A lot has changed since Chris Brown graced the pages of DUB Issue 39. He’s now 18 and legally considered an adult, got his license, grew some facial hair, got a few tattoos and is promoting his sophomore album, Exclusive (Jive Records, 2007). Less than two years ago, Chris was an average 16-year-old teenager from the small town of Tappahannock, Virginia (population 2,000) with a whole lot of talent and a mind full of big dreams, fueled by artists he grew up listening and looking up to, such as Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Michael Jackson and Usher. “I always imagined that I could be what I wanted to be; I just hoped that I could do it,” he says. “I never knew how fast this would take off, so I’m thankful for it.”
People cluster and whisper excitedly because they’ve heard the news—50 Cent is on his way. They scan the south end of the large Las Vegas Convention Center, waiting eagerly as others join the throng of curious onlookers on the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) convention floor. The crowd parts way for Curtis Jackson. The multi-platinum rapper, actor, entrepreneur and mogul moves with a cool swagger, relaxed and self-assured, despite the commotion.
Tap, snap or nap…future UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes often gives opponents one of these three choices. The thing about fighting Hughes is that you already know what’s coming: he wants to take you down and either ground and pound you or choke you out. The question is: Can you stop it? Very few have.
At 1 p.m., 29-year-old Floyd Mayweather Jr. is just waking up in his Las Vegas, Nevada mansion. Before dressing his two sons, Koraun, 8, and Shamaree, 6, for a trip to the gym, he jumps on an international conference call.
In August of 2006, Alex Valdman (aka Alval) and Gianpaolo Altomari (aka Gian) crept up on me while I was interviewing Talib Kweli. They were holding one handmade zip-up hoodie and introduced themselves as “HomeRoom Clothing.”
Not long ago, R&B singer Keyshia Cole was scrambling around New York City and other parts of the country with her manager, Manny Halley, performing at any available venue. Even with the November 2005 release of her debut album, The Way It Is (Geffen Records, 2005), Keyshia often found herself singing her heart out to crowds of less than a few dozen. Still, the Oakland, California native (who celebrated her 26th birthday on October 15) worked the microphone as if she was singing for a sold out crowd at Radio City Music Hall.
For as long as he can remember, 30-year-old Leander Jordan of La Mesa, California, has been a car guy. “I have always been into cars since I was a little boy. My grandfather had Hot Wheels, and I used to play with them every time I went to his house,” Jordan said.