FEATURE: Playaz Circle, Underdogs
There's something to be said about Playaz Circle. While most crew members usually struggle to come out with their own projects, Tity Boi and Dolla Boy are already prepping their second Def Jam-distributed release in two years.
Sharing company budgets with stars like Kanye West, Young Jeezy and Rick Ross as label mates, the Atlanta pair has been able to hit the shelves while other acts continually get shelved. With their sophomore LP, Flight 360: The Takeoff, hitting earlier this week (September 29), Tit and Dolla hope to convince skeptics that the duffle bag boys are here to stay. XXLMag.com recently caught up with the twosome to discuss their new album, competing on a star-studded label and the pros and cons of having big time guest appearances.
XXLMag.com: What’s the significance behind the title of your album, Flight 360: The Takeoff?
Dolla Boy: Well, first, 360 is another analogy for circle. We basically wanted to get everybody invited into our world, like, Playaz Circle, come get on board with us. Let us show you how we get down. You’re on flight 360, you’re on a flight with the Playaz Circle.
XXL: A lot of acts that emerge out of crews tend to have a hard time coming out, but you’re already on your second album. How were you able to make that happen?
Dolla Boy: I mean, we’re professionals. We were professionals for a long time, since like the late ‘90s. And we basically like, [come from] an era where you had to get out and promote yourself. You had to get out there and do that grind yourself and that’s pretty much what we used to coming from the streets, so our being in Atlanta, that’s the mecca of hip-hop right now. It gave us a lot of avenues to go down and try to get our music heard which landed us a deal. Once we got the deal, we didn’t stop working there. We knew that we had to continue to work hard for us to come, for us to be the artists that we wanted to be. Pretty much, man. It’s just a full-time grind, you can’t take a day off.
Tity Boi: Just be consistent, man. Don’t worry about the heavyweights, man. Me and Dolla always felt like we could possibly be heavyweights and we bosses in our mind anyway, so we never worry about the climate anyway, none of that stuff. We stay in our lane and we move on our own two. We gon be here when a lot of them people get rich and just go out and take vacation, we gon still be here grindin'. After that, we not really worried about us grindin' over there at Def Jam cause we really feel like we the best over there, we just feel like Def Jam might not know it yet or DTP might not know it yet. There’s a thin line between cockiness and confidence, but shit, we walk it.
XXL: You leaked a few singles to prepare for the album release earlier this year, but it ended up getting pushed back. Why is that?
Dolla Boy: Yea, that’s pretty much because we’re in a time in the market where you’re not finna to put out a Playaz Circle album out on 200 spins, no videos, no commercials, and no type of promotion. That’s not just gonna happen, man. We gotta get out here and get into the markets, handle the fans, holla at the DJs and pretty much do it how it was done back in the days when you had to push behind an artist to try to break the artist and labels are pretty much not into that these days. They just want something already done, all they gotta do is throw a little money behind it, throw it out and reap the benefits. Me and Tit and DTP along with Chaka Zulu and Jeff Dixon, we weren’t going for that.
XXL: Your first leak off this album was the joint with Wayne and the second single is the one with OJ Da Juiceman. Do you ever think that those features take away from you guys as a group?
Dolla Boy: No, because everybody we messing with us are pretty much fans of us as much as we’re fans of them, so when we get in the studio and rock out, it’s gon be competition, so we welcome the competition, we love the competition so we wanna get on a track with the best dudes in hip-hop see how we measure up. I don’t think it’s about overpowering. Even though on a song with Lil Wayne, the whole world knows our lyrics, so…
Tity Boy: Well, nah man. I think it does when people look at it from an ignorant view point. But me and Dolla, bruh, we do a lot of these songs, people jump on the songs after they’re done. For the “Duffle Bag Boy” song, Wayne, we gave him the beat, he did the hook, it was a mutual thang. The “Stupid” song, we just had a verse open for OJ and he did, “Aye!" and his verse that was it. See, the thing that I did last year, I was trying to record a song with everybody in Atlanta and not just if you was hot, if you wasn’t hot so I can take a little bit of people’s fan base, snapping on they shit and I knew that a lot of people, Juice and all that, he was already poppin' so I was just trying to just come on so people see we have a movement. That’s what a lot of that shit be about just kinda cross promotion. We do a song with Raekwon, we trying to get that type of fan base. Cause we feel like we artists, man. We artists before we rappers, man. The only record that me and Dolla got that’s out right now, that’s just us, about 18 people asked to be on the remix already, man. Even if we try to do a song, man, the shit be so hot, I know you gon try to get on that thang. You gon try to attach yourself to the end of it.
XXL: You just mentioned Raekwon, how did that collaboration come about?
Dolla Boy: Raekwon been rockin' with us since day one. He came to Atlanta a while back. We just basically just got down on some street shit pretty much and it’s been cool ever since then. We had the chance to do something in the studio and it was love, you know what I’m saying. We laced it and it felt kinda like Up North so we was talking who will put on it, we should feature an Up North artist on it, and I was like, "Shit, I’ma put my dog on there." He fuck with Playaz Circle, he fuck with Duffle Bag Boys before we did the song with Lil Wayne. But that’s Raekwon, that’s like the god, nah mean?
XXL: Everybody is talking about his new album, Cuban Linx II right now. Did you get a chance to hear it?
Dolla Boy: Yeah, it just came out today. Everybody need to go cop that. That’s my dawg. As soon as we leave to get a little break, we gon go into the store to get all the albums. I wanna get his album as well as Jay-Z’s, as well as Trey Songz.—Carl Chery