Atllas has spent years trying to follow in the footsteps of his hip-hop heroes -- Jay-Z and Master P, among others -- but now he's becoming a role model himself.
The 25-year-old Phoenix MC stars in the next installment of MTV's Made, coaching a high school girl from Sedona on how to be a rapper. The hourlong episode is scheduled to air on Monday, January 2, at 4 p.m., and on Wednesday, January 4, at 10 p.m.
Even before the show's producers offered him the job, Atllas felt good about his chances. With a résumé that includes two albums about his struggles for success in the music industry, King of AZ and this year's Hunger & Starvation, plus his own record company, Fire Flock Entertainment, he was certainly qualified for it. But to really make his case, he says, "I went into the interview with a whole blueprint for the show."
For the six-week shoot in September and October, Atllas worked his own personal connections to assemble a stellar makeover team for his young protégée. His friends in the F2 dance troupe came up with choreography for the 17-year-old, producer Deztined did a beat for her, and a local hair stylist and clothing store helped boost her self-confidence with a stylish new image. "I did everything to make her look good," Atllas says. And along with coaching her on writing, Atllas even wrote the hook for her song, which she had to perform in front of her entire school at a pep rally.
"We did have a turning point where I had to really get on her and let her know I was serious," he admits. Atllas wanted to make sure that Arizona hip-hop looked cool, not corny. "It's a little bit of exposure, and I wanted to make the most of it."
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Atllas tells New Times he's got more good things up his sleeve for 2006, including a nationwide distribution deal, a documentary film, a screenplay about his life, a tour, and another full-length album. "In a year, I'm trying to be a monster in the industry."