music have a West Coast feel to it?
J Sha: Our music is a mixture of sounds. We come
from California and are based in Vegas, so of
course it’s West Coast music. But it’s more of a
mixture of Southern bounce, Hip Hop, R&B, and
everything. We don’t try to put ourselves in a
box, we just do good music.
You do some of the production too, right?
J Sha: Yeah, I write and do beats. I produced with
Tony Touch; I’ve written stuff for everybody.
How did you two link up and decide to form a
group?
J Sha: It all started with Chris Buck. My uncle
G-Money was down with Tupac. He influenced
me to really get into what I’m doing now. We
moved out here to Vegas shortly after ‘Pac died.
While I was out here, I got a job and was trying to
change my life around. Through that, I met Chris
Buck. He was kinda going through some things
in his life also and was thinking about quitting
music. I told him, “Nah, man, it’s a blessing,”
and came to find out that he had been friends
with Ray J and Brandy Norwood for years. He’s
been around Hip Hop moguls for years and he
basically is a Hip Hop mogul. He left his job and
ended up getting signed to Virgin Records, but
he always told me he’d come back to help my situation. I always believed in what me and Smiley
were doing. We both come from the streets and
had to hustle for whatever we had. Unfortunately Smiley got locked up for what he was doing in
58 // OZONE MAG
the streets. When you get put in that situation
you start looking at life totally differently, as far
as what you want to do and what choices you
want to make when you get it. God blessed him
with the gift of doing music. He always had it in
him, but he was like, “Yo, I’m gonna do it for real.”
When he got out we met up again, and we’ve
been doing music for over five years now with
the help of Chris Buck. Shout out to Danny Boy
and a few different people we have worked with.
The name of the album is Fresh Work. We don’t
have a set release date yet, but we’re getting all
the records together. We’ve got records with Too
Short and of course the single with Ray J called
“Top Notch Chick.” We’re getting it all together
and creating a buzz.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
J Sha: Shout out to everybody in the Las Vegas
area that’s helping us out.
Ray J: I just want to say that Chris Buck brought
the Enfamous Burnaz to my attention. He’s been
bringing a lot of business to me out here in
Vegas. He brought them to my attention and we
all started vibing. I love the “Top Notch” record,
and I’m glad we’re all gonna be able to make
good records together and put out stuff that
people will genuinely love, request, and call in
for. I want to thank Chris Buck for that. I’m real
excited about the stuff we’re going to do with
the Enfamous Burnaz. God bless them. //
If you’ve ever rooted for a team
playing against the Indianapolis
Colts, more than likely you’ve
cursed defensive end Dwight
Freeney a few times. But he’s not
such a bad guy. As a four-time
Pro Bowler and 2007 Super Bowl
Champion, Dwight is admirable in
everything he does, on and off
the field. When he’s not training
for a big game, or fulfilling his
civic duties, Freeney is getting his
side hustle on with his new music
label American Dreams.
Who are some of your favorite Hip Hop
artists?
My favorite artists right now would be Nas, T.I.,
Young Jeezy, Jay-Z.
You seem to appreciate lyricists. What are
your thoughts on the current state of Hip
Hop and where it’s going?
I think right now, what’s selling has nothing
to do with lyrics. It’s more about the song and
the beat. It’s more about the production and
what’s on the surface.
Do you think that’s something we in the Hip
Hop community will eventually outgrow?
Yeah, I think it’s a phase. I think the things
being said will have more substance behind
them. Hopefully we’ll get back to that.
Is there a song that you feel represents you
the most?
I’d say Rick Ross’ “Hustlin’.”
How would you compare being an athlete to
being a musician? What are the similarities and
differences?
They’re very similar. Obviously the lifestyles we
live are very similar. I don’t know if they have
an off-season like athletes have an off-season
where they’re not really working. Musicians are
always working to some extent, whether they’re
touring, working on a new album, or doing radio,
they’re always doing something. I guess we have
little things such as autograph signings here and
there, and we’re working out which is kinda like
working on an album.
You’ve won a Super Bowl and you’ve been to
the Pro Bowl four times. Those are pretty big
honors. Do you have any advice for people who
are trying to reach your level of success?
