Saturday, June 13, 2009


12:13 A.M.
A variety of music blasts from speakers surrounding the bar as people socialize, drinks in hand.
I ask her, “You here to see Hollyweerd?”
“Huh?” She glances up at me, Pabst Blue Ribbon in hand. “Highly weird? What’s that?”

No, not highly weird, though that description fits them like a missing screw. Hollyweerd; a group that some would call a “megazord”— equipped with Demond “The Dreamer” Toney, Chris “The Love Crusader” McAdoo, Tuki Carter, and Jaye “Stagolee” Price.
But who exactly are these guys?
The Dreamer, 24, was born in Oakland California. He moved to Atlanta, and attended Georgia State University to pursue a degree in Film Production. The Love Crusader, 24, is a full time tattoo artist at the illustrious City Of Ink tattoo parlor. Stagolee, 24, who is originally from Alabama, has just been here for five years. Alumni of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Stago calls himself an artist, musician (he is also a member of the talented jazz group, Jaspects), and educator. Tuki, 27, was born and raised in Los Angeles. He is the co-owner of City Of Ink. I asked him if he was enrolled in college, and he smirked as he lit a joint with a Slim Jim tucked in his ear. “Nah…I quit.” He replied. “I’m a college drop out before Kanye.”
Some may ask ‘who is Hollyweerd?’
Or, better yet, ‘what is Hollyweerd’?
Allow them to explain it to you.
Stago says,” Hollyweerd is a mastermind, master group that can prepare everybody’s creative energies.” According to The Love Crusader, Hollyweerd is nothing less than a “talented group formed by 4 dudes with a common bond of dope music.” He continues, “We’re trying to have an outlet of music outside of what people are accustomed to. We were all in school and known as the “different kid”, may not have had straight As, you know…Bs…Cs…Ds…”
The Dreamer screams out, “Fs!”
The Love Crusader laughs and continues, “And its not because you were dumb. You may have been thinking about a song, or you may have been doodling. You may have had an imagination that you just couldn’t control. I remember as a student I used to draw on my tests! It’s for the people who were different, the people who felt they were a little bit weird, or didn’t fit in. This is music for those weirdos, man. Hollyweerd is change.”
That may be the most adequate allegation yet, seeing that both The Love Crusader and The Dreamer were born on November 4th, the same day America’s first black president was elected to be the 44th president of the United States of America.
Many may wonder, how could such a random group of men bond together to form such a brilliant brand? Sadly, Nobody may ever know the answer to that, but what we do know is— Atlanta is known to be a very fertile mother to talented artists.
Hollyweerd is the newborn; Atlanta’s musical toddlers with promising potential.

Tuki walks onto the stage before their set, and starts to test the mics. “Mic check.” He says as he goes from one microphone to the other, until he completes the test of all four. He humbly exposed himself to his fans and checked the mics himself instead of sending someone else to do it. I admired that.

Where did your individual names come from?
My name is the foundation of every other alias that has ever come after. Stagolee was a pimp who lived in East St. Louis around the earlier 1800s. He was very influential in his community. His real name was Lee Shelton, but he then changed his name to Stagolee. Because of this, all of the blues and rag time musicians of his time period picked up that same idea, so instead of using their real names, they started going by these different, cool names. Kinda like in this new era of hip-hop, everybody has an alias- nobody goes by their real name anymore. It was pretty much the very first a.k.a.
The Love Crusader- Man, I am the original Love Crusader! I have seen my name used on blogs, and websites, and I don’t mind- I’m glad I can inspire people! My name is simple—it’s just about crusading love, as well as speaking of my profound love for ladies, because we do like them girls and I love to love the women. It’s just about spreading love, man. Love through music, love through art, love through whatever, man.
The Dreamer- Dreamer is just one of those names I’ve had since high school. I was one of those kids who didn’t really pay attention in class; I kind of daydreamed…you know- one of those types of things, and It just grew on me. It was either Love Pusher, or the Dreamer, and I’ve been running with Dreamer for the longest.
Tuki– The name Tuki came from Thailand. My father was a military man, and he named me Tuki, because he didn’t want me to be a Jr.

