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ON THE TABLE

[MUSIC] “Wordz That I Manifest” by DJ Layne Luv

It has become the cliche to say “I Rap” among today’s Hip Hop youth. In my opinion, this was best explained by The Notorious B.I.G. when he said: “Either you slang crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot.” In those lyrics, he was breaking down the limited opportunities to make it out of “the hood.”  However, back in those days, microphones and studio time were not easy to come by, which meant it was probably simpler to play sports or sell crack than to make it out by being an MC.

Nowadays, with technology advancing by the millisecond, it has become relatively easy to become a force in the music industry. In my line of work, I have interviewed dozens upon dozens of aspiring rappers and singers.  In this vast sea of wannabes, there are a few chosen ones that understand what it means to be a storyteller. I came across one. His name alone lets you know that he is in tune with the old saying…”What’s in a name? They’re not all the same!” His name is Trek Manifest. I interpreted his name as a journey one works diligently to bring about or what one has brought about. Either way, when you listen to his rhymes, you know that this young man is on a mission to be heard.

He’s from The Magna Media Group out of Columbus Ohio….Ladies & Gents…here is Trek Manifest.

OTT: What have you been up to?

TM: Chillin man, literally. LOL, It’s cold again 16 degrees bruh. Sheesh! No, but seriously, I have a single out right now called Drummer Some off of my project entitled Trek For Short. The video is crazy which all of your followers can go to Youtube and check it out. I’m a drummer myself. I’ve been playing a real long time, so I felt it only right that I showcase an instrument that I’m very fond of.

OTT: I notice you don’t market yourself like other aspiring artists. Your marketing seems very patient and calculating. Why so?

TM: Music has become a fickle market. You’ve got so much of it coming at you from every angle. My marketing is more personal and transparent. I don’t do this for the fee of “Likes” I don’t want to deal with the machine if I don’t have to. I prefer a more grassroots following because over time those fans will be more loyal than whatever hot song is out. While any artist wants to be successful, I’m not out here chasing hits. I honor my craft. And a big shout out to my group Magna that gives me that creative freedom.

OTT: Great segue way! What is March Magna?

TM: Our group was on our grind really hard for fall and winter of 2016, so when we had a collective meeting about release dates, we realized we all wanted to release our projects in March 2017. AU’s album was to be released Mar 3; my project was March 24th, Larue & Wordz projects were to be released in March as well so we all decided to floodgate this month to our fans, pushing nothing but Magna projects. It’s for the people that love our music whether you’re a Day One or Day 20. It’s an appreciation month for those that support Magna. By the way, the play on words was my idea by the way…put that in there. LOL!

OTT: I’ve watched a number of the Magna artist grow throughout the years. There are sellout numbers at your shows. People really do purchase the music, and you get great media coverage. Is it an insult or a compliment that people are shocked that your music is that good, and you all have that great of a following?

TM: It’s Both! As an artist, it takes a great amount of work and sacrifice to not only be true to yourself but to also connect with the people. So as an artist bringing the content we have to the table, some people don’t realize the sleepless nights, the time away from our families, and the money we can’t readily spend for the sake of putting out quality work. So when you have people that come with a bunch of pointless criticism, it’s liable to get you ignored or worse, get you hurt because we take our music very serious. But for the people that are new to the Magna experience, we welcome open and honest feedback and hope that we can compel you to follow and purchase our music.

But the thing we focus on is the people that do rock with us. The reason is that their passion of support comes from an honest place and in time, they turn other people on to our music.

OTT: I hear that you teach for a living. Do you hold yourself accountable for the content you put out?

TM: Maaaan! I used to be very conscious about that, but there is freedom in transparency. I teach special needs children, but I work with all children. I don’t think true art can come from restraint. I look at typical kids, and they can get on my nerves worse than the kids I deal with. You almost have to come at them a certain way because they don’t understand nor do they respect a passive approach. But at the end of the day, they can see care and compassion behind those words you speak. I look at music the same way. I could talk to Sup (Super Natra), and a lot of words can come flying out my mouth that people wouldn’t believe. That’s who I am. But when I talk to a parent about their child, that’s also who I am. I will not let you, or anyone else put me in a box. I’m just Trek man.

