Friday, May 29, 2009



My Mom: “Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are.”
Ever since she told me that I let go of 99% of my friends and turned it
into a inner circle. Go-gettas, hustlers, everyone plays their part.
Why? So we can get the job done and enjoy the life we’ve always wanted
to live. Why the name R.O.M.E.?
ROME: Respect Over Money Everyday! I just want people to listen to
my music and take what they can from it to enhance the energy in their
lives. I tell stories and share the dreams I have when I’m asleep or
daydreaming. All I want is the respect from the Hip-Hop community, the
rest will follow. Cut the tree at the bottom and all the leaves and
branches will fall.

iR: Who do you attribute most of your success to?

ROME: The way I was raised. I was raised appreciating the little we
had: [a] 1 bedroom apartment, a single mother, breakfast for dinner,
the same shoes for a whole school year, et al. I attribute my success
to this because that’s what I rap about and lived, and my fans [can]
relate to this. I lay my whole life on the records. I don’t hide
anything about my life because if I did, I wouldn’t be sharing these
highlights of my life.

iR: If you weren’t in the music Industry where would you be?

ROME: I don’t know. The [music] is all I know and will ever know.
I’ve never had a 9-5. I’ve never done anything besides music. I don’t
know how to do anything else besides music.

iR: You’ve worked with the likes of Omar Cruz and Mistah
F.A.B. Who is one artist that you’ve recently worked with that we
should look out for?

ROME: Production wise, I’ve worked with Rick Ross & Jim Jones,
but what I want people to look out for is my album that’s being
released June 15. It’s called “My Demo.” It will be available as a free
download via my myspace.

iR: Best piece of advice you got, and from whom?

ROME: My Mom: “Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who
you are.” Ever since she told me that I let go of 99% of my friends and
turned it into a inner circle. Go-gettas, hustlers, everyone plays
their part. Why? So we can get the job done and enjoy the life we’ve
always wanted to live.

iR: Your thoughts on commerce and art?

ROME: It’s all about the music. If the music is there, the rest will follow.

iR: At the end of the day what matters most to you?

ROME: My family and my son who is on the way. I want us to live a
better life, whether on earth or in the sky. Everybody has put their
last 5 dollars in the pot in hopes of my success. It’s overtime right
now, ’cause pretty soon it can get played out like an old book, you
feel me? I just want the people around me to be happy. And when you do
what you love, it’s all smiles.

iR: As an artist / producer, what do you feel sets you apart from all other artist / producer-type artists?

ROME: My work ethic. I live in the studio, I make the beats and
write my own rhymes. If I’m not in the studio, I’m not doing any of

iR: ROME is ________.

ROME: “Inspiration” I’m good energy. That’s what I produce, light your candle with my knowledge and pass the light around!

iR: You have seamlessly overcome a lot of hardships in your
life up to this point, what do you feel are some of your most recent
conflicts and what have you derived from past experiences that got you
through these hard times?

ROME: The biggest conflicts I have come across is reaching peoples
attention. People are so quick to judge you or compare you to someone.
I know that when people hear my music all of that is gone. I represent
the bottom, so the only place I can take you or myself is to the top!
I’ve learned to adapt to environments and play my position. Life is a
jungle, and when you’re born, you must choose your animal! Thank you
for the support, and God bless!

Mr. Cartoon x LIVESTRONG x Nike Air Force 1

Nike has just unvailed Cartoon's new Air Force 1 for their upcoming LIVESTRONG Greatest Hits Collection. Click here to to ready more on Hypebeast.

ROME behind the scenes

ROME "My Demo" sneak peak
Check it out and repost


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rising Producer Rome Stays Fired Up

24-year old Los Angeles native, Rome speaks about Hip Hop like he’s been studying the game for decades. Despite being a new face on the rap circuit, Rome’s been in the background for years, producing groundbreaking records for Interscope/B.Y.I. artist Omar Cruz. But now he’s hungry for his own voice in the game, and he won’t stop until the world hears what he’s got to say.

“My older brothers were always into Dr. Dre, Biggie, and Wu-Tang. An 8-year-old listening to ‘C.R.E.A.M’ and yelling out ‘Cash rules everything around me’ was kind of rare I’m sure, but that was normal to me.”

It wasn’t long before Rome was writing his own rhymes and started making beats in his garage. To fund this new passion, Rome and his brothers started a graphic design business out of the house while Rome was still in high school. “Me and my brothers would sit in our room trying to figure out how to make some money. Any money we would make would always go back to the music. I never had brand new shoes on, but I had some dope ass speakers and a subwoofer! To me that was cool.”