So Tuki is your real name?
Tuki- Yeah. Tuki Carter.
The Love Crusader- that’s the name he signs them checks with!

In the past and even now, weirdos were rejects—people shunned by society. In the dictionary, a weirdo is said to be an ‘odd, eccentric, unconventional person.’ What is your definition of weirdo?
The Love Crusader-
That’s perfect! I like that! Odd, unconventional, eccentric…I dig that!
Stagolee- I think it takes a weirdo or someone who’s very eccentric to think outside of the box. You know, as an artist it’s your responsibility- to think outside of the box, because everyone else pretty much lives inside the box. It’s unfortunate, but it takes a weirdo, or someone with an eccentric mind to think outside of my comfort zone and bring you to my world.

Were you surprised when your music wasn’t shunned or rejected by society, seeing that it's ...weird?
The Dreamer- It wasn’t necessarily a surprise. At the end of the day, people like good music, and if something attracts you, you’re going to listen to it. A prime example is Janelle {Monae}, or Jaspects—before I knew them, I liked their music. They weren’t like super, super big, but their music obviously captured my attention. The music speaks for itself.
The Love Crusader- that’s one of those questions you give a humble answer, or you be like ‘yeah, our shit tight! You supposed to like it!’
Stagolee- I was telling somebody this story the other day. I used to intern for a record company, and listen to demos all day, every day. That was my job! Take out the trash, clean bathrooms, and listen to demos. I ended up listening to Dreamer’s demo a couple years ago, and I was like dang…I genuinely liked it. So I took it home, was listening to it in the crib, in the car and then later, me and him got cool.
The Love Crusader- Like I said, you can either be like ‘yeah, man- I appreciate you for liking our music’, or you can say ‘yeah, I know our records is dope. Ya’ll better like it, or you got a bad taste in music.’ So it’s either or…you know?
The Dreamer- We listen to so much music, so we try to keep ya’ll content. We strive for the best…
The Love Crusader- Yeah, we have very, very, very, very high standards when it comes to our music. We’re going to keep it coming, so you can’t expect anything less.

What would you consider your music genre?
D- Urban alternative, because it’s black enough. When you see our record, if it’s in the rap section, put it in the pop section.
LC- Yeah, we want that world pop section.
D- Put us right there besides to Nina Simone
LC- I wanna be by Fall Out Boy.
S- Man, we’re black and whatever’s going on in this world as far as music it comes from us first. So to say we’re influenced by everything is nonsense—everything is influenced by us. Whether it be rock, hip hop, jazz, soul, country—I say put it in every different category or genre, because we can do that.
LC- We gonna be the first to do that! That’s tight. Put it in every section!
Dreamer- Go on and throw it in the country section! Bluegrass! All of them.

In Color Blind Cognac, you say that ‘you have been secretly chosen to get your mind open to different…and you’re not talking 80s babies.’ Who secretly chose you? Can we reveal the secret?
That’s Tuki’s line!
D- I can try to explain it. No disrespect to the folks who pushed the 80s envelope, but it’s been done. And I believe having an open mind it more so about progression. You can never condemn someone who tries to be different, but I guess what he meant was, we’re products of the 80s in our own world. We were raised in the 80s, and the whole 80s movement…it’s cool…it’s cool…
LC- If you were born in the 80s, you are technically not an 80s baby! We were born in 84! We grew up in the 90s with Starter jackets and Jordans! Not break dancing! We did the ragtop and the Bankhead bounce! We grew up to crunk music, man! So all that dookie rope chain wearing stuff is cool to pull from those aspects of the 80s— hip hop’s golden era, but-
S- What’s crazy is, when we were kids we were on the 70s. That’s when bell bottom jeans came back, and popped collars were cool for a little bit, but we weren’t from the 70s. So it’s the same thing, the kids who’s on the 80s tip weren’t even born in the 80s. So I guess we always look back to look forward. I guess it’s cool…
T- People think that to become the new age 80s baby is something different to do. That’s not…it. Different, meaning like new! Just a whole different sound. Even back then I knew we had something that people didn’t have. I knew that…like back then. Like working together, I was like ‘We have a sound that nobody has’. And back then, the 80s baby thing was real popular. I’m a tattoo artist, so I was tattooing it on people. 80’s baby. I’m like damn, man…so you’re an 80s baby if you were born…in…the…80s? No, you are a 90s baby! If you were born in the 70s, you are an 80s baby.

