“Ya’ll get ready, I am the underground Tyler Perry. I use my heart and soul to create good movies that will give Southern artists a boost. My movies are tangible and bring color to everyday life in today’s southern music mecca,” explains Kaspa The Don
Hittmenn Djs Pres./Founder & Zone 4 VP of Marketing Is The New Tyler Perry of Hip-Hop
By Kandis Knight
If you know Polow Da Don, you know Robert “Kaspa the Don” Smith. Kaspa has a long decorated career in the music industry he has worked up close and personal with many artists including the major players such as Puffy, Biggie, Jermaine Dupri, Dr. Dre, Ciara, Lil Jon, Mr.Collipark, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Eminem and Young Jeezy. Currently, Kaspa is the VP of Marketing for Polow Da Don’s Zone 4 Inc., home of Rich Boy, Keri Hilson, Ester Dean and the Hemphill Kids.
In addition to his thriving career in the music industry, Kaspa has been building a budding film career and is currently working on his 3rd movie. Filming began in Atlanta this BET weekend for Kaspa’s third movie, Shawty. “I have been in the industry for years, right now the climate has changed there are so many artists,” explains the marketing guru from the Zone 4 Office/Loft in Midtown Atlanta. The walls are filled with plaques and awards. “So I started going for the Tyler Perry thing. I have been writing and producing underground level movies about music in the south so that artists will have an additional platform for building their careers.”
Kaspa teamed up with Macadocious Films and started writing and directing and executive producing films two years ago. “We are kinda like Dr. Dre and Snoop of film. I am Spike Lee 2.0, I write and I direct,” explains Kaspa as he rocks in his executive leather chair and flips through his cell phone. Kaspa utilizes real Southern star power when creating his films. His movies feature heavy hitters such as Terry Brown, Aj Jewell (Kandi Buress’s fiancé who recently died R.I.P), Greg Street, Big Bank Black, Lil’ Chuckee(Young Money), Bigga Rankin and Rich Boy.
“Off Da Hook" is my latest film. It is a movie about a dope dealer(Terry Brown) from Mississippi who came to ATL from having problems in the delta and started moving up and forward in life, a regular street cat with a story to tell,” Kaspa explains. "Off Da Hook" The Don's most recent film, took nine months to complete. “We wanted to brand this one like Master P.,"Bout It Bout it,”concept." Kaspa laughs. “Rich Boy blessed us with a couple hot singles for the mixtape and it hit the streets like crazy.”
We just did our movie premiere for Our VII Hittmenn Dj Reunion B.E.T Hip Hop Weekend Oct 11th, 2009 @ South Dekalb Movie Theater. We had live performances from Rich Boy, Mr. Collipark new ensemble "Mr. Hit Dat" ,Bertell (Capitol Records) and Prynce- Def Jam Konvict. When Kaspa is not busy producing movies, he runs a multi state disc jockey crew, The Hittmenn Djs. Hittmenn Djs are directly responsible for breaking chart topping Southern artists. Kaspa was able to mobilize his crew to distribute the movie using street channels nationwide. “I didn’t want to do distro (distribution) without a buzz so we took it viral, gave it to bootleggers and the movie spreaded like crazy. Hittmenn DJ crew receives notoriety for the movies we are putting out and so it makes sense to break new music in my movies and it makes sense for the artists. They get high dollar branding,” Kaspa explains.
"Shawty", was inspired by all of the work Kaspa has been doing in the community for years. Kaspa is founder of the Bank Empowerment Tour. This B.E.T Hip Hop Weekend Hittmenn Djs kicked the tour off in 3 different schools in one day.
Zone 4, Ester Dean, Collipark's "V.I.C", and Grand Hustles "Rich Kids",Pretty Ricky CG, and Money Bound Entertainment helped put the concert on. This program teaches urban youth classes about financial institutions Hittmenn Djs are working in conjunction with The Royal Bank Of Canada(RBC), Decatur First Bank(DFB) and Best Bank. Through this Hittmenn Dj Crew, Kaspa leads an annual School Supply Drive.
Also, in conjunction with his business partner and good friend, Greg Street, Kaspa runs the biggest Southern Toy Drive for the Holidays, "Toyz N Da Hood, (Google it) a well established Atlanta-based non-profit movement “I love doing things with the kids, things that will empower them. I decided to have children play key roles in my film this time. I was inspired by the movie Drum Line because of how children were empowered and allowed to co-create. I wanted to give kids a chance to have important roles in my movies.”
"Shawty" may very well be the film that propels this “Hip-Hop Tyler Perry” into the big leagues being that the movie was well received by a packed house at a pre screening held during the BET/Hittmenn Djs Reunion Party in Atlanta this weekend. Kaspa is also currently taking musical submissions for his Toyz N Da Hood Soundtrack from artists of all genres and for more information about "Shawty", the movie email Shawtythemovie@gmail.com