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Fire Starter: Parish
This clothing line launched late last year by Enyce founders Tony Shellman and Evan Davis features a hoodie called Firespitter, laced with a color image of an MC spitting like — you guessed it — hot fire. Add to that their Native Tongues-inspired tees, and it doesn't look like this line is going away anytime soon. (Click here for more photos of the line)

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

DJs: Green Lantern and Team Invasion; DJ Soul

Representing: An uncanny ability to make the flyest blends

Mixtapes: Sirius Invasion; DJ Soul and Okayplayer Present Assorted Donuts: A Tribute to J Dilla

411: Green Lantern has a lot going on, from his new Sirius radio show ("It's the 'Monday Night Football' of radio") to his major-label debut ("It's still gonna be a [Russell Simmons Music Group] release, but Russell kind of, like, stepped away from the music thing") to managing his artist Uncle Murda, who recently inked a deal with Roc-A-Fella ("He's signed," Green confirmed). Between all those projects, Green was able to put together his latest mixtape with outtakes from Jay-Z's Water for Life Tour and bangers with T.I. and Jim Jones. You've been warned.

With his much-anticipated album looming, Lil 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 weren't completely finished.

Meanwhile, New York City spin doctor DJ Soul compiled the best beats from late producer Jay Dee (a.k.a. J Dilla)'s last release, Donuts, and paired them with some of the Big Apple's finest MCs for a back-to-life offering from one of the best beatsmiths who ever did it. "We never got the chance to see what it would have been like if, like, Jay-Z and Dilla would have worked together," Soul said. "Hopefully that can change, because the foundation is still shopping tracks. There's hundreds of beats out there that haven't been used yet. [But] if these artists would have rocked over his material, I'm sure he would have gotten a little bit more exposure to the Hot 97 market or the street market. So that was one of the thoughts that went through my mind when I was brainstorming through this project."

Joints To Check For:

  • "Pounds Up" from DJ Soul and Okayplayer Present Assorted Donuts: A Tribute to J Dilla. "I was just going through the album like an A&R [rep], listening to tracks, thinking about who would sound good over each track," DJ Soul said. "I was just experimenting. This was one of the first mixes along with the Big L mix. I just laid it down and matched it up and it worked. I thought it sounded perfect. I resequenced the track to match the vocals and bam, it was done. Dilla was such a versatile producer: He had mellow stuff, he had hard stuff, and he had soulful stuff. If you listen to some tracks that Dilla had done, whether it was an instrumental, he samples M.O.P. for the chorus. I can tell he was always a fan of their work."

  • "Bullet Bullet" from Sirius Invasion. "That's currently killing New York City at this moment," Green said. "I produced that one. I had a good run with samples, like sound-effect samples, like 'The Champ Is Here.' [Sirius DJ] Cipha Sounds had that drop on his show. ... I hit up Cipha before I went on tour and asked him if I could use that drop. Normally I don't, but this time I did. He was like, 'Ah, OK, why didn't I think of that?' But then I didn't use it. Two months later, he asked me for it back because I didn't use it. Then I came back from tour and asked him if he ever made the record. He said no, and I was like, 'I'm taking it back.' Even then I sat on it for almost two months. Next thing you know, boom, and there it is. Shout-out to Cipha Sounds!"

  • "Kick in the Door" from DJ Soul and Okayplayer Present Assorted Donuts: A Tribute to J Dilla. "Dilla did the [Notorious B.I.G.] mix himself," Soul said. "With the majority of his tracks, they were all sample-based, and certain MCs in the game sound good over that style production, whether it's Jay-Z, Big or Nas. As I started working on the project, someone floated this over to me. I had to use it. I did some research to see if it leaked or if anyone had heard it before. And they didn't. I thought it was crazy."

  • "Rebel Music" from Sirius Invasion. "It's another artist of mine, Q Boogie, [and] also features T.I. and Jim Jones. It's a reggae sample, with some singers saying, "Rebel music." So I wanted to get three people to spit about being a rebel in their own right. So Q Boogie attacked it from his angle, he actually did a combination of spoken word and rap. It's groundbreaking. He's dropping gems. And then T.I. talked about his side of things, and Jim Jones talked about his side of things."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
  • DJ Warrior and Roccett - Colors

  • DJ Amen & DJ Sounds Supreme - The Any Quality Mixed Tape Pt. 3

  • DJ Rated R and Switch - BK Girl

  • DJ Rhude - The Embryo Project

  • DJ Drama and Block Ent. - American Gangsta

Click here for more of Mixtape Monday ...

