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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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[FEATURE] David Banner: 601 comes to the 614 by DJ Layne Luv

David Banner Lecture Ohio

Sept 27th 2017, Jackson Mississippi rapper David Banner calls up 106.7fm The Beat in Columbus Ohio and receives some disturbing news. He was told that a rumor circulating the city was that he would more than likely not show up to the lecture event Speak Your Truth Summit. Shortly after the interview Mr. Banner went right to Instagram to confirm that he indeed was coming to our city and that he was proud to come to our town. Within that one minute video, you saw integrity, compassion and a deep rooted southern pride to always keep your word no matter what it costs. All qualities of being a real man.

If you have grown with David Banner like I have since the hit song Like A Pimp ft Lil Flip or major production credit on T.I.’s monumental album Trap Muzik (2003), then you know that the 2017 David Banner is not the same one we know from 2003. Of course David Banner always told well rounded stories, such as Cadillacs on 22’s referencing the death of Emmett Till and other misfortunes in his home state, but after 2006, we started to see a change and conviction in his approach to music. Maybe it was those Katrina waters of 2005 that destroyed his beloved state that brought about the enlightenment. Go back in time and remember how pissed he was when the world witnessed with it’s own eyes that the President of the United States George W. Bush didn’t give a damn about the poor and disfranchised in Florida, Mississippi, Texas and of course the city hit the worst New Orleans. This was his family that was suffering and he was the only voice fit to sound the alarm in the time period to speak about his state of emergency. (pun intended)

The Great Malcolm X said in his autobiography…once the light is turned on inside you cannot turn it off. Well Mr. Banner’s light continues to shine brighter and brighter as he brings awareness to the plight of being Black In America especially in the southern states. When Straight Official caught up with Banner…I had a lot on my mind. I was extremely perplexed. I witnessed and reposted the murder of Patrick Harmon of Salt Lake City Utah on my Uptown Weekly Instagram page. Not to mention being close to the case of Timothy Davis in Columbus Ohio. In that particular situation, by all means, we are grateful that young man is still alive. However, with strain and intensity in my eyes, I told Mr. Banner…”Sir, there’s a lot of people that don’t know….but I know you know….Please shed some light on how long we have to endure these horrendous acts in front of our face as we standby appearing to be helpless.”

Understand I come to piss people off and make them uncomfortable. Because pain brings about attention quickly. Listen, a warrant, smoking weed, running, none of that is justifiable in killing someone. I’m not just talking about black people. Whatever color they are, if they are not directly posing a threat to a police officer and they’re just running away, my friend there is no reason for anyone to get shot. See, white people have gotten black people to think like them, so when we see someone jammed up by the police, the first thing we think in the back of our mind is ..damn what that n***a do? Now unless that man (Harmon) was wanted for murder, then shooting him doesn’t make any sense. You see, we also have to stop echoing their bullshit media commentary, just like in the Kaepernick situation. They wanna say kneeling is a disrespect to our troops. Well, the last time I checked, America treats it’s troops like shit. So as I’ve said on many stages, the only way to get “the power’s” attention is either by the loss of money or the loss of life.”

I spoke with David Banner for about 15 more minutes, and then it was time for him to get whisked away to the stage for his lecture. As he stood before the crowd he commanded everyone to turn off their cell phones from going live at his show. His reasoning is that he feels African Americans already give away too much for free. “We have to start getting paid for our talents and gifts” he states. He also said in front a semi-light audience “If folks wanted the experience, they should have brought their ass to the show.”

He then passed out his CD #Godbox to the entire audience, and then had enough time to play snippets from two songs for the appreciative crowd. He proceeded to break down why conscious music may not sell the way mainstream music does. “One reason muh fuchas may not buy ya shit is cuz it ain’t jammin. Just because your music has a message in it doesn’t mean it should suck.” As he states that Godbox is one of the most important albums to hip hop in the history of it, only the keepers of this culture and art form can co-sign that prediction. And just as we saw of 4:44, #Godbox did not have the nightclubs in mind this go round, but instead another project to wake up the minds.

After the show, David Banner showed true southern hospitality and shook as many hands and took as many pictures as he could with those that had to wait patiently almost two hours for the rapper/producer to take the stage. And he also gave many kudos to the organizer of the event Ms. Tomiqua Perry for her hard work and determination. 

Lastly at David Banner’s request he wanted me to quote him saying “This is the first time I’m saying this to Black America on your article brother. Don’t be afraid, they are killing us anyway so continue to stand and speak out against injustice. They’ll kill you for obeying the law, (Philando Castile) so don’t be afraid. We have been so conditioned to be afraid of white people. I’ll say this for the first time too, most black people praise white people more than they’re own religion. They’ll cheat on their wife, kill another brother, lie, steal, do everything that bible told them not to do, but will not take a stand against wrong-doing white folks. Use that, don’t take that out, quote quote mutha fucha hahahaha. Because we have to address our conditioned mentality for change to  happen as well.”

