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Fire Starter: Flo-Rida
You know from the Poe Boy Entertainment chain that he's down with the same label as Rick Ross, and by the look of his Carroll City Cartel medallion, he's in Ross' side clique. But the Sunshine State native is making a name for himself with the biggest record in Miami right now, "Birthday" (produced by the Runners). But this is no anthem celebrating someone's day of birth. The MC emphatically insists he doesn't want to wait until his birthday, he wants his cake every day. Not the cake you can eat either — cash money!

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— Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes and Tim Kash

Artist: Redman

Representing: Brick City

Mixtape: Live From the Bricks

411: Redman says his Red Gone Wild is coming out at the beginning of April or possibly the end of the March. The first single is called "Put It Down," but that could change.

"I don't know how everybody else does it, but Def Jam is working like whatever gets played on the radio is your single," he said. "It's just like, if I got a record that I ain't even want to be the single, but if the bi--- gets a certain amount of spins, that's my single [and] video. Another thing is they don't shoot videos off the bat no more. They wait till you get spins, then shoot. ... I know everybody is waiting to see, 'Let's see what Def Jam is going to do with Redman,' because other artists were complaining that the promotion was bullsh--. You know the routine.

"I'm not gonna be the last man standing," he added. "I'd look like a fool saying, 'Def Jam didn't do this for me, that for me.' I'm self-sufficient, self-owned. These last four years, I've been going on the road my damn self, shaking hands. Letting people know this is coming out."

Red also just dropped a new mixtape in anticipation of his LP. The legendary lyricist told us all about it.

Joints To Check For:

  • "Live From the Bricks." "It was just an intro from the mixtape," Redman said. "It was something I was feeling at the time, I wrote it right off the top. It was one of the first things I did for the mixtape. It started it off: 'What's this I hear, everybody trying to bring New York back/ But I'm from the bricks' — I forgot what the f--- I said — oh, 'I'll abort that.' We travel a lot and know that mainly when they say 'East Coast' they're talking about New York. But Jersey is hitting hard as well. New York got a lot of stuff from Jersey and Jersey be holding New York n---as down, so its time to let New York n---as know. But I love New York. New York is my home too."

  • "Walk in Gutter." "That's with me, Erick Sermon and Keith Murray on there," Red said. "Erick produced it. I dropped metaphors the whole album, but that one I was airing out. It was a long time since me and Def Squad did something, so that was a privilege. Plus the loop in there, y'all gotta hear that Blondie loop. That's why it's foul like that."

  • Various freestyles with Gilla House MCs. "Ready Rock, he's from my 'hood. He's the youngest; he's ready. He's been putting in work. E3, he's from Boston. He's the R&B dude. Then Melanie from Michigan. Yummy, she's just with the crew. She's under Rockwilder, but Rockwilder is my man. I just wanted to do it all-crew. Then you have Icadon, Saukrates from Canada. They were on my previous mixtapes. Everybody on the mixtape is going to be on my album. These are all artists I bumped into on the street. I been with them three, four years since my last album. We sat back, studied the game. We're not saying we're a new crew and don't know sh-- about hip-hop."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
  • Big Mike, DJ Diggz & DJ Lust - The Hard Way 3
  • DJ 2 Mello - Undercover RnB: The Rebirth!
  • DJ Envy - Cardan: The Rebirth Vol. 1
  • DJ Skee - DJ Skee Presents Expensive Taste
  • Q Da Kid - Grind Till I Shine

Click here for more of Mixtape Monday ...

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (featuring Swizz Beatz) - "Bumps in the Trunk"
  • Cam'ron - "Cuurtis"
  • Joe Budden featuring Thara - "Take It Off"
  • Lloyd - "Valentine"
  • Papoose - "Wheel of Fortune"
  • Skillz (featuring Quan and Big Sty) - "V to the Izzay"

Celebrity Faves

  Devin The Dude
Devin the Dude — whose Waiting to Inhale, featuring the first single "Little Girl Gone" with Lil Wayne and Bun B, comes out March 13 — has never seen the film "Waiting to Exhale," but he's definitely heard a song or two dedicated to the smokers of the world. His favorite anthem is DJ Quik's "Bun Bud." "We was in high school, just starting to run around. We'd had our crews. That was one of the songs that was out at the time."

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

  Young Buck
Young Buck has been in L.A., not just working with Dr. Dre on his new album Buck the World, due March 20, but also studying under the tutelage of an acting coach. Buck plans to make a movie about his life soon, and he's hoping that somewhere in the plotline will be a scene where he sells 500,000 copies in the first week.

He said that after three years on the bench, he's coming back hard — especially in the South. "It's the big payback sh-- for me," he said. "I appreciate the fans patiently waiting. That's why I worked so hard on making this another classic album. ... I got respect for them all — T.I., [Lil] Wayne, all of them — but at this point, I'm hungry for real. Between me, Wayne and T.I., we got the most anticipated albums [coming out of the South this year]. I'm trying to bust both their asses, but in a friendly way. Cause them is my n---as."

What? It's no secret that Buck is tight with Tip and Young Jeezy, who he calls his "brothers," but Weezy F? Just a few months ago, Buck was on the radio airwaves saying that he wanted to declare war on Weezy and his pa, Baby. He also clowned the two Cash Money Millionaires for kissing on the lips as a way of greeting each other.

