Monday, April 2, 2007

Nick: Hey, what’s happening? What’s good down in VA?

Cali Stylz: Shit, everything’s good, man, I’m in Atlanta right now.

Nick: Oh yeah? Atlanta? What’re you doing down there?

Cali Stylz: Aw man, just business, man, I’m into buying some properties out here, man, so I’m just doing some investments. I lived in Charlotte, but Atlanta is really gon’ be my home for me and my family, you know what I’m saying? The whole CrownLife is down here, so it’s a good thing. We moved from Virginia Beach to down here.

Nick: So first of all, you know, I gotta ask the question: How’d you know that you were gonna be doing something in music?

Cali Stylz: Basically, I knew that when I first memorized Digital Underground’s “Humpty Hump.” That’s what all started it, when I loved that song for some reason; I guess it was the energy of it, and the characters, and I just memorized the song and took it to myself. My father, he had like MC Hammer instrumentals, Kris Kross instrumentals. I put one instrumental in one boom box I had, and I put a blank tape in the other boom box, and I just started creating music from there. That was about ’93, man.

Nick: And were you with CrownLife Entertainment then?

Cali Stylz: Yeah, [‘94]’s when I first met the C.E.O. of CrownLife Entertainment, Nitti.

Nick: The Yung Joc Nitti?

Cali Stylz: Naw, it’s the same name, but it’s not the same guy. Nitti, his real name is Lorenzo Nichols. From there I met my man Wyld, I met my man O, I met my man called Rikki Allsum, I met my man Smoke, and that’s where I met Danjahandz as well. We graduated high school together.

I can speak for the Hampton Roads side of things. Where I’m from, man, you either selling dope, or you rapping. That’s all you doing man. I mean that goes for black, white, to Filipino. I just clicked up with everybody. I was rapping in the hallways. Hip-hop was so strong in my high school, my senior year. Me, Nate, Wyld, we all started a hip-hop club in high school. We went to the principal’s office and demanded the hip-hop club to where. Almost the end of the school year, we threw a little concert in a mini auditorium, and we had damn near half of the class skipping school so we could do a mini concert. We took that risk, you know, but it was fun, man.

Nick: Danja’s on some big shit right now, like Nelly Furtado, and Justin Timberlake.

Cali Stylz: Yeah, it’s real major, it’s real major.

Nick: He’s supposedly holding down the fort in VA, are y’all still working together, or is he big now, he’s gone, all that?

Cali Stylz: Oh no, we talk with his busy schedule. Before his schedule got so busy, man, we seen each other, we hung out, we go out to eat, I mean, we’re real close friends, but you gotta understand when you turn into a superproducer, you don’t have time to—not saying that he doesn’t have time for us, but he’s doing him right now, and we need him to do him in order to make our future better, you know what I’m saying? That’s how I look at it. A lot of people are like, “Man, he don’t talk to you,” or “Y’all don’t talk.” It’s like, “No, you don’t see the big picture.” And the people that don’t see the big picture are the ones that’s not in the circle.

Nick: I heard the same shit about 50 Cent on Hot 97 the other day.

Cali Stylz: Yeah, ‘cause that’s how they know who your real friends are. When you need each other, you’re friends, but when you get money, evidently, you don’t need nobody, right?
He’s got more money than anybody in CrownLife, but he still calls every single one of us to make sure we’re alright. If we need anything for the studio, he’ll throw it at us, “Y’all need this, y’all need that?” ‘Cause once he’s free, then he’s unleashing the beast, man, and we’re the belly of it, man.

He’s solo now, you know, Tim is on the tour with Timberlake and Nelly, he has a lot on his plate, you know what I’m saying? He really probably don’t even have a manager handling him, he’s handling everything himself. You have to do you before anybody holds your hand. I’m not expecting him to hold my hand in there, but we talk about it. Everybody in my camp individually can go out and do their own thing. CrownLife Entertainment is a team that can go all the way in all ways.

Nick: So no way you’re gonna be looking for a major label contract? Not looking into that?

Cali Stylz: Yeah, all of that’s coming into play. We’re independent. We’re pushing everything independently right now until that master plan comes into play. Now, part of the master plan is get some of the record labels’ money, but we’re just letting all the credentials build up so when we present it to ‘em, they won’t have no problem handing out nothing. The industry don’t know what’s about to happen to ‘em. We’re trying to show ‘em, we’re trying to warn ‘em, but they still don’t get it, you know what I mean?

Nick: So what you got on the plate for ’07?

Cali Stylz: ’07, basically, to put go ‘head and present my first major album before the year is up. Right now I’m just working, just creating new tracks.

Nick: You got any release dates on your mind yet?

Cali Stylz: I’m looking at a single by the summertime. It’s definitely gonna be a single by the summertime, and that’s definitely gonna be produced by Danjahandz. I have like six producers, [but] Danjahandz, and not gon’ do my whole album, but he’s gonna have at least my first two singles.

That was Danjahandz, he broke through. It coulda been any one of us, trust me. It’s gonna be a sneak attack on ‘em man, they don’t even know what’s going on. Like Danja, he’s around these industry cats daily, man, he doesn’t even expose us to them because if one of us were to go in the Hit Factory and record in front of all them dudes, they gon’ try to snatch us away. We’re on the low until the time is right. We’re still making noise independently, but majorly, it’ll be this year. It is the year of CrownLife this year, man, trust me. Trust me.
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