BUN B DRUG - Ozone Magazine
YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
THE killer drug
RECESSION? WHAT RECESSION?
of DEAD PREZ
28 // OZONE WEST
SAN QUINN MUGZI
Too $hort Kicks Game
YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
DJ SCREW BY THE GALLON
CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP
SAN QUINN MUGZI
Too $hort Kicks Game
OZONE MAG // // OZONE MAG
OZONE MAG // // OZONE MAG
OZONE MAG // // OZONE MAG
OZONE MAG // // OZONE MAG
OZONE MAG // 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
PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR // Malik Abdul
SPECIAL EDITION EDITOR // Jen McKinnon
MARKETING DIRECTOR // David Muhammad Sr.
LEGAL CONSULTANT // Kyle P. King, P.A.
SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER // Adero Dawson
ADMINISTRATIVE // Kisha Smith
INTERN // Kari Bradley
CONTRIBUTORS // Bogan, Charlamagne the God,
Chuck T, Cierra Middlebrooks, Destine Cajuste,
Edward Hall, Felita Knight, Jacinta Howard, Jaro
Vacek, Jessica Koslow, J Lash, Jason Cordes,
Jo Jo, Johnny Louis, Kamikaze, Keadron Smith,
Keith Kennedy, K.G. Mosley, King Yella, Luis
Santana, Luxury Mindz, Marcus DeWayne, Matt
Sonzala, Maurice G. Garland, Mercedes (Strictly
Streets), Natalia Gomez, Ray Tamarra, Rico Da
Crook, Robert Gabriel, Rohit Loomba, Shannon
McCollum, Spiff, Stan Johnson, Swift, Thaddeus
McAdams, Wally Sparks, Wendy Day
STREET REPS // 3rd Leg Greg, Adam Murphy, Alex
Marin, Al-My-T, Benz, Big Brd, B-Lord, Big Ed,
Big Teach (Big Mouth), Bigg V, Black, Bo Money,
Brandi Garcia, Brian Eady, Buggah D. Govanah
(On Point), Bull, C Rola, Cartel, Cedric Walker,
Chad Joseph, Charles Brown, Chill, Chuck T,
Christian Flores, 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 EFeezy, DJ EFN, Episode, Eric Hayes, Erik Tee, F4
Entertainment, G Dash, G-Mack, George Lopez,
Gorilla Promo, Haziq Ali, Hezeleo, H-Vidal,
Hotgirl Maximum, Jae Slimm, Jammin’ Jay, Janiro
Hawkins, Jarvon Lee, Jay Noii, Jeron Alexander,
JLN Photography, Joe Anthony, Johnny Dang,
Judah, Judy Jones, Kenneth Clark, Klarc Shepard,
Kool Laid, Kurtis Graham, Kydd Joe, Lex, Lump,
Lutoyua Thompson, Marco Mall, Mario Grier,
Marlei Mar, DJ M.O.E., Music & More, Natalia
Gomez, Nikki Kancey, Oscar Garcia, P Love, Pat
Pat, Phattlipp, Pimp G, Quest, DJ Rage, Rapid Ric,
Robert Lopez, Rob-Lo, Robski, Rohit Loomba,
Scorpio, Sir Thurl, Southpaw, Spade Spot, Stax,
Sweetback, Teddy T, TJ’s DJ’s, Tim Brown, Tony
Rudd, Tre Dubb, Tril Wil, Trina Edwards, Troy Kyles,
Vicious, Victor Walker, DJ Vlad, Voodoo, Wild Billo,
Will Hustle, Wu Chang, Young Harlem, Yung DVS
SUBSCRIPTIONS // To subscribe, send check or
money order for $20 to:
Ozone Magazine, Inc.
Attn: Subscriptions Dept
644 Antone St. Suite 6
Atlanta, GA 30318
56-58 PURPLE RAIN
76-77 UGK RECORDS
85under the influence
MUST HAVE BEEN HIGH
“FREEWAY” RICKY ROSS
62-65 BAPTIZED IN DIRTY WATER
MORE MONEY MORE PROBLEMS
JB’S 2 CENTS
10 THINGS I’M HATIN’ ON
CHAIN REACTION: YO GOTTI
TJ’S DJ’S TASTEMAKERS CD REVIEW
COVER CREDITS // Bun B photo (this page) by Mike
Frost; Bun B photos (cover) courtesy of LRG; Vic
Damone photo by King Yella; Webbie photo by
King Yella; Dolla photo courtesy of Jive Records.
DISCLAIMER // OZONE Magazine is published 12
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
2008 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
CALVIN KLEIN: AMERICAN GANGSTER
BUN B pg 70-
OZONE MAG // 11
Send your comments to [email protected]
or hit us up at www.myspace.com/ozonemagazine
I just read the December 2007 issue of your magazine and the article on Lil
Wayne was amazing. It couldn’t have been any better. I think Lil Wayne is
arguably the best rapper in the game right now and I’m a huge fan of his.
- Pat Durnigan, [email protected]
I love OZONE. Y’all’s 2007 Year End Awards were mad funny and on point.
The only problem I have with your magazine is that it’s so damn hard to find
in the Midwest. I’ve gotta run around on a scavenger hunt to find it, but it’s
worth it. OZONE and XXL are the two magazines I go out of my way to find.
Keep up the good work!
– Young Deuces, myspace.com/StreetznYoungDeuces (Milwaukee, WI)
JB, I just read the 2 Cents that you did on Pimp C and you almost got me
teary eyed. Shit, I’m lying, you did get me teary eyed! I’m too hard for that
shit! But I was very touched about what you said in your column, because
when Slim & I heard the news, I couldn’t help but cry. I guess it kinda hit me
a little hard because I was a UGK fan for so many years and then to hear that
one of your favorite rappers isn’t going to continue to make anymore new
music that I grew up listening to was almost like it wasn’t real. Even though
I only met him once, his music made me feel like I’ve known him forever. He
will truly be missed in this household! Keep up the great work with OZONE!
– Candy Girl, [email protected] (Atlanta, GA)
I just caught the December 2007 annual Sex Issue, and yes, I’m late! First of
all, great job of showcasing so many different perspectives from rappers,
strippers, pimps, prostitutes, and groupies on sex and sexuality. It was definitely an interesting read. But there did seem to be one arena that was left
totally untouched, and that was the BDSM arena! I know most folks view this
type of action as “creepy white people stuff” but there is a scene here, and
from my perspective it’s up and coming. I work off and on as a dominatrix,
and there’s so much that this scene has to offer. There are a respectable
number of attractive, sexy women of color who are getting into this, and it’s
honestly something that empowers us. We’re kicking scrawny white ass and
getting paid for it! We’re not necessarily getting naked, and not necessarily
fucking. We’re using our brains to conduct serious mind-fuck sessions, and
our bodies are to be worshipped and adored. We are drawing on our inherent
female superiority to make these men grovel and beg. And yes, I realize that
these kinds of clients are more often than not white businessmen, but as
women of color we can rule these men without a second thought. I would
love to see this topic touched on in OZONE - in the Sex Issue ’08 or sooner!
– Mistress Agave, [email protected]
I loved the December issue. I’ve been a fan of Lil Wayne since Tha Block Is
Hot. I knew he was deep then, but I didn’t know he was that deep. He is
really intelligent and I enjoyed reading the whole interview. I also liked the
piece on Lloyd, he’s so sexy and seems real down to earth. He’s one of my
favorite R&B artists in the game right now. Keep up the good work, OZONE!
– myspace.com/ptdabaddest (California)
12 // OZONE MAG
I hardly ever get to read an OZONE Magazine but today I read your 2 Cents
and I was so impressed that I had to start typing before I lose the inspiration and passion of my comment. Your 2 Cents in the January issue was very
well said; the words fell right into place and it became easier to read. It
seems that once you put the pen on the paper your heart took over. I can
appreciate an editorial that comes from the heart. Like many of his true
fans I miss Pimp C too and I still can’t believe it myself. Your 2 Cents are
worth a million and you said it best: We will miss his charisma. I hope in
some way he was able to hear your spirit as you were writing.
– Rory, [email protected] (Dallas, TX)
OH MY GOD! This fuckin’ magazine is amazing. The Sex Issue is off the fuckin’
planet. JB, you are my favorite person in Hip Hop, period. I’ve read damn
near everything you’ve ever printed.
– Quake, [email protected] (Atlanta, GA)
This is my first time ever being introduced to an OZONE Magazine. My
homegirl showed it to me and the first thing I saw was Lil Wayne, so I knew
I had to really get into it. When I ran through the pages, every one of ‘em
caught my eye and it was a great feeling. I’ve never been so interested in a
magazine before. They’ve never ever been that serious to me, but now I’m
going to read every one that comes out.
– Diamond Robinson, [email protected]
Thanks for those words on the Grit Boys in the Year End Awards. It shows
that people still appreciate good lyrics.
– Scooby, myspace.com/gritboys (Houston, TX)
You’re killing the magazine game right now! I tell anybody who will listen
that OZONE is the best magazine out. The latest issue with the dedication to
Pimp C is awesome. I’m going to miss The Chronicles of Pimp C. That was the
first thing I turned to in the magazine to read. I knew he was going to “tell
the truth and shame the devil.” To your credit, you saw the specialty in Pimp
C and hundreds of Southern artists to whom you’ve given a stellar platform.
– Beno, eadymusicgroup.com (Albuquerque, NM)
Thanks for having Lil Wayne in the December issue. Please keep having him
on the cover. Next time you have him in OZONE, can you ask him: 1) How
many women have you had sex with? 2) How many virgins have you had
sex with? 3) Have any women asked if they can measure your dick, and if
they did ask, would you let them? 4) Where are the places you’ve already
had sex? 5) How long can you last in bed? 6) Do you like to cuddle after sex?
I can’t think of any more questions right now, but I’ll send the rest later.
– Yanira Ramirez, [email protected]
Editor Responds: Damn, you didn’t think the questions we asked him were
I’m Hatin’ On
s we’re finishing the annual “drug issue” I’m also arguing with
our distributor, who doesn’t think it should be allowed in stores
because of the controversial subject matter. This is a battle that I
fight nearly every month. Everywhere I go people complain that they
have a hard time finding OZONE Mag. Well, just like radio station playlists are controlled by people sitting in a cubicle in some random location who have no clue what local listeners want to hear, chain stores
that carry magazines are controlled by one buyer who decides which
content is acceptable and which isn’t, so I have old white people who
hate rap music sitting behind a desk hundreds of miles away telling me I’ve
got to “tone it down” because the consumers don’t want to see such naughty
by Alexyss Tylor a.k.a.
the Vagina Power lady
4. WOMEN’S STANKIN’ PUSSY
I’m hating on women with bad hygiene. I’m sorry,
even though I am a woman, I’ve been noticing
this and I’ve smelled it. And the people are telling
me, too. A lot of times we need to just go check
ourselves. We need to go to the bathroom: work
bathroom, public bathroom, it don’t matter. When
I go to the public bathroom I see it a lot, we
don’t wash properly. Women leave a funky ass
bathroom, so I wish that when we go places we
would take us some damn fresh wipes or salt
water, or something in our pocketbooks. It’s a
problem if I’m walking by you, or am standing
in a close area—in a restaurant even and you got
fishy smelling pussy.
5. SKID MARKS IN THEIR DRAWERS
Women are tired of these niggas lookin’ good;
fine ass niggas with they expensive ass suits on,
and expensive shoes and socks on, and then they
take they draws off and they ass is stankin’ and
they dick is stankin’ because they shittin’ and not
washing they ass properly or getting all the shit
out. I don’t know if they need to shave the hair
around they asshole, or if they need to get a wax
‘round they asshole, or spray that muthafucka wit
some Lysol, or something, but they really need to
change they hygiene. Women are tired of laying
I then pointed out that our annual “drug issue” and “sex issue” are always top
sellers, so clearly the consumer is more turned on than off by our raw content.
Apparently it’s okay for Playboy to have women posing naked, but if I ask a
recovering crack addict what prompted him to pick up the pipe that first time,
that’s a problem. Clearly, drug addiction is a problem in our country - not just
in our country, but worldwide. How are we supposed to find solutions without
pinpointing the original problem?
I’m not encouraging anyone to sell drugs, do drugs, or even think about drugs.
My opinion has always been that there are too many natural highs in life to
waste time, energy, and money on putting chemical substances into my body. I
believe in the natural order of life: what goes up must come down. But I think
we’d be doing a disservice to ourselves to avoid discussing issues that are a
reality in our community: alcoholism (pg. 82), lives destroyed by crack cocaine
(pg. 24), intelligent minds behind bars (shouts out to Zo, Tampa Tony, & Smoke
D); the negative effects of cough syrup abuse which hit home recently with the
death of Pimp C (pg. 56, 85) and how it affects their loved ones (pg. 70); rappers
glamorizing crack cocaine in their music (pg. 60); all the money that’s spent on
drugs that could go to more positive uses (pg. 42, 67, 78).
My lil rapper friend always jokes that I’m the “Hip Hop missionary” sent to save
rappers from their lives of misogyny and destruction and sin, and we laugh.
Although there might be a little bit of truth to it, don’t get me wrong. I’m not
here to preach at anybody or tell anybody to change. Can’t knock the hustle.
But it’s actually frightening how much knowledge I’ve gained about the drug
game simply by publishing a rap magazine. Our worlds are truly intertwined.
3. Men WITH BREATH THAT SMELLS LIKE ASS
I’m just tired of these men approaching me when
their mouth hygiene is real fucked up, and every
time they talk, all that ass-breath hit you in yo
gotdamn face. Clean yo damn mouth, brush yo
teeth, get a new partial, or fix that muthafuckin
twisted partial, or start some golds up, or something, ‘cause this is ridiculous out here. All these
men get up in yo face wanting to talk and they
got that funky ass breath in a raggedy ass mouth.
Webbie & I in New Orleans
Me & Big Boi in Atlanta
2. Women who wear OBVIOUS WEAVE
Go get your fucking hair fixed! If you gon’ wear
a weave, or if you gon wear a portion of a lace
front wig, get it touched up on a regular basis or
style it in a way that we cannot tell that it is a
weave, and so we don’t see nappy ass hair hanging out, or tracks hanging out so that we do not
know that the textures do not match. We know it’s
white folks’ hair and nigga hair blended together,
or on the same head in different locations.
Young Jeezy, me, & Young
Buck in Las Vegas
Mistah FAB & I in the Bay
1. BLACK ON BLACK CRIME
In Dekalb County [Georgia] where I am there a
lot of black boys who are so full of self hatred
and shame that they are creating gangs, or
joining gangs that go around doing initiation
by shooting other black boys just to prove that
they are men. This shows me that we still have
a lot of young black boys that hate themselves.
It’s so easy for your young black boys to shoot
each other down like dogs, and shoot anything
down that looks like a reflection of themselves.
If we keep going at that rate, we ain’t gon’ have
another generation. The generation we gon’ have
is gon’ be in jail, on dope, and on the streets
and have nothing to offer to the women that
are coming up and the children that are coming
up. We are basically committing genocide. When
one black boy shoots another black boy we are
destroying the sperm cells that could bring forth
a whole prolific generation of new black men
Alexyss had so much hate last month we had
to split it into two parts!
Malik, me, & Slim Goodye
From a strictly business standpoint, I respect the entrepreneurial skills of
organizations like BMF; the skills of the Frank Lucases and “Freeway” Ricky
Rosses (pg. 36) and the fictional Tony Montanas. My point is that it’s such a
waste of great business minds. If they had put that same time and effort into a
legitimate business they might not have made as much money, but it would’ve
lasted longer and they would still have their freedom. Granted, I’ve never had
the luxury of blowing millions of dollars, so I can’t tell you how it feels, but I
think if you ask most of them (pg. 26), at the end of the day it wasn’t worth it.
On one OZONE trip, our wrapped CRUNK!!! truck was looking pretty grimy after
a long day on the road so I asked a local rapper to take us to the nearest car
wash. After we ran it through the wash he directed a homeless crackhead to
clean up the rims. Now, dude was into it. I mean, he was on a mission. I was
impressed. He got down on his knees and put his all into it. I tried to give him a
can of CRUNK!!! Energy Drink and he barely noticed. No distractions, no breaks,
and by the time he was done thirty minutes later, our rims were sparkling clean.
And then I learned why: Our local tour guide paid him with a crack rock.
So it got me thinking: Wouldn’t the world would be a much better place if we all
worked as hard as crackheads when they’re about to be rewarded with a rock?
We all should desire to win as bad as a fiend desires their next fix. And no matter what your job is, we all should be hustlers; we all should have “the world is
mine” mentality. Just stay away from that cocaine. It’s the devil (pg. 79).
- Julia Beverly, [email protected]
Rick Ross f/ Trick Daddy, Young Jeezy & Lil Wayne “Luxury Tax”
Webbie f/ Rick Ross & Birdman “Miracle”
Rock City “After The Club”
Blu “Just Another Day”
B.G. “Ode to the Hot Boyz”
Plies f/ Trey Songz “Bust It Baby (remix)”
Scarface “Git Out My Face”
JC f/ Gorilla Zoe “Nobody Gotta Know”
Jean Grae “Love Thirst”
Common “The Light 2008”
Snoop “Neva Hafa Worry”
OZONE MAG // 13
14 // OZONE MAG
OZONE MAG // 15
’ , HIT US UP at [email protected]
SEE WOHR ANOTT’SREPRESENTED AT ALL
THE SITTY IS MISREPRESENTED,
OZO FEEL THAT YOUR C
All of Oklahoma showed up to the Cox Business
Services Center for Deja Vu Entertainment and Wild
104.9’s 1st Annual Holiday Fest starring Lil Wayne, Gorilla Zoe, Juelz Santana, and Yung Berg. 1st Saturday’s
at Club Hive is completely ladies night and DJ Ramao
continues to shut the club down spinning the latest
club bangaz. Tulsa has caught on to the contagious
vintage 80’s clothing trend; Quickie Mart is the spot
to shop for the tightest Hip Hop vintage garments for
the streets. Kanebeatz produced new tracks for Baby,
Flo-Rida, and Rob G’s new albums.
- DJ Civil Rightz (Myspace.com/DJCivilRightz)
BAY ST. LOUIS, MS:
2007 has come to a close and there was no place to
be for New Year’s Eve but Nel’s Sports Bar & Lounge.
Everybody and their momma came out including the
Block Burners, Gotty Boi Chris, Shine Baby, T-Byrd,
and of course the Swamp Root Klik whose single “You
Know the Sound” is tearing up the streets. Carlos
Cartel, Pimp G, Lil Hound, Greg B, Big G, and Mississippi
O are also holding it down for Mississippi.
- DJ Deliyte ([email protected])
Hurricane has been hosting the Kentucky U.S.A. (Unsigned Artist) nights every Thursday at Club Stages.
This is where local talent gets seen and heard. SOLO
had his hit single “EEEH” added to the radio format
on B96.5 fm. Plies came to town and shut it down!
Wild Style/ Wild City Entertainment opened up for Plies
and it was a sight to see. That crew has showmanship. Wild Wayne showed his ass as always though.
John Doe of Johnsdomain T.V. Show dropped his
documentary DVD titled Is Hip-Hop Dead or Alive? It
was sponsored by Unstoppable Sound Agency.
- Divine Da Instagata ([email protected])
DALLAS/FT. WORTH, TX:
Lil Will dropped the remix to “My Dougie” featuring
Tum Tum. Speaking of Lil Will, the K104 Morning Team
spoke on a beef with him and Soulja Boy that just got
squashed. Word is Soulja Boy stole the “My Dougie”
dance for some of his own moves. Lil Shine from Big
Wheel Records has a fire club singled called “Check
Out My Lean.” DJs K-Roc and C-Note stay breaking local hits at Club GG’s. The Trap Starz’ video “Get It Big”
is rotating on BET. BoBo Luchiano lost his bro Pimp C;
DFW still reps Boleg & Twisted Black.
- Edward “Pookie” Hall ([email protected])
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK:
The New Breed is a ménage of talent from the middle
of the map (PDA, Drakdee, MeduNetr, Playya1000 and
Deeksta, MistaCain, Hotlink) to the East coast with acts
such as Big Rec, LEWN, and Ntrepid. The New Breed
mentality is a new fresh perspective on the Hip Hop
nation. From beat to beat, lyric to lyric, The New Breed
uses Hip Hop to show the world the good and bad in
all of us. Oklahoma City is quickly becoming a breeding ground for The New Breed of Hip Hop. The City
Boyz (Myspace.com/CityBoyZok) have some sure crowd
pleasers with “The American Dream” and “Holla.”
- Marshlynn Bolden ([email protected])
16 // OZONE MAG
The area’s homicide rate rose 10% from 2006. This
has the community leaders in an uproar. The King of
Cleveland, Scratch Master L, has returned to WENZ.
L-Soprano will return to his daily 5 p.m. slot. High
school b-ball is off and running. Top-ranked player
Delvon Roe is out for the season thus opening the
door for #2 ranked Garfield. Sonny Johnson’s team
is led by Carl Jones and Robert Wilson (Wis). Coach
Wojciechowski’s VASJ Vikings (#5) led by Nate Barnes
will have a say as the season rolls on. The Browns
returned to respectability by posting a 10 win season.
- “X” Allah ([email protected])
The Hittsquad DJs are a new crew in Chicago dedicated to breaking records in clubs and on mixtapes.
DJ Shotime is the official club-rocker of Chicago. He
continues to break records at Club D’Vine. Jak Frost
has a mixtape release party at Zentra hosted by
Freeway and Beanie Sigel. L.E.P. has a new banger
with Fabolous called “We Ain’t Playing.” Hot to Def
just shot a video for “Walkin Around the Club.” Superpromoter Donski had his Capricorn bash at RedNoFive.
DJ Timbuktu, from WGCI, just launched GO ILL Radio
on Saturday nights. Hymalaya’s new single “Let Me
Get That” is building in the clubs. The Chicago Music
Conference went down in February. DJ KCPerfect, DJ
Predator, DJ Averi Minor, and DJ Shotime were just
made CORE Streetz DJs.
- Jamal Hooks ([email protected])
KANSAS CITY, MO/KS:
Cash Image is now the number one played indie artist
in rotation on HOT 103 JAMZ with his banger “In My
Chevy.” He’s also been added to Fat Man Scoop’s Full
Throttle Radio and SupeRadio’s syndicated mix show
Club Jams. Mon E-G wrapped up his video shoot in
Miami for “Chevy Anthem Remix” featuring Rick Ross.
It has cameos from down South and BET heavyweights. Bodyworks Phase II will be closed until April.
When it re-opens it will hold 1,500. Kenny Diamondz’
mixshow Underground Heat on HOT 103 JAMZ now has
two days to break new music in KC.
- Kenny Diamondz ([email protected])
ST. LOUIS, MO:
A-Verb and Street Status DVD brought back the battle
scene in STL with World War. The battles can be seen at
Myspace.com/averb. Ruka Puff had a nice turn out at
Dante’s for the premiere of his DVD Grind or Die. Tech
Supreme dropped his mixtape Hip Hop Ain’t Dead in
STL. It features Tech Supreme, Tef Poe, Family Affair,
and a few others. 2 Gun Trust of the ALL STARS has his
solo mixtape Da Campaign out in the streets. TOP TEN
TUESDAYS and DJ Shock have just dropped the TOP TEN
TUESDAYS mixtape. It features County Brown, Family
Affair, Dutch Jackson, Phillthy Rich, EQ, and a whole
- Jesse James ([email protected])
The 2008 SXSW (South by South West) is just around
the corner. Basswood Lane dropped their new single
“The A” featuring J-Kapone. Tosin and TheScrewShop.
com just dropped the Stop Stealin’ Our Style mixtape.
Every Thursday night, the Light Bar turns into the
Soul Lounge. VIP, Set 4 Life, Slim Gutta, and more held
down their performances at Karma. DJ Grip headed
down I-35 to San Antonio to join Kyle Lee, Fade Dogg,
and Question for an autograph signing at SupaFly.
Paul Wall came through town for a show at Fuze. Rest
in peace Chad “Pimp C” Butler. UGK for life.
- O.G. of Luxury Mindz ([email protected])
Baby Drew, Strick, Taste Emcees, Black Elephant,
Beefe, Fam 1st and Cincere are a few names buzzing
in The Mil right now. There are many different venues
supporting independent Hip Hop in the 414. Myspace.
com/414Luv is a cool spot to check out local events,
artists and labels. One Mic/Many Voices gets a significant mention for encouraging artists to help promote
peace on the streets. Miltown also has one of the
hottest spoken word scenes in the country. We build
with all independent artists.
- Fidel Vasquez ([email protected])
The DMV Awards are gearing up for their second show.
The categories are widespread, ranging from best
spoken word artist to most supportive radio personality. While some of the names on the recently released
nominees list are noticeable, many of the nominees
are not well-known outside of their immediate circles.
Many higher-profiled rap acts that should’ve been
obvious nominees are noticeably absent. Notable
nominees that did get a nod include 20 Bello, Multiple
Man, Laelo Hood, Shy Thoro, Porche 9-11, Da Committee, Harlem X, and Tabi Bonney.
- Pharoh Talib ([email protected])
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA:
McArthur Mall was flooded this holiday season with all
types of celebrities from Pharrell to Timbaland. Young
Fame recruits Torch and Dirty Nation to bring B-More
club music to the airwaves of VA. Also, Young Fame’s
debut album Hip-Hopcrisy is coming to your hood soon.
You can catch Anguz Black doing this stand up comedy
thing at The Funnybone on Wednesday nights. The
Clipse signed with Columbia Records and the streets are
patiently awaiting their release. Fam-Lay is coming one
step closer to strangling his label’s executives. He’s been
pushed back again.
- Derrick Tha Franchise ([email protected])
MYRTLE BEACH, SC:
Myrtle Beach is the 4th fastest growing market in the
country so it’s about to go down in the ‘08. It would
not be right if I didn’t say RIP to Pimp C. I will miss his
music but Pimp C will still live in all of us real niggas’
hearts. My prayers go out to his family and friends
and to all of my people who have lost a love one. The
only way to honor your lost people is to keep them in
your thoughts and prayers and continue to go out and
make success for yourself. In the words of UGK, please
keep it trill.
- Mr. Smith (Myspace.com/SmithBigShow)
Jeezy came through Macon and showed love. The
Kadalack Boyz (Myspace.com/KadalackBoyz), with a
little help from DJ Rick Flare (Myspace.com/DJRicFlare), threw the New Year’s Eve party to remember.
They also dropped the Together We Stand/Divided
We Fall mixtape. Tex James’ solo mixtape dropped in
February. The 11th Hour Mag People’s Choice Awards
started off the year (Myspace.com/The11thHourMacon). They showed Hip Hop love and pitted some of
Mac Town’s hottest emcees against each other.
- Ali Roc ([email protected])
This month Montgomery was on fire with performances by Jeezy, Shawty Lo, Chrisette Michelle, Rocko,
and Yung Ralph. Jeezy’s performance was tight as
hell. He stayed on stage for thirty minutes giving the
crowd exactly what they wanted. He didn’t have to
do his own ad libs because the crowd had his back.
Shawty Lo turned out the Rose Supper Club twice
this month right before Long Money Entertainment’s
Patron party. Boycott Records have big things popping for 2008.
- Hot Girl Maximum ([email protected])
NEW ORLEANS, LA:
This month had some of the biggest parties New
Orleans has ever seen. Everyone who is someone
watched the ball drop at Club Dream New Orleans with
DJ Hollaback. Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets
threw his Certified All Star Party at Club Ampersand.
Speaking of the Hornets, the Hornets Buzz Fest
2007 was successful with the hot girl group Elysian
Fields performing live. Everyone was at Club Metro
for Ultra Sundays with Raj Smoove; Young Fame was
even in there poppin’ bottles. If you’re looking for a
dime that’s top of the line, hit up She She’s on Chef
- Derrick Tha Franchise
Demp Week went down January 7th through the 13th.
The annual celebration, which has been around for
over 10 years, jumped off with lots of special celebrity
guests, games, fashion shows, community events and
more. Stars like Buddha from I Love New York 2 (who
is a former Tallahassee resident), Lil Duval, Rick Ross,
Trick Daddy, DJ Khaled, and Juvenile came through.
Notty Black of the Nappy Headz, the group that T-Pain
got his start in, is on the charts with “Freaky Song”
featuring T-Pain. Vote for Obama in ‘08!
- DJ Dap ([email protected])
Kheep Entertainment presented Tony Khuu’s American
Gangster birthday party hosted by TV Johnny. Ajaxxx
won 102 JAMZ’ Rap Against Violence contest. R. Kelly
made the Double Up tour official when he stepped
through Orlando alongside Keyshia Cole and J.
Holiday. Iconz Night Club shut the city down with their
Christmas party that was crammed from wall to wall.
Blitz Krieg collaborated with TREAL on a record that
promises to be a banger in 2008. Wes Fif inked a deal
- Destine Cajuste ([email protected])
SAN ANTONIO, TX:
We had some big things popping off in San Antonio,
including the biggest MLK march in the country. The
Annual Hip Hop Summit was that same weekend and
included the likes of Bun B, Rob G, and Tha Coalition
– San Antonio’s very own super group. Even more
people and visitors than last year showed up.
- Bishop Maxx ([email protected])
A true pioneer, Klondike Kat of the S.P.C. is prepping
his spring release The Game Needs Me. The Dre Steel
Project is coming soon. He’s got the streets buzzing
with his new song “Whole Hood’s Behind Me.” Slim
Thug and the Boss Hogg Outlawz are back all over the
city. Kid Stylez and Jayne Wilda Designs are hooking
up the streets with whatever they need. MC Qua
makes everybody feel comfortable at the Downtown
office. Need studio time or beats? If you have the
money at the door, Cory Mo has what you need. Uppa
Dek is dropping The NoseBleed Section soon.
- Jamar “J Gamble” Irby ([email protected])
FORT MYERS/NAPLES, FL:
Charlie Murphy came to the Off The Hook Comedy
Club to help us piss our pants fresh for the New Year.
The New York Times named Riskay’s “Smell Yo Dick”
(produced by DJ Quest) as one of the top underground
hits of 2007. The 35th Annual City of Palm Classics hit
Southwest Florida with a bang. It’s said to be the best
high school basketball in the country. Irv Gotti was
in the house watching his nephew play, posing for
pictures, and signing autographs.
- Jae Rae ([email protected])
OZONE MAG // 17
In the past month we’ve popped bottles with Gorilla
Zoe and Yung Joc, cranked that with Lil Wayne, cut
and scratched with DJ Kid Capri and DJ Drama, and
spotted Lyfe Jennings, Juvenile, Freeway, Gucci
Mane, Ginuwine, and more. FlyUnion’s new video “Big
Trucks” is blowing up on YouTube. Dreamlife artists
Reese and Blaze jumped off the Greatest Rapper Alive
concert with Lil Wayne. Their new mixtape American
Dream is that deal. Everyone’s hope for a new urban
radio station (106.7) was doused when they decided
to go Modern Rock. Club ICE got that ACE of Spades
finally and Club Karma (with its $500k facelift) is
- Jorden Martin ([email protected])
DJ Q45 of Rap City put Jackson in the spotlight by
filming his BET show live from Club Freelon’s. Malik
came down and represented big for OZONE Magazine.
DJ Drama came through for his album release. Hot
97.7 packed the house with Pretty Willie and local R&B
singer Romaine. Everyone is on the grind for ‘08 with
new albums and singles dropping. Expect to hear
something real soon from Boo (1Life1Love) of CTE, J
Money of 3535 Entertainment, and Jewman. Expect to
see something hot from Banner. Other hot acts for ’08
are Lil C, Gutta Twins, and Paper Chasin Family (PCF).
- Tambra Cherie ([email protected]) & Stax
Former club The Premier has re-opened its doors as
Level 2 and is creating quite a buzz around town with
promises of a whole new atmosphere. From concerts
to grown and sexy parties every week, this should
keep Memphis entertained. Prophet Posse is on a
promo radio tour this year stopping through cities
such as Chicago, ATL, Orlando, and Dallas. They are
also in the process of working on a new movie and a
Nick Scarfo and Kelo compilation album The Pimp and
the Dealer. Kia Shine is receiving bad reviews on his
latest album and video from various media sources
outside of Memphis. Haters love us.
- Deanna Brown ([email protected])
Black Monii hosted the Lil Red Cup party starring Savannah State University’s own A.M.I. Lil Wayne shut the
city down at Frozen Paradise. 31 Flavurs – GA’s hottest
female street team, Clouds, and Asia Black Entertainment hosted Rydin into The New Year with the new
Nite Rydaz. Rowe Ent and 31 Flavurs presented the
Double Up Tour starring Keyshia Cole, J. Holiday and
R. Kelly. The hottest parties of the entire year went
down at Island Breeze and Frozen with Blak Monii
Ent. Lucky celebrated her birthday on New Year’s Eve
with Clouds, Asia Black, Blak Monii Ent, A.M.I., and 31
- Lucky ([email protected])
18 // OZONE MAG
The Double Up Tour was dope but the highlight was
Keyshia Cole’s momma Frankie acting a straight
nut! Imagine onstage “Pop, Lock and Drop It” to
the Beyonce bounce. Frankie is now my official role
model. Trina’s private mansion party was an NFL and
NBA buffet. Trina introduced me to her new and fine
man and said I could tell y’all who he is but because
that might’ve been the Patron talking, I’m going to
hold off. Here’s a hint: when she hugged him her nose
was in his belly button! Look out for Grind Mode, Ball
Greezy, CrackerJack and production by Gorilla Tek.
- Supa Cindy (www.Myspace.com/Supadupe)
As 2007 came to an end, the biggest event in
Columbus was the Foxie 105 Fall Talent Show. The
talent show is like a right of passage for any local
singer, rapper, or dance group. The event also brought
performances by The Eastside Boys and Loony T,
a Columbus Native, whose song “Dear Keyshia” is
blowing up on YouTube. The song expresses views of
people who attended the highly publicized concert
that kicked off the R. Kelly Double Up Tour. Many concertgoers believed Keyshia Cole’s refusal to perform
meant she felt as though she was too big of an artist
for Columbus. The winners of the talent show were
ROTC (dance), April Epps (singing), and Young Legacy
- Slick Seville ([email protected])
R&B powerhouse Descendants of Reality close out
‘07 and the Ray Charles Exhibit was a powerful show
at the Country Music Hall of Fame. The city is trying
to get the Place to close their doors simply because
some could care less about anything urban which
leads to the question in the streets, what’s up with
The Cartel? All Star and Loyalty Records dropped
Starlito’s Way II. NYE was crazy and Grammy winning
producer Shannon Sanders opened it with a bang. The
city also saw flyers promoting discounts with church
programs and 2 for 1s on the same line?
- Janiro ([email protected])
The ladies of the ‘Nati are making a huge comeback.
DJ Dimepiece the Mixin’ Vixen started the year off
with her new mixtape series I’m So Cincinnati featuring the hottest music in the area. Femme’ Cartel is
a hot 2-piece that not only has good looks but also
good music. Kadijah, the First Lady at Fort Chang, is
also doing her thing. She’s featured on a track with
Hi-Tek, who we all know makes nothing but hits.
Attention: all local labels are still open and doing
business despite the negative publicity, in other words
fuck what you heard.
- Judy Jones ([email protected])
The Jaguars were knocked out of the NFL Playoffs by
New England. This is a completely biased statement,
but New England is a bunch of cheaters. Miss D.I.M.E.
will host the “Party of the Decade” coming in March.
Dukwon released a new single with Young Capone
called “I’m Phresh” (Myspace.com/DukwonsMusic).
Grand Prix was featured in OZONE’s Super Bowl edition. Point Blank Ent is killing everyone’s phone bill
with mass text messages for their upcoming events.
Lots going on. Lil Rudy is taking over Jax’s Rapquest
as I have gone to Atlanta to work in the OZONE office.
Email him your updates [email protected]
- Ms. Rivercity ([email protected])
Doug E. Fresh entertained all for the grand opening
of the first Hip Hop Soda Shop here in Tampa. Busta
Rhymes, Cassidy, Andre Harrell and others were there
signing autographs and taking pictures with fans and
supporters. DJ Sandman and DJ Ekin keep the party
going every Sunday night at Pin Chasers spinning old
school Hip Hop and R&B. They also helped 3rd Leg
Greg celebrate his birthday. The community suffered
a huge loss with the sudden passing of DJ Clips. His
music touched many and his soul touched even more.
He will not be forgotten.