"At the end of the day, I never said none of that sh-- behind beef," Buck clarified about his thoughts on Wayne and Baby's kissing. "It was the truth. I said it, it wasn't to create beef. I said it, but I had a chance to run into Wayne. I had a chance to see what was his take on the situation. He wasn't paying it no attention. He explained to me the meaning for [him and Baby's greeting], whatever that was, it is what it is. I ain't got no problem with nobody that ain't got no problem with me. ... We had a chance to speak about it, and it wasn't really nothing."

In fact, Buck said he's not jumping into any beefs as of right now. "I'm out in these streets for real," he said. "I'm affiliated with it, without having the illegal sh-- with it. I can't indulge myself in the so called beef situations because my sh-- is so real out here. Two weeks ago, I got pulled over. [There were] Feds and everything! They said my license was suspended. They get me down [to the police station] and want to question me about homicides. ... So at this point right now, I'm not f---ing with none of this rap beef. I'm trying to keep my head above water."

Buck said that even pertains to Cam'ron's recent feud with 50 Cent — at least for the time being. "The 50 and Cam sh--? That sh-- is funny to me," he laughed off. "I'm gonna be all the way honest. I think 50 can handle that from his own point of view. But like I said, sh-- is so real for me in the streets. ... At the end of the day, my boss, he's about capitalizing off of negative energy. When anybody brings negative energy to him, he's just a blessed child to turn it into a bank roll. F---ing with homeboy like that, you have to have your sh-- all the way together. To each his own, 'cause at the end of the day, we are on top. 50 is on top."

  Young Buck at Ice House during NBA All-Star weekend 2007 (click here for more photos)

When he's not dealing with his own projects or G-Unit agendas, Buck Marley is working on his new label. He explains that G-Unit South is actually just a movement, but the tangible outlet he plans to put music out on is Cashville Records. The first artist he signed is California's C-Bo, and the Outlawz are in negations to join the fold as well. "My goal is to stay loyal to my crew [and] still get something for myself going," the Tennessee native said.

However, for all he said about keeping out of trouble, Buck had some on Friday night in Las Vegas during NBA All-Star weekend. He attended a party at a venue called the Ice House where Diddy and Young Jeezy hosted a party.

According to an eyewitness, Buck, who arrived at the shindig with Jeezy, got into a staredown with his old nemesis the Game, who was also at the party. Although Buck and Game didn't have the chance to get physical, our witness said the two rappers and their parties were converging at opposite sides of the DJ booth while Jeezy was on the mic and security had to step in between both factions. Buck and his people left shortly after, as did Game and his entourage. ...

Last week, T.I. had two Grammys in his hands and was on his way to a huge afterparty, but he wasn't too busy to speak up for his friend and Grand Hustle artist DJ Drama.

  DJ Drama and T.I.
"He's running into a bit of an issue — for lack of better words — with the federal government and the music industry, and I don't know why," Tip said at L.A.'s Staples Center after the award show. "I support him 100 percent and I have nothing but the best thoughts in mind as far as an outcome. I know that he will be exonerated. I know what he's been accused of doing or whatever; his charges are trumped up. The mixtape market is a market that has kept this industry going. A lot of times, people like myself or 50 Cent couldn't be heard by the industry because people were in their offices and didn't take time to go back to the origin of the music and find out what's going on in the streets. So we had to make them see what we were saying. And I feel that Drama was one of the best at doing that."

Tip's film "American Gangster" will be out in November, and before then, he has a full plate of music coming. Besides Drama's album in the spring, he has his own T.I. VS TIP coming in the summer. Young Dro and Big Kuntry are in the lab as well and their discs are slated to drop later this year. ...

50 Cent and the Game on the same track again it seems so unlikely, right? Well Busta Rhymes said he's trying to get both of his friends to join him on a track for his new album Before Hell Freezes Over. Bus also said if it were up to him, the two would quash their quarrelling altogether.

  50 Cent and Game
"I have always had a problem with the beef," he said recently on a trip to London. "If you listen to 'Doctor's Advocate,' which is the title track on [Game's] album, I didn't agree with how he handled the situation with 50. 50, even though I don't agree with everything he has done, he is still somewhat of an orchestrator of the situation from a general rank standpoint. If you are an apprentice coming under someone, there is a general pride and ego. You gotta swallow a certain thing. It's a part of being conditioned for greatness. Humbling yourself is the key when it comes to reach a certain place.

"The Game needed to understand, even though he is a very incredible talent — a genius with his work ethic and his ability to contribute with the music in a great way, he's still gotta play a certain role," Bus added. "That's why when I got on his record, before I did, I had to say, 'When I get on your song, I'm coming from a real perspective.' He was so embracing in that because he is a very intelligent dude. He understands that it works to his advantage. He understands that it works in his favor, because he doesn't hide from the truth. But Game sometimes is very impulsive. I don't fault him for that, he is still young. He will evolve into that super-great thing he is destined to become."

  Busta Rhymes
Busta thinks his destiny is to do something great soon as well. This comes after a wave of legal troubles, including arrests in New York for driving without a license and being accused of beating up one of his drivers.

"It's still crazy because I have been getting in a few situations in New York recently," said Bust, whose friend and bodyguard Israel Ramirez died a year ago. "I never had this much difficulty in New York in my 17-year career, until the passing of my friend. I just feel like I am being dealt with in a way that is obviously unjust. I looked at things optimistically because I've always known that every greatness that you receive is a reward in life." ...

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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