Rappers shoot for the stars, seek solid gold

When manager/promoter Titan Mann and lauded hip-hop artist Lil' Hyphy got together to form Hyphyville Entertainment, it's unlikely they realized just how successful the collaboration would become. "We do rap, hip-hop, R B &

it's the Hyphy germ!" said Mann.

Now, thrice recorded and about to tour, Lil' Hyphy is bringing other artists along for the ride. Hyphy Entertainment now produces other local artists in addition to its star, such as C-Smooth, Dred Mac and jokester Jim Roskie.

"What this brings to the community, is that I like to see people dance and have a good time and enjoy the sound that they're getting. I cater to different generations," said Hyphy. "We just want people to have a good time and dance to it. Some people's heads will hurt from moving to the music. Too many rappers just put out anything, and you can't move to it. I practice perfect. Some people won't like it, but it's not for the people that won't like it."

"It's not just Hyphy," said Mann. "As far as music goes, and as a company we think of the future. We're working on a fundraiser with Kids Unlimited and the (Southern Oregon) Meth Project." Mann and Hyphy are involved in other charitable work, also working on the Coat Project on Aug. 15.

"This isn't just about us. It's about helping other people," said Mann. "We've been mostly pro-bono. We go out of town a lot and try to get gas money, but "&


Hyphy is playing with his 1-year-old son, Damariyae, among his three children. "I'm just trying to be a good role model," said Hyphy. "He tries to be just like me. When we're at the studio he's trying to make as much noise as possible."

"Basically, how the company formed was that I once worked with artists in Seaside and when I came here, I lost some of those contacts," said Mann. "I met Lil' Hyphy and saw his drive and desire to be successful &

the rest is history."

"Maybe not that many people are into hip-hop here," said Hyphy, "but once people get into it, they get really into it. We're trying to get people from each town. People say there isn't much to do around here. We're giving them something to do."

Lil' Hyphy originally hails from Berkeley, Calif., where he got his start in music. "Berkley to Ashland isn't much of a culture-shock,"said Hyphy. "I've been around music my whole life, especially being around my cousins, who are also musicians. I started free-styling a bit but got serious six years ago. I met (fellow musician) Caveman at

Humboldt State University and we formed a union, making the album 'Grinderz &

From the Ground Up' but we didn't have the funds to widely release it."

Then Hyphy came to Southern Oregon University to play football, but he wound up tearing his ACL. Now he is majoring in child psychology, while going hard on the music. "For me, the ability to make a good song, to be on the radio is an escape, but it's also a means to make more funds for my kids and my family."

"We have more of an understanding (of music)," said Hyphy. "We're trying to go mainstream. We're shooting for the stars &

there's no limit. We're trying to bring both communities together and put Southern Oregon on the map. We have a good thing in both areas now. We want the whole Northwest. We can go gold there and become internationally known."

"Yes, mainstream notoriety," concurred Mann. "In this business we can help a lot of our families that are struggling. Basically, now Hyphy has a few projects coming out. This month we're releasing an album and a music video. We're involving much of Southern Oregon."

Learn and hear more at the company's MySpace site, with over 500,000 plays, on MySpace music under Lil' Hyphy. Or call manager Mann at 646-8944.

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