Smilez and Southstar

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Smilez & Southstar
Origin Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Genres Hip-Hop, Southern Hip-Hop
Years active 2002–2010
Labels ARTISTdirect Records
Associated acts Ludacris|Beenie Man|Bone Thugs-n-Harmony|Warren G|Snoop Dogg|Lil Flip|Lil John|Lil Scrappy|
Website Smilez & Southstar MySpace

Smilez & Southstar was a hip-hop duo based in Orlando, Florida. The group was made up of Rodney "Smilez" Bailey and Rob "Southstar" Campman. They were managed by Alfonso J Alvarez and Gilbert Alvarez of StreetDwellaz Management and signed to Ted Field's ARTISTdirect Records (aka ADR). Ted Field, co-founder of Intersope Records, had recently left Interscope Records when he signed a preliminary agreement to become Chairman and CEO of ARTISTdirect.[1] ARTISTdirect Records was a co-venture between ARTISTdirect, Inc., Ted Field, and BMG.[2] Smilez & Southstar were the first hip-hop duo out of Orlando, FL to appear on nationally televised shows such as Late Night with Conan O'brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Their Top 40 hit "Tell Me" was produced by DJ Nasty & LVM of Nastybeatmakerz and Dakari of Just Anotha Smash.[3]


How It All Began (2001)[edit]

Prior to becoming a group, both Smilez and Southstar had promising solo careers. Smilez had been doing ghostwriting for rappers that Dakari had produced. Southstar was performing locally and was part of a promotions company (street team) called StreetDwellaz Promotions. He joined StreetDwellaz Promotions because he was interested in the business side of the music industry.[4] StreetDwellaz Promotions was owned by Alfonso J Alvarez and Gilbert Alvarez which later became StreetDwellaz Management.

Southstar used to play basketball at the same court Dakari played at. One day after a basketball game Dakari overheard Southstar talk about how him and his boys had gotten into an altercation with a group they were opening up for. Dakari asked him "What do you do?" and Southstar replied "I rap". Dakari asked Southtar to walk with him over to his car where Dakari played him some instrumentals and asked him to star rapping. Southstar started freestyling which led Dakari to invite Southstar to the studio he worked out of, to work on some songs.

The Meeting[edit]

Dakari had invited 3 rappers to a meeting at the studio he worked out of. The 3, were local artists that he felt would work well together. Only 2 showed up, Smilez and Southstar. From the first time Dakari, Smilez and Southstar were in the studio, you could feel that something big was about to happen. The way they were knocking out songs was incredible. Dakari had put together some amazing tracks, and along with Smilez and Southstar, they created some very catchy hooks and captivating concepts. In a time when you had most of the rap industry thinking they were thugs, it seemed that hip-hop fans had forgotten about having fun. They forgot that the first hip-hop songs were party anthems.

With the unfortunate events of 9/11 people were looking for something to bring their spirits up and there was nothing better than an album which was based on partying and having fun. It gave people the release and inspiration they were looking for.

The Songs Are Done, So What's Next?[edit]

With the songs being done, now it was time to pick the first single to give out to the DJ's. Even though all the songs sounded very good, the first song had to be one that could be played at the clubs. After much thought, "Who Wants This", the song that had a catchy reggae rhythm, felt like it would be a great song to lead the way. Dakari worked out of a studio that was owned by a production company. Even though the production company was successful in the pop world, they had never had any success launching a hip-hop group.

Early success 2002-2003[edit]

The group's first single was "Who Wants This". The song had a reggae vibe to it and created the buzz which led to the group's record deal with ARTISTdirect Records. The group's next single, "Tell Me", hit the Top 40 charts. The duo then followed it up with "Now That You're Gone".

The group's album Crash the Party sold over 300,000 copies without any artist features. Smilez & Southstar opened their own independent record label Groundworks Entertainment. The label features reggae artist Viper and rapper Vill.



Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Hot 100 US
2002 "Who Wants This?" 65 Crash the Party
2003 "Tell Me" 34 29 10
"Now That You're Gone" 108
2006 "Good Look Featuring: Gotti " The ReIntroduction
"Found Out"
2007 "U Know"
"Been a Long Time"
"Hand Cuffin"
""F.L Way""
2008 "Your My Queen"


Year Title Chart positions[5] Certifications and sales
2003 Crash the Party
  • 1st studio album
  • Released on March 8, 2003
91 24

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Rumor Mill - ARTISTDIRECT PLAYS THE FIELD,AND TED'S GAME —UPDATE". Retrieved 2016-06-25. 
  2. ^ "ARTISTdirect Records And BMG Announce Distribution and License Agreement". 2001-11-20. Retrieved 2016-06-25. 
  3. ^ " Smilez and Southstar". VH1. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  4. ^ "Smilez & Southstar Biography - ARTISTdirect Music". Retrieved 2016-06-25. 
  5. ^ "Smilez & Southstar Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2010-06-04.