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Archive for January, 2008

A brave new world: the music biz at the dawn of 2008

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Distinguished guests, fellow readers: As we gather tonight, CD sales are down, major label revenues are sliding, and the music industry looks to be in recession. But music isn’t dying; it’s changing.

read more | digg story

BG - “Quarterback Vision”

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

 BG

BG – “Quarterback Vision”
By: Keith Kennedy – prophetpages@gmail.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.  Plus, the team looks to the quarterback to be the leader with the ability to make plays and lead the team to victory.  For BG, the original bling blinged Hot Boy, he savors the opportunity to be the man on the field of music.  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, it’s nothing but love.  He’s been holding me down and Florida, period.  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.  A lot of people know, but a lot of people don’t know.  But, it’s not like they don’t know, they just forgot with me going underground doing my independent thing.  But, I’m still the heart of the streets.  I raised half of these people runnin’ right now.  I’ve been doing this since I was 11-12 years old, I’m 27 now and most of the sh!t these artists are talkin’ about now, I been talking about way back in the early ‘90s when I was really living it.

What are some of the highlights of your career?

I’m damn near 10 million sold with all of my solo projects put together and that’s not including the Hot Boys projects.  Plus the love that I get from the streets and everybody that knows my struggle.  From “Bling Bling” being in the dictionary to being on all kinda tours, I done it all; I’ve been up and down but real ni&&as don’t burn out.

Speaking of struggles, you kicked heroin.  How did you break away from it?

You live and you learn, experience is the best teacher.  At end of day, I went through what I went through being hard headed running with the older crowd.  After I had kids and I saw what it was doing to my family, I didn’t want my son to grow up without a daddy.  I lost my daddy when I was 12 and I didn’t want him going through what I went through.  It took away from my focus and me being a business man…it was either my family and career or that bullsh!t…so I had to walk away from it.

Not that many people are that fortunate.

You gotta be tired of it, dread it.  I’ve been to the best rehabs in the country.  But you have to do it for yourself.  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.  Then it was a small thing to a giant.

How did you realize it was time to move on from Cash Money?

Thangs wasn’t right. At the time I had heard and was warned about thangs but at the time it was like a family…90% love, 10% business.  At the time we believed in the ni&&a, we put our life in another man’s hands feeling he really had our best interests at heart but at the end of the day, it  just lets you know that money is the root of all evil - that selfishness.

That’s a shame the way it ended but ya’ll had a good run.

Most definitely, we made history!  A lot of the sh!t that came after the Hot Boys is just imitation to me.  We were one of the most groundbreaking groups.  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 hard…and we came hard.

Damn sure did. What did you think of Wayne’s verse on “Damn, I Miss My Dawgs?”

That touched me.  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.  I couldn’t do nothing but take my hat off to him.

Are you and Wayne cool?

Yeah we cool, we back on point.  We are most definitely looking forward to a Hot Boys reunion in ’08.  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.  So I can carry my own weight.  We were so tight all for one, one for all…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.  Manny Fresh was the only producer I worked with.  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.  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.  So when I was free, everybody lined up to work with a ni&&a.

Yeah cuz I loved that “What Your Heart Beating For.”

Yeah, and [ColliPark] produced that “I Want It, You Got It.”  I think Fresh is one of the greatest and I love him to death.  I think he’s the best, but I’m a professional so if you give me a beat, I’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?

I’m smart enough to have people smart enough around me to handle certain areas of the business that need to be handled.  At the end of the day, it’s not me by myself.  I’ve got good management and people in place at the label to get me where I need to be all around the board.  I gotta give credit to the people that I work with behind the scenes that take it to the next level.  It’s wanting it and learning to take it each day one step at a time. Executing.

I feel you, a quarterback can’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 ‘80s Babies.  Plus I wanna do my Built to Last mix tapes volumes 1-10.  I wanna put my ni&&as on so they can put they ni&&as on and do it like it’s supposed to be done.  Cuz at the end of the day, there’s enough money out here for everyone to eat.  I’m not a selfish type of ni&&a.  I’m a we, us, and our type of ni&&a. 

What do you do in your spare time?