…..and let me say this. I used to be the type to get at you real quick about my views and where I stood. Being married and having children of my own, life has helped me to see things differently, and now I have confidence in who I am without saying a word.

I’m sorry I keep going man, but let me address people that want to criticize today’s music, whether it’s trap, trendy or the music we put out. “If you don’t like it. TURN IT OFF!” There was a time for Flash n nem; we honor that. There was a time for N.W.A., and they were majorly criticized, but now they are in the Rock N Roll Hall of fame. This is OUR music, and it speaks to US! You don’t like the music; I get it. Next question is what are you going to do about it? I am for balance, but I’m also for the music.

Ok, I’m done. LOL!

OTT: Well, we here at Straight Official love your image and the message you are putting out. Lastly, what is the name of your project and when is it going to be released?

TM: Ok Ok my latest project is called Spring Seventeen to be released March 24th. It will be available on all streaming sights iTunes etc. Please go pick up my previous project on all streaming sites as well Trek For Short where you can pick up the banging single that’s out now “Drummer Some”  you won’t be disappointed. Thanks for having me today fam, I appreciate you!

@DJLAYNELUV

@TrekManifest

Youtube: Drummer Some

 

 

 

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[INTERVIEW] Gamal Brown: “Dance To The Music”: DJ Layne Luv

There are several names that rattle off the tops of peoples heads when famous dance companies are mentioned across the country.  Alvin Ailey, Alonzo King, American Ballet Theatre and so many more. However, because of stiff competition, most dancers may not ever realize their dream of dancing for these prestigious companies. Thanks to inspiring people like Gamal Brown, aspiring dancers can still live their dream through companies just like his in their communities. The name of his company is called Onyx Productions of Columbus Ohio. Instead of the brow-beating strict discipline like most of his east-coast mentors, Brown takes on a more available and nurturing role when it comes to teaching his students. But don’t let any of that fool you because he can be just as tough and critical as any New York performance arts instructor.

Besides my fascination with music, dance comes in at a close 2nd as I am a die hard fan of the late great James Brown, Michael Jackson, and The Temptations. I’m also a fan of newer artists such as Usher Raymond, Chris Brown and Janelle Monae. My transparency will also have me to admit that Fame, All That Jazz, and A Chorus Line were some of my favorite movies. I say Admit because in the Hip Hop world, sometimes “sophisticated culture” is frowned upon and I wanted Gamal to shed a little bit of light on what it truly means to be a part of the dance culture.

OTT: Ok Gamal so give us a little bit of your background.

GB: Well I was born and raised right here in Columbus. I studied in Ballet Met for a number of years. After I had graduated high school, I went on to Dayton Ohio where I attended Wright State University. While I was there, I attended the Jeraldyne School of Dance. I worked out with a few other dance companies and then received an opportunity to go to Africa and study with the ballet masters in Senegal. It was really amazing , And I must say, anyone that visits the motherland, it is a life changing experience.

OTT: How do you balance teaching what you know, while still developing as an artist?

GB: Hahaha there are long days and even longer nights…but that’s just it. You never stop being a student in this culture but make no mistake about it; you have to want to be here. You have to want to learn. People have their misconception on what dance truly is until they encounter a master at this craft. That separates the real from the fake, real quick. My undergrad is in business economics so when I view an opportunity from a high level, I have to make sure it’s worth my time and investment, and this is also what I try to get my students to understand. Mastery takes time, and you have to be willing to put in the work.

OTT: I’m an extreme advocate for saving the lives of urban young males in America. Being that their manhood is tested on every level, a number of them may view the cultured arts as soft or become downright homophobic of the art of dance. How can we get them to view this in a different way?

GB: Oh yeah…but just think about it Layne, you’re in this field where you’re always in tights. You’re in this field where the assumption is that you’re doing these effeminate movements, but the reality is..the strength and training that it takes to do what we do are second to none. If you’re partnering with someone and she weighs 145 pounds solid…there is nothing feminine about that. That takes a strong man. Are there a number of gay menin this particular culture? Yes, but that’s true in any culture. But I’ll have a straight person look at it like this, what other place can you find some of those most gorgeous women, bodies stacked and you get to engage in the most sensual, intimate movements for a living? It seems like that’s where I’d want to be hahaha.

