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Fleet Artist

I Dream Of $ Jigi $ by DJ Layne Luv

Jigi Cover Photo

…And just like the Jeannie from the tv show her “image” caters to the fantasy of the male wishes (and some females too lol) but seriously that is not any of her concern. The true business woman from Dayton Ohio is focused on the check daily and very little else in the way of drama or negativity. Her name is Jigi Deniro as in Spanish currency. Her movement you ask? Pretty Pesos. The rest is self explanatory.

These days everybody says they’re about the check, but what caught my attention was Jigi’s consistency. It’s one thing to constantly flood a social media timeline, but to do it in a versatile way that shows your skills, grind, hustle, and doesn’t bore the audience…now that’s saying something. For example, early risers can catch her on Wright State University’s Hip Hop WakeUp Radio on 106.9fm bringing sunshine to her loyal listeners and informing them on all the latest happenings with Ohio Hip Hop artists. You might also see her at a fund raising event empowering the youth to stay in school. And for the people involved in the night life, Jigi heavily promotes Plush Adult Night Life ENT. 

Being that she was from Ohio, I wanted to do more than interview her, I wanted to be a part of the Jigi Deniro brand. So, I called her up one day and asked her if I could have the number to her manager and the information on who does all of her marketing and branding. She replied “You’re speaking to her. That would be me, me & me” LOL! I also asked her if she wouldn’t mind being a part of a worldwide organization that promotes a represents artist in every state (Fleet DJs). She said “Are you kidding me or what?…yeah I’m down.” After speaking with Aaron and presenting her artist press package, it was a go. Jigi became an official Fleet Artist. 

But please don’t judge her by what you see on the surface. Jigi is from good stock and receives love and support from her parents and the rest of her family. I asked her if her folks were ever uncomfortable about her promoting adult entertainment (dem skrippers) and she stated “Of course, any parent wants to protect their child from the pitfalls of this world, but they know that Jigi is grown at the end of the day, that means Jigi got her own bills to pay.” …she adds “But I receive so much love and support from my family, my mother especially”

What most may not know, is that even though Jigi is from Ohio she developed her HU$TLE down south at good ol Tennessee State University. She says “Attending school down there really opened me up to diversity and life outside of my Ohio bubble. When you’ve got all that talent in one area from New York, Chicago Atlanta, and California, different personalities are going to influence creativity and you give some and you take some, but it’s all there to develop what you’re trying to become.” I want to give a shout out to my HBCU family because I still carry those connections to this day….

She’s very witty. I asked how she feels when she thinks people might think she’s doing too much…and already speaking in third person she responds…“Jigi got a whole lotta Plan A’s “ I bust out laughing. “No for real…All my Plan A’s bring in some sort of revenue or income stream for me” 

She has a single out now entitled Y.E.S. being pushed by The Fleet DJ’s however, please go to her youtube channel and check out her other two hot songs “Lost Count” and “Lingo” ft D. Seanny 

Be sure to follow her on all of the social media sites because her star is rising and she shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

@DJLAYNELUV

@Jigi_Deniro

@StraightOfficialMag

@UptownWeekly

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King Bo Bandz: It’s Good To Be The King by DJ Layne Luv

King Bo Bandz

As The Notorious B.I.G. said, “If you don’t know, now you know nigga!” Big boys been running things in the rap game for a long time. But I’m not just talking about big in stature but also how they think. But you must admit there is something fascinating about rapper that just doesn’t give a f*ck about what limitations people have, their mission is to do one thing, Smash The Game. They know they are tight with the rhymes, and the game they spit is relatable. From the first time you saw Ricky Rozay walk on stage tatted up with no shirt on….you knew he was a star. Enter… King Bo Bandz. The Worldwide Fleet DJ’s had a conference call this week, and our job was to listen to his music and offer an effective critique. I always take these calls very seriously because from the calls, journalist and DJ’s can develop a professional relationship. So I did my research and found his video on Youtube Life of a King. From my first impression, I saw the usual rap starter pack. The thuggery, video shoot in Miami, strippers with big asses, Bentley Coup, and trap references, but even with the cliche’s the song was hard. As a journalist, I know there are certain things a rapper does for appeal, but it’s my job to look for the depth of the artist. Subsequently, I went to my email and low and behold there were two other tracks for review. The songs were called Underdog and Lifestyle. Underdog put me in a mind state of the 2018 turn-up kid in the club. I then put on Lifestyle and it reminded of that Beanie Sigel The Truth flow. Bandz versality was impressive. It compelled me to take a closer look at the rapper.

By the time we got on the call, I had a lot of feedback for the rapper from Jamaica Queens NY. As we chopped it up, I noticed he listened very carefully to the questions being asked. The answers he gave let me know that Bandz was not a fly-by-night-rapper. I could tell he’d been in the game for a while. This caused me to do further research, so I went to his website and sure enough when I saw his bio, all the answers were right there in front of me of why the rapper seemed so poised and in control. But what I also read was why Bandz seemed so focused at this time in his life. Bo came into the music industry with a gentleman by the name of Russ Blade. In 2015 Blade was killed. At a time, where most artists would lose focus because of the tragedy, this increased Bandz determination to carry on the legacy of his long time friend.