I think most importantly you should get into a
routine for success and follow it. You can’t be all
over the place. You have to stick to [your routine]. That’s what I’ve been building. I’ve found
something that works, a workout regimen that
works. I’m comfortable where I work out. Training is important. For the most part, I train with
the same people so they know me.
Explain to the people what American Dreams is
and how that came about.
American Dreams is an entertainment company.
We have different divisions for movies and music. We aren’t into TV stuff yet. As of right now, as
a startup company, we’re focusing more on the
music side of it. I have four or five studios in L.A.
We’re a production company so we have facilities
for the artists that we sign and also for people
that want to rent out studios.
Are you looking to sign artists and producers?
We have a few artists and producers. We have
a lot of stuff in-house for our people, but other
people also use our producers.
During football season, your schedule is
pretty hectic. How will you be able to manage
American Dreams and still stay focused on your
athletic responsibilities? Do you have someone
that runs the company for you?
I have people helping me. They’re involved in the
whole entire loop. An friend of mine, Gary West,
is the one who’s actually running the company as
of right now. No major decision is made without
me, but for the most part, he’s taking care of the
day to day things.
Is there anything sports related in your career
you’re still looking to conquer?
For what I do, you always try to achieve greatness every year and get to the top. I’ve won one
Super Bowl, I’m trying to get to where I have a
dynasty of winning multiple Super Bowls and
to be one of the greatest teams, and one of the
greatest players of all times.
Words by Ms. Rivercity
OZONE MAG // 59
Spark Dawg
Doin’ What You Can’t
Maino/If Tomorrow Comes
Hustle Hard/Atlantic
It’s not Maino’s lyricism that makes If Tomorrow
Comes a solid first effort, but throughout his
debut album, he managed to tell his story
from spending ten years in prison to becoming one of the most anticipated rappers to
come out of NYC in years. Maino’s singles “Hi
Hater” and “All The Above” are standouts, but
“Remember My Name,”“Runaway,”“Floating”
and “Hood Love” with Trey Songz are the tracks
that carry the album’s message of striving
through life’s tribulations. This album is better
viewed as a whole as opposed to track by
track, but however you look at it, Maino should
be applauded for properly conveying his life’s
story through his music. - Randy Roper
Ace Hood/Ruthless
We The Best/Def Jam
Despite the fact that Ace Hood’s debut album
Gutta was released less than a year ago,
Khaled, We The Best and Def Jam felt the need
to deliver Ace’s sophomore album ASAP. But
this album is a lot like the first one. Yes, Ace
can rap fairly well, but none of his songs are
anything special. Not the song with Ludacris
(“Born An O.G.”), not the song with Akon & TPain (“Overtime”), not even the song with Rick
Ross & Jazmine Sullivan (“Champion”). Maybe
he needs to learn how to tame his ruthless,
rapid-fire, aggressive flow. Or maybe, since he
has the Runners, the Inkredibles and all of Def
Jam at Khaled’s fingertips, he should pick better beats. Whatever the case may be, Ruthless
isn’t a bad album. It’s just not anything to keep
in heavy rotation. - Randy Roper
Pleasure P/The Introduction of Marcus Cooper
Swagga Entertainment/
Bluestar/Atlantic
Comebacks aren’t always easy. Fortunately,
former Pretty Ricky member Pleasure P has his
alter ego Mr. Marcus Cooper to help him out.
Coming strong with his solo debut album, The
Introduction Of Mr. Marcus Cooper, Pleasure lets
it be known that he can handle the weight on
his own, delivering an overall impressive album.
With the single “Did You Wrong” providing the
main steam for this engine, Pleasure gives an
album full of baby making music with notable
titles such as “Tender Roni” and “Fire Lovin.”
Judging from this (re)introduction, it looks
like Mr. Cooper may be here for a while. - Tony
Burgos
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Trey Songz/
Anticipation
As the release date for
his third album Ready
approaches, Trey Songz
hits awaiting fans
with a freebie called
Anticipation. With songs
like “Scratchin’ Me Up,”
“Does She Know” and
“It Would Be You,” this
mixtape could have
easily been packaged
as Songz’s album. Most
of the tracks on here
are good, but none of
them are necessarily
his best work, which is
probably why the tracks
were offered up for free.