Usually with interludes, artists snatch pieces of a movie, so that the listeners can get a better visual understanding of what the artist is trying to get across. You’ve taken dialogue from Primer, The Last Dragon, Requiem for a Dream, The Wiz and other great movies. Why is this? Is there significance in these interludes?
* The Dreamer dazes off into space as the others look at him. They bring him back to Earth by shouting “A.D.D!”*

D- Oh, my bad. As far as the concept, we were trying to have fun with the Edible Phat CD. We were trying to give a different musical experience other than just hearing the records.
LC- the dude yelling and talking all over the record has already been done in so many ways.
D- The clips are from various B-list movies- which are great movies, and we decided to plug them in because they were relatable to some of the songs we did, so we just use clips from various great movies.

Do the names of your mixtapes, or “mixtalbums”, hold any special meaning? What does Color Blind Cognac, Edible Phat, and Electricity Showroom really mean?
This is how the process works. We do the music, and our manager Justin Huff – who is also the guy who does our cover art, he comes up with a name, and they usually have something to do with something he’s going through. It’s like a last minute thing. Electricity showroom…I can’t really say. It’s just really random and last minute, like…we have no idea what the next album will be called, but the music will be dope!

Dreamer, you seem to enjoy doing covers or putting your own little twist on tracks from the past like Summer Breeze by Seals and Crofts, Party all the time by Eddie Murphy and Creep by Radiohead. Is there a reason for that? Are you trying to rebirth music from the past?
I listen to a lot of music. We all listen to a lot of music, so if we have the opportunity to put a little twist on a song, and it turn out effective, we do it. And that’s what I did.

You guys have been compared to greats like Outkast, N.E.R.D, Gym Class Heroes, and etcetera. Are there any artists you’d like to work with? Have any of these artists influenced you?
We’d work with all of them! Trust me—every last one!
D- You know, it’s interesting. We’re a young group. We’ve been in this thing for about a year in a half, but at the same time, we all have our own background. It’s like that mega thing from power rangers.
LC- The Megazord.
D- Yeah. It’s just some shit that when it goes down, it goes down swinging. So it’s just one of those things like…we’ve gotten to meet Pharrell when they took us out to Charlotte for the Glow in the Dark tour. Pharrell, Kanye, Lupe—we got a chance to meet all of them back when the Color Blind Cognac was cracking. Big and Dre—I haven’t really met Dre yet, but Big…
S- Yeah, the whole Dungeon Family kind of vouches for what we have going on. A lot of producers…
D- For the most part, there’s a lot of cats we’d like to work with, but we’re content with what we got going on. We’re more focused on getting into the field with the rest of them cats, and getting where they are right now than just trying to work with them.
LC- We wouldn’t mind doing some shows with them, though. All of them!

Dreamer, how did you end up landing a song with Fonzworth Bentley— Bowtie Pimping?
Man, I was with my boy Young Sean and we did a song called Mighty Grind when I was still messing with Rich Squad. I was at a studio way over by Visions, over there off 285, and my old roommate, Jeron Ward—who is Grammy nominated, hit me up and was like ‘Yo, Bentley heard some of your stuff and liked what he heard! He wants you to come by the studio.” So I went over there, got to meet the cat and then he was cool…
SL- Morehouse man, you know what that means. It’s Atlanta, Georgia so you might see Derrick {Mr. Bentley} anywhere.
D- He has a good taste in music and he was just like ‘let’s just make it happen.’