As The Fleet DJ’s talked with him that night, I could tell Bandz was a people person. He stayed on the line until all critiques were given and all questions were asked. But when it got to me, he took my journalism serious including the hard critique about what records would work, and what wouldn’t work in Ohio. That scored big points with me. Hence this 1 on 1 interview for Straight Official. So at this time, I would like to present to some and introduce to others King Bo Bandz…

SO: So I’ve kinda explained who you are, but walk me through your relationship with Russ Blade and how that effects your music today.

KBB: Well, we were together since we were kids. So him and the homie Freaky Neeky in North Carolina now, started me rapping when I was about 15, 16. They had already been rapping since elementary so I was kind of like the late bloomer. When Freak moved down south, we kept it moving with me and Blade up until he got killed. So now it’s just me and I’ve just got to keep it moving the best way I know how. I’ve got my team and we good.

SO: So you’re from Queens?

KBB: You know it.

SO: So Queens artists vary from a wide range of artistry. Billy Holiday lived in Queens, A Tribe Called Quest is from Queens Saint Albans….but Mobb Deep, Cormega, and Nas are from Queensbridge but so is Shan, Marley and Shante’. How is it so much artistry that comes out of Queens from such a high crime element?

KBB: You just described the whole world man. I mean come on man, people try to mystify the hood and it’s regular people in the hood. Everybody don’t sell drugs, but there are people who do. Everybody is not in a gang but there are people that are. It’s whole families here man. But there is one common thing about people in the ghetto…those that live there are always looking for a way out. Being black like like Hov said..it seems like all we have is sports and entertainment. The trap is that this shit looks easy…but this shit aint easy at all. In facts it’s harder than a 9 to 5 because everybody wants to do it. Everybody wants to be famous. But if I had a problem with any of it, it’s when those that get on don’t create opportunities so that there are other examples to follow. But if all the kids see is so-and-so going to the league, or MC so-and-so poppin bottles and rappin, that’s all these kids are going to want to do.

SO: My biggest peeve about hood rap has always been about the influence of the babies that don’t realize Trap Music is just entertainment. I was talking to Quavo a couple years ago and he said that “you are who you are period, and any rapper that’s worth something is only gonna talk about things he knows about” So my question is …is that true? and do we as an audience have a right to hold you rappers accountable to the things you put out that our babies will listen to?

KBB: First of all, let me say Quavo is right. You can’t can’t talk about nothin you don’t know about. Just like when these rappers get on these records talkin about how much money they got. When real people know by the things you’re talkin about if you’re really gettin to the money. People that are really gettin to the money rap in detail about things somebody broke just can’t. What I’m sayin is only your true self will come across to the masses of what’s in your heart. People aren’t stupid. They know when someone is frontin. But to hold someone accountable for what they say and do…Nah, everybody grown, and everybody has choices. The bad ones you either learn from it, or keep runnin into bullshit until you do. I can only do what’s best for Bo.

SO: When it comes to Kartel Gang how hard is it to keep everybody on the same page? I say this especially knowing that most rappers put they people on from the neighborhood as staff. How do you make sure people act accordingly so that the money doesn’t get fucked up?

KBB: Ok first let me say this because I don’t wanna disrespect nobody, this is just an example. You remember when you was little and ya parents gave you that talk. “Now when you get over to ya grandmothers house don’t be on no bullshit” Communication. If we’re going in an environment where everyone can be themselves..do you, but if it’s some shit where somebody’s actions might fuck up the money…the people that can’t bring it in…might have to sit this one out. Everything ain’t for everybody. But my people know..we all trynna get to the money so we have to act accordingly in certain situations.

SO: I’ve never seen a rapper market 3 singles at the same damn time. Who’s idea was that?

KBB: Man I got songs, and it’s like you said on the call, every song ain’t gonna work in every state so Lifestyle is for my Boom Bap niggas. Underdog is for them kids in the club that wanna turn up and Life of Da King is for the followers and the fans.

SO: Lastly, what do you want people to get from your music. You really seem to know how to brand yourself as an artist.

KBB: One thing about this business is that you can’t control when it’s your time to shine. You just have to keep working. I don’t focus on individual opinions of my music. I focus on the masses. Right now I’m in a really good space and I’ve got the right team Kartel Gang. I’ve been consistent and I’ve been working hard so God willing, these songs will open doors for even greater opportunity. But some key people fucking wit me. Flex, Kay Slay, DJ Chubbie Chubb so I’ve been getting some good looks. Can’t wait to come to Ohio and fuck witchall. I’m just a dude trynna come up and tell my story.

@DJLAYNELUV

@FLEETDJS

@KINGBOBANDZ

@StraightOfficialMag

 

 

 

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*Press Play: I Look Up/ Capital P album review by DJ Layne Luv

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“….so where’s he from?” …”Delaware”…”The State?” ….”haha nah bro the city, right there from your state Ohio” This is how Capital P was presented to me via a constant DM on IG through his business partners. I must admit that for a few months, I didn’t follow up as well as I could have. Being a music critic and state manager for all of Ohio with The Fleet DJ’s, I tend to get a lot of submissions regularly. However, after I had a phone conversation with Byrd and Jamezz Bonn (Divine Engineering), I instantly felt a connection. They insisted that Capital P was the one that was going to make noise from Ohio. So I invited him up to the studio to kick it wit us just to see how he vibed with my crew. So one Wednesday, he came up to the WTMH Studio and right there on the spot, we said we were going to premier his single on our live Workout Wednesday broadcast just to see how our audience felt about his work. The single they submitted was El Hombre. I will testify, from the very first note we heard from that song, we were believers in this man’s music.