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • 50 Cent - "Straight to the Bank"

  • Eve - "Tambourine"

  • Snoop Dogg (featuring Kurupt) - "31 Flavors"

  • UGK (featuring Outkast) - "International Players"

  • Amy Winehouse (featuring Pharoahe Monch) - "Rehab" remix

Celebrity Faves

Lumidee, where have you been? Obviously getting her sexy on — and putting out music overseas. She's a stunner right now. In 2003, then-19 year-old Lumi's "Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)" was a contender for song of the summer along with Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" and Ashanti's "Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)." Unfortunately, unlike B and 'Shanti, we haven't heard anything from Lumidee since then.

But the Spanish Harlem, New York, native — who recently put out her own I'm Up mixtape with DJ Camilo — is back with her TVT debut Unexpected, due April 17. The lead cut is a cover of Patrick Swayze's "She's Like the Wind" from "Dirty Dancing" featuring Tony Sunshine. And yes, Lumi actually is in love with the film, which celebrates its 20-year anniversary this year.

"It's a classic. I caught the movie on video; I was a little too young to catch it in the theater," she laughed. "I like the part when they are in the water and she's jumping up in the air and he's catching her. All the parts where she's trying to jump up and never makes it, those are the parts I love. When I was younger, I used to try that move with my sister."

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

  Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne is obviously a front-runner for best rapper alive, but is the New Orleans fireman going for the title of hip-hop's most unselfish MC? Last week in NYC, Weezy F. said he's not releasing his long-awaited Tha Carter, Vol. 3 anytime soon. He's devoting the next several months to doing mixtapes and collaborations on others' albums.

"I'm trying to drop my album at like the end of the year," said Wayne, whose latest guest spots include work for Beyoncé, DJ Khaled, DJ Drama and Mya. "I'm a bouncing-around artist, on everybody's track, whatever the style is, I'm on it. I'm being there for them now, and I'mma do me at the end of the year. So next year will be my whole year. But this year, I want to devote to those people, do their videos, come out, do shows with them. These songs are their singles, so if I'm not available, why even make it a single?"

Whenever Tha Carter, Vol. 3 does drop, Weezy says you can expect a major contribution from Kanye West. Wayne just signed on to the management company Hip-Hop Since 1978, which also handles 'Ye's career, and there's even a chance the Chi-Town music man could executive produce the project.

"I can't clarify it because it's still in the air," Wayne said of Kanye's possible role on the album. "But I can say it's way more than [producing] two songs. But you never know. The new move is definitely a blessing. A new opportunity. Of course I'm gonna use it as much as I can."

Two other producers that might make it onto Carter 3 are Just Blaze ("We have a crazy idea," Wayne said of his collaboration with the hitmaker) and former Cash Money Records in-house producer Mannie Fresh. Fresh recently signed a label deal with Def Jam, and it looks like he'll be resurfacing big time soon. "That's a good move for Mannie," Wayne said. "That means the door is open, that me and Mannie could get back to do what we do."

"Me and dude been speaking," Fresh exclusively told MTV News about being open to working with Wayne again. (It would be a first since the producer departed Cash Money records a couple of years ago.) "We been talking about it. I told him what my restrictions are. I said, 'As long as it's you, I'm fine with it. I don't have no problems with it. As long as it's paid for and all the paperwork is done, I'm cool with it.' Because just as much as I'm a part of [Wayne], he's a part of me. I don't see nothing wrong with it. I had bad business with one person in that equation, Baby. That shouldn't stop me and Wayne from doing something."

That other Wayne album everybody is waiting on seems like it's awhile off as well. Of course we're talking about the duet LP with Juelz Santana, Can't Feel My Face. The project was originally just going to be a mixtape, then they decided to make it an album, but they haven't gotten a big enough offer from a record label yet. Now, while they wait on that proper number, it looks like they'll give the streets something to tide fans over.

