ALBANY -- X-tratainment Inc. has joined in a partnership with Smith Show Entertainment of Alexandria, La., which is owned by Antonio Smith, an Albany native best known as No. 94, defensive end for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals.
The local entertainment company was awarded the distribution deal for its digital downloads, which include cellular ringtones. The deal comes in the wake of X-tratainment signing Cordele hip hop trio The Prater Boyz to a five-year recording deal.
The group's new release, "She Likes Money," is finding success not only locally but in regional radio markets as well.
The company has contracted with Jackson Media of Dallas to help with promotion of the song nationally. Jackson Media is also owned by an Albanian, Sheravious Jackson.
X-tratainment Inc. is new to the city of Albany and is looking to bring excitement and tourism to the good life city. Thomas Swain, the CEO of X-tratainment and executive creator of the Prater Boyz, said the company's decision to choose such a young group was to "help direct underprivileged youth to a road of success."
"They don't have any local heroes around to look up to, and this could be the start to a brighter future," Swain said.
The slick, stylish, cutting-edge trio consists of three brothers from Cordele: Quon, Wam (Wezzy) and Tim Prater.
This vibrant young hip-hop group has given many performances in and around Albany and has participated in the Red Cross' "Artists Against Hunger for Haiti," a food benefit for the earthquake victims in Haiti, according to Swain.
Other developments for the Prater Boyz include a radio show entitled Prater Boyz, which is produced by Jackson Media, Swain said. The radio show will be broadcast nationwide online once a Web site is completed.
"She Likes Money" has been played on radio markets in Dallas, Miami, Atlanta and locally on the Albany State University radio station.
Asked about his company working with the rising hip-hop group, Smith said, "This group stood out from the rest of the bunch and has a lot of potential. Plus, seeing how I am an Albany native, I was excited to have this opportunity to work with the community and these young men."
Smith noted that the Prater Boyz have "very clean lyrics that don't have any talk about violence." He added that giving back to the community "has always been in my heart, and that is one of the reasons I decided to work with X-tratainment Inc."
"Music is something I've always wanted to be around, but I never could play any instruments, so working with X-tratainment Inc. is my way of being around and staying connected with music," Smith said.
Smith is currently working with a youth basketball team in Louisiana, and plans to return to Albany in late spring or early summer. Then he and X-tratainment Inc. will start to work with a singer who attends the University of Alabama, and other projects.