Do you believe that the internet has had a major impact on your success? Positive or a Negative?
D- Oh Yes! Positive! We owe it all, we owe a lot to the internet because you know, stuff cost around here and at the same time we ain’t got it.
LC- And without the web it’s not so easy to touch so many people. Like, you can look like superstars on the web you know what I’m saying? We broke as a mug. We owe it all to the web I think.
D- Shouts out to Facebook, and Tom on Myspace.! That’s my business card, because it’s free, you know?

Myself, being a writer, I get most of my inspiration and ideas from life. Where do you guys get your inspiration from? I’m sure that people listen to your music and think ‘where the hell did they think of this?’
Life. We live life like musicians and tattoo artists. That’s what we do all day, every day.
SL- I get my inspirations from my current situation at the time, whether it be financial, relationships, whatever. I might read a book or read an article, and pull something from that. I might teach a class one day, and pull something from that. My rhymes are usually something I recently just learned and it’s on my mind, so I just write it down.

Hollyweerd appears at center stage, and immediately a crowd forms at the edge. Beautiful women who are dressed in short black dresses, tight jeans, and heels are the closest, smiles eager as they watch the weirdos grab the mics and smile at the crowd.
I turn and ask the one closest to me, “Do you like Hollyweerd?”
She gives me a few seconds of her attention as she mutters, “Yes, I love them! I know them!”
Her attention is yanked away, and she starts to scream as The Dreamer speaks into the mic.

On Electricity Showroom, you have a song that says “If you’re crazy, put that on your application. Why do I always get the crazy girls?” Have any of you ever dealt with crazy women besides these groupies out here?
D- Shouts out to Yelawolf! Crazy girls, man (laughs).
LC- We keep them! I’m not even gonna lie! I got marks on my door from a girl trying to kick it in!
D- Girls are crazy, man…they’re crazy. Can’t live with em, can’t live without em.

Tell me your craziest story!
*They all point at The Love Crusader and start to laugh.*
LC- Man, I’m not gonna put nobody business out there like that!
D- You don’t have to say her name! Give her an alias. Gina. Jenny. Alyssa.
LC- (pauses)…oh, man! I’m not gonna put her out there like that. You know, some people just follow their heart…and sometimes they just don’t rationalize what they do when they become caught up in the moment. Cuz they done heard your song or something, and wanna kick your door in! And come over unannounced…but that’s another story.
SL- I think for me, the weirdest thing has to be the day I came to my car in the parking lot, and there was a note in my window. It said, ‘I’m so fucking in love with you’…and she didn’t sign it. She just left it in my window, so I didn’t know who the hell it could be. The next day, her homeboy called me up and told me that he just stopped her from putting a brick through my window! It was crazy.

On the same mixtape, you proclaim, “denying this here is silly, we’re ready, able and willing to give you what you’ve been missing, so shut the fuck up and listen.” What do you believe music is missing?
Us. (laughs)
D- There you go!
LC- but seriously, though—everything is the same. You see these artists, and its different artists of the same caliber, so it’s like labels are trying to manufacture the same artists over and over again. Music just needs something different…a little bit of variety.
D- Man, these labels need to stop being so stingy and share some of this money! That’s why they aren’t selling any records!
LC- They aren’t! Because everybody raps the same, everybody looks the same, everybody walks the same, talks the same, drives the same cars, makes the same music, messes with the same producers, wear the same clothes…I mean, why would you want to buy the same thing over and over from a different person?
SL- It all goes back to what we were talking about earlier—the internet. It’s been a success for us, but it’s also been a downfall to the music industry because now you have these microwave artists. Everybody wants to do things fast—even us sometimes. People make music so fast that there’s no real quality incubation process. Nobody sits around and takes the time to sit around and make sure that the music is right, the lyrics are right—people worry about that after the record’s been released. It’s been our success, but it’s also hurt us and the industry. It’s technology.