- Mz T-Rock ([email protected])
20 // OZONE MAG
(above L-R): Z-Ro & Paperchase @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX; Lil Wayne, Lil Chuckee, & Mike Jones @ One Eyed Jack’s for Myspace Secret Show in New Orleans, LA (Photos: Julia
Beverly); Lil Boosie & Stax @ The Palace for DJ Sweat & OZONE’s Lil Boosie concert in Hattiesburg, MS (Photo: Terrence Tyson)
01 // Dem Franchize Boy @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 02 // DJ Raj Smoove & Mack Maine @ Club Dream during All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 03 // Lupe Fiasco
& Killa Kyleon on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 04 // Treal, PK, DJ Nasty, Smilez, & Spiff on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot
(Tampa, FL) 05 // DJ B-Lord and his Happy Juice @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday party (Columbia, SC) 06 // Yung Joc, Rick Ross, & the Carol City Cartel @ Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 07 // E-Class & Rick Ross @ Sugar Mill (New Orleans, LA) 08 // TJ Chapman & Trick Daddy @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 09 // Webbie & Lil Phat riding
around in style in a Rolls Royce for All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 10 // OG Ron C & DJ Lil Steve @ the Southern Entertainment Awards panels (Tunica, MS) 11 // Raw, Wendy
Day, & Anonymous @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 12 // Cam, Dukwon, & guest @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 13 // J Holla & C Wakeley @
Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 14 // DJ Demp, BG, & Tracey @ FAMU for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 15 // Guest & Papa Duck @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 16 // Sosa, FLX, & Turk @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 17 // Malik Abdul, DJ Chuck T, & JB of 2 Dog Records @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 18 //
Jullian Boothe & video models on the set of Trina’s “Single Again” video shoot (Miami, FL) 19 // Kid Money KG & DJ Headbussa @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She
Got It” (Tampa, FL)
Photo Credits: Bogan (18); Intl K (03); Julia Beverly (02,04,05,06,07,08,16,19); King Yella (09); Ms Rivercity (10,11,12); Terrence Tyson (01,13,14,15,17)
mathematics Radio Spins: The Million Dollar Advice
by Wendy Day of the Rap Coalition www.wendyday.com
ithout careful planning, you can go out of business as quickly as you
go into business. Spending money on one’s company is the ultimate
form of sacrifice. It’s not like having kids where they hug you and
tell you they love you repeatedly. It’s like having a husband or a wife
that doesn’t love you back. Yes, I’d rather buy a new pair of shoes or a new
purse than pay to have my website redesigned, but that’s just not realistic.
The website will bring money into the company while the shoes will only
make me feel good for a few days.
I just furnished my new office in Buckhead, and buying chairs and desks
didn’t directly put money back into my pocket. For example, flyers and web
sites are expenditures that bring clients and money into my company. A hot
conference room table doesn’t bring in business, but not having one could
actually cost me business. See what I mean? So when I planned it out, I had
to consider my expenditures carefully. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money.
I tell the labels I consult that if it doesn’t directly impact you selling CDs, skip
it. That means a $10,000 set of rims on the wrapped vehicle is unnecessary,
but spending $10,000 to press the CDs is very necessary. The artists who tell
me they want to buy rims because “image is everything” need to learn to
keep their wrapped truck washed and neat while they build their image as
one who grinds hard, instead of flossing wildly. Substance matters. The most
beautiful scandalous hooker in the world is still a scandalous hooker.
Waking up one day and deciding to get out there and grind isn’t enough. You
need to have a plan. While hiring a music industry accountant to put together
a business plan for you will cost thousands of dollars, you can put together a
plan that will at least cover the basics so you know what you need. There is
nothing worse than having a hit record with no money to back it up.
Of course, everyone is thinking that, so you run the risk of not standing out
among the other hundred or so artists in grind mode. Regardless, getting out
on the road is the key to success. Plan wisely.
This industry is oversaturated. There are so many rappers and producers per
square inch these days that it’s hard to stand out. What will you do to be different? How will you stand out? Most importantly, how will you pay for it all?
Without a proper plan in place on paper, you don’t stand of chance of doing
anything but wasting money. Here’s an idea of what a plan looks like:
Wrapped vehicle Art work
Mix CD (to sell)
Buying drinks for DJs
$3,000 (plus the cost of the vehicle)
$5,000 (gas & hotels)
$3,000 (DJ) + 5,000 (pressing 5,000 mix CDs)
Before I even get in my van to leave my house, I need a MINIMUM of $32,250
PLUS whatever I’ve mistakenly left out (like food). Not to mention, I need to
have my music mixed and mastered professionally so it sounds good enough
for someone to buy, spin at a club, or play on the radio next to Kanye and
Jeezy! And if I’m going out on the road, I need to make sure that my bills at
home are taken care of so I don’t come home to an eviction notice.
The best way to format a plan is to make a list of everything you want to do
in order to market and promote your music. Then call around to see what
costs are involved for each. The costs may determine which direction you
decide to go. For example, an artist who wants to blitz the entire southeast
US will quickly discover that the costs involved in that will make him or her
plan smaller and slower. Rather than blitz seven southern states, it may make
financial sense to start with one or two and expand slowly as the money
comes back into the company from sales or performances. You may decide
that spending $10,000 to give away 2,000 T-shirts isn’t as great of an idea
as spending $10,000 on 10,000 snippet CDs that you paid an established DJ
to mix for you. A t-shirt is a great way for people to learn your name, but a
snippet CD is a great way for people to learn your music. Do people buy CDs
because of the name or because of the music? That’s a no-brainer.
This is why it is sooooo key to make a Plan. It’s also important to not leave
anything out; try to anticipate all of your needs ahead of time. It would really
suck to only have $15,000 in your pocket and start down a road that might
cost you $40,000. You’d be certain to accomplish nothing more than losing
your hard-earned fifteen stacks. And quickly, too.
Getting into your wrapped van and traveling within a few hour radius of your
hometown will expand your buzz beyond just your home turf, and will quickly
give you an idea if people outside of your area will embrace your music. For
the more serious artists that I consult, I always pull SoundScan for the region
where we are targeting to see what type of music the fans in each area embrace. For example, in Washington, DC you can sell more copies of BloodRaw,
David Banner, Young Jeezy, and MJG & 8Ball than Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, or
RhymeFest. In Philadelphia or New York, the opposite is true.
Make sure you know what that person’s consulting fee will be, especially if
they are charging you monthly. That’s the oldest swindle in the game. $5,000/
month for the year it takes to put out your CD is $60,000. You can get someone with a great track record for $60K; you don’t have to settle for the local
industry wannabe who probably can’t make it happen for you (for the record,
I was a local industry wannabe in the early 90s and both Do Or Die and Twista
took a chance on me and both won. Of course, I worked both projects for free
because I had no track record yet). Someone who tells you it will take just a
few months is either lying to you or has no clue. And you should NEVER give
up a percentage of your company for someone to advise you. You’ll be stuck
with them forever, even if they don’t succeed with your project.
As you make the list of what tactics you want to utilize, whether it’s local
BET cable ads during 106th & Park, or posters and stickers sniped everywhere
in the ‘hood, it is important to consider what is legal and available in different areas. For TMI Boyz, we were unable to buy local BET ads in our best
market, McAllen, TX, because BET isn’t available in that market. In Atlanta, GA,
BloodRaw doesn’t spend a lot of time and money hanging posters or putting
up stickers because they are illegal and will come right back down as soon as
they are put up, with an expensive ticket from the City of Atlanta.
Once you have assembled the list, and priced everything out, you will know
how realistic it is for you to begin your promotional campaign. You may want
to start your campaign around the time of year that brings large events to
your area so you can reach the maximum amount of people at one time. In
New Orleans, it would make sense to hit the NBA All-Star Game at the same
time as Mardi Gras, followed by the Core DJ event in March. In early first
Quarter in north Florida, it makes sense to hit Demp Week, the Gainesville
Music Summit, and TJ’s DJ’s, all of which occur within about 30 days of each
other. August is probably the busiest month in rap music with the OZONE
Awards, TJ’s DJ’s, the CORE DJs, and numerous other conventions and events.
22 // OZONE MAG
If you are hiring someone to consult your label, make sure they give you a
realistic budget (call printers and pressing plants to check prices to make
certain your budget is realistic before you start spending money). Your consultant should also tell you when the expenditures will come up, way ahead
of time. Nothing is worse than realizing on a Tuesday that you have to press
up CDs in the next week or so, and having to come up with $15,000 overnight
to make your deadline with the distributor or for a key event.
I was speaking on a panel in Jacksonville, FL at Bigga Rankin’s Ghetto
Grammy/Hood Conference, and a very frustrated man in the audience asked
who can be held accountable when he hires someone. Anyone to whom
you hand money is accountable to you. But the real answer is that YOU are
accountable to yourself. If you hire someone to help you that has a limited
track record and no real success that you can verify, it’s not rocket science to
figure out that you will lose money. Most people do. Very few people in this
game win. Very, very few. And it is not a quick process. Putting out a CD takes
6 to 8 months on the short side, and a year to a year and a half on the long
side. Make sure you can go the distance. Plan it out on paper and then follow
the plan! If you are seeking investors, you will need to have a professional
business plan that shows what you will spend, how you will spend it, why you
will spend it, and how and when the investor will get their money and
profit back. If you are unable to afford a real one, Business Plan Pro
software can be somewhat helpful to you. There’s more info at
www.rapcointelpro.com. It’s a free resource! //
(above L-R): Jas Prince & J Prince @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX; Juelz Santana & Lil Wayne @ Club Dream during All Star weekend in New Orleans, LA; DJ Clue & Tank @ the NBA All
Star game in New Orleans, LA (Photos: Julia Beverly)
01 // BJ, 3 Deep, & Webbie on the set of Webbie’s “I Miss You” video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 02 // Jackie Chain, Attitude, & DJ Scorpio @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA)
03 // Kiotti & OG Ron C on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 04 // DJ Storm & Southstar @ The Globe for OZONE’s Winter White party & Model
Search (Jacksonville, FL) 05 // Wendy Day, Young Cash, & BloodRaw @ Dunks R Us (Eulonia, GA) 06 // ESG reppin’ UGK @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 07 // Mike Jones & VIC @ One
Eyed Jack’s for Myspace Secret Show (New Orleans, LA) 08 // KLC, Tony Neal & BG @ House of Blues (New Orleans, LA) 09 // Haitian Fresh & his mascot @ The Moon for Demp Week
(Tallahassee, FL) 10 // Trina & Big Tigger @ Kenyon Martin’s New Years Eve party (Miami, FL) 11 // Stephanie & Karen @ Rain for Keyshia Cole’s Double Up tour afterparty (Jacksonville, FL) 12 // Scooby & TV Johnny @ the Grit Boyz video shoot (Houston, TX) 13 // Chise $, Dj B-Do, Kiotti, Young B, & Bone on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video
shoot (Houston, TX) 14 // Playa Young, Olmann, Selfish, Young Bleed, Money Waters, & Loaded (Jackson, MS) 15 // BOB & Zain @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 16
// Tony Neal & Malik Abdul @ Demp Week celebrity basketball game (Tallahassee, FL) 17 // Derrick Washington & Raw @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 18 // Rick
Ross & Turk @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 19 // Kaspa the Don & DJ Trauma @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 20 // DJ Jelly & Big Ed @ Club Esso for Atlanta
Record Pool (Atlanta, GA)
Photo Credits: Edward Hall (14); Intl K (03,12,13); J Lash (10); Julia Beverly (06,07,18,19); King Yella (01,08); Ms Rivercity (02,15,17,20); Terrence Tyson (04,05,09,11,16)
by Charlamagne Tha God
SELLING CRACK IS WHACK
“Thou Must Not Celebrate the Drug Culture: Drugs are destroying the
black community. There isn’t a dope boy in the country who wants to
be a dope boy. The Trap is just that, a Trap. You’ll either end up in jail
or dead. It’s like playing Russian roulette with your life. Trap or Die?
You might as well die because in the Trap you are killing yourself and
your community slowly but surely.” - Charlamagne Tha God’s 10 Commandments of Hip Hop
If you have ever studied my Ten Commandments of Hip Hop then you
have definitely read the Fifth Commandment, “Thou Must Not Celebrate
the Drug Culture.” There is nothing on this planet that has done more
damage in the black community than drugs.
I’m sure there is some trap star, some d-boy out there that read that
and said to himself, “Damage? Does this Escalade I purchased with
dope money look like damage? You see my grill shining in my mouth,
does that look like damage? You see these diamonds on my neck and
diamonds in my wrist; does this look like damage to you? What the
fuck does Charlamagne mean by damage?”
“Damage” is defined as the occurrence of a change for the worse or
causing damage to something or someone. That “something” being
the community and a family torn apart because the heads of the
household are strung out. That “someone” being a father, a mother or
a newborn addicted to something he or she never even had the chance
to deny. That “someone” is a cousin you grew up idolizing but now
he’s just a fiend. You can’t trust him because he breaks in your daddy’s
shop and steals a TV, raw whiting, some frying pans, and the cooking
oil! Then he tries to go right up the street to one of the local traps and
sell my daddy’s shit and offers to fry fish dinners for a twenty of rock!
I wish I had made that up, but I didn’t. It’s a true sad story and I’m
sure you can think of a few yourselves.
How many people do you know that have been victims of crack
cocaine? I know of athletes who were so talented in my hometown of
Moncks Corner, SC. I listen to older members of my family tell me how
this person should have been in the NFL or this person should have
been in the NBA but then he started smoking rock. When I was young
my pops used to point out to me fiends walking down the road and
say to me, “Boy, that used to be one of the finest women in Moncks
Corner.” “What happened?” I asked. “That rock did her bad,” he would
say. That’s why I don’t understand how people can glorify being a
We live in an era where people really brag about that shit like it’s a
profession! I need a Criminology major to study this shit because I
don’t understand. I asked my wifey about that last line while typing
this. I asked her whether I should say a Criminology major should
study this shit. She said that she didn’t know because Criminology
is the social-scientific study of crime and she didn’t know if being a
d-boy is a crime like a murderer. Now I questioned whether or not I
really wanted to breed with this young lady after she made such a
dumb statement. Then I realized there are so many people celebrating the drug game and commercializing it that it doesn’t look criminal
anymore, but, news flash ladies and gentlemen - it is! I don’t care how
many rappers talk about selling kilos in there music. I don’t care how
much weight you talked about moving on your last DVD, that shit is
I proceeded to explain to my lady that A) People do die from drug
overdoses which technically make the dealer a murderer; B) People
do get robbed and killed for their packages. I had to remind her
about Paid in Full when Camron killed Mekhi Phifer in the lobby for
those bricks. Not to mention the dudes who wanted the drug money
and shot the two innocent women in the bedroom and tried to blow
24 // OZONE MAG
Wood Harris’ brains out; all that was
directly related to drugs.
Sidebar: I’m about to cut all ties with this
young lady. Why do I have to explain a real life
issue to her using movies as an example? It is because these statistics
may be over her head.
According to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 8.6 million Americans ages 12 or older reported trying
crack cocaine at least once during their lifetimes, representing 3.5%
of the population aged 12 or older. In 2006 NSDUH data indicate that
approximately 1.5 million (0.6%) Americans reported past year crack
cocaine use and 702,000 (0.3%) reported past month crack cocaine
use. The 2006 NSDUH results also indicate that there were 245,000 persons ages 12 or older who used crack cocaine for the first time within
the past 12 months. Results of the 2007 Monitoring the Future survey
indicate that 2.1% of eighth graders, 2.3% of tenth graders, and 3.2%
of twelfth graders reported lifetime use of crack cocaine. In 2006,
these percentages were 2.3%, 2.2%, and 3.5%, respectively.
Do you see how many people’s lives you dudes are damaging? Do you
see what you are doing to the future of our country? This is what you
brag about in your records and on your DVDs? Why are niggas walking
around glorifying this shit? You walk around wearing t-shirts that say
“Trap Star” and “D Boy,” well, you might as well wear a shirt that says
“Indict Me” since you are obviously trying to make it easy for the Feds!
The funny thing is, most of you dudes glorifying it aren’t making any
real money! The crack business, it turns out, is a modern, brutalized
version of a
THE CRACK BUSINESS IS
VERSION OF A NINETEENTH sweatshop.
AND MOST OFYOU DUDES
GLORIFYING IT AREN’T
MAKING ANY REAL MONEY!
Mercedes-Benzes, wear gold jewelry, and get rich quick, most of the
people in the business work around the clock, six to seven days a
week, for low wages in an atmosphere of physical threat and control.
Their pay is often docked if they arrive late. They may be shot or
maimed if they are even perceived as trying to cheat their employers,
and many fall into such debt to their bosses that they have to go into
hiding. Not to mention the success rate for drug dealers sucks! You end
up one or two places: jail or the mortuary.
In 2004, cocaine was the primary drug involved in Federal drug arrests. There were 12,166 Federal drug arrests for cocaine in 2004. The
DEA made 7,082 arrests for powder cocaine and 3,921 arrests for crack
cocaine during 2004. In 2006, there were 5,623 Federal defendants
sentenced for crack cocaine-related charges in U.S. Courts. Approximately 96% of the cases involved crack cocaine trafficking.
You are glorifying a game you can’t win! You are betting on a fixed
fight! The only people winning are the people that have been oppressing us from day one, the people who put crack in the inner city communities after the civil rights movement. The people who benefit from
hours of free labor after your ass is doing 30-to-life for being a D Boy.
The same people who benefit from our people being psychologically
enslaved to whatever substance they choose to abuse. This is what
y’all choose to celebrate? This is what y’all choose to glorify? This is
what y’all are indirectly encouraging our kids to become?
I used to sell crack but now that I know better, I do better, and knowing is half the battle. //
(above L-R): Devin the Dude & J Prince @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX (Photo: Julia Beverly); Gorilla Zoe & BloodRaw @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party in Tallahassee, FL (Photo:
Terrence Tyson); Cory Mo & Willie D @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // Steve Francis @ his Flavorz boutique (Houston, TX) 02 // Derrick, Bighead, & Malik Abdul @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 03 // Rocko & DJ Burn One @ the Southern
Entertainment Awards panels (Tunica, MS) 04 // Rick Ross, Tracey, & Roccett @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 05 // Shawty Lo & crew @ Royal Sonesta (New Orleans, LA)
06 // Wes Fif & Ms Rivercity @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 07 // ESG & Cory Mo @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 08 // James Prince Jr & Young B @ Rick Ross
concert (Houston, TX) 09 // Chris Gotti & J Prince @ Madison Square Garden for the Roy Jones Jr vs Tito fight (New York, NY) 10 // Trina & J Lash on the set of Trina’s “Single Again”
video shoot (Miami, FL) 11 // Aziatikk Blakk, Young Bleed & Janky John (Jackson, MS) 12 // Premiere, Kitty, & Pookie from Urban South @ Club Crystals (Arlington, TX) 13 // Treal &
DJ Demp @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 14 // DJ Slab 1 & DJ Ro @ Club Dream during All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 15 // DJ Khaled, Gutta, World, & guest @ Club
Dream during All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 16 // Model search winner Tearany, Regina, & Sheina @ The Globe for OZONE’s Winter White party & Model Search (Jacksonville, FL)
17 // DJ Nasty, 2 Pistols, & Orlando on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 18 // Rick Ross & 5th Ward Weebie @ Club Dream during All Star weekend (New Orleans,
LA) 19 // DJ Teknikz, Gorilla Zoe, & JC @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS)
Photo Credits: Bogan (10); Edward Hall (11,12); Intl K (08); Julia Beverly (01,05,07,09,13,15,17,18); King Yella (02); Ms Rivercity (03,14,19); Terrence Tyson (04,06,16)
Many consider “Freeway” Ricky Ross to be
almost solely responsible for the crack cocaine
epidemic of the 1980s. Rappers have borrowed
his moniker and name-dropped him. Former
presidential candidate John Kerry built his entire
reputation by using the C.I.A. to bust up Ross’s
drug operation. But, his success in the crack
game helped destroy many lives. Spending the
last 12 years in prison has given Ross plenty of
time to dwell on the impact he’s had in society.
He says he’s a changed man, and wants to prevent anyone from following in his footsteps.
26 // OZONE MAG
(above L-R): Carmelo Anthony, DJ Clue & La La Vasquez @ Kenyon Martin’s New Years Eve party in Miami, FL (Photo: J Lash); Bun B reppin’ UGK for life @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX
(Photo: Intl K); Chamillionaire & Famous @ Sugar Mill in New Orleans, LA (Photo: Terrence Tyson)
01 // Streetz & Young Deuces with HK @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 02 // DJ Khaled, Emmanuelle, & E-Class @ White Diamonds for Rick Ross’ birthday party
(Miami, FL) 03 // Mr Pill, Tony Neal, & Juggie @ Club 300 (New Orleans, LA) 04 // 2 Pistols & Coleone of the Justice League on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot (Tampa,
FL) 05 // Pops, DJ Khaled, & Ace @ White Diamonds for Rick Ross’ birthday party (Miami, FL) 06 // T-Pain & Smilez on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 07 //
Carmelo Anthony & DJ Quote @ Kenyon Martin’s New Years Eve party (Miami, FL) 08 // Grandaddy Souf, OG Ron C, & Bohagon @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 09 //
Gucci Poochie & Rick Ross @ Sugar Mill (New Orleans, LA) 10 // Lyfe Jennings & Juelz Santana @ Club Dream during All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 11 // Turk, Webbie, King Yella,
& Mouse @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 12 // DJ Wildhairr, Mike Clarke, & Cutty Mac @ S&S Entertainment’s New Years Eve party (Des Moines, IA) 13 // JC, Yung Joc, DJ
Demp, & Gorilla Zoe @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 14 // Ivory Orr, Karen, & Malik Abdul @ The Globe for OZONE’s Winter White party & Model Search (Jacksonville, FL)
15 // Erik Mendelson & EJ the DJ @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 16 // DJ B-Lord & BJ Cash @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday party
(Columbia, SC) 17 // Deanna from Memphisrap.com & Ms Rivercity @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 18 // Slim Thug & Teresa on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop
Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 19 // Rick Ross @ Sugar Mill (New Orleans, LA) 20 // Wendy Day & TJ Chapman @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL)
Photo Credits: Intl K (18); J Lash (07); Julia Beverly (02,04,05,06,08,09,10,11,13,15,16,19); King Yella (03); Malik Abdul (12); Ms Rivercity (01,17); Terrence Tyson (14,20)
On February 28th, 2008, Jelani Deleston,
the four-year-old daughter of New Orleans,
LA rapper Juvenile (pictured above), was
murdered, along with her mother, 39-year-old
Joy Deleston and sister, 11-year-old Micaiah
Alique in their Lawrenceville, GA home. The
three victims were gunned down by Joy
Deleston’s son, 17-year-old Anthony Tyrone
Terrell; a motive for the killings still has not
Juvenile’s manager, Aubrey Francis, released a
statement to the media on the rapper’s behalf
saying, “It really shocked him and devastated
him to the point where I’ve never seen him
before.” According to reports, Juvenile did not
attend funeral services in James Island, SC,
because he did not want to distract attention
away from the ceremony with additional media attention. He was photographed performing later that night in Augusta, GA. In a letter from prison, the uncle of Juvenile’s
daughter speaks out on the rapper’s relationship with his daughter, or lack thereof, and
accuses the rapper of using his daughter’s
death to gain sympathy from the public.
(above): Dwayne Deleston
28 // OZONE MAG
(above L-R): Block & Rick Ross @ Demp Week in Tallahassee, FL (Photo: Julia Beverly); 3 Deep & C-Murder @ Webbie’s listening party in New Orleans, LA (Photo: King Yella); Bun B & his
stepson Young B on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K)
01 // Young Twinn, KD & guest @ Kenyon Martin’s New Years Eve party (Miami, FL) 02 // Dawgman & J Trouble @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 03 // Rick Ross
& the Carol City Cartel with Ms Rivercity @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 04 // Empress RAW & Kahryn @ the Southern Entertainment Awards panels (Tunica, MS) 05 //
Streetz & Lil Chuckee @ One Eyed Jack’s for Myspace Secret Show (New Orleans, LA) 06 // Pat Nix & Kid Capri @ Sugar Mill (New Orleans, LA) 07 // Slick Em of Pretty Ricky, Gorilla
Zoe, & Rico Brooks @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 08 // Ivory Orr & DJ Q45 @ The Globe for OZONE’s Winter White party & Model Search (Jacksonville, FL) 09 //
Trick Daddy, Dunk Ryders, & Freeway @ Dunks R Us Super Bowl Party (Jacksonville, FL) 10 // DJ Sweat & MIT @ The Palace (Hattiesburg, MS) 11 // Joe Pro @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 12 // Mob Boss, Yung Joc, Coleone, & Nephew @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 13 // Jason from Raw Report, Wendy Day, & DJ Burn One @ the
Southern Entertainment Awards panels (Tunica, MS) 14 // Kenny Kane & Randy Roper @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday party (Columbia, SC) 15 // Tosha @ S&S Entertainment’s
New Years Eve party (Des Moines, IA) 16 // BloodRaw & Nokey @ Errupt Studios (Jacksonville, FL) 17 // Kiotti & Chamillionaire @ 93.3 (Houston, TX) 18 // Ashley Smith & Storm @
Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 19 // DJ Impact & Brandi Garcia (Houston, TX) 20 // Webbie & Shaheim Reid on the set of Webbie’s “I Miss You” video shoot (New Orleans, LA)
Photo Credits: Intl K (17,19); J Lash (01); Julia Beverly (05,11,14); King Yella (20); Malik Abdul (15); Ms Rivercity (02,03,04,13); Terrence Tyson (06,07,08,09,10,12,16,18)
She Liked my NECKLACE and started relaxin’, that’s what the fuck I call a…
KING OF MEMPHIS
an this chain here, a nigga named Freeze out of
Miami did it. I was at the Birdman and Lil Wayne
video shoot for “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy” and the
jeweler was on the set because he had done some
shit for Baby and them before.
I wanted a piece that would represent my city, so I told him to do the University of Memphis [Tigers] logo, or the [Memphis] Grizzlies logo, and he said
he had a template for both of ‘em. So I decided to go with the University of
It’s got white, yellow, and black diamonds. I don’t know the net weight of
it, but it’s heavier than a muthafucka. The piece itself is close to 50 carats. I
gave the nigga like $65,000 for everything. You know what they say: ‘When
the light hits the ice it twinkles and glistens,’ but when you got them white
stones in yo’ shit the light could be off in the club, and you know what’s gon’
happen. The women gon’ lose they minds.
30 // OZONE MAG
I’m the king of Memphis, so it’s only right that I have Memphis on my chest.
It’s more than just a chain to me. I only wear two chains and one of ‘em says
‘Memphis,’ and the other says ‘Yo Gotti,’ so if you approach me you gon’ know
who I am and where I’m from. Everywhere I go people are like, ‘Gottdamn,
you play for the team?’ People who aren’t into Hip Hop, like old white ladies
on elevators at the Ritz Carlton, see this chain and start talking about the
team, like, ‘They’re doing good this year,’ thinking that I play for the team.
People always ask me if I play for the team, and I say, ‘Naw, I just represent
for the city.’
I seen the boy John Calipari — the coach of the [University of Memphis
basketball] team — at the casino, and he looked at chain and was like, ‘Damn,
you a big fan, huh?’ And I said, ‘Naw, I fuck with y’all, but I’m a big fan of the
city.’ I wouldn’t be doing all this for the basketball team. This chain is about
my city. //
As told to Eric Perrin // Photo by Julia Beverly
(above L-R): Bun B & Mama C @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX; Ace, Rick Ross, & DJ Khaled @ White Diamonds for Rick Ross’ birthday party in Miami, FL; Trick Daddy & BG @ The Moon
for Demp Week in Tallahassee, FL (Photos: Julia Beverly)
01 // Did Frosted Flakes cut you a check for this??? Graffiti Boyz @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 02 // Six Shot, KLC, V90, & Fiend @ House of Blues (New Orleans,
LA) 03 // Lil Ru & Daytona @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday party (Columbia, SC) 04 // Dukwon, Malik Abdul, Cam, & guest @ The Globe for OZONE’s Winter White party & Model
Search (Jacksonville, FL) 05 // Young Sav & Rick Ross @ Sugar Mill (New Orleans, LA) 06 // T-Pain, Boomtown, 2 Pistols, & Rage on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot
(Tampa, FL) 07 // Amina & Keyshia Cole @ Rain for Keyshia Cole’s Double Up tour afterparty (Jacksonville, FL) 08 // J Baby & Bigga Rankin @ Plush for Cool Runnings New Years Eve
party (Jacksonville, FL) 09 // 2 Pistols & his video girlfriend on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 10 // Randy Roper & T-Mobile @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday
party (Columbia, SC) 11 // DJ 007 & Mic Tee @ House of Blues for Yo Gotti’s mixtape release party (Memphis, TN) 12 // DJ GQ, K-Foxx, & Wendi Morgan @ White Diamonds for Rick Ross’
birthday party (Miami, FL) 13 // Nikki Jean & Popeye on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 14 // Kid Money KG & Cindy Nuzzo @ Hip Hop Soda
Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 15 // Brannon Scales & Big Dee the Weatherman @ One Eyed Jack’s for Myspace Secret Show (New Orleans, LA) 16 // Geter
K, Rick Ross, & Gunplay of Carol City Cartel @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 17 // J-Mac & Willie D @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 18 // Justice League @ Hip Hop Soda
Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 19 // Big Bubb & Seventeen @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 20 // C-Murder and I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T ladies @ Webbie’s
listening party (New Orleans, LA)
Photo Credits: Intl K (13); Julia Beverly (03,05,06,10,11,12,14,15,16,17,18,19); King Yella (02); Luis Santana (09); Ms Rivercity (01,20); Terrence Tyson (04,07,08)
clockwise from right:
Ja Rule, Young L of
The Pack, David Banner, AP9, & B.O.B.
32 // OZONE MAG
(above L-R): Steph Jones, Brandi Garcia, Willy Northpole, & Small World in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K); Rick Ross & Webbie @ Webbie’s listening party in New Orleans, LA (Photo: King
Yella); 2 Pistols & Winky Wright on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” in Tampa, FL (Photo: Luis Santana)
01 // Young Cash, Vic, Midget Mac, & the Duval County Rock Star clique @ Plush fro Cool Runnings New Years Eve party (Jacksonville, FL) 02 // DJ Bigg V & Hollywood @ Southern
Whispers for Bigg V’s birthday bash (Greenville, MS) 03 // Big Teach & Malik Abdul @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 04 // Benji Brown & Teddy T @ The Moon for Demp
Week (Tallahassee, FL) 05 // Tony Neal & Keith Kennedy @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 06 // Six Shot, Snoop Dogg, KLC, Joe Anthony & Gillateen @ House of Blues (New
Orleans, LA) 07 // 3 Deep & Rick Ross @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 08 // Pretty Ricky & fans @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 09 // Lola Luv &
guest @ Dream (New Orleans, LA) 10 // Nikki Jean & Dr Teeth on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 11 // Courtney Scott & Mouse @ Webbie’s
listening party (New Orleans, LA) 12 // BG’s manager Anthony and Juvenile’s manager Aubrey getting ready for the Hot Boyz Reunion @ Dreamz, pre-shooting (New Orleans, LA) 13 //
Street Money Records @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 14 // Bone & Ashlei @ Rick Ross concert (Houston, TX) 15 // TV Johnny, Young B, & DJ B-Do @ the Grit Boyz video
shoot (Houston, TX) 16 // BP & ladies @ The Palace for DJ Sweat & OZONE’s Lil Boosie concert (Hattiesburg, MS) 17 // Geter K, Carol City Cartel, Gucci Poochie, Shakir Stewart, & Ted
Lucas @ Madison Square Garden for Roy Jones Jr fight (New York, NY) 18 // Clean & Jay Mall @ SEA Pre-Party (Tunica, MS) 19 // Xxzotic & Bobo Luchiano @ The Fare for Big Push’s
birthday party (Dallas, TX)
Photo Credits: Edward Hall (02,19); Intl K (10,14,15); Julia Beverly (04,12,17,18); King Yella (06,07); Terrence Tyson (01,03,05,08,09,11,13,16)
Last year we brought you the Great Under-The-Influence
Moments In Rap History, but with the prevalence of drugs
and alcohol in pop culture, moments that make you say,
“he must have been high” never stop. Here are 20 moments from this past year where we think someone was
more than likely under the influence.
<< When Cam’ron Was On 60 Minutes
In what has got to be the most idiotic representation of
Hip Hop on national television, Killa Cam not only embarrassed himself but the entire rap game with his support of “stop snitching” and serial killers on 60 Minutes.
We’ll blame his bonehead comments on purple haze.
When Mr. Collipark signed Soulja Boy
Signing Soulja Boy ended up being the move of a genius, but to hear Soulja Boy’s music and actually see
the vision behind it, Smurf had to be out of his mind.
When Terrell Owens Cried After The Cowboys’ Playoff Loss
Grown men aren’t supposed to cry, and they sure as hell aren’t supposed to cry on national television. T.O. has done some crazy things
during his tenure in the NFL, but when he cried for his quarterback
after Dallas’ loss to the New York Giants in this year’s playoff, we have
assume Owens was on something. Maybe he got it from his teammate,
you know, his quarterback?
<< When G-Unit Clothing Launched
50 Cent and Marc Ecko’s G-Unit clothing line recently
folded, but those two must have been passing a doobie
when they decided to launch G-Unit gear in the first
place. Those G-Unit tank-tops looked more like Gangstalicious bras. At least Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks and Young
Buck won’t be forced to wear that bullshit anymore.
When Gucci Mane Dissed T.I.
Back in July of 2007, Gucci Coochie dropped a diss record called “What
Kind of King (I Smell Pussy)” on the King of the South. He would later
apologize, stating that there was a misunderstanding, where he thought
Tip dissed him on the T.I. vs. T.I.P. album. Stay off of those mushrooms,
Gucci. They make you hallucinate.
When Nas Titled His Album Nigger
No one makes headlines with album titles like God’s Son. But to think
up this title for his new album, Nasir was probably getting high with
Michael Richards when he came up with this one.
Fabo right now
No one was seen or heard much from Fabo lately. He’s probably high as
a muthafucker, right now. Maybe he’s somewhere geeked up, chasing
spaceships around Bankhead.
When Trey Songz Jumped Into The Crowd
If you haven’t seen the video where Trey Songz leaps into the crowd
during a performance, it’s on YouTube. Songz literally tried to superman a hoe. I guess he was so high, he couldn’t help but wait until
after the show.
When Master P Encouraged Hip Hop To Clean Up Its Lyrics
In the wake of attacks on Hip Hop lyrics, Percy Miller vowed to clean up
his music and encouraged other rap artists to do the same. But no one
has listened to P since “Make ‘Em Say Uhh.” Why would anyone start
back paying attention to him now? Nigga, please. What was he smoking?
When Chingy Signed Back To DTP
Ching-a-ling had a good run during his first stint with Disturbing Tha
Peace. But did Luda and Chaka Zulu really think we wanted another Chingy album on DTP? They must have been on that “Blueberry Yum Yum”
to think Hate It or Love It would be more than a new weed plate. Word
to Charlamagne Tha God.
When Whitney Houston Left Bobby Brown
They were high for the duration of their relationship, so we’ll just assume Whitney was high when it ended too. “Crack is wack,” so who’s
going to smoke with her now? (Ray J?)
34 // OZONE MAG
When T.I. Made T.I. vs. T.I.P.
The concept for T.I.’s fifth album was creative, but to actually complete
an album where you battle yourself over 18 tracks is borderline psychotic. Clifford’s not crazy (although, that topic is up for discussion) but
we know what it is. Da Dopeman’s been getting high on his own supply.
Every Time Lupe Fiasco Speaks
Fiascogate was just the beginning. Every time Lupe made a comment
in the media since botching the lyrics to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Electric
Relaxation,” it sounded like a contradiction to the music he makes. In
between dropping dope albums, he must be kick, pushing on skateboards while daydreaming with a pound of that good stuff.
When Shawnna Left DTP
Artists leave their labels all the time, but when DTP’s first lady left Luda
and company for Gucci Mane’s So Icey, we couldn’t help but ask, “Is she
rollin’?” She might be.
When Rick Ross Took Off His Shirt
On Camera >>
Rick Ross is probably high all the rest of
the time too but taking off his shirt on
camera is just wrong. We know you’re trilla,
but don’t do that again, Ross. Please.
When 50 Cent Released Curtis
50’s album had songs with Justin Timberlake, Mary J. Blige, Nicole
Scherzinger and Robin Thicke on it. Yeah, he gets money but to release
an album so commercial, he must get high too. Buck Marley loves to
“puff puff pass,” and maybe Curtis is on the receiving end of that. Put
down the steroids, Vitamin Water and the weed, Fifty. We want a better
album next time.
When Yung Joc Tried To Pass Through Airport Security
With A Loaded Gun
You can’t bring bottled water on an airplane these days, so why was Joc
trying to carry a loaded hand gun on a flight? He must have been high.
Airport security doesn’t care if you’re a G, Joc. It’s not goin’ down.
