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Fire Starter: Hot Dollar
The streets of Compton, California, know him from his affiliation with Guerrilla Black and his Crackhead mixtape. But Jermaine Dupri wants to make sure the mainstream knows Hot Dollar as one of the reasons the producer will get another platinum plaque. JD signed Dolla — who was actually born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, even though he's in Cali now — to Island Urban Music as his first act. The verdict is still out, but Dollar's "Streets on Lock" is nothing short of piff.

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

Producer: DJ Scoob Doo

Representing: New Jersey

Mixtape: "Streets Talk DVD Episode 03"

411: Scoob Doo is Jim Jones' DJ, but he's trying to branch out. After all, you can't be alongside one of rap's premier hustlers and not have your side games poppin' off. On "Streets Talk DVD Episode 03," Scoob not only shows you the lights and glitz of some his friends — like Lil Wayne and Juelz Santana — but also gives you a look at what it feels like to be behind the prison gates. Some of that footage even made it all the way to Fox News.

Joints To Check For:

  • Dipset/ Byrd Gang chapter. "I tried to make sure that every second that flashes on the screen happens for a reason," Scoob said. "I wanted to tell stories. What may seem to be two regular studio sessions with Jim Jones and the Byrd Gang translated into history unfolding. We see Jim Jones step into the studio at 2:30 a.m. one morning and literally freestyle the song of the year, 'We Fly High.' There's also some footage that follows Jim running through the city and running into the police. See the story unfold on how the police not only follows the Byrd Gang and Diplomat CEO but attempts to shut down and intimidate his movement."

  • Prison chapter. "My childhood friend Omar Broadway exposed the harsh realities of inmates versus correctional officers," Scoob said. "Words can't describe what you will see when a hidden camera exposes police brutality. ... It's horrifying what they have to go through in there."

  • Up-close-and-personal tour chapter. "The tour was classic," Scoob said. "For this part, we take you backstage with Lil Wayne and Juelz Santana. The energy that they have is legendary. Wayne and Santana have a brotherhood between each other. When they are together, there is no competition. I love how they work in unison."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
  • Nu Breed Alliance (featuring Papoose) - "Urbanworld Order Part 4" soundtrack
  • DJ Delz and DJ Drama - D187 Hood Radio
  • Suge White - Hip Hop Under Surveillance
  • Team Invasion - Hood Rules Still Apply, Pt. 5
  • DJ Whiteowl - Dedicated to the Streets, Part 3
  • Welcome to the Venue Vol. 2

Click here for more of Mixtape Monday ...

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • T.I. - "Big Things Poppin' "
  • Fabolous (featuring Ne-Yo) - "Make Me Better"
  • N.O.R.E. - "Shame on You" freestyle
  • Memphis Bleek - "It Can't Be"
  • DJ Khaled (featuring Ja Rule, Fat Joe and Jadakiss) - "New York Is Back"
  • Aasim - "Rush"

Celebrity Faves

  Musiq Soulchild
Musiq Soulchild is getting acclaim and steady sales of his Luvanmusiq album because of his singing. But the Philadelphia native says he might want to try his hand at making a rap record sometime in the future. "I've always been a fan of hip-hop and I wanted to be a valid contributor to hip-hop music ... I don't know, I might do a rap record later on in my career, once I get my chops up," he said. "What I'm listening to is a lot of hip-hop music, like J Dilla and Black Milk. Lupe Fiasco, Game, Nas, Jay-Z. Definitely, I would like to work with any of those dudes.

"I'm doing a lot of homework on it because, like I said, I want to be a valid contributor to the legacy [of] hip-hop music, even to the extent of putting out a rap record," he added. "But I don't wanna be one of those artists that crosses over to hip-hop just to say I did it. You have a lot of people that live and breathe it, and I don't wanna disrespect the craft. If I'm gonna do it, I want to do the work just as much as anybody else."

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

  Snoop Dogg and Tru-Life
No rapper is safe from YouTube. The Web site has a library full of video footage just waiting to mix up your favorite rapper in controversy. Last week, old footage of Tru-Life popped up on the site, showing the NYC MC dissing one of the men who is executive producing his debut LP: Snoop Dogg.

"We ain't f---in' with Snoop," Tru said. "He called me after his house got shot up."

Snoop told MTV News last week that he's not tripping over the footage being resurrected — it was shot before they started doing business together — and that he's still involved in Tru's project.

"Because I felt like Tru-Life was a shining star," the Dogg said about why he chose to affiliate himself with the Roc-A-Fella artist. "I know some people are saying he went bad on me on YouTube or he went negative on me. But I didn't trip off of that. He said what he said in the heat of the moment. It was in his heart. I'm a grown man. When we finally met each other, we got an understanding. I'm a bigger man, and I understand he was venting at that time. Me being a grown man and stepping in and showing him I wasn't tripping led to me bringing him onstage at the Apollo Theater for the first time [when Tru opened for Snoop at the venue in 2005] and blowing his name up, getting a deal with Jay-Z.

"Since I'm the n---a who helped put him out there, why not let Snoop Dogg executive produce his album and stand behind him and let him know the West Coast loves him instead of saying, 'F--- him'?" Snoop added. "Nah, we all brothers, we're all about love and about music. We all gotta understand this music thing could be taken away from us if we don't react the right way."