But this release does a
good job of heightening the anticipation for
Songz’s new album. I
think we’re Ready for
it. - Randy Roper
While the title may be a tad
bit lofty for regional superstar
Spark Dawg, his efforts here have him poised for national
recognition. He opens strong with the trumpet and
808-laced “Grape.” Following are impressive concept records like “Open Letter
to God,” where he talks to the big man upstairs ala Eminem’s “Stan,” and “Real
Niggaz Revenge,” where he raps from the perspective of a jealous somebody.
Both songs carry hints of Slim Shady’s writing prowess. While Spark shows
range with his beat selection and flows, the only flaw that takes away from
the listening experience is the average sound quality, which is a big flaw. But
if you can get past that, Spark has a strong collection of songs on this project.
- Maurice G. Garland
Young Jeezy & DJ Folk
Trappin’ Ain’t Dead
The latest mixtape from Mr.
17.5 is consistent with the thug
motivational rhymes over synthesized production that
listeners have come to expect from the CTE breadwinner. The mixtape has plenty of tracks like “My 1st 48 Hrs,”“I’m Goin’ In” and
“Biggest Movie Ever” that’ll satisfy Jeezy fans through the summer. But some
of the tracks like “Might Just Blow That” and “Ready To Ride” are lukewarm at
best, and sound more like music you’ve heard before (or possible leftovers
from his last album The Recession). Trappin’ Ain’t Dead is a good release, but
you get the feeling he’s saving his best work for his next album, Thug Motivation 103. - Randy Roper
Soulja Boy & DJ Drama
Follow Me: Gangsta Grillz
Born Wit It, DJ Holiday
& The Empire
Substance Abuse
From the opening verse,
you can tell this mixtape
is worth a listen. The
first official mixtape
from these Atlanta B.o.B
affiliates has tracks like
“Dying To Live,”“Life
Gets Harder” and “Stack
Your Paper Up” that will
quickly start comparisons to Atlanta duos like
Youngbloodz and
Outkast (okay, not quite
Outkast). There are a
couple tracks Substance
Abuse could have gone
without, but overall this
mixtape place the group
in the “artists to watch”
category. - Randy Roper
True S.O.D. Money Gang fanatics
will love this mixtape because
it’s a Gangsta Grillz, and because it’s Soulja Boy, but with
a project this overdue, a little more time could have been
spent on the song selection and arrangement. “Bands” and “I Got Mojo” are
superb Soulja Boy material and would have been best served opening up
the project, rather than appearing later in the tracklist. “Go Ham” featuring OJ
da Juiceman and the freestyles are somewhat lacking, but they make up for
it with songs like “What You Know,”“Gold Grill Shawty,” and the bonus track
“Bitch I’m Paid.” This mixtape will definitely hold fans over until the release of
SB’s third album The DeAndre Way, or maybe the second Gangsta Grillz. - Ms.
Rivercity
Nicki Minaj, DJ Holiday, & The
Trap-A-Holics
Beam Me Up Scotty
Nicki the Ninja has created
a sub-culture of harajuku barbie bitches and her fan
club probably doubled with this mixtape. Though a few
freestyles like “Best I Ever Had” and “Get Silly” could have been left off, overall
the complaints are few. Young Money’s diva impresses on nearly every song
starting with “I Get Crazy.” The ode to Fendi and Louis (“Shopaholic” with
Bobby V and Gucci Mane) is also worth a listen, along with “Keys Under Palm
Trees” and “Easy” with Gucci and Rocko. Nicki’s image may be similar to a Lil
Kim, but her range of skill and content are superior. Kim can swallow a Sprite
can—Nicki can rap, act, and sing. - Ms. Rivercity
Archie Eversole &
DJ Scream
Back Like I Never Left
It’s been about seven years
since Archie Eversole’s “We Ready” was on the rap charts.