When T-Pain Commented On Ray J’s “Meat”
T-Pain told sohh.com he wouldn’t have sex with Kim Kardashian, which
is reason enough to believe he was faded. But when he explained he’d
pass up on Kim because he wouldn’t want to go after Ray J, or as Teddy
Pain put it, “the man’s got a huge meat,” that’s where we draw the line.
Please say you were high. Don’t tell us those comments came from a
<< WhenEVER Aaron McGruder
Writes A Boondocks Episode
With the storylines, controversial topics
and out-of-line dialogue on each episode
of Aaron McGruder’s hit cartoon series The
Boondocks, this cartoonist has got to be on
cloud nine to come up with this stuff.
When Amy Winehouse Finally Went To Rehab
There’s no joke or punchline with this one.
(above L-R): Rick Ross & Trick Daddy @ The Moon for Demp Week in Tallahassee, FL (Photo: Julia Beverly); TJ Chapman, BloodRaw, & Shawty Lo @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party in
Tallahassee, FL (Photo: Terrence Tyson); 5th Ward Weebie & Snoop Dogg @ House of Blues in New Orleans, LA (Photo: King Yella)
01 // OG Ron C & DJ K-Tone @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 02 // J Hoodz & Yung Joc @ All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 03 // Jessica Williams & Kaye Dunaway
@ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 04 // JAG @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 05 // Carol City Cartel, DJ Khaled, & Rick Ross @ Club Dream during All Star
weekend (New Orleans, LA) 06 // DJ Q45 & Haitian Fresh @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 07 // DJ Demp & Brisco @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 08
// Hornets cheerleaders @ NBA Jam Session (New Orleans, LA) 09 // Hezeleo, Mama C, Seventeen, & Bankroll Jonez @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 10 // Tony Neal & Derek Jurand
@ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 11 // Rascal & Kiotti @ Party 93.3 (Houston, TX) 12 // Joe Anthony & DJ Chill @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 13 //
Fentz & Gorilla Tek @ Kenyon Martin’s New Years Eve party (Miami, FL) 14 // Trick Daddy & the Dunk Ryders @ White Diamonds for Rick Ross’ birthday party (Miami, FL) 15 // Young B
reppin’ UGK all day (Houston, TX) 16 // Winky Wright & DJ Smallz @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 17 // Dwayne Wade & Pat Nix @ Sugar Mill
(New Orleans, LA) 18 // Khujo Goodie & Khao @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 19 // Scooby & Cory Mo @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX)
Photo Credits: Intl K (11,15); J Lash (13); Julia Beverly (01,02,05,07,09,14,16,18,19); King Yella (12); Ms Rivercity (04,06,08); Terrence Tyson (03,10,17)
MORE MONEY, MORE PROBLEMS
Success in the drug game always comes with a price. If you think hustling is a
glamorous profession, check out the fate of these legendary American gangsters
before you try to become the next Scarface.
CLAim to FAME
Portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr.
in American Gangster (2007);
dubbed “Mr. Untouchable” by The
New York Times
Net worth estimated at several
at height of his
Sentenced to a life sentence
in prison, turned states
evidence and was released
in 2003; currently lives in the
Witness Protection Program.
NC; resided in
Portrayed by Denzel Washington
in American Gangster (2007);
allegedly smuggled heroin
from Vietnam in coffins of dead
soldiers; known for his “Blue
of $1 million
Sentenced to 70 years in
prison in 1976; turned states
evidence and was released
in 1981 on parole; convicted
again in 1981 and released
Washington, D.C. 11/26/1964
Credited with helping make D.C.
the ‘80s murder capital of the
world; American Gangster BET
documentary; rumored to have
sold drugs to D.C.’s mayor
Arrested in 1989; sentenced
to life in prison; received an
additional 30 years for conducting drug business from a
Federal prison phone; became
a government informant to secure his mother’s release from
prison and a reduced sentence;
currently a part of the Witness
New York, NY
Formed a crack distribution
organization in Queens, NY called
“Supreme Team”; some claim the
characters Nino Brown in New
Jack City and Majestic in Get Rich
or Die Tryin’ are based on him; allegedly had a hand in the murder
of Jam Master Jay and the 50 Cent
$200,000 daily at
peak in 1987
Served 7 years in prison and
released on parole in 1994;
served another 2 ½ years
for violating parole and
released in 1997; Sentenced
to life in prison in 2007 for
conspiracy to commit murder
and drug dealing
Born in Jackson, 11/30/1950
MS; resided in
South Side of
Leader of the Chicago-based
Growth & Development Nation,
formerly Black Gangster Disciples
The Gangster Disciples brought in
an estimated $100
In 1998, sentenced to six life
terms, seven terms of 20 years,
three four-year terms, and one
five-year term, with all sentences running concurrently in
addition to the 150-200-year
sentence he received for his
1973 murder conviction
Born in Troup,
TX; resided in
Los Angeles, CA
Ross’s career was emphasized in
The Last White Hope where he was
noted as the biggest crack dealer
in American history; name adopted
by Philadelphia rapper Freeway
and Miami’s Rick Ross [Ed.’s note: Rick
of $1 million a
day (“on a good
Sentenced to life in prison in
1996 after trying to purchase
more than 100 kilograms of
cocaine from a federal agent
Ross denied this in last year’s drug issue]
Depicted by Cam’Ron in the film
Paid in Full; rose to power in the
80s alongside teenage friends
Rich Porter and Azie Faison
Estimated $1 million per month at
the height of his
Currently serving a life
sentence for 14 homicides
including the murder of Rich
Co-founded the drug enterprise
Black Mafia Family along with
his brother Terry. BMF appeared
in Hip Hop DVD magazines,
had billboards towering over
Atlanta proclaiming “the world
is BMF’s;” affiliated with rappers
like Fabolous and Young Jeezy
Exact amount unknown, estimated
over $270 million
Sentenced to 30 years in
prison on December 5, 2007
for multiple counts of charges
including running a criminal
enterprise and conspiracy to
launder monetary instruments; also fined $270 million
week at the
height of his
Serving a life sentence for
federal charges including the
murder of a police officer. In
1990 his mother sentenced
to a ten year prison term
for drug trafficking. She was
released in 1998.
Jamaica Queens, 9/8/1959
Compiled by: Ms. Rivercity
36 // OZONE MAG
From behind bars on gun charges, Crack-Cocaine
Mason ordered the murder of police officer Eddie Byrne; partnered
with Lorenzo “Fat Cat” Nichols
Note: If we failed to include your favorite drug dealer, it’s
because enough statistical information could not be obtained.
(above L-R): Pastor Troy & J Prince @ Madison Square Garden for Roy Jones Jr vs Tito fight in New York, NY; Rick Ross & Bun B @ Club Dream during All Star weekend in New Orleans, LA
(Photos: Julia Beverly); Master P @ NBA Jam Session in New Orleans, LA (Photo: Ms Rivercity)
01 // Lex, DJ Storm, & TJ Chapman @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 02 // DJ B-Lord & TR Flow @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday party (Columbia, SC) 03 // K Clark
& Boomtown @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 04 // Tara Hunter & Cindy Nuzzo on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot (Tampa, FL)
05 // Tragic, B Rich BOB, & TJ Chapman @ House of Blues for Yo Gotti’s mixtape release party (Memphis, TN) 06 // Tank @ the police station claiming police brutality (New Orleans,
LA) 07 // Bun B & Z-Ro @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 08 // Sommore, Trina & Kenyon Martin @ Kenyon Martin’s New Years Eve party (Miami, FL) 09 // Vic Damone & Guccio @ House
of Blues for Yo Gotti’s mixtape release party (Memphis, TN) 10 // Billy Cook & crew @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 11 // Bobo Luchiano & DJ Fish @ Club Hush
for Dirty South Block Party’s final event (Dallas, TX) 12 // Acafool, Kid Money KG, & crew @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 13 // Grand Prix &
Jackie Chain @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 14 // Stayedown & Ed of Trill Images @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 15 // DVUS & Swordz @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday
party (Tallahassee, FL) 16 // Princess & Richie Rich @ Club Dream during All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 17 // Mighty Mike, Wes Fif, Dawgman, & Clientell Fam @ The Moon for TJ’s
birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 18 // Bobo & Stax @ The Palace for DJ Sweat & OZONE’s Lil Boosie concert (Hattiesburg, MS) 19 // DJ Chuck T & 4-Ize @ the Southern Entertainment
Awards panels (Tunica, MS)
Photo Credits: Edward Hall (11); J Lash (08); Julia Beverly (02,03,04,05,06,07,09,10,12,14,16); Ms Rivercity (13,15,17,19); Terrence Tyson (01,18)
And we ain’t
talkin’ Al Gore
BY SJ BROWN
Fuck the corner boy and his paltry dime bags, you’re going to start your own home-grown garden of quality lah. But
replacing your shrubs for shrooms? You might be asking for more than you can smoke; there’s plenty cause to reconsider converting your terrace into the Ganja of Eden—like jail time, getting your stash robbed or giving the local fire
department a serious case of the munchies. Read up on these people who got caught up making their crib too green.
Gresham, Oregon - February 2008
Herb Phi Herb
New Brunswick, NEW JERSEY - June 1998
Firefighters breathed in so much marijuana that they
would have failed a drug test while spending more
than a half hour battling a home fire which burned
907 kilos of ganja. More than 35 firefighters battled
Maybe frats have learned something over the past ten
years: Bring chicks, bring alcohol, but don’t grow weed
in the fraternity house. Too bad for Rutgers’s Beta
Theta Pi, who were busted growing 30 marijuana plants
in the frat house attic. The chapter was closed.
Edinburg, Texas - June 2007
Neighbors said they smelled burning plastic, but not
the case. Not only did dude’s crib catch on fire, but so
did the 50 marijuana plants he had inside.
The Grow Me State
Lehigh Acres, FlORIDA - November 2007
MariJuana and a Happy New Year
Norwich, England - December 2004
This 25-year–old thought it was a jolly idea to disguise his marijuana as a Christmas tree. The po po’s
didn’t buy it and he had to pay up £145 (about $300).
Florida is second to Cali in marijuana grow houses. So
it’s no surprise that the sunshine state is home to a
bevy of suburban muthafuckers itching for their slice
of Scarface decadence. Case in point: A 44-year-old
Cuban man from Miami went straight Tony Montana
on the po po after a botched weed deal at his crib.
Lucky for him the cops didn’t murk his ass for shooting several rounds of ammunition at them. Instead
they found 50 marijuana plants worth $195,000, a
hydroponic irrigation system, lighting equipment,
cooling fans, and power converters, according to the
Miami New Times. Off to jail he went.
The Real OC
EAST COUNTY, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 2008
Detectives apprehended over 6,000 marijuana plants
estimated at $10 million in addition to several hundred
thousand dollars in cultivation gear and handguns from
homes in the otherwise pristine neighborhoods of Antioch, Bethel Island, Brentwood and Oakley, California.
Dumbest Mother Fucker Award
Wichita, KanSAS - DecEMBER 2006
This nigga called 911 to report that he’d been robbed
of $1,100 of weed that he’d been planning to sell.
Clearly this idiot was jailed on several charges.
Greeley, Colorado - March 2006
Education doesn’t always afford common sense. A 22-year-old college student
was accused of growing four 3-foot marijuana plants in his closet while the
maintenance crew was performing an annual inspection. He was ordered to pay
a $10,000 bond—certainly not what his student budgeted ass needed. Any nigga
in the hood knows that you need to keep a close eye on the super’s henchmen,
otherwise known as maintenance (especially if you live in Section 8 housing).
38 // OZONE MAG
(above L-R): Bun B & his wife Queen @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K); Breneshia, Killa Kyleon, & Young B @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX; Taydizm, 2 Pistols, & T-Pain
on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot in Tampa, FL (Photos: Julia Beverly)
01 // Vee & Milk @ White Diamonds for Rick Ross’ birthday party (Miami, FL) 02 // DJ Chuck T & Janiro Hawkins @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 03 // Lil Boosie &
fans @ The Palace for DJ Sweat & OZONE’s Lil Boosie concert (Hattiesburg, MS) 04 // DJ Ritz & DJ Christion @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 05
// Daniel Beverly, Chamillionaire, & Drew Beverly @ Sugar Mill (New Orleans, LA) 06 // DJ Blak, Yung Joc & crew @ All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 07 // Edgerrin James & Keshia
Knight Pulliam @ Kenyon Martin’s New Years Eve party (Miami, FL) 08 // Lupe Fiasco, DJ Hi-C, & Paul Wall on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston,
TX) 09 // Derrick & BJ on the set of Webbie’s “I Miss You” video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 10 // Rakoo, Money Waters, & E-Bang @ Club Hush for Dirty South Block Party’s final event
(Dallas, TX) 11 // Kerisha Smith, Eric Perrin, & Kisha Smith @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday party (Columbia, SC) 12 // Allhiphop’s Jamile & Odiesel @ Webbie’s listening party
(New Orleans, LA) 13 // Intl Red, Bun B, & DJ B-Do on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 14 // Big Cee Jay, Big Amp, TJ Chapman, C Wakeley, &
J Holla @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 15 // Supa Chino & Mob Boss @ Rain for Mob Boss’s birthday party (Jacksonville, FL) 16 // J Prince, Kid Stylez, & Cory Mo @
Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 17 // BloodRaw & BG @ Dunks R Us (Eulonia, GA) 18 // Acafool & Tom G @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 19 //
TR Flow & Carlos Cartel @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday party (Columbia, SC)
Photo Credits: Edward Hall (10); Intl K (08,13); J Lash (07); Julia Beverly (01,04,06,11,12,14,16,18,19); King Yella (09); Ms Rivercity (02); Terrence Tyson (03,05,15,17)
his is the story of Bleu, a small town girl
with big city ambitions and a thirst for the
limelight. Though her birthplace of Canton, Ohio is the home to the likes of Macy
Gray, Marilyn Manson, and the pro football
Hall of Fame, Bleu feels that Canton could never be large
enough for her adventurous personality and daring
spirit. “Everybody always knew I was way too big for
my city,” she says. “I’ve always known I was destined for
more than Ohio could offer.”
The 26-year-old Gemini began dancing at the age of 18
at a small, local strip club, but it wasn’t until a year ago
that she finally decided she had endured enough of the
corn and wheat fields of the Midwest and was ready to
try something new.
But how exactly did she end up in Atlanta, you ask? Well,
Bleu’s clue came from a fellow stripper girlfriend of hers
who had similar ambitions. “One day a girlfriend of mine
was like, ‘Let’s just go and move to Atlanta and see what
we can do down there,’” Bleu remembers. “The club had
called me for a job, and I decided to go check it out.”
The two dancers packed their bags and headed to the
strip club capitol of the world: ATL, GA. And according to
Bleu, “Life’s pretty much been great ever since then.”
Website: www.strokersclub.com 770-270-0350
Photographer: Sean Cokes 404-622-7733
Make-Up Artist: Mike Mike 678-732-5285
Hairstylist: Baby Boy 404-396-2739
40 // OZONE MAG
Words by Eric N. Perrin
Though the chipper stripper proudly boast a
34-26-36 frame and an adoring smile, Bleu
feels her best asset is her toes. “I think I have
the cutest toes in the world,” she brags. “And
I keep a pedicure all the time. They gotta look
lovely. Right now they’re a really soft pink,
with a really thin white line. I love that.”
And unlike most strippers, Bleu seems to
genuinely love her profession as well. In fact,
her biggest strip club complaint is when the
customers ask her real name. “I really don’t
like it when guys ask us our real names. I
hate that. That’s the worse part about my job.
My real name is really, really country.”
Out of respect for Bleu, we won’t print her real
name, but if we were to commit the malicious
act of revealing her government name, her
business would surely decline. “If you look at
me, you would never guess my real name,”
she adds. “It’s so grandma-ish.”
(above L-R): Pimp C’s mother Mama C & J Prince @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX (Photo: Julia Beverly); Soulja Slim’s mother, Snoop Dogg, & BG @ House of Blues in New Orleans, LA
(Photo: King Yella); Pimpin’ Ken, Bankroll Jonez, & Seventeen @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // Killa Kyleon & the Grit Boys @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 02 // DVUS, Grand Prix, & guest @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 03 // Guru & DJ Bruce Wayne on
the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 04 // Roccett & TJ Chapman @ Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 05 // Southern Syrup DVD crew @ Demp Week
celebrity basketball game (Tallahassee, FL) 06 // Webbie & Bighead @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 07 // 5th Ward Weebie & Baby @ Club Dream during All Star weekend
(New Orleans, LA) 08 // TJ Chapman, Paperchase, & Pimpin Ken @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 09 // Snoop Dogg & Joe Anthony @ House of Blues (New Orleans, LA) 10 // Nephew,
Bigga Rankin, & Mob Boss @ Dunks R Us Super Bowl Party (Jacksonville, FL) 11 // Fukas, Dizzy, & Stevie Drumma @ Dreams (New Orleans, LA) 12 // KD Han D Man, Renee, & Rock @
Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Boomtown & CL Llewellen on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 14 // Big Koon & Hollywood with Young
Cash @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 15 // Tre Dub & Freddy Hydro @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 16 // DJ Nasty, Acafool, & DJ Christion @ Hip Hop
Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 17 // Malik Abdul & Slick Em of Pretty Ricky backstage @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 18 // Joe
Anthony & DJ Spin @ House of Blues (New Orleans, LA) 19 // J Baby & BloodRaw @ Errupt Studios (Jacksonville, FL)
Photo Credits: Intl K (03); Julia Beverly (01,04,06,07,08,13,15,16); King Yella (09,18); Ms Rivercity (02,11,12); Terrence Tyson (05,10,14,17,19)
We polled a selection of the general
population in search of the most popular
methods for getting intoxicated – by
“general population” we mean college students, mall shoppers, nightclub patrons,
and even your favorite rappers. Well,
maybe your favorite rapper isn’t exactly
part of the general population, but it does
make the survey more interesting. For
the sake of privacy (and preventing death
threats, lawsuits, or accusations of snitching) we’re keeping the results anonymous,
but we will say the findings were obtained
mostly in the South, including Florida,
Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, etc.
On another note, there’s nothing more
awkward than asking complete strangers about their heroin use, which by the
way, none of the 100 people surveyed
actually use heroin, or at least didn’t
admit to doing so, which is a good sign
that hard-core drug use may be on the
decline. In fact, a good percentage of the
poll doesn’t use drugs or alcohol at all.
Still, marijuana, alcohol, and ecstasy are
prevalent outlets for getting high amongst
adults between the ages of 19 and 45.
- Compiled by Ms. Rivercity & Eric Perrin
Average Age: 28
ESTIMATED MONEY SPENT ON DRUG OF CHOICE (SEE GRAPH BELOW)
Total of all 100 survey respondents = $17,465/month ($209,580/year)
Average per person = $174/month ($2,095/year)
MORE PRODUCTIVE THINGS WE FOUND ON THE INTERNET FOR $209,580
One 4-bedroom house in Atlanta, GA
Seventeen years of Geico car insurance
One 2-bedroom townhouse in Chicago, IL
Three 2008 Mercedes Benz CLS’s
5,533 large cases of Pampers
Lifetime membership to LA Fitness for you & 5 friends
42,000 copies of OZONE Magazine
17,123 copies of The 48 Laws of Power
Sponsor 28 newborn Ethiopians for 18 years
538 penis enlargement pumps
42 // OZONE MAG
SHOULD YOUR DRUG OF
CHOICE BE LEGAL?
49% said “YES”
51% said “NO”
(above L-R): Soulja Boy @ Party 93.3 in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K); BG @ The Moon for Demp Week in Tallahassee, FL (Photo: Terrence Tyson);
Plies & DJ Q45 @ Plies “Bust It Baby” reality show casting call in Tampa, FL (Photo: Malik Abdul)
01 // Jody Breeze & Roccett @ Demp Week celebrity basketball game (Tallahassee, FL) 02 // Yo Gotti @ House of Blues for Yo Gotti’s mixtape release party (Memphis, TN) 03 // BOB
@ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Rippy, guest, & DJ Scream @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 05 // Small World @ Party 93.3 (Houston, TX) 06
// Malik Abdul @ FAMU for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 07 // Stix Malone @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Drumma Boy @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool
(Atlanta, GA) 09 // Suga D & ladies @ Plies “Bust It Baby” reality show casting call (Tampa, FL) 10 // TMI Boyz @ the Southern Entertainment Awards panels (Tunica, MS) 11 // Shannon, Alexsis, Nikole & Tiarra @ S&S Entertainment’s New Years Eve party (Des Moines, IA) 12 // Vic XL @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 13 // Partners N Crime @ Club
300 (New Orleans, LA) 14 // Plies & guests (Columbia, SC) 15 // Kitty & Xxzotic @ The Fare for Big Push’s birthday party (Dallas, TX) 16 // Tearany Cullens & Southstar @ The Globe for
OZONE’s Winter White party & Model Search (Jacksonville, FL) 17 // Grand Prix, Jawar, & AJ @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 18 // UTP & Partners N Crime @ Club 300
(New Orleans, LA) 19 // Guest & Bohagon @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 20 // DJ K-Tone @ the Southern Entertainment Awards panels (Tunica, MS) 21 // DJ Princess Cut
@ Club Hush for Dirty South Block Party’s final event (Dallas, TX) 22 // Brisco @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 23 // Big Koon, Hollywood, J Holla, & DJ Headbussa @ The
Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 24 // DJ Wildhairr & Mike Clarke @ S&S Entertainment’s New Years Eve party (Des Moines, IA) 25 // D’Lyte & C-Dog @ Club Cirque (Dallas,
TX) 26 // Leon Philts & The Governor @ Nexxus Media Studios (Dallas, TX) 27 // Macadocious @ Southern Whispers for Bigg V’s birthday bash (Greenville, MS) 28 // DJ J-Hustle @ Club
Cirque (Dallas, TX) 29 // DJ Dapa @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 30 // DJ Big Bodie & DJ Dr Doom @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 31 // DJ 007 & 2
Deep @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 32 // Curren$y & Ms Rivercity (New Orleans, LA) 33 // Baby D @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 34 // DJ Storm
& Terrence Tyson @ The Globe for OZONE’s Winter White party & Model Search (Jacksonville, FL) 35 // Chamillionaire @ Party 93.3 (Houston, TX)
Photo Credits: Clevis Harrison (14); Edward Hall (15,21,25,26,27,28); Intl K (05,35); Julia Beverly (02,31); Malik Abdul (09,11,24); Ms Rivercity (03,04,07,08,10,12,13,17,18,20,23,29,32,33);
Terrence Tyson (01,06,16,19,22,30,34)
n out. Leaders of a
groups just don’t pa
ometimes Hip Hop
aire and Paul, an
the least—didn’t wo All
groups that—to say
in most fans’
that probably isn’t
e. Although the
Another rap group
-based Iconz of “Ge
, one of the group
Time is The Miami
(l-r) Chaos, McKlezie, & Hunger
M IA M I, F L
litics was involved
trio Grind Mode. “Po
eheadway as on
ell on the negative,” to the drive
t I don’t like to dw
zie, says. “We had
now goes by McKle
th Grind Mode and
and the thr
er and Chaos,
local emcees Hung
of hooking up with
who mutually res
grind, before decid
to go real hard as
explains. “We used
artists. Grind Mo
as a group. But as
te. I gre
doing it for a minu
run into [Chaos].
t ‘it’ about him. Me
Chaos just had tha
Klezie already had
er this super group
trying to put togeth
Chaos just made sen
same note as us.
niistry has been unde
Grind Mode’s chem
ir single “I’m
able. As a
climbing up the ch
So High” has been
ss to spit
in Florida, even pro
the group recently
on the remix. And
a distribution deal
eased 5-time Gramm
same label that rel
award winner Amy
Flo, DJ Khaled, Pitbull,
With Rick Ross, Trina
Rida, Cool & Dre an
all-time highs, the
scene in Miami to
couldn’t be bette
. “[Our sound] is Mia s.
style of MIA music
man, that feel-goo , getting out there and
“The nuances of Mia club, and at the same
th mesd lyrics are laced wi
time the words an
t it’s so
sages that you can
t. It’s ab
much more than tha
the glue of the city,”
“We’re about to be
adds. “We started off them [are] the star
Trick and Trina
up all the way to sec
players. We moved
string, about to be
s up, “Just trust wh
And as McKlezie sum n, with the maturity and
come on the scene
you got with these
the professionalism g Miami down by any
guys, we are no
Words by Randy Ro
OZONE MAG // 45
ly recognize Charleston,
oyal OZONE readers probab
rapper Carlos Cartel. His
le. For months, his
zine have been memorab
ng in between,
dead bodies resting inside , ran on the pages of OZONE. “[The bodies
holding an automatic wea
y, [who] got killed
my cousin and his homebo
pictured on the ads are]
show the other side of
by another homeboy,” he
rappers [aren’t] talkin’ abo
the game, to what these
ement for dealing
king more like an endors
But when he ran an ad loo
et boys decided
for a rap album, the alphab had to put out
cocaine than promotions
felt like that was
to pay him a visit. “I just
magazine, shit hit the fan
there,” he says. “[But]
nt something on me, but
real case has
he says. They tried to pla
the law, he states that no
been brought against him
ous city in the United
, SC (the 7th most danger
Born in North Charleston
gs), Cartel had a
States according to the CQ
his father passed
n he was just 10
troubled childhood. Whe
from AIDS, which he
away due to complic
use. At 13, Cartel
contracted through drug
g tapes out
Mafia and Skin
his own hustle
of their car trunks inspired
and flow. He later moved
cus Vick, the bro
hael Vick. “I’ve
Falcons quarterback Mic
been around niggas all my
h there were
ss and the
times he found
inst him, seeing
cards seemed stacked aga
a and the Vick
the success of Three 6 Mafi
his pursue of a
career in rap mu
known for his conBut Cartel may be more
up in the
ght the media’s
Cartel’s hands, which cau
t incident where
attention, and a subsequen during a
SC, earned him a
performance in Florence,
and the nickname
sts those days
are far beh
me as a proble
Juvenile situation was a
love to Wayne too.
much love to him. Much
it’s a new year.
I ain’t on
t somebody over
The old me wou
some petty stuff.”
grind speaks volThese days his music and
umes. His two
) are heavy on
Stories and Cause Hel
World Is Yours,
n. With records
is set to be released soo
featuring Lil Boo
ck T as well
Dawg, Skinny Pimp, and
s pictured on his
ching the attention
wrapped van, Cartel is cat
of both law enf
throughout the Southe
Words by Randy Roper
OZONE MAG // 47
Atlanta , GA
nces to the creation of a
s his difficult life experie
[in me] is the
e faced challenging stru
his deal. “I think what ma
ost rappers claim to hav
these other rappers.
s couldn’t comprehend the
ress that through my mu
Dolla has faced. Since day
I’ve seen a lot and I exp
of hardships 20-year-old
is his year,
II has persisted through
ous rapper believes 2008
age five, he
Roderick Anthony Burton
h, while he survived. At
some time, but the ambiti
t in front of him, and at
witnessed his fath
ionwide, it may very
nta-raised, Los Angeles-t
Is That” getting airplay nat
to retain substance
10, the Chicago-born, Atla
knows his single is a com
hustling on the street.
trying to glo
of the house, and I’m not
chains, the jewelry,
“I realized I was the man
things: the cars, and the
I’ve been financially
“I do talk about the flashy
what I did, but I had to
the hoes. But I also got
sisters since I was 13 yea
se niggas that
towards longevity. I don
ple to see what
street perils, one thin
just want to be accepted.
a career in music.
Dolla: His desire to pursue
remained a constant for
s. “That’s always been
And A Dream stands as his
ing debut album A Dolla
of his acclaim
nity to prove he is worthy
up with two fellow young
At age twelve, the pre
up performed at
ed Da Raskals Cru. The gro
Words by Eric N. Perrin
d a record deal
rappers from ATL and form
with Elektra in 2001.
During the group’s
stint at Elektra,
Dolla met a gifted but
slept-on singer named
Akon, who at the time
was producing for the
label. The two upand-comers became
friends, and when
Elektra closed in 2003,
Da Raskals disbanded,
while Akon’s journey
was slightly more
Yet the relationship
Dolla formed with Akon
was a lasting one, and
eventually Akon not
only signed Dolla to his
Konvict Muzik imprint
under Jive Records, but
also gave the young’n
his one imprint, The
“I’ve been knowing
‘Kon before ‘Kon was
‘Kon, so when he got
an opportunity to put
me on, he did that, and
he believed in me,”
“He gave me the chance
to not only be a rapper, but also a young
The rising ATL rapper at-
his voice, but
ph Jones’ name, or even
ou may not recognize Ste
his face. For years,
chances are you’ve seen
singer was the face of the
billboards ads nationwid
numerous magazine and
his focus has
es his modeling career, as
s always came
Today, Steph rarely discuss
to sing ever
shifted to music, a talent
up in the
natural to him, but was
my mom was a big
since I was a little kid, but time I’d open my mouth she’d be like ‘Shut
house,’” Steph laughs. “Ev
MISSOURI CITY, TX
success as his
school, but found even less
ents as his
So Steph sought refuge in
generally had the sam
teachers and classmates
ned my mouth. I
mother. “They’d tell me
my discipline slips
school for singing, and all
actually got kicked out of
class,’” he add
said, ‘student disrupting
he truly could sing,
t Steph even discovered
It wasn’t until college tha
eding his craving
sure in the back
but by then, it was his mo
someone I was
ures, boy. No one
to croon. “Anytime I told
, shut up and take
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Words by Eric N. Perrin
50 // OZONE MAG
St. Louis, MO
o, Ali of the St. Lunatics
Gucci Mane, Yo Gotti, Fab
z in the streets spread
is, Missouri sounds vag
the Hip Hop
starts to make noise on
of Kim Kardashian on the
familiar. A Lou rap group
emerges to carry his
scene, and soon
ted by DJ Smallz and the
this chronicle isn’t the cou
h follow-up mixtapes hos
Organized Noize’s Rico
of Vic Damone and the
of Nelly and the
sts in the works, he’s poi
iration for me,” Damone
“[Nelly] is definitely an insp staying in Florida. I was in the military.
realness coming up out
ly gonna see and feel the
ceedings] and shit. Nigga
I was going thro
-Stars was the tip of the
muthafuckin’ nine to five
caught a case. I kne
had to get back
n I heard Nelly, I knew I
change the channel.” //
heart’s with this music. Whe
one returned to St. Louis,
After serving his tim
s Guccio and Just Black
h B.O.B./QP Records. CEO
Words by Randy Roper
where he hooked up wit
lar, Trust, D-Mac and
Photo by King Yella
as The All-Stars.
floodThe group quickly started
including the Hustle & Flo
makmixtape with DJ Drama,
ing a name for themselves
throughout St. Louis and
Allmusic industry. Later, the
Stars released the album
through a deal with Univer ch
materialized for the Allst in
a group, and the solo thir
each member began to inte
and the team’s still standi
behind me,” he says.
With the group staying stro
support, V.D. has done wel
conhimself as a solo artist and vemo
ment to the forefronts. His
“Check My Swag” with Lil
is a street favorite in St.
the country. “He gon’ kill
says Drumma Boy, who pro
got the look, that nigga
streets, got the bitches on
got the goons in pocket
music is one hundred.”
Bigga Rankin, who hosted
Damone’s latest mixtape
matic, like a magnet,” he
mixtape, which features
OZONE MAG // 53
OZONE MAG // 55
Everything is bigger in Texas,
including drug addiction.
By Maurice G. Garland
Photo By Diwang Valdez
Let’s face it, drugs are to Hip Hop what steroids have become
to professional sports. They can make your product or performance look better for a moment, but in the long run, the effects
are detrimental. Just put a microscope on Houston, TX and you’ll
find plenty of parallels.
56 // OZONE MAG
omegrown baseball stars and former teammates Roger Clemens and
Andy Pettite have seen their award winning careers sullied in recent
weeks with news of them using performance-enhancing drugs. At
their height Clemens and Pettite, who were friends since college, were the
top two pitchers in baseball. Now, with their names linked to steroids, their
pristine reputations are all but dead.
Similarly, late Houston Hip Hop stars DJ Screw, Big Moe and Pimp C of UGK
have had their iconic rap statuses marred posthumously with speculation that
their recreational use of prescription-strength cough syrup, known in the
streets as “lean,” was instrumental in their untimely passings.
Lean, also referred to as “barre,” “Texas Tea,” “sizzurp,” “purple punch,” and
“drank,” among countless other names, has gained a dangerous reputation
due to its frequent mention in America’s current prescription drug epidemic.
The two main ingredients, codeine and promethazine, are intended to cure
cough, diarrhea, motion sickness and hay fever. But when mixed, they can
result in a list of side effects that rivals those rattled off by the fast voice at
the end of pharmaceutical commercials.
“It’s different from other drugs because you have a cocktail substance,” says
Dr. Ronald Peters, Assistant Professor of Behavior Science at the University of
Texas School of Public Health. “Codeine is an opiate, promethazine is an antihistamine, that makes you drowsy. Plus, it has 7 percent alcohol. Mixing them
all together, you’re getting a 3-in-1 deal.”
That trifecta gives users a hallucinating effect that is known to slow down
one’s motor skills, make them sluggish, nod repeatedly and in keeping with
the nickname, lean. The concoction has been credited as the inspiration
behind the innovative turntablism of DJ Screw whose infamous blends and
grey tapes featured slowed down songs to complement the dragging effects
of the drug.
Even though Screw released a handful of nationally distributed albums in the
mid to late-90s, the Southside Houston-born genre of music still held on to
its underground roots via hundreds of hand-passed blend tapes. When Screw
passed on November 16, 2000 (a Houston Chronicle article that same month
reported his death came from “undetermined causes”) it sent shockwaves
throughout the local Hip Hop community. Plenty of rumors circulated around
his death, but nothing concrete. Add that to the fact that he and the music
he created was still considered regional, and national press didn’t take to the
“It fucked niggas up heavy when Screw died,” says Houston rapper and member of Slim Thug’s Boss Hogg Outlaw crew, Killa Kyleon. “It’s still a mystery.
We didn’t get no toxicology reports back then. All we heard was that he had
codeine in his system.”
When Houston Hip Hop crossed over into the mainstream in 2005, much to the
credit of artists such as Lil’ Flip, Bun B, Mike Jones, Slim Thug and Paul Wall,
Screw’s name and mythical status finally began to draw the interest of national media outlets. Much akin to how the late Mac Dre’s presence permeated
through the Bay Area’s 2006 Hyphy and Thizz movement, Screw’s legacy lived
on through H-town artists shouting him out on records and name dropping
him in interviews. Also, like Dre’s relation to Thizz (i.e. ecstasy pills), drug
connections were discovered and exploited.
Even though songs dating back beyond 2000’s Three Six Mafia and UGK hit
“Sippin On Some Syrup” chronicled the psychadelic effects of the drug, media
and law enforcement latched onto the newfound popularity that Houston
brought to lean and its culture in 2005. With numerous news reports on
America’s abusive addiction to over-the-counter prescription medicines also
popping up around that time, syrup and its connection to Hip Hop music made
it an ideal target.
Earlier this year MSNBC.com reported that a 2006 survey, conducted by the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, revealed that 3.1
million people between the ages 12 to 25 had used prescription drugs and
cough syrup to get high. It seems as if prior to Houston’s rise to stardom, reports on cough syrup and prescription medicine abuse never mentioned connections to rap music. Since then, countless articles like MSNBC’s have made it
a priority to state that the drug “gained famed in Southern rap circles.”
“They try to get us with so much negativity,” sighs rapper and Boss Hogg
Outlaws member Chris Ward. “They try to make it look like we’re just down
here tripping. It seems like nothing is a problem until white kids get affected.
Nobody is putting a gun to their head, but when they get to it, it’s a problem
and everybody wants to blame it on rap.”
Dr. Peters agrees. “A lot of media sources have tried to demonize Hip Hop
artists by blaming them for these particular problems with codeine and
promethezine,” he says. “The bottom line is if it weren’t for the Hip Hop
nation mentioning it in their songs, many researchers like myself would not
have an idea of what’s going on in underserved populations. The medical field
should be happy to have someone diffuse that information so we can provide
prevention resources to kids who may not know the enormous impact that
this particular drug has on their local communities.”
With the deaths of Screw, Moe and Pimp reportedly being linked to syrup one
has to wonder what direct impact they would have on the scene itself. Would
syrup use decrease? Would the music eventually fade away as a result?
“Nah man,” laughs platinum-selling Houston native Paul Wall. “First thing we
said when Moe died, was we gonna toast some taste for him. Same thing for
Pimp C. But there are probably some people that slowed down on it, myself
included. I slow down on it when I’m in work mode.”