But before you ask the next question, let me say this, it takes a certain level of mental strength to do ballet and modern dance. People will always criticize, accuse you or try to judge you and put you in this box. We come from this masculine community where you either play football, basketball, baseball or run track. It’s time for us to view the arts as something more than this effeminate culture to where you have to be a woman or gay. The arts are for everyone.

OTT: Since Social Media is at the forefront of gaining an audience, how to you think it has effected the presentation of dance?

GB: Wow now that was a great question! You’re a great writer I can tell, but to answer your question, we’re in a microwave generation. People want to be on stage right now. Aspiring dancers want the followers and acknowledgment now. I don’t think they realize the steps it takes to become a professional dancer. Don’t get me wrong, when I look at certain videos I see great movements but no training. I don’t even give a pass to these Hip Hop freestyle dancers either, because I’m thinking about the next generation behind them is going to be injured often because they have not been taught how to properly train. What are you teaching them? This is why it’s stressful to teach dancers, because it’s hard to get them to unlearn what they’ve been doing all along. It’s hard to watch people molesting the movements of the art to where professionals like myself will say  “I need you to stand in acudapie’ and hold that position” but they don’t understand that language. And each level you go to, you have masters that will hold you accountable for not mastering your craft. The craft has to be honored if we’re going to be craftsmen.

OTT: Last question. What can people expect when coming to an Onyx production?

GB: It’s nurturing, It’s fun. We tells stories of love, pain, and protest. I’m happy to see more men in my productions. It’s a movement. My next production is March 18, it’s entitled Roho which is swahili for spirit. It’s a snapshot of my life presented in 8 pieces. I was working for another company and found out that my voice was being muffled so instead of sustaining that relationship I made the decision to form my own mission. My mission is social justice advocacy. I have to tell the story according to the way I see it. I encourage you and anyone on this post to check it out. You will walk away with an experience.

Please visit Onyx Productions at:

www.onyxproductionohio.com

@DJLAYNELUV

Follow Gamal Brown on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

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[INTERVIEW] JBIC gets their “Grown Man On” DJ Layne Luv

There is a lot to be said about singing groups that manage to stay relevant after 20 years. Most groups barely make it to their sophomore project before someone wants to break solo or move on to other ventures in the industry. Some groups just disband altogether due to creative differences. And yes, the contemporary gospel group Just Believe In Christ (formerly Ordained INC.) has had it’s share of ups and downs, but after all this time, they still have all but one of it’s core members.

This group straight out of Columbus Ohio, has shared stages with the likes of Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Donald Lawrence, and legendary gospel greats such as Dottie Peoples and Dorthy Norwood. And although they have attained an “almost famous” status throughout the midwest, the group is just as content to serve a congregation in a store front church as they would be in a stadium audience.

As with most singing groups, there was a little dissension with a former group member, which caused the group to take a hiatus from the midwest circuit until they found their footing again. During that time, there were milestones & trials with the remaining members. Marriages, Divorces, Re-Marriages, births of children, and side business ventures/passions that would take precedence over the music throughout the years. However, the “engine” of the group Corey Winborn, would not let the purpose of the group die. Furthermore, while breaking ground in the Columbus fashion industry, Winborn would still continue to write music and seek out producers that would bring about a new sound for the times.

Since timing is everything, I caught up with the quartet as they get ready to reintroduce themselves to the world with a new name, new sound and a new attitude. Ladies and Gentleman…JBIC

OTT: So fellas I’ve already told the people what your name is, can you tell us what your group is about?

Carl Jones: Well we started out back in the mid 90’s wanting to put a positive message out among the younger generation of people that appreciated the traditional gospel sound, but we also loved the vibe and movement of what was happening in R&B at the time. So that particular approach to music is what is now known as the JBIC sound. But what I love about our group is that we continue to reinvent ourselves so that our music doesn’t sound dated. We’re not that young of a group anymore, so we keep vibrant producers and song writers around, for inspiration and survey to make sure we are delivering a marketable product.

OTT: What challenges do you face being an equally talented all male group. Does testosterone and ego find its way into the group or are you all compatible for the most part?