After performing a few cuts from their new mixtape, Candy for Kleptos, Tuki asks the audience what they want to hear. The supporters starts to blurt different songs at different tones, but the one song title that is most audible through the screams and barks is none other than Hollyweerd’s first single, “Weerdo”—an ode to making love to a weirdo.
Tuki looks back at DJ Jamad, then forward to the audience.
“So ya’ll wanna hear that weirdo shit?” He seems reluctant, but he finally gives in and tells the DJ to spin the instrumental. They begin the hit song that was the diesel gas to their spaceship.
“I’m in control, I’ve got your want to come, well baby that’s the plan…”

Have you guys ever thought about remixing weirdo?
It’s actually been remixed. 9th Wonder did a remix, and there are a couple other interesting alternative remixes that have been done.

How would you explain to the ladies the sensation of making love to a weirdo?
T- You gotta ask the two Scorpios…they’re the freakazoids!
LC- I don’t know, man…they should just find out if they want to know. We aren’t hard to find. Come to the shows, come to City Of Ink, and you can get it!
D- And you can get it! That’s all (Laughs)!

From any of you?
Nah…them two (points to The Dreamer, and The Love Crusader).

SL- It’s the best feeling….kinda like putting your toes in wet sand, you know, you get the good, squishy feeling!
*The weirdos laugh.*
LC- That’s tight though…I like that analogy.
D- You are nasty!
LC- He likes toes, so ladies—keep your feet clean!

It seems that the more mixtapes that are released, there are more songs that are female oriented. Are you guys single?
Yeah, I am very much single.
SL- It depends on which day you ask me, man…but right now, I’m not. But it depends on which day you ask me. Tomorrow, I may be!
LC- You were single the other day!
D- I’m focused. I’m married to this music, man. I’m good…just worried about this music.

So you’re telling me that if the flyest chick you’ve ever seen walked up to Dreamer and says, ‘What’s up, boo. You wanna go out for some coffee?’ that you would turn her down?
I’d be like, ‘you buying?’ (laughs). If you’re buying, we’re good! Surprise me! These little chicks think they’re looks are going to get them somewhere. I’m all about surprises, man.
LC- The cutest girls are the dumbest.
D- Nnecessarily the dumbest, but it takes a lot more than just a big butt and a smile.
LC- I’ma invite her to a show. She can ask me, and I’ll be like ‘nah, but you can come out to a Hollyweerd show and see your boy in action.’ For free. You don’t have to pay to play. Then after that, we can talk.

Stagolee, what made you want to play your sax instead of rap a verse on Weerdo?
I don’t know, I just wanted to do things differently, because I do more than just write and rap. I rap, play, write, I’m like a triple threat.
LC- And he’s a contortionist.
*They all laugh*
LC- I’m not trying to be cocky, but I believe that this is one of the most talented rap groups ever. The boys do a lot of things...a lot of things…a lot of things. Check us out, man. We just want to win.
D- Rap AND tat? That’s talent.

Tuki, on Bust it open you say, “All these ABC emcees, infecting these beats like STDs.” Give us some examples of ABC emcees.
I’m not putting it out there!

But you seem so outspoken!
Yeah, I mean…an ABC rapper know exactly who he is. A rapper that raps ABC. We don’t.
*LC recites the ABCs in the background.*
T- An ABC rapper goes from here to London. They be all over the place. And most of them make it. And that’s it.
D- We just put a little bit more thought into our music. Just a little bit more, you know…just a little bit. Just a little bit of substance.
LC- Man, we just be rapping!
SL- Tuki is actually the rap captain right there. The coach. He sets the tone. He makes sure everybody’s rhymes are right, and if they aren’t—he’ll let you know.
LC- Indeed.

I haven’t heard you guys on many instrumentals out there; not many remixes at all. What made you want to remix Kid Cudi’s Day N Nite? What does a beat need for your blessing?
D- If we’re going to jack a beat, trust me, we’re going to jack a beat. It’s not like we say the beat sounds tight, and we just hop on and throw a little 16 on top of it and keep it moving, the beat has to have some time of structure.
T- Every beat that we get has a structure to it…like an assembly line.
LC- it’s like that American idol theory. You know, make the song your own? Where they be cursing the little competitors out, saying ‘make the song your own!’ Make the song your own, man—we gotta turn it into a Hollyweerd song!

