Damizza On Being in the Music Biz and His New Book, Guilty by Association

Categories: Hip-Hop, Q&As, books
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Damion Young, aka Damizza, has done it all. He started in radio when he was 12 and his drive, passion, and ambition launched one of the most interesting and diverse careers in the music industry. He's worked with legendary greats like Michael and Janet Jackson, Dr. Dre, Mariah Carey, Tupac, Biggie, Hootie and the Blowfish. His latest project is a book, Guilty By Association, and if the hype surrounding this book is anything like the hype he's created in the music biz over the years, Damizza just might have yet another hit on his hands...and a new career path!

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): How did your book, "Guilty By Association" come about?

Damizza: Well I couldn't do it in interviews or on stage and then Jeff Craig came up and said, "I'd like to make a book and I don't really care about the personal stuff." I told him this is what I'd want it to portray, I wanted it to be about how radio worked back in the day, how drum machines work, how tape players are used in the studios, etc. That's what we did, I wanted to show those types of things mixed with my personal experiences so people could relate but at the same time, show who was behind the scenes and the people who helped make it happen.

What's the feedback been like so far?

It's actually blown me away. I'm very humbled by it. I haven't heard anything negative at all. I've just heard things like, "I couldn't put it down" and "it's a great read." Jeff Marshall Craig was a co-writer with me and did an amazing job. One of the greatest things I've heard on the feedback was like, "Whoa I was there that night of the story! That's what really happened back stage?" I'm really happy about it, I'm just blown away!

That's great! I mean, there aren't too many people whose lives are that exciting.

[Laughs.] Well it wasn't easy and I don't think my life is that exciting at all but it sure made a neat book!

It's weird because I read on-line that is a "tell all" type book and then I read somewhere else that it isn't. Which is true?

You know it's like, what is "tell all?" If I'm telling everybody what the music business is like in a very nice way then, yeah. I guess it is a "tell all" about how the music business is and how deals get done though one person's story. I'm telling you my story without going too deep. I just wanted it to be relatable. So the cheeky "tell all?" No, I wouldn't say that at all. But as a hip-hop fan to tell people, look at all of these cool things that I saw, then yeah. If you're looking for the sleazy tell all, it's just not me.


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