Many of Paul’s peers share similar sentiments when queried about lean. “I
drink when I feel it, but I chill sometimes,” says Chris Ward. “Some people get
addicted, like cigarettes. But you still can’t knock the people who want to do
it all the time. There’s a lot of working people who wanna hit a blunt everyday after work, that say, ‘I can’t wait ‘til I get home to hit this blunt.’ Some
people be like ‘I need to get a cup.’ It relaxes you.”
Lean, just like weed, gives users the munchies. Being that most syrup sippers
drink at night, they have a tendency to eat late and then go to sleep. That’s
a blueprint for weight gain. Medically, the ingredients in lean, especially the
opiates in codeine, are prescribed to relieve pain and diarrhea. People usually
take 1-2 teaspoons of syrup for coughs and other illnesses. Lean drinkers
easily ingest 8-10 ounces until they get the hallucinogenic experience. That
over-consumption usually leads to kidney failure, constipation, decreased
gastric emptying, hard stools and disinterest in sex.
“It slows your bile down from working,” reveals Dr. Mike Leath, M.D. of
Houston’s Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center. “[In that case],
X-rays show massive amounts of stool or colon content that has yet to be
expelled. The biles stop functioning and you can have a rectal vault full of
stool and see their colon big and dilated.”
In layman’s terms, you can’t shit and whatever doesn’t come out, stays inside
“I stopped sipping because my stomach started knotting up,” admits Bun B of
UGK, who backed off the barre in early 2007. “I’m not saying I was constipated, but that shit causes constipation. Especially if you’re not eating the right
Paul Wall, along with Three 6 Mafia’s
Juicy J, proudly displays a prescription
codeine bottle on the set of Frayser
Boy’s video for “I Got Dat Drank,” an
ode to the drug, in May 2005
“Some Texans have oil and horse
ranches, we have drank. It’s just a
part of Texas culture.” - Paul Wall
OZONE MAG // 57
food, and not drinking water, you’re gonna have a
fucked up stomach.”
Paul Wall agrees, but adds, “A lot of sippers pop
pills too, so it’s hard to say that it’s just lean
[causing stomach problems]. People be doing a
lot of other fucked up shit on top of the lean. I’ve
never had no problems on the toilet or the bedroom. I only got fat because I was eating and not
exercising. But, you do have a lot of people walking around with what we call the ‘drank belly.’”
While there is medical information that links lean’s
ingredients to weight gain, a connection to actual
death is still a gray area. Plenty of medical reports
state that codeine overdoses can be fatal, but it’s
hard to find actual death reports outside of Screw,
Moe and Pimp C, which to many are still mysteries.
In a July 2005 interview with OZONE, Houston recording artist Z-Ro responded to questions about
Screw’s suspected codeine overdose by saying,
“Codeine is a downer… When they did the autopsy
on [DJ Screw] they found some ol’ white boy speed
type shit. That’s an upper… Somebody slipped
something in my man’s drink that made his heart
blow up from the inside.” [OZONE could not confirm this with the Harris County Coroner’s office]
“A lot of people out here know the truth, but you
might end up talking to the wrong people who
don’t know,” says Chris Ward. “Moe used to drink
[syrup] a lot but being his friend for 20 years, I
can tell you that for the last two years, he didn’t
drink. His mama had a stroke a year ago and he
himself was overweight. He had the same [obesity] problem as Big Pun.”
Big Moe suffered a heart attack in October 2007.
He fell into a coma and died one week later. “Moe
was like my brother. He used to drink too much,
but that ain’t what killed him. The hospital killed
“[Cough syrup abuse] is a big
problem in Houston because
so many crooked doctors and
clinics are popping up here,
so its tough to crack down on
it… By the time the police and
medical board get around to
wanting to bust these places,
they are up and gone.”
- Dr. Mike Leath
him,” claims Ward. “They drained 100 pounds of
liquid out of his body, nobody can shape their
body that fast. How you just gonna change your
heart rate like that? But since he was the ‘Barre
Baby’ they blamed the drank. If he was calling
himself the ‘Coke Baby’ they would have said
that’s what killed him.”
Nearly two months after Moe’s death, Pimp C was
found dead in a Hollywood, CA hotel room. Media
outlets originally reported he died from natural
causes. But in February 2008 reports surfaced that
he his death was accidental, caused by a combination of sleep apnea and an overdose of prescription cough syrup. The Houston Chronicle reported
that the bottle [of cough syrup] had no label.
“I wasn’t in L.A. so I don’t know exactly what happened in that room,” says Pimp’s rhyme partner
and close friend Bun B. “The reality is that nobody
knows either, so we just take the information
from the coroner and it is what it is. But we all
58 // OZONE MAG
know that syrup in Houston is an epidemic. I’m
not gonna sit here and act holier than thou about
that shit. But the reality is that there are people
who can do cocaine for the majority of their life
and die an old man, and then there are people like
[former college basketball star] Len Bias who can
do one line and die. Everybody reacts differently
to certain shit. You have to be careful with what
you are doing, prescribed or not.”
Dr. Peters offers that most syrup-related deaths
are actually attributed to drowsy drivers falling
asleep behind the wheel. When it is reported, that
info is left out and it’s simply recorded as an auto
accident, ultimately getting overlooked. “For example, bicycle accidents outnumber homicides. But
the news will report about the woman assaulted
or the guy murdered [instead of the bicycle accident],” he says. “It’s more [auto] accidents due
to codeine and promethazine than people who are
overdosing, but both are bad.”
Either way, be it from accidents, overdoses or
accidental overdoses, “lean” is becoming synonymous with “death.” Most times when rumor
spreads about a drug being potentially lethal, usage goes down either because of law enforcement
cracking down on the drug or users backing away
from it. Houston’s reaction to the supposed syruprelated deaths has been a two-sided one.
From November 2004 to July 2006, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue
Service Criminal Investigation (IRS/CI), and the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) joined forces
to investigate and indict fourteen people - including 8 pharmacists and a doctor - for conspiracy to
illegally distribute prescription narcotics in Houston. The pharmacists sold prescription medicines
to people who had no medical needs for them.
Additionally, they and their staff used names from
the phone book and drew up fake addresses and
phone numbers to fill phony prescriptions. Seized
records reveled that the co-conspirators had sold
over 1.7 hydrocodone pills and roughly 2,500 gallons of codeine/promethazine.
“[Cough syrup abuse] is a big problem in Houston
because so many crooked doctors and clinics are
popping up here, so it’s tough to crack down on
it,” says Dr. Mike Leath of Houston’s Memorial
Hermann – Prevention and Recovery. “They literally spring up overnight, since they aren’t doing
surgery or doing normal doctor stuff. By the time
the police and medical board [are ready] to bust
these places, they are up and gone.”
Law enforcement crackdowns have been somewhat effective, though. “It’s hard to get [codeine]
now. Even if you’ve got a cold you can’t get it,”
says Paul Wall. “It started getting harder to get
when the music got popular, around 2005. It got
real bad and prices got high.”
Dr. Peters adds, “Amongst people who have
money, the usage hasn’t dropped. But for kids that
don’t have money, it’s not as accessible as it one
was. It may be the wrong way to look at it, but if
we can protect our kids for the future and [prevent
them from having] access to drugs, that’s all we
can really do. If people have money and want to
get high, we can educate them and support them
with programs, but we need to make sure we
target the kids first before we as adults try to do
things for people that already know the effects
and choose to do the drugs.”
On the flip side, some are choosing to either scale
back or leave the drug alone. There won’t be any
lean references on Bun B’s new album, 2 Trill.
“That was just something out of respect,” says
Bun about his decision to omit the drug from
his lyrical content since Pimp C’s passing. “That
would have been in poor taste for me to continue
to make music along that same line. That would
be ignorant. But that’s just the way I feel about
the shit. I don’t expect anybody else or any other
rapper to change a muthafuckin’ thing on their
record based on what I do.”
Killa Kyleon is one of those people. His latest edition of his mixtape series, Purple Punch, features
him on the cover appearing to pour up.
“It’s our culture,” he says unapologetically. “We
consider our music to be the new drug game. It’s
me saying that my lyrics are the purple punch. It’s
what I want the streets to consume, and my lyrics
are the dope. It’s just like when Scarface named
his album The Fix. It wasn’t an intent to glorify
the culture but shit, it is what goes on out here.”
Surely, Houston isn’t the only major U.S. city battling a syrup epidemic. As chronicled in songs by
artists such as Beanie Sigel, Lil’ Wayne, Three Six
Mafia and their extended family, lean is widely
popular in Philadelphia, throughout Louisiana
and Memphis. Addiction has been a problem for
both Sigel and Wayne, with Weezy’s struggles (and
glorification) recently becoming the hot topic
amongst Hip Hop circles. In a recent interview
with MTV.com Wayne says about quitting, “It ain’t
that easy. Shit feels like death in your stomach
when you stop doing that shit, homey. You gotta
learn how to stop. You gotta go through detox.”
“When you abruptly stop the drugs, you have
these feelings of intense muscle pain, deep bone
pain, severe diarrhea, watery eyes and runny
nose,” supports Dr. Leath. “Opiate withdrawal can
be severe. [These] drugs are in the same family
as heroin. They might not be injecting it, but they
are getting the same withdrawal [symptoms] as a
heroin addict when they run out of their fix.”
It’s hard to look at Houston Hip Hop and not think
of lean. To try and separate the two could almost
be deemed as disrespectful because of the part
the drug and its effects have played in the music’s
history and popularity. Perhaps the same reason
why Wayne can’t just quit cold turkey, is the same
reason why lean will probably never disappear
from Houston’s Hip Hop scene.
“In a way, it gives us an identity,” says Paul Wall.
“Some Texans have oil and horse ranches, we
have drank. It’s just a part of Texas culture.” He
pauses with a hint of seriousness now in his voice.
“Sometimes, being a rapper, I feel like I’m promoting it. When I rap, I talk about my life, so it’s
hard not to talk about [lean]. I don’t want to tell
the next person that it’s cool to do [it]. I tell kids
not to be like me, but to be better than me.”
Others offer more straight-to-the-point advice. “At
the end of the day, it’s about you being healthy,
whether or not you do drugs,” says Chris Ward,
offering the fact that many syrup sippers don’t
qualify for healthcare, possibly robbing them of the
opportunity to be warned or encouraged to stop.
“That’s your responsibility as a person.”
“Too much of anything will kill you, bro’,” blasts
Killa Kyleon. “That’s pretty much the answer to
every question about the shit. Too much of anything will kill you.” //
OZONE MAG // 59
Words by Randy Roper
ith monikers like Joey Crack, Coca and Don Cartegena, it’s safe to assume Fat Joe knows a thing or two about the drug game. Not to get
anyone indicted, but with a new street single entitled “Crackhouse,”
what else could he be insinuating? It’s been 15 years since he left
the street hustle for the rap grind. And after eight solo albums and more hit
records under his belt than your favorite rappers, he’s still relevant in today’s
fickle rap game. Luckily for the rap game, he chose to spit crack instead of
selling it. In the movie that is Joe’s career, the gangsta didn’t die, he got
chubby and moved to Miami.
You go by the nickname Joey Crack. Is that a drug reference or how did you
60 // OZONE MAG
get that name?
The way I really got that name, was when I was younger and I was in junior
high school, the teacher would ask me to write on the chalkboard or something and my pants were always baggy, so the crack of my ass would show.
So the girls would tease me and call me Joey Crack. That name’s still with me,
[after] all these years.
When people hear “Joey Crack,” they think of drugs.
I’m spitting that crack, you know. I’m what the streets call me. I’m what the
streets made me. The streets call me Joey Crack. That’s cause I got that addictive flow. I love [the name]. I have police niggas stop the police car and
be like, “Joey Crack!” (laughs) That’s the craziest shit when the police be like,
“Joey Crack, what’s up, nigga!”
You’ve been in the game for a minute, and there’s a lot of trap rappers in the
game now. Do you think there is too much drug talk and too much trapping
going in rap music now?
I mean, they’re just rapping that real shit. When you talk about niggas rapping, niggas are just painting a picture. We’re poets, we’re authors. We’re like
the niggas who make movies. If there’s a nigga in jail in a box, and he don’t
see no light of day and the only thing he can do is listen to his Walkman,
we’re painting a movie for that nigga. It doesn’t necessarily mean that every
nigga spitting about crack is hustling crack or selling crack, it’s just niggas
painting that movie. It just seems like we all wanna be the next Scarface.
Out of all the rappers that rhyme about selling drugs, how many of them do
you think have actually sold drugs?
I think almost everybody has. We all grew up in poor, fucked up neighborhoods, so you know when I left the game and I said I was gonna become a
rapper, hustlers, all them niggas were looking at me like I was crazy, “Crack,
you crazy, there’s money out here.” I decided to change my life through music, and most of them niggas done got locked up for 75 years, unfortunately.
I was ahead of my time and now I see hustlers going into the [rap] game.
Niggas used to laugh at me when I told the real niggas, “I’m about to get
this rap money.” At the end of the day, I think niggas hustle cause they have
to and it’s survival. But when you turn around and you make it legit in the
industry and you’re holding money, I don’t think there should be no reason to
go back and go hustle.
Do you think there’s more money in the rap game or the drug game?
There’ll always be more money in the drug game, but who’s to say that you’re
gonna get that money? In the drug game Pablo Escobar and [those type of]
niggas made billions of dollars. But a nigga on the corner or a nigga in front
of a trap house, he ain’t making billions. At the end of the day, if you’re able
to rap about hustlin’, and you’re able to be a rapper, you making legit money.
You ain’t gotta go to jail for that. But when you’re hustlin’, you know it’s one
or the other, dead or jail. And if you go to jail, you shouldn’t be snitching on
niggas cause you knew what the fuck you was doing. And I don’t understand
niggas who snitch on niggas knowing that they were doing what the fuck
they were doing. You’re caught, why you gonna snitch on the next man cause
you fucked? Knowing damn well that you were breaking the law, doing whatever it was you were doing. You knew what it was when you was in the game.
You said everybody wants make the next Scarface. What do you say to people
that look up to drug lords?
Well, you know, the young niggas just gotta know this is just entertainment.
Just because it’s a black or Spanish nigga doing it, should be no difference.
If a black or Spanish nigga says, “I’ma blow your head off,” for some reason
people believe it. But when Eminem says that he’s gonna put his fucking wife
in the trunk and ride around with her dead, we don’t believe it. Rappers are
poets; we’re painting a picture. We’re making movies through music. When you
see [Martin] Scorsese or one of them niggas that do the movies, you don’t
look at them like, “Oh shit, that’s a real nigga, he’s gon kill you.” You just
gotta know that this is entertainment.
So when you do a song, like your new song “Crackhouse,” are you referring to
an actual crackhouse? Or is it like this is Joey Crack’s house?
We’re referring to [a crackhouse], but the “Crackhouse” song itself, actually is
talking about me. You know, Joey Crack, you’re in Crack’s house. Like “Run’s
House.” “You’re in the crackhouse, welcome to the crackhouse.”
So, you moved from New York to Miami.
I got both. I live in New York and I live in Miami as well. I’ve been in Miami
for like 10 years, just back and forth, New York and Miami. I just love the vibe
in Miami. Niggas show love, good niggas, loyal niggas. So I fucks wit’ them.
Miami is on the coast and there is a lot of drug trafficking going on there. Is
there more drug trafficking going on in Miami or New York?
I think everybody gotta get their drugs from Miami. The shit comes in from
Columbia and all that to Miami. And then niggas gotta take it everywhere
else. So I think it originally hits Miami before anywhere else.
As far as music is concerned, you’re a New York rapper that said “change your
style up, switch to Southpaw.” So you feel you have to go to Miami to get that
flavor in Hip Hop right now?
Not really, my nigga. I been there for like 10 years. The whole Miami movement, we have a lot to do with starting it. I went to Miami on a promo tour
and heard Trick Daddy. Took his demo, gave it to Atlantic Records, next thing I
know, Craig Kallman signed him a week later. As far as DJ Khaled, we brought
him along, now he’s the biggest nigga in the game. Cool & Dre, we brought
them along, biggest niggas in the game. Khaled discovered Rick Ross, popped
that off. So, in the most respect way, I feel like I got a lot to do with shit
moving the way it’s moving.
You do have a lot to do with that and you’ve been in the game for a long
time, but you’re not getting that respect. Why do you think that is?
I really don’t know, man. You look at most of your rappers and they got one
hot album, or one hit record. And then they do a second album and the shit is
wack or whatever the case may be. The longevity for a rapper ain’t there no
more. So, when you got somebody like Fat Joe, who’s been in the game 14,
15 years, dropping crazy hit records and crazy hit records, and got a hit now
on the charts, it’s like, when are you gonna show the nigga respect? When are
you gonna admit that the nigga’s spitting that shit?
I heard people say, “Fat Joe’s only around because of the song he did with Lil
Wayne.” What do you say to people that say things like that?
I mean, they say that all the time. “Lean Back” was #1 in the country 19
weeks. “What’s Luv” was #1 in the
country, spun 38,000 times. “We Thug“If a black or
gin’,” smash hit record. “Make It Rain,”
hit record. People don’t really
says,‘I’ma blow smash
like it. You know, I don’t really love the
record I did, “Get It Poppin’,” but that
shit went Top 5. “Make It Rain” went #3
believe it. But
in the country. Now I got “I Won’t Tell,”
and that shit is like #18 in the country,
moving on up. You can’t categorize me
says that he’s
as one song. I got too many hits under
gonna put his
my belt. Can’t nobody take credit for
nothing. And by the way, the joint with
in the trunk
me and Weezy, I came up with that
hook. Then I asked Weezy to get on that
right there, you know what I’m sayin’.
And that’s my brother. People can say
whatever they want; it’s all about unity
it. Rappers are and that commission. Niggas together.
Speaking of unity, we have to touch on
the other side, the beef side. G-Unit
just released another diss record going
at you. That beef has been going on for
a long time. Is that something that you’re tired of yet?
50 Cent is pussy, man. Niggas is pussy, man. He got shot a bunch of times
by a nigga. A nigga be in the club everyday, he don’t go get him. Ja Rule’s
a little nigga, he ain’t even slapbox with him. And a nigga wanna come fuck
with Fat Joe? I don’t believe this guy. We don’t believe you, you need more
people. Go fucking rot out in your fucking mansion.
You also said in the past that you’ve made more money since you’ve been
beefing with G-Unit.
Ever since I went independent, I’ve been cha-chinging it all the way. (laughs)
Like, they can’t stop me, my nigga. They got it fucked up if they think so. If
that was the case, the nigga would have been stopped me along time ago.
You can’t stop me. I make hit records. At the end of the day, you can’t stop
somebody that keeps making hit records. And by the way, 50 Cent is just 2%
of the game. There are 98% other people who love Joe Crack. You see in my
videos, how many niggas come support me in videos and wish me well? We
don’t give a fuck what them niggas say.
What does the title of your new album The Elephant in the Room mean?
The room is Hip Hop and I’m the elephant in the room. Ask one of them
niggas that told you, “Yo, Joe’s hot cause of ‘Make It Rain’,” who they know
that’s been in the game for 15 years dropping hits after hits, after hits, after
hits? That’s something niggas gotta ask themselves. That’s exactly my point.
I constantly keep coming back with hit records. Yo, by the way, have you
checked the Billboard, have you watched your BET or MTV screen to see who’s
on there all fucking day? Don’t you see how this nigga is spittin’? Nigga been
in the game 14, 15 years, fucking wit’ new niggas that just got in the game,
spittin’ neck to neck wit’ these niggas.
Do you smoke while you record or before you record?
Nah, nah, nah, I don’t even smoke to be honest with you. I drink but I don’t
So what’s your secret to success when it comes to making a hit?
I know how to make ‘em. And everybody don’t know how to make ‘em, that’s
the problem. A hit record is something you hear on the radio all day and you
see on BET and MTV all day! A hit record ain’t what these niggas be thinking,
they do a little pitty-pat record and it’s a hit. And niggas don’t got hits. //
OZONE MAG // 61
62 // OZONE MAG
MAYOR Frank Melton has
an eye-to-eye relationship with Hip Hop.
And just like the powerful
culture, he’s got as many
haters as he does supporters.
Take a sneak peak into the
city David Banner put on the
map, and the mind of the most
controversial public official
you’ve never heard of.
hen Kwame Kilpatrick was elected mayor of Detroit in 2002, Russell Simmons labeled the then-31-year-old America’s first “Hip
Hop Mayor.” The abrasive image that rappers like Eminem, Trick
Trick and Guilty Simpson portray of the crime-riddled city (it ranked first
on CQ Press’ most recent annual City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan
America list) seemed to run congruent with Kilpatrick’s football player stature, fresh-off-the-block swagger and ability to talk both policy with pencil
pushers downtown and survival with the people on the streets. Rocking an
earring and throwing lavish parties didn’t hurt his “Hip Hop” image either.
In rough-and-tumble Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter may be a little too
old to be labeled “Hip Hop.” But that didn’t stop him from reciting “Rapper’s
Delight,” word for word from beginning to end, at his inaugural ball earlier
this year. While you shouldn’t expect him to be spitting any Beanie Sigel lines
anytime soon, he still had ?uestlove from The Roots DJing alongside him.
In bustling Atlanta, Mayor Shirley Franklin has embraced the Hip Hop brass,
including rappers on everything from tourism interests to community initiatives. In 2005 she enlisted R&B/Hip Hop producer Dallas Austin to write a
theme song for the city which opened with a big “Ladies and Gentlemen!”
from Jazze Pha. She was instrumental in bringing the BET Hip Hop Awards to
town and even quoted Andre 3000 in her speech at the 2008 MLK celebration.
But none of those mayor’s relationship with Hip Hop compares to that of
Jackson, Mississippi mayor Frank Melton. He’s both locked rappers up and
courted them for votes and support. He’s shut down Hip Hop nightclubs. He
even serves as the Chairman of the Broadcast Music Industry’s (BMI) Performing Rights Committee which oversees the execution of contracts for the likes
of T.I., T-Pain, Mike Jones, Slim Thug, Lil Jon, Kanye West and Polow Da Don
just to name a few. During his 2005 mayor campaign, Melton promised local
artists that he’d use his industry rolodex to build a state-of-the-art recording studio on Jackson’s equivalent of Memphis’s Beale Street, Farish Street.
As much as Melton appears to be in tune with the Hip Hop community, you
shouldn’t expect him to rap Banner’s “Like A Pimp” at any upcoming ceremonies, although some say that’s exactly how he operates.
A native of Houston, Texas’ 5th Ward, Melton has had his iron fists in almost
every plate imaginable. The late 50-ish husband and father of two comes
from a background that includes an 18-year run as CEO and principle owner
of Jackson’s WLBT-TV 3. With financial backing from Dallas tycoon Robert
Buford and First Chicago Bank to the tune of $23-plus million, he bought
the station in 1984. Prior to his purchase, the station had a storied reputation for supporting segregation, refusing to cover the Civil Rights Movements
of the 1960’s, selling airtime to the Ku Klux Klan and featuring little to no
programming including African-Americans, even though they made up a
sizable portion of the viewing population. After many complaints, the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) revoked WLBT’s license in 1969.
Ironically, by the time the station got back in good standings and under
Melton’s rule, he used the station, and his money, to voice his own interests.
In the late eighties Melton caused a stir when he started purchasing billboards
and plastering the faces of known drug dealers and a hotline to call if you saw
them doing anything shady. But his tenure is mostly remembered for hosting
a notorious television segment, The Bottom Line, where he’d call out slacking
city officials and neighborhood drug dealers by name.
“I started that program because I had a 15 year-old kid named Ricky ‘Chicken’
Moore who came to my office at WLBT, who had just came home from juvenile,”
says Melton. “He was on his knees telling me he had been robbing the trains
on Mill Street. I had a speech at 7 p.m., he came in at 6:15 p.m. I gave him
money to join the Boys & Girls club, which he did do. But by 8:30 he was dead,
shot four times in the chest. In my heart I knew I should have taken him with
me. A mistake like that is pretty devastating. So with The Bottom Line, I felt
like it was something that was really needed to deal with some real community issues.”
To this day, the show is a subject of folklore. Ask a Jacksonian about the show
and they’ll almost automatically imitate Frank’s closing gesture, stuffing an
ink pen in his suit pocket and quipping, “And that’s the bottom line!”
“I thought Frank was crazy when I first saw The Bottom Line,” says Jackson
native and rapper Kamikaze. Together he and David Banner as the group
Crooked Lettaz introduced Jackson Hip Hop to the masses with their 1999
album Grey Skies. “I didn’t think he was gonna make it for another two years. I
thought he was going to get assassinated. But that showed me that when you
have money and power, you can do and say anything you want. Almost.”
Melton’s days at WLBT were riddled with conflict, largely because he fired many
black employees and eventually sold the station in 2002 to a majority-white
company for a sum that reportedly exceeded $200 million. The same year that
the station was sold, Melton was appointed head of the Mississippi Bureau of
Narcotics by former Governor Ronnie Musgrove.
According to Melton, he was appointed after joking with Musgrove that he’d
come run the bureau since he seemed to be having a hard time with it. To this
day, that move has drawn scrutiny because Melton reportedly had absolutely
no prior experience in law enforcement and operated seemingly under his
own rules. However, Melton insists that he did have experience, as a certified
deputy in Angelina County, Texas in the 1970’s.
Melton’s tenure provided plenty of headlines. In addition to openly carrying
weapons and perusing the city dressed in camouflage, Melton frequently set
up random roadblocks to conduct drug searches, much to the disapproval of
the U.S. Supreme Court. Melton’s hands-on approach and ethics also came into
question because of the drop in drug arrests during his reign. Since 2000, drug
arrests in Mississippi hovered around 3,000 per year. During the 14 months
that Melton ran the MBN, the total didn’t even reach 2,000. This low number,
coupled with the fact that Melton often caught young dealers, and invited
them to live in his house and work for him, birthed rumors that Melton himself
was involved in the drug trade or at least capitalizing off it.
“I’ve heard the rumors about the drugs and gun running,” says Melton. “I was
accused of bringing guns out of Texas and giving them to the gangs. I’ve been
accused of being the biggest drug dealer in Mississippi. I’ve never consumed,
distributed, or caused anyone to consume or distribute narcotics in my life. As
many dealers I’ve put in jail over the last 27 years? If I was dealing drugs and
standing up publicly calling out dealers, you’d see me floating up in the river.”
When Governor Musgrove was succeeded by Haley Barbour in 2004, Melton was
dismissed from his MBN position.
“I didn’t think [Melton] was gonna
make it another two years. I thought
he was going to get assassinated. But
that showed me that when you have
money and power, you can do and say
anything you want. almost.”
OZONE MAG // 63
“The reason I was fired was because I pissed off a lot of white people, because
they thought only blacks got arrested for drugs,” insists Melton, who often
catches young kids with joints in their car, but opts to destroy the small quantity rather than arrest them over $10. “I arrested a lot of white dealers in meth
houses and white people who got impunity for years, while the black street kids
were getting busted for years. I can deal with the black kids in another way. But
the 50-year-olds who are feeding them have to be dealt with severely.”
After losing that title, Melton used his popularity among citizens believing in
his stance on crime and drugs to run for mayor. He ran a balanced campaign
that appealed to both rich whites intimidated by the presence of drug dealers
and the poor and underprivileged. He also won over the Hip Hop community
by speaking to the Mississippi Artists and Producer’s coalition (M.A.P.), an
organization founded by local artists including Kamikaze, Tony B., Azziatik Blakk
and Donnie Money. He went on to win the election and was inaugurated into
office in July 2005 after defeating Jackson’s first black mayor, Harvey Johnson,
Jr. Though he promised everything from lowering crime rates to boosting the
economy, Melton’s time as mayor has been nothing but controversy.
department. J.P.D. made the shoot a hassle, harassing crew members and even
lured Nitti into getting arrested for disorderly conduct on the spot. Eventually,
Batman wound up in jail again too.
About a year later, the Wood Street Players had a show scheduled with rap
neighbors 601 Playas on a rival’s part of town at Club Soups. Already reluctant
to do the show, Donelson spotted a rival and “one thing led to another.”
“I was on stage rapping. All I remember is people shooting and people running,
so I took off running,” says Donelson. “When I got to my car, they arrested me
and another guy named Roger Taylor, who is a confidential informant now.”
read about his dispute with ex-con/rapper Albert “Batman” Donelson.
Batman says that despite the police’s failure to match gun residue with his
weapon, he and Taylor were both charged with aggravated assault because of
that night’s incident where one man was shot three times in the back. Donelson
made bail that night. The cloud of trouble did not disappear. Donelson was
preparing to do a show in Hazlehurst, MS no more than a week later and was
arrested again. This time, cops came to Donelson’s house demanding to know
how he got out of jail so fast. Donelson provided proof of posting bond, but not
without a heated exchange, which he to this day calls a dumb mistake. Feeling
provoked, the officers switched into attack mode and began a search on the
premises. They found a weapon on an associate of Donelson, who claims the
cops pinned on him to charged him with constructive possession of a firearm
by a felon. He served five years, but during the sentence, he continued to be
charged with crimes by Mayor Melton.
“When I used to see him on TV I’d pray, ‘Man, I hope he never gets on me,’”
says Donelson, who became a frequent subject on The Bottom Line. “I wasn’t
doing anything that no one else wasn’t doing. I never had any contact with
Frank other than seeing him on TV. Everybody else he’s called out had some
kind of contact with him. But, one day, I guess my name came across his desk.
You see the name ‘Batman’ and newspeople can latch onto that.”
“They use terms like ‘gang boss’ loosely in Jackson when they really want to
demolish a person,” says Donelson, who has had a handful of murders pinned
on him by Melton, while he was locked up in jail. Melton has also posted up on
Donelson’s mother’s doorstep with a shotgun in response to supposed death
threats. “You should check your facts,” Donelson spits. “[Melton] calls me a drug
dealer but he’s never caught me with any bricks or anything like that.”
Batman was originally known as a member of the Wood Street Players, your
prototypical independent Southern rap group who did what they had to do
to pay for studio time, CDs and video shoots. Their name pays homage to
the notorious Jackson street that is home to the usual crimes you find in
Inner City, U.S.A. Originally comprised of Donelson and Willie “Frank Nitti”
Hardge, and later adding B.I.G. Bigalow of Reese & Bigalow fame, the Wood
Street Players released three albums between 1993 and 2000. The group’s
founders found their passion for rapping during a jail stint in the early 90s
where they’d find themselves battling each other in the cell blocks. Jail was
a constant during the span of their rap careers. Both members went back to
jail in 1995 after the release of their Jacktown Playaz album, got released, put
out a second album, Turnin’ and Burnin’ in 1997, and went back to jail. By the
time they dropped their third album Rules of the Game in 1999, they had a big
enough name to land a deal with Sony. They had a video shoot for a single,
“Life Ain’t Easy,” that was both the talk of the town and the Jackson police
Donelson feels that Melton’s obsession with him and Wood Street stems from
the shooting victim supposedly being the son of a close friend of Melton’s. He
charges that Melton has faulty sources to trump up charges on him and enforce
the vendetta. In a 2006 interview with Jackson Free Press, Melton admits to
being obsessed with the Wood Street Players, but for another reason. Melton
revealed that the infatuation began in the late 80s during his tenure with the
Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, when he came across a videotape of 16-yearold Reginald Versall. Believed to be a beating victim of Wood Street, Versall was
found lying dead behind a house with maggots coming out of his head.
A simple Google search will give you pages of information ranging from him
tearing down suspected drug houses with sledge hammers to pulling over
school buses on the freeway just to give hugs to the kids on board. You’ll also
“It’s not the police who are watching my back, it’s the guys on the
street.” - MAYOR Frank Melton
64 // OZONE MAG
“It is a damn vendetta. Forget what people think, I’m telling you myself,” says
Melton, who feels guilty for not being able to reach out to Donelson when he
was still a teenager. “I know for a fact he took those people’s lives. He may not
have done it himself, but he ordered that it be done. I have probable cause,
witnesses and six dead bodies.”
Donelson was acquitted of all charges in 2006 after District Attorney Faye
Peterson ruled that Melton had tampered with state’s evidence. Melton’s key
witness in the trial, Christopher Walker, was a former Wood Street member that
he arrested along with 10 others in 2001. Melton provided Walker with money
and a place to stay, but both have told the media that it didn’t coerce him into
giving false testimony.
“We don’t have a witness protection program in Jackson,” says Melton, who let
Walker stay in his mansion. “We didn’t have a place to send him. I wasn’t going
to leave him out there to die.”
Walker was not and probably will not be the last wayward youth to live with
Melton. A millionaire many times over, Melton owns a lavish three-story, seven
bed and bath mansion with an indoor Olympic size swimming pool. He’s had
everyone from the Mississippi State football team to singer/porn star/Brandy’s
brother/Mississippi native Ray J sleep over. But those aren’t the guests that are
making headlines; it’s the convicted felons and known troublemakers in the
house that causes a stir. While Melton sees it as his way of keeping kids out of
the street, many see it as him surrounding himself with his own goon squad.
In 2006 Melton and his group of unofficial adopted children, whom he often
brings along with him to patrol the city in a police RV, made the news when
they reportedly entered a suspected drug house and demolished the place with
sledgehammers. Melton has defended his actions in saying that the house was
a hub for crime that other city officials turned a blind eye to. That same night
Melton, police officers and the youths barged in on popular Jackson nightclub
Upper Level (DJ Drama was the featured guest that night) with Melton reportedly ordering management to “shut this muthafucka down!”
According to eyewitnesses, Upper Level manager Tonari Moore pulled out a
video camera to record the intrusion. Officers demanded he stop filming, but he
did not. At that point witnesses say the officers handcuffed Moore, dragged him
outside and with help from Melton’s youths, beat him unconscious.
Melton admits that he did go into the club with two plainclothes officers and
intented to shut the place down. According to Melton, when Moore began taking pictures, officers ordered him to stop, but Moore replied “muthafuck you”
and took off running with officers pursuing.
“He does this all the time,” says Melton. “What actually happens is that the club
security staff were trying to interfere with a legal arrest. The kids with me came
and pulled the security off my officers. Then [Moore] goes out in the street and
goes into convulsion. I even rode in the ambulance with him because I was
concerned, only to find out he does that every time he’s under arrest.”
Moore, who filed a lawsuit over the incident, couldn’t be reached for comment.
“Upper Level is very hood. You can get killed, get your ass whupped, it’s been
some gunplay up there,” says graduating Jackson State University senior
“Straw.” “It was cool to go if you wasn’t beefing with nobody. But it did get
violent, so if that’s a stance Frank wants to take, I can understand. There was a
time you could lose your life going to Upper Level.”
Melton is a frequent visitor to the nightclub. “I’ve shut it down three different
times,” admits Melton. “My problem with that club is that it was bought with
drug money and the guy, Starsky Red, who bought it, shot at federal agents
when they attempted to arrest him. They caught him with an 18-wheeler full
of drugs. We never found the money, but all of a sudden, the club opens up. The
club is a haven for the distribution and consumption of drugs. My intentions are
to shut it down. I’ve gone to [Moore] and told him I want him to have a good
business, but no dope. He just blows it off.”
Melton’s hands-on brand of justice and community activism includes a laundry
list of questionable actions such as keeping a weapon on him at all times. His
actions have not come without punishment and scrutiny. Even though he is a
member of New York Mayor Michael Bloomburg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, Melton carried one on the campus of the Mississippi College School of Law
in 2006. As a result, the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi was placed on probation.
Yes, the mayor is on probation. His school bus incident, on the other hand, only
fueled the persistent rumors of Melton being a child molestor.
“In the early 80s when I started working with the gang kids, [people] couldn’t
understand why I was so close to the kids,” says Melton, who insists that many
Jackson youth are loyal to him now because he taught them how to swim when
they were younger (he owned the local YMCA). Regardless, his close relationships
with the youth made him a target in an early 90s rape and molestation scandal
at the Hinds County Juvenile Detention Center. Former Police Chief Jimmy Wilson
accused Melton of molesting boys who were placed in his custody.
“Have you seen the kids I’ve taken in?” he charges. “What damn gang member is
gonna let somebody abuse them?”
Even with the barrage of rumors and actual truths that don’t weigh in Melton’s
favor, he claims he still has the backing of most people on Jackson’s streets.
“It’s not the police who are watching my back, it’s the guys on the street,” says
Melton. “I’ve been through a lot with them. They’ve done some things I disagree
with, but at the same time they deserve second chances and I have a lot of them
working for the city right now. If they’re 27 now, you can’t punish them forever
for mistakes they made at [age] 17. I don’t give a damn about politics. I was born
in the 5th Ward and was one of the guys that was not supposed to make it, but
because of my father I was able to make it, and able to become very wealthy.
I feel guilty about that and I want to spend the rest of my life giving it back to
generation behind me. I don’t need it.”
