Jewelry Man One-Liners (Slow News Week Edition).
Jewelry Man One-Liners (Slow News Week Edition).
Dubcnn hooked back up with Mr. Fabby Davis Jr. aka Mistah Fab aka F.A.B. for an interview, to catch up on everything the Prince of the Bay has going on right now. In this interview he talks about the "One West" movement that he's pushing, uniting the Bay and L.A., and some of the obstacles that he's gone through to get to where he is now.
To read or listen to this exclusive interview, click below:
Warner Bros/Asylum Records debut, Who Is Mike Jones?
DJ Smurf a.k.a. Mr. Collipark, producer for multiple Ying Yang Twins singles including "Wait (The Whisper Song)" collaborates with Jones on a few of his hot new songs, including the hypnotic first single, "Drop and Gimme 50" and the insanely catchy and hilarious MySpace-leaked joint, "Crunchin' Munch." On this classic weed cut, the South's most lovable rhymesayer pays homage to the sweet snack he loves to eat while puffing.
Jones continues to flaunt his newfound success on "Anything But Broke," produced by DJ Toomp (T.I., Kanye West). He serenades the ladies with the seductively sweet "Next To You," crafted by J.R. Rotem (Snoop, Britney Spears), and beatsmiths Usual Suspects lace Jones with another ode to honeys, "Cuddy Buddy" featuring fellow Southern rap star Lil' Wayne, Twista and a soulful hook from R&B artist T-Pain.
"I love the female songs," shares Jones. "Mike Jones is one of many. I'm not nailed into one stereotype. Mike Jones can make all music. He's not afraid to open up and let the world know who he is. I'm going to let you know the ups and downs of Mike Jones. Voice of the Streets is how I wanted my first album, Who Is Mike Jones? to be. Now you can see my writing skills that I wrote for Lil' Mo and LeToya Luckett. You will really be able to see another side to Mike Jones.
Despite the obvious odds stacked against him and the obstacles in his path, hip-hop's hardest working MC overcame them all to become one of the most recognizable voices in rap music. "Nobody believed in me," he tells. "They told me I couldn't do it. I had to turn a negative into a positive. That's what I did. I had to show the world that if you work and play and grind like me, you can turn any negative situation into a positive situation."
Aided by a confident, charismatic flow, Mike Jones exploded onto the national scene in 2005 with his block-bending break out single, "Still Tippin'" and follow-up smash, "Back Then." Introducing the world to Texas culture, Mike Jones went on to sell 1.5 million units of his
"I'm going to rep Houston forever," he states. "We've always had the torch. The media just came and got on to what we were doing in 05'. We've been doing this for a long time, though"
Music isn't the only scene Mike Jones has managed to infiltrate. He also runs two charity organizations, Ice Age for Kids and American Dream Foundation, and is the proud proprietor of one of Houston's most popular nightclubs. "Club Ice Age gets celebrities in there every Sunday," he says with pride. "Eva Pigford, Vivica Fox, Vida Guerra, Morris Chestnutt, Tracy McGrady and Meagan Good. You can see why I call myself the Mayor."
Yung Ralph - Look Like Money (Video)
"Most Unexpected is the perfect name for my album.
Cause every move I make is completely unexpected."
Atlanta is the center of the southern rap universe and due to the renaissance that has taken place, it has become harder for newcomers to get a toehold. It's a cutthroat business that quickly separates the would-be rappers from the will-be artists.
Yung Ralph has already made a name for himself on the back of his wildly successful single, "Look Like Money." A motivating track with a catchy hook and chorus, "Look Like Money" is not only a club banger but also a popular ring tone that is quickly becoming more than just a regional hit.
But don't think Yung Ralph's story will begin or end with "Look Like Money."
"That's the main thing I have to get across in this bio," says Yung Ralph. "It's about more than one hit single. "Look Like Money" is a great song for me and I appreciate all of the doors it's been able to open. But I have much more to offer this industry."
Yung Ralph's story begins on Cleveland Avenue and Jonesboro Road in Atlanta. His family didn't have much in the way of material things, but there was a lot of love and respect.
"I watched my mom work really hard," says Yung Ralph. "She took good care of us. But of course, I always wanted more."
Yung Ralph's neighborhood was a rough one. And as a young man, he learned a lot just by watching the world outside his window.
"I saw a lot of folks get locked up. But I was still intrigued by what I saw in the streets," he explains. "My mom would go to work and I'm sneaking out to see what's going on. As much as there was drama in my "hood, we stuck together too."
In high school, Yung Ralph had one foot in the streets and one foot in his books. He graduated from high school but freely admits that education wasn't always his top priority.
"By high school, I had been exposed to a lot. I made it out. But there were a lot of other things going on around me that held my attention."
"Those two really struck me," Ralph explains. "They said a lot of things I wanted to say and did it well. They both had a big effect on me."
At the age of seventeen, the idea of rapping came to Yung Ralph rather abruptly.
"I'd always listened to hip-hop. Always. But one day, I was listening to music out on my front porch with my friend Sabias. And something just clicked. I told him I wanted to write a rap song."
Ralph's friend laughed him off. But Ralph still went inside and began crafting the lyrics to his first song-about a woman he was dating at the time.
After an hour, Ralph went back outside and shared his new song with his friend.
"He couldn't believe I was serious. But something just clicked right there and I knew it was what I wanted to do."
As Ralph continued to practice writing rhymes, he began to reach out to people he knew who were peripherally involved in the music business. One friend was in a local group that had filmed two videos. Another friend was starting a local label. Still another was managing acts. Ralph became determined to build relationships.
"I visited every radio station, called back every person I introduced myself to. I didn't care if I was at the car wash or the grocery store, I made sure people knew my name and listened to my music."
His sheer determination slowly began to pay off. He joined Stay Down Productions, a loose collaboration of artists, and eventually a few of the songs he began recording received airplay on stations like 95.5 The Beat. In time, he hooked up with Money Maker Records and began to seriously record and perform.
By the time his first single, "Look Like Money," was released, Yung Ralph had created a name for himself and the song immediately took off.
But now it's time to dig a bit deeper into Yung Ralph's style-evidenced by the tracks on his album, Most Unexpected.
One of the album highlights is "I Work Hard," an honest testament to his work ethic. Over a soulful old-school sample, Ralph's gruff voice explains how he managed to keep his eye on the prize in a life of obstacles and goals.
"I kick it with the OGs and listen to the oldies/I work so hard I think I deserve a trophy," he raps on the chorus. It's a sentiment that many people can relate to, which is exactly what Ralph wants.
"I make music for everybody. I want everyone from grandmothers to the kids in the street to be able to relate to something in my music."
Yung Ralph's lyrics are not all about the rough times. On the hilarious "Charlie Brown," he takes the muffled voices of the adults on the Peanuts cartoon and transforms it into an innovative backing track and chorus. The production is expert-with guitars and a tight baseline that complement Ralph's lyrics.
"My Hood," is a sonic trip through Yung Ralph's Atlanta. It's a place where mothers worry endlessly about their children, a place where single unwed teenagers struggle and adolescent boys often give in to the lure of the streets.
"I have to be honest about my "hood," says Ralph. "Things happen sometimes that are real hard to deal with. I can't sugarcoat it. I gotta tell it just the way I see it."
His brutal honesty is refreshing. While many rappers focus on the materialistic aspects of hip-hop culture, Yung Ralph maintains balance.
"Of course I'm going to talk about money and the things I want in this world," he explains. "But that's not all I'm about. I'm bringing all the details of my world to my music."
When asked for one word that defines who Yung Ralph is, he doesn't hesitate for one second.
"I'm universal-just like the label I'm signed to."