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> Dem Franchize Boyz
We Like Them
Abraham O. Kuranga
Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
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
“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
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
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.”
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
“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.