“I’m not here to defend Frank, let that be known,” blasts Kamikaze, who with
some string-pulling by Melton, was appointed Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Farish Street Historic Foundation. He’s spearheading efforts to revitalize the area. “I’m here talking solely about the fact that this is the first politician
in Jackson that has ever given a damn about what goes on in the hood. I am a
Hip Hop artist and activist that sees him as innovative and something we need to
key into in the city of Jackson. He does shit that I don’t agree with, but the difference is that I can call him and tell him when he’s done something wrong. You
can’t just do that with other politicians. Frank speaks like a real nigga and you
can’t do that if you’re a politician, so people call him crazy.”
He adds, “Once, I told [Melton], ‘People gonna think you’re crazy.’ He said, ‘I am
crazy.’ So I left it alone. I haven’t been around him doing anything criminal. When
I meet with him we’re on the third floor of City Hall getting shit done. If you
wanna change what’s in the city, you gotta be involved in what’s going on and
Frank is letting me and the rest of the Hip Hop community do just that.”
“I was accused of bringing guns out
of Texas and giving them to the
gangs. I’ve been accused of being the
biggest drug dealer in Mississippi…As
many dealers I’ve put in jail over the
last 27 years? If I was dealing drugs
and standing up publicly calling out
dealers, you’d see me floating up in
the river.” - MAYOR Frank Melton
OZONE MAG // 65
GIMME DAT PU
WORDS BY J
PHOTOS BYUKLIA BEVERLY
66 // OZONE MAG
You first came out with “Gimme Dat,” which was
real aggressive. It gave people a certain image of
you and now with the “Independent” record are
you kind of trying to switch up the way people
Oh yeah, I just make all kinds of music. You know
“Gimme Dat” was my club banger for my girls
but you know I couldn’t dance with my sister or
grandmother to “Gimme Dat.” I respect women.
I got my two twin daughters coming up; they’re
gonna be independent women. My grandmother
raised me to be independent. My sister is independent. I just tried to make something that inspired
them too. People took “Gimme Dat” the wrong
What way should they have taken “Gimme Dat?”
Why do you say people took it the wrong way?
‘Cause I was just being me. I was just having fun.
You know, a lot of girls like when a boy tells ‘em
shit like that.
So you’ve been getting good feedback off “Independent” from your family members and what
not? They diggin’ it?
From everybody. It’s not just for my family members; it’s for all independent women.
You and Boosie are so respected in the South
but it seems like you haven’t really reached that
whole worldwide level that you should be at. What
do you think it’s going to take to get everybody to
recognize the talents that y’all have? What do you
think it’ll take to get you to that next superstar
It’s gonna come. We just gotta be patient and keep
grinding. I mean, we made it this far.
So what’s the next record from the album you’re
gonna drop after “Independent?”
I have a single with Letoya Luckett called “I Miss
Is that dedicated to anyone in particular?
(laughs) It’s for everybody. It’s for every man
‘cause they can play it for their ol’ lady.
How does Savage Life 2 compare to your first
Savage Life album?
It’s still me. I’m savage. You know? They call me
a savage. It’s a savage life. I’m just running my
life. It’s my life; I’m living it. I’ma just keep going
‘till Savage Life 100.
I know you’ve been making a lot of money these
last couple of years. Have you bought anything
lately that you’d like to tell people about? What’s
your favorite luxury purchase that you’ve gotten
I don’t know. I been buying a lot of stuff – cars,
clothes, jewelry. I’m buying my sister and brother
a house. You know, just buying all kinds of shit.
Do you have a favorite car or anything?
My favorite car is probably my drop top, the old
school ’73 bandit.
You know this is for the drug issue, right? I know
you’re a weed connoisseur. Do you have a favorite type of weed?
(laughs) Yeah, purple weed.
What’s so special about it?
That’s just my favorite one, the real purple. When
you look at it you ain’t even got to ask what kind
it is. It’s just so purple it looks like somebody
colored it or something.
Just the purple?
How much do you spend on weed during an
I smoke like an ounce a day. An ounce costs like
$600. I can spend up to at least two or three Gs
Do you think weed should be legalized?
Yeah, in California they got the stores you walk
in and just buy the weed from behind the shelf.
You gotta have your medical card or whatever
so they should just go on ahead and [make it
legal]. You know, they just wanna get they tax
money off the shit.
So you have a medical marijuana card?
When I go to California I’m straight.
What’s your ailment? What does it help you with
Oh, I don’t know. That’s just what the people
who own the store say in California. I just been
smoking weed since I been in middle school.
You know what I’m saying?
Do you remember the first time you smoked
Hmm, not really. Me and my cousin just started
So do you have any other drugs of choice? Or are
you just basically a weed dude?
Oh no. I’m straight with weed.
And you fell in love?
Why do you avoid other types of drugs?
It just ain’t for me.
How’s the road been treating you?
They feeling me. My fans been keeping it real.
OZONE MAG // 67
They’ve been waiting and anticipating the album
and saying they can’t wait ‘til it comes out. It’s
finally here, now I just need them to go get it off
the shelf. I’ll pro’lly go platinum.
So do you worry about bootlegs and downloads
and all that? You know it’s hard for people to
really be selling records these days. Do you think
that’s gonna affect your bottom line?
Yeah, it’s gonna affect everybody but the real
loyal fans are gonna go get it out the store. They
understand what’s going on. They understand this
is our hustle and this is how we eat. We give them
good music so, shit, go to the store and support
our shit. You know, some of them are so loyal
you could have a burned CD and the real CD right
in front of them and they gonna turn the burned
CD down ‘cause they just don’t even roll like that.
Independent women don’t even buy burned CDs.
That ain’t even part of being independent.
So what made you come up with the video concept
of having the president, the doctor, and the
women with different positions in there?
We were just letting our mind go. A woman president is just independent, you know? Women can be
strong. We’re just letting them know.
Do you have an opinion on a woman being
president or a black dude being president? Are
you leaning one way or another as far as Hillary
Nah, just however they handle it is how they
You don’t get too political I guess?
What else is coming up from the Trill Camp? I know
y’all had the big record “Wipe Me Down” which was
kind of like a collaboration with everybody. What
else do y’all have coming up that we should look
We got the Ghetto Stories movie coming out. We
got Gangsta Musik 2 with me and Boosie coming
out. Wwe’re gonna have Boosie’s solo album Return of Boosie Bad Azz coming. We got some stuff
coming in ’08.
I don’t know if you saw it, but we did a little piece
on your brother and in the interview he was saying that before you actually got down with Boosie,
68 // OZONE MAG
you were excited to be part of the camp. What’s
the vibe like between you and Boosie? Is it kind
of like a competitive thing where you inspire each
other to step your game up even more?
We’re like brothers. I like seeing him succeed. He
likes seeing me succeed. I like hearing him come
with something raw and he likes seeing me come
with something raw. We just love the shit. We love
doing good. We’ve been successful at what we do
and we’re just trying to take it to the top.
Is he featured on your record?
Yeah, that’s a no-brainer.
Who else is featured on the record besides
The whole Trill fam. Everbody. Pimp C, Rick Ross,
Birdman, Letoya Luckett, Dro. I got a few people
When was the last time you talked to Pimp C?
About a week before he died.
What were your thoughts when you heard that he
You know how that goes. At first I didn’t believe
it. I thought it was just somebody starting another rumor but I called and it was real. I had to
accept it for what it was.
He was involved with Trill pretty heavily, right?
Has it affected your camp? What’s the vibe like?
We’re gonna use it as motivation to get this
money, go platinum, work harder.
On the production tip, did Mouse do most of the
production on your record?
How much time on average would you say you
spend in the studio? I know Mouse cranks out the
tracks for you guys. Is it like a family thing where
y’all are all there and you hear something you
start vibing with?
Yeah, we just be at the studio hanging out all the time.
Like we talked
before, what do you think it’s gonna take to get
that nationwide and international respect? Do you
think people understand and respect you as a lyricist too? You do say some stuff and I don’t think
people necessarily appreciate it as much as they
would coming from a New York artist just ‘cause
of the southern accent. Do you think you get the
props you deserve or are you not really there yet?
Yeah from my real fans who take the time to
listen, they give me my props. I just gotta wait ‘till
What are some other tracks from the album that
you want to mention? You mentioned the one with
Letoya Luckett; what other topics do you get into
on this record?
I got this song called “Miracle” with Birdman and
Rick Ross. We’re just talking about how the whole
situation we’re in is a miracle. We all come from
damn near the same background. I look up to
them niggas. They older than me. We’re all talking
about how it’s a miracle to be in this situation, to
be rappers. To some people we’re celebrities; to
some people we’re superstars. It’s a miracle to be
in that situation instead of being dead or in jail
or working at Winn Dixie or some shit, or selling
dope. I got one called “Just Like Me” talking to my
sons, telling ‘em they gonna be just like me when
they grow up. Sometimes I be scared ‘cause they
gonna be just like me. Sometimes I’m happy ‘cause
they gonna be just like me. I got a few songs on
How many sons do you have?
I got three. I got two twin girls too.
Oh wow. You’ve been busy then?
Hmm. None of them are a full year apart.
OZONE MAG // 69
70 // OZONE MAG
Keep on Pushin’
here are days in life that change you forever. December 4th, 2007,
brought one of those moments for Bun B, who, along with thousands
of UGK fans, heard the tragic news that his charismatic rap partner
and brother from another mother Pimp C had passed away in a Hollywood hotel room at the untimely age of 33. What followed was a whirlwind
as Pimp’s friends and family retreated into their “respective clouds” and Bun
found himself unable to even function in a recording studio, overwhelmed
by emotion. Now that the dust has settled and Bun can finally admit that his
friend is gone, he’s doing the only thing he can do: keep on pushin’. Just like
funeral attendees were heartened by Mama C’s courageous “I’m okay, he’s
okay, we’re all okay!” speech at her only child’s funeral, Bun knows he’s gotta
stay strong for everybody. And, although he loves the fans, please don’t tell
him what he’s gotta do. He’s way 2 Trill to even think about quitting this rap
shit. Whether it’s Free Pimp C or R.I.P. Pimp C, it’s still UGK for life.
When does the album come out and what’s the name of it?
The album is coming out April 1st on Rap a Lot/Asylum. It’s called 2 Trill.
That’s what I am – I’m just too trill for a lot of this bullshit that’s been going
on lately. It’s time for somebody to step up to the plate on some of this shit. I
can’t address everybody’s issues; I’ma address the things I feel are important
and we’ll see what happens from there.
Bullshit? Like, for example?
I’m a cat that’s still in the hood. When you see me, I’m always one deep. We’re
in the hood now and it’s 3rd Ward. It’s the cut. It’s row houses. It’s always
been one of the most infamous weed houses in Houston right around the corner. You know, bullshit with the hood, just a lot of shit that’s starting to get
out of hand. The way they letting little niggas do things nowadays, nobody’s
really checking nobody on nothing. They definitely not checking the young
niggas, that’s why the young niggas feel like they run everything. They feel
like they can do anything.
There’s no rules and no respect in the streets anymore?
Yeah. First of all, respect gotta be given; respect gotta be earned, so I can understand if cats don’t wanna respect a lot of people in the hood ‘cause niggas
ain’t acting right. Niggas is snitching and telling and everybody’s acting like
that shit is cool. The honor amongst thieves isn’t there anymore. You gotta at
least have that in order for the hood to operate in a certain sense.
You feel like the honor amongst thieves was there, at a certain point?
Yeah, it used to be there definitely. I don’t know what really happened as far
as the late 80s/early 90s. I think when the sentencing laws started getting a
little stricter, for the crack and all of that, niggas just couldn’t really do the
time that they were being given. It’s not like nobody was doing time for other
people’s cases. This was they case; it was they hustle, they grind. They got
caught doing it and just didn’t wanna do they time. They didn’t wanna pay
they debt to society. A lot of cats that I know are prepared to do that or go
out whatever way but they not finna take other people down with ‘em just
WORDS BY JULIA BEVERLY
PHOTOS BY MIKE FROST
because they slipped up. When people say “no stitching,” people think [it’s
about] if we see somebody get shot. That’s not what it’s about.
Where’s do you draw the line between what’s snitching and what’s not?
First of all, “stop snitching” has nothing to do with common people. That’s
the problem. The stop snitching campaign is really only amongst gangsters.
We’re talking about “stop snitching” if you get caught doing something.
We’re not talking about if you witnessed [a crime]. That’s just pure victim of
circumstance; just a common person in the wrong place at the wrong time. I
feel sorry for you in that circumstance. But when you see the shirts and all
of that, when they say “stop snitching,” they ain’t talking ‘bout the old lady
across the street that’s calling the police. Of course the old lady across the
street is gonna call the police. That’s what old ladies across the street do. But
we’re talking about people for one, who don’t know nothing sticking they
nose in serious business that they shouldn’t be sticking their noses in, and
more specifically and more directly, to the individuals living in the criminal
world who are committing these crimes. When you get caught, don’t snitch on
somebody else just ‘cause you got caught. That’s what the saying “don’t do
the crime if you can’t do the time” means. Unfortunately nobody lives by that
So these are still active issues for you.
Oh, absolutely, ‘cause I’m still in the hood. I still got homeboys that’s in the
hood. I still know people that live within the criminal world. A lot of people
who were prepared to do their five or six years or whatever it was for their
particular case are getting caught up in these crazy conspiracy cases that
had nothing to do with them just ‘cause somebody who got caught with dope
knows that it’s somebody that’s doing big business. They not even doing
business with this dude and they giving up these people’s names just so they
can get time off for themselves. So for people who are hustling and prepared
to do they six years, eight years, ten years, if they get caught now they’re
looking at thirty, forty, fifty years ‘cause of conspiracy charges they have
nothing to do with. That type of stuff is crazy. Too many people are pulling
these youngsters in too early. You got hardheads, knuckleheads, people that
no matter what you do they’re not gonna get the message; they’re gonna
do what they wanna do. So be it. But it’s a lot of these kids that aren’t even
given an option as to what they wanna do. We used to run lil niggas off the
block; we used to not even let lil niggas see the alley, you couldn’t even see
the alleyway where niggas used to sell dope and shit at. They wouldn’t even
let niggas go down that alleyway. Now niggas scared to be in the alleyways
so they put lil niggas in the alley. That shit is weak, man. That’s the type of
shit I’m talking about. You got grown ass men letting lil kids take cases for
Is there even enough money in the streets these days for it to be worth it?
That’s the problem. For a kid that ain’t got nothing at home, that little $20 or
$30 looks good. They not even getting R20 off the R100 that niggas used to
get anymore. They just getting a little something and that’s why they going
OZONE MAG // 71
so bad ‘cause they feel like they being cut out of a bigger pot, but there is
no big pot. In any form of business right now, but especially in the criminal
world, people have to do more just to make the same [amount of money].
Sometimes it’s not even worth it. I don’t know what’s gonna happen to the
streets in the next five or six years. There’s always gonna be people selling
dope and always gonna be people buying it, but the profit margin is crazy
right now. I can say the same thing about the retail market, for that matter.
When the country’s in a recession everybody suffers. Point blank. It trickles
down through the whole social system, from the upper class all the way down
to the lower class poor people, everybody’s gonna feel it.
What’s your take on the whole “Houston is dead” thing? Houston had their
momentum and now it kind of seems like it’s back to its own world.
I think that’s got a lot to do with the state of music in general. It’s not like
people just aren’t buying Houston records. It’d be different if all of a sudden
Los Angeles had five artists who went platinum last year, or the Midwest had
five artists, or D.C. or Maryland. I would have loved to see that. The fact is we
are probably one of the last people to really get people to go in the stores
and buy music. If you look at the music scene as a whole, Southern artists are
still doing better than the majority of artists from other regions but we’re all
doing bad. Nobody’s selling what they used to sell anymore. We did pretty
close; we’re still doing good but we worked very hard to stay connected to
our fans. We don’t just Myspace it. We’re out there actually physically touching
people. Like I said, Houston is suffering simply because everybody’s suffering
right now. It’s just a matter of everybody has to step back and regroup and
figure out exactly how to push this music forward but you can’t step back and
spend more money. I know that. That’s the thing, you gotta think more. This
is not the time to throw money at the situation. That’s number one. I feel like
we got as good of a chance as anybody to bounce back, but everyone’s gotta
pretty much rethink how they gonna reconnect to their fanbase right now.
How do you plan to reconnect to your fanbase?
I just plan to keep doing what I’ve been doing. Everything’s been working for
us. I’ve always been amongst the people, going out touching people, doing
extensive promotion on the road for projects. So I’m just gonna continue to
do that. Luckily with Bun B/UGK fans, 9 out of 10 of em’ have to have the CD
‘cause they’re car people. I’m lucky my fans are car people. A lot of people
have digital fans – the iPod, mp3, iPhone people. My people have cars. They
gotta have that physical CD. Even some of ‘em that get the bootleg, they buy
the bootleg ‘cause primarily they wanna be the first cat to pull up bangin’
it. They’re not necessarily about getting it for cheap ‘cause at the end of the
day they still want they artwork. They got the big CD cases that flip open and
hold a hundred CDs and they manage the CDs with the cover art. I feel bad
for the new generation of fans that are like 22 years old; you’re probably not
riding around in your car listening to music; you’re listening to a majority of
your music on an mp3 player, your phone, your computer. That’s the reality of
the world. They’re not physically in a car listening to music. Most of ‘em are
During a radio interview before he passed, Pimp was saying that if we don’t
start talking about more real topics in the South that it’s about to leave the
South. Do you share his opinion?
I think that’s gonna be about music in general. The problem I notice is that
the media would rather follow Snoop Dogg around for a day to see if he
catches a case rather than follow Talib Kweli around for a day and see what
kind of positive influence he has on his community. That’s the problem, and
the reality is it’s not the journalist’s fault; it’s the publisher’s fault. If I’m a
journalist and I go to my newspaper and I have a story about Kweli doing
something positive in the neighborhood and I have an exclusive on Snoop
Dogg’s last arrest, they’re gonna want the arrest story. Then they’re gonna
want to turn around and write a story that criticizes us at the same time. So
it’s like the media is not giving the positive rap, or people that are giving a positive spin on certain issues, they’re just not giving it any attention.
Nobody’s doing a reality show on dead prez or Mos Def. They don’t want that;
they wanna see what Flavor Flav is gonna do that’s crazy. It’s sad. The media
demands decency but promotes indecency. I don’t get it. Shit that used to be
reputable is not even real anymore.
You mentioned that you do a church mentoring program.
I’ve been doing a lot of stuff with my church lately. My church is right in the
hood. They’re selling crack right down the street from my church. Pastor
Wilson is really trying to help change the neighborhood. He’s there in the
neighborhood; he’s seeing the homeless, the drug addicts, the single parents,
and the kids with no guidance. They’re really trying to do some hands-on shit
and just give kids an option. Like I said, that’s the problem; kids in a lot of
these communities don’t have an option and when you’re put in survival mode
you’re gonna survive. It’s no other option; you’re gonna survive or die. That’s
what’s happening, particularly in the Southwest side of Houston. It’s crazy
right now. It’s a lot of violence; people are getting shot and hurt damn near
everyday. It’s always on the news. Whether or not people want to talk about
it, deep in the hood the poverty level [is high] especially where drugs are being sold. The Houston street hustlers and New Orleans street hustlers are not
getting along. They’re fighting for territories; they’re fighting for corners. It’s
the same thing New Orleans people were doing amongst each other in New
Orleans and the same thing Houston people were doing amongst each other
in Houston, but now they’re fighting amongst each other. You got New Orleans
people beefing with each other, like uptown boys or from the East; that beef
carries over to Houston. Plus now they getting into it with different sides of
town in Houston. It’s crazy. Houston is very hot right now. It’s the elephant in
the room that nobody wants to talk about. We’re just trying to give the kids
options. It’s only so much you can do with grown people. I’m not here to start
preaching to people; I’m just like, if you wanna live your life and do what you
gotta do, I understand that but think about if you would want your kid on this
corner fifteen years from now. Do you want your son out here drawing down,
stackin’ at niggas, hitting niggas up? Is that what you want for your children?
You gotta start thinking differently. If you don’t want to change it for your
generation, that’s cool but you gotta start giving to the people that’s trying
to make it different for your kids. I ain’t asking nobody to stop banging, but
don’t bang by the church. When the church is trying to go through the hood
and give to the kids, let them do that.
What do you think are some other viable options for kids?
“i couldn’t say shit. i
couldn’t say, ‘Chad
is dead.’ Last month I
couldn’t say that without breaking the fuck
72 // OZONE MAG
It’s just really gonna take money. Money is what’s
missing in the inner city. You gotta look at the
billions of dollars lost on after-school programs
and education. All these different programs had
money and government funding prior to the war.
These niggas just got another hundred-something
million dollars for the war. The shit is getting
bananas. In California they’re saying Schwartzenegger is getting ready to cut like 10 percent
on education, 15 percent from health. That’s why
muthafuckas is dying. That’s why old people are
dying. They borrowing against social security;
that’s why ain’t nobody gonna have nothing. So
it’s more important than ever that people start
learning about financial responsibility. That same
social security check that your grandmother got,
it’s a wrap for that. Unless you’re 55, ain’t finna be
nothing for you. People gotta start thinking differently. If they don’t wanna live differently that’s
them, but I feel like I gotta tell niggas what little
I know. It’s not for me to preach to niggas or tell
‘em what to do. I’m just telling niggas, “Look, this
is the way it’s finna be. If you don’t wanna change
you, that’s you but you gotta think about your lil
man and lil girl.”
Is it frustrating for you, being as intelligent as you
are, that the media doesn’t pay attention to the
things you’re talking about and nobody cares that
you’re mentoring kids at your church?
Yeah, it is. It’s fucked up.
Do you feel like if you make a record about it
nobody’s gonna play it?
They don’t wanna play it ‘cause first of all, they
don’t wanna hear it from me ‘cause they’ve
already made up their mind about who I am and
what I represent. They don’t wanna hear anything
good from me at all. And if they hear something
good from the good people, they don’t wanna
promote that. It’s like a catch 22. They only wanna
talk about certain shit, only around election time.
That’s really the only reason we’re having a lot
of the conversations that we’re having right now.
They’re only talking about the money and different shit because everybody’s programs are getting
hit. It used to be only the inner city programs
getting hit, now it’s everybody’s after school
programs and education. Now you can’t just send
your kids to a good neighborhood to a public
school ‘cause they fucked; they losing money.
Everybody’s trying to send their kids to private
schools. It’s crazy.
Speaking of elections, who are you going for?
I don’t know, man. It’s still kinda early. I don’t
wanna say If I say, “I’m going for this person”
and they don’t even get the nomination, then I’m
looking like an asshole. I’ma sit back and wait to
see what happens. I lean a little bit more towards
Barack because he was the only person that didn’t
wanna just go to war. He was like, “Hold up, let’s
really see what it is.” I can respect that mentality, but when it is time to go to war I don’t need
a nigga hesitating either. Like I said, I think it’s
a little bit too early. I still believe it’s the lesser
of two evils. It’s basically still the powers that be
dictating who they feel is the best candidate. At
the end of the day, it may be a representative of
change as far as visually, but as far as following the status quo, they’re all party members. So
it really don’t matter who wins, their personal
agenda really doesn’t come into play. They gotta
carry along the agenda of their party. Until maybe
an independent has a good chance of winning an
election, we’re never gonna see a true representation of the people if you ask me. But that’s just
me; I’m from P.A., what the fuck do I know?
Was it hard for you to get back in the studio after
Oh yeah. Absolutely. It was real hard. The first
time I went, I never even got to pick the pen up.
Just looking around the room at different pictures
on the wall brought up a lot of memories and we
just ended up talking about a lot of stuff more
than [recording]. The first time I picked up the pen
it was kinda hard to write the rhyme. I actually
say that in the rhyme, that it was hard to pick up
the pen. The first rhyme I wrote was for a song
on TIP’s album. It’s about Pimp; it’s about dealing
with loss. It wasn’t easy. I’ve probably done three
verses total since Pimp passed away. I used to do
four or five verses a day; it was nothing. It’s just
a different process. I’ve never been more nervous
about what I’m saying in my life because now
more than ever I can’t have my intentions misunderstood. Most niggas know me for coming in
[the studio], writing my rhyme and I’m done and
out in fifteen or twenty minutes. That’s why I’m
on everybody’s album. I’m kinda like a rap doctor
– they call me when they need me to fix a song
real quick. I’m real easy to clear; I do quality work
and get it back in time. It’s not like they send it to
me and I’ma get to it when I can. I’m usually not
doing shit but chilling at the house or whatever.
I ride over to Corey’s house, knock it out, and go
home. I try to be home before the news comes
on. Now it’s just a real different process. Then
you gotta be careful ‘cause you don’t wanna
over-think shit; you don’t wanna under-think shit.
It’s just a very careful line that I’m walking right
now. I don’t wanna seem too selfish or seem too
much about me. I don’t wanna seem too preachy. I
wanna make sure I do my dude [Pimp C] justice.
It’s a lot of different things that goes into sixteen
bars of a rhyme that usually didn’t go into that
shit. It’s like, this song is about bitches or hustling
so we gonna talk about this or that and I’m out.
Now it’s a little bit different. Even if it doesn’t
feel like this in a while, right now it is different.
It’s important that the shit niggas hear from me
is what it is. Niggas know I’m fucked up but they
wanna see me still be able to carry on [the UGK
legacy]. Fans in the street tell me I gotta keep it
going. It’s definitely that obligation to them. And
of course there’s an obligation to my family with
this shit being my career, having to feed my family. It’s a lot of shit that goes into this that I guess
a nigga might have never really paid attention to.
I’m just dealing with it. It’s not gonna be easy for
a while. I understand that, though, and everybody
around me understands. I just grabbed the mic
for the first time when Rick Ross came here last
weekend. We did “Down in The Dirty” and then
they played “High Life” afterwards and that shit
was kinda emotional. I hadn’t heard “High Life” in
about two or three years. That’s a real ass song.
I know when it comes to performing some of this
shit, it’s not gonna be easy. That’s why I want [my
first performance] to be here in Houston with the
fans. If I get emotional, they’re probably gonna
get emotional too. I’m gonna have all his artists
there with me with all this love and positivity in
the building with me. I feel like that’s something I
need to really get me back out there ‘cause I want
to get out there. We’re taking it a day at a time.
It’s still emotional; a nigga get choked up.
I went and watched Cloverfield this weekend. Not
to give too much away but there’s a scene where
somebody has to call somebody and tell them that
somebody is dead. I had to do that. [The character
in the movie] pretty much broke down the exact
way I remember breaking down. That shit kinda
fucked me up. I watch people talk about death in
a movie all the time and I don’t cry. Shit’s a little
different now. This shit is heavy. How often am I
gonna see and hear shit that’s gonna hit me like
that? You gotta be very in touch with your emotions right now. You gotta be very smart and real
about shit. This shit is gonna affect me for a little
while. You gotta understand that and give yourself
time to breathe. Today’s gonna be what it is. You
can’t say today’s gonna be easier but you can’t be
afraid to say things. Initially that was my problem;
I couldn’t say shit. I couldn’t say, “Chad is dead.”
Last month I couldn’t say that without breaking
the fuck down. Certain things get easier. You gotta
be willing to deal with that shit too. It’d be real
easy for me to go lock myself up in the crib, lay
in bed, pop me some Xanax, smoke kill all day.
People would grant me that kind of freedom but
that’s selfish. I’m not really doing myself no good.
I’m not really honoring my homeboy or keeping
the movement going like that. So you suck it up;
you have moments where you feel weak; you give
yourself a moment and you get back to it. Shit,
I got a momma, a wife, kids; there’s still other
people I may potentially lose in my life. For me
to act like this is it, like Chad is dead and I’m not
gonna happen…I’m definitely not going through
as much as his mother is right now. He was an
only child. I’m definitely not going through what
his children and his wife are going through. That
was their only dad, and her only husband. These
people are fucked up emotionally. I’m emotional
but I know these people are bent up. So at the
end of the day I don’t sit around feeling sorry
for myself. I’m happy to know a real nigga and
if I don’t get up and rep for him, I don’t believe
anyone’s gonna rep for him. I kinda got to and if
I don’t, that’s it; the nigga just kinda goes away.
I felt like that [when he went to] prison and it’s
even moreso now that he’s dead.
When Pimp passed a lot of people started making
Tupac comparisons. Do you feel like that’s accurate?
Yeah, I feel like that’s a safe assumption to say
that what Biggie was to the East Coast and what
‘Pac was to the West Coast, Pimp C was to the
South. You gotta keep in mind that Pac and Biggie
were just rappers; Pimp C was a rapper and a
producer, and not just a producer for our group
but he made great records and helped jump off a
lot of other people’s careers. Hell, there’s an argument that he may have been more impactful. He
never had the media notoriety that a lot of these
other artists may have had.
Do you think he’s going to get that media notoriety now that he’s passed?
He’s definitely gonna get his play. It’s definitely gonna be people like yourself and others
acknowledging him, which you always did, but
even moreso now. People are gonna wanna make
sure people understand what he was, not just a
rapper, a producer, and an artist, but a father and
a leader. People wanna show everything that Pimp
was. This UGK movement is still gonna be going
forward. We got another album to put out. All
through the year people are gonna wanna honor
him. We’re gonna have anniversaries and things
coming up. We’re trying to make his birthday a
holiday in Port Arthur. We’re talking about giving
him a street. We gotta hurry up and get that done
before the election is over ‘cause we’re not even
sure the mayor is gonna be there next year in Port
Did you feel like the Feds being out so heavy at
the funeral was disrespectful?
Initially, yeah, but if you really think about who
they are and what they do, you can’t feel disrespected. Federal agents been popping up at peoOZONE MAG // 73
ple’s funerals for years. Normally it’s for a criminal
but I guess Pimp C [did] have a case. I don’t see
the threat, but whatever. I don’t wanna say too
much ‘cause it’s not like they’re not watching me
and my life, the same way they watched his death.
It is what it is. We come to expect certain things
from certain people. I don’t think it’s so much that
they were there for him as much as for who was
coming there to pay their respects to him. But we
can’t worry about what other people are gonna
do. We just gotta mash forward. The Feds have
always been there taking pictures.
Yeah, I guess they were just a little more blatant
about it at the funeral.
Yeah, [they figured] since today all the other
police agencies are out and they’re showing their
colors, we’re gonna show our colors too. Even the
S.W.A.T. came out.
What are your thoughts on all the conspiracies
theories popping up?
People are gonna say anything anytime somebody passes away suddenly. They’re doing it now
with Heath Ledger. Everybody has their opinions
about what he was doing and what caused his
death. It was probably just accidental. [Editor’s
note: this interview was conducted prior to the
coroner’s conclusion that Pimp C’s death in fact
was accidental, caused by the use of prescription
codeine mixed with a pre-existing condition called
sleep apnea] Sometimes shit just happens. Do
the wrong thing on the wrong day at the wrong
time and you’re gonna die. Walk down the wrong
steps at the wrong time of day and you’ll slip and
fall. It’s kinda fucked up ‘cause it’s almost like
they expect something bad and they’re not happy
unless something bad is associated with it. Like [if
the coroner says] Pimp C died in his sleep, [people
would say], “Nah, that’s bullshit; somebody’s lying; somebody’s covering it up.” People still think
Tupac is walking around somewhere.
Has it been difficult within the UGK camp? I assume he didn’t really leave instructions on what
he would want to happen in the case of his death.
Yeah, nobody really [knows] in this case.
Everbody’s still somewhat reeling from the shock
of it as everybody comes out of their respective
clouds. Everybody’s not just trying to figure out
how to move forward, but how to move forward
respectfully. That’s what I’ve pretty much been
getting from a lot of his artists. They definitely
don’t wanna stop rapping. They definitely wanna
move forward with they rap careers. Pimp was
definitely there for guidance so they’re still looking for guidance. I’m trying to help ‘em the best I
can but it’s like, shit, I’m looking for guidance in
certain areas too. This is a different walk for me
too. I gotta get myself on solid ground before I
can even begin to consider trying to help these
other people’s careers. I’m just trying to give
people the same advice I’m taking right now. It’s
I’ve heard there’s some conflict within the family.
You know, I’m not really sure about all that kind
of stuff. I’ve been at home really getting my
family together more than anything. I’m trying
to make sure that in the event I would pass away
suddenly that all my t’s are crossed and i’s are
dotted. I really just pray for everybody, all his
friends and family and everybody, that this grief
and strain and pressure of dealing with this gets
lifted off of them ‘cause it’s not easy. If I were to
pass away suddenly, who’s to say what my wife
or mother would be going through? Who’s to say
how they would be taking it or dealing with it? Me
personally, I don’t take anything in a bad way, re74 // OZONE MAG
gardless if it was meant or not. People are dealing
with a lot of emotions, not that anybody’s been
anything but caring with me. People aren’t really
sure what’s going on. The best thing I’ve been
trying to do is stay close to God, making sure I got
the right connections with my family. I just pray
for everybody and myself that we can keep a clear
mind through this shit. This shit is rough; this shit
is fucking with people’s heads.
Going back to the Biggie and ‘Pac comparisons,
obviously we hope it isn’t, but do you think this is,
like, the death of the South? The West hasn’t been
the same since ‘Pac died.
I wouldn’t say that, because I’m here and I’m from
the South and I don’t think it’s over. But shit’s
gonna have to be different. I’ve been in a very
cushy position being the other half of UGK. I just
show up and rap. The shit’s been very good for
me. Now I have to get up off my ass and get a
little bit more into shit. Everybody else is gonna
have to do the same thing in the South. We’re not
gonna have Pimp to speak on certain shit, so niggas are gonna have to take it upon themselves to
speak. We’re not gonna have Pimp here to try and
squash beefs so niggas are gonna have to take it
upon themselves to squash beefs. We’re not gonna
have Pimp to tell niggas, “I don’t care who you are
or where you’re from, this is the South and we’re
gonna be here.” We’re gonna have to take it upon
ourselves to do that shit. There’s a lot of shit Pimp
was trying to do and a lot of representing for the
South and forward movement he was trying to
get for the South throughout his whole career.
He never felt satisfied. He always felt there were
bigger and better places we could go as artists
and people and that’s the thing we’re gonna have
to carry on.
Speaking of beef, he said a lot of controversial
things before he passed, in OZONE and radio interviews. Even though he put the disclaimer on it
that it was his opinion and not Bun’s opinion, did
those situations affect you?
Nah, not really. I’ve never worried about myself or
whether any relationships I had with people were
gonna be strained. I was really more concerned
about him taking on the stress and pressure about
feeling like he had to solve everybody’s problems
and address every issue. I was like, “You don’t
have to take up every cause, man.” But he just felt
like if he didn’t speak on certain things then nobody was gonna speak on them. Sometimes some
shit is better left unsaid. But who am I to tell any
grown man what he can or can’t say? At the end of
the day if that’s how he feels, then it’s just gonna
be what it’s gonna be. It’s always been like this.
That’s not the first time Pimp’s said some shit I
ain’t agree with. It’s a lot of shit Pimp said that I
didn’t agree with. That’s just being real, but you’re
either down with somebody or you’re not. I can’t
tell Pimp he can’t say that. I can tell Pimp it might
not be cool if you say that; I don’t know if people
are gonna appreciate that; some people might
take shit a certain way. Who’s to say Pimp’s gonna
even ask me how I feel about shit before he say
it? Nigga don’t have to call me and say, “Yo, nigga,
I’m finna call Julia and say this or that.” He’s a
grown ass man; he can call who he wants and say
what he wanna say. When you’re with people and
down with people, even through the bullshit, even
if it’s a lie, we’re gonna ride on that lie and deal
with it when we get home. When you’re really,
really down with somebody you gonna ride with
‘em no matter what. There’s instances where Pimp
didn’t like a lot of shit going on. I wanted this
group to be as big as possible, commercially, and
there’s a lot of times where Pimp felt like I was
compromising the street integrity of this group,
but I was just trying to put us in certain circles. I
was just trying to get us paid. But Pimp was like,
“Nah, man, we gotta do this shit a certain way or
we can’t do it at all.” It’s a lot of shit that me and
Pimp didn’t agree on but at the end of the day we
were riding for each other. That’s what homeboys
When Pimp spoke on the “17.5” dope prices and
what not, of course, a lot of people took it as a
diss towards Young Jeezy. The three of y’all had
performed at the OZONE Awards together and
everything, so it seemed like that just came out
of nowhere. Do you know what sparked that situation?
We never discussed that. He never called me and
said he had an issue [with Jeezy]. I was like,
“Wow.” When I had first talked to you about it, I
hadn’t really heard about it. I hadn’t even read
the whole [article]. I just heard about him saying
something about me or Russell Simmons. Then
when the whole thing came back, I was like, “This
is finna look real fucked up. Certain people are
gonna take this a certain way.” I don’t know if
that’s what he meant. Like I said, he was gonna
do what he was gonna do. He never said he was
dissing Jeezy. Jeezy always said he didn’t take it
as that. Whether or not them dudes had any issues
or whatever, I never saw it. The last time Pimp and
I were together was at Jeezy’s concert in Houston.
