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Producer Tommy Gunz helps himself to some Southern hospitality 

Transplant beatmaker at home in Atlanta

For ATL heads, the most significant thing about "This Is Why I'm Hot," the No. 1 single by New York rapper Mims, is that it has a swagger similar to snap music or "quiet crunk" of the Mr. Collipark variety. Which makes sense – a producer from the South helped make the beat.

"We weren't thinking East Coast, South, West Coast music. We were thinking, let's make good music," says Thomas "Tommy Gunz" Simons. Tommy Gunz, who is originally from South Carolina and moved here from Miami last November, was part of the Blackout Movement alongside DJ Blackout. Together, they made the track for "This Is Why I'm Hot," which sits at No. 1 on the Billboard charts and is their first major hit. "This song has opened up a lot of doors," Tommy Gunz says.

Unfortunately, with more success come more problems. "This Is Why I'm Hot" dropped just as Tommy Gunz and DJ Blackout dissolved their business relationship as the Blackout Movement. "There was no animosity or anything," Tommy Gunz says. "We just had different views."

DJ Blackout is traveling around the world as Mims' tour DJ, and garnering most of the major press interviews surrounding "This Is Why I'm Hot." As a result, several publications erroneously give DJ Blackout sole credit for the track. A recent Mims story in Billboard called Blackout Movement a "hot Miami-based producer" rather than the production team it truly was. "We're going to have to sit down and do some joint interviews," to clarify the situation, Tommy Gunz says.

Before the Mims project, Blackout Movement paid its dues by producing album cuts for Pitbull, Cam'ron, Teairra Mari and Jim Jones. The team finally scored a hit with Mims who, though unknown nationally, had a strong reputation on the underground mix-tape circuit. "We came up with the 'This Is Why I'm Hot' song, and the rest was history," he says.

Now, Tommy Gunz has struck out with his own production unit called Muzikil State of Mindz. He plans to use "This Is Why I'm Hot" to launch a major production career on the scale of Lil Jon and the Neptunes. "Having a No. 1 record is not enough," he says. "You need a lot more to stay afloat in the business. You are as good as your last hit."

RANDOM NEWS: Gnarls Barkley added to its growing pile of trophies at the 21st annual Soul Train Music Awards. Other Atlanta winners include Jermaine Dupri, who received a career-achievement award. ... Marietta hard-rock venue the Darkside closed its doors March 9. It isn't known if the owners, who ran a well-publicized contest to find a new location, successfully secured a new spot.

CD RELEASES: DJ Mafioso releases his La Bodega Volume 3 mix tape during the Sazon party on Friday, March 23, at Apache Café. B-boy dance crew the Funklords also perform. ... Metal band the Grim issues a new CD on Friday, March 23, at Swayze's Venue. Zoroaster, Music Hates You, Axial Discorrelation and Become Something Catalyst also perform. ... Hard-rock group Stand Alone drops Beside Myself on Friday, March 23, at the Masquerade. A New Effect and Senona open. ... Rock band the Futurists release Yes You Can! on Saturday, March 24, at the Masquerade. Lola Ray, the Honor Roll and the Desarios open. ... Soda Jerk hosts the first of two CD release parties for Soda Jerk 2 on Saturday, March 24, at Star Bar. Rock City Dropouts and American Gun lead off. ... Jazz troupe Squat puts out a self-titled CD on Saturday, March 24, at Smith's Olde Bar. Georgia Fireflies and Collective Efforts also appear. ... Alt-rock band To Whom presents This Is a White Rabbit on Saturday, March 24, at the Loft. Muuhda and Ultradrive open.

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