Being in this business for a while, a DJ hears a lot of music, so it really takes something special to keep an artist’s body of work from going in the pile and moving on. If you listen to Capital P’s / El Hombre first, you will be fooled into thinking he’s just another trap rapper no matter how great the song is. But when you play his entire album of Capital P/I Look Up  you’ll bear witness to artistry coming from the Delaware city. It will actually blindside you of how good Capital P really is. One of my favorite songs of the project Tuck It In takes you into the mind of a person that has seen a lot of ups and downs and of someone just trying to make sense of the world. The live guitar on this songs helps the listener drift from a stressful day into a bliss of funkdefied melody. It may actually be one of my most favorable tracks on the project.

Throughout the album you can hear the pain in the rapper’s voice. It’s a beautiful pain like that of a Bob Marley meets the rap-from-the gut-flow like Tupac Shakur. Not to even try to compare the Delaware rapper to these Legendary figures, it’s just that you can hear the same determination to change the minds in his songs. The song Good is a perfect example of that determination. As he says in the song…“I’m a get it till I’m good” the listener can truly understand Capital P will not stop until he sees some success for his labor. Once again I have to go back to the erie guitar riffs that wail, to paint the picture of a rapper with a big gift trying to push this sound out of his small city.

State of Mind you can hear Cap P making a statement. He is getting the listener to understand that the happening that go on in big cities happen right there in the city of Delaware. He wants the audience to not underestimate the crime and violence that happen where he is proud to be from. As the heroin epidemic continues to stay on the rise in Ohio, he is sounding the horn the same way Grandmaster Flash did with “The Message” when he said, “It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under” State Of Mind takes you on a day in Delaware where anything can and will happen.

Tell You What… I’m predicting will be a “ladies” summer song for 2018 in the Midwest. It’s a melodic song where the rapper tries on his vocal skills for size and delivers nicely. It’s always been a formula for rappers to come out with the radio song right before the summer. This is that song. When Cap P actually played that song for me on my radio show, I asked him “So when do you come in on the song?” they all laugh and he says “That is me through the whole song” I’m like “That you singing?”….and he grins . That was another time when I became a believer in his music.

Overall, I give this album a high rating because of the production and arrangement of all the songs. It’s a solid project! You can tell time was taken on the mixing and mastering of all the songs. When I listened to this entire album, it’s like reading a book. The content has to be just as exciting as the title. I Look Up is just that exciting to listen to.

****

Out of 5 stars I would give it 4 based on production and lyrical content….5’s are given for classic albums and only the rest of the world can give him that. Let’s see if I Look Up is a game changer for OHIO.

-@DJLAYNELUV

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Hey Young World! The Paragon Project by Delayne Whiteside

paragon_project_0

Have you ever been to a high school talent show and as the performers did their thing,  you knew that the potential was there in each and every kid, but the talent still needed to develop? Or let’s say you went to a high school musical and you were able to distinguish the high schoolers that took their craft seriously as opposed to the ones that needed that drama credit to graduate? Well that wasn’t the case when it came to the students of Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center last Friday. This vocational school in Columbus, Ohio offers career study in business and health, however the school is mostly known for it’s Performing & Visual arts. On Friday Jan. 5 2018 I was invited by The Maroon Arts Group to come check out the cd release for The Paragon Project. The students were chosen based on their talent and skill to contribute to this project. TPP is the  brainchild of Dr. Tony Anderson, that happens to be the assistant principal of Fort Hayes. Dr. Anderson is a part of the growing number of professionals that have played a major part in the Hip Hop industry in their younger years, and are now making contributions in education with the experience of their former music backgrounds. Anderson spent years on the management side and the production team of Hip Hop band The Roots before they went to late night television with Jimmy Fallon. He also received direct tutelage from the late Rich Nichols, (official manager of the The Roots.) Jason Rawls better known as J. Rawls, producer for hip hop greats such as Mos Def & Talib Kweli, is another hip hop icon of Columbus Ohio that just received his doctorate last year, and he has plans in the future of opening a grade school with a hip hop based curriculum. Kudos to them!

Anyway, getting back to the experience. Upon entering the auditorium of the Columbus Performing Arts Center on Franklin Ave., I was amazed at the turnout. There were people willing to stand in the aisles because the place was packed. “We were blown away by the turnout, I mean, we did all the due diligence in terms of marketing, but nothing prepared us for the wall to wall standing room turnout, the kids were definitely moved by it.” says Dr. Anderson. I walked in on a cover performance sung by MyKesha Corbin “Love On The Brain” originally performed by pop artist Rihanna. The crowd roared with excitement as the student body, that took up the first three rows, cheered her on. The next performance returned me into the b-boy of yesteryear. TPP did a cover of “Ain’t Nobody” by Chaka Khan and I commenced to pop locking right there in the rows. From there, the audience and I had one thing in common…we knew these kids were special and that was just the warm-up.

