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— by Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes, Sway Calloway and Kim Kane

Artist: Mase

Representing: G-Unit

Mixtape: Crucified 4 the Hood: 10 Years of Hate

411: The past two weeks have been all about Jesus. Kanye West still has everyone up in arms with his portrayal of the Heavenly Father on the cover of Rolling Stone, and Pastor Mason Betha wears his own crown of thorns to resemble God's son (the original) on his new mixtape, Crucified 4 the Hood.

Mase has a lot riding on the tape because the streets haven't exactly welcomed him back warmly, especially with his return to Murda. On the mixtape, Mase really doesn't explain himself at all, but spits rhymes about the return of Murda, talks about "hoes" and even busts a few shots. Mase's flow is still there, and he's as cocky as ever.

Joints To Check For

  • "Majesty." Mase takes Kanye West's beat from "Hey Mama" and shows his wit is still there. "Y'all can keep dollar sign, name ching ching/ Bulletproof Ferrari all you hear is ping ping."

  • "They Don't Bother Me" featuring 50 Cent, Spider Loc and Young Buck. Buck rehashes some old beef with Nas, Jadakiss and Fat Joe while Mase pops trash about some of his rivals, including the Diplomats. "Dip Set definitely don't bother me," he says.

  • "Going Back to Harlem." Who says Mase can't go home again? Well, plenty of people have. But Mase is undaunted and even makes a theme record about returning to his hometown — though in the very next song on the mixtape, he declares, "I'm from the 'A' now."

  • Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week

    • Mick Boogie's God's Gift Live and Essential Kanye
    • Dirty Harry's The Warriors
    • DJ Doo Wop & DJ Money Mike's The Future Is Here
    • DJ Exclusive's Eminem & D12 Lost In London
    • DJ Kurupt'sNew Year Edition 2K6
    • DJ Marvls' Kill At Will Part 1
    • DJ JayCeeOh's Special Team
    • Big Mike & Big Stress' R&B Jumpoff 20
    • 730 Presents St. Laz's Sweet Dreams
    • "The Real Mad Ciphas" DVD

    'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
    • Bun B. featuring Pimp C and Young Jeezy - "Get Throwed" remix
    • Tha Dogg Pound - "Sittin' on 23z"
    • DJ Khaled featuring Paul Wall, Lil' Wayne, Rick Ross, Pitbull and Fat Joe - "Holla at Me Baby"
    • Ne-Yo featuring LL Cool J - "So Sick" remix
    • Remy Ma featuring Ne-Yo - "Feels So Good"
    • Paul Wall - "Girl"
    • Rick Ross featuring Busta Rhymes - "Hustlin' " remix

    Celebrity Favs

      Sanaa Lathan
    The gossip rags would have you believe that Denzel Washington is having a secret love child with Sanaa Lathan. The beautiful actress, whose "Something New" is out February 3, says she's totally in favor of having a spiritual adviser to help one deal with all the rumors that come with celebrity.

    "I've been doing this for about nine years now. As soon as you start doing things on any public level, people start talking," said Lathan, who was a little peeved after reading about herself and Denzel in a gossip column. "So I have a spiritual adviser that I deal with weekly. I talk to her. We dealt with that years ago, gossip and people talking to you. Because I dealt with it years ago, at this point I can be detached and focus on the positive."

    The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

      Pimp C
    MTV News was the first to get Pimp C and Bun B together after Pimp's release from prison.

    "It's a blessing, being able to come home and be treated this way," Pimp said in Houston.

    "Somebody passed me a cell phone and said, 'This is yours,' " he continued, describing the day he got out and was greeted by Bun and others. "I hadn't saw no money, and Bun gave me a stack. So I fit back into the swing of things kind of fast."

    C says he was a little a rusty on the mic because he had not rapped in the four years he was away, but after a couple of takes, he was ready.

    "It wouldn't have been to my advantage to promote that [in jail]," he said. "I just kind of wrote. I hadn't heard my own voice [rapping] in four years."

    Pimp and Bun recorded new lyrics for a remix of Bun B's "Get Throwed" (which no longer features Jay-Z) and for T.I.'s "Front, Back and Side to Side." UGK also just signed an endorsement deal with Dame Dash's Pro-Keds line of sneakers. ...

      Juelz Santana
    If you're wondering why in the world Juelz Santana is wearing that big ol' iced-out "A" around his neck, just know it stands for his trademark call out, "Aiyie!"

    And on to the real news: Last week at Cam'ron's press conference, Santana insisted that he won't be leaving Def Jam, despite Cam's differences with Jay-Z (see "Cam'ron Says Attack On 'Old Man' Jay-Z Wasn't Unprovoked").

    "We don't really deal hands-on with Jay," Santana said. "It's not going to affect me."

    Asked what he thought about the beef, Juelz played it like a real diplomat. "It's not really about my take," he determined. "My man did what he had to do, so I'm here to support him by any means necessary. He's like a big brother to me. He's the one that's the founder of my whole career. We stick by each other no matter what it is."

    This year look for Juelz to collaborate outside of his camp more often. He's probably going to get on Ice Cube's new record and has already recorded tracks with E-40, Ludacris, LL Cool J and Trick Daddy for their upcoming albums.

    Santana and Young Jeezy have recorded even more songs together, and there's going to be a Santana and Lil Wayne mixtape coming soon called I Can't Feel My Face. "We already got seven joints done," Juelz said. He has his own solo mixtapes coming as well: Rehab, followed by Relapse.

    Now that the young Dip Set soldier has had his status elevated a little, he feels he's ready to begin working with big-name producers. Before, he didn't want people to think he was using A-list beatmakers as a crutch. Now that he's proven himself, he wants to get in the lab with the likes of Pharrell Williams, Dr. Dre and Swizz Beatz.

    "Eminem is the one person I want to collaborate with," he added. "I think that would real crazy. Em, holla at your boy." ...

      DJ Drama & Young Buck - Case Dismissed - Gangsta Grillz Special Edition
    You think Kobe can hit the three? Peep DJ Drama. Dram has a trifecta of mixtapes dropping right in time for Super Bowl weekend. His next one, Can't Ban the Snowman — a collaboration with Young Jeezy — is probably the most anticipated.

    A lot of people are still bumping the Drama/ Jeezy classic Trap or Die, arguably the best mixtape to drop last year. It certainly helped kick off Jeezy's movement.

    "We were thinking about naming it Trap or Die 2," Drama said. "But we didn't, and I'm glad. It stands on its own. This sh-- might be better than Trap or Die. [Jeezy] stepped up. The tape is heat from beginning to end. It shows what zone he's in. He's touching on his life, the streets, his baby's mom. From a fan's perspective, they love when a n---a keeps it real. ... Last go around we did a smash campaign for the tape. This sh-- is just gonna hit, and I put everything on it, 27 tracks, all new exclusive music.

    The other two mixtapes are Welcome to Detroit by Trick Trick, and Young Buck's Gangsta Grillz: Case Dismissed. Buck is on there showing his G-Unit South movement and all the artists under his umbrella: Lil' Scrappy, Hi-C, All-Star and D-Tay.

    Later this year, Drama is putting out Gangsta Grillz discs with Busta Rhymes, Little Brother and Pharrell Williams (Pharrell and Drama are already 17 songs into the mixtape and are pulling together collabos). "You're not going to put me in a box," the DJ said, answering those who'll say he's going pop because he's making tapes with people like Pharrell and Little Brother. "I'm into good music and quality hip-hop. If you hear a tape and it has DJ Drama on it — Gangsta Grillz or not — believe if I cosign it, it's quality music."

    For more on the role of mixtapes in the music industry, check out the feature "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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