Old school write up on Freddie "T" Smith (AWOL Records)

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Nov 10, 2002
I dont know if it has been posted before, but I thought it was interesting.

AWOL Records

By: [email protected]

The AWOL Records Story from Freddie 'T' Smith Awol Ceo

In 1988, I started with a dream. At the time, I was in the penitentiary doing a three with a three year sentence for selling crack cocaine as usual and having two firearms. While I was in jail, I was thinking about what I wanted to do when I got out of this jail. I got out on April 28, 1991 and my brother and my mother came to get me from Mill Creek State Penitentiary the big one in California. Man, I was new to everything , streets, people, slang, styles, music, etc. So now (that) I was out, it was time to make my dreams come true. I started going to Vallejo kicking it with my first cousins E-40, B-Legit, D-Shot, Suga T, the whole click family that just came out with down and dirty were working on plans, going to all their shows with them and learning usiness. They really wanted me to get into music because I was gangbanging, shooting at every enemy I saw because of the fakes that got me in prison in the first place. The wild life that I was leading was going to send me back there again. D-Shot, E-40, and B-Legit told me that I had to stop all that crazy stuff or I was going to be dead or go to jail for the rest of my life. So then I wouldn't have it, and I needed to get my mind straight from all these snitches and police. I was living in Sacramento, where I grew up, and my parole officer wanted to see me behind one of the shootings. She the hoe as she is had heard I was involved in it. I decided I was not going back to nobody's jail and then I moved to Vallejo. About four months passed and then I got a call one day from Shawn Thomas, AKA C-Bo. He told me that he had just got out of CIA(California Youth authority) where he had done two and a half years. When he came to Vallejo we hugged each other because we hadn't seen each other in three and half years and we started talking about everything I was doing with E-40 and The Click. He just busted out with, "Nigga, I'm tight...I mean tight!" I told him to bust some shit and then he started flowing. It was time to find a producer to do our beat. First, I hit up Studio Ton and we started working together, but he started bullshitting because he had too many projects he was working on. He was fully booked, so the only time he gave me was on Sundays. I started looking around and then I found Mike Mosley. I told Mike that I had a top-notch artist he had to hear. He was like "Heck yeah, we can do this," so we started in Mike's house putting together the first album called The Gas Chamber. Then we had to come up with a record label name that fit us. I said AWOL because at the time we both went "AWOL" from parole. Then it was time to find somebody to work on our project , as in promotions, sales and marketing. I hooked up with my uncle S.M.G., Solar Music Group where bo gives a shout out on “Shout Outs“ on Gas Chamber, where I learned a lot from him. He is the one I really learned the ups and downs from. The tape was completed and it was time to see if I made on everything. Well, I sold 160,000 units and it is still selling. I then met Marvaless and we began working on her album Getto Blues. I started learning the business and then I then out I was being "got" by my uncle "SMG". They were selling tapes and CD's on the under. I went up there with a gun in my pocket where everybody could see it and told them I would kill them all over my business. I hadn't worked this hard to let anyone take it away from me. I said just fuck it-you're my family and I'm already on the run and I don't need to be killing nobody. I just stopped fucking with them. I had to think of a name for my distribution. I came up with "On the Run." I went from store to store selling tapes like it was a piece of crack cocaine. I was hustling day by day, not really selling a lot, but doing everything I could by myself. I sold 20,000 units of by myself and then I realized I really needed C.O.D. I then went back to my uncle so I could sell more units because he was getting C.O.D. from City Hall. We then sold 30,000 more, enough for me to finish C-Bo's second tape called The Autopsy. I did all the promotions, sales and marketing and sold 90,000 units. Later on that year we came out with the third tape on AWOL records, called "Just Marvaless," which sold 60,000 units. I was very upset because I was planning on it selling more. I talked to C-Bo, and he looked at me and said he promised to the dead homies this next tape would take us to where we wanted to be. Well, he was right, we came out with Tales From the Crypt that sold 290,000 units and is still selling. We entered number Four on the Billboard with "Shockin' the World." As an independent label, nobody had done that since N.W.A. back in the day. Six months passed by and C-Bo came to me and said let's give the people a tape with all my old songs and call it The Best Of C-Bo. It's preorder was 160,000 units and is still on the Billboard as you read this. Oh, I almost forgot, C-Bo's x-bitch Snitch, told FBI where I stayed in the ATL, so they came to get me. I gave them a high speed chase. Fuck it, I was AWOL from the law for five years, it's time for me to face this bullshit anyway. So there you have it my story how awol came about.

Rappers on Awol Records:

C-Bo - First rapper signed to the label.

DJ Daryl - He is a major producer for awol he did albums like Success, the Best Revenge, One Life 2 Live, Till My Casket Drops, Best Appearances:
1991-1999, Nu Niggaz on Tha Blokkk, Clear & Present Danger, Mr. Mafioso, Kingpins Only, High Performance, and Different Reality.

