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Fire Starter: Serius Jones
He was serious before he knocked off Jin in a Fight Klub battle in August '05, but now Serius Jones is really about to be a problem. The New Jersey MC recently inked a deal to join Luda's Disturbing Tha Peace crew and is shuttling between Atlanta and New York, recording three upcoming projects. That includes the next DTP compilation — on which he's working with his new boss and Shareefa — and the indie street album, King Me. Those will be followed by his Def Jam debut, Life Is Serius, set for June. Guess he's not playing around.

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— Shaheem Reid and Jayson Rodriguez, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes, Sway Calloway and Bridget Bland

Artist: Memphis Bleek

Representing: The R.O.C.

Mixtape: Heir to the Roc

411: You know there's no way Roc-A-Fella could be embroiled in a feud without Memphis Bleek stepping into the arena. While Bleek's been making his money, touring the world with Jay-Z and recording his album in the new Roc the Mic studio, he says he has to clap back at former labelmate Cam'ron and the rest of the Dips for their verbal assault on Jigga.

"You got to," he said about making dis records in response. "You can't have nobody bombin' on you and you don't bomb back. We ain't no chumps. But to keep it all the way real, we went to every DJ known and unknown, and everybody said, 'Nah, we don't want to get in the middle of the beef.' But this thing where Funkmaster Flex [is playing all the dis records from both sides] sounds like you're encouraging it — like he's saying, 'It's good music. F--- it, play it all.' I'm not saying he's wrong, but I'm not saying he's right either."

Like Jay, Bleek insists that the Diplomats' dis tracks aren't any good, but he still can't let anybody talk about him or his crew. "They don't make hot music," Memph said. " 'Ether' [Nas' dis track about Jay-Z] was hot. When that dropped, I was in the studio like, 'Wow, he bombed on us.' [Jadakiss], when he spit at [Beanie] Sigel, that joint was right! He spit. These dudes ain't spitting. ... All of y'all should be slapped."

But no violence will happen — Bleek thinks the feud will stay on wax. "Ain't gonna be no problem. If they wanted a problem, they wouldn't put it on record. These dudes know the hip-hop police is following everybody, and there ain't gonna be no problems. It's just music. N---as wanna take the Roc out, and it's not gonna happen — not with them weak bars. You better come with heat."

Bleek teams with none other than DJ Whoo Kid on the mixtape. "Whoo Kid was the first dude to show love to the record 'Grip' that Just Blaze did for me," he said about the latest collaboration between Roc-A-Fella and G-Unit. "This stems all the way back to when I did the Game [dis] record. He wanted to do a tape with me and it never got done. So now he was like, 'Let's do a tape.' "

Joints To Check For:

  • "Back Down." "You know what that's about, me talking about these little haters Dipset coming at us," he said of his dis record. "It's just me letting dudes know you not just gonna come at me like we some suckers. We don't back down from nobody."

  • "Half Steppin'." " 'Ain't No Half Steppin', that's one of my favorite Big Daddy Kane records. The way he flowed, it was just rhymes, lyrical content on there. I liked it. That's why I chose the beat, to get lyrical, take it back in the day and represent Brooklyn with my man Big Daddy Kane. This whole tape is if you ever slept on Bleek, I don't know why because I'm one of the nicest dudes out there. I'm heir to the Roc. I run this; this is me."

  • "Money Maker." "My man who produced this is Koptick out of Brooklyn," Bleek said. "It's letting people know moneymaking is a wonderful thing. However you gotta do it, do it. You don't let haters stop you from your goal. We get this paper for our family so everybody could live right. I wanted to remind people to forget about the problems, get back to getting that paper."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
  • A.Pinks - Get It. Got It. Good.
  • Boyz N Da Hood - Real N---a Radio
  • DJ Furious Styles and DJ Dub - Shine: The Mixtape
  • DJ Kemit - Hotter Than July
  • DJ Lust - Out on Bail
  • DJ Step One - iRep Vol. 1
  • DJ Wreck - King of Kings 2
  • Shady Ray - Man of War
  • Superstar Jay - Face Your Fears
Click here for more of Mixtape Monday ...

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • De La Soul - "Jenifa"
  • DJ Khaled (featuring T.I., Akon, Rick Ross, Fat Joe, Birdman, Lil Wayne - "We Takin' Over"
  • Raekwon - "My Corner"
  • Remy Ma - "Throw Some D's" freestyle
  • Tony Yayo (featuring Snoop from "The Wire" and Mazaradi Fox) - "It's a Stickup"
  • Twista (featuring Lil Wayne) - "Whip Game Proper"

Celebrity Faves

  Young French
Independent producer Young French, best known for his "Cocaine City" street DVD series (part seven is out now), says when he picks a flick, he checks for Ridley Scott heavy. The mastermind behind such hits as "Gladiator," "Thelma & Louise" and "Blade Runner" is his favorite director. "I loved his work on 'Black Hawk Down' especially," Frenchie said, "because I was in Africa at the time when all that sh-- was going down. It was realistic. I wasn't in the actual country where it was happening, but I was a country over. I was hearing about the turmoil but didn't get to see it until I saw the movie. It was emotional. His work touches you. He brings it out in 3-D."

