Friday, March 27, 2009

Goodbye Diplomacy

I guess Cam'ron is officially done with the Dips! Cam is featured in this months issue of XXL Magazine. In his interview he addresses several rumors, and clears up his status on The Diplomats, but he didn't go this far.

I found this video on Dat Piff and Cam basically sounds like himself - arrogant - refusing to ever do a collaboration with Juelz or Jimmy!

Video Provided by

I remember the days when I used to listen to Dipset religiously, so I decided to post a throwback Dipset video - Dipset Anthem.


Monday, March 23, 2009


IllinHaz interview

Written by: Adeshola Adigun

Unsigned Cape Coral rapper, Haz, has been through several obstacles throughout his pursuit for a career in the world of Hip-Hop. From group split-ups to personal changes, Haz has continued to make music and apply his humor and cleverness to his music. With the upcoming release of his new EP, which has yet to receive a title, the self-proclaimed Prince of the City and I discuss his experiences as “unsigned hype,” and what the future holds for Haz and PayUp Game.

On a late Tuesday evening, the sun prepared to set and anticipation struck as I awaited the arrival of my interviewee. As I stared from my balcony, a six foot figure climbed the stairs to meet me. He was clothed in an Innes t-shirt, khaki Levi's denim, and the Hulk Nike Dunk SB sneakers.
“My dude, what up?!” I asked enthused about the interview.
“Diz! What's good, guy?” Haz replied with a slight chuckle.

We walked into my apartment and the aroma of curry chicken filled the air. Coincidentally, Haz is Jamaican and the smell of curry reminded him of his roots. When we walked into my brother's room, I took a seat at my brother's desk and Haz sat on the bed as he toyed with his iPhone – as usual.
“I figured since we're doing this interview I'd play some classic Young Haz.” I navigated on iTunes and clicked the play button. Dave Chappelle's well known Tyrone Biggums voice yells “Goddamn!” and Haz realized it was the intro to his Get Addicted Volume 1 mixtape; Haz chuckled. “Wow, I haven't listened to this mixtape – in its entirety – in a minute. I had my iPod on shuffle today and one of the tracks came on, so it's a coincidence that you decided to play this.” Haz and I then reminisced on the days when we first met while we were working at Pizza Hut.
“How long have you had this?” Haz asked.
“Dude, I've had this since the day you gave me a copy when we worked at Pizza Hut.”
After about ten minutes of reminiscing and listening to some tracks off Get Addicted, we started the interview.

What was the first song you recorded, and how long have you been recording your own music?

I was about 13 years old when I started recording. The first track I ever recorded was on the Fabolous beat Young'n (Holla Back). Prior to actually meeting Jae Mouf in person, he sent me Cool Edit Pro online, while I was still living in New York. Jae and Barry gave me the basic instructions on how to use the program. There was a time Barry came back to New York for a couple of weeks and demonstrated how to use Cool Edit, even though I knew the basic things I needed to know. Jae did most of the engineering when we first started recording though.

What do you feel the future holds for Haz?

I was recently considering my favorite artists and the ones I respect the most are the ones who don't let the limelight or fame affect the quality of their music. Those are usually the artists who take the independent route as opposed to taking the traditional route and signing with a major record label – often referred to as “selling out.” The perfect future in my eyes would be a perfectly balanced mixture of the two lifestyles.

In my opinion, the major record label route would be to allow yourself to be treated and treat yourself as a product, for example – allowing your label to determine how you look, talk, act, etc. Major record label artists allow themselves to be treated that way when they first get signed.

The independent route makes sure you're completely approachable. It may sound selfish, but the independent route allows you to make music for your fans as well as yourself. I want my fans to feel like they can talk to me when they see me in person.

You mean like when we met Mikey Rocks from The Cool Kids at the 2K Sports concert in Ft. Lauderdale?

Exactly! He was mad cool when we ran into him in the parking lot. He talked to us for a couple minutes and even told us about their upcoming album. That's exactly what I mean.

The first mixtape I heard from Young Haz was Get Addicted Vol. 1, which is when I became a fan of your music. I hadn't kicked it with you on a personal level yet, but when I finally did, you seemed like a totally different person. I feel that you've matured and developed a new approach toward creating your music since then. How do you feel that you've changed?

Back then I was closed minded as far as music went, and I only listened to hardcore, gritty, East Coast Rap. If the music had any soft melodic sounds, then I wasn't with it. That was a part of my life when I was easily influenced – I wanted to be like anybody who was doing anything that I thought was cool – which flowed over into my music since I wanted to make music that sounded like the music I thought was cool (young Lloyd Banks, early Cassidy, A-Team, and Fabolous).

