Augusta always has had talented rappers, but being in the same state with Atlanta has not been a blessing for them at all! I came across this video for C-Ball, and I was fairly pleased with it. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to get his debut mixtape C-Ball unless you are in Augusta, since it isn’t on DatPiff, nor anywhere else on the net.
Barton Village is a fairly rough neighborhood of Augusta, Georgia where many of the city’s earliest rappers came from, including V-Tec and Mr. Hill, also known as Millionairz N Playaz, who are credited with inventing the names Only With True Thugs, O-Dubbs and OWTT, as a name for their rap fan club rather than a gang. More recently, other artists have been making noise from the area, including Barton Village Mikko, who has been garnering some attention with this new song and video.
After the Power Music Summit and the afternoon photo shoot with V-Tec and Mr. Hill, I headed out to a restaurant called California Dreaming in Martinez. I had been to one of their locations in the Mobile, Alabama area, and had liked it a lot, and I liked the one in Augusta as well. I had a filet mignon dinner, and was very impressed.
While I was in Augusta for the Power Music Summit, I also interviewed V-Tec and Mr. Hill from Cu-Cuz Entertainment for a future issue of Murder Dog Magazine, and then we did a photo shoot with them at several landmarks in Augusta, including the James Brown statue downtown, and the legendary Barton Village neighborhood where Cu-Cuz Entertainment and Only With True Thugs was born.
Last weekend I drove to Augusta, Georgia to speak at the Power Music Summit at Fort Discovery, and to interview V-Tec and Mr. Hill of Cu-Cuz Entertainment/Only With True Thugs for Murder Dog Magazine. V-Tec had been part of the group Millionairz N Playaz from the Barton Village neighborhood of Augusta and is one of the city’s earliest rap artists. I found the bulk of the Only With True Thugs click hanging out at a tire shop just west of downtown.
I made a brief stop at the Jury Room Coffee House across from City Hall, but, as they didn’t have any espresso drinks, I had only a gelato there, and then headed over to the Aroma Coffee and Wine Bar for a latte before I hit the road toward Columbia. There were several record stores in Columbia, and they were scattered across the city, and, as it was late in the day, it was getting dark, but I managed to visit all three of them, and then I continued on to Sumter.
There I left posters at the Music Gator, but I found the other store closed for the evening, and now I headed southwards toward I-95. Thoroughly hungry, but wanting to eat in Charleston, I made my way into the city, and having called to make sure that restaurants would still be open, I headed across the massive Septima Clark Bridge into Mount Pleasant, where there were several waterfront restaurants along Shem Creek.
I chose a seafood restaurant called JB’s, which was built with a view of the water, and I ate dinner there, although it was extremely cold both inside the restaurant and outdoors. After dinner, I resisted an impulse to go to Red’s next door where a band was playing, and instead, I drove down King Street to Market Square and a dessert cafe called Kaminsky’s, which I knew was open until 2 AM. I had a slice of chocolate peanut butter pie and a cup of coffee there, and then, with no information about any jazz clubs, I drove into West Ashley and checked into the hotel there. It was quite cold, but I managed to get my room warm and comfortable.
First day of my Select-O-Hits sponsored trip across the Carolinas promoting the new Pastor Troy album T.R.O.Y. At Birmingham, I drove into Mountain Brook to a pizza place called Bongiorno for lunch (okay but not outstanding). Mountain Brook, a “new town” which had apparently been built in the 1920’s or 1930’s, was primarily residential, but with three central “villages” that housed cafes and other businesses. I managed to pass though Atlanta with little difficulty, but it was getting dark earlier these days, and colder as well, especially at Augusta.
The rappers V-Tec and Hill met me at the T-Bonez steakhouse in Augusta for dinner, and then I drove downtown to the Metro Coffeehouse for a latte before heading out to Club 360 near Barton Village, which was supposedly having an event. There were a few cars there and a radio station van out front, but I changed my mind about going inside (I was really tired), and headed back to my room at the Courtyard hotel.