"Juelz just called me and said, 'Since we waiting for somebody to come to the table with the right money, we have so much material, we should drop a mixtape,' " Wayne said. "So that's what we gonna do, drop a mixtape first. Then probably try to get some big names to do some beats and the album will drop. The mixtape will come by the end of the month. The album, we have to schedule it right. See what a company wants to do. Our plan was to do the whole album ourselves like some starving artists and present it to a company."

Last week, as you saw right here in Mixtape Monday, Wayne and DJ Khaled dropped the Drought 3 mixtape. "The Drought [title] came ... when it was quiet for us as far as Cash Money and the South," Wayne said. "I felt it was a drought. So now I just run with it." ...

  Styles P
Now that the mixtape circuit is looking a little less murky, Styles P has his head up from the surface and just dropped his latest mixtape with Big Mike, The Phantom.

"It's all mixtape stuff," SP explained late last week at the D-Block studios in Yonkers, New Jersey. "I just had it in the cut. Some of it's old, some of it's new, but it's never-been-heard mixtape stuff. I was in the lab doing mixtape work, I dropped the Drama Gangsta Grillz mixtape, then [the scene] got hot, so I just chilled for a while. But I had mad stuff I didn't put out, so it's time to put it out. I had the Ghost series — Ghost in the Shell, Ghost who Sat by the Door, Ghost and the Machine — now this is the Phantom series."

For Styles, it's the same old story: He's staying in the studio and pounding out verses. His solo album, Five Star General, is on tap as well as an upcoming LOX album. Styles and Jadakiss have been working almost every day on the new album. Styles said he's not sure if the new LOX album will still be called Live, Suffer, Celebrate because the new material might dictate a new title.

"The LOX joint is coming out soon," he insisted. "We working every day. We got some fire! We saw Dame Grease for tracks, 'bout to get up with Swizz Beatz, a couple of young boys. We're picking fire beats. We got a bunch of crazy stuff."

For P's solo effort, Hi-Tek, Alchemist, Havoc and Dame Grease have all given him beats. Last month, Styles inked a deal to put Five Star General out on Koch Records.

"It feels good to have your life in your own hands," he said of his new situation. "My career has been in other people's hands for so long, now it finally feels great to be on my own. I'm good, I made a fair deal. I'm not locked into anything long-term. But I like Koch. I know the dudes there, I like the workers. That's somewhere I wanted to be. I like their integrity, I like how they work, they know the music." ...

Now that Redman has finally dropped an album again, the New Jersey native isn't going to make us wait another six years for his next album. Red is already hard at work on a couple of projects and he hopes to drop at least one of them by the end of the year. "I wanna do a Muddy Waters 2," he revealed a few weeks back while in New York. "And I wanna work on another Blackout album and [either] a Def Squad album or a Gilla House album."

Red said his priority is the sequel to Muddy Waters, the album that featured his Method Man collabo "Whatever Man" and the one Red feels is his overall best.

"I'm not trying to top Muddy Waters, it's just the point I want to do something different," he explained. "I want to go backwards instead of forwards. I want to reach back for old-sounding beats — like even beats that I didn't use for Muddy Waters, I'm gonna dig them up. I want to do it, like, limited edition, maybe 500, 000 [copies]. I want to do it just for fans, [so they can] have something old-sounding. No single, just to have it. A collectible item. Hopefully [we can do it] under Def Jam." ...

  Lauren London
Last time we saw Lauren London, she was cozying up to T.I. as his love interest in "ATL." But the California cutie is set to make her return to our hearts (and dreams) during the upcoming season of HBO's "Entourage," which kicked off its fourth season last night.

"I play Turtle's love interest," she said. "My character's father owns [an auto-customization shop] where you hook up cars. And Turtle was bringing in a car for Drama, and he sees me working there and we kind of connect because we're sneaker freaks. We're talking about shoes and he's trying to talk to me, and I'm not giving him much love. But I see that he's cool and into sneakers, so we exchange numbers. Then the next episode we start hanging out." ...

  Game's "Murda Game Chronicles" mixtape
Finally, there's another major mixtape on the streets this week, the Game's YouKnowWhatItIs Vol. 4: The Murda Game Chronicles. Mixtape Monday has talked exclusively to the Compton MC about his new project and much more — including where he stands with Young Buck, his new G-Unit dis record "Body Bags" and allegations that Tony Yayo slapped the son of his manager, Jimmy Henchman. You can read it right here.

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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