Designs By Winborn

Terrence McCrary: That was probably a challenge in the earlier part of our career, but you have to think, that was twenty some years ago. We were young and naive. We’re all a lot wiser now and we’ve learned from our mistakes. And to add to that, these days, we have to look at ourselves as role models for other young men. We have sons that look to us for guidance as to how men deal with other men and women, which means we have to be accountable and hold each other accountable for our actions.

We also represent a purpose larger than ourselves so if you’re in this thing thinking it’s all about you, you’ve missed the mark completely… Our music is there to save a lost generation from itself. We are only vessels of this mission ordained by God.

OTT: As I’ve seen your image progress throughout the years, you all dress to the nines, and it just keeps getting better. What role does your image play in the message you want to get across?

Designs By Winborn

Corey Winborn: When I first got to the group, our image looked like a Jodeci or a Boyz II Men kinda feel with boots, big coats and baseball hats, but that was good for them not us. I mean we tried it with the Cross Colors and Karl Kani apparel, but for certain events, we would get suited up and the response was like night and day. I’ve been into fashion all my life and one thing I do know is that impression is everything! Once I started to teach the group about suits, fabrics and shoes, whenever we walked into a venue, if we weren’t the headliners people thought that we were. Add that with a hard work ethic and quality sound…with Christ we were unstoppable. In entertainment, you intentionally have to leave people with something to remember to stand out….if those people didn’t know one of our songs…they knew what we looked like lol. Presentation should never be one dimensional. Fashion is art, so why not explore all the possibilities.

There is also one other message we want to portray to young men. It’s okay to wear hip hop clothing, but you attract what you present. Suits attract a different female audience and I try to convey that in the classes that I teach, and the artists I design for.

OTT: So I notice you have a new member…What’s your name sir and how’d you get introduced to this group?

GB: My name is George Burton. And as we all know Corey is the recruiter of the group. LOL. I retired from the city about three years ago. I’ve been singing since I was six, but you know how it goes, singers respect other singers and word gets around. I was singing with Milton Ruffin’s Ol Skool funk band. I was on The Deele’s 2nd album, I was playing a cop, and ironically I became a police officer. So one thing led to another and I was approached by Corey, and after a few rehearsals it just a good fit.

OTT: So when is your project scheduled for release?

JBIC: Late spring, early summer 2017. We don’t want to set a release date yet, because this album is highly anticipated so we want everything to be right, but trust, we’ll be doing shows and releasing singles in the meantime. We haven’t even set up Instagram or Twitter accounts for the group as of yet because we want to have merchandise and tour dates lined up. We see groups all the time jump out too early, to create the buzz with no content. That will not be JBIC. We take our presentation very seriously. However, you can find us on Facebook under JBIC and we encourage everyone to go to that page and hit “like”. Share with your friends.

Keep us in your prayers as we embark on a new journey. If one thing we want you to take away from this project is to never give up on the promises of our Lord. If he can do it for us he can do it for you. -J.B.I.C.

 

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

@FleetDJs

@FleetDJsOhio

@FleetDJsGospel

 

 

 

 

 

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No really….Who Is Sonny Campbell? by DJ Layne Luv

Prior to this past Friday, I knew the name, but I never formally met the man. All I know is that he’s been getting a major buzz from a few circles I run in (Remix Live included). As I walk around Vine Street Granero, I’m greeting everyone and making contacts. I walk by a gentleman in a dark sweater and glasses and I give him the hood-head-up nod and say “What’s good fam?” …a lil small talk, but nothing too serious because in my peripheral view I see my homeboy Cridie Mac who is also my family. We (Cridie) catch up on a few things and then I ask him “Yo! Where is Sonny Campbell?”….Cridie laughs and says “You were just talking to him” We laugh again because Cridie knows what I do for a living, and now I’m standing there looking like a complete asshole.

To get the inside joke, Sonny’s appearance is that of a pre-med student belonging to Kappa Alpha Psi Inc. or something like that. You would never think the rawness in his music would come from this studious-looking gentleman. But when you get to know Sonny Campbell you see that he prefers it that way.

The rapper from Lima, Ohio has a plan to shake things up a bit in the music industry and put his city on the map. When hustle meets talent, it can be an unstoppable force. Not to mention him and his management team’s hustle got him a Snoop Dogg feature on one of his singles. In the middle of his set, he inspires the crowd…“Don’t let anybody tell you what you can’t do. If you stick with it, you can live your dreams, because tonight, I’m living mine.”