Thank you Mr. Banner for coming to our city and opening up the minds to Speak Their Truth. And be sure to pick up #GodBox on all streaming outlets (iTunes Tidal, Spotify etc)

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

@DavidBannerLikesPictures

@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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[FEATURE] Dear Urban Immigrant Merchants: “An Open Letter by DJ Layne Luv”

Immigrant Merchant

Dear Urban Immigrant Merchants:

First of all let me start off by saying Congratulations! According to favorable statistics, you have overcome many obstacles to make it to the free world that they call the United States of America. Indeed there is great suffering all over this globe, so there is no telling what you and your family may have had to go through to establish residency in the US of A whether permanent or temporary. And of all things, you have not only made it to the land of opportunity, you have chosen what some may call the most riskiest of occupations. You have chosen to open a business in the urban community to sell your product and services to African Americans.

I commend you on your enterprising spirit, that you have carved a profitable way to provide for you and your family. However, your stereotypical behavior toward African Americans is where the relationship gets a little tricky. I need you to understand that the money you receive from urban neighborhoods is what causes your business to thrive. And before any particular ethnic group takes offense to this letter, let it be clear that I am addressing ALL urban immigrant merchants. Asian, African, Middle Eastern, Indian, Caribbean, and even including our Latin brothers and sisters and any other possible ethnic groups I left out. If you have opened your business doors to the public and you are accepting African American dollars, there are some things that need to be put On The Table. (pun intended)

While my views may not speak for the entire African American community, I know a lot of them share my sentiment. The grievance I have with you is the way we are sometimes treated by your culture. As if your relationship with us is only transactional. Yes we are aware, African American culture is THE highest consuming culture in the world. However, it has even been rumored by a few of YOUR brothers and sisters and told directly to me that, most times your culture is debriefed before you set up shop in the neighborhood (“hood”) that African Americans are rude, obnoxious, lazy people that don’t care about anything but making babies, looking good and getting high. You are told that by no means should you trust us. That if you turn your back AA’s will rob you blind. Not to mention, media portrayal, rap videos and hood movies don’t aid to dispel this belief. Sometimes you are even correct in your assumptions & belief in the ignorance that comes from people of the ghetto. However you take that “ghetto” money to put your children through private school and college. You use that “ghetto” money to establish living quarters and purchase property for as much family that you can bring to this country. You also use that “ghetto” money to send back to support your family in your home country.

I know I know! Shame on us for not opening up our own convenience store 30 plus years ago. Shame on us for not owning and controlling our own hair supply stores. Luckily we’ve started to in-house nail-techs in beauty salons and we still for the most part control that and barbershops, but shame on us yet and still because we don’t own the building which means money is still flowing out to other cultures hands.

Yet after you’ve made a living from the community you snub your nose at….this is a true story I witnessed. 3 African American children come into the convenience store. I was in the store with my two friends. We were getting keys made because we just inked a deal to merge three businesses…I digress. Anyway, the owner (Indian decent) yells at the children. “One at a time! Only one child in my store at a time! Only one can go and get what you need, you other two have to stand by the door so that I can keep my eyes on all of you” (I swear I can’t make this shit up) The owner then turns to us three gentleman and says to us “I know they are going to steal” and proceeded to give the nod of approval like we were going to agree with this racial discrimination. I got so pissed I left my friends at the counter saying “I don’t have time for his bullshit today.”

In the past three years I’ve seen immigrant merchants call the police on people that regularly patronize your store. One case in particular is the case of Eric Garner from Staten Island NY that lost his life for allegedly selling “loosies” in front of the convenience store. But this last case right here in my hometown of Columbus Ohio took the cake for me. The brutal beating of Timothy Davis in a Columbus Ohio convenience store was appalling. Even after all the video and articles I’ve read, I’m still not educated to speak thoroughly about this case. But what I did witness was either the owner or storekeeper looking on as if Mr. Davis deserved the punishment he was receiving by Columbus Police. The storekeeper even went as far as trying to aid the police cover up their horrendous behavior by telling the bystander to turn off the phone camera. The owner continues to look on as Mr. Davis’s clothes is being stripped from his body and being beaten mercilessly. It is obvious that the owner does not care that this is someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s nephew, someone’s cousin. All you see is a man that is not profitable to you so you don’t care what happens to him.

