Haze Entertainment [Profile]
Port Moody, B.C. – We here at HipHopCanada tend to notice people with a strong hustle, and the fellas at Haze Entertainment are definitely working hard. Between A&R Ryan Simmons, 16-year-old producer Lil DG, 12-year-old Derrick Martinez and MC Konkreto, these guys are pumping out albums and videos like there’s no tomorrow: plus, they’ve won multiple awards and secured features from half the biz. So check out this interview with Ryan, plus a mixtape download and music video.
HipHopCanada: How do you define hip-hop, and where do you feel you fit into that definition?
@HazeEnt: Hip-hop to me is defined with one word: 2Pac. I was raised on Pac, the first 3 albums before Suge got a hold of him, and before the Illuminati made him out to be crazy. That’s real hip-hop! I define hip-hop as West Coast early 90′s rap, from the NWA beefing with Death Row, and Death Row being started on some Vanilla Ice balcony money, to Death Row being the greatest thing in hip-hop – every artist who got stranded on Death Row is one of my favorites. There’s something to the West Coast hip-hop lifestyle. Where I fit into that definition is as an A&R I now try to work with as many as I can from the era I grew up listening to, anyone from the West Coast, and as close as I can get to any of the legends I grew up listening to.
HipHopCanada: What drives you to stay in a business that is rarely profitable and highly competitive?
@Hazeent: When you make 70 grand a year at your day job you can have some money to invest on music hobbies and since I don’t rap I try to line up as many features, or hosts from big names, for the cheapest prices possible and put them on a track with my team of talent: Koncreto, 16 year old super producer Lil DG, and 12 Year old Derrick Martinez. Who all are from Dominican Republic and do Spanglish rap. Basically music is only my hobby, I work at a full time career job so I got money to burn. I stay focussed on us, no one else matters to me. If you make consistently good songs the fans will come to the music. Music is all about who you know.
HipHopCanada: Where are you based specifically?
@Hazeent: I’m from the home of the pig farmer. The guy used to have wicked parties.
HipHopCanada: How has living there influenced your sound?
@Hazeent: When you stay in the city you represent, and you’re drinking in all the pubs in that city, you’re bound to know everyone, or they know me. I often have many people come up to me in the bar and be like you’re the guy that did that LEGENDS track for Coquitlam, or you made the White Pine Beach song or they bring up the Coquitlam Anthem video. All stuff I made when I was starting out putting on for my city. So I’m often influenced by my city to put on for it. I’ve had Glasses Malone, TQ, Crooked I, B Legit all give shout outs to Coquitlam. I have brought Shade Shiest and Nune up from Compton to stay in Coquitlam and perform at my birthday. I give back to the people that give back to me.
HipHopCanada: Who is your primary fan base?
@Hazeent: I’d have to say West Coast, when I started out in ‘99 making music with DJ Blenz we really just DJ’d, him as a club DJ and me as a mixtape DJ and we tried to do it for Coquitlam. Blenz and Koncreto went on as part of Latin Styles and LGP Ent. After releasing the Mayor Of Coquitlam album back in 2007, I kind of felt I didn’t have to just do it for my little town anymore, I could do it for the whole West Coast. Having the Very Aggressive team running shit in Oregon, and the support I receive at the West Coast hip-hop awards every year I have a following of American people. I always tried to work with people from all over the states, because if you make a hot song with them, their whole fan base going find out about you. That’s how music should be, everyone working with everyone. But this is not how it is in Vancouver or BC music, maybe its Canadian music in general. There’s a gap between artists in town, it’s like it’s not okay to try to collaborate with other Vancity artists. I’m trying to knock down any walls, because I have seen the American market and I know if you bring a hot record to the American people, regardless of their name people will work for free.
HipHopCanada: What tips would you give young artists coming up, or what do you wish someone would have told you when you first started out in the hip-hop industry?
@Hazeent: Well my tips would be to get LIL DG to make all your beats, he’s been making beats since he was 10, the beats come easy to him. He’s like a musical genius who’s following in the steps of his older brother Koncreto. Also make sure people have a budget if they want to be rap stars. Everyone wants to do stuff but don’t have a budget to make it happen. When you have budget opportunities come your way that wouldn’t come your way with no budget. Also I would suggest staying in school and getting a good job, because hip-hop isn’t going to pay you well. I would also suggest staying independent, we have all our albums released through “ITunes” so we get the money and don’t have to worry about others.