A chance encounter with music industry veteran Luis “LuLu” Torres, owner of B.Y.I. Entertainment, changed Rome’s life forever. “I met LuLu through one of my brother’s friends. He was working The Clipse at the time, and he needed a flyer done for a B.E.T. party. When he came into the room, he said, ‘Yo, do you guys know of any rappers? I’m looking for hot rappers.’ I told him to check out my music.” While LuLu wasn’t too enthusiastic about Rome’s persona as an MC at the time (“I could tell he wasn’t too fond of it,”) he was very impressed by his production skills. “LuLu told me, ‘I like what you guys are doing over here. I’ve never met young cats grinding like this.’”

Over the next couple of years, LuLu took Rome under his wing and brought him in the studio with producers like The Neptunes and Cool & Dre. “When I was in the studio with Pharrell, he told me, ‘Yo man, when you make your beats, make sure that they’ve got that certain swing to them.’” That swing became Rome’s signature “Latin soul” sound. He would go through his mother’s old Spanish records, chop them up, and add a hip-hop spice to them.

Rome’s big break came in 2006, when the “City Of Gods” mixtape by Omar Cruz that he produced caught the attention of Interscope Records. Shortly afterward, B.Y.I. signed a 50/50 joint venture deal with Interscope to release Omar Cruz’s album “Sign Of The Cruz”, and Rome was positioned to produce the majority of the record. “The experience I’ve had working with Omar Cruz has no price tag on it. It’s almost like a rapper’s internship. I picked up how the game worked.” With “Sign Of The Cruz” set to drop later this year, Rome has also been busy in the studio, working with Rick Ross, Jim Jones, and Busta Rhymes among others. But now, Rome’s taking it upon himself to step up to the mic and pursue his number one desire. “I’ve made a lot of beats, and I’ve done a lot of records, but I really want people to hear my story now.”

Rome makes new records every day, and releases nothing but free music online with a sole purpose of gaining a loyal fan base. “I could have zero dollars in my pocket, but have the biggest smile in the world on my face, because I know I’m working toward my future. My mom would always tell me, ‘Today we’re going to eat tortillas and beans, but tomorrow we’re going to go to that buffet you guys like.’ That’s how I live my life. I’m gonna sacrifice today for a better tomorrow.”

Monday, May 25, 2009


Xzibit Portrait by Estevan Oriol:Submit Your Email Address To Win It

Xzibit Portrait by Estevan Oriol:Submit Your Email Address To Win It

To coincide with the release of The Run UP Estevan Oriol interview, and to continue the 10th Anniversary festivities, Upper Playground is giving away an Estevan Oriol photo of Xzibit. The photo is a black and white portrait of Xzibit, is framed and measures 2 feet x 2.5 feet. To enter, all you have to do is sign up for the Upper Playground email list. If you are already signed up, then you are already entered to win. The contest is open for 2 weeks and a winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 3rd. For details, rules and more information read below.

********OFFICIAL RULES*********
No Purchase Necessary, No Age Restrictions

Contest period: Runs from noon May 18, 2009 to Midnight June 1, 2009 Pacific Standard Time
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS: Register a valid email address at (see entry field on the upper right hand corner of the main home page) to receive periodic email updates from Upper Playground Enterprises, Inc. and you will automatically be entered to win. International contestants can participate. Unsubscribing your name from the newsletter (unsubscribe link provided on every email update) removes your name from being in the pool of names eligible to win the drawing. The winner will be drawn from the pool of all existing active subscribers plus new additions over the contest period. Limit one prize for one winner or group of winners, per one email submitted.

WINNING: Winner of the ESTEVAN ORIOL ORIGINAL PHOTO “XZIBIT” (signed by the photographer, dimensions of 3 feet by 3 feet, framed) will be notified via their winning email account email address with the announcement: “YOU WON THE ESTEVAN ORIOL ORIGINAL PHOTO “XZIBIT” Winner must respond via e-mail to or by phone at 415-252-0144 to claim their prize. Prize not claimed within 90 days will be forfeited. The maximum amount of ESTEVAN ORIOL ORIGINAL PHOTO “XZIBIT” prize awarded ever will be 1. Limit one ESTEVAN ORIOL ORIGINAL PHOTO “XZIBIT” winner per family. The ESTEVAN ORIOL ORIGINAL PHOTO “XZIBIT”award will be sent out in a single shipment prepared by Upper Playground Enterprises, Inc. Upper Playground Enterprises Inc, will pay for up to $250 in shipping to deliver the product to the winner, however Upper Playground Enterprises, Inc. will not be responsible for shipping insurance and will release all responsibility for the prize once FOB with the shipper. Any additional domestic and international shipping charges, duties, taxes and sales taxes are the responsibility of the winner.