I remember in 1993 how accurate it was to see these stereotypes being played out on the big screen in Menace II Society. At the very beginning of that movie, the store owner and his wife suspiciously and overtly monitor Kane & O-Dog’s every move. The store owner and his wife are robbed and killed by O-Dog (Lorenz Tate) for his offensive remark “I feel sorry for your mother.” The movie resonated with me because I too have been followed around a corner store. I have been spoken rudely to by an immigrant merchant simply because I wanted to return an item. Needless to say, I never stepped foot in those places again.

I’m writing this letter hoping it will spark a change on both sides. You have to understand Mr. or Mrs. immigrant merchant, the government plays a large part in ”ghetto” behavior. Yes! I too have seen plenty of ignorant shit happen in your stores. Half of the shit I wouldn’t put up with as an owner. But there is a story behind the story in regards to ghetto behavior. A number of urban African Americans live in places called the “projects” which is sometimes what it is..an animalistic “project” filled with rapists, drug dealers and killers. But you have to understand GOOD people are being raised in those same projects and they are annoyed by the same element you are annoyed by. As Tupac Shakur says…”The same thing you fear…We fear..except we live next door to the killer” I also feel that some urban people are the product of poor public education and ill indoctrination. One would even have to consider surviving continual trauma can bring about the high rate of mental illness in the hood. However humanism still has to come into play at some point. You must realize you are making a living off of PEOPLE and that deserves and ounce of respect. Don’t judge people from the ghetto. They’ve been through a lot, and survival is sometimes the only thing they know how to do. I’m not saying to be a sucker. What I’m encouraging is for you to show some compassion. Show some empathy.

Because the scary part is that African Americans are waking up. We now know that if we can be President of The United States scandal free…We can do anything we want…including put you out of business and do for ourselves. No obstacle is too great that we can’t network with import and export companies and demand that companies respect the needs of our community and treat us with the respect we deserve. We know that we are America’s biggest consumers, and it’s time we got a piece of that pie (Thank you Jay-Z 4:44) . …and by the way..we’re not asking anymore, we’re just doing it (Word 2 Nike). We may not be able to control the economy as a whole, but bit by bit, we can put people in office and hold them accountable for the promises they made to the African American community. Look around you, a new black business is opening up everyday. And a lot of it is not only because of conventional lending but through creative financing as well. And if we start opening up beauty supply stores or successful carryouts right next to yours, where do you think we’re going to spend our money? A merchant that allows us to get beat by wicked police, and speaks to us rudely? Or someone that knows the plight of being black in America and treats us with love & respect? Think About It…..

Sincerely,

A person that has had enough of the bullshit.

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

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[FEATURE] R Kelly: Every Rose Has It’s Thorn by: DJ Layne Luv

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The year was 2002, and with the highly anticipated Trackmasters produced album of The Best Of Both Worlds…R Kelly was set to release a historic album that would forever solidify the marriage between Hip-Hop and Rhythm & Blues. I mean how could he go wrong? This was Mr. I Believe I Can Fly! This was Mr. Your Body’s Calling Me! And after all these number one songs and albums, the stage was set to blaze the world by collaborating with the equally talented, un-paralled, Grammy Award winning Jay-Z.  But then, all of the sudden, anything that could go wrong…did. I do have to give a big shout out to the internet, because the world didn’t have social media at the time but, the news of R Kelly urinating on an alleged 14 year old little girl had the world wide web buzzing…and not in a good way. Soon, the DVD boosters got in on the controversy and all of the sudden, the R Kelly sex tape was being sold in every barber shop, beauty shop, gas station and flea market across urban America. The Best of Both Worlds album was projected to sell 10 million copies, but with the grotesque scandal looming as a black cloud, although the album went platinum, the would be historic album lost it’s appeal.

Soon after, and one by one the music industry began to distance themselves from the alleged child rapist. Jay Z’s star was continuing to rise, so therefore he could not do a video nor tour to promote the collabo album. But one that loves music can’t deny the club bangers the project possessed. Therefore, BOBW became a cult classic for the fans of both artists. Still, it couldn’t stop the world from asking the obvious question…Would R Kelly’s career be finished behind this madness?

Like the great Harry Houdini, R Kelly’s legal defense prepared the case as if it was not the artist in the sex video and the expected to be convicted R&B crooner got off scott free. But as the song says in Bob Marley’s  “Get Up Stand Up” you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all of the time. The world just watched for the 2nd time (cue Orenthal James Simpson the first) a man get away with a serious crime simply because of how talented he was, and because he had the money to afford top-notch sufficient legal aid. Robert Kelly got off, and a lot of people hated it, but still no one could deny his incredible talent. The urban community did not want to forgive R Kelly, but his next music project changed everyone’s mind.