I just chill, try to spend time with my kids, and stay focused.  New Orleans is still my headquarters even though they tried to push us out with the hurricane. I ain’t going no where!

Do you play any video games?

I play Madden from time to time and I run with the Colts.  Once in awhile I play with the Saints but I love Peyton Manning.

Well, if you’re going to quarterback Chopper City, he’s a good person to emulate.  Thanks for your time.

Fa sho’

Bill Clinton has a dream during MLK speech

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

This the last thing for the MLK day posts…Come on Bill!!!!!
During an appearance at the Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem, the former president seemed to get a little sleepy.

read more | digg story

The 9 Most Racist Disney Characters

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Working on MLK Day? Then you will probably appreciate this article. Racist.

read more | digg story

Music Industry Gets An Injunction Against Rapidshare

Monday, January 21st, 2008

In March 2007, a court ruled that Rapidshare could be held responsible for copyright violations committed by users who uploaded copyrighted material to their servers. Now, a body that administers many copyrights for the music industry has obtained an injunction against Rapidshare.com and Rapidshare.de.

read more | digg story

SHAWTY REDD - A Beat Machine

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Shawty Redd

SHAWTY REDD – A BEAT MACHINE
By: Keith Kennedy – prophetpages@gmail.com

Have you heard of Shawty Redd?  If not, the last time it was checked he was the man on these beats.  For years, he has provided the musical backbone for numerous hip-hop megastars such as Young Jeezy, Snoop Dogg, Juvenile and so many others.  So, the chances are you have heard this multi-platinum producer long before you ever heard his name.  But, with an upcoming album and a hard earned understanding of the game, the Shawty Redd name will be echoing through the passage of time for many years to come.

What was your first breakthrough?

I was with a company called Twinn Productions and Raheem the Dream [CEO, Tight 2 Def] came through one day looking for beats with an artist named Drama and we came up with “Left Right Left.”

How did you get started making beats?

I was focused on doing beats to keep me out of trouble.  I already knew the piano and drums from playing in church.  So I started doing tracks at the crib and people started coming through.  Whenever I would get a check, I would buy equipment.

Did you expect the Drama record to breakthrough?

I wasn’t expecting to drop a song in my city [Atlanta] and have it blow up the way it did.  One day me and Drama were passing out CDs at the high schools and then they called up talking about a deal. 

How did you link with Jeezy?

I linked with Jeezy right after working with Drama.  We did a song as soon as he got out called “G8” but they never released it.  In fact, we did a few albums before “Thug Motivation” came out.  So, we’ve always worked together.

To tell the truth I was a studio geek.  I had a studio in a club called NV so me and Jeezy was always together.  We hung out every day.  It was like big bruh, little bruh at the time so we was always on the strip club scene.  When he was in the studio, I was in the studio.  I’d do a beat and go to the club and he’d be still in there working cuz he really wanted to do the rap thing.

How did you two come up with the concepts and sound for “Thug Motivation?”

We knew how each other work.  He knew I’d like to make custom beats, so me and him would sit down and I’d play something for him.  I already knew what beat pattern he wanted so that part was easy.  As long as I hit the right keys and played something that hit him like on some street stuff, it was all good; it’s a hit record.  We worked really hard on that album.

If you two worked so well on the first album, why didn’t you have as many tracks on the second album?

To be honest, Def Jam wanted to have Jeezy reach the people that he didn’t on the first album.  We tried to come so hard to match the first album but the label didn’t want to use the songs me and Jeezy came up with because they were too hard.

In retrospect, was it a good decision?

Tell you the truth, I think it was a good business move because he was able to catch people he didn’t the first time.  But we gotta go hard on this third album.

Who else have you worked with?

Juvenile and so many other cats that I can’t tell you.  I just did the Snoop record called “Sexual Eruption.”  That was a good blessing.

That’s a big tune, how did that come about?

Snoop heard my “Drifter” song and he tried to buy it but I was like “man, I gotta keep this one for myself.  You can get on it or I can make another one for you.”  He said, “do what you do.”  An hour went by and I sent him the [“Sexual Eruption”] record.  He said, “I love it.  I’mma auto tune this up and keep it just like it is.  I ain’t changin’ nothing.”  Two more hours he hit the studio, sent it back, and I had it playing in the strip clubs that night.