After a brief intermission filled with networking and fine cuisine provided by Willowbeez SoulVeg vegan eatery, the students took to the stage to present their original music. Mind you, being in this business for 21 years, I can usually tell the difference between locally recorded music and industry production. I was astonished. Every track I heard felt like it belonged on the radio or in a motion picture score. What was more intriguing was the videos that told the stories behind the songs. Each student received a chance to interpret the song for the listening audience. One particular song resonated with me. Get Back To Me by Abby Deneke is on constant repeat in my playlist. Not only is the song remarkably written, the production and arrangement would give SZA or Kehlani a run for their money. The song talks about making a decision to separate yourself from something or someone you love to regain yourself and your focus back. “Sometimes we love something too much and we end up losing ourselves. I wrote this song based on something personal I was dealing with, and creating it served as a bit of therapy for me” says Deneke. The next song I enjoyed off of the cd was “We Go High”. It’s a fun song with a house tempo by Pia Monagan. The songs takes it’s cues from the Michelle Obama speech during the 2016 presidential campaign. Monagan cleverly infused Obama’s speech into her song. “We really invested in breakout sessions and presented round table discussions to get the kids to open up and be themselves. That allowed them to move freely in their craft.” says Dr. Anderson 

DJ Mr. King from Power 107.5fm (WCKX) hosted the evening and was quite supportive of the youth. “I wanted to come from behind that curtain and start dancing with them” say King. One parent said “Their level of talent is unbelievable. While some children are thinking about new outfits or the next party, these kids work tirelessly to hone their skill and continue to advance. If they stick with it, their dedication will take them far.”

The Paragon Project project is being well received by a number of media outlets around Central Ohio and across the nation. Dr. Tony Anderson is dedicated to seeing his students learn not only their craft, but the music business as well. He says in closing “Rich Nichols (RIP) manager of The Roots was my mentor. He was so wise, not only about the business, but his philosophies dealing with life were awesome. He taught me things no book can teach you about this industry. Little pieces of information he dropped on me I still use to this day. I’m  just looking to impart that same wisdom into my kids. I’m very proud at what they have accomplished” 

The Paragon Project is a great musical investment. It is now available on all streaming sites. And for all you  music snobs, it will be a great way to brag, knowing you may have a piece of artistry before any of these artists actually become rich and famous.

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

@TheParagonProject

#AsSeenInColumbus

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Let’s Talk About Haven: Soul Singer Renee Dion speaks to DJ Layne Luv

Haven Renee

How do you really interpret being a fan of an artist you know personally? And how does one explain that fanship when you are involved in the inner circle of the artist movement within that city? Can one speak objectively without bias? I’ll try my best. I came to know of this female sultry soul singer by way of a poet I used to date. From her introduction, I grew to know of all of the players within that artsy scene from Wali Crowder (poet), to B Jazz and The Liquid Crystal Project to DJ Krate Digga (eclectic DJ) to Lawrence Lemon (dancer extraordinaire). But around 2011, Columbus Ohio was buzzing by the release of Eric Roberson’s Mr. Nice Guy. Of course the city of Columbus has an adoration for the grammy-nominated singer, but the talk was more that of his generosity, almost an ode if you will, to the place that continues to give him so much love. Roberson included most of the artist aforementioned on his project, and from there I started to hear more and more about the songstress they call Renee Dion who was also a feature on Mr. Nice Guy.

With each project released, with each live performance, I became more of a supporter of Dion’s movement. Even witnessing her sing the national anthem for our 44th president Barack Obama was nothing short of amazing. In 2014, she dropped her project Moonlight off at my radio show, and my crew at the time and I were blown away at the maturity of her sound. We played every track for the entire show. By that time Dion was gaining momentum on the music scene….then all of the sudden “POOF” she disappeared. For a year and a half I would see her appear at a few music events around town or see her with her students from my window at that bank I was working at. (she was a school teacher at a school next door). But still no spark of music until around the end of October 2017. I started hearing from her chief supporter (her husband) she had a project coming out. He showed up at the club passing out her project to all the DJ’s but I was on the set and by the time I got done, the project was sold out. I ended up having to wait for the release date to hear it, and believe you me it was worth the wait. Haven put me in a trance from the first track I played.

I’m the type of person that believes everyone has a path and I follow good energy, so when I heard that my long time friend Jonathan Baker helped out on a lot of the arrangements for Haven, it made perfect sense why I was drawn to this project. Baker is an extremely talented genuine guy. I also felt that Dion was coming from a personal place. She’s a private person, but if you follow her life on social media and in real life…you know she’s in love and she’s been in love for quite some time. A story that is very rare in this day and age. Dion and her husband Artist Eric Jefferson don’t do it for the vine either, their love story is real. Those that listen to Haven can feel that story in the songs. So if you are in love, looking to be in love , or you just simply have questions about it…you can use Haven as to what that looks like.

I caught up with the songstress and I wanted her to break down some key elements of this masterpiece. Without further adieu …..Renee Dion…..

SO: Hey Renee, considering I just interviewed a musician you know well Ill Poetic and him taking 10 years to finish his project, and knowing it took you a few years to complete Haven, explain how difficult the process is to bring about a project with the musicality both of your projects possess.