Since then, in both my personal life and music life, I let go of “trying to be” and started on the road to “just being.” That transition channeled a new form of creativity and allowed me to be myself. It's a lot more comfortable to make music and not worry about keeping a persona that isn't necessarily yourself – which is why I wanted to change, as far as making music goes. That's what happens when you're a musician or artist – if your words are all people have to go by to make an assumption about who you are as a person, then that's all they'll associate you with. If you're not okay with them thinking what they all ready think, then you have to make music with subject matter that convinces them otherwise, which is what I plan to do with my music.

What's going to be special about your upcoming EP in comparison to Get Addicted Vol. 1?

I'm going to have more input – from others – for this project because on Get Addicted, I didn't have any input from others. I threw away mad songs. DUDE, I threw away so many songs! After the mixtape was already out for months, Jae heard a song that was originally supposed to be on it, and he was like, “Why isn't this on the mixtape?,” but it didn't sound the way I thought it should sound, which is the only reason why it wasn't on there. I just want to have more input – from others – this time around.

How often do you record?

Right now I'm not recording too much. I'm actually spending time planning out my next project. But that doesn't mean that songs aren't being written and orchestrated. I've been teaching myself how to produce (make beats), taking more time to learn more about mixing and mastering vocals. And pretty much anything else that will contribute (in a good way) to my next project, which will be the first time a lot of people hear my music – outside of where I reside.

Why do you feel you haven't been approached about a record deal or radio play yet?

Honestly, I don't think there's been a time since I started making music that I feel that I was ready for a record deal and/or radio play. Even now, I don't think I'm ready for a major record deal, but I'm ready to start putting out good music that people can appreciate and at the same time use it as a learning experience. I have a lot to learn and experience before I get to that point of considering a major record deal. I feel that in order to succeed in their aspirations one has to humble them self so someone with experience in that area can mentor them and shed light on what it takes to be successful – i.e., Drake has Weezy, Kid Cuddi has Kanye, etc.

Last year you collaborated with a local alternative rock band, People as Animals. How did that happen?

It was a spur of the moment thing. A high school friend, Timothy Flynn, was filling in as a drummer for the band, and while rehearsing their songs he got the idea that there was a song that would sound good with some rapping on it - during the breakdown in the song.

We only had two days to put everything together: meeting the band, listening to the song, writing the lyrics, and preparing for the performance. I went to Tim's house and met the band. They played the song for me, I memorized the melody, went home and wrote my verse, and then I met with Tim the next day and rapped my verse for him. We met with the band later at the venue and performed the song - that was the first time the band got to hear my verse.

The band liked it and so did the crowd. It was a fun experience venturing into that world of music. It was dope.

Will you collaborate with them again in the future?

We've talked about it but most of the band members went off to college. I spoke to the lead singer, Tanner Jones, about a collaboration more along the lines of him being a solo feature on my songs in the future.

Do you ever have any doubts on whether you will get a record deal. If so, then why?

There's always a slight bit of doubt because anything can happen. That's why your mom always tells you to get an education. But I do believe in my passion for music.

Explain what PayUp Game is.

What is PayUp? That can go several ways. One of the more obvious ways is getting paid for what you do – becoming financially successful. Basically, making money. Or it can be taken as “pay your dues”; when you have somewhere you want to be, you have to pay your dues to get there, which is what we're about.

Jae Mouf, PayUp founder, and your best friend, has been off the music scene for some months now. Is he still recording, and can we expect to hear his witty lyrics again in the near future?

Jae's been taking care of his responsibilities. He's still into music. He's been writing. You can look forward to hearing him on my next project. He's been my mentor since I was younger, so he's always going to have a part in what I do. He's been taking care of things, education wise and personally, to get to where he wants to be.

Many of the rap groups we grew up listening to have split up within the past decade. Your original group has already split since y'all first started PayUp. How do you feel group splits can be avoided in the future?

Loyalty! That's my number one thing in life. My main priority. I think once you have loyalty, everything else comes along – honesty and the freedom to be yourself around those you keep around you (your company).

On your song My Kicks, I recall you saying “SB Dunks and I don't know how to skateboard.” That's a perfect example that “music marks time” because a year later PayUp Skate showed up on the scene. What were your visions for the PayUp Skate movement?

I didn't necessarily have any visions for PayUp Skate. It was about not being afraid to venture into something you've been interested in. From renting Tony Hawk games, watching X-Games, and having friends that skated, I've always been interested in skateboarding. At the end of the day, it was about having fun, and skating is definitely fun!

If you had to name your three biggest influences when you first started rapping and your three biggest influences now, who would they be and why?