February 18th 2003 R Kelly released The Chocolate Factory. Music critics tried everything they could not to like this album. In my opinion the album was ok, but two remixes from The Chocolate Factory saved R Kelly’s career the first time. Those records were Step In The Name Of Love (Remix) and Ignition (Remix). It’s really hard to hate a man that has created mandatory songs played at weddings and family gatherings. R Kelly cashed in on his success with Step and followed up with an album entitled Happy People/U Saved Me in which the world felt his sorriness, and thus the double album became R Kelly’s redemption.

The Chicago native became the blueprint for how-to-handle-your-scandal in the entertainment world. The plan is simple. Work really hard, create unforgettable moments, and deny everything until everyone forgets. If you don’t believe me…just ask Kobe Bryant and Chris Brown. 

I’ve always felt in my heart, people don’t catch criminals…criminals get caught. Why? Because exoneration breeds arrogance. Soon after the case dismissal and being put back into radio rotation,  urbanites witnessed R Kelly back in the videos with numerous women, but this time wearing a mask and calling himself the Pied Piper of R&B. This was almost a scoff to everyone’s intelligence including mine. Because no matter what we saw on that alleged sex tape, R Kelly was back in our good graces. But this time, he could get away with being bold and brandish, because now it was a play on the public’s psyche. If we as a people forgave him for what was obvious, we had to accept him for who he was at that point. Remember this is a man that married America’s sweetheart Aaliyah at the tender age of 15. and it was swept under the rug as if it never happened.

Though the interviews that followed throughout the years, especially the infamous interview with Toure’ the world had to accept Robert Kelly’s pedophilic ways. But just like the drunk uncle or the crackhead cousin in your family…you love them, but you just keep your eyes on them. I mean there were a number of attempts to shelve this man’s music…but we just couldn’t deny his talent and the songs that will be forever a part of urban fabric.

Until….Today.

As I was listening to The Breakfast Club with my 15 year old step-child on the way to the dentist, we heard the recording of Jerhonda Pace tell the story of being in R Kelly’s sex cult. She exposed his manipulative games and tactics to keep the little girls head in a fog. But when it came out that he was beating the child, all bets were off. I had to turn off the radio simply because I was tearing up.

Now I know in this world of entertainment people are paid to say things. Entertainers are hunted daily simply because of the resources they have. One person can create an all out witch-hunt as in the rapes cases concerning William Cosby. So I try to be objective when writing my blogs. However, I heard the conviction in the young lady’s voice and I know how manipulators can be, in my mind, I started to sound like my grandmother… “If more than three people are telling me the same consistent story…everybody ain’t lying Delayne!” lol. So even if there is a lot of spin to the story, I believe there is some truth to what she is saying and as stated earlier, Mr. Kelly has already admitted to the world that he loves underage girls.

It’s gotten to the point that everytime another woman comes forward about Mr. Kelly, it’s not even breaking news. It is no longer a distraction from world news. We in the urban community just simply say “Oh another one” But when will it stop? When are we really going to hold Robert Kelly accountable for his actions? Is it the degree of separation because it’s not one of our children? No matter how talented he is, R Kelly has a serious problem. My worry is that if it continues to go unchecked, he will set the tone for other gifted, talented and rich entertainers to follow in his footsteps.

As Tupac Shakur says in “Keep your Head Up” It’s time to heal our women, be real to our women. Seriously, if Mr. R. Kelly was not the King Of R&B…somebody would be trying to beat his ass for what he’s been able to get away with. It’s time to hold Robert Kelly to the flame, even if that means as a DJ, as urging as it would be to play Step In The Name Of Love at a wedding, just standing on that alone would take a stand that the crooners behavior is unacceptable and we in the entertainment industry have had enough of Mr. Kelly’s shenanigans.

It’s time to take the “Mask Off” Word 2 Future. 

LOS ANGELES – FEBRUARY 8: Singer R. Kelly arrives at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

 

(The views and opinions of this article are solely those of DJ Layne Luv aka Delayne Whiteside as an independent blogger and do not reflect that of Straight Official Magazine)

@DJLAYNELUV

@UptownWeekly

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Life Expectancy: Money, Health & Hip Hop by DJ Layne Luv

Hip Hop Health Picture

How Can We Make A Healthy Lifestyle Cool In Hip Hop? 