How long does it take for you to make a beat?

It only takes me about 15 minutes to make a beat.  The beat part is nothing, that’s the easy part.  I like dealing with the artist and once he tells me he likes something, it’s a wrap.

Once I can find a good drum track for an artist that they can ride on, I’mma put my keys on it and blend what my style is with theirs so we can make a hit record.

What is the difference between a producer and a beatmaker?

With a beat maker, you shoot me a check and I’ll send you a beat and we call it a day.  But, I’m a producer, I’ll sit and work with you and say you should come in like this.  You’re representing me at the same time and I got something to prove so I try to make it a hit.

What are you trying to prove to the world?

I want the world to know that I’m a real producer.  When I did the Drama record, a lot of people didn’t know that I produced the whole album.  So when the game changed, the labels try to say that I was just a dirty south producer and they wouldn’t fuck with me.  So this is my second chance and I don’t want to get caught up in the same predicament so that’s why I did tracks like the Snoop record to show that I’m a real producer and not just a Southern producer.

What makes you want to keep a track or give it away?

To be honest, it depends on how big the check is [laughs].  I done gave out a couple of hard beats to your favorite rappers, but I’m not doing that no more cuz I’m working on my own album.

Tell us about it.

It’s called “Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.”  It’s coming out of Atlanta like a Kanye but a little more grimy, ya know?  I’m giving the people what they expect of Shawty Redd and I’mma give them the unexpected.

Speaking of the unexpected, word is that you are searching for other producers to lay the tracks for your album.  Why is that?

I wanna give good producers an opportunity to get out there with their own production.

What is considered success for you?

I want to get my recognition as a producer, writer, and artist.  Success is when I’m sitting in one of those big offices like a JD or LA Reid.  I want one of them positions because a lot of executives aren’t working these artists the right way.  There’s a lot of good artists out there and they need somebody who can show them how it’s supposed to be done.  I can link with the streets as well as with the industry.

How would you direct a project?

I’mma give it a 110%, I’m a producer so I know what a hit record sounds like.  When you have an artist with a good work ethic that wants it like you want it then you’re gonna get that hit record.  A lot of artists have a hit record, but the label is scared and wants to hold off until they get that come behind record.  I feel like you should drop a record while it’s hot.  They’re messing with people’s dreams.  We came out the streets to do this music and they’re not doing it the right way.  See, I came from the streets and I know the business.

Who would you have on your album living or dead?

I’d put Prince on my album [laughs].  Or Al Green, Marvin Gaye or somebody like that and Tupac.

Word is you were just in a car crash.  How are you holding up?

Yeah, I was just in a head on collision on October 25 so right now I’m on these crutches.  Right now, I’m trying to record, finish my album and still be in the strip club trying to keep these ladies satisfied [laughs].

Has the crash changed your outlook on life?

It’s made me more focused.  I really wasn’t taking my business serious.  But, I didn’t really have faith before now but I feel like I must be here for a reason.

What is the power and allure of Atlanta strip clubs for you?

In the Atlanta strip clubs, it’s outrageous.  First, the DJ just puts the record on because it’s hot.  It’s not like in the regular club, you can test your records in the strip club any time you want if you tip the girls to dance on it and look out for the DJ if need be.  That’s how all my records done blowed up first, from the strip club.

Is that how “Drifter” started blowing up for you?

The Drifter record got leaked right after they debuted “Turn It Up” and the radio started playing it.  Plus with the Jeezy records it was like the Shawty Redd show.

As an artist/producer how do you prevent leaks of your music?

Now I keep everything with me, I keep my hard drive with me so I won’t worry about leaks.  But, if it didn’t happen, I wouldn’t have a number one record with Snoop right now.  So everything happens for a reason.

What do you do in your down time to relax or get inspiration?

I get inspiration from video games.  I just listen to the music, there’s some crazy music in the background like from Devil May Cry or Assassin’s Creed.  I’ve got all the systems.

Any words of wisdom for the up and comers out there?

Stay focused and know your business before you get in this music game.  Thanks to all of the DJs for playing my records.

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www.myspace.com/shawtyredd