50 Cent: He's from the same part of Queens as me. He built a local fan base and went from there. He took what was considered “underground,” made it catchy, and brought it mainstream. He even had cults i.e., the Anti-Ja movement. Once you get to the status of making money, people get jealous and want to take you down – that's what happened to 50.

A-Team: They had the perfect flow as far as getting their words out, and they also had the perfect balance of perfect Hip-Hop and street music. They used each other’s strengths/abilities to their advantage – that takes talent (teamwork). They humbled themselves to one another and they weren't afraid to admit their strengths and weaknesses to each other. That's actually what inspired Jae and I to do a mixtape together back then. I think UGA broke up because we weren't able to work together as a group, and humble ourselves to one another.

Jay-Z: He was so stylistic. He always found a new way to do the norm. No matter how simple or cliché it was, he found a way to make it sound cool and different.


The Cool Kids: I love old school rap (late 80's - early 90's). Their music is driven by old school rap with a new twist. They're not afraid to be themselves and that seeps through their music.

Drake: Everybody loves Drake now, but Jae and I have been listening to him for a few years now. He has a great way with words. He gets his point across without being extremely forward.

Jay-Z: His ability to take things that everybody all ready does and says, and do it exponentially. “Success is defined by completing a common task in an uncommonly great manner.” I think Jay-Z's music represents that message.

I'm sure you're aware that rap is the most controversial genre in the music industry. Several artists use rap feuds or “beefs” to sell more records. Do you have any beefs?

Beefs, I do not have. I try my best to get along with everyone. On a song I have coming out called Illin, I mention “If you ask me that rap beef is kinda ho-ish.” It's a rap version of gossip. So, no, I don't do beef and more than likely never will. Not my style, son. I been dissed a couple times in the past, but I never replied.

Yo, I don't want to sound materialistic, but I feel good when I get new shit.

Nah, I feel you; I'm the same way! When I got my first MiDi controller I felt motivated. I mean, I made Illin'!! [Chuckles]

[Chuckles] Word. Speaking of Illin'! How did it get created?

It was just one of those things that just came about. It was early in my process of learning how to make beats. The hook came to me as I was making the beat. I liked the way it sounded, so I just transferred the beat to my recording program and made the song; it was a quick process. It was one of those songs that just happened – which are usually the best ones. BY FAR!

You recently shot a video for it, right? How did that happen?

My boy, Diz (Aydee, Adeshola, whatever you go by, dude), actually introduced me to Kurt Pierce last summer. Kurt makes beats, so we hooked up to make music. We hung out ever since. At the 2k Sports concert November 26th (The Cool Kids and Q-Tip), the idea to make a video came up. The idea of making a video, period, was exciting to me because I never made a video before, or any visual adaptation of my music, for that matter. Kurt told me that his roommate, Mike Ellwood, was working on videos, and would probably be willing to work with me. We pretty much went from there: set the dates and made it happen.

What can you say about the Illin' video so people have an idea of what to look forward to?

The video was a great experience overall. I can contribute that to the enthusiasm of the people I was working with, shooting the video in a city I'd never been to before – Savannah, GA. - and not restricting ourselves to a certain look or scenery in the video. No restrictions period. I was open-minded to any ideas people had towards the video. We didn't have a formula; we just freestyled ideas and worked with what we had.

I learned a lot. I got a first-hand experience of what goes on behind-the-scenes while shooting a music video. Basically, people can look forward to watching a video of me and my friends having a good time, enjoying the trip, and enjoying the scenery.

You've partnered with “Super Producer” Steve Woodz on many occasions. What compels you to work with Woodz?

Steve Woodz is locally renowned and he's a real person. When I met him he didn't front. Me, Woodz, and Mouf layed down a track the day I met him. Although he's a Southern artist, he's lyrical and witty, and makes dope music.

So, what's next for Haz?

I'm working on my new shit; right now it's an untitled EP, which will be available for free. No matter how much time or money I have to put into it, it will be available for free.

For information about Haz or to hear some of his music, visit his Myspace music page. Haz of PayUp.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It Ain't Hard to Tell!

Hmm. Why is Nas my favorite rapper of all time?! Proabably because he's ill as eff.

I always heard Nas's music growing up in Queens, but I never paid attention to his concepts until the Hate Me Now feat. Puff Daddy video came out. It was mad controversial because he dressed like Christ, carried a cross, and got crucified on it in the video. Nas was always doing controversial things, so last year when he initially announced that he was naming his most recent album Nigger I wasn't that surprised. They also shot some of the video on top of a corner store in Queens, which I always thought was cool - I remember my cousins talking about that shit for a while.