On The Table was able to catch up with Sonny to talk about his newest project Who Is Sonny Campbell?

OTT: How much pressure is it to come out of an unfamiliar city such as Lima Ohio, and still, make an impact in the rap game? 

SC: Man Layne, it’s really hard because most people think it’s a farm town with no black people. That is… until you get there and you see what’s really going on. Every hood is the same. But we like to take our position of not being recognized, and use it as a strength. Most of the time, the road less traveled by is usually the road of least resistance. People can’t box you in if there is no box, you feel me?

OTT: Most definitely! Man, I know about Lima! My grandmother used to preach out there in the 90’s and one of the sons of the preacher had me out in those Lima streets around the gang members, hustlers you name it. So I know how violent that city can be! Did you ever get caught up in that lifestyle?

SC: Yeah and no. It’s sort of like you Layne, you’re from the environment, so you see everything that’s going on, but you have a lot of people in your life telling you the right way to go. But the pull of the street life is so strong, you don’t have to fight to be a part of it because it’s already got a hold of you. Gang affiliation. But the beauty, as you know, is that you get to see both sides of the game. People like you and I are able to tell the story, while the people out there putting in work may not be able to because it could get them indicted or worse killed.

OTT: So how does your hood story differ from the many others we hear rappers talk about?

SC: Although each hood may have similar problems, we in Ohio might do something a little bit differently that might intrigue the listener that’s not from here, from our different slang to our hangout spots and really just how we interact with each other. Not to mention the people from your city appreciate that their story is being told, and that rapper is getting love because he or she is telling what they’ve lived or seen and they’re putting the rest of the world up on it, so it’s a win-win.

OTT: Your bio says you started your rap journey in the year 2000. It’s 2017 and you’re just now catching your buzz. Was there ever a time you just wanted to give up?

SC: Yep. About 5 years ago, I was going to leave music alone completely…well not completely, I was just going to go behind the scenes. It gets frustrating putting in work year after year. The music business is always a gamble. It doesn’t pay right away and unless you start making millions, you’ll never make more money than you’ve put in to become a success. But, I’m glad I’m not an overnight success. I’ve seen dudes like that and they’re here one day and no one hears from them again.

OTT: Ok so I’m going to ask the question everybody wants to know. Being from Lima, how did you get Snoop Dogg on one of your tracks? And how did you get him to perform your song at one of his concerts?

SC: Well, as you know I can’t tell y’all everything because the game is sold not told. That’s just part of the hustle. You know that Layne hahaha. Let’s just say I have a great management team and when it comes to Snoop, real recognized real…hast to be, or else I’m sure if he thought I was just some cornball he wouldn’t have fucked wit it.

OTT: Do you have an official release date for the project?

SC: More than likely in the next 3 weeks. That’s the beauty of being independent.  You call ALL the shots. It’s the gift and the curse because while you may lack certain resources and marketing, you know that everything lies on your shoulders so if it’s not right, it’s your fault, you can’t blame the label. But at the same time, if you got fire that can’t wait…you don’t have to go through no red tape. You just release that shit.

OTT: Finally, and excuse the pun, but tell the world, Who Is Sonny Campbell?

SC: Well I used to go by the name T-Naz which is short for T-Nazty cuz I could ball real good, and that just carried over as a rap name for years. About two or three years ago, one of my OG’s said “Yo man, T-Naz is nice, but that’s not what we know you by. We all call you Sonny. It just sounds like it fits you better.” And you know my last name is Campbell, so the name just makes sense.

But to answer your question, I’m just this kid from Lima, Ohio that has made some good decisions and bad decisions but overall, I became a man with an instinct for business and me just so happen to love music. FWM. 

@SonnyCampbell100

@DJLAYNELUV

@UptownWeekly

@StraightOfficialMag

@FleetDJs

@WeBookThem

@StateOfHip_Hop

@TheBEATSGroup

Contact Info for On The Table

614-893-6017

 

 

 

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[INTERVIEW] I’m Just Different: DJ Layne Luv Chops It Up With Hafrican

 

Summer of 2014, I’m invited to DJ at an underground club in the short north of Columbus Ohio. The DJ I’m filling in for is a World renown DMC finalist. (DJ Bombay) Anybody that knows me, knows that I’m not a turntablist nor eclectic as Bombay, so I was a little skeptical about DJing the event. As I’m winning the crowd over throughout the night, being myself, this curly head kid walks over to me and asked “Where’s Bombeardo?” with this look of disappointment. Right away I could tell it wasn’t me he was disappointed in. You see, the one they call Hafrican was different…I mean like…one of these kids is doing their own thing different, and he really dug people that got him. And trust me, if you know DJ Bombay…he definitely knows “different”.