Backed by DJ Scream, Archie returns to the rap radar with
Back Like I Never Left. Fans that hear the new Archie might be taken aback, as
this isn’t the overly crunk 16-year-old kid that the game was first introduced
to. Lil Archie is a grown rapper now, and he’s actually a better rapper than
most listeners may remember. But even with that said, this mixtape isn’t
very impressive. This mixtape’s best offering is “Keep Winning,” featuring Ray
Lavender. Eversole could have benefited from better production, better concepts, better hooks, and overall, just better songs. Hopefully Archie will find a
sound that’s more in tune with the music of today. - Randy Roper
J. Cole
The Warm Up
The Warm Up is J. Cole’s second
official mixtape, and first since
signing to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. This mixtape is a pure indication of why Jay inked the rapper/producer to his new
label. Cole lyrically breezes through 22 tracks, and on standouts like “Grown
Simba,”“Lights Please” and “I Get Up,” he displays a lyrical dexterity and
thought-provoking rhymes unseen in most newcomers of today. A couple
short freestyles would have been better left off, since they don’t fit into the
overall mix of original tracks, but besides that, The Warm Up doesn’t leave
much to complain about. If this is just a warm up, it’ll be interesting to hear
what J. Cole sounds like in midseason. - Randy Roper
Nonsence/Chewee Radio Vol. 2
Part II of Nonsence’s Chewee
Radio series is worth taking a
listen to. As a rapper, Nonsence
isn’t bad, but this mixtape has no excuse for being 26
tracks long. There are some good records like “Wake It Up”
with Akon, “Do You Like It” and “Watching You.” But there’s too many random
skits, and remakes like Jennifer Hudson’s “Spotlight” and Jazmine Sullivan’s
“Bust Your Windows” were bad ideas. If this mixtape was focused more on
making good music as opposed to a radio show theme with Top 10 Hip Hop
and R&B hits, Nonsence might have something, but all the skits and remixes
make this mostly nonsense. - Randy Roper
Yung LA & DJ Drama/Lamborghini Leland
Grand Hustle & Gangsta Grillz
The first thing you’ll notice about
Lamborghini Leland is that his dimensions are broader
than the typical futuristic Yung LA we’re used to. Though
you’ll find lots of decent swag tracks like “Offset,”“Bands,” and “Fuckin Wit Da
Hood,” here Leland Austin offers a deeper look into who he really is besides
just another mohawk rapper. Songs like “Caught My Daddy with It,” which
talks about his father receiving a life sentence, and the intro, which is an
almost unrecognizable L.A. flow, make for a surprising listen. While it might
not exactly be lambo material, this mixtape could get steady rotation in a
Benz for sure. - Ms. Rivercity
R. Kelly, DJ Drama & DJ Skee
The Demo Tape
A video of Kellz “making it rain,”
minors-galore, and a smaller
R&B market, all mixed together can only lead to one thing
- a R. Kelly mixtape. The Pied Piper himself teams up with
Mr. Thanksgiving to put out The Demo Tape, which proves the Pied Piper still
fucks around, but, as always, not when it comes to the music. Kellz adds his
flavor to tracks like Drake’s “Best I Ever Had” and brings exclusives such as
“Superman High” with OJ Da Juiceman. Regardless of what you think of Mr.
Kelly as a person, The Demo Tape is another reason you can’t question Kellz as
a musician. - Rohit Loomba
Nephewblaq & DJ Smallz
Sponsored By The Streetz
Orlando, FL’s Nephewblaq has
been after it for quite some
time, so chances are you’ve seen his picture in OZONE at
least once. Photo ops aside, this Nephewblaq & DJ Smallz
mixtape is a small step in the right direction, but Nephew’s bars still leave
room for improvement. He has an ear for picking decent beats, but his ability
to precisely ride the production he selects is the issue. Of course, artists like
Gucci Mane and OJ Da Juiceman have proven you don’t necessary have to be
the most fluent rapper to be successful, but whereas Gucci and OJ overcame
their shortcomings and still make catchy records, Nephewblaq isn’t the
same story. “Da Ice Got Me To Fly,”“I Love America,” “I Run These Streetz” are
somewhat memorable, but if the streets sponsored this mixtape, that money
might have been best spent someplace else. - Randy Roper
Laws & DJ Smallz
Your Future Favorite Rapper
For someone “born in Brazil,
raised in Long Island, in white
suburbs,” Laws raps pretty
good. Unfortunately that means he probably won’t be in
any of your favorite music videos anytime soon, so this
project’s title may not apply to the masses. And at times his content is somewhat repetitive. But with authentic concepts and amusing delivery, along
with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and Trackburnerz’ production, Laws’ proves he’s in
the right business, though he tends to criticize it too much. Not one to cater
to radio, aside from the enjoyable crossover song “Rain,” you can expect more
bar-for-bar lyricism than Billboard chart toppers from Laws - which is a good
thing if you appreciate skill over mindless entertainment. - Ms. Rivercity
Trick Daddy & DJ Dephtone/
The Product 7
We haven’t heard much lately
MIA’s original don dada, Trick
Daddy. However, while he
may have been away, it’s apparent that he hasn’t been
sleeping. He linked up with Miami mixtape legend DJ
Dephtone to put together 24 tracks of some of his best music in years.