And thus comes the Hollywiimix, right?
*They all yell “the Hollywiimix” in unison.*

T- How you spell it, Dreamer?
D- W-I-I, like the game!
T- But on the internet, it’s W-E-E!

Yeah, why is that? Why is there a difference in spelling?
You know what all that is? A-D-D!
LC- A.D.D. and dyslexia. We need help!

As a song comes to an end, The Dreamer steps up and tells everybody to calm down. The noise simmers, and the audience looks on attentively. "We’ve been in this thing for a little over a year, and we have released four albums! But check it—we’re not even signed yet!” The crowd cheers, a reaction that surprised me. Wasn’t it supposed to be the other way around? “I just want to tell ya’ll,” The Dreamer continues. “That I appreciate all of you for supporting us. You help drive us to do what we do! Keep supporting good music, and we’ll keep making it!”

On the same song, you say, “in 09, there shouldn’t be reason why we aint signed, but I don’t want your deal if it aint real.” Have you been offered a deal yet? Have you turned any down?
There have been a couple offers on the table, but since we’re in 09, I believe that we can get so much more that what we may have gotten when we first came out.
T- You know that term ‘money talks and bullshit runs a marathon?’ It’s just that now when you come up and ask us to jump in your little meetings, bring the paperwork!
D- We’re tired of being broke. We’re ready to be around when they start dishing out checks and stuff. At the end of the day, Hollyweerd consists of three entities. You have The Dreamer, you got Jaspects, and you have City Of Ink. We need to make sure those are straight. The only reason we even did this situation was to help the other situations out, because at the end of the day, we’re homies who just do music together. We’re just trying to make some bread off of it right now. I don’t see why not! We’re not trying to be big, man! We understand we’re in a recession and shit! We’re just trying to get by. In a Honda and a Mustang!

Are there any labels that you’re interested in?
D- Oh yeah! We’ve had meetings with Atlantic, Universal, Jive, J Records…Now it’s at a point where we’re good. We can have more of a choice of what we really, really want to do. You can’t throw the rug on us, you know, because now we’re at a time where we know the business. Hopefully we can get with a dope label.
LC- You know, I’m starting to feel like we don’t need a label!

That was my next question! Have you ever considered going independent?
D- Independent, yes! That’s what we’re doing right now! Everything is self contained. The visual, the audio, to putting CDs together. The other day, it was looking like a crack house putting all those CDs together! Everything is self contained. Now we just need the proper sponsors. A good label we were thinking about that has a good roster is Downtown records. They have the indie, sub-culture indie artists like Santogold, Knarles Barkley, and a lot of dope artists coming through them. They definitely respect the indie situation. They make sure to put their artists on the road and promote.
LC- We’re trying to do 90 shows in a year or two, you know? When the Cool Kids can do 30 shows overseas for 35 grand each, and get a million without a major label, why would you want a label who’s just going to take out of that? It makes no sense to me.
D- Yeah. We wanna get on the road.

Are you more interested in going around doing shows, or are you more focused on putting an album out?
D- Shows, because we already have enough music.
LC- We already have enough music right now. The album will come.
D- I think that’s where our stuff is really driven. It’s driven for us to do more shows than to wait on an album, because this is our third project in a year. People take long times to put out albums, and we can put out 3 consistent, quality albums in a year!