RD: Oooh wee! (laughs to self) well after Moonlight I sort of hit a brick wall and I had to ask myself the question all artist get to a point of asking. Do I want to keep doing this, or do I want to let this go and just stop? I then made a decision, and with my mouth I told my husband…”I’m done with music” and from there was an almost immediate shift in my life from health problems to personal relationships.. things were just off. Speaking to that, I learned that when we abandon our purpose and what God has given us to do, things will shift and things can change until we find that path again. So as I stated, I was going to walk away but something kept bringing me back to it, and more and more I began to  find inspiration. I was finding inspiration everywhere, from listening to my best friend T. Wong evolve to lyrics just coming to me out of no where…and I started thinking to myself like “Are we done?” So my husband and I turned one of our bedrooms into a recording studio and I began to tinker around, and from that, the creativity started flowing …like if you ever saw the movie with Bruce Leroy …I had the glow (we both crack up) but when I started to show these songs to Jonathan (Baker) …first of all this man is truly talented, but I truly love his musicianship, so when he began to add his musical flavor, that’s when Haven started coming to life.

SO: If I could give this album a positive critique, you sound the most confident on this album than your previous projects. Songs like Uno (I really like that song btw) have your signature sound, but you can also hear growth and confidence in these songs. What made the difference on you taking risk vocally on this project?

RD:  I would say, when you take ownership and responsibility from other people’s hands, no slight to any other producer I’ve worked with…but once I had to sit in this studio and hammer out these songs myself, and I had to figure out production nuances and truly trust myself to express what was coming from my heart, I would say the confidence to elevate happened organically from those experiences. If you really want to know who Renee Dion is…Listen to Haven. 

SO: Considering we’re saying goodbye to 2017…We had a number of bare-your-soul albums from music’s royal family The Carters. 4:44 setting the tone for truth in music. Listening to Haven you can hear these songs coming from a real place. Did your husband inspire those songs?

RD: Well, honestly speaking the entire album is about him. But it’s also about me, my relationship with God and my relationship with people. When it comes to my music, I’m attracted to really beautiful sounds, so sometimes the music can stand on it’s own and overshadow the lyrics based on the sounds I prefer. However on this project, if you stripped the production and listened to just the words, you’ll hear my vulnerability, my fears, my questions and me dealing with myself. I’m still continuing to learn how to be a wife, and my husband is still learning to be patient with me as I find my way, as I am with him and these thoughts are what come out in the music. Life is about continual self discovery.

SO: It seems like your songs speak to women in love or looking for love. In a time where trust in relationships is a rarity and often times scary, what would you say to those women looking for love in 2018?

RD: Wow that’s a deep question and loaded hahaha but I’ll try to answer. I’ll say this to my single women waiting for love. Don’t lose your affection, don’t lose your vulnerability by being guarded. What do they say, “you can’t receive a blessing with a closed fist”, so you have to remain open to love no matter how great the potential of you being hurt again. With each experience there is a lesson until you reach the destiny God has called you to reach. The problem lies for most people is that they look to all sorts of media like Facebook and Instagram and the wrong outlets for guides to relationships. However that is so far from the truth of what love really is.

Listen, people look at my husband and I funny because wherever they see me they see him and vice versa. If he has a showing I’m right there, if  I have a singing engagement he’s right there as my No. 1 supporter. And it’s not based on a level of insecurity. Our presence is a sense of protection in this crazy world. Furthermore, we enjoy each others company. I sometimes go to events and there are married women and men showing up to events by themselves and wonder why they get involved in single activities. Don’t get me wrong our marriage is still work but it’s less work when you work at it and stay in tune with your significant other. Recognizing and dealing with things when things are off are another way to build strong relationships. But people have to be willing to let go of pride and ego to accomplish that. Communication is Everything. Eric is my husband and I protect him and his art just like he does for me…that’s the best advice I can give Layne.

SO: Where can people purchase your music and what events do you have going on right now?

RD: So they can purchase the music on iTunes and we just did Healing Haven and The Black Infinity a few days ago but those events and more are the many things to come in 2018. Just follow me on Instagram and Twitter under @ReneeDionMusic and please visit my web page reneedion.com

SO: Thank you so much for spending the day with us. Haven is definitely a instant soul classic.

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

@FleetDJs

@StateOfHip_Hop

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[Music Video] Mylezia “Party of One”

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It’s finally here the 23 yr old Delaware born R&B sensation Mylezia’s  debut music video for her latest single “Party of One”. I really like this joint and the video provided the perfect vibe to the sensual, no holds bar single ladies anthem. I’m Looking forward to hearing and seeing more.  This is just the beginning for the young pop star and Fleet Artist.  I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of her  #BOOM

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The Spaceship Ride Wit The New ATLA..iens by DJ Layne Luv

Daz & Gipp 2gether

Ok so I’m working in my office in the official blogging headquarters of WTMH Radio/StraightOfficial Ohio/State Of Hip Hop.com and I’m in one of those blah moods. All of the sudden my Telegram alerts are lighting up out of control. It’s the CEO of The Fleet DJ’s Klassik and he wants to know if I’d be available to interview Daz Dillinger of The Dogg Pound and Big Gipp of Goodie Mob. He said “Yo! I’m giving this to you because you really know how to put together great interviews…don’t let me down” But that’s not what I’m thinking… My mind automatically goes back to being in Sigonella Italy in January of 1993 and having two tapes in my walkman to get me through a Naval tour. Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and Redman’s Whut Thee Album. Then in 1995,  the month I’m released from the Navy…I’m in the post office hating life and the only two tapes that get me through are Goodie Mob’s Soul Food and D’angelo’s Brown Sugar. So to be able to talk to these guys was more than an honor…they really shaped my young adult life.

