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— by Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes

Artists: Kendell a.k.a. Young Sav and Steve "Steve-O" Careless

Representing: The buzz on the streets

Mixtape: The Best of Both Offices

411: With a name like Young Sav, you really wouldn't expect somebody like Kendell to be making the rounds in the boardrooms, but hey, this is rap. Young Sav, younger brother of radio personality/ song hypeman Fat Man Scoop, engineers the boards at Hot 97 for the likes of DJ Clue, DJ Kay Slay and Green Lantern and works radio promotion for Def Jam when he's not making mixtapes with his partner Steve-O. They've been putting together their Best of Both Offices series as a way of giving props to different labels as well as highlighting records that are gaining buzz.

Joints To Check For:
  • "Cannon" by T.I. and Busta Rhymes. "When I heard Busta and T.I. was doing a song together, I thought, 'Wow, this is incredible,' " Sav said. "Drama is putting together some fire. It's something I was looking for. Then when I heard it, I thought it was incredible. The best part about the whole song was how [producer] Don Cannon put the 'Cannon' drop throughout the whole song."
  • "Feels So Good" by Remy Martin featuring Ne-Yo. "It was definitely something different than what you normally hear from Remy. Ne-Yo complimented her well. This record is hot, so it's no way it couldn't be on this CD."
  • "D-Boy" by Lil Wayne. "Wayne's growth as an MC is marvelous. I remember the Wayne in the early days of the whole Cash Money movement. Now you look at him and he could be placed at the top of the King of the South conversations."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week

  • DJ Envy & Big Mike's Myspace Massacre
  • Floe Almighty's The Chronicles of Edgar Allen Floe
  • DJ Fur E & Big Pun's Immortality
  • DJ Whoo Kid, Clinton Sparks and Red Cafe's Hennesy and Haze

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • Blackstar - "Born and Raised"
  • Fabolous featuring D-Block and Paul Caine - "The Hitmen"
  • Mobb Deep - "Death of Me"
  • Beanie Sigel - "Warning Freestyle"
  • Kanye West featuring Keyshia Cole and Twista - "Impossible"

Celebrity Faves

Shawnna says her second LP, Chicago, is dropping in June, and once again she's going to be showing off her lyrical acumen. But that doesn't stop her from praising another premier female rap lyricist, Remy Martin. "That's my boo," Shawnna said. "She's real nice [on the mic]. Let me just let it be known. Me and Remy are becoming truly the best of friends. We have similar stories, similar struggles. [It's great] for us to be friends and relate to each other right now, rather than be in a battling situation where everything is a competition. ... It's comfortable for us right now to have each other to fall back on."

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

A few years ago, N.O.R.E. dropped his smash "Oye Mi Canto" just in time to make a splash at New York's Puerto Rican Day Parade. This year he wants to make even more noise. His long-awaited reggaetón album, now titled N.O.R.E. y la Familia, will drop just a couple of weeks before this year's parade, which falls on June 11. N.O.R.E. said the LP will feature just about all the hot artists from the genre, including Luny Tunes, Daddy Yankee, Ivy Queen and Don Omar. Omar and Diddy appear on one of the album's first singles, which still has no title. Can you say "Take That, Take That" en Español? We heard the record, and Diddy sure can. ...

  Young Chris
The Young Gunz are back to where they started: Young Chris said he and Neef are living in their old Philly neighborhood again. "I'm back on the block at my original house I was raised in," Chris said. "Of course our families are cool, we moved them out [of the 'hood]. But me and Neef are back to scratch. I'm trying to figure out how we get back to that." Chris said it's been tough for the Gunz lately. Their last LP flopped and they haven't been doing many live shows. "After Brothers From Another came out and we ain't do what we was expected to do [saleswise], sh-- got real crazy," he said. "Before, I knew it was business [with the record label], but that sh-- really woke us up. N---as ain't give us a second single. ... I blame [the label] but I also blame ourselves. We didn't get in the streets and bust our ass with [promoting the album] like we did Tough Luv. All we did was rely on the machine. ... You can't really do that." So Chris is working on getting his career back on track. He said he's finally going to put out a solo album. "It's called Now or Never, because I'm back putting my all in this sh--. If y'all don't get it now, y'all ain't never gonna get it. I'm ready to hurdle over all the mistakes." As for Neef, Chris said they're definitely still together, and the quieter half of the Gunners will be making cameos on Now or Never. There's also talk of a State Property reunion as all the members are talking again and some have even recorded together. ...

Last week we told you about Freeway and 50 Cent collaborating, and now comes word that the Philadelphia MC will also be appearing on albums by Young Buck, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo. "I was just in the studio last night with Yayo and he let me hear about eight new songs," Free said. "He's got some sh--!" Free said he's been cool with 50 for a long time but never expected him to be so involved in his album. "I was just chillin' and he called me and said, 'You my n---a, I want to make sure your sh-- get done. Anything I can do with your project, it's done, 100 percent.' " Free said Fif's involvement in his album is similar to Fif's involvement in the Mobb Deep projects. He picks some beats and helps out on some choruses. "I got him and Jay-Z giving me input. I'm about to go in with big homie probably this week," he said. "Basically I'm doing me, but they giving me input on sh-- and we doing a couple of joints together. It's going to be crazy, though. It's coming out in July." Freeway said his album will still be called Free at Last, but he's scratched most of the songs he's planned on using because it was supposed to come out July 4, 2005. Out of the new material he's recorded, of course, 50 is on the album as is Black Thought from the Roots, Scarface, Young Buck and Lil Scrappy. Free is also dropping a mixtape with DJ Whoo Kid on which he raps over beats like T.I.'s "What You Know"; it'll also include some of the scrapped records from the original version of Free at Last.

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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