Hafrican appeared to be a regular college kid looking to party, but he was actually on the bill to perform that night. He then tells me that he won’t need my services for his set. I laughed. He walks over to asks where he can plug in his drum machine. What happened after that was pure supernatural. This kid from the suburbs of Newark, Ohio played beat after beat and matched it with compelling and comical rhymes that left the crowd in awe. For his next magical trick, he sampled an entire rhythm section by beat-boxing into his sampler and made the illest beat right there on the spot. I was speechless.

Over the next two years, his manager and I would talk, and I told him as soon as I got a platform, and when HAF had a project, I would cover his story. That time is now. S.O. On The Table caught up with Hafrican at a Gahanna pub this week.

OTT: How did you come up with the name Hafrican? I take it because you’re….

Hafrican: …..half black, half white. Yeah, but really when I was in high school some kid said it as an insult. Being an artist, I said to myself it sounded pretty cool so I just used it as a rap name.

OTT: So take us back to what made you want to rap.

Hafrican: Ok so, I’m originally a drummer and I was always in bands, so that’s where the love of music started, but if I had to pinpoint what rap artist made me want to rap, I would have to say Snoop Dogg. He had a real smooth delivery. *Hafrican recites Doggy Dogg World at the table:

“It’s like everywhere I look and everywhere I go, I’m seeing muthafuckas trynna steal my flow…..”

Funny thing is, I started out drumming for a punk band. I really didn’t care for the music, I just wanted to jam. So one day they approached me like “Dude we heard you smoke weed, and this is like a Christian band.”  I’m sitting there like “Christian Band?” but then it kinda made sense because in punk, it’s hard to make out the lyrics anyway. Needless to say that experience helped me to follow the journey to Hip Hop.

*Waitress interrupts to serve us our bourbon milkshakes

Hafrican: How Hip Hop is this?….freakin milkshakes nshit…LOL! At least it’s got liquor in it!

OTT: So describe your style of rap

Hafrican: My music is fun and full of randomness. Definitely for the college crowd or listeners with a sense of humor. With me, I’m just not afraid to be myself….I mean really, ask yourself “what’s the worse that can happen?” Nothin. hahahaha. You might see me in one setting with some preppy college kid clothes on and then you could see me in a video with a fuckin African…uhhh…I don’t know what you call it but like a fuckin diaper or some shit with war paint. I just go with it man. The name of my current project is called Weirdo, so that should tell you a little something about me. LOL.

OTT: So being half white and half back, what are some of the challenges you face being a bi-racial artist?

Hafrican: I’m sure I encounter what every labeled biracial artist encounters. For the white crowd I’m not white enough and for the black crowd I’m not black enough. But hey that’s the story of my life. I remember being little, in the grocery store and someone calling my mother a Nigger-Lover. At the time it confused me, but as I experience racism when I got older, that shit hurt. So if I do write something serious, it’s about the struggle of having to survive in both worlds full of separation. That’s why lately I’ve been on some like “fuck it” I just gotta be me. And the benefit is, one night I could have a young college crowd going crazy nshit, the next night could be a 55 year old bobbing his head to “Suck my half black nuts” Crazy.

OTT: I’ve seen you rock on stages with Columbus Legend’s like Blueprint, Illogic, and Copywrite. Do you have any songs with them?

Hafrican: The only one I’ll say is Copy. I tried with Blue and Illogic but the plans always fell through. Me & Copy started out strictly business, but now we’re friends so it’s nothing to get him to jump on a track and vice versa.

OTT: So where do you see yourself a couple years from now?

Hafrican: Forward progression. Business-wise, I’ve always done better year over year. My manger Grant is great about booking my gigs. I’m always getting calls to do shows. A few of my singles have gotten picked up by a few indie labels, one being in the UK.

