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— by Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes and Joseph Patel

Artist: Dame Dash

Mixtape: Roc 4 Life: The Second Part of the Life

Representing: Damon Dash Music Group

411: "Dame Dash Is Done!" Hey, we didn't say it — that's the title of the first skit on his mixtape. As you'll hear on this CD and whenever else Dame gets a chance to speak on the mic, he feels his career is far from over. The most talkative man in rap recently launched the Damon Dash Music Group, and he features some of its talent on this Big Mike-hosted CD.

Joints To Check For

  • "Can't Get Out the Game." Producers Aqua and Joe "3H" Weinberger sprinkled their blue-eyed soul all over this '70s-style track like raisins in oatmeal. Meanwhile, Nicole Wray sings with harmonious despondency about a 17-year-old girl allured by the trappings of the underworld. The female from the 'hood falls in love with a hustler who was "colder than ice," and she ultimately meets a gruesome end. Beanie Sigel comes in at the end and raps from the perspective of the slain girl's man. "Same 'hood, same mind frame," he says. "Am I to blame, shorty caught up in the struggle addicted to my hustle?/ It's fair game."

  • "Triumph" by Joe Budden, Raekwon, Young Chris, Oschino and Sparks , Nature and N.O.R.E. "Let's take it back to '79!" Well, maybe not that far ... we'll stop at '97. Dash's gaggle of 'hood heroes raps over the beat from the Wu-Tang Clan's premier posse cut "Triumph."

  • "Tribute" by Raekwon featuring Denim. The Chef pours his heart out as he raps in homage about the late ODB. "That's my brother," Rae rhymes. "The love he had, he hit all his kids with/ Let's thank God he's in a better place/ Word to the father/ Nurture that man and feed him/ State of grace, blessings."


Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week

  • So So Def's Family Automatic
  • DJ Drama and Young Jeezy's Gangsta Grillz: Trap or Die
  • DJ Kay Slay's Mic Check and R&B Kings 3
  • "SMACK" DVD issues 7 and 8
  • Papoose's Moment of Silence Part 1
  • Raheem Devaughn's Street Experience 1 and 2






'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • Ashanti featuring Cam'ron, Ja Rule, Juelz Santana and Black Child - "Only U" remix
  • Ras Kass - "Caution"
  • N.O.R.E. - "Cuts From N.O.R.E."
  • Buckshot, Smiff-N-Wessun and Aaliyah - "Night Riders" remix


Celebrity Favs

Golden Globe winner and double Oscar nominee Jamie Foxx is making it no secret who he's feeling in the mixtape game: Whoo Kid. A few weeks ago, Foxx got down with "the Haitian Barry White" to make Sada Pop TV, and this week the duo re-upped for Guess Whoo's Back Mutha----a! "The Sada Pop TV mixtape was so hot I had to call Whoo Kid to do another one," Foxx said in a statement. "I must have given away at least 1,000 CDs to my friends and they went bananas."

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

The last time we saw Lil' Cease and the Junior M.A.F.I.A., they were telling the world their side of the group's history — including breakups with P. Diddy and Lil' Kim and the death of Notorious B.I.G. — on the DVD "The Chronicles of the Junior M.A.F.I.A." Since the street documentary's release a few months ago, Cease, Banger and Klepto have secured a record deal at Mega Media Records and are finishing up only the group's second LP in 10 years, Riot Music.0 "This ain't the final three, we're just like the main [members] of it," Cease said of his, Banger's and Klepto's roles. "We ain't do an album since '95, so during certain time periods in between that, other people were doing other situations ... and everybody from Junior M.A.F.I.A. wasn't rappers. Certain people went back, chilled with their girls, went and had kids, went and got jobs and did what they had to do. At the end of the day ... only one who ain't here is Kim." Some of the notable collaborations on Riot Music include production from Sha Money XL and verses from Prodigy and Jadakiss.

The group also has some B.I.G. vocals it built a song around. The guys just shot a video for the single "Just Us," where they rap about having to walk their paths in life alone, without the celebrity pals who once backed them. "That's something we deal with on a day-to-day basis," Cease said. "People ask those questions to this day. 'Why you ain't sign with Puff?' or 'What happened with y'all and Kim? Kim kicked y'all out the crib?' " ...

Styles P.'s "I'm Black" is a no-brainer choice for this year's Black History Month anthem, but the self-proclaimed "hardest" MC on the mic says he doesn't wait for February to began teaching his own kids about their culture. "You have to teach your kids about being black every day," Styles said last week at the Ruff Ryders' Powerhouse studio. "That's everyday life: You're black. You gotta teach them certain things that happened in their history. Not just black, but history in general — people's land getting took, things getting taken from people, the history of slavery. [You teach them] how they're fortunate, how there's starving people in Africa and a lot of people are not living all right. I try to raise them how my mother raised me, but with a little more technology now. Things are a little bit more advanced now." Styles is just about done with his next LP, Time Is Money, but even once his album's completed he's not leaving the studio.

Expect to see him on Sheek Louch's forthcoming After Taxes, J-Hood's Tales From the Hood and an upcoming street CD that Green Lantern is helping him put together. Who can forget Green had a heavy hand in Jadakiss' The Champ Is Here mixtape last year? "You see who's humble, who's cool — we're cool with all the DJs, but we give everybody a run here and there," Styles said about the D-Block's current affiliation with Big Mike. "Whosever cool, humble, putting in their work, we rock with them." ...

There's a lot of energy coming out of Brooklyn these days. First off, Jay-Z has recently completed a couple of records with 112. The first one is a remix of the singers' "You Already Know" where Hov raps with Foxy Brown. The Jiggaman also sequestered 112 singer Slim in the lab to sing on a hook. That chorus will pop up on a Jay-Z collaboration with the Young Gunz. Meanwhile, underground MC Maino just signed with Universal, and Gravy inked a deal with Warner Bros. in December. According to his reps, he's halfway done with his debut. ...

For more on the role of mixtapes in the music industry, check out the feature "Mixtapes: The Other Music Industry."




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