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Down With The Crew Called DTP

I caught that BET Spring Bling nonsense this past weekend and I noticed my boy Ludacris has a new T-shirt. You Youtube addicts can check but I think it said something like “DTP. If not us, then nobody.” Pardon me, I had to laugh at that. Naw, seriously lost in the shuffle of all the rap world’s South Rules Everything Around Us sentiments is that for all of the Dirty-Dirty’s trend-setting hold on hip-hop, no one entity has ruled the nest down thurr since the days of No Limit and Cash Money. You can look it up, kids.

Lil Jon is big but BME ain’t yet. Nelly is huge but none of his St. Lunatics are household names. As big as OuKast got they weren’t able to make the Slim Calhouns or the Killer Mikes successful. In fact, the only Down South crew to have 2 multi-platinum artists at one time in recent memory, was… that’s right DTP! It was Ludacris and his former young helper Chingy.

Back in the days when the dynamic duo we’re both 2 or 3 million deep each I approached DTP honcho Chaka Zulu about putting the fellas together for a cover. We shook hands and agreed to the deal and then the next day he insisted I throw Shawnna in the mix. I denied the request and cover was pulled. (Yup, I’m a hard-ass!) Later Chingy went awol and I cosigned his emancipation. Did cover and y’all didn’t cop it (I’m still in therapy over that). Ching-a-Ling LP caught the soph jinx while Luda came out again and triumphantly did his big numbers. Looks like ‘Cris won, but did he?

You see Shawnna’s debut bricked and so did I-20’s so Lova Lova finds himself in the same predicament as Hova did at Rocafella. How’d you make an artist as big as or God forbid bigger than you? It’s why Luda had to drop another group compilation late last year to once again reintroduce the buying public to the brand he hopes to establish. Yeah Bobby Valentino did his thing on the R&B side but do the fans really connect him with Disturbing The Peace?

Scooping up Field Mob seems like a smart move (even though I’ll pass on the Ciarra collabo) and jimmy hats off to Shawnna for defying the radio rules and delivering a hit about gettin’ head but my money’s still on Ludacris and not necessarily his brand. My deputy editor Vanessa heard some of Chris’ new shit and he’s got a Pharrell-produced Nelly pairing that’s guaranteed to keep the clubs jumping this summer. The jury’s still out on whether anyone on his team can ever reach his high standard. But if not them, then who?

Is T.I. gonna “Shoulder Lean” with Young Dro to the top of the charts? Is Jeezy gonna make Slick Pulla known for more than gettin’ popped? Is Lil Wayne gonna be able to make Universal pay attention to Currensy? You know what, come to think of it… I think I’m gonna make a T-Shirt. It’s gonna say: Maybe you’re right. Good luck Luda.

P.S. YN and Chaka Zulu have since squashed their beef and were seen standing side by side as witnesses to the Jay-Z and Nas concert truce. Both gentlemen were screaming like little girls throughout the show and when God’s Son actually emerged on stage and excited Zulu exclaimed, “I gotta call Luda.”

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