It’s 2pm Eastern time and the phone rings promptly. I look on the caller ID and immediately I see it’s a Los Angeles California number. Presumptuous I just answer..”Dat Nigga Daz!”….and in true Long Beach vernacular he replies “Whaddup homie?” I want to continue the conversation but I can’t stop smiling. This is gonna be a true “for the culture” phone call. These two were right in the middle of Hip Hop when it shifted in 1995 from East and West coast prominence to The South Uprising. But to see The South and West collaborate under one groove….DJ Layne Luv is here for this.

SO: Let’s just skip all the propers…how did y’all two muh fuchas decide to get together one day and make some music?

Bigg Gipp: Man Daz jus called me up one morning and said let’s make some music. I showed up..DJ Funky and Cool Dolla and Henry West was in there already cookin.. Then I heard the beat. I instantly loved it man. Daz made the hook…I went outside…when I come back in he had the hook and the verse laid. But I wasn’t ready. So I smoked a blunt..took it home and sat on it for a day or two…came back to the studio. Daz said you ready and I said yeah I’m ready…laid down the verse and the finished product was Type Of Girl. That was the first song we did.

SO: I’m very skeptical when veterans come back and make music because there is a dilemma of walking away from the game holding the hand in the air for The Final Shot…preserving the legacy versus coming back in a Washington Wizards Jersey. But Type Of Girl seems to fit right in with the music we are hearing today. How does feel to still be in touch with what’s going on?

Daz: I’m not gonna lie, it feels great! To still be able to do what you love and the people still respond to it with approval. We just keep thriving. As long as you have a good heart, you breathing and your health is good..from that point it’s about elevatin the game. And staying consistent. I’ve alway been able to be myself no matter where I’m at and I’m grateful for that.

SO: Man when I reminisce on how LA music make me feel and how Dungeon Family music made me feel, it just feels like a good time..like a backyard cookout…blended with a lot of herbal essence as the elixir….does that help with the vibe of the records you all put out?

DAZ: Man we are doing just that right now as we speak (Laughter in the background from all the niggas in the studio hahaha) DJ Marijuana is IN THE HOUSE….(I can’t control my laughter at this point) Seriously it doesn’t help it or hurt it, It’s helps most rappers to relax so the thoughts and creativity and push through. You can smoke weed and still make a wack song, we just happen to be good and what we do and the weed helps with that.

SO: So Daz as good as you are a rapper, you’re also one hell of a producer and you’ve engineered some classic West Coast bangers…one of my favorites being Tupac’s “Got My Mind Made Up” ..so two questions. Who’s producing your music now and tell our audience what it was like working under the tutelage of Dr. Dre?

DAZ: So Cool Dolla is our producer right now but we are working with anyone that got heat for real…

But when you talk about Dre and those years…whew….Man at first I was just puttin shit together that I thought sounded good. And then Dre would walk by the studio and say…I like this…or I don’t like that and I was just in there learning from him. But it all changed the day he said “Here Daz, I’ll let you use my drum machine” I don’t know what happened but from that one thing…it all changed and I created Rat A Tat Tat and all that shit…but seriously Warren G is who helped me get the most out of Dre’s drum machine. But Dre showed me how to put the beat on tracks and put stuff around it to make the beat sound fuller. Dre helped me out a lot.

SO: SO Gipp being that ATL has been a residence in the rap game for more than a decade going on two…how do you feel that your city has had such a long reign in music? It was a time that Hip Hop bounced around every ten years or so, but it seems that ATL has a stronghold on the game right now. How do you feel about that?

GIPP: It feels great, how these kids are taking the foundation that The Dungeon Family started and taking the ball and running with with. You see down south, we encourage growth, so when we see these kids creating, making their own beats and creating their own sound, that’s what keeps the music going for us…and quite frankly…as long as there is STRIP CLUBS…you always gonna hear ATL music. (A Loud laughter in the studio again) You can tell when you got a banger..is when them strippers start moving to it. Our music is a music that transcends gender or race. It’s family and it’s hood. I got nothing but respect for these young millionaires Migos, Metro Boomin, Mike Will Made It, Future, Young Thug, South Side, Colli Park they continue to push the culture by taking this music worldwide. I love it.

SO: So Gipp let me take you back to The Source Awards in 95′ . When 3 Stacks said “The South Got Something to say” Did you even guess that those words would be prophetic and set off the ATL revolution?

GIPP: Man to tell you the truth, I was on stage with him and I couldn’t hear let alone focus on what Dre was saying. We was all in fight mode. It was so rowdy and noisy in there, you could feel the tension to the point where any and everything could have jumped off… and we was ready. We was all on the defensive at that moment so I didn’t really hear what Dre said until years later when I saw the tape. But looking back, yes it was prophetic and I’m glad he said it, because the south took that baton and we never looked back.

SO: SO when can we expect the full album fellas?

DAZ: Late winter, early spring…just in time for them coasters and them honeys. ATLA baby!!!

