Last year, Playaz Circle [click to read], a duo comprised of Tity Boi and Dolla Boi, found national mainstream success after 10 years of making music together. Despite a chart-topping hit in "Duffle Bag Boy," Tity Boi told HipHopDX this afternoon why the album behind it, Supply & Demand, didn't make as big of an impression. "When 'Duffle Bag' came, the label wanted an album behind it. They
wanted a way people could go and purchase the song." Although Tity added that he wasn't pointing specific fingers at label departments, he spoke of overall mishaps. "I don't
think it was promoted. I don't think it was branded as a Playaz Circle album. I think they were more caught up in having [Lil] Wayne on such a big record under that building. It's a gift and a curse" Admitting that revenues from the single alone paid numerous group bills, Tity Boi adds that the sole record funded their new state-of-the-art Atlanta studio, where they recorded their sophomore release. The rapper jokes that the song also set a precedent. "It had Lil Wayne signing on it for the first time, no autotune."
The release also came as the superstar rapper/executive Jay-Z was less than two months away from resigning with Def Jam. Still, at the time, Tity Boi says access to his boss was limited. "Rick Ross got a relationship with a Jay-Z where he can just come in, sit down and play joints. My relationship with Jay-Z was at the 40/40 Club; I went in there with [Ludacris] and we played cards and stuff. But I wanted to express how ill I was an an emcee, but I wasn't gonna express it at the 40/40 Club. I never had a chance to sit down and let him know how dope [we] are."
The song, in addition to sales and charts, started a fashion among males donning designer duffle bags. Tity brought up criticism that he witnessed for the trend. "Everybody talkin' 'bout 'faggot bags,' ain't no faggot here! Keep
it real, homie! You totin' $2,500, three phones, a pistol, a pack of
cigarillos, a lighter - you gonna put this in the front pocket of the
tight jeans y'all startin' to wear? I thinks not!"
Although perceived as mainstream group, the South Atlanta duo placed Little Brother [click to read] emcee Phonte on the debut, in a singing role on "Paper Chaser." The appearance was very intentional, according to Tity. "Dolla and myself have always acted like independent artists, although we've been signed to a major for a couple of years." "We recognized what [Little Brother] got goin' on in North Carolina, and they have a solid fan base for what they do. When working on Supply & Demand - an album that I felt is classic, most slept-on and will get looked back at like a Reasonable Doubt like we start piquing and climaxing as artists, ['Paper Chaser'] was something that was submitted to us. Once we got the record, it was about the label saying, 'Who can we put on here?'"
Tity revealed that Def Jam was more interested in exploring different options. "They were more name-driven on who could make it a single. It was Dolla and myself who said that to keep Phonte on there, just for that Hip Hop look, that underground look, knowing that he had a fanbase, knowing we have an underground fanbase, knowing that it's all gonna catch up one day. You get records these days, and they always try to incorporate names. 'We can put Akon on there.' It makes the job easier for the labels. In me and Dolla's case, we feel like we can hold up verses and bars on our own."
He summarized the move as a microcosm for Playaz Circle's mentality. "We appreciate grinding. We still on the bottom trying to get to the top."
Due in early 2009, the duo is promising Flight 360: The Takeoff. "360 is another analogy for Circle. Since the success of 'Duffle Bag Boy,' we traveled a lot, saw a lot of different cultures, met a lot of different people, learned new slang. We touched on all of these subjects in our album. We really feel like it's a conceptual album."
Based off of the 2007 and 2008 success of the single, the aforementioned hit was at play in the consciousness for the next effort. "We have another banger with Wayne - just doin' the hook. We gonna have to wait to put that out till the third or fourth record; we know better," said Tity Boi with a chuckle. Ludacris [click to read], Cee-Lo [click to read] and Jagged Edge also make appearances.
"Look What I Got" is the effort's first single. "It's a celebration record. It's a 'Duffle Bag' spin-off. It deals with hoppin' out of a drop, leavin' the car locked, flexin' involved."
The group has large plans. "We gonna be a household name for a long time, because I see everybody taking what they can from our limited exposure." Tity Boi added, "BET ain't seen enough this, MTV ain't seen enough of this. They heard enough of us talkin'. We gonna be in the game for a minute, dog."