In the United States, being a young & black guarantees a person born under those circumstances a significant amount of obstacle & struggle. Not only is the African American still inferior economically, the race’s environment has a high percentage of being subject to, poor diet, questionable healthcare (which means they can’t afford adequate treatment for disease), and violence (whether it be amongst each other or by the hands of law enforcement). Even in a time where the life expectance for the average human is 75, throughout time, a lower number has always been the case for the African American male. This is because the African American race has always had to survive under the most stressful conditions dating back to slavery. But my question is, why isn’t health and money for healthcare brought up more in the Hip-Hop community? How Can We Make A Healthy Lifestyle Cool In Hip Hop? Is it because it doesn’t weigh in on the “cool” factors to talk about? Is it because dying or the threat thereof  has become the ultimate badge of honor? Why are we still having to do fundraisers and benefits for disease treatment and funerals? What financial plans are in place for rappers, DJ’s and B-Boys when they get sick or expire?

These are tough questions, however most of these issues could be solved with the proper funding and education around the matter of Hip-Hop and Health. We just recently lost Prodigy of Mobb Deep who battled sickle cell all his life. Sean Price of the group Heltah Skeltah passed away in his sleep in 2015. Heavy D died from a blood clot in his lung but it was later found out he did in fact have heart disease. Big Pun actually died of cardiac arrest.

I’m from Columbus Ohio, so even though this is a national publication, I want to honor an iconic rapper from my city who was special to us in the #614 and recently passed away… Sheron “Neswordz” Colbert  #RIH

Now let’s stop for a second, because I don’t want to get into the rappers that died at the hands of violence because that’s not where I’m going with this blog.

This is my point:

Hip Hop will be 44 years old this year. This means that the pioneers of Hip Hop are either senior citizens or on their way to being senior citizens. This means (God forbid) we may be losing a lot more Hip Hop icons in the “hopefully” distant future. But I’m noticing the mortality rate decreasing in age within the culture and I wanted to bring awareness to it in this blog.

One thing I loved about our last presidential administration, Big Up Obamas!, is that the Hip Hop community put them in office and President Barack and First Lady Michelle made it their business to bring awareness to healthcare and education directly to the minority in America.

How Can We Make A Healthy Lifestyle Cool In Hip Hop? 

How can we make LIVING cool in Hip Hop? How do we celebrate Life instead of Death? And most important, how do we put Financial well-being and Health together in this culture?

It definitely takes money and good decisions to be healthy. And maybe that’s why a healthy lifestyle isn’t cool to most young adults. Because Hip Hop from the beginning was all about taking the risk. Living on the edge. The new Rock N Roll. While Jay Z’s new 4:44 album is a great album to raise consciousness, the radio still bellows “Percocet, Molly Percocet” in regular rotation. Twerking videos and Drug money to the ear still resonates among adolescence. I get it! A safe lifestyle is a boring lifestyle. But yet, after the facade is lifted, and something tragic happens, all of the sudden we see that the rapper with money to the ear doesn’t really have sustainable income to treat the calamity.

Here’s this…The hardbody has always been the thing in Hip Hop, but what you don’t realize is Will Smith, LL Cool J, 50 Cent, Fantasia and Ashanti live very healthy lifestyles. They don’t engage in Marijuana, Alcohol or any other recreational drugs. Rumor has it that rapper Future…lol….doesn’t drink Lean or pop pills…but he advertises it to the youth in his music. So from that standpoint, what’s being fed to the public may appear to be a cooler lifestyle, trust me, eating right and adding exercise to your lifestyle will increase your chances of living a long and productive life.

Am I the old head in the room? Probably. But that doesn’t mean I can’t put this On The Table (Pun Intended) If you are one those people that just so happens to want to pursue or are pursuing a career in Hip Hop. Please take your health seriously. Black N Milds look cool until you get lung cancer. Sleeping with Twerk video models are cool until you get HIV. Living reckless with a bunch of beefs looks cool until we have to bury you and someone has to pick up those expenses. Live for today but plan like you will live tomorrow. Put a financial plan in place so that if anything does happen, you have your family taken care of.

It’s a new day! Taking care of yourself and your family is the “New Gangsta”

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@UptownWeekly

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[SPORTS] Jordan Horston: Livin’ My Life Like It’s Golden By DJ Layne Luv

Jordan USA Gold

It’s one thing to represent your neighborhood, it’s also one thing to rep your city and even representing your state is remarkable, but representing your country on a world stage is nothing short of extraordinary. Ladies and Gentleman, meet Jordan Horston the 6’1 16 year old from Columbus Ohio currently attending Columbus Afrocentric Early College playing at point guard for The Lady Nubians and well on her way to becoming a basketball phenomenon. Horston left CMH for Buenos Aires Argentina June 7th and came back to Columbus a gold medalist competing in the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.

