(L-R: Raj Smoove, Keith (VP, TJ’s DJ’s), Dizzy
By: Keith “The 1st Prophet”
The following is an interview taken with DJ Raj Smoove from New Orleans during March ‘08. In case you are unfamiliar with Raj Smoove, he was the road DJ for Lil Wayne and Mannie Fresh as well as producing the tear jerking smash, “I Miss My Dawgs” by Lil Wayne. In addition, Raj Smoove is a terror in the DJ booth of most, if not all, New Orleans hot spots. Click the links below (right click to save) to hear the knowledge dropped by this world class wrecking dude.
In this episode hear Raj Smoove tell you the real on the Katrina disaster and rebuilding efforts, is Lil Wayne really the greatest rapper alive, and the history of N.O.’s bounce music.
In the conclusion entry, hear Raj Smoove wax poetic on tips for hot production, how to get a DJ to play your record, and how to have your record properly broken!
As an added bonus, check out Raj Smoove’s artist Dizzy
Dizzy - Can’t Sit Still (radio)
Dizzy - Can’t Sit Still (dirty)
Dizzy - Can’t Sit Still (inst)
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BG â€“ â€œQuarterback Visionâ€
By: Keith Kennedy â€“ email@example.com
On the football field, the quarterback has to be able to see the field and read defenses to find weaknesses for his offense to advance.Â Plus, the team looks to the quarterback to be the leader with the ability to make plays and lead the team to victory.Â For BG, the original bling blinged Hot Boy, he savors the opportunity to be the man on the field of music.Â As CEO of Chopper City Records, now he gets a chance for the world to see his vision.
It was good to see you come through Tallahassee recently and support Demp Week.
You already know, itâ€™s nothing but love.Â Heâ€™s been holding me down and Florida, period.Â So it was nothing for me to come down and show love, I support the whole South movement, ya feel me?
Speaking of the Southern movement, you are one of the pioneers of the current Southern movement.
Please believe it.Â A lot of people know, but a lot of people donâ€™t know.Â But, itâ€™s not like they donâ€™t know, they just forgot with me going underground doing my independent thing.Â But, Iâ€™m still the heart of the streets.Â I raised half of these people runninâ€™ right now.Â Iâ€™ve been doing this since I was 11-12 years old, Iâ€™m 27 now and most of the sh!t these artists are talkinâ€™ about now, I been talking about way back in the early â€˜90s when I was really living it.
What are some of the highlights of your career?
Iâ€™m damn near 10 million sold with all of my solo projects put together and thatâ€™s not including the Hot Boys projects.Â Plus the love that I get from the streets and everybody that knows my struggle.Â From â€œBling Blingâ€ being in the dictionary to being on all kinda tours, I done it all; Iâ€™ve been up and down but real ni&&as donâ€™t burn out.
Speaking of struggles, you kicked heroin.Â How did you break away from it?
You live and you learn, experience is the best teacher.Â At end of day, I went through what I went through being hard headed running with the older crowd.Â After I had kids and I saw what it was doing to my family, I didnâ€™t want my son to grow up without a daddy.Â I lost my daddy when I was 12 and I didnâ€™t want him going through what I went through.Â It took away from my focus and me being a business manâ€¦it was either my family and career or that bullsh!tâ€¦so I had to walk away from it.
Not that many people are that fortunate.
You gotta be tired of it, dread it.Â Iâ€™ve been to the best rehabs in the country.Â But you have to do it for yourself.Â I used to try and do it for the probation officer or the judge, but then I made the decision for myself and pulled all my willpower from deep in my heart.Â Then it was a small thing to a giant.
How did you realize it was time to move on from Cash Money?
Thangs wasnâ€™t right. At the time I had heard and was warned about thangs but at the time it was like a familyâ€¦90% love, 10% business.Â At the time we believed in the ni&&a, we put our life in another manâ€™s hands feeling he really had our best interests at heart but at the end of the day, itÂ just lets you know that money is the root of all evil - that selfishness.
Thatâ€™s a shame the way it ended but yaâ€™ll had a good run.
Most definitely, we made history!Â A lot of the sh!t that came after the Hot Boys is just imitation to me.Â We were one of the most groundbreaking groups.Â We f*cked the game up on some street sh!t - white tees, Girbauds, Reeboks, colored bandanas - you never seen young ni&&as, especially from where we was from, come so hardâ€¦and we came hard.
Damn sure did. What did you think of Wayneâ€™s verse on â€œDamn, I Miss My Dawgs?â€
That touched me.Â I heard he was doing it but when I heard the song, it touched me cuz it was so real, plus he had a verse for me, Juvie, and Turk.Â I couldnâ€™t do nothing but take my hat off to him.
Are you and Wayne cool?
Yeah we cool, we back on point.Â We are most definitely looking forward to a Hot Boys reunion in â€™08.Â Hopefully, we can get that straightened out cuz we know the streets definitely want it.
What was the biggest hurdle in leaving Cash Money?
A lot of people doubted I could do it by myself but, if you do the research Cash Money was practically built on my back with my numbers on my solo albums.Â So I can carry my own weight.Â We were so tight all for one, one for allâ€¦so when you see one of us without the others they were just used to us, but we were all individuals and when you put us together, we were a helluva team.Â Manny Fresh was the only producer I worked with.Â We were built for each other, he was Dre, I was Snoop just like Missy and Timbaland - I felt like he mastered me and I mastered him.Â He had a sound for everybody Turk had his sound, Juvie had his sound, Wayne had his sound, Big Tymers had their own sound so I had to create that Chopper City sound with other producers.
Mr. Collipark said producing for you was one of his proudest moments as a producer.
We never got outside production at Cash Money, we kept it all in house.Â So when I was free, everybody lined up to work with a ni&&a.
Yeah cuz I loved that â€œWhat Your Heart Beating For.â€
Yeah, and [ColliPark] produced that â€œI Want It, You Got It.â€Â I think Fresh is one of the greatest and I love him to death.Â I think heâ€™s the best, but Iâ€™m a professional so if you give me a beat, Iâ€™mma bend it backwards.
How are you able to handle being a label owner, artist, and everything in between now that you are a CEO?
Iâ€™m smart enough to have people smart enough around me to handle certain areas of the business that need to be handled.Â At the end of the day, itâ€™s not me by myself.Â Iâ€™ve got good management and people in place at the label to get me where I need to be all around the board.Â I gotta give credit to the people that I work with behind the scenes that take it to the next level.Â Itâ€™s wanting it and learning to take it each day one step at a time. Executing.
I feel you, a quarterback canâ€™t do anything without the line blocking
[Laughs] You feel me!
What are your goals for Chopper City?
I got a deal with Asylum to run my indie sh!t through so up next is a Chopper City Boys album and I gotta group called the â€˜80s Babies.Â Plus I wanna do my Built to Last mix tapes volumes 1-10.Â I wanna put my ni&&as on so they can put they ni&&as on and do it like itâ€™s supposed to be done.Â Cuz at the end of the day, thereâ€™s enough money out here for everyone to eat.Â Iâ€™m not a selfish type of ni&&a.Â Iâ€™m a we, us, and our type of ni&&a.Â
What do you do in your spare time?
I just chill, try to spend time with my kids, and stay focused.Â New Orleans is still my headquarters even though they tried to push us out with the hurricane. I ainâ€™t going no where!
Do you play any video games?
I play Madden from time to time and I run with the Colts.Â Once in awhile I play with the Saints but I love Peyton Manning.
Well, if youâ€™re going to quarterback Chopper City, heâ€™s a good person to emulate.Â Thanks for your time.