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

  Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre get into some really deep subject matter on the song "Imagine," but imagine if the song never came out — it almost didn't. Snoop joked recently that making the track wasn't as easy as you might think.

"I had to basically fight him, get in a sword fight with him, a 12 o'clock shootout," Snoop smiled. "Then when I got the song from him, he called me the last couple of days before the record was coming out and said, 'I don't like the record and I don't want it to come out.' Come on, cuz."

Snoop said his camp was eventually able to convince Dre to let the record drop. "I understand what he's saying," Snoop clarified about his former mentor's hesitancy. "He's getting ready for his record. 'I'm not trying to let nothing out until it's my turn.' He's not like a regular artist who can be on five or six records at one time. If he's on a project, he's on a project. I had to go in there and move things around, because he was actually mixing Jay-Z's record. ... But we got it together. It's some of my greatest work. And I'm so honored to have him on my project." ...

  Max B
Jim Jones' ballin' knows no boundaries. He can spend at the dealership, spend at the strip clubs, and now he's putting his dough to even better use: getting his artists out of jail. Max B has been in prison for weeks now on murder charges, and not only is Jim going to pay the $2 million bail, but he's getting Max in the studio as soon as he gets out.

"We got a mixtape coming out called Out on Bail With a Story to Tell. Should be out soon," he explained last week on the phone from L.A., where the Dipset boss is filming his first movie. "[The movie is] called 'Thug Passion.' It's a little different role I'm playing. I'm playing a lover-boy type. It's a little hot and steamy. I'm having sex all over the place. It'll be a different look for the ladies. No guns involved, just my charm. Elise Neal is in the movie. She's the co-star with me.

"It's my first experience," he added of his debut. "I'm learning it. It's not the regular type of role they give young black men such as myself. They give us the gangster role, the drug-dealer role. That's why I took it: because it's a stretch."

  Jim Jones
After his movie, Jim says he's going on a major tour in the beginning of March and trying to shoot some videos on his off days.

"We got a tour coming up we put together — me, Juelz [Santana], Baby, Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy," Jones said. (Jeezy's rep said he has no knowledge of the Snowman hitting the stage with Cash Money and the Diplomats.) "It starts at the beginning of March. We got 30 dates. I'll probably shoot the video [for 'Weatherman'] in the midst of the tour since we'll all be together. We gonna knock the socks off the country. We're all street n---as, all hustlas. Everybody came from the bottom. Everybody sacrificed a little bit, and we came together. A compilation album is coming with the tour. A DVD is coming with it. We are poppin' — the people you listen to the most on your radio. We're gonna prove everybody wrong, show them hip-hop ain't dead."

In addition to "Weatherman," Jones plans to shoot clips for "Emotionless" and "So Harlem" soon as well. "The album ain't over yet. 'Ballin' ' ain't everything," he said of his smash hit "We Fly High" from 2006's Hustler's P.O.M.E. ...

"Everyone acts like hip-hip is dead, 'cause no one is putting back into it," Sha Money XL told us last week while promoting his latest venture. "Everyone keeps taking. You can't be the gift that keeps receiving. You got to give back."

With that in mind, the G-Unit president launched One Stop Shop — a conference for producers — so budding beatsmiths won't be faced with the same obstacles he encountered coming up in Queens, New York. "There were two guys in my 'hood already making moves in the industry," Sha Money recalled. The producers promised to help Sha, "but both of them never really came through."

But Sha Money can't be accused of not coming through for his artists. He confirmed M.O.P., Young Hot Rod and Olivia are all still on G-Unit but could only guarantee Hot Rod's album would be released this year. Rod's "Rock to It" video just wrapped and will be airing soon, Sha said. As for M.O.P., Sha said it's been a bit tougher pushing their project through. "Honestly, I think they have an amazing album," he said. "Those kinds of guys, you just can't market; you got to just let them run wild. They're some ugly guys — what you want to do, get them a face-lift? You got to just not spend too much money and make it a profitable situation. I would like to say, 'Yeah, [they're gonna come out this year],' but I don't wanna lie."

As for the next few projects coming from the camp, Sha said he wanted to switch up the formula (50 Cent always coming first, then Lloyd Banks, followed by Young Buck, and so on). He said his plan has fallen on deaf ears, but he's still tinkering. "The roster gets so full, the guys have to go every other two years," he said. "I wanna get the sh-- to like how Jay-Z was dropping every November. I need to get them like that."

For other artists featured in Mixtape Mondays, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines. For a full-length feature on the role of mixtapes in the music industry, check out "Mixtapes: The Other Music Industry."

For other artists featured in Mixtape Mondays, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines

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Photo: MTV News

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