SO: Well I thank y’all for taking time out of yall’s studio session to holler at ya boy. Much success to you both bringing the south and the west together to stir up a good pot of gumbo.

DAZ: Thank you Layne Luv and Straight Official for having us and big shout out to The Fleet DJ’s for playing our music!!! Much Respect!!! Respect The DJ!

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

@BigGippGoodie

@DazDillinger

@FleetDJs

@UptownWeekly

 

 

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Master Class: Duane DaRock by DJ Layne Luv

Duane DaRock Long Way

Napoleon Hill goes on record with his book Think And Grow Rich telling the reader the very day he was sent on a mission to seek out the most successful people in the nation at that time, and develop a formula for how they became that way. The proposition was set by steel giant Andrew Carnegie. The two things I took from that fateful encounter is that successful men act quickly and change their minds slowly. 2nd, is belief,  will take you further than you can ever imagine. My point is, had Napoleon Hill let the knock of opportunity pass him by, by not recognizing a jewel (opportunity) handed to him from greatness, he might have robbed the world of some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time inspired by his book. In July of 2017, in a conference room in Raleigh North Carolina, filled with DJ’s and radio personalities, I also felt the knock of opportunity when I heard the story of Duane DaRock…as told by Duane DaRock, and my journey has not been the same since. When he told the story of being homeless, I was at the time on the verge of being homeless and I didn’t know how I was going to get to North Carolina, let alone eat while I was down there. But one week before his breaking point…his life changed. One chance meeting with a legendary rapper solidified his place in music history. Ladies and Gentleman… Legendary Producer Duane DaRock.

SO: Mr. DaRock, so glad you could join Straight Official today. When you spoke at the Fleet Music Conference this past summer, you had something different to say vs, just talking about the music business itself, you wanted to drive home positive energy and vibrations. What made those things the forefront of your message?

DD: Well I’ve known about the power of vibration since I was 4 years old and the gift that came with that was being in tune with the vibrations of the universe and whatever you think about you bring about. The game changer for me was when my grandfather died when I was 12, that’s when I jumped in the music business which makes 32 years being in the music game. I will solely accredit the things I’ve accomplished in this business based on it being all about positive energy, good vibrations.

SO: So where did determination play a factor in your will to make it in the music business?

DD: Like I said I knew at the age of 12 what I wanted to do, so I let nothing or no one take me off of that path. So in 93′ I started producing records with the help of a man by the name of Steven Brown. He was a jazz musician. What happened was, I couldn’t find anyone to make beats for me being that I was from the Boston area. So I learned what I could until eventually I became self contained until the fateful day I met Big Daddy Kane. From there I started producing beats for Digable Planets, Kool Moe Dee, Rakim, LL Cool J and the list goes on.

SO: I know the story , but for those that need to hear this, tell the inspiring story of how you met Big Daddy Kane.

DD: Ok so I was homeless. My girl kicked me out and I was bouncing from place to place and I was starving. I was starving to the point my homie said I needed to go get some food assistance. I got all the way there and something came over me and I said NO! I’m dope…I’m dope. I went home to make some rice because it’s all I had to eat….as I’m pouring the rice in the pot, a jar from the cabinet falls and breaks into the pot of rice. I pick out the big pieces but mind you the little pieces are still in there, I literally ate glass that night. This sparked not only a fire but a fearlessness in me. About a week later, I went to the Big Daddy Kane concert on a mission to let Kane hear my beats. I tell the security that I’m one of Kane’s dancers. Security wasn’t having it. So as fate would have it, a fight broke out distracting security and so I ran. I didn’t know where I was running to, but I ran right into the back of Big Daddy Kane. I told him what I did and he listened to the beats. While he’s doing this, I can see security coming to get me. And in true Kane cool fashion. He gives this look to say, “Can’t you see he’s with me?” The very next day I’m in the studio with Kane and I’m officially in the music business. But let’s be clear…I’ve been homeless even two other times after that. I’ve made money, lost it, made it again. It was a clear lesson from God to stay humble. The Lord giveth and he taketh away.

SO: You and Jadakiss seem to have a trusting working relationship. How did that come about?

DD: I met Jadakiss through the actor Duane Martin. I did a song for a movie called Hustle and Heat. Duane Martin and Jadakiss both played in that movie, so through working together, we just kept building until eventually we ended up doing the song Letter To Big with Faith Evans which ended being the main song on the Biggie movie. But let me backtrack. I met Faith one night because I was hungry and I listened to my craving and went to Fat Burger. What I thought was a craving, was in fact that I was being guided by the vibrations. When I saw her, I told her about my studio, she came back and heard a couple tracks and that night I penned the hook to Letter To Big.

SO: What do you say to the theory that people sell their souls to get into the music industry?

DD: First of all, your soul is not for sale, so you can’t literally sell your soul. But I will say that when you go against who you are to gain some sort of stardom or unearned favor, you are then going against who you are morally and that’s why you see the heavy drugs and heavy drinking because some people in the industry have made deals that compromise who they were, so they drink to escape their now reality. You can be in this business without succumbing to the tricks of people trying to tap into your inner core of who you are. But thats why you have to operate on a high vibration so you can recognize and avoid that trap.

