Playaz Circle Biography
Formed back in 1997 by two childhood friends, Playaz Circle (AKA the Duffle Bag Boys) did whatever it took to make ends meet even if it meant hustling. "We were a small crew from College Park," says Tity Boi (Tauheed Epps). "We were making money and going from one level to the next, so we came up with Playaz Circle. It's an acronym for Playaz that stands for Preparing Legal Assets for Years from A to Z (A to Z meaning from beginning to end). We wanted to make a 'legal' hustle, stay out of jail and stay out of the grave."
One of the moves that the crew decided involved pooling their monies together and recording an independent CD that eventually made its way to the streets called United We Stand, United We Fall. It would later prove to be one of the smartest moves they ever made.
"What happened was when we put together our lil' CD it actually sounded good," explains Tit. "We had everybody on there including Lil Fate, I-20, and other DTP members and just the people that we mess with…our friends. For a lotta of us, it was our first or second time recording anything, but we actually sounded good to where it gave us confidence -- getting feedback from our fans and friends and whatnot. We were like maybe we can do it. So me and Dolla just kept it going."
Another aspiring rapper who moved to their College Park apartment complex and would soon become a part of their circle was a loquacious MC named Chris Bridges (AKA Ludacris), who would one day be the opening act for PC. According to the Circle, Luda first befriended Lil' Fate and the two of them soon started working on demo tapes at his place. Shortly afterwards Lil' Fate introduced Luda to Tit and they all became friends, who shared a common dream making it in the rap game day. But as fate would have it, Dolla and Tit ended up taking a little detour before reaching their ultimate goals.
"I had gotten locked up so they couldn't really promote like they wanted to," explains Dolla, (AKA Earl Conyers.) I was gone for two years." Eventually the streets would catch up to Tit when he got shot in a low income housing complex. Upon hearing about his friend's tragedy Ludacris reached out to help immediately. "Chris basically sent Chaka Zulu (co-CEO of DTP) to my house and said man let's do [the rap thing] for real." Tit accepted his offer and joined the Disturbing Tha Peace family, but like Ludacris, he didn't forget his family. When Tit was offered a spot on DTP gold-selling Golden Grain LP he got Dolla and got Jook, his producer from back in the day. The result of their collaboration was "From the Playpen to the State Pen," a song that generated a small buzz and showed the DTP family that Playaz Circle had good chemistry. Encouraged by the reception that they got from the Golden Grain album, Tit and Dolla continued collaborating behind the scenes, recording more and more songs, waiting for their moment in the spotlight.
"I'd do some songs with Dolla and present them to Ludacris and he'd say man y'all sound good together," recalls Tit. "And I'd say y'all oughta do something with this; holla at Dolla and let's do it. And Luda would say talk to Chaka. But whenever I would go to Chaka, he would always say it wasn't the right time. By the time it was time for DTP to come out with other artists I think that Chaka kinda felt it was the right situation for us and we agreed so they just put it down on the table."
Supply And Demand is Dolla and Tit's magnum opus debut on DTP/Universal records. According to the two the albums basic theme is derived from their own life experiences, which has taught the harsh realities of supply-side economics. "We were raised to be hustlers," says Tit. "You know coming up through the struggle you learn quick that if it is something around you that will sell or if there's a demand for it then you need to be the one who supplies it."
Produced by a throng of super-talented producers, among them DJ Paul and Juicy J (of 3-6 Mafia), Jazze Pha, DJ Toomp, Mannie Fresh, Ice Drake, LT, Midi Mafia and the Heatmakers and filled with riveting songs that capture both the joy and pain of ghetto living, Supply And Demand provides the sonic syllabus for ghetto economics 101. "Gucci Bag," the first single is a crunk, club-friendly joint that expounds upon Playaz Circle's hustler's mentality. Built around a thunderous 808 driven beat, intense high hats and funky string, "Gucci Bag" has created quite a buzz on the streets and radio. "Gucci Bag is a big song for us," says Dolla. "It's a commercial song that doesn't compromise who we are as artists because it still has a street edge to it. It's all about how we like nice things and how we go out there and hustle for it. It's a banging track!"
On the Jazze Pha, produced joint entitled "Playaz Circle" Tity Boi and Dolla Boy spit game to all the haters and lames over a slinky 70's style groove. Check out this heated rhyme by Dolla: "I'm out the game, got no time to coach you/ But if you run through the snow with no shoes/ I'm hell on ho's and even worse on Pro-Tools." On the track "You Can't Believe It," the playas continue the 70's pimped out vibe. This time they are joined by their old friend Ludacris, who after hearing how hot the song was, insisted that he get on it.
With all the hype surrounding Playaz Circle and their fantastic DTP/Universal debut Supply And Demand, Dolla and Tit are set to teach their brand of ghetto economics to the world. "I don't think that hip hop has really seen anything like we have to offer," says Dolla. "Nobody has ever done what we do and nobody can do what we do. That's because as artist we are unique individuals. We know who we are. We know what we're doing and we do it well."