Obviously, being signed is not your top priority, because we’re in a time where someone can make one catchy hit, and be signed on the spot, but a group of talented emcees with stellar beats aren’t signed. So what is your purpose of doing music? What do you guys want to do? Why haven’t you taken the F.L.Y, Soulja Boy, microwave music route?
SL- I think it’s more about your own personal convictions as far as music. Soulja boy, is a youngster, a kid, so he comes from a whole different mindset. We come from an era, like one of the last true eras in my opinion, of great music. So it’s like we have a legacy to live up to. It’s one of those things where my opinion of hip hop hasn’t been as good as it’s been since after 97’, or 98’, as far as listening to dope emcees who make inspiring music; quality music. We are the last of that era, so I’m not going to sell myself short musically or lyrically in any kind of way. All the money in the world is not worth it.
LC- I think that because we came up idolizing people that we now know, and can hang out with, I feel like we couldn’t put out anything less than that and not carry on that standard of music that you grew up to. It’s disrespectful. How can we go around them pronouncing bull crap and some garbage? We have to carry on that tradition. I would feel bad on the south’s behalf it things were to die down or fizzle out and Soulja boy was the only other avenue of music. No disrespect to Soulja Boy—I like what he does, but I believe there is a whole other side to the south that needs to be shown as well. You have to have both sides to keep that balance.
D- Its versatility, man. That’s all its about. A lot of people in the south are faking the funk and they need to be a little bit more about versatility. The radio is torn up right now. There aint but 6 songs that they play on the radio, and those 6 songs are paid songs just to keep commercials going, and that’s it.
LC- Hop up out my beddddddddddddd, turn my swag onnnnnnnnnnnnn!
SL- Ask a regular DJ what he wants to play. He knows he doesn’t want to play what they play on the radio.
T- They don’t want to hear that right there!
*Tuki points to the speakers—from it comes Stagolee’s saxophone solo on their first hit single, “Weerdo”.*
SL- V103 don’t wanna hear that! Yeah, I said it! I’ma be like Bernie Mac for a second—ya’ll scared! Ya’ll scared to give me a TV show!

If I were to take your iPods and press most played, what 3 artists would pop up? Or least?
SL- OutKast, Goodie Mob, Black Sabbath, I like my music dark. Cannonball Adderly. My least played? That I even have…? It’s that Dreamer CD, probably (Laughs). Just kidding. The least played is probably my own music. I only listen to Hollyweerd stuff as a reference to see what I need to work on and stuff, but not my own music. It’s like listening to your own voice.
LC- I’ll probably be jamming to some Prince. My most recently played varies from day to day, because I may wear a song out, then go on to some other stuff. A little bit of Fall Out Boy, a little bit of Outkast. The Foreign Exchanges. Zo! & Tigallo. I listen to The Dreamer, man—I’m a fan, that’s my homeboy. I listen to his whole CD. Kanye. NERD.
D- Right now, if you turn on my iPod, the three artists I’m listening to is Indy Singh(?) —who’re big in Australia right now, Justice, and The Foreign Exchanges! That’s a good hefty 3!
T- I listen to a bunch of random shit. Fall Out Boy. I listen to a bunch of Hollyweerd. I listen to a whole lot of Hollyweerd, because I like to know everybody’s shit. Back and forth, just to learn it—on some Rain Man shit. Anything on that Color Blind Cognac. A little Edible Phat, but mostly new shit. Jazzanova. The least played is Randy Travis? Billy Ocean.