Dosia - Yeah, yeah the crew is Lunasicc, Killa Tay, and Laroo straight offa AWOL records. Lunasicc sounds sicc than ever. This is straight killa
music with no remorse. It's only for the hardcore bangers, not no studio gangstas. For those who didn't know, Lunasicc from AWOL is part of Dosia.
Lunasicc is X-Raided's cousin. Lunasicc and the other two in Dosia got real tight gangster flows especially if your down with their set, but they ain't
have the beats as Lynch or C-Bo yet. Still pick up Dosia if you down with this true color Sac-town music.

Killa Tay - Known for his collaborations with C-BO, rapper Killa Tay made his solo debut in 1998 with Mr. Mafioso. Snake Eyes and Thug Thistle
followed two years later; another gang-oriented tale was captured on 2001's Thug Religion.

Laroo - Debuted on C-Bo’s best album Till my Casket Drops. Raised in both Oakland and Richmond, the 20 year old Laroo has been rapping since 1992 when he put out the very underground six song EP Lyrical Flames. How Laroo went from being a virtually unknown to getting hooked up with AWOL is just short of a miracle. "GOD works in mysterious ways," he recently called. "My ace dog (Donte Miles) got sent down for 11 years for a crime he got mixed up in. This had me on the whole other page because he was like my role-model... Donte was locked up with Freddie 'T' Smith (incarcerated CEO of AWOL
records) and he started rapping for 'T' and 'T' said that's cool and then he said if you think that was cool you should hear my partner on the outside,"
related Laroo. Soon after, Laroo landed his AWOL deal and started recording his incredible debut, Fear No Fate.

Lil Ric - The Richmond, California-based rapper Lil Ric debuted in 1995 with Deep N tha Game; It's Like Armageddon followed three years later.The
song "In My Lifetime (Featuring Probable Cauze)" follows the same vein and tells the story of Lil Ric's cousin who got 47 years fo a murder he didn't
commit. "They completely railroaded my cousin for something he didn't do," protested Ric. "I've grown mentally in my whole outlook on this album coz I been around and seen a lot of things," noted Lil Ric, who first got into rap at the age of 14 when he started hanging out at master Peepee's (then) ho
Limit Records retail store in Richmond. Master peepee saw Lil Ric's rap talent and in 1994 released his first album, Deep In The Game, which premiered
then unkown C-gay and Silkk tha faggot> After Master peepee moved down south, Lil Ric stayed in the Bay Area where he released his latest, It's Like

Lunasicc - He has been rapping since 1992. He received his name from his cousin, Lunasicc is X-Raided's cousin. His future plans albums are How
The West Was Won, a solo album Mouth Madness, and The Second Dosia Click album. His favorite producers to work with is Huggo (Img), OG Hollis of Ball n Chain productions. The things he wants to accomplish is being dircted by GOD. and keep him in my life and live righteous and comfortable with my
family. West Coast gangster rapper Lunasicc emerged from the same Sacramento, California music scene which also gave rise to AWOL label mate C-Bo. His debut LP Mr. Lunasicc appeared in 1997; A Million Words A Million Dollars followed a year later, and in early 2000 Lunasicc returned with
Total Recall. In the Mouth of Madness was issued the next year. He’s considered to be a lil bo and a lil mob figaz.

Marvaless - Second rapper signed to the label. Sacramento, California-based hardcore rapper Marvaless debuted in 1994 with Ghetto Blues that didn‘t
live up to it‘s expectations; in addition to successive solo releases including 1995's Just Marvaless and doing duets appearing on The Best Of C-Bo,
she also made a series of guest appearances on records by acts including 2Pac, Conscious Daughters, Mac Mall, Master P's West Coast Bad Boyz, and such AWOL label mates as Lunasicc. Fearless followed in 1998. Ghetto Blues 2001 appeared three years later.

Pizzo - Label mate of the bo.

Records on Awol:

AWOL Records Presents - C-Bo's Best Apperances 91-99
AWOL Records Presents - West Coast Trippin 1
AWOL Records Presents - West Coast Trippin 2

C-Bo - Gas Chamber - read review
C-Bo - Best Of C-Bo - Read review
C-Bo - Final Chapter - Read review
C-Bo - One Life To Live - Read review
C-Bo Presents - Mob Figgaz - Read review
C-Bo - Tales From The Crypt - Read review
C-Bo - Till My Casket Drops - Read review

DJ Daryl-Me And My Dogs

Dosia - Waitin to Inhale
One word tight I can't say enough about this CD. It has everything including streetwise beats and lyrics that are hard to compete with. Basically this CD has style,and a no nonsense atitude that can hype up any situation. This CD is perfect for the person who likes Hardcore rap with a set of individuals who can lay cuts down

Killa Tay - Mr Mafioso,
Tay came really tight on this one. I would recommend this one to anyone- even Bloods.