We released the single “Lose My Mind” with Fallsteeze (Soundcloud & Youtube) and that shit is up to like 65K views and spins, so I’m really happy with the momentum of the music right now. I’ve also dabbed into the EDM world which has really placed me on a big stage in a few areas in the country so I’m looking forward to nothing but good things this year.

OTT: Any final thoughts…..

Hafrican: I’m not gonna do the cheesy thing and say go buy my single or project, but for those reading this blog, I’m just a think-outside-the-box type of artist. I don’t try to fit and pattern or style. As selfish as it sounds, I make music for me to tell my story. The goal is to create, so I hope that my music touches the ears of people that are open to that, and hopefully convert a few that aren’t in the process.

@DJLAYNELUV

@FleetDJs

@HafricanX

@TheBEATSGroup

@StraightOfficialMag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[INTERVIEW] On The Table: Ron E Polo Speaks w/ DJ Layne Luv

 

It really takes balls #pause… to go after your dreams. I’ve been listening to a lot of Steve Harvey videos where he tells his listeners and viewers that they have to “JUMP” out their comfort zone and try to live life on their terms. Well that is exactly what the 27 year old native of Columbus, Ohio did. He loaded up the truck and he moved to Beverly….Hills that is…swimming pools…movie stars. Actually it was Los Angeles but we’ll keep that other city for pun’s sake. It was a gamble that paid off pretty quickly as his name has spread through the City of Angels and across the internet worldwide. Ron E Polo is no stranger to the grind it takes to be successful in Hip Hop culture. He’s been rapping for 5 yrs professionally. He has a hands on approach to the promotion of his art, which has secured him a spot on a number of national tours such as Snoop Dogg’s Snoopadelic Tour and a few openers for Kevin Gates.

The awesome thing about this rapper from Columbus, is that he has range…not just in his lyrical delivery but in real life. While he was in town for the HoliDaze literally, he put on a charity show for the less fortunate entitled The HoliDaze Concert. It also served a dual purpose as he was releasing his new project Critic Talk 2 on Christmas Day.

OTT catches up with the upcoming rapper to see where his head is at these days:

OTT: What was your motivation for doing charities like The HoliDaze Concert for giving back to your community?

REP: People with platforms have responsibility, and we just wanted to help by raising awareness to a couple of charities that are near and dear to us. Not only that, but we put on a few artist from the area that may have needed exposure and wanted to rock that night. The guests didn’t have to pay a cover, if they chose not to, however they still got in if they brought a canned good or a children’s toy. It’s a great feeling to know you’re doing something good for the community that made you.

OTT: I was able to get a pre-release copy of Critic Talk 2, and it was a breath of fresh air to hear a professionally produced body of work that told wonderful stories with great production. Why did you choose that direction versus something trendy that can put you on the radio quicker? 

REP: Oh I make that kind of music too. LOL But I grew up on the greats, Jay Z, Dr Dre, and Kanye West so. I grew up on the east side of Columbus, and the section I grew up in, the neighborhood kids took to East Coast rap so that played a major role in my lyrical content and delivery. When it’s all said and done you just have to be who you are. And my entire team is dedicated to bringing forth a good sound.

OTT: So you just got off tour with Uncle Snoop, what was that like?

REP: We didn’t do the whole tour we just did some dates like the show in Indianapolis. We opened for Kevin Gates when he did a show in Columbus. What we were doing at the time before we left for L.A. was resume building, and we were just catching artists while they were touring the midwest… and through strategic planning, we hopped on their shows.

OTT: What can listeners expect from the *New project Critic Talk 2?

REP: It’s another Hip Hop story to add to the legendary book. I want to tell it from the perspective of a kid that grew up on the South end of Parsons in Columbus but would later gain a gospel influence in DC from listening to my grandfather’s gospel group, and also witnessing the stories from my family that lived in Chicago. It’s the trials and tribulation and the triumphs of my life that I’m sure will resonate with a lot of people.

OTT: Where can potential fans find you on the internet?:

REP: The first place they can go is www.ronepolo.com . That is where all of my music is. I mean a do have a project on iTunes people can buy, but that’s not the point right now. I can put out an album every 2 weeks if I wanted to, but my focus isn’t on the money yet more than focusing on where I want to go as an artist. I’m also on DatPiff as well.