In the latest issue of XXL Magazine they did an article on Hip Hop's perfect album, Illmatic. It was Nas's debut album and the first album to recieve five mics in the Source Magazine. It's definitely a classic, and if you haven't heard it then you need to change your ways immediately! In the XXL article, the magazine does interviews with Nas, Jungle (his brother), Olu Dara Jones (his father), DJ Premier, Q-Tip, and others. It's a brilliant interview and you should check it out if you have the chance.

My favorite track on the album is It Ain't Hard to Tell, so I thought I'd would bless my blog with a throwback video from 15 years ago...


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dollar Shaped Hands

Early last year, rapper and personal friend of mine Haz collaborated with a local alternative rock band called People as Animals. The performance was at a local venue in Ft. Myers, Florida. In a recent interview with the rapper, he told me about his experience performing with the band and how the awesome collaboration came into play.

"It was a spur of the moment thing. A high school friend, Timothy Flynn, was filling in as a drummer for the band, and while rehearsing their songs he got the idea that there was a song that would sound good with some rapping on it - during the breakdown in the song.

We only had two days to put everything together: meeting the band, listening to the song, writitng the lyrics, and preparing for the performance. I went to Tim's house and met the band. They played the song for me, I memorized the melody, went home and wrote my verse, and then I met with Tim the next day and rapped my verse for him. We met with the band later at the venue and performed the song - that was the first time the band got to hear my verse.

The band liked it and so did the crowd. It was a fun experience venturing into that world of music. It was dope."

Below is the video of the performance for Dollar Shaped Hands - People as Animals feat. Haz.


I will be posting the full interview with PayUp Game's co-founder by next week. In the interview, Haz and I discuss what PayUp is and his upcoming EP project. You can visit Haz's Myspace music page to hear his music:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Welcome to Heartbreak

I wasn't aware but there is a video out for the track Welcome to Heartbreak off 808s and Heartbreak. The collaboration between Kanye and Kid Cuddi gives the song a laid-back feel. Several people I know don't appreciate the album, but I definitely have a great respect for it.

When I first heard Welcome to Heartbreak it wasn't mastered yet, and the beat was a little different. In my personal opinion, the original beat was better. I still love the song and the video is very artistic. It's kid of hard to adjust your eyes to the video's effects at first, but you get used to it after a while.

Tell me what you think..

Can't Stop Me!

The newest member of PayUp Game, Bizzy Crook, released a video for a track off his upcoming mixtape Back 2 Bizzness.

Directed by C.T., the video has appearances by C.T. and Genetics. The video potrays some of the things spoken about on the track - Bizzy addresses his current obstacles, elaborates on his jail experience and some of his life lessons so far.

Also featured on the official track is fellow group member and PayUp co-founder, Haz. This video is just a sample of what PayUp Game has to offer and plenty more work is in process.

Be on the look out for Bizzy's Back 2 Bizzness mixtape in April. You can check out more of his music on Myspace here: and Haz's music here:


Sunday, March 15, 2009

FIVEVER music video

For your veiwing pleasure...

A couple of my friends at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) recently shot a video for a track I had the privelage of seeing them work on a couple weekes ago. I just had the opportunity to watch the video, so I thought I'd throw it on the blog for those who appreciate creativity.

The video was directed by my dude Mike Ellwood. He's pretty talented and he has more work in progress, so remember the name. Mike is the second verse on the track. The first verse is a good friend of mine Kurt Pierce. There are also appearances from Hiro and Shane.

The video has a psychedelic feel to it and it's mad art-like. Keep an eye on these dudes, and peep the Sushi Sushi Brown Brown myspace page if you get the chance -


Monday, March 9, 2009

Scooter Smiff..

I ran across this video by accident in December and I was shocked. Not only had I not heard of this dude, but I didn't know he worked with Chris Brown. I think he's pretty cool and has a lot of potential; he's a good dancer also. Either he's being slept on, or no one talks about him around me.

This is the video for Head of my Class featuring Chris Brown. Let me know what you think.

I Think Chris Brown Stalks Me!

This video is type old, but that's what makes it relevant.

Chris Brown is my dude, but this is getting out of hand. I always spot him rocking some type of footwear or apparel I own. That's either a huge coincidence or our lives are somehow intertwined - no homo. Either way, in this video he's rocking the retro Nike hoody I purchased in Orlando last summer. He's also in my parent's native country of Nigeria for this interview - I thought that was cool too.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Lil Wayne - Prom Queen Video

Lil Wayne - Prom Queen [Official Music Video]

The video is pretty dope. Lil Wayne continues to make creative music. I like the concept and the video. My boy Haz told me about the song a couple months ago, and I didn't think I was going to like it -- boy was I wrong!

Kudos to Wayne on the video.