For those of you who remember just where you where the first time you saw Zuma Dogg inside council chambers at City Hall on TV 35 in 2006...just before that time, I was living in Las Vegas for the previous eight months, where I was escaping the Zuma Dogg public frenzy that was at it's height (Pre-City Hall/Public Access show days/2005) where I truly did want to live an anonymous life, without the overly-nutty, constant recognition I was smothered with throughout the day, at the time. I was working as a DJ at Vegas parties at various casinos. (Yes, mostly Vegas weddings...and YES, living there for eight months was the round-the-clock party you would think it would be.)
During this time, I was living in a giant apartment complex, where you paid by the week; didn't require a deposit or credit check, or any of the things that keep people out of the upscale apartment buildings. Imagine a giant "Motel 6" complex with 3000 units. Besides Zuma Dogg, who was living in the mostly African-American populated complex), all the gang members, pimps, hos, drug dealers and worse were living there, too. AND, they all had kidz.
The complex had a giant resort pool with waterfall and giant BBQ pit with park benches. It was a self-contained city within a city. AND, most notably, wi-fi piped into the BBQ pit area with benches.
So, ZD would sit there and blog, even before activism, where I would record original music and radio shows and whatnot. WELL, as I played music on my computer in the background (mostly hip-hop/Top-40 at the time, a lot of the kidz, left unattended to roam the complex after school, getting into vandalism trouble with the apartment manager and security would start to gather around my table/bench and computer.
They would start to rap and sing over what I was playing and even bust out their own freestyle raps over the music I was playing in the background on my computer.
The age range of kidz was about 8-15...once 16, they were OUT OF THERE...and under 8, they weren't really roaming around, alone. BUT YES, there were 5 year olds, hanging out, too.
ZD WAS BLOWN AWAY BY THE TALENT. I immediately opened up my Garageband computer studio and started recording the kidz.
Well, before you know it...there were 10, 15...20 kidz crawling all over ZD and his computer, as I tried to manage all the groups of kidz, ready to do their thing on mic...getting them all to co-operate and sit quietly while the others recorded their parts.
THEN, before you knew it...many of the parents...the hardest core gang members of Las Vegas (moms and dads) were very, very happy that they didn't have to do shit, while their kids were being good and out of trouble. And when ZD was so excited and receptive to the kidz' talents...they were all excited and happy and told their parents...and I made CDs for them of their performances and again...these hardcore gangsters were SO happy about the whole thing!
AND, before you know it...parents were coming up and thanking me...and when the kidz got off the bus after school, they would run over to the BBQ pit.
HERE IS A SAMPLE OF IT ALL..."Hood Kidz Radio." Radio Disney meets G-Unit. (Aka: ZD's best attempt at Youth Development.) CLICK HERE FOR SHOW #1.
CLICK HERE FOR SHOW #2.