“When you link with demonic forces for superficial gain, you go against the will of God and that’s what selling your soul means to me.” -Duane DaRock

SO: Who’s responsible for how you ethically move throughout the music business and keep your integrity?

DD: HAHAHAHA make sure you put this in there. And put my laugh in big bold letter too. There so many artists today that wouldn’t have gotten where they are without the people they shitted on, pimped and played. A lot of ghost writers and ghost producers will never see the light of day. They receive no credit and are getting robbed regularly. But these are they same people responsible for the success you see in today’s artists. A lot of people at the top…stole their way to the top. There are a lot of wolves in this industry, but I consider myself a lion. A Lion moves gracefully and knows it rules that land. A Lion commands and takes what he wants when he is hungry. A wolf plots, plans and preys on anything weaker. A wolf is constantly looking to devour, a Lion attacks only when necessary .

SO: What’s your final word for today’s up and coming musicians?

DD: When you’re tapped in to your inner guidance, it will tell you what you need to do. Stop saying “I’m chasing my dreams.” If someone tells you to “Chase your dreams” smack the shit out of em. Anything you are chasing is obviously running away from you. The words you want to use is that I’m attracting my reality…I am manifesting my dreams. You’re talking about the guy that was homeless three times yet Kevin Hart used my song about struggle to be the main song for his movie. It can happen for you if you believe in yourself. I’m Duane DaRock and I stand by what I’ve said.

@DJLAYNELUV

@DuaneDaRock

@StraightOfficialMag

@StateOfHip_Hop

@FleetDJs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[FEATURED ARTIST] E-Reign: The Future Of New York by DJ Layne Luv

E-Reign NYC

When a rapper dubs themselves the “future” of anything, best believe they have the confidence to know that the energy they are putting out foretells their success among the masses to come. It’s been a long time since New York City has held the crown as the reigning capital of rap music. Atlanta has held that title for a while judging by the amount of rappers that gets top priority radio spins and project sales. Even though the public may see the likes of Remy Ma, Nicki Minaj and now Cardi B all from New York getting their shine (Shout out to the leading ladies of rap right now)….however, it’s still many miles away… in fact light years from The Golden Era where 80 % of the industry rappers during that time were from New York.

Nowadays the internet has leveled the playing field for both rappers, producers and DJ’s and artists alike. The no longer need “the industry machine” behind them to be successful. Chance The Rapper has inspired so many independent artist to stay independent and E-Reign from Queens NY is no different. His grind is definitely being noticed on the east coast and he’s hustling everyday to become known in other states across the nation. The young rapper has the business savvy to put together independent tours with him as the headliner. From high quality music videos to riot energy live shows….E-Reign will definitely have the masses paying attention real soon.

Ladies and Gentleman… E-Reign.

SO: Glad you could join us man. Let’s just get right into it. On a lot of your promotions I see the slogan “Future of New York” ..for the audience, what does that mean?

ER: My team and myself, are just trying to bring something new and fresh to the table. That slogan is meant to inspire no matter where you’re from. I know some people might see that term as something braggadocio, but I’m not just talking about myself. I’m putting on for my city but I’m putting that energy out there to the world. I’m talking about my generation, my culture. So much pressure is put on us millennials to adapt to what was…and we don’t want to be told what represents us…WE want to establish what represents us and for that to be embraced. I may articulate that in a different way as opposed to someone down in Atlanta, but we are basically saying the same thing…we are the future…hate it or love it.

SO: I’m noticing most successful independent artist have a strong team behind them. How do you keep your team focused and on the same page?

ER: Yeah man, the key to a lot of it is staying true and loyal to those you started from the bottom with. From there I tend to keep a lot of things in-house because the trust has already been established from way back. By learning each other…things gel together, like when you’re playing basketball…if I shoot that pass, I know who’s going to be there to catch it. Honesty, also goes a long way. You can’t have a lot of “Yes” people on your team. There has to be people in place to tell you the truth so you’re not out in public looking stupid.

SO: What other states do you feel like you’re getting traction in other than New York?

ER: We’re definitely making noise down in Philadelphia. North Carolina has shown me a lot of love and our new spot is Miami. We did a show down there and it was crazy so….and we continue to just keep networking with the brand so hopefully you know, by politickin wit you ….maybe we can get it in Ohio too haha. (pun intended)

SO: So what are you working on right now?

ER: So recently I just dropped my new mixtape The New York Times Vol 1., and so the team and I are promoting that real heavy,…. and then we’re also working on a single called “Whatchu Sayin” and we’re going to be shooting a video for that as well. Other than that , just continuing to tear down these live shows to give the people their money’s worth.

SO: Ok here’ s the typical cliche question LOL, Who would you say your music is influenced by?

ER: Tupac of course and Nas….Lyrical storytellers by far that not only cause you to think but through their rhymes you can see vividly the picture they are painting to the listener. And I mean of course the no-brainers being from New York…The Jay-Z’s and The Biggie’s of the world.

SO: Lastly, where can someone find your music?

ER: Very easy, go to www.ereignmusic.com or you can find my music on all streaming sites. iTunes, Tidal, Spotify, all the heavy hitters. I just want to show love and get some back you know?

SO: Well thank you for chopping it up with us. We are looking for gigantic things to happen for you in 2018

ER: Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. One.

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

@EReignesm

 

 

 

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