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Interview with Carlos Jones (Lo' Down), May 15, 2016

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:28 - Early introduction to music

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Partial Transcript: In a few words, if you could think back, what was Athens' music scene like ten to fifteen years ago?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about his father's involvement in music, and how he used his father's in-house recording studio as the hangout for him and his friends growing up. He recalls meeting his friend and collaborator "Duddy" Ken Richardson, forming a group together, and dropping out of college in Atlanta in order to pursue music.

Keywords: Ken Richardson; education; friendship; group formation

00:08:06 - Music career takes off

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Partial Transcript: So let's go back to '98. You turn down this record deal.

Segment Synopsis: Jones recalls how he and Duddy got connected to Bubba Sparxxx, a rapper at the University of Georgia, who put them in touch with other industry players. He remembers the release of their first album, Between the Hedges, getting airplay on the radio, and being interviewed by radio DJ Greg Street.

Keywords: Between the Hedges; Bubba Sparxxx; Greg Street; V-103 radio station; WUGA; album release

00:14:56 - Close to signing deal with Timbaland

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Partial Transcript: I mean a lot of people want to know what it was like with you and Duddy together.

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about starting out as a solo artist but teaming up with Duddy Ken Richardson after repeated collaborations. He recalls being close to a record deal with producer Timbaland, but the deal fell through. Jones talks about going to prison, and how that affected his music career. He talks about producing songs with Rico Wade from the Organized Noize production company.

Keywords: Bubba Sparxxx; Organized Noize; Rico Wade; Timbaland; incarceration; record label

00:23:10 - Shift in career--more solo work

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Partial Transcript: So when did things start dying down, or changing in a different direction?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about his solo career during the mid-2000s, during which time he worked with artists like Boyz n da Hood and Yung Jug, and with production companies like Straight Drop Records, MasterMind Music, and Block Studio. He talks about touring in the South and getting back together with Duddy Ken to release a second album.

Keywords: Bad Boy South; Boyz n da Hood; Chino Dolla; MasterMind Music; Straight Drop Records; Yung Joc

00:30:49 - Limits of hip hop growth in Athens

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Partial Transcript: So when did it come to the point where you felt like maybe this needed change?

Segment Synopsis: Jones discusses his relationship to Athens, focusing especially on his perception that the town reinforces a competitive, self-serving mentality. He also mentions the limitations of Athens as a place for the growth of a hip hop industry.

Keywords: black community; division; housing project

00:38:03 - Stepping away from music spotlight / Musical influences

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Partial Transcript: Well, where are you at musically?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about stepping away from performing music in 2007, choosing instead to ghostwrite music and produce for other artists. He also lists his musical influences.

Keywords: behind-the-scenes; ghostwriting; music influences