Tru isn't the only young artist Snoop is trying to help get some light. He has a gaggle of up-and-coming MCs who will appear on his independent compilation LP, The Big Squeeze, due Tuesday. Snoop says he wants to help artists, not lock them down with lifelong contracts.

"Get your foot in the game, I stamped you, now roll out," he said of the MCs on The Big Squeeze. "Just like Dr. Dre did for me." ...

  Mannie Fresh
Mannie Fresh spoke to MTV News last week, giving one of his first interviews in a long time. As you read in the previous edition of Mixtape Monday (see Wayne, Mannie Fresh Open To Another Collaboration; Kanye Tapped For Carter, Vol. 3), he says he's still open to working with Lil Wayne as long as he gets paid and Baby is not involved. Fresh however, has officially linked up with another former Cash Money Records member, Juvenile.

"I'm executive producing Juvenile's album," he said. "Most of the tracks is gonna be mine, the rest is gonna be me putting him with the right producers, making sure the fans get what they wanna hear from Juvenile," Fresh explained.

"It kinda started off slow," he said of recording with Juvie. "Me and dude haven't been working like that. If it was, it was one session, then he went his way, I went my way. We gotta grow back into each other and get that comfort zone. But the chemistry is there. My thing is we gonna keep recording until we get the songs we want. The chemistry is still there."

Although T.I. is handling the executive-producer role for B.G.'s next album, Fresh says he wants to be heavily involved on the production end for that LP as well. It looks like that's going to happen too.

"B.G., we're working it out to work on his album as well," the producer said. "I'm hoping me, him, Juvie could all get in the studio and do something as well. We don't even have to call it the Hot Boys. We just do what people know we can do."

L.A. Reid and Jay-Z in particular know what Mannie — also the producer of T.I.'s latest single "Big Things Poppin' " — is capable of, and they have dished out some dough to work with the production all-star. Fresh recently signed a deal with Def Jam, and in addition to having the door open to work with all the artists on the label, the New Orleans native is also putting out an album sometime this year.

"I don't want to call it a compilation, but it's a chance for me to work with everybody I wanted to work with and put a project together," he said. "I'm actually signed as an act to Def Jam. And on top of that, I get to do whatever I want outside of that. It's not an exclusive deal, I'm just exclusively signed to Def Jam. They understand the hustle of the game, my daily activities."

Fresh doesn't have a title or release date but did say the label has left it to him as to when it comes out.

"It's gonna consist of a lot of cats," he promised of the LP. "Akon, Tyrese, T.I., Jay-Z, Nas. It's gonna be something crazy. Cats I never really worked with, so I'm gonna get a chance to give them my music and let them do their thing creatively over what I'm doing. And I'm looking for some new talent as well to showcase. It's not just gonna be all established artists."

Fresh established one of the most successful careers of any hip-hop producer with over a decade of being Cash Money Records' only in-house producer — helming 95 percent of the label's beats during that time — and as a member of the Big Tymers with CMR co-CEO Brian "Baby" Williams. He says like B.G. and Juvenile, he left the label because of unfair financial practices. Fresh and Baby once called each other brothers, but their relationship has basically dissolved. The last time they spoke was when the Birdman called into New Orleans radio station Q93 while Fresh was doing an interview. They got into an argument.

"Dude called the radio station with that rah rah," Fresh remembered. "I don't have no hate for him, but I don't think we gonna ever do business again. To me, it was a thing they've done to me that's irreparable. But in my heart, I'm not the guy to say, 'I straight hate you.' I just won't do business with [him].

"When I did my [Cash Money solo] album [The Mind of Mannie Fresh,] it kind of got bad because I had situations in my life that was threatening my lifestyle and the way I was living and I was behind on a lot of stuff," he added. "I was like, 'Dude, if I got a plaque on the wall that says I sold 30 million records with y'all, no way in the world it should be like that. I'm just one producer.' It's not like [the money] is divided between 10 dudes."

Fresh does put some of the blame on himself, but he still feels Baby should be apologizing to him.

"Part of it is my fault," he said. "I let it happen. At the time, my defense was I was in love with what I was doing: music. I wasn't doing what I should be doing and paying attention to the business of it." ...

Block has big things poppin'! His Block Entertainment has a new mixtape, a special-edition Gangsta Grillz (with DJ Drama) called American Gangsta. It spotlights Yung Joc, Gorilla Zoe, Boyz N Da Hood and other acts on his roster. To top it off, Block says he has a movie in the works for which he's hoping to bring together MCs to make a posse joint.

"We got a deal with Paramount Pictures and Ice Cube too," he said. "Me and Ice Cube going to shoot a movie. It's called 'Down by Law.' It used to be a gang in Atlanta called Down by Law. Basically, it's gonna be like a 'Boyz N the Hood.' "

Block says he wants T.I., Rick Ross, Yung Joc and Young Jeezy to sign on as the film leads, and Trick Daddy to play one of the antagonists.

Block has also been working with Warner Music Group CEO Lyor Cohen on a reality show. "My reality show is actually going to be me going to different 'hoods and different clubs looking for talent," he said.

Then there are new albums coming this summer from Boyz N Da Hood, Joc and his newest artist, Gorilla Zoe. He says Zoe's buzz is going to be huge and his debut a monster as well.

"He's already got songs with Bobby Brown, Boyz N Da Hood, Big Boi from Outkast," Block added. "His album is well-rounded."

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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