Simply put, this shit rides out. Filled with exclusive tracks and appearances
from artists like Young Jeezy, Kanye, and Majic, this is a great way for Trick to
bring back his buzz. - Tony Burgos
OZONE MAG // 61
melody or even a drum, whatever we feel.
Lee Major: There ain’t really no order, it’s just
whatever vibe we catch first.
What other albums did you get placements on
after the Ace Hood album?
Lee Major: We produced for Young Jeezy, DJ
Khaled, more recently Rick Ross, Deeper Than
Rap, Jadakiss, and there’s more to come.
Moe: The Flo Rida album. We’re just constantly
working, trying to get on every project.
the Inkredibles, a production duo
that consists of Maurice “Moe” Carpenter and Leigh “Lee Major” Elliott,
are well on their way to becoming
household names in Hip Hop. HAVING producED hit records for Ace
Hood, Young Jeezy, Fat Joe, Jadakiss,
and Rick Ross, the Inkredibles have
a discography that even veteran
producers would ENVY. Under the
tutelage of DJ Nasty and DJ Khaled,
this production duo from Richmond, Virginia, is bringing something “inkredible” to the game.
Production Credits: Ace Hood F/Trey Songz
“Ride,” Young Jeezy “Vacation,” Jadakiss F/Mary J.
Blige “Grind Hard,” Rick Ross “Mafia Music”
You’re signed with Nasty Beatmakers and We
The Best. How’d y’all get with Nasty and Khaled?
Moe: Through a guy named Spiff TV. He heard
our music , played it for Nasty, and Nasty signed
us. Then Khaled heard our music and wanted to
jump on board.
How is it being a part of We The Best?
Moe: I think it’s wonderful because Khaled has
that president position at Def Jam South, so he’s
keeping us on every project. He goes in hard,
and he wants the best for us, so I think it’s great
cause he motivates us to go beyond our means.
We The Best, that’s what he lives and dies for.
So, that’s what we live and die for, to be the best
producers that are out there.
What would you say is the Inkredibles’ sound?
Lee Major: We’re versatile, so we don’t have one
certain sound. We go in the studio, work with
62 // OZONE MAG
You produced three songs on Deeper Than Rap.
How was that experience for you two as new
producers?
Moe: It feels great to be a part of a classic album.
I think you can put the CD in and listen to it from
start to finish. It’s just great music. It feels great
to be a part of something that the world loves.
anybody and bang out hits. It’s not like we’re just
“in the box” producers.
Moe: We try to go for big radio records, more
commercial stuff, like that Top 40 type of sound.
That’s the music that we shoot for.
Where did you get the name “Inkredibles” from?
Moe: It doesn’t have anything to do with the
cartoon. We just needed a name to come out
with that describes our work, and we felt that’s
the best name that matches what we do.
What was your first placement on a major album?
Moe: Ace Hood’s “Ride” featuring Trey Songz.
Lee Major: It was a good experience getting our
first placement. Everyone was excited.
Moe: Our first placement was a single. To make
106th & Park, and then for the video to go #1, I
think that was great.
Did you have thing else on Ace Hood’s album?
Moe: We had five joints on there. We got the
“Ride (Remix)” with Rick Ross and Juelz [Santana].
We got “Call Me” featuring Lloyd, “Get Him” and
“Money Over Here.”
What’s your production process like?
Moe: We go in the studio with an artist in mind,
and we try to catch a vibe, and work on something that will fit the artist. We’ll start off with a
You produced “Usual Suspects” with Nas on
Deeper Than Rap. What was your reaction when
you heard Nas was getting on the beat?
Lee Major: That was a good moment because Nas
is one of my favorite rappers. He’s definitely a
legend in the game.