Laroo - Fear No Fate
Fear No Fate is the solid debut from Bay Area rapper, Laroo The Hard Hitter, the rap talent who has already gained a strong street
following for his appearances on albums from C-BO, Lunasicc, Marvaless and the West Coast Trippin' compilation. "I made Fear No Fate the title coz
it's about all the things I encounter in my life on a regular basis," said Laroo of the 18 track/16 song debut, whose guests include C-BO, Marvaless,
Lunasicc, Killa Tay, Ephraim Galloway, Pizzo, Lil Ric, Probable Cauze, Keek Tha Sneek of 3XKrazy, Mobb Figaz, 151 and producers DJ Darryl, One Drop
Scott, Rick Rock and Andolis. With an infectious hook by Galloway, this real life story is about a friend of Laroo's who went home with a woman he met at
a party. It turned out thought that this woman had a very jealous husband and came home unexpectedly and unhappily to discover his wife cheating
on him. Meanwhile, "Danger zone (featuring C-BO and Killa Tay)" is about the streets being a danger zone, while "West Coast Smashin' (featuring Lil
Ric and Pizzo)" is a hype song. Other recommended tracks include "Hard Hitter," "We Bogart," "Rotations," "P's and Q's," "We Mob The Most," and "Flip A Whole One," which sports such trademark Laroo lyrics: Players hit me on my mobile, watching nigga trade bitches/ Killas always in my presence when I'm chasing my riches/ That's how it happened from do or die scrappin', mobbin', and cappin'/ So hold on homie, we're goin' platinum. With the inevitble success of Fear No Fate, this will no doubt be true. Gangster rap has fallen out of favor with music critics lately. When Dr. Dre first hit, Tha Dogg Pound was together, Eazy E was alive and MC Eiht put out a good record, gangster rap was being recognized for a new kind of creativity and sound. But lately, the genre suffers from an overabundance of material and artists lacking any musical talent whatsoever. Kids thirsting for the latest "mobbin'" music to
roll to sometimes don't care about that, but as everyone jumps in the game to make a little money, all the music ends up sounding the same. This is when Laroo The Hard Hitter comes in. Simple drum loops, one catchy song and plenty of songs with lyrics about hustling, women, drugs, and violence are what makes a mediocre gangster rap album - Fear No Fate has it all. For some creativity, check the first verse in "XXX Large," the beat programming
on "P's & Q's", and the requisite catchy "1 Night Stand." Beyond those highlights, the album has a whopping total of 13 monotonous, hot raps spits.

Lil Ric - Its Like Armageddon
Lil Ric is tight. I’m glad he’s not with ho Limit anymore. They are sorry. Everyone knows that no limit's only good releases were when they were an underground Bay Area rap label. So it's not down south rap- it's Bay Area rap- at least it was when it was good. Now it's garbage. But anyway, Lil Ric is pretty well put together. I don't think it does him justice though. Some better production would help Ric. Check out Lil Ric on West Coast Trippin 2. Its game fasheeez.
Lil Ric returns with his third and strongest album yet, It's Like Armageddon, on AWOL Records. The experienced young Richmond, CA rapper - who was first discovered by Master P a decade ago - explains the new album title as: "About the situation out here in the streets of Richmond where it's like Judgement Day or Armageddon every day with people gettin' taken out coz fools are using street judgement." To help Lil Ric tell this story on the 21 track/17 song album's are an impressive list of guests. Ephraim Galloway, at whose Show Me Some Love Studios much of the album was recorded, appears on such trcks as "The Mindstate," where he shares the hook's infectious vocals with Lil Ric. "That song's about fools who get into this little zone in their mind, go crazy for a minute, and then snap back into reality," explains Lil Ric. The opening track, "It's A Cold Games (Featuring Marvaless, Keek Tha Sneek and promising new Richmond rapper Mr. Chico Capone)," is an insightful look at today's legal system and how people often get caught up in it and sent down for crimes they didn't commit. Hit-bound tracks on Armageddon include the One Drop Scott produced upbeat first single, Ghetto Mode (Featuring Myssyppy)" and the mid-tempo "My California," -also produced by Scott- which Lil ric describes as a cool "laid back on a Southern Cali groove type track." Other standout tracks include "4 Tha 4 Sho's" and "Shake Em Up (featuring Laroo)" It's Like Armageddon is clearly Lil Ric's best album yet and the one to take him to the top!

Laroo - Ghetto Perfection

Lunasicc - Million Words A Million Dollars
The song "you created me" is the best of him. The hook on it is hard thanks to C bo. All the other songs have
good lyrics but the only one that I love is that song. It's worth the money for sure.

Lunasicc - Mr. Lunasicc

Fearless was the biggest bunch of bullsh*t I've heard since Shaq released his debut album, Shaq Desel. The beats were dull and
pitiful. Marvaless got mad flow, but those sorry a** beats and horrific background vocals didn't cut it. Her other album, Just Marvaless was half a
rat's butt tighter, and it just had eight songs on it!

Marvaless - Ghetto Blues, Ghetto Blues 2001
This is one of the most under rated female rappers of our decade. She has skills that still have been
unmatched. If you ever get a chance to listen you won't be disappointed!

Pizzo - Heater Calhoun
Pizzo has a lot of talent. he can rap, produced, mix & engineer. Awol has tight rappers under there label such as 151,probable cauze, mississippi (r&b), etc. They are the tightest in my eyes. Check all of them out if you want the best, quit settling for less.