Whoever said “Don’t believe your own press” was not talking about Horston. You can look at her and tell she is not here for the hype but for the sheer love of the game. When asked how she is dealing with all the press she replied “I like it, but that’s not my focus. I actually deleted all of my apps because I knew all the attention I was getting. Once my goals were accomplished, I slowly started adding the apps back on my phone, but that was only to thank the supporters and fans for wishing me well.” Most of the people in her circle say that Jordan is the most humble person they know, you wouldn’t even know she is as great as she is by the way she carries herself. “Just a fun-loving and down-to-earth kid” her aunt Sabrina Whitney says.

As I recall, I met Jordan about 6 years ago and I don’t ever remember a ball not being in her hand at some point of the day. I’m also friends with her mother Malika Horston on Facebook and there was not a week that would go by that you wouldn’t see the proud mother videoing her daughter in their family driveway playing a pick-up game with her sibling Jazmin or even tougher competition with her father Leigh Horston. And in true father form, you would witness Leigh making the 11 year old work for all her buckets.

Leigh has been accredited for Jordan’s work ethic, coaching her since she was a small child. However, word is Malika Horston is the true task master when it comes to Jordan’s will to win. When asked by Malika’s friends how Mrs. Horston was as a sideline parent… they replied “Yeah you would hear it from Malika if Jordan did not put 110% in a game hahaha” Jordan says “It’s truly my family that keeps me grounded.”

The Lady Nubians themselves have a knack for winning. They’ve made many appearances at Value City Arena for the OHSAA Girls Basketball Tournament. I caught up with Head Coach William Mckinney to find out what their formula was. He stated “The Lady Nubians started out as a blue collar team. We go above and beyond to outwork everybody. We bring a high level of high energy every game. Everyone is held accountable to do their job. 

Jordan says her experience in Argentina was unforgettable. She states “The hardest part was getting over the nerves. Observing other countries, you could tell they spent a great deal of time and effort working on their skill. So from that point you have to determine you are the better team and that you deserve to be there. Surprisingly, The USA team gelled together pretty quickly as a family by looking out for one another, which in turn really helped win us the championship”….”No matter what stage you’re on….It’s just basketball at the end of the day”

Jordan says going into the 2017-2018 school year, she’s willing to step up as a leader and face the scrutiny of being put in the spotlight. She says “Of course, when you’re playing at this level, people are going to play you harder because they have something to prove. But while they’re resting, I’m working. I know what’s ahead of me so I just try my best to prepare myself mentally and physically.”

Expect great things from this future Lisa Leslie (By the way, rumor has is Jordan can dunk a basketball) Follow her on ESPN and USA Olympic Team websites. Jordan was one of two people from Ohio representing the American team. And we expect many more accolades to come from this awesome young lady. Let it be known….Columbus Ohio is #TEAMJORDAN

@LadyLynn22_

@DJLAYNELUV

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One Mans Art….A conversation with Louis Picasso by @DJLayneLuv

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When your 20 year old daughter tells you “Daddy you have to listen to this artist….” with all of her enthusiasm, you have no choice but to drop everything and give her your undivided attention. The back story is that she was attending a listening party and she got there extremely early to find a young man setting up stage and lighting. As she engaged in conversation with the young man she became intrigued by his views and outlook on certain things. They ended their small talk without any exchange of names. She gradually attended the party to the progression of the featured artist for the evening. As they introduce the featured artist, she then made the connection with the moment of clarity. Louis Picasso was the gentleman from earlier setting up his own show. She was even more impressed with the quality of his music.

Come to find out, he’s well known in Ypsilanti Michigan and has a commendable following. With his latest single Gold, he’s booked for a few dates across the country including some dates in California.

It is one thing to know a person by their art…but to get to know the authentic person behind the art is something totally different altogether. When I speak to masterful musicians, I am so amazed by their humility and dedication to their craft. This conversation gave me hope for my daughters generation. So much is lost in translation based on age differences that when two people put aside those prejudices, they find they have a lot more in common than not. Speaking to this young man made it refreshing that he is in my daughters circle. And Oh! did I forget to mention she is helping with his artist management now?

Ladies and gentleman… Louis Picasso

OTT: I’m always interested in the inner workings of an independent artists journey considering I’m one myself. So tell us how did you get into music?

LP: As with a lot of musicians, my entire family is involved with music. Everybody sings, everybody plays and instrument, so I was kind of born into it. However, I didn’t start writing music until about 2008. It was like another way to express myself verses being out here doing a lot of wrong, music was my sole outlet.  Then about 2013 I started to take it more serious.  I started learning about music theory and the history of music and different genres of music I wasn’t listening to before…so that’s how it started.

OTT: Because there are limited paths to success in the music business today, I see you’ve taken the approach of a Lamar, Cole, or even names like Lupe and Badass. What brought about your eclectic sound?