All claims subject to verification. Material submitted becomes property of Upper Playground Enterprises, Inc. and will not be returned.

If your name is not drawn and you are not notified that you are a winner of a ESTEVAN ORIOL ORIGINAL PHOTO “XZIBIT” you are not eligible to claim the prize.

If your country of residency does not allow the import of prize you wish to receive, you are not eligible to claim a prize.

Void where prohibited by law.

All federal, state and local taxes, insurance, licensing, registration and title fees are the sole responsibility of winner/offer recipient.

All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.

No transfer/substitution of prize by winner permitted.

In order to receive prize, winner must execute Prize Acceptance and Release which constitutes permission to Upper Playground Enterprises, Inc., its agencies, promotional partners and participating retailers to use recipient’s name/likeness for advertising/trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.

Upper Playground Enterprises, Inc. reserves the right to substitute prize/offer of equal/greater value should the original prize be lost or destroyed by an unforeseen criminal, negligent, natural, or any other unintended act. By participating in this promotion, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules and the decisions of Upper Playground Enterprises Inc. INTERNET CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS PROMOTION IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS, AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

Not responsible for late, lost, damaged, incomplete, illegible, postage due or misdirected mail/claims,or for faulty, incorrect or mis-transcribed phone/e-mail transmissions, incorrect announcements of any kind, technical hardware or software failures of any kind including any injury or damage to any person's computer related to or resulting from participating in or experiencing any materials in connection with the promotion, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmission that may limit a user’s ability to participate in the promotion. Upper Playground Enterprises, Inc. reserves the right to cancel or modify the online entry if fraud, misconduct or technical failures destroy the integrity of the program; or if a computer virus, bug, or other technical problem corrupts the administration, security, or proper administration of the program as determined by Upper Playground Enterprises Inc, in their sole discretion. In the event of termination of the online entry portion of the program, a notice will be posted online indicating how to enter via the mail and the drawing will be conducted from among all eligible online entries received prior to termination and all eligible mail in entries received. In the event a dispute arises with respect to the drawing and regarding specific individual entitled to receive prize, Upper Playground Enterprises, Inc. will be solely responsible for making a determination as to who the winner is in its sole discretion. An entry made by Internet will be declared made by the “authorized e-mail account holder” and any damage made to the Web Site will also be the responsibility of the authorized e-mail account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of entry. "Authorized e-mail account holder" is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization (e.g., business, educational institution etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.

Participant may be requested to provide Upper Playground Enterprises, Inc. with proof that the participant is the authorized e-mail account holder of the e-mail address associated with the account/submission. Proof of sending will not be deemed to be proof of receipt by Upper Playground Enterprises Inc.

Any use of robotic, automatic, programmed or the like methods of participation will void all such submissions by such methods.

By accepting prize/offer, Winner/offer recipients agree to hold Upper Playground Enterprises Inc, and its directors, officers, employees and assigns, harmless against any and all claims and liability arising out of prize/offer.

Winner/offer recipients assume all liability for any injury or damage caused, or claimed to be caused, by participation in this promotion or use or redemption of any prize/offer.

Upper Playground Enterprises, Inc. not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing, the offering or the announcement of any prize/offer or in the administration of the promotion.

AVAILABLE PRIZES/OFFERS, APPROX. RETAIL VALUES AND APPROX. ODDS OF WINNING/RECEIVING (UNCLAIMED/UNREDEEMED PRIZES/OFFERS WILL NOT BE AWARDED): Odds of winning will be one (1) divided by the number of eligible new and existing eligible new and existing active subscriptions and written entries received at the time of the drawing. As of January 28, 2009, the odds of winning were approximately 1 in 20,000 or .005%. Odds of winning will vary on a daily basis based on the number of subscriptions and entries received. Odds of winning will vary on a daily basis based on the number of subscriptions and entries received.

The duration of the period in which monthly drawings are held is the sole discretion of Upper Playground Enterprises, Inc. and not subject to notice of cancellation of discontinuance.

QUESTIONS? Send an email to

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Estevan Oriol t-shirt drop Thursday May 14th

Tomorrow, Thursday May 14th, in conjunction with the Downtown Art Walk, Estevan is dropping 2 new tee's, The Varrio and SA Kennels here at The Last Laugh Store.

Tomorrow, Cartoon is also dropping a new tee as well, stay tuned for the next post later tonight!