OTT: Well Straight Official thanks you, and we wish you much success in 2017. Please send us all the exclusives as we will be monitoring your musical journey!

REP: Will do!

@DJLAYNELUV

@RonEPolo20

@StraightOfficialMag

 

 

 

 

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[INTERVIEW] On The Table: Introducing Tane Runo

In the world of investments, the winners smell opportunity and get in on the ground floor so that when the value goes up, they capitalize on what others have overlooked. Well, not too much is different in the music business. There is a rapper or producer born every minute. However, when you’ve been in the music business for a while, one will develop an instinct for what we call “the special kind” aka Bruce Leroy’s “The Glow” and when Taji aka Tane Runo speaks you can tell greatness is already in him.

Originally from Columbus Ohio, Tane’s parents moved to Atlanta Georgia around 2002. What started out as a pastime making beats on Fruity Loops in his early teens, has carved out a promising career for the young producer. He is also part of an aspiring group out of ATL entitled Wast Wain (We Always Speak This Way Around Ignorant Niggas).

In his early 20’s he’s created quite a resume for himself considering he has made tracks for heavy hitters such as Justin Bieber and a song that’s presently in heavy rotation on ESPN & The Discovery Channel, Usher Raymond’s Stronger. He is currently producing the majority of Burberry Perry’s (Lil Yachty’s homie) upcoming project.

OTT  had a few questions for the young lion.

OTT: So who kinda groomed you to be the producer you are now?

TR: When I was around 11, my dad had me working with Toby Rivers and he was working with LaFace at the time and I was going by the name of Taji Dynamite. I wasn’t even producing around that time, I was rapping. But this was around the same time “Snap Music” was big in Atlanta and so playing around I made this beat for my homie and I caught the bug from there. From there I joined a music camp called Pac’s kids and it just continued to develop. I just continued to get better and better.

OTT: Where you geeked when you found out Justin Bieber was going to be using one of you beats?

TR: Yes and No. All things considered I made my first placeable industry beat when I was 14. Like…I knew it was ready to go. So I didn’t think nothing of it when they said they were taking my tracks to Justin. But then when Justin tweeted snippets of him doing a song over my beat and he gave me a mention, it was like Whoa! this is getting real. Unfortunately they didn’t end up using that song, but it ended up opening a lot of doors for me! It was engineered by my partner Def Beats but my manager Jay who’s phenomenal, was instrumental in getting it heard, so it just really came down to a good team and being blessed Layne.

OTT: Speaking of open doors, that Justin beat lead to producing Stronger for Usher right?

TR: To be honest that beat was like three or four years old too. I made that beat in my room with my lil keyboard and 2 atoms plugged into like this old ass mixer. We sat on it for a while until my manager Jay had a meeting with Ushers people and he called me later that day and said they picked up Stronger. Once they sent over that paperwork…That’s when I got excited LOL! But to see it being played on ESPN and  Discovery Channel ….shit is a movie man!

OTT: So when are you releasing your album?

TR: Do they still say album? Lol nah I’m just playin. We just gonna put out mixtapes to test the waters, and once Wast Wain builds up a big enough buzz, then we’ll consider putting out a solid project. In the meantime I’m producing Burberry Perry’s new joint. Perry….lol……one thing I like about Perry is, that dude is strange…like weird but in a real cool way. I fucks wit Perry, Layne for real. One day, we were vibin in the studio and he said “Tane, why aren’t you rich yet?” …..I laughed because I know it’s coming.

OTT: Before you go, we need you to give us your Top 5 MC’s

TR: Do they still say MC’s? LOL (OTT interrupts “You’re on a role tonight sir LOL”) Nah I’m serious like you can’t say these dudes even rap anymore. But ok I’ll try

  1. Kendrick Lamar
  2. Andre 3 Stacks
  3. Eminem
  4. Drake
  5. Jay Z

OTT: On The Table really thanks you for hanging out with us Tane! We wish you much success young KING!

TR: To be honest this was like my first official interview. I felt like Kanye cuz I had so much stuff I wanted to say and get of my chest.

OTT: This is our first national publication so that makes two of us. We’ll definitely have you back.

@DJLAYNELUV

@UptownWeekly

@TaneRuno

 

 

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