If you don’t know anything else about Payroll Giovanni, know that he almost never takes a day off. The 29-year-old rapper has dropped two mixtapes and a film within the last year. He’s the leader and face of Doughboyz Cashout, the most popular rap collective out of Detroit that’s been well respected in the community since its inception in 2006. He’s recently worked with producers such as Cardo, one of Wiz Khalifa’s frequent collaborators who is responsible for a number of beats on his Kush and OJ project, and Helluva, a premier producer that’s well-known in Detroit for his unique sound.
Suffice to say, Payroll Giovanni is one of a kind.
Payroll Giovanni was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He grew up with a hustler’s mentality, accumulating profits through street activities that he prefers not to talk about. He attended Southfield High School where he created the group Doughboyz Cashout with some of his friends and associates. As the leader of the group, he oversaw many of the decisions that they made in the industry. They released their first mixtape We Run The City in 2007 and received rave reviews. People loved the group for their bleak, realistic, and unflinching look at street life.
The group continued to expand, as did Giovanni’s role in it. Over the next five years, the group would drop five projects. They grew in influence and power in the city of Detroit. Although they were first contacted by rapper T.I. who noticed the group’s growing stardom, the collective joined Young Jeezy’s CTE (Corporate Thuggin Entertainment) in 2013. While the group worked on music that was released on the CTE compilation project Boss Ya Life Up Gang, they ultimately wouldn’t stay long because of less than ideal business practices, as Giovanni revealed in a recent interview with HipHopDX. It’s around this time that Giovanni began to put more work into his solo efforts, releasing Get Money Stay Humble that same year. Two years later, he released his critically acclaimed project Stack Season which charted on Billboard without very much promotion. Since then he’s been on a roll; dropping Sosa Dreamz in 2016, and most recently, Payface this year.
One of Payroll Giovanni’s most recent anthems, “This Is How We Move It,” featuring B. Ryan is the song of the summer. It flips Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” which was one of the biggest songs in hip hop in 1995. While Jordan talks about partying on his record, Giovanni brings the hard-hitting street therapy that he’s known for, told through the sing-songy guise that enables it to be digested easily. It sounds amazing through a great set of car speakers. Easily one of the best tracks of the year due to how easily it fits with Jordan’s pre established record.
Things You May Not Know about Payroll Giovanni
- He has a six-year-old son named JuJu.
- He’s a big fan of the Netflix original series Narcos.
- His group, Doughboyz Cashout, is featured in the Detroit Institute of Arts.
- His birthday is January 30.
- He grew up in the Fenkell Avenue/5 Mile neighborhood.
- He’s a big fan of the movie Scarface (1984) evident in the titles of his last two projects. Sosa Dreamz is in reference to Alejandro Sosa, the fictional drug lord from Scarface who is the chief cocaine supplier for protagonist Tony Montana. Payface is in homage, in the title and cover art, to Tony Montana who was also known as “Scarface.”
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Asian Doll and Nicki Minaj have finally connected with each other
Asian Doll has made it clear since she’s come out that Nicki Minaj has been a huge influence on her style. Both channel a chaotic element to their fashion choices and general aesthetic that utilizes sharp sexuality to be abrasive. They’re both two sides of the same coin, sexual, yet innocent (Nicki) while Asian is much more hardcore.
It’s been a long journey for Asian Doll, coming up and giving powerhouse performances at every turn. In a recently released picture, it looks like her journey has culminated in something amazing: the two forces have finally come together. Will this lead to the release of music together or was this just a friendly passer-by flick?
Does @allstarjr2724 have the best video of the year with “So Lit?”
Allstar Jr is known for his smooth, sensual hits that double as trap bangers thanks to a smart selection of beats and smooth samples. His latest hit “So Lit” is no different, being an ode to a beautiful woman who holds him down, as well as having amazing sexual abilities. His videos often feature him rapping while partaking in various activities, from shopping to hanging with the boys, to trapping. They seldom could be deemed controversial, and that works out for him and his image in the long run.
That’s changed with the video for “So Lit” that goes the extra mile. After hanging out with B. Ryan and doling out a few verses, AllStar JR links up with the mystery woman who’s at the center of the song’s message. Clad in a white robe, she slowly sheds her clothing until she’s in some lace lingerie that leaves little to the imagination. When she gets naked, things get steamy. We lose track of her head and see Allstar in what looks like sheer enjoyment. Then, that’s when the fun really starts.
Some creative camera placement shows Allstar having, what appears to be, sex with her. The bounce of her cheeks doesn’t look like something that could be simulated if they were faking; anyone who’s ever administered backshots to a well endowed woman knows that bounce. Another shot shows that he, too, is naked as well. So the question stands, were they getting it in?
The more important question is, is this the year’s best video? In terms of sheer adventurousness, yes it is. No one typically has the cahones to attempt something like this, let alone place it on YouTube. The fact that it’s shot in such a creative manner where he could deny that it was actually happening is a testament to the director’s creativity in filming the scene. There’s also technically not any body parts shown, so it probably isn’t violating YouTube’s guidelines. All in all, a gutsy move by JR.
The question stands, is this the year’s best video? I would say so. We’ve seen a surplus of posse visuals that feature collectives rapping in unison. This visual sticks out like a sore thumb because of its’ willingness to showcase sex as an artistic activity, shot in such a way that it creates a unique aesthetic. Maybe more videos should try something like this out. Or then again, maybe not. Some lackluster copycats would take away from the uniqueness of the original. Let’s leave it the way that it is.
After a month, here’s how @FenkellPayroll and @CardoGotWings ‘s Big Bossin Vol. 2 holds up
The ever-looming call of summer grows closer. We will soon enter the time period of fewer clothes and more skin exposed. It’s a beautiful time of the year where frozen drinks are widely consumed, beach trips are spontaneous, and smooth, soulful music is blasted through car stereos. Payroll Giovanni and Cardo came together at the end of January for Big Bossin Vol. 2, the follow-up to their critically acclaimed Big Bossin Vol. 1, that is tailor-made for summer’s weather. Whereas the first one was a brief dip into the laid-back lifestyle of the OG, the second is a full-blown vacation. It takes the concepts explored in its predecessor and repackages them, reselling a similar product back to us, the consumers.
Now that the dust has settled and the project is more readily understood, is it still as good as it was when it came out?
In short, yes it is. A project is made up of the sum of its parts. The subject matter is admittedly the biggest aspect that goes into digesting music, but, here, the delivery shines in a way that helps it to transcend time. The message’s packaging is so authentic and precise that the quality of good music shines through clearly. Cardo’s soulful, sincere, and chilling productions bring out a new side of Payroll, one that magnifies the best of his abilities and shrinks the worst of them.
It helps that the weather gets warmer and that this album is meant for hotter temperatures so that its meaning can evaporate into thin air, inspiring new understanding when this happens. The juxtaposition of smooth tracks like “Stack It, Stash It,” and “Mail Long” showcase the project’s versatility and the willingness of both artists to explore more than just one sound. “Dopeman Dreams” and “Turn Ya Phone Off” make use of magnetic refrains that add to the prestige of the album and will help it to transcend time in a way that it’s already doing but at a much larger scale.
But, perhaps the cover art sells it best. The two purveyors of rap’s new go-to sound ride in a convertible car, the blue sky and sun shining brightly behind them. This is the warm weather that we’ve been asking for; it’s only right that we have the accompanying music to go with it. Thanks to the staying power of the album, it looks like it’ll continue to pair perfectly for years to come.