Moe: We both grew up listening to Nas, so I think
it was a great collaboration.
Another song you produced is “Mafia Music,”
which is the song Ross first dissed 50 Cent on.
How did you react when you first heard Ross’
diss?
Moe: We were like, “Wow.” We knew we had a
lot of stuff ahead of us, cause we knew once
the record came out it was gonna be big. It was
like another Jay-Z and Nas situation where like
“Ether,” it’s going to get a lot of attention.
What else do you have lined up?
Moe: Ace Hood we’ve got lined up. Rick Ross is
working on another album.
Lee Major: We got Fat Joe’s new single out featuring Akon called “One,” so we’re working.
Moe: We got some stuff coming out on Jeezy’s
project, and some R&B projects. Just stay tuned.
Y’all been hearing a lot of Hip Hop stuff [from
us]. We do Hip Hop for fun. We’re working with
Adrienne Bailon from 3LW, Rihanna, and Amerie.
R&B and Pop is what we do, that’s where we go
in at, so stay tuned for that. It’s just a whole other
side for the world to see. //
Grand Hustle &
Greg Street
“Greg Hustle: The Mixtape Vol. 1”
1. DJ Whoo Kid, DJ Scream & Shaq “The Hit List” djwhookid.org Myspace.c
om/4045405000
2. DJ Teknikz “If U Buyin We Sellin Vol. 22” Myspace.com/djteknikz
3. ATLiens “The Mixtape”
4. MLK & T.I. “A Year And A Day” Myspace.com/mlkng
5. DJ Spinatik “Street Runnaz 37” Djspinatik.com/
6. DJ Chuck T “Down South Slangin’ 59” djchuckt.com
7. DJ G-Spot, Gucci Mane & DJ Da Juiceman “The White Bros: The South
15” Djgspot.com
8. DJ Mr. King “Southern Smothered & Covered 13” Hosted by Dorrough Music myspace.com/djmrking
9. DJ Bobby Black “N.W.A.: Crack Addiction – West Coast Edition” Myspace.c
om/djbobbyblack
10. Lil Fats “Coast 2 Coast 82” Hosted by Styles P Coast2coastmixtapes.com
11. DJ Wizkid “Serving The Streets Vol. II” Hosted by Roscoe Myspace.c
om/djwizkidmusic
12. DJ Nik Bean “Streetz of LA 8” Hosted by Kurupt Myspace.com/nikbean
13. DJ Scorpio & Janiro “Follow Me: The Mix CD Part 2” Hosted by Cristal aka Serious
DJs, send your mix CDs (with a cover) for
consideration to:
14. Evil Empire “N.Y. Trafficking” Myspace.com/evilempire
15. DJ E-Top “Trap To The Future” Myspace.com/etopent
16. DJ Woogie “Gucci The Great” Myspace.com/djwoogie
17. Mick Boogie & ThePressPlayShow.com “Hammer Time: Past, Present & Future” Hosted by MC
Hammer
Atlanta DJ Greg Street, and the house that
T.I. and Jason Geter built, teamed up for
this month’s Mix of the Month. The mixtape
features a shitload of exclusive Grand Hustle
music. From new joints by Killer Mike (“Man
Up,”“My City” & “Pay Up”) to cuts from Big
Kuntry (“End Of The Night” featuring Shawty
Redd) and Young Dro (“Rock Diamonds” & “You
Nasty” featuring Akon) to unreleased songs by
the King himself (“Make You Sweat” & “Don’t
Forget” with Mary J. Blige), the Greg Hustle
mixtape proves that unlike LeBron James and
the Cleveland Cavaliers, this King’s team is far
from a one man show.
Mickboogie.com
OZONE Magazine
644 Antone St. Suite 6
Atlanta, GA 30318
18. Mike Johns “Maury Povich: I Am Not The Baby’s Daddy”
19. DJ Wheezy “Trill Skillz 4.0” Myspace.com/djwheezy
20. DJ Drizzle “Mix Vol. 18” Myspace.com/djdrizzle
OZONE MAG // 63
64 // OZONE MAG
OZONE MAG // 65
endzone
Trey Songz
Venue: Sobe Live
City: Miami, FL
Date: May 24th, 2009
Photo: Terrence Tyson
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