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Fire Starter: Juice
Oddly enough, Juice earned his spot as the Game's number-one gun on his Black Wall Street label by using his fists, not his words. After Game witnessed firsthand Juice knocking out a 300-pound-plus bodyguard, he earned an audition. Ever since, the Phoenix native has been running as tight with Game as Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. Black Wall Street still doesn't have a distribution deal in place, but once everything gets lined up, Juice will be the lead artist. Until then, you can catch him on mixtapes with Game, DJ Skee and Nu Jerzey Devil.

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

DJ: Lil Wayne

Representing: The head of the class of hip-hop's new generation

Mixtape: The Drought 3

411: Every time you think Wayne couldn't possibly do more, he does. Weezy F. Baby just made a power move by signing to the same management team that reps Kanye West. Needless to say, 'Ye will be doing beats for the upcoming Tha Carter III.

With his much-anticipated album looming, Wayne still continues to get his grizzly on with the mixtapes. There are some tracks from The Drought 3 that leaked, but in fact DJ Khaled — who helped him put it together — says they just mastered the mixtape late last week and some of the records that have been floating around were not all the way finished.

While Weezy's on the I Am the Street Dream tour with Jim Jones, Baby and Young Jeezy, Khaled gave us an insider's perspective on the mixtape.

Joints To Check For:

  • "We Takin' Over." "That's my favorite freestyle on the whole tape," Khaled said. "He's basically on there talking about how loyal he is to his dad. All the controversy that has been created with their relationship, all the controversy Wayne has been going through, Wayne explains it. Even though he's already on the song 'We Takin' Over,' he called me one day and said, 'Send the instrumental.' He loves the beat. He ripped it so hard."

  • "Top Back Freestyle." "Wayne raps over the T.I. 'Top Back' instrumental," Khaled said. "Wayne rips that down. He talks about Mannie Fresh, he bigs up T.I. Weezy gets real personal on the mixtape. Very versatile as well.

  • "I'm Blood." "There he spits over the Jeezy 'I Luv It' track," Khaled said. "That's the Birdman's favorite freestyle. Wayne talks about family. The whole mixtape is crazy though. It's a double CD. Wayne is in rare form. He's never going to run out of material."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
  • Gillie Da Kid - The Best of the GDK Mixtapes
  • DJ Kool Kid - Controlled Substance
  • DJ B-Lord - Trojan Man Volume Three
  • DJ Chuck T - Down South Slangin' 35
  • Storm P and Superstar Jay - The Greatest Flow On Earth
  • Guilty by Association - Home Invasion

Click here for more of Mixtape Monday ...

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • The Game - "The Razor"
  • U.S.D.A. - "White Girl"
  • Sean Kingston (featuring the Game and Rick Ross) - "Colors 2007"
  • Da Shop Boyz - "Rock Star"

Celebrity Faves

  Kelly Rowland
Kelly Rowland is repping the ladies with Eve in her new video "Like This," but on her album Ms. Kelly, plenty of fellas show her love — from Polow Da Don and Robin Thicke to Lil Wayne and Mr. International Incident himself, Snoop Dogg. The latter MC appears on "Ghetto."

"It might possibly be the second single, I'm not sure. I love Snoop," Rowland said. "I've been wanting to work with Snoop forever. I remember sneaking [out] to buy his Doggystyle album. My mom was a little mad. But he was so dope. He's the king of cool. ... He got on 'Ghetto' once I finished recording the song, and I was like, 'He sounds so dope.' 'Ghetto' is basically saying what you like in a guy. I like a guy with a little bit of edge. [But] not too much, where you scare me away."

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

  DJ Drama
Mr. Thanksgiving says, "Let the streets eat": DJ Drama has his Gangsta Grillz LP coming out June 5, and right before then, there's a strong possibility we'll finally hear his next mixtape.

"It's coming," Drama said last week, sitting in the Grand Hustle studios in Atlanta. "It's in the works. Next mixtape is going to be Gangsta Grillz 16, hosted by DJ Drama, featuring Willie the Kid and Don Cannon. We gonna drop that before the album. That's in the works right now. It's a couple of artists [reaching out to do mixtapes with me], I ain't saying no names, it's too early. But we working. The mixtape game is still here." Watch the mixtape maestro talk about his arrest and reveal his next moves in "MTV News RAW: DJ Drama." ...