Do you guys have any words for any other artists who are aspiring to be in your position?
D- Just be inspired, man. You can’t let anyone tell you what you can, and cannot do. You have to stand strong behind what you believe in. That’s really all it takes.
T- People will try to tear you down, but don’t stop running.
D- Do you, and just don’t limit yourself. Pay attention to what’s in your heart. Don’t pay attention to us. Listen to a lot of music, because when it’s time to make a hit, you gotta make a hit. I have no secret sauce! I just have the brains God gave me, and I use it musically. If you continue being true to yourself, that’s all you need in whatever you do.
SL- This music thing, art in general is a job, so please respect it. It’s one of those things where everybody has feelings, and emotions and everybody feels that they can do this, but…I’m not trying to say that they can’t do it, but if you’re chasing a hit, this is not the field or occupation for you. It’s like if I want to be a doctor to make a lot of money, or I want to be a lawyer for the same reason—that means I’m in those fields for the wrong things. I’m in this music thing for just that—the music, that art. Don’t be in this game chasing paper because you will find yourself going crazy. It’s not for the weak at heart.
T- This is something a lot of people don’t understand. It isn’t us making the hit—it’s the fans that make the hit. Get you some fans and your fans will make your hit. Whatever hit they want to make as a hit, they can make it.
SL- True, because some people think that my sax playing on “Weerdo” is the best thing in the world, but I have some musician buddies who think it’s just alright. Seriously—because they know what I can do. I recorded that part in like 2 seconds, and then when I would perform it, people would sing it back to me. But I’m a jazz musician. You know with jazz, everything you do is different every time you do it. So when I would perform the song, I didn’t even know the solo, so I had to go back and relearn it. So with me, it just kind of happened—like how art is supposed to be. It came from the heart. We weren’t out there chasing a hit. You know, it’s only recent that we’ve been trying to make some money off this thing.
LC- Just like what D said, don’t do it because of the paper. Do it because you love it, and you can’t stop thinking of songs. If you’re at the crib, and you can’t stop thinking of stuff, make some songs, man. Do it because you love it—it’s a passion, and you can’t live without it. Do it for the passion, man—not the paper. Even though Soulja boy is filthy rich, he loves making music at the end of the day.
D- Yeah, Soulja Boy does him, and you can tell he has fun with it. He didn’t come in this thing like ‘I’m about to be the best hip hop star ever!’ He came out, with the mindset that he’s going to do some dumb shit, and have fun. It’s a simple mathematics. Don’t make it a complicated situation when it isn’t. Do it, and find your niche, and do what you do. Find what you do. Don’t switch up because you see your people switching up. It has to be something that’s for YOU at the end of the day. You have to have a good foundation, and it all starts with having that song. It’s not hard. Its hard work, but you have to humble yourself. Get your shit tight.
SL- And get some faith in your life!

Is there anything you’d like to tell your fans?
LC- We love ya’ll. For real. Keep downloading the songs; keep coming to our shows—I want to crowd surf this year. That was my New Years resolution. I want to crowd surf really bad. I’m nothing but a buck thirty-five. I’m not hard to pick up.
D- Book us at your schools! Those organizations got bread, so it won’t be coming out of your pocket! Get us at your schools! But at the same time, let’s have fun in 09’. Let’s make it a memorable year. My birthday was on 11/04, so I already know that it’s going to be a very unpredictable year. The year where our faith may be tested, so stand strong for what you believe in, and make whatever it is you have, happen. Stay grinding.
SL- Obama is in office, it’s the year of change, so just expect great things. Embrace your blessings.
LC- Download the mixtapes! Colorblind Cognac, Edible Phat, Electricity Showroom, and now Candy for Kleptos!

Hollyweerd attempts to exit the stage for the third time, but Jamad plays another instrumental and gives the audience exactly what they want; more Hollyweerd. The crowd cheers, excitedly singing along. The show has already been going on for an hour, but the yearning audience is willing to take all that they can get.
And more.
The Dreamer closes his eyes, something people usually do when they are practicing what they desire—something many pianist and singers do during concert. His melody rides the instrumental as if they were meant to mate, as he sings about a mandate that can’t wait. I sing alone with the audience.
“…music is like cars, to get somewhere you change lanes…music is like cars, to get somewhere you change lanes…music is like cars, to get somewhere you change lanes…”

Atlanta, Georgia seems to be a place where aliens land and thrive for years, but we haven’t seen aliens as dissimilar since Outkast—and we all saw what they did to the music industry. They changed it. Will Hollyweerd grab the baton, and take on this role at the same speed as their elders—or maybe even faster? As Tuki said, that’s up to the fans to decide. Change is here. Will we accept it? I honestly don't believe we have a choice.

Just like that, the show is over, and the weirdos board their spaceship to take off as their cult heads to their cars, satisfies that they got to see what they wanted to. I get a glimpse of the girl with the Pabst, and she smiles at me. She looks satisfied, as well.

~ Lucius McCall

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