Dem Franchise Boys: Speak Ya Clout

High off the crest of a hit remix featuring Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat and Bow-Wow, Dem Franchise Boyz are ready to take the success of “I Think They Like Me” to the next level on their forthcoming sophomore LP, On Top Of Our Game. With the ink still wet on their very, very lucrative contract […]

High off the crest of a hit remix featuring Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat and Bow-Wow, Dem Franchise Boyz are ready to take the success of “I Think They Like Me” to the next level on their forthcoming sophomore LP, On Top Of Our Game. With the ink still wet on their very, very lucrative contract with So So Def/Virgin, the group may have what it takes to make it to the very top of the game.

True to the hood without exploiting it, the Bankhead natives known as Buddie, Jizzal Man, Pimpin and Parlae have taken music to the next level by creating their own style they proudly call “Laid Back Crunk.” Dressed fresh to death in their white tees, DFB brought out the heat when sat down with them recently. The group quotes Jay-Z in several of their answers, plus packs some punch in their message for the haters. You’ve switched from Universal to So So Def/Virgin. How did you all get in touch with JD?

Jizzal Man: JD did his own little version of “White T###” that became a hit throughout the streets of Atlanta, you know what I’m sayin. He found out we were free agents from Universal, and [told us] that he’s ready to do a real remix of “I Think They Like Me.” Because he was feeling our work ethic, he got the paperwork done right, know what I’m talking about, and he signed us. Here it is, history in the making. How does it feel to be around such a hit-maker?

Pimpin: Promotion’s real strong! You see us on BET everyday. We number one in the country right now! We hitmakers [ourselves]! We always been around hitmakers, know what I’m talking about?

Parlae: We’re having a good relationship with JD. School people on “Laid Back Crunk.” Compare it to general crunk.

Pimpin: Well, you got your basic crunk music, okay, where it’s like a mosh pit, everybody’s together bouncing around, ‘bowin, pushing each other, jumpin on top of each other… Okay…

Pimpin: Then there’s the crunk where you do the same thing without all that pushing and bowin’. That’s what we call ‘Laid Back Crunk.’ You can get crunk [and be able to] sip on your Grey Goose, holding your cup in your hand. You don’t have to worry about spilling your liquor on the dance floor and getting it all over your thousand-dollar outfit. You all have hot single. The girls are hot in the video too. Did ya’ll get laid?

Dem Franchise Boys: [Laughter]

Buddie: It just feels good to have a impact on people all over the world and us knowing that our music is helping people get through the day feels real good man. We’re ready to keep going through with this. Let me ask you about the lyrics on “I Think They Like Me.” You brag about coming up overnight. Is that true?

Jizzal Man: We got signed in six months man. Six months after we formed a group, we got signed to a major deal. Damn.

Parlae: You got other cats out there trying so hard, trying to imitate us, and still ain’t doing it. To them, it’s like we did it overnight.

Buddie: And they been doin’ it for years…

Parlae: Like fourteen or fifteen years, and they still ain’t doing it like us. You get into any beef because of that? You know, ‘cause someone sees you and envies your spot?

Buddie: I mean, you know, that just comes with it. It’s a package thang: fame and success and envy. When you’re number one man, everybody’s tryin to take shots at you. I’m hearing you got beef with Down 4 Life. Is that true?

Pimpin: No comment. Okay, but what do you think about “Laffy Taffy”? Some people feel it, some think it’s nonsense…

Parlae: That’s exactly how we feel when you ask us about [D4L]. “Yo, what is this nonsense.”

Jizzal Man: They try to follow in our footsteps. We’re trendsetters. It’s like Buddie said, it’s a package thang, man. We dropped “White T###”, then people came out with “Black T###, Red T###”. All for [some of our] success… Speaking of that, there’s this song called “Pink T###” dissing Cam’Ron, and people think DFB made it.

Jizzal Man: Naw. We f**ks with Dip Set.

Pimpin: They on the album. [We got] Jim Jones, the King of Harlem, n***a. Dip Set is on the album. Let’s talk about the album. What’s gonna make it go platinum?

Buddie: We got JD all over the album, and more people know about us. It’s a more mature album, because we’re learning more about the industry. We learning more of the ropes and all that, now that we under the wings of JD. We young, Black entrepreneurs. That’s where the name Franchise comes from; know what I’m talking about! I’m gonna play devil’s advocate. You guys have some harsh critics.

Jizzal Man: We know.

[DFB]: F**k critics! “If you don’t like our lyrics, you could press fast forward!” You’ve been called “the white tee boys” and one critic said that DJ’s should spin your record now, because you guys won’t last long.

Pimpin: They said the same thing about us last year when we came out with “White T###”. Now look at us, we did it again with “I Think They Like Me”! They call us one hit wonders while they wonder why we keep makin hit records!

Buddie: Yup Yup! When they say that they don’t like us, it’s like they sayin “f**k us.” So, if it’s “f**k us,” then it’s “f**k them”, you know what I’m saying? If they don’t like it, don’t play it, They ain’t putting any money in our pocket…If it’s a individual, f**k you! If it’s a group, f**k y’all! When we see ‘em, we gonna swing on ‘em. You’d let it get to that point? Would you have to swing on someone if it got that far?

Parlae & Pimpin: Hell yeah!

Jizzal Man: This is our career, know what I’m talking about? Okay. Let’s say you shot someone, wouldn’t that mess up your career?

Jizzal Man: Not necessarily. There’s always a case of self-defense. If a n***a f**k with me and I got a tool on me, his ass is gonna be bust, homie.

Pimpin: “Plus I gotta few dollars/I could fight the case.” We got Jew lawyers! I feel you but, let me play devil’s advocate again. You can be humble, stack paper–and not have to carry heat.

Buddie: I don’t know how it is [outside of Atlanta], but we come from the murder capitol of the world. You could be the n***a that is quiet and humble, and you could get bucked for no reason other than that a n***a just don’t like you. That’s life, pimp. It ain’t rap, it’s just life, pimp.

Parlae: Fo’ sure. We real. We from the hood, man. We know how to survive man.

Jizzal Man: We got our own label deal too, man. We got our own artists on DFB

Records, know what I’m talkin’ about. We trying to get it moving. We developing new talent, feel me? Whenever we kickin’ it in Atlanta, we kickin it with our artists, like brothers. It’s a family around here. What if your brother flops?

Pimpin: [If they flop], we gonna pick em up and do it again. [If they flop again], we

gonna pick ‘em up again. It’s just money. You can’t stop a hit baby. You think we ain’t gonna put no hit on their album?! You can’t stop a hitmaker, fo’ sure.