The Hip-Hop Hustle

Tommy Quon and goldfinger found out that Dallas is no rapper's paradise

Quon now promises exposure, not fame or riches. If he still thinks he can find another Vanilla Ice, he's not admitting it.

He does say that he wants to represent Benita Arterberry again. "Her voice just blows my mind," he says. "She is just so incredible."

Today, he's excited about a 10-year-old country & western singer named Britanny Jade Ozier. "She is a tremendous talent," he says.

He has reconciled his differences with Ichiban, and has set up a tenative distribution agreement. He also is re-establishing ties with EMI.

Just the other day, Quon says, the president of Ichiban asked him about rappers from Dallas who might be ready for the big time. The question intrigued Quon, and he's already courting new acts. "It's sad to have all the talent just sitting there," he says.

Meanwhile, Goldfinger, after suffering a bout with depression, says he recovered from his Ultrax experience. He built a $65,000 studio in his apartment, and turned once again to his music. He worked odd jobs and caught the bus, putting every spare dime into the studio. People started coming around, wanting background cuts for their own rap lyrics. Soon, Goldfinger had a thriving business providing original tracks to local rap artists and nightclub DJs. His reputation as a producer of high-quality hip-hop and funk tracks has swelled in Dallas, and he is weighing offers from agents and talking to investors.

"He's got stacks of great music," says Larry Johnson, Goldfinger's ever-present one-man booster club. "The young man needs to be heard. He's a great producer. What he needs is the major opportunity."

But this time, Dale Lane is not in a hurry. He's still bitter about his experiences with Ultrax.

He's excited about his own discovery, a promising young pop rapper, J. Fabian. Fabian, a well-muscled, blue-eyed, blond male stripper with tresses past his shoulders, believes that Goldfinger--with his talent and war wounds--could make him a star. Goldfinger is producing Fabian's cut "Cat Daddy," and has introduced him to a local management company, Back Stage.

Goldfinger, like Quon, his nemesis, still believes that Dallas can be a hip-hop, bootie bass mecca.

And who knows, he just might have the next Vanilla Ice.

Dallas Observer Music Editor Matt Weitz contributed to this report.

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