“It’s about Pimp;
it’s about dealing
with loss. It wasn’t
There was no issues. Pimp’s whole reason for going was to show that there was no issue. I literally
saw Jeezy two days afterwards when I went to
Atlanta to the Dirty Awards – excuse me, the Radio
One Dirty Awards. I saw Jeezy and I knew it was
no problem, he knew it was no problem. We all
know Pimp and what he’s gonna do and be like.
Nobody took anything personally, whether it was
meant to be taken personally or not. In Hip Hop,
you can write a rhyme saying a nigga’s name and
feel like you biggin’ ‘em up and nigga’s see you
in the street and be like, “Yo, why’d you say my
name? Don’t even say my name in shit.” At the end
of the day it’s not even be about how I took it.
That shit is about how the niggas I stand up for
took it, especially when you a street nigga and
you represent for the hood and streets.
When I interviewed Pimp a few times he talked
about his drug use in the past. He basically said
that being in jail was kinda good for him ‘cause
it helped him get clean of everything. Not saying
that was the cause of death, but from what you
saw was he able to stay clean since he was out?
I didn’t see Pimp doing cocaine. I only saw him
do cocaine one time and that was back in the
90s. I can’t attest to whether he was still physically doing cocaine. He didn’t piss dirty and he
didn’t violate [parole]. I can’t say that he was
doing cocaine, but I can’t sit there and say he
wasn’t either. We haven’t gotten the toxicology
reports back. His cause of death hasn’t even been
determined yet. Pimp was never ashamed of who
he was or what he did. Everybody’s got their own
issues. Every man has demons. Every person has
something they hope nobody ever finds out about.
I know I probably got two or three things that I
hope nobody ever finds out about.
You wanna tell us? (laughs)
Not at all. Yhat ain’t nobody’s business. It’s no
dumb shit like I’m gay or I touch kids, but I got
my own little quirks. I’m not saying I do this, but
maybe I bite my toenails or dumb shit like that
and it ain’t nobody’s fucking business. I don’t
bite my toenails, but my toenails are ugly as a
muthafucka. Everybody’s got their own thing that
they like to keep to themselves. Pimp was one of
the few people I knew that laid all his strengths
and weaknesses out on the table. He never hid
anything about himself from anybody. You either
accepted him for it or you didn’t fuck with him.
So the UGK album coming out through Jive. I heard
it’s called The Last Album?
I don’t know where they getting that name from.
That’s just an ugly title, I think. They keep wanting
to call it that but that’s an ugly title.
So you don’t know what it’s going to be called?
I got an idea what I would like to call it but The
Last Album is just an ugly title. I don’t even know
why they wanna call it that ‘cause they know good
and damn well they’re gonna put out a greatest
hits album or a UGK anthology so why would y’all
even go there? They’ll probably drop two more
[albums] and a DVD. Why y’all even frontin’ like it’s
the last album?
Y’all still have a lot of material right?
We got stuff that the label had and we had stuff
that we did together. We were already anticipating
doing another UGK album in the fall of 2008 after
my solo and his solo. I was gonna come in the
spring and he was gonna come in the summer and
UGK was gonna come in the fall. My album was
pretty much done ‘cause I was coming first. He
was still working on a lot of his stuff and there’s
UGK stuff done. I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of
music. I don’t even physically have the music so I
couldn’t tell you what exactly is left. And there’s
different music with different people. I believe his
wife has a majority of it. I’m not gonna be the one
to dictate when and where all that stuff comes
out. A lot of people think that I am, but shit don’t
work like that at all.
We got a homie who was a rapper but he ended up
getting shot in the neck and paralyzed from the
next down. He says Pimp was the only person that
still came around and saw him on a regular basis
and treated him the same way he did prior to him
being paralyzed. People don’t really understand
how much of a friend Pimp was to people. If you
was his people, he really fucked with you; he
really cut for you. He used to overextend himself,
to be honest. I used to hate seeing that, but the
kid just had a lot of love and when he fucked with
somebody, he really fucked with them. That’s just
how it was. Smoke D took it pretty hard. Smoke
D is currently back in prison. Hell, even my house
arrest niggas – T.I. and C-Murder – niggas that
couldn’t make the trip, they was hurt. They just
wanted to come and show they respects.
When I interviewed Big Gipp, he said he felt like
it was disrespectful that Jay-Z didn’t come to the
funeral. Did you share that thought?
Nah, I don’t feel like that at all. Gipp said that
about a lot of people that he felt should have
came. People are gonna deal with grief in their
own separate ways. I talked to Jay. He sent his
sentiments. At the end of the day, yeah we did a
record with Jay-Z; Jay-Z’s definitely a friend of
ours, but it’s a lot more people in the rap industry
that were a hell of a lot closer to Pimp C than
Jay-Z that probably could have made that trip. A
lot of people think that because he’s a rich person,
he’s got a private jet at his disposal so if he wants
to get up and go somewhere he shouldn’t have
no trouble but at the end of the day, I don’t hold
anything against anybody. My homie from the
West Coast wanted to come and he was like, “I’ll
come down there and support you, but I’m not
going in that building. I can’t look at the homie
in the casket.” It’s a lot of people that probably
didn’t want to see him like that. The reality is, I
don’t care how much money you got, in what state
they find you in, how quick they embalm you or
whatever they do to you, you are not gonna look
how you looked in life in that casket in passing.
I’m sorry, that’s just what it is. That’s a reality that
a lot of people don’t wanna face. A lot of people
didn’t want to see him in that state or didn’t
want to deal with it. Dealing with Pimp C’s death
has them dealing with their own mortality and
the finality of life for them. A lot of people don’t
wanna accept that right now. They really wanna
believe life is footloose and fancy-free and we’re
all gonna get away scott-free. That’s just not the
truth. I can’t think like that; I’m forced to deal
with reality. So for other people that can cling to
that world, I hope they do. I hope they never have
to feel like I do.
So is 2 Trill going to be similar to Trill, in terms of
a lot of guest features, a similar type of sound?
Yeah, I got features on there but even songs I’m
doing by myself, it’s crazy because I have people
doing the hooks on certain songs but if you pick
up the CD it’s featuring so-and-so. It’s a song
where I do all the verses on it and somebody
else is doing the hook, but because somebody’s
doing the hook as an artist with a name, it’s like,
“Oh damn, he’s got all these people [featured,
it’s like] a compilation.” I can’t fucking sing like
Lyfe Jennings so why not ask Lyfe Jennings to
come and sing the fucking hook? I can’t chant like
Junior Reid; why not ask Junior Reid to come and
sing the fucking hook? I do have songs with other
people on there, definitely. I wanna make a good
strong album. I’m not a solo artist; I make solo
albums and I’m dealing with a solo career but I’m
not just a solo artist that’s got all these fucking
songs sitting in a tablet waiting to put this shit
on somebody’s beat. I’ve never been like that.
We’ve never made music that we didn’t put out.
Everything we made was for something. I mean,
I’ma make a solo album. It’ll probably be closer
to Trill. It’s what I do. I don’t even know how to
do any other kind of solo album. My solo albums
are always in light of UGK. They’re something to
represent in place of UGK until the UGK can be
done again. That’s why it always ends up having
so many features ‘cause it’s not just me. I try to
encapsulate as much of myself and Pimp’s train of
thought and the kind of shit Pimp would want to
do too. I would never make a “Get It Girl” ‘cause
I don’t know how to so it’s best for me to call
Collipark, that makes the music all day, and get
the Ying Yang Twins to walk that shit with me.
Usually, Pimp would come up with it, do the beat,
do the hook, do his verses, and call me to rap on
it. But it’s a different thought process now. It’s just
something to deal with. That being said, 2 Trill is a
strong album. It would probably have more songs
with me doing the verses than Trill would. It’s
definitely gonna be some people on there. When
8Ball and MJG send you some vocals, you don’t
turn that shit down. People need to hear that, you
know, Rick Ross, Junior Reid – when Sean Kingston wants to sing a chorus for you, why wouldn’t
you let him sing it?
The Sean Kingston feature is hot, the first single.
Yeah, it’s produced by J.R. Rotem. I’m just trying to
take things as far as I can possibly take ‘em. These
kinds of options weren’t available to me. Why not
take a chance? It’s still some gangsta shit. I’m not
making “Beautiful Girls” the rap version. I’m doing
it as a gangsta. They gotta come to my world. I’m
not trying to do what they doing; I’m just trying to
do what I’m doing and maybe let the people that
listen to him get a little whiff of me. At the end of
the day, I’m doing G shit.
Is there going to be a Pimp C tribute?
Yeah, definitely. Like I said, that shit’s not easy.
Just writing a verse about it wasn’t easy. You look
at a song like “The Story,” where I probably heard
“The Story” like four times in my life – the day I
laid it, the day I played it for the label; Pimp and
I sat and listened to it, and I may have heard it in
somebody’s car one other time. That shit is hard
to write; it’s hard to record, and it’s damn sure
hard to listen to. This shit is gonna be even harder
but at the same time it is therapy. I do wanna say
certain things. With all due respect to my fans, I’m
not doing this shit for them. I have to do it for
me ‘cause I can’t make the dedication record that
everybody would want me to make. Some people
are gonna want this; some want that; some want
fast; some want slow. I gotta talk about my dude
“When it comes to
Pimp C and UGK,
please don’t tell
me what I gotta do,
other than continue
mashing. I know I gotta
make a song about my
nigga. That’s the first
thing you think abouthow do I do my
the way I feel I want to talk about my dude. I’m
not gonna do it because people say I gotta do a
song about Pimp; I know what the fuck I gotta
do. When it comes to Pimp C and UGK, please don’t
tell me what it is I gotta do, other than continue
mashing. But that’s just about people trying to
uplift me. I know I gotta make a song about my
nigga. That’s the first thing you think about – like,
how do I do my nigga justice? I talk about the
group and different things but to really speak on
the man, it’s a little different. I ain’t never really
wrote no shit like that before. I ain’t never really
had to dig like that before. “The Story” is digging
but it’s about the career. Some of it is about the
people, but it’s more about the career. That shit’s
not gonna be easy.
Is there anything else you want to get into?
Thank everybody for all the love and passion and
condolences, from the man on the street to the
man. I seen a lot of people hurt and dealing with
pain. I seen a lot of grown ass people cry, people
who a lot of people didn’t even think had a heart.
I seen people really give it up emotionally for my
dude. I thank them. I miss my dude too. I loved
him too and it’s good to know people understand
my pain. I hate to see people going through it but
it’s good to know that he touched a lot of people
and that people really loved him. We’re gonna
represent for him. We’re gonna make this happen.
It’s still UGK for life. That goes without saying, but
just in case it needs to be said, it’s still UGK for life
and we’re gonna rep for the Pimp. //
OZONE MAG // 75
(center): Bun B
(top row L-R): Kilo, Bankroll Jonez, Eddie Rabbit, Bad Ass Bam,
Bandit, Hezeleo, Vicious, Big Bubb, XVII, DJ B-Do, T.O.E.
Carrying the Torch for Pimp C
words by Ms. Rivercity
photo by mike frost
76 // OZONE MAG
Location: Pass Christian, MS
“I grew up listening to Pimp,” XVII recollects. “With every artist on UGK Records, it
was family. Everybody had a role.” After flying to Houston to record a song with
Pimp, XVII would soon find that his role was to be Pimp’s first round draft pick. “I
was supposed to just feature him on one song and Pimp ended up wanting the record to come out under UGK Records. Pimp knew I was fucking around in the streets
so he moved me to Port Arthur. Me and Pimp sounded a lot alike and I reminded
Pimp of himself, so he wanted me to go first. Pimp had a lot of people down with
him before me and I was a lil nervous about how everybody else would feel. But I
didn’t see jealousy or nothing like that when I met them.”
Starting off as a featured guest in his music career, Pimp would end up
becoming a brother to XVII. He guided his new protégé with the distribution of XVII’s
album Certified, which under Pimp’s guidance would sell 9,000 units. Released only
two months prior to Pimp’s passing, a permanent distribution situation was never
finalized for the album and now XVII faces legalities and clearance hindrances.
Despite the current situation, XVII continues mashing forward, not only for himself
but for the sake of preserving a legend. He states, “It’s like taking five steps backwards. I have to go back to the roots. But I have a close relationship with Bun; I am
with UGK Records. I’m gonna sit back and wait ‘til all the legalities clear up and then
drop another record. Until then, I’m gonna grind on the mixtape circuit and stay in
the streets with Certified. That’s how Pimp taught us to be.”
With mixtapes slated to drop soon with DJ Chuck T and others, XVII
simply wants to make music with a cause. “It’s hard to keep a legacy alive when that
person’s not here anymore but as long as I’m breathing, Pimp’s breathing. As long
as I’m still rapping, he’s rapping. I just want people to pay attention to everything
he said now, even if you didn’t pay attention to him when he was alive.”
Location: Charlotte, NC/Houston, TX
Over the past ten years, Bankroll Jonez has released nine albums – the ninth
being a project he solicited Pimp C for a guest feature on. This feature, which was
arranged through Pimpin’ Ken, ultimately led to Bankroll’s artist deal under UGK
Records. “Pimp called me out to L.A. for the ‘I Choose You’ video shoot,” Bankroll
remembers. “Then he brought me to Houston and I ain’t left since.”
Through his persistence and a little reinforcement from UGK artist XVII,
Pimp was persuaded into signing Bankroll, who says, “Everybody that Pimp signed
was basically their own boss. They earned their own money and ran their own companies so all Pimp had to do was give his approval and create a 50/50 situation.”
With his album completed just a few weeks prior to Pimp C’s death,
Bankroll was faced with finding his own distribution. “Plans really haven’t
changed,” he affirms optimistically. “We’re all pushing. I’m out here campaigning
like Bankroll Obama. I appreciate what Pimp and Bun have done for me. They were
my favorite artists for all that time and having the privilege to be with them is
unbelievable. They’re never gonna regret fucking with Bankroll Jonez.”
Location: Beaumont, TX
As CEO of Go Gettas Entertainment, Big Bubb was introduced to Pimp C’s artist Hezeleo while marketing Go Gettas in the streets. After forming an alliance with Hezeleo
and assisting him with promotions, Bubb eventually became a permanent fixture in
the UGK entourage. He elaborates, “I stepped down from being CEO to help Hezeleo
with UGK Records. We would be at the chicken place getting dinner and me and
Hezeleo would turn it into a record store, signing autographs and everything. I was
made an official member of the group just by my work ethic.”
At first Pimp C wasn’t sure how to incorporate his new artist’s abilities
into his rapidly growing family. Bubb states, “The grinding got me in and basically
I was tuned into the marketing and sales. When Pimp realized I could rap, we did a
project called The Triangle. I was trying to take off as a solo artist, but they kinda
looked at me and Hezeleo as a group so we went forward as a group.”
Coinciding with the group concept, Pimp began arranging the UGK
Posse project. “Pimp hosted albums and mixtapes for a few artists and it was kind
of unbalanced with him trying to figure out the next artist to come out, so he
figured he could bring everyone out together.”
Although Pimp never saw the results of his plan carried out, the UGK
Posse album is still a vivid dream for Bubb and his labelmates. As Big Bubb continues to bring Pimp’s dream to life, he also focuses on his own goals and those of
his associates, stating, “Every individual in UGK Records plays their part. It keeps
the record company going forward. The next thing for me is becoming a household
name and getting my artistry heard. Once that happens, I’ll put artists out under my
independent label. I’m gonna host parties, mixtapes, and do shows. I’m just trying
to stay busy so Pimp C’s legacy can go forward. I’m gonna help Bun B and he’s
helping us at the same time. We’re all leaning on each other right now.”
Location: Port Arthur, TX
Raised in Port Arthur on UGK classics, DJ B-DO initially joined the rap game as a DJ
in high school. A one-stop-shop for music, B-DO raps, produces, and engineers.
Both his production and lyrical skills are demonstrated on “Grind Hard,” a selection
off of UGK’s first album. “I’m one of Pimp’s secret weapons. He had a production
company called the 808 Boyz with me, Pimp, Avery, and Below,” B-DO continues.
“When Pimp passed we were working on many projects. Me and T.O.E. were working
on a project called Da Underdawgz. We were working on the UGK Posse project with
everyone. We’re still working on everything now.” While still constructing Pimp’s
visionary Underdawgz album, B-DO is searching for solid ground as a solo artist. He
states, “UGK is all family. Everybody’s collectively getting everything together. We
got our project basically finished. We’re just trying to create situations for ourselves
with some majors. Ain’t nothing stopped. Pimp wouldn’t want us to stop.”
Location: Port Arthur, TX
“I’ve known Pimp and Bun since back in the day when everybody first started rapping,” Helezeo expresses with honor as he introduces his history with UGK Records.
Although he wasn’t aiming to become a member of Pimp and Bun’s crew, he always
viewed them with respect. He continues, “I was doing my thing, selling CDs out the
trunk, just trying to pave my own way. I was on the corner out pumping a CD and
Pimp’s brother-in-law put me down with Pimp’s mama. Pimp was locked up at the
time.” Soon afterwards, Mama West became Hezeleo’s manager.
Upon Pimp’s long awaited release, the dream of UGK Records fully materialized. Pimp began sharpening Hezeleo’s skills and assisted with hosting Hezeleo’s
project Block Stars Volume 1. The project featured some of Pimp’s other artists like
X-Mob and Smoke D. “Pimp brought us together and it was a real family vibe. I was
there to do whatever he needed me to do, whether it was carrying bags or being an
artist. He took me on tour. We did a lot of exclusive stuff, family stuff, and business
stuff. It was a great experience.”
With the current situation seeming gray, Hezeleo is positively contemplating his visions. He says, “We used to have these big barbeques, when we would
unwind. No cameras, no groupie shit, it was just family. This is when you would see
Chad Butler just clown and make a nigga laugh. I envisioned us working hard, with
our families missing us, and we’d come back home to these times and realize what
the sacrifice was all about. I envisioned us being older, flyer than a muthafucka,
chillin’ with our family, knowing we had just stomped a mudhole in the game. I’ma
really miss that. I hope Pimp can do that in his mind, spirit, and heart.”
While some dreams may seem distant, others are clearer. In his solo efforts, Hezeleo is working with the Fleet DJs on several mixtapes as well as finishing
up his album Tribute to the King. The album will utilize several beats that Pimp C set
aside solely for the purpose. He’s also promoting the Pimp C Forever t-shirts whose
profits are distributed amongst Pimp C’s family. The UGK Posse album is still in the
works, along with a UGK Posse DVD. He sums up his outlooks by pointing out, “We’re
all solo artists, but once we combine the efforts it’s real powerful.”
Location: Beaumont, TX
Hailing from the Beaumont corner of the “Golden Triangle” (Beaumont, Port Arthur,
Orange), Ivory P was introduced to Pimp C through Pimpin’ Ken. “I’ve been in the rap
game since the late 90s,” Ivory begins his story. “My passion was music but I was always getting street money. I’m a real pimp. I’ve caught three dope cases and been to
pen and stayed silent. I had street credibility and Pimp just saw that I was real with
what I did.” Over the past year, Ivory P became tight with Pimp C and began contributing to the UGK Posse album. “Pimp looked at me as the future of UGK Records,”
he states. “He really had big plans for all of us. He was a good dude; he helped a lot
of people. He said whatever the fuck was on his mind. He was a true friend of mine.
Things have been hard since he passed.”
As the dust settles on their recent loss, UGK Records must move forward.
“I ain’t gonna say things are on hold but they’ve been prolonged.” He adds, “We’re
still mourning but at the same time, we’re keeping shit going for him and we got
Bun’s back 100 percent.” In his future, Ivory has scheduled the release of his solo
album Ivory P the Chosen One which features Gucci Mane and Pittsburgh artist Ray
Zellous. “We’re still wreckin’ this shit and repping UGK for life,” Ivory concludes.
Location: Port Arthur, TX
Residents of the same city, T.O.E. and Pimp C met in the streets of Port Arthur and
quickly became tight. “Pimp put me on this rap music thing,” T.O.E. begins, “I grew
up on UGK. If you wasn’t listening to UGK out here, then you really didn’t know what
was happening.” Along with Pimp C and B-DO, T.O.E. was recently working on a group
project called Da Underdawgz. The album was close to completion when Pimp passed
and T.O.E. and B-DO are left to finish the project devoid of their mentor and business
partner’s direction. Although his physical presence is no longer with us, Pimp C will
forever live in the lyrics he left behind. Da Underdawgz project will include several
Pimp C verses as well as his group’s solo tracks. T.O.E. adds, “We’re still in the lab
continuing our things that we got going. We’re doing everything we’d be doing if
he was still here. We check on his family and kids, making sure everything’s good.
Me and Bun still have a great relationship. We want to keep on going with it ‘cause
that’s what we know he’d want us to do. It’s what we got to do.”
Location: Lake Charles, LA
Vicious credits Pimp C with guiding his career since his first record. He was originally
part of the X-Mob group and eventually went on to appear on the UGK album. Currently releasing several mixtape projects, including Am I My Brother’s Keeper, Vicious
is waiting patiently to launch his full length record under UGK Records. When asked
about his imminent plans, Vicious states, “We’re basically grinding right now and
putting out everything and hoping a situation will evolve. I’m still in the streets until
then. I also a hot song called ‘That Ain’t My Hoe’ that’s out as well.”
Just like every other member of the UGK Posse, Vicious also keeps the
memory and wishes of Pimp C close at heart. “UGK Records is an institution and we’re
trying to represent for the Pimp. It’s all 100 over here. UGK Records till I die. I’m also
a big muthafuckin’ supporter of Trill Entertainment as well.”
OZONE MAG // 77
What’s the difference between Miami weed and Jamaican weed?
The weed in Miami is expensive, like $800 an ounce. It looks real good and
smells real good, but it only gets you high for fifteen minutes. But when
you go to Jamaica, they grow it out of the sand, the black dirt, with
the yellow sun and the blue water, the shit is the same as kush but
with seeds. It’ll get you high for five hours instead of fifteen minutes,
and it’s way cheaper. $40 will get you an ounce of that good sticky in
Jamaica that breaks down just like kush. When you smoke it you can
taste it. Jamaica has natural kush.
How does it compare to California weed and other places you’ve been?
Cali weed is good too, but all that stuff is chemically grown so it’s only gonna
give you the chemical high for fifteen minutes. We’ll run through $2,000 easy in
two or three days out there [in California]. Jamaica has the best weed. Jamaican
weed is so good I almost went to prison bringing this back right now. Customs
almost searched my whole life.
Wait a minute. Customs just pulled you aside at the airport bringing weed back
from Jamaica? How did you not get busted?
They were sweating me extra hard but I’ve got God on my side. If I was a pussy
nigga that had never really been through nothin’, I woulda been sweating. I
would’ve been nervous. But I’ve been through a lot worse than a couple joints of Jamaican weed. I just stood there [in customs] and played it like a G and got up outta
there with my good stuff. I brought kush to Jamaica and now I’m bringing Jamaica
to Miami. Ain’t that some shit?
How many times have you been arrested for drug-related offenses?
I’ve been arrested one, two, three, four... about six or seven times. I just got arrested
in Detroit last year, in August. I’ve got a warrant up there now. I was in the airport
coming through with some kush and they picked me up. I never took care of it so
now I’ve got a warrant. (laughs)
Would you consider yourself a drug user, or a drug dealer? Do you make money off it?
No, I’m not a user. I’m an abuser.
An abuser? Sounds like you don’t take it seriously.
Nope. I don’t take it seriously. Some people have a problem. Some people let drugs
use them; I use drugs. I don’t sit there and say, “I need a line of coke or a pill or I
can’t do nothing.” I need my weed now or I can’t do shit or I’ma snap on anybody
three feet near me, but I don’t take it to that extreme where I can’t handle my
business. If I don’t handle my business I can’t get high. My business and my family
are first and foremost, then after I do all that, I get as high as a kite. I’ll snort an
eight-ball; I’ll pop five pills; I’ll sip two or three ounces of syrup; I’ll pop two or three
How much money do you spend during an average week on drugs?
Don’t tell [Rick] Ross, but on an average week I spend about $500 to $600 on weed,
coke, pills, and Percs. When I had money to spare I was spending $1,500 a week.
Right now I’m down to $500 ‘cause I’m trying to reserve myself, but at the height of
my escapades it was $1,500 a week, no pressure.
How do you think you’re able to “use drugs” without letting them “use you”?
At an early age I saw what drugs do to you. My aunt used to be on bricks bad,
that’s crack-cocaine. She was freebasing real bad when I was six years old. I saw
what overdoing it will do to you. I just made a promise within myself not to go
that far, not to ever let it mess up my family, my money, my mind, you know? That’s
recreation. I like to do it when I know I don’t have anything to do or when I know
it’s time to vibe. People like to see me vibe and when I vibe, I’m usually on four or
five different drugs. If I can get paid and do that at the same time, I’m getting off
scot-free. I feel like I’m stealing.
When you were six years old and your aunt was doing crack-cocaine, what are your
earliest memories of seeing the drug’s effects?
My aunt used to have this pink nightgown and she would lay down on the sofa. She’s
like 240 [pounds] now but back then she was about 89 pounds, and she’s a very tall
lady. Imagine a 6’2”, 89 pound lady laying on the couch in a pink nightgown that was
78 // OZONE MAG
An unusually sober-looking GunPlay (right) with
fellow Poe Boy artists Flo Rida and Rick Ross
so old, the material was so thin, it was almost see-through. The material is so thin
it’s falling in between her ribcage. I came in the house and when I saw her, I thought
she was dead. I said, “Aunt Ruthie, wake up, somebody’s at the door.” I looked at her
chest and it wasn’t even rising up and down. It just messed my mind up. I said, “Hell
naw, I ain’t never doing that shit [crack].” One time, after a big [domestic] fight, my
mother went real bad on me. She said, “Don’t you ever do drugs!” She was screaming
and crying and slapping me.
How does your mother feel about your drug use now?
She doesn’t like it but she knows that I’m a smart guy and I know what I’m doing
and I handle my business. She doesn’t like it at all. I done came home plenty of
times and parked my car halfway on the front porch. My mom had to help me out the
car ‘cause I couldn’t drive anymore and I was screaming, “We the best!” and being
all happy. She’s like, “You’re too drunk,” and I’m like, “Naw, I’m too successful.” When
good stuff happens to me and I overcome a hump in my life, that’s a reason for me
to go out, celebrate, and do six drugs.
What’s been your worst experience from doing drugs?
Usually I take four or five pills. One time, I took just one pill and I swear I thought
I was gonna die. I had my homeboy drop me at the hospital and drive off ‘cause I
really thought I was gonna die. I didn’t want him to go to prison so I told him to just
drop me off at the emergency room and keep going. I took one pill from one of my
homeboys and I didn’t look at it or nothing; I just popped it and the next thing you
know I felt like I was gonna die. I felt like one of these people that’s on TV, like how
they be shaking and shit when they overdose on ecstasy and synthetic pills. They
stripped me down to my boxers and left my chain on. So I got my boxers and my
chain on and that’s it. I was sweating, drinking water, shaking, and I kinda dozed off.
I felt somebody lift up my chain and I grabbed that nurse – a male nurse – I grabbed
him by his wrist and his neck at the same time and boom! The head nurse lady said,
“Don’t you ever touch one of my employees again or I’m gonna send you to prison!”
I thought he was gonna steal my chain and I got sober instantly. I was damn near in
a coma but I felt that muthafucka touch my chain and it was going down.
How old were you when you started experimenting with drugs?
I started smoking weed at 12 years old, in seventh grade, when I was in drop-out
prevention. I think that’s how I got in drop-out prevention ‘cause I started smoking
weed. I started snorting coke at 15 in the summer of ’94.
Why did you decide to start using cocaine?
I always had a lot of it [for sale]. I used to serve this one baser all night, outta my
mama’s house. I would walk down to the corner store and serve him 40’s all night.
He would buy four 40’s a night, every night. That’s when all my niggas was serving
lil’ nickel bags of weed and shit and I was sitting here serving 40’s of coke and
getting money. One day his eyes were real wide and he walked up to me when he
was buying that 40 and said, “Yo, you ever did this shit?” I said, “Naw, man.” He said,
“Don’t you ever do this shit, dawg. This shit is the devil.” In my mind, I know crack is
the devil. [But] I know rich dudes that maintain in life and still do coke. So I’m like,
“Well, you’re just a baser.” One day, I was in my room drunk
and I had a bunch of [cocaine] in there. I was with a couple
of my older homeboys, my older chicos that usually had
all the work. They were breaking it down. One night I
snorted about two or three lines, and six hours later after about the eighteenth conversation, I just noticed,
holy shit, I’m higher than a muthafucka. I’m speedin’
right now. I can’t stop talking. I can’t stop moving.
This is the best shit God ever created.
Do you still think cocaine is the best shit God ever created?
Yeah. I mean, naw. I think weed is the best shit God ever created.
“I used to serve
this one baser
[crack] and One
day his eyes were
real wide and
he said to me,
‘Yo, you ever did
this shit?’ I said,
‘Naw, man.’ He
said, ‘Don’t you
ever do this shit,
dawg. This shit is
Um... okay. You’re sounding like a drug advocate right now. Are you
advocating cocaine use?
Oh, I love cocaine. Let me tell you what cocaine does to me. When
I’m on pills, they get me high. It’s an upper and a downer at the
same time. When I’m on syrup and Xanax bars, that’s a downer.
When I’m on weed and Hennessy, that’s a downer. But when I toot-toot on that white
bitch - no offense, JB - it evens everything out. I feel like I’m down but I can function. I can talk; I’m not slurring. I can drive right. It’s a balance for everything.
Which drugs do you think the government should legalize?
They need to legalize weed. That’s it, ‘cause everything else is gonna have everybody
trippin’. Not everybody can snort coke and be normal and function. Certain muthafuckas can do that, but you gotta be responsible for the other muthafuckas that can’t
do that. [Some people] snort white and wanna go shoot up some shit for no reason. I
do that too, but I’m gonna shoot up some shit for a reason.
When’s the last time you snorted cocaine?
Right before I left for Jamaica. I got high to stay awake ‘cause I had a flight early
in the morning. I snorted an eight-ball real quick and stayed up all night. I can’t do
no less than an eight-ball. I need 3.5 grams. I can’t do nothing less than that or I’m
gonna be upset.
When you hear about other artists or famous people that have overdosed on cocaine
or died from syrup, does that scare you?
Naw, ‘cause I feel like that’s God’s plan. If that’s the way I gotta go out, that’s the
way he’s gonna let me go out. Just like with motorcycles. I wanna buy a bike right
now; I’ve never rode one in my life but I’m gonna buy one and I’m gonna do 200 on
the highway at four in the morning on a Wednesday when nobody’s on it. If it’s my
time to go, it’s my time to go. I could be sitting right here in this truck talking to you
and a nigga I robbed three years ago could run up on the truck and blow my brains
out. Either way, I’m not scared of that. I am the original overdoser. I overdose on life.
Did your aunt gain weight because she kicked the crack-cocaine habit?
Yeah. She kicked the habit because the doctors gave her a bunch of different drugs;
they gave her more legal drugs to get off the illegal drugs and it fucked up her
whole brain. Now she has the mental capacity of a 13-year-old, and she’s 48 years
old. But I still love her to death.
So if you’ve been spending $1,500 a week on drugs since 15, that’s a lot of money.
How much money do you think you’ve spent on drugs in your lifetime?
Shit! A house. I’m 26 now. But nah, I’ve only been spending money like that since
2006 when we got the [record] deal and I started making a bunch of money.
What happens if, God forbid, your music career ends and the money stops coming in?
I’d have to wind off that shit, because I won’t be able to buy it. I’ve got so many
friends in high places that they’re just gonna give it to me, but I would just have to
stop doing it, period. I’m not gonna rob nobody for it, and I ain’t finna steal for it.
I ain’t a slave to it. I do drugs, I don’t let ‘em do me. My willpower is so strong. The
only thing I have a problem with is weed. In the morning I have to have a joint or
I’m snapping on everybody.
Is drug use a common theme throughout your music?
Yeah. We’re about to flood the industry with Triple C’s, Carol City Cartel, Black Flag
Music. Drugs are a big part of my life so I talk about it a lot. I got a freestyle talking
about the After Hours; that’s where I be at. I come out at 4:30 in the morning and
that’s when I start my night. I go to the titty bar for about an hour, and then I go
to the After Hours. I’m a king in there. Everybody knows, there goes Gunplay, make
sure he got his rice and beans. Rice and beans is coke and pills. That’s the first two
[drugs] I need when I go out.
Have you ever tried going out sober?
Yeah, and it’s not that much fun. It was boring.
If you hadn’t been exposed to so much drug use
as a child through your family, do you think you
would’ve ended up trying them?
That’s a good question. I have no idea. I think I
woulda probably tried it because I’ve always rolled
with the punches. If I didn’t know that crack did
that to you, I probably would be more susceptible
to smokin’ that shit. I saw that shit early, so it’s
something in the back of my subconscious that will not let me do it.
I don’t have no experimental urge to do it.
Are there any other drugs that scare you?
The most I ever did that was over the limit - and I’ll never do it
again - is coke and heroin. Speedballin’. I was with a white bitch
one time and my coke was done, and she had some [coke] but I
didn’t know that she had mixed with with boy [heroin]. It looked
kinda grayish brown, but you’ll find that sometimes if your coke is
cut. I snorted it up and instantly I felt like I was on ecstasy. I was
like, “Damn, this is some fire-ass coke.” After the fifth or sixth line
she says, “Oh. You’re snorting outta that bag? Oh, baby, no. That’s a
speedball.” I’m like, “Oh. Well, how much do you want for the rest of
that?” I bought the rest from her and after I finished snorting that
shit, it was the worst feeling I’ve ever felt in my fucking life. I was
The Exorcist in the house. I was projectile puking. I was shooting
that bitch so far. Never again. Once that happened, I decided I ain’t
fuckin’ around with that shit no more. That was the craziest drug I
ever did. It’s called speedball, boy and girl mixed, and you can either vein it or nose
it. I was straight nosing it ‘cause I don’t fuck with my veins.
So you’re promising, in print, that you’ll never try crack?
I ain’t never gonna say never, but I ain’t never gonna try hard and I ain’t never
gonna do no boy. That’s not my drug of choice. I’m gonna let the fans know a secret.
I heard about meth. They say that if you snort a match tip of crystal meth you’ll be
high for six hours. I hope nobody brings that shit in front of me, ‘cause a six-hour
high off a match tip, oh boy! But that’s kinda borderline crack. When I see meth [addicts], you can’t tell if they’re on crack or meth. I don’t think I’d ever do that.
Have any of your friends told you that you need to chill out?
Oh, yeah. If it wasn’t for [Carol City Cartel’s] Geter K, Torch, and Rick Ross, I would be
lost. It was messing up my business. At one point when we got the deal and all this
money, I couldn’t differentiate business from pleasure. On business time, I was still
high. Remember when we did the OZONE cover [photo shoot]? I was on so much dope
then and I wasn’t supposed to be ‘cause it’s business hours. You can’t do that.
So they had a little intervention for you?
Not really. They just said, “You’re shooting yourself in the foot. Stop.” They didn’t
have to tie me up and send me to a shrink or no bullshit like that. All they told me
was, “Listen, you’re not only fucking yourself up, you’re fucking up the crew. You’re
fucking up our money also. You’re fucking up Rick Ross’ money.” After that intervention, I was like, wow, I’d die for my niggas. I would never hurt any of my niggas
physically, financially, mentally. Once they told me that, I thought about their kids.
I thought about Ross’ son, Geter K’s son, Torch’s son, my son and that clicked in my
head: You’re tripping. You’re about to not get a check and you’re a pivotal point in
this crew. I’m the underboss, man.
How old is your son?
My son is 3 and a half and gorgeous. He stays with his mom ‘cause I’m too busy and
she’s a real good woman and a very good mother, so I trust her all day with him. I
don’t worry about him when I’m on the road because when he’s with her or my mom,
he’s good. There’s no pressure at all.
Do you think your drug use affects him?
I don’t disrespect my son. I don’t get high in front of him. He might smell a lil
Newport or Heineken on my breath but that’s about it. [When he gets older] I’m
gonna let my son do what he wanna do, but I’m gonna show him firsthand, just like
I was shown, what drugs to you. That sticks in your head. I could beat his ass all day,
but he’s gotta make his own decisions. I’m gonna show him the real. I’m not gonna
shelter him and hide him from stuff like my mother wants me too. I’m gonna show
him weed and say, “When you get old enough, if you wanna smoke the shit, it’s cool.
