It was my first time at Sneaker Pawn in Harlem, an exclusive spot that’s more than just a sneaker store. I climbed the steps to the brownstone and met rapper Trip Lee upstairs where we took a seat on a bench surrounded by sneakers and sports gear. What a great setting to just kick it! We chopped it up discussing his new album Rise, the journey that led him to choosing his passion of music and much more!


Growing up in Sacramento, Victoria Monét started writing her own songs at a very young age. She comes from a musical family, so one might say that she was born to be a singer. Monét admits that it was a natural fit for her and she’s been singing and dancing for as long as she can remember; getting her start in the church.  She's come along way, now signed to Atlantic Records.  October was a big month for her as she was featured on two tracks on T.I.'s latest album, Paperwork.  She also made her iTunes debut with her own release, Nightmares & Lullabies Act I.  She is more than just another female singer that will be here today and gone tomorrow, Victoria Monét has all the makings of the real deal.  We caught up with her for the full story, before the breakthrough.


Joe Budden was never supposed to make it this far. Whether it was from the drugs or the streets, he probably should've been down and out somewhere. Once the music industry took hold of him that was only supposed to be one more powerful force that would eat away at him and leave for dead. And Def Jam surely tried. Looking back at where he started, it’s a wonder that he's still here. Had it been today's industry, he probably would've succumbed to the politics, but thankfully he's been in it since 2003. Hip-Hop aficionados are grateful for his time in the spotlight and for his Mood Music lyrical diary entries as well as his “emo” rap forays.


Lil’ Mo
emerged on the music scene in the late 90’s lending her voice to hits like, “Hot Boyz” by Missy Elliott, “Put It On Me” and “I Cry” both by Ja Rule. Still it was her breakout single, the 2001 “Superwoman pt. II” that helped solidify her name is music circles. The Fabolous assisted song led to the release of her debut album, Based On A True Story, garnering her tons of fans. With her success came the drama however, including an incident in San Francisco where she was attacked with a bottle of champagne and required 20 stitches. There also came industry beefs with some of the same people she found early success with, most notably Ja Rule.


If you know football, you know Deion Sanders. Primetime! Mr. “Must Be The Money.” Neon Deion. The Hall-of-Famer and two-time Super Bowl champion hasn’t really needed an introduction since his meteoric rise in the NFL spotlight, but these days it’s his moves off the field that require conversation. The second season of his reality show, Deion’s Family Playbook premieres on OWN Network on Saturday, November 1st at 9p.m. EST. For those that aren’t familiar, the show features Deion in a light that many might not be familiar with—Deion as a family man raising 10 children. That’s not all however, as Deion also helps run a charter school in Dallas Texas, Prime Prep Academy for grades K-12, and a nonprofit organization, Prime Time Association (aka TRUTH), which teaches young adults through sports and education.


Jagged Edge's eight album, JE Heartbreak II finds the quartet reunited with producer Jermaine Dupri, label So So Def and their original management Mauldin Brand Agency. The theme here is all about bringing back true R&B, so the guys shy away from Rap features or features of any kind, as well as Hip-Hop infused beats. Slow jams are plentiful in this 12 song album and with Bryan Michael Cox assisting the Casey twins on songwriting and production, its very much reminiscent to the sound of early Jagged Edge albums.



 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Grammy Award Winning Producer behind hits like “Whatever You Like,” “Lollipop,” and many more!

 

Jim Jonsin is a man with a family and a point of view. Over the course of our interview, he gave his opinion on almost everything, from drum machines and Led Zeppelin samples, to how he wished he could be Quincy Jones for a day. But the difference between him and every other vanity injected member of the hip hop community is, while he may have something to say about everything, that doesn’t mean he thinks it needs to be said.

Starting out as a DJ in the late 80’s Miami club scene, Jonsin was an up and coming producer looking for his big break. Making a name for himself at an early age, (he’s been DJing since he was 14) Jonsin’s path to musical success seemed quite clear cut. By 18, he helped start up an independent label with Mass Jam Productions, called Cut It Up Def Records, and not long after that, he produced one of the labels first singles, appropriately titled “Cut it up.” The record was a success, getting spins at every nightclub in Miami, and played out of Florida low riders with almost Chronic like frequency. After it sold 40,000 copies the parent record company saw it as only natural for him to continue. Shortly after, he released another single “Party Time” on which he produced, and rapped. As another regional success in the Florida area, it was enough to get him a deal from Heat Wave Records, a smaller independent label based in Santa Barbara, California. There he adopted the moniker “Jealous J” and captained the release of a compilation album of Miami bass songs, (again literally titled) Miami Bass Jams. This compilation record saw much of the success of the first two singles and ended up certified Gold. The success of the album put him in a position to go on tour with artists such as Cypress Hill, 2 Live Crew and Markie Mark and the Funky Bunch…success seemed eminent.

But the ecstasy of triumph had to come to an end at some point, and after finishing the tour, Jonsin’s relevance went rapidly downhill and he was forced to work in relative obscurity for several years, into the early nineties. Producing more Miami bass records, and creating a new, ill advised label through Warner Brothers, Jim Jonsin was becoming musically trapped. He was still doing the same kind of stuff he used to, and the lack of evolution allowed in his music, coupled with the economic difficulty of his label bringing in next to no money, forced him to make his musical career more of his musical hobby. He was forced to work odd jobs to pay the bills (during our interview he cited one particularly bad one at Sears Department Store) and with time short, money low, and connections becoming few and far between, his profitability in the music business was becoming perpetually more unlikely. But having talent, and a good work ethic usually comes through, and in 1998, Trick Daddy offered to sign him to his Atlantic run label, Slip-n-Slide Records. This turned out to be all the help Mr. Jonsin would need because, if you’ve noticed any continuous pattern throughout all the entropy and disorder of Jim Jonsin's very up, down, and back up career, it’s that he did everything essentially by himself, with nothing but clothes on his back and the turntable at his fingers.

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