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Rostrum Records beefs up its roster

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Ya gotta hand it to Wiz Khalifa -- for whatever success has come his way since getting bumped up to Warner, he's stayed hungry. Literally, at least. The emcee has to be on some kind of macrobiotic diet to make a runway full of models look chubby, which is pretty much what happened when he performed at a recent Anti-Valentine's Day fashion show at the Strip's Privilege Ultralounge.

One of the tracks he performed at the show was his new single, "Say Yeah," with its exhortation to, um, "throw your money in the air." The video for it consists mostly of Wiz waving money and champagne around, while being worshipped "It's a Small World"-style by women from Mexico, Russia, England, etc. Since it opens and closes with shots of a more down-to-earth Khalifa hanging out in Pittsburgh with a boombox, I'd like to think that the pimpin'-all-over-the-world middle part is intended as a kind of fever-dream commentary on the hip-hop success he's supposed to be awash in. But if you don't buy that -- and I'm not entirely sure I do, either -- someone's already done a chipmunk version of the video, which is currently up on YouTube.

But even if Wiz has stayed scrawny, the label he's on, Pittsburgh-based Rostrum Records, has been filling out nicely, and has recently added a new rapper to its roster: S. Money, of longtime local hustlers The Govament. The 24-year-old Pittsburgh native has been getting love from WAMO for his track "I'm the Man," which makes getting paid and going out on the town sound like the coming of the apocalypse. For S. Money's first release on Rostrum, the label is planning a DVD/mixtape combo, due this spring.

Also breaking out of The Govament is another young emcee, 22-year-old Boaz, whose 2007 mixtape The Phenomenal earned him notice from XXLmag.com and Allhiphop.com. He's recently released a new disc, Monumental Music, via Point Blank Productions, run by Artie Pitt, who's also the in-house publicist for Rostrum.

"This ain't rap, it's more like musical composition," Boaz says of the moody orchestral track "The Drill." And with the new disc featuring production by big local names Sayez, E-Dan and Blak Czer, DJ Shef and others, he's exactly right.

For more info on Boaz, visit www.myspace.com/boazgov.

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