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Fire Starter: Damien "D-Roc" Butler
We all know D-Roc from his days as one of Notorious B.I.G.'s friends in the Junior M.A.F.I.A. and also as Lil' Kim's manager after Big passed away. But Roc, who's currently serving out a prison sentence for his part in a February 2001 shooting in front of Hot 97, has a DVD project coming out in a few weeks. It's called "Life After Death" and tells his perspective of the rise and fall of the Junior M.A.F.I.A. Roc and company videotaped much of the JM's exploits from 1993 to 1999, so you'll see a very intimate insider's view. Jay-Z, Da Brat, Diddy and even Superhead all show up in the DVD as well.




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

Artist: Notorious B.I.G.

Representing: The best hip-hop has to offer

Mixtape: The Best of Biggie: 10th Anniversary Mixtape

411: You really don't need a whole bunch of writing to explain what's going on this week: It will be 10 years Friday since we lost arguably the most talented MC ever. One of the people who helped Big get his start, Mister Cee, is commemorating our heavy loss with a celebration. Cee, who released his first Best of Biggie mixtape 10 years ago, is making sure that no one ever forgets the MC, just how Biggie would have wanted it.

"The mixtape is not really focusing on his singles," said Cee — Bad Boy's Greatest Hits disc, dropping Tuesday, will serve that purpose. "You're not gonna hear 'Hypnotize' and those type of records, but it's focusing on guest appearances. All the guest appearances he's ever appeared on. Original versions. Nothing remade, original duets he's done with other artists. Then you have the freestyles he's done. The freestyles done with me or other DJs like DJ Enuff, Funk Master Flex. Then also, there's some original versions to songs. There's some songs you're gonna hear that you've heard the album versions, but you never heard it with the original track.

"There's also some live stuff," he added. "Live from Madison Square Garden, Philly, London. It just really shows the short amount of time Biggie was here, the amount he's done. It's over 70 songs and a double-CD. I also want to big up my man DJ Whoo Kid. He's been helping me out to get back in the fold of doing what I gotta do to get back out in the mixtape circuit. It's probably gonna be the last mixtape I ever do. I hope people cherish the way I am."

Joints To Check For:

  • "Freestyle at Mister Cee's Crib." "Everybody is always asking me about that particular freestyle," Cee said. "We did that in my house over the beat for 'I Didn't Mean To' by Casual from the Hieroglyphics. There's also a freestyle that me and Biggie did together. I played it once on [New York hip-hop station] Hot 97 last year. Everybody loved it. That was the only time he did a freestyle for me at the house. He knocked it out in two takes. If you really listen to it, you can hear the fire truck passing. I was still living in Bed Stuy [Brooklyn] at the time. You could tell it was definitely a home recording. It wasn't no professional studio. It was two turntables with a microphone plugged into the mixer. I don't think [Biggie's 1994 LP] Ready to Die was out yet, but Big had the success off of 'Party and Bullsh--' and the ['Real Love'] remix with Mary [J. Blige]. His popularity was growing."


  • Pepsi commercial. "Yeah, Biggie did a Pepsi commercial that DJ Enuff produced," Cee revealed. "I think Biggie got into some trouble right before it was supposed to come out, so Pepsi never used it because he got arrested. When you hear it, Big is going hard ... talking about Pepsi!"


  • "Where Brooklyn At" (Madison Square Garden freestyle). "This is the infamous freestyle with Tupac and Big Daddy Kane at MSG," Cee said. "That was during the Budweiser Superfest. I always had a habit of recording me and Kane's live performances, especially when I knew different rappers were gonna come on. The sound guy, I begged and pleaded with him to let me record. He was like, 'Nah, it's a union thing,' but he finally let me record. Believe it or not, that live performance was recorded on a 120-minute cassette. There was no CD recorders, there were DATs of course, but I always kept a 120-minute cassette with me. The funny thing about that day is that when you hear the performance, you hear Biggie, you hear Tupac, but we also brought out Fat Joe that night. Positive K came out. Shyheim came out — that's when he had 'On and On' out. We only had 10 minutes. So we brought all those rappers out, got them on and off and was able to do our hits within a 10-minute time frame."


Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
  • A-Alikes - I Eat You Eat
  • Memphis Bleek - Heir to the Throne
  • Tapemasters Inc - Codeine Hitz, Part Three
  • B.G. and the Chopper City Boyz - We Got This
  • Boss Hogg Outlawz - Serve & Collect

Click here for more of Mixtape Monday ...


'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • Bow Wow (featuring R. Kelly, T.I. and T-Pain) - "I'mma Flirt" remix
  • Cam'ron (featuring G. Dep) - "Child of the Ghetto"
  • DJ Drama (featuring Young Jeezy, Willie the Kid, Rick Ross, T.I. and Jim Jones) - "Feds Taking Pictures"
  • P Stones - "I Don't Give a F---"
  • Rich Boy (featuring Pastor Troy and Big Boi) - "And I Love You"
  • Kelly Rowland (featuring Eve) - "Like This"

Celebrity Faves

  Trey Songz
A few years ago, Trey Songz fell out of favor with R. Kelly when the young singer put out his own version of the Pied Piper's "Trapped in the Closet." But that seems like an eternity ago, and the two singers have actually been working together on Songz's spring release Trey Day. "I could understand why he would feel that way," Songz said of Kelly stopping the "Trapped" spinoff in its tracks. "But if I got a young cat that is coming up and looking up to me, I'mma bring him under my wing too. He gave me some fire too. The record R. Kelly and I did together is called 'IHOP.' It's a fun record. R. Kelly is always going to make something funny and great. Like in the 'Promise' remix when he goes, 'I'mma make you scream like Michael Jackson: Hee, hee!' So in 'IHOP,' I sing, 'Would you be my IHOP, baby?/ Can I place my order?/ 24/7, round-the-clock you open.' "

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

  Young Jeezy
Young Jeezy says he's laughing at all the rumors that are still stemming from Game and Young Buck coming to his party during the NBA's All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas. As you've seen from the footage floating around the Internet, Buck was onstage and the DJ was playing one of Game's records. Game and his crew started going toward the stage, and before they could get up there, Game and company were asked to leave the building.

So what would have happened if they had come face to face? Buck recently said on the radio that he wasn't there to start trouble, but he did admit to telling Game to come to the stage to find out if the former G-Unit member wanted peace or beef. One of the rumors floating around was that Game was so heated, he was about to make a dis record for Jeezy and Buck, which is probably false, seeing how the incident was two weeks ago and Game usually has a dis song ready within hours of something happening to him.

"To be honest with you, I had a ball," Jeezy said last week. "I ain't get [bad vibes] from either one of them. If it was gonna be something, it would have been something. It ain't gotta be no song. We grown. That ain't the way you handle that. If it was a problem, it's a problem, but it wasn't a problem. People made something outta nothing. That's what I hate about the industry. ... I was hearing [rumors]. I was like, 'Hell no.' I was there, that ain't happen.

"I'mma keep it G," he added. "It was my party, I was where I was supposed to be. I'm cool with Buck and Game. Just by saying that, they respected that. They didn't have no words, they didn't have no altercation, just two people who ain't never really been in the same building at the same time in a long time. I guess everybody felt a way about that. I talked to Game after that, I talked to Buck after that. Nobody really said anything about it. It wasn't a problem. It was just everybody was in the building, it was a gangsta party. What's wrong with that? It was a lot of ladies, a lot of gangstas, a lot of fun, by the way."

Besides, Jeezy has more important things than fake beef to think about. He's headlining the Street Dream Tour with Jim Jones, Cash Money Millionaires, Fat Joe and Rich Boy. Jeezy's group USDA have a mixtape coming out in April, and at the end of the year, the Snowman wants to drop his third solo album.