Smoke it, don’t let it smoke you.” I’ll smoke weed with my son if he’s a responsible
young adult. If he’s headed in the right direction and wants to get high a lil’ bit, do
your thing, man. But it’s strictly recreational. Be about your business 25-8 because
when you don’t handle your business ain’t nobody gonna give you shit to smoke for
free and shit to snort. You gotta buy your shit, and how you gonna buy your shit if
you ain’t handling your business? That’s how I do it. Once you handle your business,
use it at your discretion. If you a weak-minded muthafucka, that shit is gonna take
over you. God bless you. But I’m not a weak-minded muthafucka; I’m strong. I won’t
spend my last on it. If it’s either a $20 on coke or $20 in the tank, I’ma put $20 in the
tank and then I’ma call my homeboy and say, “Front me $20 of coke.”
Is there anything else you wanna talk about?
I wanna plug the After Hours in my city in Miami. Every third Thursday once a month
I have a Triple C pill-poppin’ party. It starts at 3:30 in the morning. I walk around
the club and whoever I think is on the most drugs and stickin’ – that’s
when you on two or three beans and your jaw is locked up and
your eyes are wide – if I feel that you’re really high I’ma give you
another pill. I just go around the party handing out pills. Every third
Thursday of the month the whole city comes out just to get high
with me. They love it. Rick Ross’ album Trilla is in stores right now
and we got Carol City Cartel’s album coming right behind it and
Gun Play’s album Kill Switch. I got a new name – GunPlay is the
goon, and Don Logan is the business man. GunPlay is Don Logan. //
OZONE MAG // 79
Words by Randy Roper
What other mixtape series to you have?
So Seductive R&B. I got a radio joint, Hood Rich Radio. Hood Rich Radio helps
promotes my XM radio show that I have on XM 66 Raw. That’s mainly it. I had
Only The Crunk Survive. That was my first series, I retired that when the whole
crunk movement kinda simmered down.
Why do you think the crunk scene died down? What do you think happened to
the crunk music?
I mean, a lot of stuff that comes out in Atlanta is real trendy. Then when it
crosses over, so to speak, then it plays out. The biggest that happened to the
whole crunk era, Lil’ Jon took it to a whole nother plateau, You got people in
Germany, Europe, Japan using this world “crunk.” So, when its just right here
at home base, then its cool, we crunk. Just like the trap thing right now. But
when it goes so far and the suburban kids get a hold on it and the international kids get a hold of it, it’s their fad for that summer or that spring. Just
like snap music, you saw how it came and went. And that’s how the rock star
thing came and went. When it blows up, it’s just because it’s the thing that’s
in but when it’s out of style, you gotta move to something new. I mean, Crunk
was around a long time before it got played, per say. I wouldn’t say crunk is
got but I’d say the word is played out. But I as far as crunk music, you go to
Atlanta, go to the club, you still see people being crunk. There’s still crunk
With so many DJs out there what do you think you did that put you ahead of
I work harder and I strive to be different. In everything, production, DJing,
rapping, everybody is trying to be the next person. If you strive to be original, innovative, bring something new to the game. As a DJ and if you break
artists, then other people will recognize that. It ain’t really no rocket science,
you just gotta bring a style to the game and that’s what a lot of people don’t
So what did you bring to the game?
Definitely artists, I had a lot to do with bringing in some of those BME artists.
Crime Mob, helping out Trillville and the whole D4L situation, the Shawty Lo
situation, I get a lot of credit for breaking those acts first. It’s just the way I
put my tapes together, it’s a little different from everybody else. When I do
my parties, or radio shows, it’s different from everybody else’s radio show.
My parties are different. I strive to be different. Of course there is different
boundaries you have to stay in, with every game. I just try to take it to next
Can you explain Shawty Lo’s movement from your perspective, being the DJ
that helped break him and D4L?
Lo, if you crack open one of the older OZONEs, they asked me who I thought
was next, I had him at #1. He got the swag, his personality is good, a lot of
people fuck with him. He’s like the next nigga, he’s here now. He got three or
four hits under his belt, an album out that’s doing good, a damn near classic
album in my opinion. This album and these singles are really just the beginning of his career. He has long way to go as far as what he can achieve and
what he is going to achieve.
Hood Rich Radio on XM, how is that show going for you?
It’s going great, man, I gotta show every Thursday 11:30am est. on XM radio.
Hood Rich Radio, that is where you can hear exclusives, freestyles even before
you can hear it on my tapes. You know, it’s mostly Southern based but play
some East Coast and some West Coast music. Just the best street music out
there. It’s an experienced if you don’t have it already.
e helped break Crime Mob, Trillville, D4L and Shawty Lo, and now
Atlanta native DJ Scream is one of the top mixtape DJs in the South.
His mixtapes, both in name and quantity, are heavy in the streets
and he’s is poised to become the next DJ that’s a household name. Move over
You’re heavy on the mixtape scene. What’s the mixtape series that you’re most
Heavy In The Streets. [I’m] on Volume 13 and that’s groundbreaking for a lot
of artists. If you picked up one you know what is. The regular Heavy In The
Streets showcases a lot of exclusives, freestyles and artists. While the Heavy
In The Streets artists mixtapes are like street albums for the people, it’s a
brand that I created.
80 // OZONE MAG
So, what’s next for you?
Scream: Picking up some marketing, some more projects [for Hood Rich
Entertainment]. We got credit for the marketing of the Shawty Lo project. That
was the first one we visibly got credit for. We’ve been doing it for a long time.
So we just looking for the next acts, that’s going to be successful. Continue
the whole Hood Rich Radio thing, make that show bigger. I’m still making
mixtapes like everyday, every week, that ain’t gonna change. Keeping it moving, working, and trying to get on the cover of that OZONE, man.
You were nomination for Mixtape DJ of the Year in last year’s OZONE Awards.
How did you feel when you received that nomination?
Big up to OZONE for their nomination. They’re coming around again this year.
Competitive field, I’m going for the crown this year. I don’t pay attention
too many awards and nominations. A lot of times people will tell me I’m
nominated for this or that, and it really don’t mean too much. That nomination meant more cause I felt like somebody was watching what I was doing.
Last year, outside of this year, was my hardest working year, especially on the
mixtape scene. It felt good, man. This year I’m going back in and hopefully
I’ll get that crown. //
OZONE MAG // 81
WORDS BY MAURICE G. GARLAND
PHOTO BY CATHERINE WESTERGAARD
…I can’t call it, I just threw up in the toilet // And all my life I said I wasn’t gonna be no alcoholic // I’m flailing son,
trying to stay sober // But the alcohol be calling son like a ghost // So let’s make a toast to my liver and my kidneys
// Pour out a little Henny here’s to Gout in your twenties // Not many niggas make it to 30, we ride dirty // Breath
stinking, already drinking, bright and early // I done hurled off Smirnoff, Gin and 8ball // Passed out on the bathroom
floor with my clothes off // Remember them Mickies? Tall can’t fit in they dickies? // Before they put them cameras
up in the corner store // We used to be so much fun when we was young // Tryin to holler at something smellin’ like
151 // Gettin’ thrown out the club all buzzed I’m bout to get the gun, dawg // But I ain’t even know where I was // My
nigga M had to carry me home many a day // It was Heineken, Becks, E&J, and Andre // They say alcoholism is in my
DNA // Cause my pops liked to get fucked up the same way…
M-1, taken from “Fucked Up” on RBG: Revolutionary But Gangsta
I got here. My moms had a son and a daughter before she got with my pops.
When he came out of the Air Force, since they grew up together, they got married
and then I popped out in 1974. I used to smell the urb. I’d see my pops in a real
serious, bad-ass mood all the time unless he was fucked up. When he was fucked
up you could see it in his eyes. He’d be smiling and playing around with you and
shit. But when he gotta go to work, he’d just be the worst. Basically, I didn’t want
to do no kind of drugs, because I could see him and my uncles going through that.
But even though my pops did all kinds of drugs, he still went to work and made
me feel like we had a stable home. It just wasn’t a happy home. My older brother
started going in my pops’ room and sneaking his pills. Him and my pops had a
lot of friction, then my brother started getting fucked up and smoking cigarettes.
Usually, alcoholism is something that is inherited. You spoke on that in the song
One day when my brother was about 15 he didn’t come home when he was sup“Fucked Up.” Tell us what your childhood was like?
posed to, and my pops kicked him out the house. We wound up all getting in a
I don’t think my shit was no different from millions of other people. I grew up in
fight; my brother and pops fistfighting and shit. Long story short, he got kicked
the South, right outside of Tallahassee, Florida. My pops was an Air Force vet. He
out for good. This was in the early 80s and you know what hit us in the early 80s,
served in Vietnam. He had a hard life, his father was a real hard disciplinarian. I
don’t want to say “abusive,” but just hard and disciplined. So, with him coming up that crack cocaine. My brother stayed with my grandma, basically on his own. He
like that, as far as you seeing stuff like the Cosby show, where Theo gets hugs and started hustling, messing with chicks who wanted to boonk out. He got hooked on
that shit and to this day he is hooked on that shit. He’s about 40 years old now.
all this good shit, you ain’t getting none of that. My grandfather was real hardcore. My pops told me one time that when he went to the Air Force, he started
Usually, seeing behavior like that makes kids want to stay away from it.
getting into drugs and trying different things. He was already raised with a lack
When I saw that, I said, “I ain’t never doing none of that.” I wouldn’t even drink
of affection, and when he got in the military he got extra cold. He came back to
a beer. But then my moms and pops eventually got divorced, so I was the man of
a world that was anti-black folks. My pops was already the type of person that
the house. I had mad stress on my brain, I wasn’t really fucking with school. I was
will do what he want to do. So just to deal with things my pops wanted to get
his mind off of life. He told me he did pills, coke, everything and that was before going through a lot of drama. I was with my homies and cousins and they’d be
asual listeners of dead prez would assume that these musical freedom
fighters came up living the “conscious” lifestyle that they rap about
from the time they left the womb. But you should know that no true
wisdom comes without some sense of struggle. Before DPZ was able
to record self-awareness songs like “Be Healthy,” group member stic.man had to
battle one of the most destructive diseases in our society: Alcoholism. In a rare
interview, stic.man opens up about growing up in a household severely affected
by drug and alcoholuse, catching Gout in his early twenties, and what he did to
not only eliminate his sickness, but live a healthier lifestyle.
82 // OZONE MAG
like, “You ain’t never had nothing to drink? You behind. Lets do this!” Next thing I know, I’m like, “I ain’t
scared of that shit.” So I’d take the whole fifth and I
remember feeling like, this is great, I feel separated
from my everyday shit. If there’s a girl I wanted to
talk to, I’m more confident because I’m buzzed. That
whole lifestyle, I ain’t no different from millions who
have been through that. Intoxication became an
everyday thing for me. It was an escape from a lot of
shit. I felt bad because I told myself I wasn’t going
to become that shit. I was drinking everyday, started
smoking urb and all that shit, for years. I was about
17 and did that until I was 22.
When did you realize that you might have a drinking
We’d go to a house party and I’d be passed out in
somebody’s bathroom because I’d try to out-drink
everybody. You drink one, I’m drinking 10. Nigga,
what! Then I’d go to the bathroom and niggas would
come get me like, “Nigga, you was butt ass naked on
the floor!” I was out of my mind. But it wasn’t like
niggas was trying to preach to me because we was
all getting fucked up. But at the same time, they’d be
like, “Damn, nigga, I had to drag your ass out.” They
said I’d be trying to fight bouncers. I was fucked up
and out of my mind. People would be like, ‘Oh, this
nigga? Don’t let him get no drink.” I was too young
to think that I was an alcoholic. Everybody I knew
got fucked up. I wasn’t like my older uncles yet. I
didn’t think that I was going to be. I just thought I
was young and thuggin’.
Eventually, me and my partners decided we needed
to do some shit in terms of our music. All of us saved
up some hustle money and moved to New York to try
and get a record deal. We were in New York homeless,
but things ended up working out. We met Lord Jamar
from Brand Nubian and worked on a demo and ended
up getting a deal. I got a little bit of paper. Before
that I was always broke, living check to check, hustle
to hustle, half-ounce to half-ounce. But I got a little
paper so I was able to get a crib and man, I went so
hard. From the time I woke up in the morning, I was
drinking Andre to the time I went to bed, still in my
clothes. I’d keep the bottles in my window. Niggas
knew me for that. It was fun. People would tell me I
was a funny nigga when I’m fucked up, but when I’m
sober, I was just like my pops, real serious. My oldest
brother on crack, my mom got diabetes, my dad had
two heart attacks, I got shit on my mind, I’m trying
to get free, all kinds of shit. Money was always on
One day in my apartment, after a night of drinking and smoking and eating spaghetti at 4 in the
morning, I walked from downtown Brooklyn to my
crib in Ft. Greene. I don’t know how I got across the
streets, but I got to the crib and went to sleep. That
morning about 9 AM, I had to use the bathroom. I
was laying there like I ain’t want to get up, felt like
I was gonna throw up. I got out the bed and as soon
as my foot touched the floor I felt like I had got shot
in my ankle. I fell down, almost on my face and I
was like “YO!” I looked at my leg and my ankle was
red and real swollen. I was like “Shit, I got bit by a
spider.” I ain’t know what the fuck was wrong with
my foot. I couldn’t even stand up on it. It was super
painful. I hated going to the doctor, but I didn’t know
what else I could do. I had been eating bullshit like
hamburgers. My diet was whatever is cheap. 99 cent
Whopper? Give me two of them. When I went to the
doctor, he asked if I was into drugs. I told him not
really, just a little urb and drinking. He asked me
what foods I eat, I said hot dogs and hamburgers. He
said, “I hate to tell you this, but you’ve got gout.”
Did you know what gout was?
Nope. I had heard of it like, old people have gout,
but I ain’t know what it really was. I just thought it
was something that all the black people you know
have when they’re old. I didn’t know specifically.
When the doctor broke it down to me, I was like,
“What? Ain’t that some old people shit?” And he
was like, “Yeah, but you got it.” He said my lifestyle
was unhealthy. For the readers who may not know,
gout is an oversaturation in your body of uric acid.
Uric acid comes from alcohol waste and meat like
hot dogs, hamburgers, any kind of meat, the waste,
and not drinking enough water and not exercising
enough. Your body is trying to get rid of these toxins. Your liver is oversaturated, so your body starts
sending that shit to your blood and joints so it can
collect in your bones. That’s what happened to me.
My body was like, this shit is toxic so I’ll just stick it
in your joints to the point where my leg swoll up and
I couldn’t use my leg. I was 21-22 years old. That shit
transformed my life, man. But I’ma tell you how the
Dr. Killer system works. The doctor didn’t tell me to
stop eating hot dogs, he just gave me some pills to
allow me to keep doing what I was doing.
to say “look nigga, you saw what happened to me,”
I just thought that was my role. It’s a blessing that
we was doing music at the time and I was able to
express that in certain songs like “Fucked Up,” “Way
of Life” and “Be Healthy.” Niggas be thinking you just
some nigga trying to preach because you’re “positive.” But everything we say is from real experiences.
He didn’t advise you to stop drinking either?
Nope. Basically he said, “I’ma be your pushaman,
nigga, I got what you need.” He didn’t try to heal me
or encourage me. But it reminded me of something
I read from Malcom X, when he said the poor are
unhealthy. I remembered that at the time because I
was living it. Being the young nigga I was, I snapped
back. I told him I wasn’t gonna be taking these
drugs. My wifey was a vegetarian. I played with that
a little bit, but I didn’t have any reason to do it. When
this happened she got really involved in my healing
process. She started helping me study and giving me
shit to read. I ain’t take none of those pills [from the
doctor]. We went to Brooklyn on Nostrand Ave. and
got with the Rastas and herbologists. They told to
me drink water, cherry juice, eat vegetables, and get
the meat out of my system. I got a whole education
from that community on how to heal myself.
Can you share some of the stuff you were taking to
get better and stay healthy?
If you’re drinking, there is an herb called milk thistle,
you can get it at most organic places. It’s just an
herb that tastes like Peppermint Tea. You start drinking that and it helps clean your liver of alcohol and
stuff. More importantly, we as a community have to
care about ourselves enough to not be addicted to
anything. Addiction is a symptom of oppression. It
holds us back, robs our pockets, robs our ambitions
to get shit accomplished and makes us vulnerable,
weak and sick. We are supposed to be warriors. We’re
supposed to be bosses and on top of our business
and developing ourselves to the fullest. If that’s a
goal that you have, drinking, eating unhealthy, not
exercising, smoking everyday with no breaks and all
that shit is gonna be counterproductive. This ain’t the
first time anyone’s heard this shit, but its gotta touch
you and your life. Something has to happen so that
you can see your own worth and value. I say study
the martial arts, that’s a great way to harmonize the
mind, body and spirit.
When the doctor told you had gout, did he tell you a
timetable on healing from it?
He didn’t tell me it could be healed. He said the
pills would make the swelling go down. I learned
from the elders and Rastas that nature has created
everything we need to heal ourselves. Even the pills
you take got some kind of natural herb in it, plus
the chemicals and sugars they add to it. I basically
just got into respecting my culture and the African
ways of the bush and knowing the herbs and shit. I
became a vegan. I don’t eat no meats, no eggs, no
candy, no sodas. Just fresh vegetables, fresh fruit,
fresh juices. I went cold turkey. I also wanted my leg
back, so I started training in martial arts.
You have to remove yourself from certain elements
to kick habits. Was it difficult for you, especially being in the rap lifestyle?
Yeah, I just had to get my own natural confidence
back. Because the very next day I’m with 13 niggas
who are like, “Lets get fucked up, nigga!” We going to
the clubs and kicking it, and I’ll be the nigga that’s
like, “I’m not drinking.” I’d have a book in my back
pocket and we’d be at the club, we kicking it, smoking and shit. I’m drinking water with some lemon
in it and I’m pulling a book out on techniques and
pressure points to the body or some shit. I became
that dude, and it made me feel isolated in a way. I
just ain’t want to be sick though. I started realizing
that this is poison, not to be cliché, but this is a
poison that has robbed our community of strong,
healthy people and it contributes to arguments and
sickness and diseases and all types of shit that goes
on in our households, families and ‘hoods. So even
though I felt the peer pressure, I held my ground.
Not only am I doing this for me, but I’m trying to be
an example for the next nigga in my crew, so they
don’t go overboard and get fucked up with gout. I
wasn’t trying to preach to nobody but I was trying
Did your behavior rub off anyone else in your crew?
A little bit. Some of my homeboys were supportive.
My nigga M-1 used to be the one to carry me on
his back out of the club. But it affects everybody
different, because niggas was drinking and smoking
more than me, but they didn’t catch Gout. So I look
at it like a spiritual thing. That was my lesson; that
was for me. If I didn’t have gout, I would not have
seven years of martial arts in my life, I wouldn’t be
a vegetarian, and I wouldn’t have been able to do
those songs in order to motivate somebody else.
That was a blessing, I don’t take struggle as “woe is
me” and self-pity.
How are your pops and older brother right now?
Well, my older brother is doing a bid right now in
prison. Hopefully he’ll be home in the next 4 months.
He’ll be starting back from scratch and we’ll take
it one day at a time. My pops is doing excellent. He
ain’t been on no drugs in years. He got a little belly,
got his weight up. He is retired, a two-time heart
attack survivor and he is just taking it easy. I tell him
to lay off those cigarettes and certain things, but he
is gonna do what he wanna do. Our relationship is
much, much stronger. He comes up and visits me, we
go to the games and shit, we just try to stay in touch
and support each other. It’s gonna get greater later.
Since you have a son yourself, are you being extra
cautious to make sure he doesn’t follow in you and
your father’s early footsteps?
My son has been training in martial arts since he was
two years old. He’s been a vegan since he was born
and his mom is vegan. I’m definitely gonna keep it
all the way 100 with him about my life, but I’ma let
him do him. We don’t allow him to eat candy, but
if he says “I want a piece of candy,” we’ll let him
eat it because, watch how your ass feel, you get
that sugar rush and then you gonna crash. And we
tell him, “See, that’s that candy.” We ain’t gonna let
him overdo it, and he don’t. If you ask my son if he
wants some M&M’s, he’ll be like, “I don’t eat candy.”
Try and give him some soda, he’ll tell you, “I don’t
drink soda,” on his own discipline. We don’t have to
snatch it out of his hand. He orders salad when we
go to restaurants. I’m so thankful he never had those
addictions that we gotta keep him away from. I know
when he grows up, he gonna do what he gonna do,
but at least he’ll have that healthy foundation. //
OZONE MAG // 83
ere in OZONE’s second annual drug issue, we felt it was right to supply our
readers (and your favorite rappers) with some valuable info about the effects
the drug we use have on our bodies. We can scare you all we want with horror
stories, but we know that the drinking and drugging is going to continue. So we
reached out to Atlanta-based Certified Holistic Health Counselor Afya Ibomu to
have her drop some jewels about health and some natural alternatives for those of
us who still want to party all the time.
With the deaths of Pimp C, DJ Screw and ODB along with Nate Dogg’s recent stroke,
it’s time to really take a closer look at the Hip Hop lifestyle. I don’t want to come
off as some goody two shoes about the dangers of the drugs, alcohol and weed
because I am very aware, from personal experience, of the reasons why someone
would choose to participate in such activities. But its time for us to exercise some
discipline in our habits and the choices we make. Unfortunately the medical system
along with the government is helping to keep us hooked on some type of addictive
substance whether its coffee, sugar, codeine, cocaine, alcohol or blunts. But really
this shit is killing us and now the victims seem to be getting younger and younger.
Drugs by definition are chemical substances used to treat, cure or prevent disease
or they are used to enhance physical or mental well-being. There are man-made
drugs like ecstasy that are made in laboratories, and natural “drugs” like mushrooms that are found in nature.
Usually man-made drugs are more harmful than natural ones because they have
a higher drug content and can easily cause addiction, severe side effects or an
overdose. That said, its really hard or damn near impossible to overdose on smoking weed.
In general most drugs natural or man-made affect the body by draining it of
essential nutrients such as calcium and vitamins C and B which help to keep your
immune, nervous, muscular and blood systems working properly. That’s why you
see people who have used drugs for a long time lose control of their walking and
speaking ability as well as have severe pain, arthritis, lack of erection, heart and
liver problems. Drugs also affect the major cleansing organs such as the kidney’s,
liver and pancreas, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cirrhosis
(rotting) of the liver. If you have ever watched Celebrity Rehab, you know what I’m
talking about. Balance is key. There is really no balance for hard drugs like cocaine,
ecstasy, or even codeine. Not using them at all is your best bet, but a little herb or
a drink now and then coupled with eating healthy and drinking lots of water can
have an extremely less negative effect on your body.
Blunts have the same effect on your body as cigarettes. Dumping out the inside
does not matter. Tobacco is addictive and contains many toxins that cause cancer,
heart attacks and strokes. Blunts especially lead to lung and throat cancer, which
is obviously detrimental to rap artists and entertainers. Also, tobacco nowadays is
heavily sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, which gives a double exposure of
cancer causing agents. If you want to smoke weed, use papers, a bong, a pipe or
cook with it.
I used to classify weed as and herb instead of a drug because of its healing ability
and lack of addictive properties. Unfortunately weed has now become a “designer
drug.” There are so many different strains and types that have been processed with
high levels of THC that I have noticed it seems to be becoming addictive and a hard
habit to break. Smoking too much weed (more than 1 spliff a day) can cause severe
dehydration and takes essential nutrients out of your body, which makes you more
susceptible to colds/flu and can cause erection problems. A rule of thumb, with
every spliff smoked, drink 16-20 oz of water and take 500-1000 mg of vitamin C.
There are some natural ways to help your body deal with and counteract the effects of drugs. I have listed certain herbs, vitamins, supplements and foods that
can help to cleanse, replenish and rebuild your bodies organs. All herbs should be
used with caution if you take prescription medication (including, codeine, ecstasy
or pain medication).
Most of these items can be found at your local health food store or the Vitamin Shoppe. Teas can be drank just like regular tea made with hot water (try to
sweeten with honey instead of sugar) and tinctures are the liquid form of these
FINDING A BALANCE
These cleansing teas are very strong and you must
drink a lot of water while taking them. If you use the
bathroom and you urine is dark yellow, increase your
water intake. Drink 1 cup of tea or 1-2 droppers full of
tincture 3 times daily for 7 days then take a break for
7 days and continue this cycle off and on.
Dandelion - cleanses the blood and liver.
Caution: should not be taken with prescriptions
diuretics or by those with gallstones.
Milk thistle - protects the kidneys and liver
from toxins. It also helps to produce new liver cells
that are damaged form drug use.
Caution: none known.
Golden seal- cleanses the organs and blood
as well as strengthens the immune system.
Caution: should not be taken by those with high blood
pressure, insomnia or by pregnant or nursing mothers.
Burdock- cleanses the liver of drug residue and
restores it from drug abuse.
Caution: do not use during first trimester of pregnancy.
Supplements are usually vitamins and minerals that
are important but are only need in small amounts. The
following supplements are taken out of your body by
the use of drugs.
Vitamin C- aids in the repair of the lungs, liver
and kidney’s as well as builds the immune system.
Dosage: up to 1000 mg 3 times daily depending on the
84 // OZONE MAG
Caution: avoid chewable tablets and look for powdered forms that can be added to juice or water.
Calcium- needed for healthy bones and teeth,
energy and the prevention of muscle cramps.
Dosage: 500-1000 mg daily.
Caution: the supplemental form should be avoided if
taking high blood pressure or heart medication or for
those with kidney problems.
These foods can be found at any grocery store and
are very helpful for cleansing and overall wellbeing.
They can be taken everyday.
Garlic: detoxifies the body and enhances the
immune system. Fresh garlic is best but it can also be
found in tincture form.
Dosage: take 1 clove daily. Cut the clove in small
pieces and swallow like a pill.
Caution: not recommended for people taking blood
Aloe vera juice: helps renew liver and
soothes the lungs from smoke damage.
Dosage: 1 shot glass 3 times daily for a week of and
Caution: do not use during pregnancy or if suffering
from abdominal pain. May be an allergen; if a rash
occurs, discontinue use.
Lemons: lemon is soothing and cleansing to the
throat as well as high in vitamin C. It also helps to
cleanse the lungs of mucous cause by smoking.
Dosage: can be taken as much as needed.
This tea can be made at any time of the day and can
be drank all day long. It’s wonderful for sore throats
and a cold/the flu and if you have been doing a lot of
smoking. Don’t make it too sweet because you want
the sour properties of it to help remove drug residue.
1-2 whole lemons
8 cups of boiling water
¼ cup honey or sweeten to taste.
1.Boil water and add to a pitcher.
2.Cut the lemon in to wedges and squeeze its juice
into the water.
3.Add the honey and cut lemon, mix and let sit for 5
4.Drink while warm
As an Entrepreneur, Author, Certified Holistic Health
Counselor, Freelance Journalist and Crochet Artist,
Afya Ibomu (pictured above) has built a dynamic reputation in the past 10 years by consistently delivering
on her promise to educate, guide and inspire people
to live a healthy, natural, and creative lifestyle.
Afya is currently the CEO of her holistic lifestyle
company, Nattral Unlimited, LLC (www.NATTRAL.com).
She has a monthly online magazine, Nattral Magazine,
and is currently working on a vegan cookbook that
will be out spring 2008. She is currently going to Ga
State University to become a Registered Dietician.
Afya continues to keep an active lifestyle and motivate her community.
Words: Dr. Rani Whitfield AKA “Tha Hip Hop Doc”
eah, it’s true! At one point in history cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana,
LSD, opium and heroin were perfectly legal and in some cases
given away- free. Now these drugs are considered illegal, harmful, and addictive. “It was better than sex; it was better than the best thing
I ever tried; crack, marijuana, cocaine - put me in a state of mind where I
did not care about anything or anyone. I just wanted to get high.” These are
all statements made to me by individuals in jail or in drug rehab about how
they felt being under the influence of drugs of abuse. How could chemicals
that soothe pain, inspire intense euphoria, and temporarily allow us to
escape from the problems of the day be harmful? Let’s explore two popular
drugs of the Hip Hop culture and see how they affect the body.
The “love drug” was first synthesized in a laboratory in Germany in
1912. Believed to have no medical
use, it sat on the shelf for years
until 1977 when Alexander
Shulgin, a chemist living in
California, re-synthesized the
compound and introduced it
to a local psychotherapist. It
was not illegal and was given
to patients by doctors to help
couples communicate, to treat
posttraumatic stress disorder,
and treat anxiety and depression. The
drug was called “empathy” until it hit the party scene where the
name “ecstasy” was coined. Ecstasy was so widespread in cities like Dallas,
TX that you could buy it over the counter at bars - LEGALLY. Doctors gave it
to patients for group sessions and everything was all good, right?
cough, is the most widely used and naturally occurring
narcotic (medicines that produce pleasure and calmness) in
the world. Promethazine, which does not contain codeine,
is the generic name for a sedating, anti-nausea chemical
that is often combined with codeine in cough syrups.
Symptoms of codeine abuse include slow breathing,
seizures, dizziness, weakness, confusion, tiredness,
cold and clammy skin, small or constricted pupils,
loss of consciousness, coma and possibly death! To
experience the effects of codeine, the human body
must convert the drug to morphine. The effects
of codeine start 10-30 minutes after ingestion,
peak within 1 to 2 hours and may last 4-6 hours,
depending on how much is taken. Within two
to three weeks of repetitive use a physical and
psychological addiction may develop. Misuse will
lead to an apathetic, dulling-type effect, a lack
of coordination and dulled responses.
Every illegal drug to date has started out perfectly
legal, freely used and widely accepted. They are considered medical miracles until the side effects develop. One major problem with these
illegal substances is that there are no long-term studies to tell us what
will happen to the body after long-term use. What I can tell you is that
destruction of lives, time spent in jail, and the risk of being infected with
HIV or other STDs, motor vehicle accidents, violence, and rape have all occurred “under the influence.” The fix is temporary and the cost is high. Let’s
seek out the natural highs in life: love, children, music, a good job, a loyal
woman, great mixtapes, seeing bootleggers arrested for jacking music, and
real Hip Hop! Holla! //
The sense of emotional well being, confidence and love produced by the
drug comes from its effects on the brain. Ecstasy stimulates the release of
serotonin, which affects our mood, energy and emotions. Normally in the
brain, a little bit of serotonin gets released at time; when using ecstasy,
all of the serotonin stored in the brain cells is released at once, producing intense euphoria, strong emotions, and feelings of love, happiness,
intimacy, openness, and empathy. This dramatic release of serotonin is also
what makes the drug potentially dangerous, as the nerves may not ever
function the same after repeated use of the drug. The agony begins when
the ecstasy wears off and is often called “suicide Tuesdays.” The user feels
tired, fatigued, depressed, and is unable to sleep. Some ecstasy users have
literally danced themselves to death or had seizures, gone into to a coma,
and died due to increased body temperature (up to 107 degrees) and water
intoxication. An average 100-milligram dose lasts 6 to 10 hours and costs
between $25 and $45 per pill depending on where you live. There is still a
push to make this drug legal so it can be used by psychotherapists.
Opium is a naturally occurring substance that is extracted from the seedpod
of the opium poppy. Heroin, morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, and dihydrocodeine are all derivatives of opium. They are highly addictive substances
that are commonly used by physicians for medical purposes: to treat diarrhea, nausea, and more commonly pain. Vicodin, Lortab, and Oxycotin (hillbilly heroin) are all examples of the prescribed derivatives of opium. They
have legitimate uses in medicine, however, the abuse potential is great.
Prescription drug abuse has become a huge problem in our society and both
the patients and the doctors are to blame. Have you heard of lean, syrup, or
sizzurp? Once just a “cough medicine,” this codeine-based drink has become
a cocktail of the Hip Hop culture. Just mix your cream soda or fruit punch
with some promethazine and codeine, and voila… you have the cheap, sweet
drink made popular by the Houston Hip Hop scene and DJ Screw who died
from a mixture of codeine, alcohol, and marijuana. Codeine, a commonly
prescribed and effective drug used to treat pain, diarrhea, and to suppress
OZONE MAG // 85
hen you leave the slick streets of Manhattan’s fashion district and
travel across the Brooklyn Bridge to the grimy streets of Brooklyn,
the name Calvin Klein no longer symbolizes a fashion icon. Here
Calvin Klein is a street certified icon. The kind of street dude the
alphabet boys get a hard-on over while dedicating their lives and careers to
putting away forever.
New Yorkers are well aware of Calvin Klein and his contributions to the streets
in Brooklyn. One couldn’t think of Marcy Projects without thinking of Klein and
his partner Danny (R.I.P.), since they controlled all of Marcy Housing at one time.
The same Marcy Projects that Klein’s former protégé Jay-Z has made famous in
In and out of prison since he was 15, Klein caught an attempted murder case in
Maryland with a young Jay-Z that had him looking at a 45 year bid if convicted.
Klein sat down to serve out his plea bargain, one that he claims earned Jay his
freedom (he also alleges paying $50,000 to get Jay-Z dropped from the case
because he knew Jay had a future as a rapper).
“Never felt more alive than riding shotgun in Klein’s green 5, til the cops pulled
guns…” - Jay-Z, “Allure”
After Klein was incarcerated for 14 years, he expected to take his rightful place
somewhere within Jay-Z’s empire. At the very least, he was guaranteed a check.
Sadly, this never came to pass. Klein has been very vocal about his experiences
with Jay-Z, and claims to be yet another person in the long list of folks that
Jay-Z has not done right by.
Akon, who hails from New Jersey, offered Klein a position within his empire.
Akon stepped up where Jay-Z didn’t, although he never ran with nor caught a
charge with Klein. Akon never had Calvin Klein buy his way out of a jam, nor
were any of his songs based on his life stories and exploits. I caught up with
Klein while he was on tour with one of Akon’s artists to hear more.
Wendy Day: Before we get into the whole Jay-Z situation, I’d like to talk about
what kind of man you are. It’s hard to find anyone with a bad word about Calvin
Klein. How is it that you are such a strong human being and a true leader?
Calvin Klein: My dream was and is to have everyone around me have what I
have. That’s what leadership is. I didn’t wanna have a lot of things by myself
that they didn’t have as well.
That’s the way it’s supposed to be, but that’s very rare. A lot of people in the
music business who claim to be “from the streets” seem to only care about
themselves and the almighty dollar and fuck everybody else.
When you get a lot of money, it shouldn’t be a problem to share it with others
and pretty much touch the lives of others as well. You know, they are the ones
who help make it for you too. You know how most people say that their boss
treats them like shit? They say that if they ever become a boss, they’ll know how
to treat their employees better. But when that time comes, they wind up treating
their employees worse than their boss treated them. They dish out the abuse
given to them and they don’t even realize that they became worse than the
person who did the worst thing to them.
You’re only as strong as your weakest link. You can only be as good as the
people you have in your circle.
Yes. You have guys like Jay-Z, Puffy, you have a list of guys - I’ll just say the
guys from New York that sit on a billion dollars. It’s like four people. Let’s use
four people, as an example, and not to take anything from them, but most of
them didn’t come from the street.
So now when the street is in a crisis or the streets are in some sort of a dilemma, they don’t understand. Their thinking is: “Why do you want me to help
you? I don’t come from where you come from.” They aren’t there to help anyone.
Puffy doesn’t know how to help anybody. Jay-Z doesn’t know how to help anybody. Then, it’s like at the same time, they take on the lives of the people that
they looked up to. Maybe Puffy took up the life to live like the Rich Porters and
maybe the Nicky Barneses, you know what I’m saying? And the Frank Lucases
and everybody else.
Puffy acts like the legends of his borough. Jay-Z in some ways tried to act like
the legends of his borough. So when Jay-Z talks about people, who does Jay-Z
have to talk about other than myself, other than Danny Diamonds, other than
maybe one or two other people?
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It’s funny that you picked those two people as examples. They’re great businessmen. But are they successful human beings? Are they truly great leaders as
All that comes from like guys like myself, because we missed the opportunity
because of being away. You have a lot of guys that are original. You have a lot
of guys that are somewhat kinda smart. If we stood the test of time, and we
were able to be free at the time when the transition changed — because at the
end of the 80s, change came. Like any era, time has to turn, for better or worse.
The opportunity for blacks to either not sell drugs or to not bounce a basketball, turned into the music industry. And when it turned into the music industry,
it went into the 90s. Now you got the Calvin Kleins that are locked up and got
sentenced to 25 years. You have the Dannys that got killed in the 80s. You’ve got
a lot of guys that were real who got killed in the 80s and/or went to jail in the
90s. So the 90s were open with no leadership.