LP: My approach to the music always zoned in on lyricism vs the beat which is not the approach most people take. The majority are moved by the beat or the flow. I took a liking to B.I.G. because of his wordplay. Biggie was the first album that I went through and fully dissected and I got that from my dad when I was in middle school. And I just admitted I was feeling my dad’s music so please forgive that crime. (It’s human nature to rebel against your parents music LOL) Yeah but I was really feeling how Biggie put a song together and from listening to more rappers like him and Nas, I noticed how they put different feelings and emotion into their stories. Because you see… when you’re creating, you really don’t know how it’s gonna come out, but through their influence, I learned how to trust my feelings and expression.

OTT: Tell us about your evolution as an artist and finding your own voice.

LP: Well it’s like you said up until 2008, my interpretation of music was from everything that I listened to prior, so in that, there is a lot of mimicking and trying different styles. It took a lot of changing man because you have to be true to yourself and your art, but you also have to produce something your audience will love and appreciate.

OTT: Great transition! Without giving away your business secrets lol, how did you develop your respectable following?

LP: Weeelll…hahaha, I was tired of being told no when it came to my vision. Necessity is the mother of creation and invention so I was forced to think outside the box when it came to my marketing and building relationships. I remember wanting to rock at certain shows and being told no. I remember wanting to record in certain studios and being declined. I got fed up and started doing it on my own. You have to have faith behind your ideas and your craft. Because if you don’t, you’re going to get discouraged and eventually give up. You can put tens of thousands of dollars into your project but without faith you don’t have much. This is why you have the Missy’s and Pharell Williams and Timbalands that are masters at what they do because they took the time to learn everything on their own and they were hungry for that knowledge despite the roadblocks.

The last show I got told no to, it left a bad taste in my mouth so I created what is called a Pop-Up show at Third Rail. That was my very first show and it sold out the first week based on how we promoted it and previewed it. Well before the show, people were impressed with our presentation which made them interested. That’s a key right there. Your presentation has to be so appealing that it makes people want to check it out. The buzz was so real that I just took that formula and applied it to every single show.  I put my all into and keep my faith in tact.

OTT: Being that you are from Michigan, what is your take on the house that J Dilla built and his contribution to your home state and just music itself?

LP: The first time I heard about Dilla was around 2008 and a producer friend of mind  let me listen to him and it took a while to get into my system because I wasn’t really into that boom-bap soulistic style. But one thing about music is you have to open your soul up to it in order to receive it and once I did, I really see the time and effort he took to learn music and develop his sound and it made a huge impression on me.

OTT: Let’s talk about your project now…what is GOLD?

LP: Gold….. I want to describe it as an opportunity. With this project I want Gold to pertain to worth as in worth of self not so much materialistic . I dropped Gold around April 1. I wanted to get a bunch of creators around the area and like put together an orchestra that would display to the audience the worth of these independent artist in the area. That is what I wanted to display on Gold and then again my entire album.

OTT: Lastly, where can old and new fans purchase your music?

LP: Apple Music man, they can purchase the single on iTunes and mostly all of your favorite other steaming companies. Please get the word out and it is definitely appreciated. They can see my videos on YouTube under Louis Picasso and they can follow me on Instagram under @LouisPicasso. Thank you for having me fam.

OTT: We appreciate you as well. Best wishes on all of your music endeavors.

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

@FleetDJs

 

 

 

 

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[INTERVIEW] “On The Table” w/ Darrio Lamont by @DJLayneLuv

Darrio Lamont pat 1

When it comes to artistry, one can only hope for the evolution to mastery and excellence. So when it comes to life, people go through different phases, but it all becomes necessary for growth. Through the past four years, I’ve witnessed Darrio Lamont from Cleveland Ohio go from a major #TurnUp king to a mogul minded business man. However, that level of maturity doesn’t come without a price. There are sacrifices that have to be made to reach a certain level of success and Darrio has paid his dues.

This upcoming week, Sunday May 21st, Darrio will be providing his loyal fan base an intimate private party entitled Ultra Experience brought to you by The Magna Media Group. The setup reminds me of the movie Death of a Dynasty. The location is not disclosed to the public and the only way you can get in is by special invite and RSVP. Yeah… some real Eyes Wide Shut type shit.

Darrio belongs to a part of a super group conglomerate of smart guys and gals that have adapted to the new age of marketing music. The Magna Media Group is not waiting for a label or distribution company to cut-the-check. They survive off of the relationships they build and the consistency in the quality of their art.

It was an honor and privilege to be given and invite as a tastemaker and a respected writer in the Ohio Hip Hop community. Days later I received a DM from the artist himself letting me know my presence would be greatly appreciated and if I had a chance to listen to some of the exclusives sent my way. It only made sense to have Mr. King Fresh aka Darrio Lamont as my special guest this week.

