By: Hip Hop Journalist
College Park, a suburb of the sprawling southern Hip-Hop capital Atlanta has birthed many MCs who have maintained a solid glow to the Georgia skyline. Names like Jermaine Dupri and Luda rep Collie Park to the fullest. Now it is the time of a couple of Luda’s co-horts to shine.
Playaz Circle has been down with Luda longer than DTP has been in existence. With their up and coming album Supply and Demand destined for release later this year or early next, the duo made up of Tity boy and Dolla Boy gave us here at HHC a little insight into what goes on in their world.
Talking on how hard it is for them to make the albums final cut the duo break down their views on changing lanes, whose opinions matter and just how unity continues to rage in the South.
Hip-HopCrack.com: When is the album dropping?
Playaz Circle: Basically we was in a deal with Universal and we got out of that deal and signed with Def Jam and DTP. We are hoping to get out the end of this year, the beginning of next year. We have a song out right now The Duffel Bag Boys which features Lil Wayne and we are just doing our thing.
Hip-HopCrack.com: You have been talked about for a long time, why have we had to wait so long for this album? Was it just down to label politics?
Playaz Circle: I mean it is what it is. You have to realize we are street artists and this label here in the past has put out a lot of radio hits and stuff that has gone straight to pop; you know stuff of that nature. So I think with us we had to think of a new avenue to get our album even heard and to break it through.
Hip-HopCrack.com: Taking a new avenue, isn’t that a case of denying your creativity and what you stand for?
Playaz Circle: You know we could say it was Universal’s fault or DTP’s fault or we could say it was our fault. But I think this time it’s been good for everybody as this time we have all learned and made decisions. You know we can make comfortable decisions from things that have been done in the past. I think even our opinions are listened to now as artists. I think our creative control is that much more respected and listened to throughout all this process.
Hip-HopCrack.com: That is obviously a good feeling?
Playaz Circle: Yeah that is a great feeling for people wanting to actually hear your ideas because when you hear feedback it is good to hear it from another perspective. We come from a whole different back ground and just getting that feedback from us is something we like getting for support.
Hip-HopCrack.com: Being that you yourselves stated, street artists, coming into the mainstream was it hard for you to cater to a different audience, as those who listen to mixtapes may not even bother with shelf albums.
Playaz Circle: Yeah it definitely is and that is the great part of being with Luda. He has had such a great career on the radio and we knew when we came onto DTP that we could lock down the street aspect. It was going to be a challenge getting onto radio and being heard and appealing to all these other listeners.
Hip-HopCrack.com: You weren’t concerned?
Playaz Circle: I think our biggest thing was if we were crossing over, it was because it was something we wanted to do. It would be because the song had capabilities to cross over. It would be nothing to do with what we had changed. Of course we have songs that will go pop, like most artists do because at the end of the day pop just means popular. If we have a song that is popular and people like it, doesn’t matter if you are street artist or whatever. Like Sean Kingston who has that Beautiful Girls tracks, that is a mix of everything. As long as a track sounds good, it has to stand out.
Hip-HopCrack.com: How important is being part of a collective. Did you always want to be part of one?
Playaz Circle: Well we have always been down with DTP. We all stayed in the same complex. We always said if one of us got on we would come back and look for the others and shout out to Cris as that is what he did. He came back and gave us the opportunity to do our group thing, Playaz Circle and we are here now.
Hip-HopCrack.com: Where does Duffle Bag Boys come from?
Playaz Circle: It is like the bigger picture of Playaz Circle, which is the group. Duffle Bag Boys is our movement, you know our group, our side of town. We have artists all across the country. It is basically our movement. They are people who are getting money, you know you don’t have to be in the streets; you can be a blue collar, white collar worker or whatever you may be. Just someone who strives to get so much money that they can’t fit it in their pockets or their wallets, you going to need a duffel bag so you can do it big. It’s like if you have a duffle bag full of money you have made it in some people’s eyes.
Hip-HopCrack.com: Who have you got on the album?
Playaz Circle: I don’t know if it is too late to say or too early to say as we have had albums done but we have been constantly recording. A lot of big name producers and a lot of no name producers. I think that our problem that we have is trying to narrow down which 13 songs we are going to use. We have certain songs that we like and times keep passing and music keeps growing so we just keep recording and replacing the songs. We work with everyone we are fans of, but right now the artist list is so long as we have worked with so many people, it is hard to say that all these tracks are going to go on our first project Supply and Demand.
Hip-HopCrack.com: Who is executive producing the album?
Playaz Circle: You could say Playaz Circle or you could say DTP because basically the Exec Producer is who is paying for the recording time. Me and Dollar have been doing that as sometimes your budget may be closed or you might have to wait on a signature and to be honest we are not waiting kinds of people.
Hip-HopCrack.com: Is there anyone outside of DTP that you call on for advice when it comes to music?
Playaz Circle: Of course, Lil Wayne, Baby have all been down with the Duffle Bag Boys. The whole Cash Money has been very supportive during this whole process and even Slim; you can have a conversation with him where you can just take something from. Outside our camp there would be Polow the Don, Raekwon, he gave us a lot of game. There is a lot of people you just wouldn’t think are going to be mentioned are people who have given us a lot of heads up on the Hip-Hop game. It is good when you have peers in the game that can offer up constructive criticism and you can take something from them.
Hip-HopCrack.com: Are you confident with this project?
Playaz Circle: Oh man we are confident with each other, we are confident with the project and the music period. We do this for the streets, we get money regardless. This is like a hobby to us. We have been in the streets for so long; we ain’t made no major money out of this yet, so we can’t really put all our eggs in one basket. We make sure our family and our friends are straight and then we go to the studio and do our thing. It is like a hobby and our work at the same time as we know we don’t want to do the street thing forever. We want to make money and open the doors for our friends and our families to eat through the music. That is what time it is. We just want to be helpful in our community. And it is fun, who wants to go to a job when you don’t want to be there? Who wouldn’t want to get paid for expressing their thoughts? This is a job where we enjoy getting up and doing what we do.
Hip-HopCrack.com: Did you two come up together?
Playaz Circle: Yeah clearly we came up together; before we knew how to rap it was already written. You know we don’t even look like a natural group when you see us together as one of us is real tall and the other real short. It goes deeper than that. Like you said we are family orientated we are into the community; we know each others moms and dads, the whole thing. We came up from the bottom to this point and it feels good to have a video shoot where everyone comes through from High School and family came out. It was like a big reunion.