HipHopCanada: In which ways do you interact with your community?
@Hazeent: When I’m in the bar every week doing fist pumps and trying to steal someone’s girlfriend to come back to the afterhours spot.
HipHopCanada: Which artists have you worked with that left an impression on you, and why?
@Hazeent: Well my features for sure after having worked with West coast Superstars like Glasses Malone, Crooked I, Ya Boy, Bizzy Bone, Lil Flip, San Quinn, C-Bo, TQ, B-Legit, Shade Sheist, Gangsta Dresta, Spider Loc (G-Unit), Cyssero, Phat Rat (Ya Boys Uncle & Tha Games son’s God Father), Big Fase 100 (The Games Brother), Tha Vill, Tha Realest, XL Middleton, Choclair and more. I’m also proud of the hosts I have had for albums, having the #1 Mixtape DJ in the world in DJ Ill Will host “I Only Touch Greatness Pt3: California Dreamin”, having Hulk Hogans Son, Nick Hogan host “Fuck Them Pay Me” double disc album for free was huge. Now we have my friend Dante Marsh of the BC LIONS hosting the new LIL DG & Koncreto Album. Choclair is actually on the one of the singles we did with Konvict Muzik of the Border Bruthaz album.
HipHopCanada: Which Canadian artist would you most like to collaborate with?
@HazeEnt: Well having already worked with Choclair on 2 tracks, the next person I would probably like to work with would have to be Justin Bieber. If Lil DG could be making all his beats Biebs would be set, plus have you seen how many girls Bieber has? Maybe some of them girls can rick-a-shay off Biebs and land in my lap.
HipHopCanada: Tell us about past and present successes, as well as future projects?
@Hazeent: I’m proud of my awards I have won at the West Coast hip hop awards: in 2009 I won Canadian Mixtape DJ of the year, in 2010 I won Canadian Mixtape of the year for California Dreamin, and in 2011 I won for Canadian A&R of the year. Having worked with many of my favourite artists and winning awards got me noticed by Konvict Muzik. I spent 2011 as A&R for 5050/Konvict Muzik/Vancouver, while LIL DG spent 2011 signed to 5050/Konvict Muzik on a producer’s contract. As for future projects we have the Koncreto & B-Style Border Bruthaz Album set to drop any day. We also have the Koncreto & Lil DG B.L.O.W (Beats Laced Our Way) album done as well: it’s hosted by Dante Marsh of the BC Lions, both just waiting on the covers and its produced 100% by LIL DG. Koncreto also has a full Spanish mixtape “Afro Latino” which is done and is produced by Lil DG. Lil DG has his own album produced entirely by himself which is 13 songs deep. Koncreto has an unreleased album he recorded in the Dominican Republic with a bunch of their big Spanish artists that album been done for a while Just waiting for right time to release it. There is also a finished an Old School mixtape where we took all the classic songs from the early 90s and Koncreto rapped on them all. Plus 12 year old Derrick Martinez has his solo album coming, produced by Lil DG.
HipHopCanada: Any last words for the HipHopCanada online community?
@Hazeent: I’d like to thank HipHopCanada for running this interview and releasing the California Dreamin album that’s hosted by DJ Ill will. I’d Like to thank my team of artists and friends, Koncreto, Lil DG, Derrick Martinez, B-Styles and the whole #veryaggressive team. I’d like to give a shout out to Octavious and the rest of the people that make the hip-hop awards a success. I’d like to also thank my local music friends I keep it tight with like the R&B king of Vancouver B Diamond, Cosimo Frank, Keep 6ix, Ill Kid, Rasta Mike, Flawless Mac and shout out to the whole C-Town Army team. I hope this year some of the Vancouver cats get on board for the hip hop awards August Long Weekend in Portland. Message me on twitter if you have any issues with anything I say @hazeent. And make sure you check out our official website www.sosohiphop.com for all the music videos and albums. Follow us all on twitter @Hazeent, @Koncreto809604, @Real_Derrick, @TharealLilDG, @BenjaButt, @AggressiveVery, @sosohiphop, @NotoriousSMB, @Kb604.
Click HERE for the album on iTunes