ATLANTA- What do TI, Young Jeezy, Ludacris, 8 Ball & MJG, Stat Quo, Pastor Troy, Lil Jon & The East Side Boys, Boyz N Da Hood and 2 Live Crew have in common? Veteran hit-maker DJ Toomp. Stepping from behind the shadows of some of Hip-Hop's most recognized and respected names, the Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum producer, who was recently named Producer of the Year at the 2006 Southern Entertainment Awards, is launching NZone Entertainment, his new label venture along with longtime friend and business associate Bernard Parks, Jr.
Parks has music industry roots that reach back to the birth of the new Motown, Atlanta, GA. Parks was one of the masterminds behind Goodie Mob and contributed to the rise of Organized Noize and the Dungeon Family. He was an instrumental part of the creative explosion back in the early 90's that gave birth to the music hotbed Atlanta is today.
Toomp, whose moniker actually means "eternal life," is most known for his hands-on contribution to TI's platinum success. While Toomp is the creative force behind TI's most memorable songs, "Dope Boyz", "24's", "Be Easy", "Motivation", "U Don't Know Me," and the soon-to-be-classic "What U Know" from TI's forthcoming album King, the Southwest Atlanta-native has been a serious contender in the Hip-Hop game since his days at Therrell High. At the age when most kids are trying to obtain their drivers license, Toomp cut his first hit song with the legendary Raheem the Dream and the success was surprisingly lucrative for the 16 year-old. In addition to owning the flyest gear and selling the hottest mixtapes on the streets, he was spinning on college campuses and full scale auditoriums.
No sooner than he could graduate from high school, Miami rapper MC Shy D offered Toomp the chance of a lifetime: to deejay on a nationwide tour. The two went on to create the infectious smash hit, --Shake It,? (which recently found its way back to the forefront via the infamous Laker Girls-- dance team a mind boggling decade later). Toomp continued his tour of Miami, ultimately landing a spot with Luke and the 2 Live Crew.
In the early 90s Toomp did the ATL a favor by returning home after a five-year hiatus. While he was recruited by various independent labels and entertainment upstarts, Toomp chose to build his own house of talent. Alongside Brother Marquis of the 2 Live Crew, the two released 2 Nasty “ a moderately successful joint effort of an album, but Toomp envisioned a bigger, better picture.
Both Toomp and Parks felt that the time was perfect to start their own company after years of collaborating with other artists and making hits that propel them to superstar status. Parks recalls a conversation with Interscope founder Jimmy Iovine in which the industry legend dropped a verbal gem that resonated within him. --He said ˜Don--t ever give your hits away.-- With NZone Entertainment, tha's ours, we're not giving our hits away, Parks says. The "2 Miles An Hour" hit that was given to Ludacris for his multi-platinum selling record, Red Light District has paid off being that the song is currently being featured in a national television ad campaign with the car company Pontiac.
For the moment NZone Entertainment, in conjunction with DJ Toomp's production company Zoneboy, is focused on launching the careers of its two stars: Jack Bona and Suga Suga. Suga Suga, who currently has one of the hottest songs out of the South, "Do It With No Hands," is busy touring and working on his debut album.
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