  Slim Thug
It looks like Pharrell's Star Trak imprint may be dwindling down yet again. Kelis and the Clipse have already left from under Skateboard P's and Chad Hugo's banner, and now Slim Thug may be going the same route.

Last week, Slim — on the phone from Dallas, where he was in the studio with another VA super-producer, Timbaland — revealed that he was never signed to Star Trak in the first place.

"When I signed to Interscope, it was through [my own label] Boss Hogg Outlawz. Then [Interscope Chairman] Jimmy Iovine — this is before the Houston movement took off with myself, Paul Wall, Mike Jones and Chamillionaire — wanted to put me with Pharrell to make it pop. At the end of the day, [sales of my debut album, Already Platinum] didn't go how we expected it to go. It looked good on paper, I enjoyed it, had fun, but when I'm in the streets in my city, they like, 'We want to hear you on our sh--. We don't want to hear you on Pharrell's sh--.' I liked working with P though. Hopefully we'll still be able to do a record together or something."

Thug says that, even in light of the revelations about Star Trak, we still might see the label's logo on the back of his next album. There are a couple of options he can go with.

"I don't know yet," Slim added. "It's either you do three songs with him and get the logo on the back of the CD, or you do one and the price of that one is crazy. Hopefully we'll be able to work that out. But I just been doing the record by myself; when I finish it, we'll figure it out.

"I'mma be more on top of [my business]," Thug continued, in regards to his albums. "[With Already Platinum], at the beginning, they gave me the idea of working with Pharrell, and I left it up to them to handle everything. On this one, it's just me. Everything will be in my hands. I'll be making sure everybody is getting down like they supposed to."

Thug's Boss of All Bosses is slated for early this summer, but since he's still recording and has to mix and master the effort, mid-summer to early fall is more likely.

"Mainly I been working with cats outta Houston, cats like Mr. Lee, cats I was with before I signed," Thugger said. "But I got Jermaine Dupri, Timbaland, Jazze Pha, J.R. Rotem, Polow [Da Don] gave me some fire. I did something with DJ Toomp called 'Theme Song.' "

And let's not leave out Dr. Dre. The legendary producer also slid Slim a beat.

"I got the record," he said. "I'm waiting on Devin. I want Devin the Dude to sing the hook for me, but the bitch is jamming. I got the beat already. My A&R got the track. It ain't like I made the beat with Dre — he did it in Hawaii, he be doing beats out there and comes back with them."

Guest MCs on the album include Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, UGK and possibly the Texas usual suspects: Cham, Jones and Wall. ...

T-Pain admits that, as teen-Pain, he was a bit of a playa hata. Yes, the singer who sang about being in love with a stripper says that, way before he got his deal, his eyes were green with envy over Bow Wow's fame.

"Like I tell everybody, when I was that young, 13, 14-year-old rapper, I used to dis Bow Wow [in my raps]," said Pain, who co-stars on Bow's "Outta My System." "I wanted to be the young, hot 13-year-old coming out. I wanted to be the dude with all the hair that the girls are chasing. But just seeing him come up is a whole 'nother light. For him to be calling me, he could have called anybody. He could have called Akon! But he called the dude that everybody says looks like the neighborhood weed man. Everybody is dissing me, they don't like my music, they don't like how I look, 'he can't sing,' and Bow called that person? You can't imagine how that feels."

Pain says he also couldn't believe that he got a call from R. Kelly to appear on the remix to "I'm a Flirt." Pain didn't have much time to record his verse, though — he almost missed the opportunity after a flight he took to his Tallahassee, Florida, hometown landed less than an hour before Kelly's cutoff time. He had to write the verse in his head while signing autographs at the airport, rush to the studio, record and send the MP3. He must've had his cape and blue tights on that day, because he got it done.

"It was the best experience in the world, man," he said of making Kelly's track. "R. Kelly called me immediately and said that's the best verse he got. After I did 'Flirt,' he said, 'We're friends.' "

As of now, Pain's Epiphany is scheduled to come out May 22 and the first single has been big on mixtapes; it's called "Buy You a Drank," with Yung Joc. Pain, who's signed to Jive through Akon's Konvict Music, says rather than lean on 'Kon, he chose to write and produce 100 percent of the LP on his own.

"I try not to ride on his coattails," he explained. "I try to do what I do myself. All I ask him is for a Konvict chain."

Yung Joc, Shawnna, Huey and E-40 all appear in the video for "Buy You a Drank."

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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