"I'm almost done," he said. "When I say a classic, this is the one! I ain't concentrating on nothing but this. ... I gotta bring the streets back, be me in every way and walk through the fire no matter what nobody says. All the people who love what I do, I'mma make it right. When you working on your third LP, people be like, 'What can I do to get these type of fans?' I'mma do me. Sometimes when you're on the third album you aren't hungry. I'm starving! I'm walking around with a steak knife and fork in my pocket. I'm ready to eat." ...

  Mims
He told you he was on fire, but according to Mims, it was more than just the boastful rhymes on his #1 single "This Is Why I'm Hot" that really made him blaze. The Washington Heights, New York, rapper said he and his camp traveled down south to break the record before even playing it in his hometown.

"I decided to take my grind in a different direction before I took it to New York," he explained. "I said, 'Let me get it poppin' in the South first, let [them] embrace me, embrace my music, and if they love what I do, then I could always go back to New York and be like, "I got an area that normally doesn't play New York rappers loving me." ' When I did that, and was successful, then that's when you started seeing the spins climb [in different areas].

"Sometimes New Yorkers tend to be too critical of crossing or changing directions or doing something different than what the typical New York artist does," Mims added. "You got to say to yourself, 'This is not an East Coast, West Coast, Dirty South or Midwest thing. It's just a good-music thing. People want to hear that music.' You have to adapt to what's going on that's hot and embrace it ... and that's exactly what I did."

To help with his region-less project, Music Is My Savior, Mims gathered Southerners Bun B and LaToya Luckett, New York spitter Bad Seed and Miami production team the Blackout Movement. "I'm from New York City," Mims said. "And I carry it well. But a lot of artists generalize themselves to one area or one type of people. But I wanted to prove a good-sounding album to the public [at large]."

Look out for Mims' second single, "Like This," and his DJ Kast One mixtape, The Future, both set to drop sometime before his March 27 album release date. ...

  Jay-Z ,Beanie Sigel, Young Gunz, Memphis Bleek and Freeway
The Diplomats and Roc-A-Fella continue to go at it, but to hear former Roc general Beanie Sigel say it, the blood wasn't that bad between Cam'ron's faction and his team when they were under one umbrella.

"Everybody had their own little opinions about everybody," he said of the early tension. "[But] Cam, he was rocking the Roc-A-Fella chain just like I was. It was never to a point where it was, like, that crucial, where mutha----as couldn't be in the same building together or studio together and all that. It wasn't to that effect."

Beans went on to say he didn't have a problem with anyone in either camp, just that he didn't understand the reason behind the dust-ups. "With Jim [Jones] and them poppin' shots at Jay-Z to me, it's like — it's corny. It ain't no purpose to it. What you doing it for? You ain't going for nobody's spot or title or none of that. Problem with Jay, them dudes can't really f--- with him lyrically or be in the position that he is, so it's like, what's the purpose?"

Beans himself has been laying low after his probation was extended by a judge in Philly a couple of weeks ago. He told MTV News that he put the breaks on his latest mixtape and is now just moving forward with focusing on his album, which he hopes to put out by May. Beanie also updated on his relationships with Jay-Z and the State Property fam, saying everyone is on good terms — he made sure to say every State Prop member's name — but he was terse when talking about the status of him and Dame Dash. "We cool," he said.

Beans was also tightlipped on which label he's with these days, but when he weighed in on everyone's beef, he offered up that if he were still signed to the Roc, he didn't think everyone would be beefing like they are.

  Greatest Groups of All Time
It's time for the experts of the MTV News Brain Trust to scream and shout at one another once again, as we continue to celebrate the Greatest Hip-Hop of All-Time. This time, we're saluting our picks for the 10 Greatest Hip-Hop Groups. Here's our mighty list — be sure to check it out, tell us what you think and, oh yeah, send us your own lists.

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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