For all the thorough females and gangsta girls, the ratio was like 2 guys to 10
girls. There was nobody left out here. Even having the opportunity to start from
the beginning, when Puffy didn’t have anything, and Jay-Z didn’t have anything,
they were given a chance. They got to try something new. They got to emulate
the new Puffy, or the new Jay-Z, or the guy that’s working a 9 to 5 job. Most of
the girls out there didn’t have that; they had a gangsta dude. They had a hustla.
Then all of a sudden, it’s okay that this dude is talking like this, because he
reminds her of her man. He talks about bustin’ guns and all that. But her man
who used to do all that didn’t have that sort of savvy, he didn’t have that sort of
aura. He didn’t have that sort of style, that glitz, and that glamour, or all of that
stuff that’s built around that: the façade, the Hollywood look. All that came into
play, and all of the sudden you see Jay in videos throwin’ money out of cars.
And JD throwin’ money out of cars and all this. And they accept this.
They can be flashy because they won’t go to jail. Somebody on the streets can’t
be that flashy cause they’re going down. Tell us what you have going on now?
I have so many positive things that’s going on for me now. I got have a book
coming out sometime next year. The book is actually called - and this the first
time I’m actually saying this though, but I plan on calling the book Beyond
Reasonable Doubt. I’m kinda mad because Damon Dash already used it for the
title of the CD that he’s got online for Jay.
The reason why I chose that name is because I feel that the story was misinterpreted the way Jay told it. I think the story wasn’t told the way it was supposed
to be told. As a character, on his part anyway, the story was told very well. It
made sense, but when it started getting personal with him telling the story as if
he was using “I” rather than using a particular person as in me, or even “we,” or
“us,” it got misconstrued in a lot of ways.
Right. Because it was told through his eyes instead of the real person’s eyes who
lived it — yours.
Yeah, it’s cool to tell the story if you tell it the way it’s supposed to be told.
But don’t tell the story and make it seem as if you were the man in the hood,
and you had the hood on smash; like you had it on lock down, you had niggas
shootin’ up for you, and you was bustin’ your gun putting work in. Or like you
had the strongest drug on the block and all that other stuff. I liked the Jay-Z
that was the — what did he call himself before Jay-Z? Um, not The Slim - it was
something he used to call himself. Wow, I forgot what he called himself when he
first started coming up - when he was trying to be on some pimp shit.
So what happened between you and Jay when you came back home from prison?
I went to Def Jam and had a meeting with Jay. Me and him, we talked—well,
actually, we didn’t exactly have a meeting. I went up there and imposed myself
on him. I take “the meeting” part back.
(laughs) So you had a meeting, but he had a shake down.
(laughing) A shake down. Yeah, I went up there and had a shake down with Jay.
But still to this day I would really, really like to know what happened. To be
Words by W
Photo by Tre endy Day
OZONE MAG // 87
honest with you, we had a conversation, and we talked a couple of times after
that, but then I started getting phone calls from Ty Ty, his little sidekick, instead
of Jay-Z himself. And I do have a better relationship with Ty Ty.
Jay recently said in an interview with XXL Magazine that he only knows me
through a friend of a friend. That part I still don’t understand: where he knows
me from a friend of a friend. But even if he did know me through a friend of a
friend, and I don’t want to keep using this as a contradiction to what he says,
but you know when we was in Maryland - it takes one situation that can change
a person’s life for the better or for the worse. At the end of the day, he made
a statement because that’s how he felt. Jay said he “never felt more alive then
riding shot gun in Klein’s green Five, ‘til the cops pulled guns.” Now, at that
point, that was the greatest feeling in his life. You admired me, you idolized me.
Everything else, where you could just look at me from a distance and admire
and take away from me, you did that. You can’t say that you know me from a
friend of a friend and get away with that one. That one don’t even sound right.
Jay don’t want nobody - like you got Jaz-O, you got other guys that’s close to
Jay - that should be close to Jay, but Jay don’t want them close to him because
they have too much. Jay took too much of them into him. When you look at Jaz
you like, damn, Jay act so much like this dude. If Jay stands next to me, you’ll
even say Jay kinda looks like me, we favor each other a lil bit. You might even
stand him next somebody else and say damn there’s so many similarities. Jay
doesn’t even know who he is. He lost his identity of being who he is. He was a
good dude. You’d be surprised, Jay was once a good dude.
I’m still shocked, still to this day. That would be the only thing that would
bother me if I wasn’t sitting so good in my life. My life is good, I can’t complain.
My bed is very big. So I’m good.
Every time I talk to you, you sound happy. How come you’re not institutionalized? You’ve done long bids.
Because I didn’t allow myself to be in jail when was there. When I was in
jail I refused to let the system make me hate my friends and I had refused to let the system make me hate other things around me. So I didn’t
hate it the way a lot of other people probably did. I accepted where I
was at. I knew that I did wrong in my life and I have a strong belief in
God. And at the end of the day I accepted that although I didn’t cause
the crime to a certain extent to get where I was at, I accepted it and told
God, “Listen, if this is the punishment for what I’ve done in my life, thank
you.” I was happy because I was like, “This is all you given me? Thank
you.” I had deserved so much more. Even in the worst time of my life and
what people would assume would be the worst time of my life, God still
blessed me with such little time. Because at the worst, I was probably
never supposed to be seen in the streets again. So now I’m here for a
reason, there’s a purpose. I’m not out here to get in the way. I’m not lost
in the new era because I studied while I was there. I stayed in tune with
who Jay had become. I stayed in tune with who I saw Puffy become, and
on down the line.
Just like Michael Jordan, he came back at 45. He ain’t come back shootin’
the way he shot before. But he got comfortable in his game when he
knew he couldn’t dunk no more. He had to take a different approach to
the game and that’s exactly what I did.
I took a different approach. I didn’t come to New York for almost a year.
New York is a jungle. The streets is a jungle, I didn’t start moving around
in the streets for almost a year. Come on, 13 years difference? I’m a different person.
So are the streets.
I came home with the mindset that I don’t owe the streets anything and
the streets don’t owe me anything. I’m not in the way of the streets and I
don’t want the streets to get in my way. Because the moment I make the
exception in getting in the way of the streets, then that’s when I would
resort mentally to being who I used to be. I mean, you couldn’t put the
real Calvin Klein in the industry, they ain’t ready for that. So unfortunately, I had to water myself down to be accepted. If anything, at worst
case scenario, I think I might have made a mistake doing that. You know,
I just need to be who I am and whoever embraces that, embraces that
and if not, then fuck ‘em.
I got so much going on. I got the book deal going on, I got a movie situation going on you know I got a new company right now, I got a hotel
booking agency that’s crazy. All I deal with is exclusive artists and elite
people in the industry. It’s not even just the music industry. I deal with
5 star people. My service deal was nothing but like 5 star people doing
like 100 rooms a month type shit. I’ve got a hell of a company that I just
recently started and it’s doing extremely well.
My goal is to just not become the old Calvin Klein. I don’t ever want to
slip back into who I used to be. That’s the only thing in life I fear!
In our community, we focus on “keeping it real.” Authenticity is king. So
how did Jay-Z, one of our most popular rap icons, make it to the King of
Rap status, while turning a blind eye to a man whose street exploits were
told and retold to help get him his position on the throne? I, personally,
have issue with any person who doesn’t support friends who are locked
down, but it especially resonates as ugly when that incarcerated man
may be the basis of many stories that inspired songs that created an
In fairness, I did NOT get Jay-Z’s input, opinion, or side of the story in
writing this story. After hearing similar stories over the years from Jaz-O,
Dehaven, Biggs, and Damon Dash, I lost the stomach to speak with New
York’s king of rap. OZONE Magazine, I’m sure, would be happy to publish
any comments Mr. Carter deems worthy to make. I would also be happy to
then interview Damon, Biggs, Jaz, and Dehaven afterwards.
Klein will never go down in history as “the guy that Jay-Z jerked.” He has
built a strong empire for himself in the travel industry, and now that he is
putting shit out there, like-minded folks are attracting to him and bringing into fruition even more positive things for Klein. Jay-Z is merely just
one small chapter that appears very early in the book that Calvin Klein
calls the story of his life.
88 // OZONE MAG
Huge thanks goes out to my awesome assistant, Ace, for transcribing
hours of taped conversations with Calvin Klein. Without her, this interview
would not be what you see here! For the entire article, see: www.RealStreetLegends.com
OZONE MAG // 89
5. Cino / Thang Thang – Triple P
Contact: Tony Neal – [email protected]
This is the perfect party song after a long week. Put
some Patrón in your cup and vibe out.
1. B.O.B ft. Amy Winehouse / Grip
Your Body – Rebel Rock/Atlantic
6. D-Lo ft. Boosie / How I Roll
– Light Grey
Contact: TJ Chapman – [email protected]
This is sexy track from two of music’s finest newcomers, with two of the most unique voices. And the hook
is so damn catchy, you’ll be singing it for weeks!!
2. Bloodraw ft.Young Jeezy /
Louie Bag – CTE/Def Jam
Contact: D-Lo – 850.728.0990
D-Lo has a very laid back, star quality voice that
rides smoothly through this track. I’m loving how
he rolls in this one
7. Drop / Oops My Bad – 4 Trey
Contact: Erica Bowen – 917.238.4753
BloodRaw and Jeezy definitely showcase their swag
in this beat-heavy street anthem.
Contact: Edna Rivers – 321.299.7114
A comedic edge is the way of the future for rappers.
If you can’t enjoy shaking the haters off to this
song, then it’s your bad!
3. Geno & Skunk Boogie /
Bucket – Original
8. E-Dubb / Big Money Talk – I.M.
Contact: Red Lion – 941.518.3594
Geno & Skunk Boogie have a really nice flow and
vibe together. This may be the new song to blow
out your stereos in ‘08.
4. Beadz / D-Boy –Manatee
Contact: Calvin “Doc” Flowers – 312.226.9034
It seems like the D-Boys are the hot boys of the
year. This clever ode to the game separates the men
from the D-Boys.
90 // OZONE MAG
Contact: Donald Murphy – 404.606.9112
On this one, just let the money talk for you and
name this hot joint your money-making theme song
9. E. Mackey / 2 Girls, 1 Cup
– Edwin Mackey
Contact: E. Mackey – 850.339.5498
Disclaimer: This is NOT the internet travesty featured
on Best Week Ever. E. Mackey does the title justice
and turns it into a big tune about living the ultimate male fantasy.
10. J White ft. Rican Diplo and DJ
Boos / That Girl – Down North
Contact: J White – 863.381.7410
A sweet combination of Hip Hop and R&B that would
make any girl want to be the object of J White’s affection flows seductively throughout this record.
11. J White ft. Rican Diplo and DJ
Boos / That Girl – Down North
Contact: Wendy Day – 917.501.6100
This is the kind of song that gets everyone hyped
and makes the whole club erupt in synchronized
step, wiling out and acting a fool!
12. Jap / My Folk – Sandhill
Contact: Kenyan Tinsely – 404.983.5807
You know in a society where it’s cool to hate on
everyone and everything, it’s so refreshing to hear
a song about love for your crew with no homo.
13. Jor’el Jebre / I See a Diva
– Diamond Cut
Contact: D.CUT –850.524.1039
While the term “Diva” nowadays has a slight stigma
attached to it, Jor’el shows that there is still nothing
sexier than a beautiful, confident woman who has her
s**t together. The ladies are going to love this one!
14. Mighty Mike /D-Boy
Swagg – Bangin Bay
Contact: Mighty Mike – 850.319.3365
Haters will probably do what they do best on this
song, but can you blame them? It’s hard not to hate
on someone with a flow like this and can afford to
blow a grand on a whole outfit!
15. Mister Sandman / Doing My
Thing – Liquor House
Contact: Mister Sandman – 404.402.7740
Old school hustler songs featuring an OG with a
high pitched voice singing the hook, will never
die. This track is so hot, it should have been Frank
Lucas’ secondary theme song in American Gangster.
17. Nephewblaq ft. Rock and Toni /
Hey Shawty – Loudmouf
Contact: Nephewblaq –321.250.0059
Maybe it is possible to find love in the club. Play
this sexy single and see if you don’t go home with
18. D Woodson / She Crazy Bout Me
– Oklahoma G
Contact: D Wood –918.759.3220
A girl who loves someone else’s dirty draws may be
just plain crazy! But if she gets to hear D Woodson’s
seductive voice over the early nineties-inspired
guitar and piano lead everyday, it’s understandable
how she may be a little loca for him!
19. Khia / What They Do – Big Cat
Contact: Mel – 404.840.4391
Rhyming ‘Absolute’ with ‘prostitutes’ shows in this
club banger that Khia lives up to her raunchy lyricreputation we all know and love.
20. TRP ft. King Green / Cash is What
I Need – TNT PRO
Contact: Trace Trahan –813.394.6822
I need to be at whatever club these two attend if
they are throwing enough money around to buy a
new Bentley. An ode to the Almighty Dollar, this is
that song you want to bump in your stereo on payday.
16. Modesy XO / What You Got
– Frazier Mktg.
Contact: Temekka Frazier – 205.226.9015
The heavy trumpets and use of other marching
band instruments add a Trick Daddian quality to
Modesy’s Southern syrup.
1. Baby D / I’m Bout Money – KOCH
Contact: Gazelle MCI – 212.353.8800 x266
The paper chase never sounded so good.
2. Vic Damone ft. Boosie / Check My
Swagg – B.O.B.Q.P.
Contact: Guccio - [email protected]
Just as promised, your boy’s swag is NICE. For any
skeptics, Vic Damone and Boosie definitely deliver
on this one.
3. Lil Ru / Nasty Song
– Head Hunter
Contact: Big Will – 803.476.2709
This song should be stored in that box hidden in
your closet with your “special” DVDs, magazines,
oils, candles. Not to be handled by amateurs; this is
meant for the grown and sexy only!
4. D Woodson / Where Dem
Ladiezz At –Oklahoma G
Contact: D Wood – 918.759.3220
With a soulful track like this, it’s highly unlikely D
Woodson has any trouble finding ladies interested
in what a real G has to offer. After all, the ladies are
waiting for you to deliver that ‘thug passion’ you
5. The Truth / I Don’t – Truth
Contact: Nick – 305.519.1118
You know maybe it’s the synthesized beat with the
strings in the background, the catchy flow of the
hook, or perhaps it’s the sweet & simple title that
makes me happy to hear the truth.
6. 9th Ward / Chopper –
So So Def Jam
Contact: Nick – 305.519.1118
You know maybe it’s the synthesized beat with the
strings in the background, the catchy flow of the
hook, or perhaps it’s the sweet & simple title that
makes me happy to hear the truth.
7. Empress Raw / Goon Luv
– Hidden Gem
Contact: Bossy Bisi –786.426.3688
Every girl fantasizes about having that one dangerous dude with the prison tats, diesel physique, and
criminal record always ready to rock her world.
Even the hardest of goons and gangstas would
have a soft spot for this song.
8. Chop Chop / Red Dirt –
Contact: Smiley – 405.200.4357
I must say I’m rather impressed and somewhat
amazed. Who knew Oklahoma could rep so hard on
9. The A-Team / Get Money – TNT
Contact: JDP – 850.210.9100
“Get Money” is the quintessential club banging,
money-making anthem for 2008.
10. Noah-O / Gwop Gettah
– Charged Up
Contact: Robert “Chubbs” – 804.922.0569
This should serve as an inspiration to all of us to step
up our grind in so we can hurry up and enjoy the finer
things in life.
11. Geno and Skunk Boogie /
Not Like We – Original
Contact: Red Lion – 941.518.3594
No one else could have served this song justice like
these boys did.
12. Big Sid ft. Tum Tum, Killa
Kyleon & Yung Red / Cash on Deck
Contact: Big Sid – 337.802.5436
Every now and then you stumble upon the perfect
relationship between lyrics, beat, and artists. This is a
lyrical love triangle.
14. . Jap / Take Flight – Sandhill
Contact: Kenyan Tinsley – 404.983.5807
This hot dance is already taking flight. Feel free to get
stupid in the club to this one.
15. Diggie Die ft. Mister Sandman /
Puttin In Da Work – Liquor House
Contact: Mister Sandman – 404.402.7740
The game may not be easy, but Diggie Die and Sandman make it seem like it’s all play and no work with
16. Teflon ft. Birmingham J / High
Roller – Frazier Mktg
Contact: Temekka Frazier – 205.226.9015
The rule of thumb is if you start your song off with
a Scarface sample, it better be hot! Well Teflon and
Birmingham J definitely obey the letter of the law with
17. Thorobread ft. J-Bo / Got Bread
Contact: Derek Mason – 615.566.5495
Looking for ballers only with hot tracks; thankfully
Thorobread answered the call on this song so no others need apply.
18. The Truth / Let’s Roll – Truth
Contact: Nick – 305.519.1118
The hook is guaranteed to put you in that feel good
mode when you hear it at the club.
19. M.O.E. Betta / See Me In Da
Club – Deepside
Contact: Christal Jordan-Mims – 678.499.0297
When you see him in the club, buy him a drink for
providing such a hot track!
13. J. E-Dubb / Like Me – I.M.
Contact: Donald Murphy – 404.606.9112
“Make money, don’t let it make you;” finding little
proverbs in the most unlikely places is what music is
OZONE MAG // 91
BEHIND THE BEAT
eople know me for my production more than rapping. I’m a
writer at heart because that’s what I started doing first. I’ve
been rapping since I was in fifth grade, so I’ll forever be a
writer. I feel like I’ll be able to produce records forever, but
I’m not gon’ rap forever.
I’ve produced for Devin [the Dude], The Geto Boys, Pimp, Bun, a lot of
artists. I produced the intro track on Bun B’s first solo project, Trill. And
I’ve got some stuff coming out real soon on Bun B’s new album. I actually produced the last song that Bun and Pimp recorded together. It’s
called “Underground Thang.” It’s on Bun B’s new album, and it’s Pimp,
Bun, and Chamillionaire singing the hook. That’s definitely gon’ be a
big deal. Oh, and I got a track on Mike Jones’ new album featuring Lil
Wayne. Yeah, it’s some nice shit called, “Ya Dig.”
One of the moments that really sticks the most in my career is the last
song that I produced on the UGK album, Underground Kingz. It’s a Best
Buy Bonus Cut called “Top Drop Dyne.” Pimp actually hated whenever
I would sample his voice and use it for hooks, which I do frequently.
So he definitely hated that track when I first did it because his voice
is sampled on the hook. He was like, “Damn mane, I’m tired of you
sampling my voice, mane. Blah, blah, blah.” But I did it anyway ‘cause
the shit was jammin’.
At the end of the day that song was so jammin’ that Pimp went on and
decided to rap on it, and then Bun ended up rapping on the song, too.
They needed a third verse, and they were supposed to split 8, but they
never got around to recording it. So one day I asked Bun, “What you
gon’ do with the third verse?” And he was like, “Shit, C-Mo, you gon’
ahead and write a verse to it. Go on ahead and write a 16 and see how
it comes out.” So I was like, “No shit?” So I went on and wrote the third
verse and Pimp ended up hearing the song, but he didn’t know that Bun
told me to rap on the third verse, so when Pimp heard it he got real mad
at me. He was like, “Damn, mane. I ain’t tell you to rap on it, mane. I already didn’t wanna use the beat. You trippin’ mane, you rapping on the
92 // OZONE MAG
song and didn’t tell me...” So I told him that Bun told me to rap on it,
and then everything was cool. Pimp was like, “Okay, okay, okay, okay.”
Like I said, in the beginning, Pimp really, really didn’t like the song, but
by the time we were done with it, he loved the song so much that he
wanted to make it a single and use it as a Best Buy Bonus Cut. It never
really got around to being a single, but I definitely consider it a classic
UGK song itself, especially because all that went into it, and the fact
that Pimp ended up loving it more than almost all the other songs on
A whole lot of people who didn’t even who I was before know me now
just because of that song. So, as a producer, that track meant a lot to
me. But as a friend, shit, that track meant everything to me, bro. That’s
one of the last songs that I produced and rapped on with Pimp C. And
I rapped on a lot of songs with Pimp; I produced a lot of songs with
Pimp, shit, we done made beats together side by side on the keyboard,
you know what I’m sayin’? We did all types of shit together, but that
one song there really stands out. It wasn’t even supposed to make the
album; it was more a last minute song, and not only did it make the album, but it was a Best Buy Bonus Cut. Now, it’s on everybody’s mixtape,
and people are really starting to jump on it now; I think it’s gon’ forever
be a UGK classic.
But the most important thing is that, it’s a lot more than just a music
thing with me and Bun and Pimp. We was pa’tnas before all of this shit.
I been knowing them niggas since the early 90s so it’s more than just
music to me whenever it come to UGK. A lot of people don’t know that
my brother was Pimp C’s road manager, so that just goes to show that
it’s an all day everyday thing with them boys. Being able to be produce
and rap on of Pimp’s last songs is something that is priceless to me.
As told to Eric Perrin // Photo by Julia Beverly
OZONE MAG // 93
Webbie/Savage Life 2
On Savage Life 2, with tracks like “2 Smooth” and
his smash hit “Independent,” Webbie seems to be
singing a more mature tune than his “Gimme Dat”
days. And on “I Know,” produced by Mannie Fresh
and featuring Young Dro, and “A Miracle” with Birdman and Rick Ross, Webbie proves he can stand tall
with the best of Southern rap artists. The album is
not all notable, with another Fresh beat that sounds
like tracks we’ve heard him produce before (“Y’all
Ain’t Makin’ No Money”) and “First Night” which
serves no propose as a final track. Nevertheless,
appearances from Lil Boosie, Letoya Luckett, Foxx
and the late Pimp C help Webbie release a solid follow-up album to 2005’s Savage Life.
— Randy Roper
Shawty Lo/Units In The
The success of his hit single “Dey Know” has D4L
member Shawty Lo, arguably the hottest thing in
Atlanta over the last few months. But on his solo
debut album the Bankhead rapper is all swag, no
skills. Tracks like “Dey Know,” “Dunn Dunn,” and
“Foolish” are standouts but weak production on
“Let’s Get It” and “Feels Good To Be Here” and
“That’s Shawty Lo” make the album sound like
“Laffy Taffy” leftovers from the D4L album. L-O isn’t
the best rapper and his elementary flow gets to
be monotonous after 15-tracks, and without true
lyrical ability and lack of quality production, the
blunt rating for Units In The City comes in a little
L-O. — Randy Roper
Grind Time Official
On C.O.L.O.R.S., Grind Time member S.L.
Jones does what most rappers coming
out under an established artist fail
to do; he stood on his own and released a solid album. This
album isn’t bombarded with Killer Mike verses. Instead, Jones
controls the show with his revolutionary gangster lyricism
and metaphors. Although his slow flow does drag along at times, guest appearances from the likes of Killer Mike, Chamillionaire, the Clipse, Trae, offer changes of
pace and standout production from beatmakers like Bdon and Smiff n Cash, give
Jones the assists he needed to make C.O.L.O.R.S. something worth checking
out. — Randy Roper
Standout tracks are hard
to come by on Orlando
album, as Blaq’s choppy
rap style makes 20-track
hard to digest. There
are a few tracks worth
listening to, including
“Judgment Day,” “Unemployed” with Durty and
Mardub, and the album’s
title track. Although
these tracks show Blaq’s
potential, songs like
“Gotta Be Jelly,” “Hey
Shawty” and “Supa
Freak,” among others,
are enough to justify
why he needs to take
it back to the drawing
board. — Randy Roper
Jim Jones/Harlem’s American
First rule of trying to show someone
up: actually show them up. There
was no attempt to hide the fact that
Jim Jones’ Harlem’s American Gangster is Jimmy’s attempt
at mocking Jay-Z, complete with Dame Dash as a host.
Unfortunately for Jimmy, his 17-track effort falls short, with
only three tracks, one of which is the intro, offering the only saving moments of this
mixtape. If Jim Jones is going to take anything from Frank Lucas perhaps it should
be the lesson that it’s always wise to quit when you’re on top, or at least the closest
you can. - Rohit Loomba
Trap Starz Clik/Hood Depot/
Something about this group and this
album just doesn’t seem right. They
dress like the prototypical block
dweller in Any Small Ghetto, U.S.A. Their production sounds
like it came out during the beginnings of the snap movement
in 2003-04. The lyrics are so mundane that you feel dumber
after listening to them. After adding all of this up, there is no way possible that
TSC is supposed to be taken seriously by anybody, including themselves. Everything
about them sounds exactly like what Outkast was alluding to with the fictional
PimpTrickGangstaClik or what The Boondocks ridicules with its Thugnificent character. Listening to this CD makes you wait for the day that TSC pops up on BET and says
“Sike! We was just playin!” — Maurice G. Garland
G-Unit & DJ Whoo Kid/Return
of the Body Snatchers
Blood Raw & DJ Smallz/The
Streets Love Blood Raw
DJ Smallz brings another installment of the Southern
Smoke series, teaming up with Florida native BloodRaw
this time around. BloodRaw makes sure he doesn’t
waste this opportunity to show off his talent and
prove that he really is “ballahalic like [he] plays for
the Magic.” The mixtape offers several tracks that are
worthy of repeated play with the top down and should
catch the ears of many who may not have heard that
much from one of CTE’s own. If you come across this
mixtape, definitely drop this one in your “Louis Bag”.
— Rohit Loomba
94 // OZONE MAG
When 50 remerges into the spotlight
fronting his G-Unit crew, the formula
is what is has always been. 50 carries
the squad. Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo and
the crew are vastly overshadowed
with their latest mixtape effort, The
Return of the Body Snatchers. DJ Whoo
Kid hosts the mixtape laced with 50’s
baritone sing-songy hooks that appear often in the 16 track
submission. The most notable songs are the hard-hitting
“I’m ‘Bout That” and the street love record “Make Me Feel
Good.” While G-Unit is represented, the absence of Young Buck is noticeable. You
can ride out to this but it’s no classic. — Jared Anderson
Re Up Gang (Hosted by DJ
Drama)/ WE Got It For Cheap
No question, We Got It For Cheap Vol. 3
is a street sweeper! DJ Drama captures
hardcore content with classic grimy records, allowing the
Re-Up Gang to continue to challenge their competition with
reminders that recording is considered their “second hustle” and that record sales
don’t reflect their “units sold.” From flowing over Jay-Z’s “Roc Boys” instrumental to
Shawty Lo’s “Dey Know,” the Re-Up Gang easily make the songs their own, but the
most impressive effort comes on Kanye West’s “Good Morning,” taking the listener
through the morning thoughts of a dealer. Drama’s mixtape is direct and to the
point. They’re going all out in the spirit of competition. — Jared Anderson
Hi My Name Is B.O.B.
B.O.B. is a breath of fresh
air for Georgia Hip Hop,
using his distinct personality and creativity to put
out music that’s different
from other ATL emcees.
The Hi! My Name is B.O.B.
mixtape showcases B.O.B’s
unique talent and brings
fans a sizeable dose of
new music. While this is
an overall entertaining
mixtape, one too many
skits and a few skippable
tracks did make their way
onto it. — Rohit Loomba
1. DJ Scream “So Seductive 9: Valentine’s Day Edition” www.myspace.com/4045405000
2. DJ Emurda “Street Aesthestics Volume One” www.myspace.com/djemurda
3. DJ Chuck T “Scarface & Pimp C: Faces of a Pimp” www.djchuckt.com
4. Dj Clue “Desert Storm Radio 8: I Am Legend” Hosted by Rick Ross www.myspace.com/djclue
5. DDJ LL & Big Rat Loc “Billion Dollar Hustle” www.myspace.com/hoodstarbeatz1
6. Big Dee & Dre Dae “The Jolly Rancher Mixtape Vol. 1” www.myspace.com/vegasheatdjs
7. DJ Delz & Affion Crockett “D187 Hood Radio: Short Circuitz Edition” www.myspace.com
8. DJ Black “Hood!!! R.I.P. To All My Niggaz” www.myspace.com/thekingofdrag [email protected]
9. DJ Bizerkk “Rum Red” www.myspace.com /c4reocrds [email protected]
On his latest mixtape, Mr. Southern Smoke
proves that Florida isn’t his only market, as
he traffics the newest music out of the Lone
Star State. Pack with new music from Bun B
(“Gangsta” featuring Sean Kingston), remixes
from Texas newcomers (Trap Starz featuring
Chamillionaire “Get It Big”) and veterans (Lil
Keke featuring Scarface and Birdman “I’m A
G”), DJ Smallz continues to be one of the best
mixtape DJs smoking in the South.
10. SOLO & DJ Scorpio “2008-2009 GlamaGirls Calender Mix CD” www.glamagirls.com www.soloentertainment
11.Tosin & TheScrewShip.com “Stop Stealin’ Our Style”
DJs, send your mix CDs (with a cover) for
12. The DBoy Movement “Come Shop With Us Vol. 1” Hosted by Shawty Lo 786-227-2754
13. DJ 2Mello “Undercover RNB: First Look” www.myspace.com/supa_dj2mello
644 Antone St. Suite 6
Atlanta, GA 30318
14. Verseus Entertainment “Almost Famous Vol. 5” www.almostfamousshow.com
15. DJ M-Squared “The Corner Vol. 3” Hosted by Kev Brown www.myspace.com/djm_squared
16. Street Value Ent. “The Supply: Street Certified Edition” Hosted by Streetz
17. DJ Bobby Black “Down & Dirty: Special Edition Pimp C Memorabilia ” www.myspace.com/theofficialdjbobbyblack 678-851-0479
18. DJ Black Bill Gates & MLK “King Shit Radio: Hungry, Humble, Focused, Fly Vol. 2” www.myspace.com/theblackbillgates www.myspace.com/mlkng
19. DJ 31 Degreez “Forecast 17” www.myspace.com/31degreez
20. Big Mike & DJ Thoro “Soundtrack To The Streets 9” www.myspace.com/djbigmikeofficial www.myspace.com/djthoro1
OZONE MAG // 95
Fabolous & DJ Drama
THERE IS NO COMPETITION
There are a handful of artists in Hip
Hop today that somehow manage to
consistently put out mixtapes that
are hotter than their actual albums, and Fabolous definitely
makes the list. On his new mixtape, There is No Competition, Loso teams up with Drama for a Brooklyn edition of the
ever popular Gangsta Grillz series. Loso brings a barrage of quality tracks such as
“Hustla’s Poster Child,” coupling street-inspired lyrics with his trademark swagger
to outperform the Loso we find on most of his album cuts. — Rohit Loomba
Yo Gotti & DJ Smallz
Yo Gotti may not be a platinum-selling
artist, or gold for that matter, but on
the streets the name is known. And on
this DJ Smallz mixtape, the Memphis, TN rapper gets back to
the basics with more street shit that’ll keep the gangsta parties going in hoods everywhere. Tracks like “Talk To ‘Em,” “My
Niggaz” and “Hoody” are standouts, but a remake to Prince’s “Purple Rain” entitled
“Pure Cocaine” with Gucci Mane and Young Cash was a bad idea. And on “Aw Man,”
Gotti seems out of his league after Juelz Santana spits his 16. But the mixtape has
more positives than negatives, including the new single “Let’s Vibe,” where Polow
Da Don flips LL Cool J’s “I Need Love” and Pleasure P delivers on the hook. After
hearing new music on Cocaine Muzik, Gotti’s forthcoming album King of Memphis
sounds like a fitting title. — Randy Roper
Treal & DJ Smallz/The Formula (To Making Hit Music)
If you’re a fan of trap muzik, gangster
raps or 187 rhymes, than Treal isn’t the
group for you. This four-man group
from Orlando, FL is reminiscent of a time when rap music
was fun-filled and carefree. On songs like their regional hit
“I’m Not Lockdown,” “Metro” and “The Crush,” they approach
relationships from an amusing perspective that’s easy to relate to. And when they’re
addressing serious topics like the live-by-the-gun-die-by-the-gun track “The
Wrong Man Wrong Time,” their unique sing-along style draws listening in. But the
group’s biggest flaw is their lack of lyricism, as none of the members are capable of
spitting memorable verses. Nonetheless, Treal is an entertaining group that knows
how to make a hit in this ringtone-influenced state of Hip Hop. — Randy Roper
Mack Maine & DJ Smallz/Bitch
I’m Mack Maine
Listening to this CD will tell you one
of two things. One, Mack Maine can
rap his ass off. Two, Mack Maine reads
OZONE. While he forgave us for shorting Freestyle 101 of a
perfect 5 Blunts rating, he’s still a little saucy about not being
named in anyone’s Top Ten Next To Blow in last year’s OZONE
Awards issue. But according to his verse on “Young Money Nucca” he’s not sweating
any accolades anyway, because “I’m like HBO, no commercial.” Bitch I’m Mack Maine
still isn’t a 5 Blunter, but quality beat selection and production on “Other Shit,”
“Dead Body Everyday” make it a good smoker. — Maurice G. Garland
Charlamagne Tha God & DJ B
Lord/South Carolina’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1/SDM/Pure Pain
South Carolina is one of the last states
left that hasn’t cashed out on the Southern Hip Hop phenomenon. That doesn’t mean that they haven’t been staying busy
while their neighbors have enjoyed mainstream attention.
This collection of South Cack underground hits shows that
this small state has a big voice. Past songs from definitive SC rappers Pachino Dino,
Lil’Ru, Collard Greens and country fried offerings like Sauce’s “That’s What It Iz” head
up a strong show of talent. The over abundance of street-skewered subject matter
leaves a little to be desired, but with the state being known as the second most
violent in the United States, its to be expected. Quality production throughout, this
mixtape should spark an SC power move. — Maurice G. Garland
96 // OZONE MAG
DJ Scream & Rocko Da
With songs named “Really Getting’ Money,” “Money,”
“Money Ain’t An Object” and “Yeen Talkin’ Bout
Money” all appearing on this mixtape, it’s safe to
assume what Rocko’s favorite subject is. His infatuation with cash and swag can either be applauded
for staying on topic or berated for lack of variety.
With clean-but-typical trap music production
throughout, songs like “Language” and “Dis Morning” make for witty, entertaining listens. But if your
pockets aren’t quite right, you won’t appreciate
Rocko’s idea of a good time on the shop-aholic themed “Nu, Nu.” Seemingly immune to the
country’s bad economy, Swag Season will either
motivate you to “make money, money” or “take
money, money.” — Maurice G. Garland
2 Pistols & DJ Smallz/The
Jimmy Jump Introduction
With the production team J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League
cosigning him and a single with T-Pain (“She Got
It”) rising up the charts, the future looks promising
for FLA newcomer 2 Pistols. And on his formal debut
to the streets, The Jimmy Jump Introduction, Pistols
attempts to show fans the reason he’s buzzing. Although this DJ Smallz mixtape is the perfect forum
to capture the street’s attention, freestyles over
hits like “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and “I Get Money,”
aren’t enough to convince listeners of Pistols ability. “I Got That” with Young Skee, “I’m a Bad Boy”
and a snippet of “Eyes Closed” featuring Young
Jeezy are steps in the right direction but come too
few and far in between, making this a less than
notable mixtape induction. — Randy Roper
Young Snead & Yae High
(hosted by The AphilliBefore Drama and ates)/The Takeover
Cannon were ar- Continues Vol. 1
rested, having your mixtape hosted by the Aphilliates meant instance acceptance from the streets,
but things aren’t that easy anymore. On The Takeover Continues Volume One, Young Sean and Yae
High look to prove they’re the next to blow out of
the A-Town. But while the duo shows potential on
songs like “I’m a Star,” “Is U Fa Real,” and “On My
Block” featuring Lloyd, other tracks sound as if they
could have been dropped by any trap rap group out
of Atlanta. Snead and Yae have potential, but it’s
hard to determine if it’s the potential of artists that
have longevity or if “I’m a Star” will serve as a oneand-done hit from the duo. — Randy Roper
DJ Scream, MLK &
Young Dro/I Am
DJ Scream and Young
Dro team up for I Am
Legend, a mixtape Dro
fans will appreciate. Dro
brings the same formula
he did on Best Thang
Smokin’, matching his
distinct voice to a variety of bass driven beats.
On I Am Legend, Dro carries everything himself,
limiting the number of
features. Standout tracks
include “Loud,” “House
on Me,” and “Tropical.”
While Dro does have
some bright moments on
this mixtape, mediocrity
seems to plague Dro’s
music for the most part.
— Rohit Loomba
Yung Texxus/ThrowAways Vol. 1
Yung Texxus offers fans
new music with ThrowAways Vol. 1. Good beat
selection helps this
mixtape but Texxus lacks
much in terms of content. While Yung Texxus
definitely brings tracks
that are sure to tear up
your speakers he doesn’t
do much to break the
mold that seems to be
used for most music out
of the South today, failing to really set himself
apart. Standout tracks
include “Live My Life,”
“So Glorious,” and “The
— Rohit Loomba
OZONE MAG // 97
Rick Ross & Bun B
Venue: The Roxy
City: Houston, TX
Date: December 30th, 2007
Photo: Int’l K
98 // OZONE MAG