Ladies and Gentleman….Darrio Lamont

OTT: So when I met you a few years back you went by the name of King Fresh but lately all I see is the promotion of Darrio Lamont? How did the name switch come about?

DL: Well short and simple, Darrio is the name my mama gave me…..I mean she also named me Fresh too but even that term “fresh” comes with stipulations. People that have taken on the name Fresh may not necessarily be living up to what that name entails especially in the Hip Hop community. So to be true to myself, I wanted to be more transparent in my music so why not go with a name that associates me to the people that know me best. I chose Darrio Lamont.

OTT: ….I’m glad you mentioned that because the song with Super Nat “Mean Much” is much different than “Downfall” what brought about the evolution from “Turn Up” to substance? Did your name change have anything to do with that?

DL: ….well if you think about music in general, it’s just a moment in time Layne, and who are you to tell me I can’t grow? Not you personally but you know what I mean. We tend to box people in when it comes to this music based on what pop culture thinks or corporate America dictates. So that’s who I was then, and people tend to label that, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but understand I’m giving you a snapshot of my life as it unfolds. Use that to see what it took to get me from that to this. I just want people to appreciate my entire body of work and we’ll just keep adding parts and pieces as we go.

When I was in the Luxury League, I was promoting a lot. I was always in the club, and I had an all female promotion team. Shout out to my homegirl Louise. (Ladies Of Luxury) It was something we put together and we was getting money from those particular ventures. So naturally that lifestyle influenced the music and what we were about at the time. Magna is an elevation of that lifestyle.

By being Darrio Lamont, I can be more personal. And if the lack of authenticity is anywhere in the art, I’ll scrap it or I just won’t do it. I’ve been doing this for too long man. I’m trying to supply a need, so at a certain time, my listener does not need to hear about a beef I have with someone and I have to be in tune with that. At the same time I don’t need to make a Black Lives Matter song just because it’s the popular thing to do. If it doesn’t come natural I don’t do it.

OTT: For those that follow you on social media we’re seeing you in photos with Maybach’s, Phantom’s (Bentley Coup) and some really nice luxury vehicles…now I know what it’s about, but please explain for my audience the meaning of these photos.

DL: Haha yes we definitely live in an age of “Fake it Til You Make It” but my photos are for motivational purposes. No I do not own those vehicles but the people in my crew do. Everyday it’s motivation of something I can attain because I can see it, I can touch it, so it’s real to me. I’m not showing you what I think I saw. Yes that’s me in front of Phantom. Those vehicles are made of the same stuff everyday cars are made of….but those cars are symbols of levels…..

OTT: Whoa!!!! Nuff said….What is Magna Media?

DL: Magna Media is a management company. We’re not a record label and that’s what a lot of people don’t understand. This is why our organization doesn’t have a “sound” but we do have a creed and work ethic we live by. Each client has a different set of needs and we cater to those needs. We build our brand by the relationships we maintain and water. We survive off those relationships. That’s why we can excel and be on the cover of Columbus Alive back to back. 

Without giving away too much, this is just who I am. When it comes to building a relationship, I can do five things for you such as help with the marketing, make sure the artwork for your flyers is dope, get you hooked up with radio connections, book 2 or 3 shows for you and still blast you on social media. So even if I ask you to do one thing for me…it’s a no brainer at that point because I have put in the work. That’s the Magna Media Brand. WE KNOW HOW TO WORK.

OTT: Damn! So quickly before you go, tell us about the Ultra Experience on May 21st.

DL: So for the people that follow me might know that in the beginning of my career, I did a lot of shows to promote my music. After a while I took a step back just to brand myself as an independent artist and let the fans grow with me as it related to the body of work I was releasing.  Ultra Experience is just saying I’ve given my listeners all kinds of Hip Hop through the years from Backpack rap, to Trap, to 90’s recreations, I given conscientiousness. I’ve given all of this that has now lead to the Ultra Experience of Darrio Lamont.

This will not be your normal “Come hear me rap” scenario. I for a change will be catering to my listeners. You are the VIP. It will be at a private undisclosed location which means you have to RSVP if you get an invite. There will be staff on hand that will give you the royal treatment such as unlimited wine and an exclusive area just for you. It is a show of appreciation which is why there is a “preferred guest” list.

So many entertainers want their audience to do everything for them, without giving them an experience to remember. We are going to provide that need.

OTT: Well I’m happy that DJ Layne Luv and Uptown Media are invited guest. Thank you for your time Darrio and I wish you much success.

@DJLAYNELUV

@DarrioLamont

@StraightOfficialMag

@UptownWeekly

@StateOfHip_Hop

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