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PopEntertainment.com > Feature Interviews - Music > Feature Interviews A to E > Dem Franchize Boyz

Dem Franchize Boyz

Think We Like Them

By Abraham O. Kuranga

Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: March 23, 2006.

The south has been a hip hop hot bed for some time now – namely Atlanta, Georgia.  It has been the launching pad for many artists including Lil’ Jon, TI, Usher, Jermaine Dupri and more.  The last one on the list, Dupri, has been the ambassador of this city for years and now he has another delegate representing the ATL.   

Dem Franchize Boyz are comprised of Jizzal Man, Parlae, Pimpin and Buddie.  All hail from Atlanta’s Westside.  These high school and eventually college school mates didn’t start out on path for stardom, but rather for education.  While attending a small North Carolina college, the boys gathered around a used computer and started having fun.   

“We weren’t really tryin’ to do anything,” says Parlae.  “We were just having fun, making silly beats and rhyming.”   

They came up with a clever name to attach to their hobby.  “We are a franchise, a business,” explains Parlae.  “We’re homeboys, but we’re business partners too.  We all do different things and have different roles.  That’s how we got the name.”   

You see, they were there to get their business degrees and move back to Atlanta, but all that messing around finally started to pay off.  To their surprise, a track off a dorm room demo, “White Tees,” became a summer smash.   

“Before we knew it, people were asking us for more music,” explains Pimpin.   “Finally, we decided to drop out and move home and do this for real.”   

The story gets even better.  Unlike many artists who struggled for years to land a deal, the Franchize Boyz weren’t looking to sign with any label.  They were just going to sell albums by themselves and make as much money as possible.

“We weren’t looking for a deal, but we got one,” says Parlae.  “Don’t get me wrong, it’s been hard.  We been tryin to bust through the game and let people know we’re for real.”   

Someone soon took notice and the Boyz soon signed a deal with Universal Records and released their self-titled debut album.  They received a lot of attention in their hometown for their ode to the every day outfit, but didn’t gain much attention across the country.   

That’s when they decided to part with Universal and return to doing what they did best, just making beats by the computer.  Soon after leaving Universal, Jermaine Dupri, now president of Virgin Records Urban Music, signed the foursome to his So So Def imprint.   

“JD made us his number one priority,” said Pimpin.  “He showed us how to be professionals.  He just motivates us to keep working hard and stay focused.” 

It is through So So Def that Dem Franchize Boyz released their next hit single, “I Think They Like Me,” and the subsequent album On Top of Our Game.  The single became an instant hit with urban radio and soon crossover stations.  This didn’t at all surprise the Boyz. 

“We expected it a little bit,” says Parlae of the song’s success.  “We told JD it was our niche single.”

“I Think They Like Me,” ushers in a new craze in southern hip hop.  “Snap” music, as it is called, is the next best thing to crunk. 

According to Pimpin, “Snap music is the Westside Atlanta vibe.  It has snaps, snare, bass and that groove you hear in the south.” 

It's that groove that Dem Franchize Boyz bring on their new album.  The follow up single, “Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It,” is a prime example of snap music, with its infectious vibe and its simple backdrop of a beat.  Most of their album was produced by Dupri, but the Boyz made sure they had their hand in the creative aspects of the album. 

“Only you know what you like,” says Pimpin.  “JD made sure we were involved as much as possible because we are the artists.” 

Dupri also made sure he involved other artists as well in the creation of their album.  He also enlisted his So So Def signees, Bow Wow, Da Brat, and himself to bless the remix of “I Think They Like Me.” 

All the early success has not caused the Boyz to relax and enjoy the moment.  “We still grinding everyday,” says Parlae.  “ATL is full of hot artists and we just trying to take care of what is ours.”  

Between promoting the album and touring with fellow artists like Young Jeezy, TI and others, Dem Franchize Boyz haven’t had much time to think about their future.  They do however have a wish list for their next album. 

“We already told JD we want to work with Jay Z, Fabolous, Mary J. Blige, and Kanye [West] on our next album,” explained Parlae.  If anyone can round up such power, Dupri is the man.  If any artists can hold their own against such powerhouses, Dem Franchize Boyz are poised and ready.

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Photo Credits:
#1 © 2006.  Courtesy of Virgin Records.  All rights reserved.
#2 © 2006.  Courtesy of Virgin Records.  All rights reserved.
#3 © 2006.  Courtesy of Virgin Records.  All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: March 23, 2006.

New Music This Week; Black Sabbath, The Lonely Island, Chrisette Michele and many more at fye.com

Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: March 23, 2006.