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— Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes and Jasmine Dotiwala

DVD: "The Infamous Times - Volume I: The Original 50 Cent"

Representing: The 'hood

411: We told you months ago that this DVD was coming, and it finally hit the streets this week. "Infamous Times" definitely lives up to its name, primarily focusing on the never-before-told story of one of the street's most notorious gangsters.

Joints To Check For

  • 50 Cent opens up about his name: In plenty of early 50 Cent interviews, when asked about his moniker, he said it represented a change. Well, on this DVD he goes in depth about being named after one of BK's most feared stick-up kids. Both 50s have a lot in common. 50 the gangster was shot 23 times over nine different occasions. And the nine-times-shot 50 Cent the rapper says he, too, believes in getting money by any means to provide for himself, just like the street legend.

  • 50 Cent the gangster's life: The documentary goes through the gamut of the original 50's life, starting with his early days when he robbed everything from liquor stores to rappers and people at parties. Surprisingly, with all the chaos he caused, 50 was only 5 feet 2 inches tall. DJs Eric B and Scratch are among those giving testimonial interviews.

  • The murder of the original 50 Cent, and the shooting of 50 Cent the MC: The documentary tells the story of how the original 50's exploits caught up to him and he was ultimately shot several times in a project hallway. That was only the beginning, though, of the events that led to his death. "Infamous Times" also takes another look at what happened to 50 the MC when he was shot in Queens in front of his grandmother's house. Although 50 doesn't speak too much about the identities of those who shot him, the DVD gives its own theories and even shows a picture of one of the alleged assailants. (For more on 50 Cent, check out the feature "All Eyes On 50 Cent: The Sequel")

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week

  • DJ Radio & 354's Street Certified #2 (Kitchen Cook Radio Edition)
  • DJ Scoob Doo's Lost in Yonkers Pt. 2
  • DJ TKO's Dramatic Streets
  • Samson & Sejour's The Mixtape
  • DJ Phatty Banks' Dance Hall Drama
  • DJ Bazarro's Bushwick hosted by Redman

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • 112 featuring Foxy Brown - "U Already Know" remix
  • Papoose - "Monopoly"
  • Beanie Sigel featuring Young Chris and Freeway - "I Can't Go On"
  • Amerie featuring Nas - "Man Up"
  • ODB featuring Method Man, Raekwon and Macy Gray - "Intoxicated"

Celebrity Favs

Snoop Dogg is back in the U.S. but he'll soon be returning to the road to promote his R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece. So what does Snoop like to listen to when he's on tour? "The kind of music I bring on the road is old-school '70s R&B," he said. "You know, Al Green, the Dramatics, Sam Cooke. Good music, music that feels good to you."

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

Cassidy really is hustling hard. You hear his song "I'm a Hustla" all over Jay-Z's new Reebok commercial, and the Philadelphia line pugilist was able to reel in the legendary queen of hip-hop soul, Mary J. Blige, to appear on the remix of his street anthem. The hustle is so good for Cass, he's changed the title of his May release from Personality Change to the working title I'm a Hustla. Nas also appears on the album, and the video for "I'm a Hustla" should be out this week. ...

It only took a little over a decade, but Snoop Dogg has once again ingratiated himself to the European audience. "Last time I came out to Europe they wanted to kick me out," said Snoop, who just finished an overseas trek. "They thought I was a bad guy because I was fighting a legal situation back in America. But as you can see in the year 2005, the grass is greener on the other side. They respect me for who I am, they know that I have been through trials and tribulations and it's about my music now, not my personal life. The respect level is definitely higher, bigger, stronger. I appreciate that; that's why Iím here." Snoop said the song that had the loudest pop from the fans was "Who Am I (What's My Name)?" but he personally enjoyed rapping "Drop It Like It's Hot" because it's so fresh and new. Europe definitely was drenched with Cali love, because besides the headliner being from Long Beach, the opening act was from Compton. "The reason I chose Game to open up the show for me is because he reminds me of myself being a young West Coast rapper behind the great Dr. Dre," Snoop said. "I feel Game, letting him come out here, would open up different avenues for myself as well as him. Just, you know, uniting the gap and showing that the West Coast is one, moving together." ...

It looks like there's some mogul power-brokering going on in the hip-hop community. According to a source close to the deal, Tommy Mottola is partnering up with Jay-Z to put out the debut LP by Cory Gunz. According to the source, Mottola called up Hova and asked to be part of the project because he was impressed by Gunz's spit game. Originally, Cory — the son of Peter Gunz — was slated to come out in May, but Jay is having him go back in the lab and work on a little more material. On Gunz's wish list to get down with are Lil' Wayne, Jadakiss and Eminem. Rockwilder and Rodney Jerkins have already provided him with tracks. Meanwhile, Cory's pops is enjoying his son's blossoming, but Pistol Pete still has the itch to get on the mic himself. Peter has formed a band — yes, a band — called N.E.D. (Not Easily Describable) where he can be caught playing percussion and keyboard as well as rapping when his group performs one of its frequent overseas dates in France or Italy. ...

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

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Photo: MTV News

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