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Fire Starters: Rich & Famous Magazine
Brought to you by co-publisher and noted photographer Johnny Nunez, this inspirational mag is part how-to, part how-did-you do it. Swizz Beatz graces the cover of its premier issue, and it's packed with the principles of investment, contract holdings and other notable financial and business advice from celebs and beyond. Big things are really poppin' between these pages.


Mixtape Monday: 50 Didn't Bite Jim Jones; Kanye Keeps GOOD Music Intact

— by Shaheem Reid and Jayson Rodriguez, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes, Yasmine Richard and Tim Kash

Artist: Kanye West

Representing: (Actual) great music and (his record label) GOOD Music

Mixtape: Can't Tell Me Nothing

411: He's back. And sooner than you think. Kanye West has gotten such a strong response from his "Can't Tell Me Nothing" single and video that his Graduation album has been moved up from September to late August. His Can't Tell Me Nothing mixtape blends some of West's best underground work from the past few months, such as his jack-move verse on Rich Boy's "Throw Some D's" and unreleased material from himself and his GOOD Music family. Jennifer Hudson brings her commanding vocals to Really Doe's "Magnetic Power" while Pimp C and Lil Wayne rap on the title track to Fonzworth Bentley's C.O.L.O.U.R.S. Meanwhile, Common and GLC get solo records.

"John Legend is killing them worldwide," West said. "He's got great reviews at his shows. You got the Common album [Finding Forever] about to drop. Consequence has the new video 'Don't Forget 'Em.' The Sa-Ra movement, it's already been jumping off, but now that they're off Sony maybe we'll be able to do a video for them and get them out properly. I'm still 100 percent behind any artists I ever messed with before. Everything doesn't always happen overnight. I don't think GOOD Music ever had the leeway of dropping bad music. We always had the responsibility of delivering good music. You hear about it was times where people's brand was so strong they could put out music back-to-back and sell records. It's a different day and age. My responsibility is to deliver [a] really good product."

Joints To Check For:

  • "Stay Up" by 88 Keys (featuring Kanye West and Malik Yusef). Yes, "Stay Up" is dealing with exactly what you might think, one of Borat's favorite pastimes "sexy time." West raps about a girl that is so hot, even virile young gentlemen would want to pop some Viagra when they get a chance to bed her. The lady may be too potent, though. "In the restaurant with her voice way up," West rhymes. "Please keep it discrete/ Keep the business out of the street/ She said, 'I would if he would handle biz up in the sheets.' "

  • "CRS" by Kanye West (featuring Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell). The word on the Net is this trio may be a new supergroup on the horizon. We'll see. Obviously, all three artists are very familiar with each other and this record may be their best collaboration yet. Skateboard may have the best verse on this one, though. He addresses the Virginia Tech massacre, ghetto chemists and even lays down some imagery. "I bring a burning sensation to the urban eye, like a eyedrop of turpentine." And there's a Thom Yorke sample playing repeatedly to boot.

  • "Stronger" by Kanye West. He says he's done teasing us, then what does he do? He gives us a snippet of this record. In the words of Dame Dash, "Damn Kanye." West samples Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger." The robotic funk of the record is doing a two-step across your eardrum this summer. On the little of the record you do hear, Yeezeey openly asks for a "Black Kate Moss," and once again quips about who is making "real" music.

Plus, Queens, New York's own Superstar Jay drops his latest ...

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
  • Superstar Jay & Big T - The Second Coming
  • DJ Diggz & DJ Rated R - East Coast Revival
  • DJ SWB - The Godfathers
  • DJ Wreck - I Can't Live Without My iPod
  • Suge White - Kill All Rats

And DJ Wreck releases the first straight to iPod mixtape:

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • Young Berg - "Sexy Lady" remix (featuring Jim Jones and Rich Boy)
  • Fabolous - "Baby Don't Go" (featuring T-Pain)
  • T-Pain - "Backseat Action"
  • Kilo - "Lean Like a Cholo"

Celebrity Faves

  Chris Brown
"Wall to Wall" fans: Sometimes it's hard for Chris Brown to move in a club with all the love he gets. But the 18-year-old says that there are some songs that that no matter what's happening, he has to fight his way through the crowd and get his groove on. "Oh man, its crazy," he says. "I like [the Shop Boyz's] 'Party Like a Rockstar.' Definitely Jim Jones, all his stuff. The new Young Jeezy records and Swizz Beatz. The Swizz remix [of 'It's Me Snitches'] with Wayne and R. Kelly, that's dope." Swizz joins a cast that includes Will.I.Am, T-Pain and the Underdogs as producers on Brown's August 28 release, Exclusive. More on CB in our next section.

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

  50 Cent
For once, 50 Cent is saying there shouldn't be any controversy. Avid listeners of mixtapes raised a red flag when 50 released his single "Amusement Park" a few weeks ago. Their Spidey senses went off because it had the same track from a Jim Jones song called "Your Majesty," a featured record on a DJ Drama/ Jim Jones Gangsta Grillz mixtape last year.

When 50 sat down with MTV News recently to discuss the hubbub, he said he had not heard Jones' record and doubted that most other people had either.

"Well, actually, the producer for the record is under my production [company]," he explained. "So, I don't know how they actually got the record. But it happens. ... People take the records without actually purchasing the music from the producer and it leaks out. But 'Your Majesty,' I didn't know it was on there until you said it just now. But, um, it didn't get very much airplay, so I guess my version is better."

Last week, the track's producer, Chris Styles — whose Dangerous LLC production company is under the G-Unit umbrella — confirmed that Jones and company never owned the beat.

"The beat was done for 50," Styles said via a statement. "I never sold the track to anyone. This only reveals just how much heat Dangerous LLC is bringing to the industry. We create the type of tracks that artists with completely different styles can vibe to. I appreciate 50, he's the big homey and he's like a mentor and a big brother to me. He was the first one to give my joints an ear and bring it to the people. We make a great team. This is my sixth release with 50 and G-Unit Records, not including mixtape and video game tracks. We have a history of creating hits together. I look forward to people hearing the hot joints we have coming for the next album." ...

Chris Brown is working on new material for Bow Wow, Will.I.Am and T-Pain, but he says one of the things he's most excited about is the remix to Rihanna's "Umbrella" he took it upon himself to make. "I just went in there and rocked it out, put my version on there and blended it together." ...

B.G. is back in the fold in more ways than one. The N'awlins rhyme vet not only returned to the major labels by signing with T.I.'s Grand Hustle after a few indie albums, but he also recently reunited with Juvenile for a show in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which may end up leading to a collaboration or two between the former Hot Boyz.

"Me and Juvie had a Mother's Day bash [there] and he asked me to get on his [next] album," B.G. said a couple weeks back in Miami. "He got some things he wants me to do with him. And I got some things I had already heard him on with my album; we just haven't seen each other 'cause I been working and he's been working. But it was a beautiful thing — me and Juvie hadn't seen under the same roof together in some months."

The Baby Gangsta also told us his next project, Too Hood to Be Hollywood, set to drop around September, will feature collabos with T.I. and Young Jeezy, along with production by Scott Storch and the Justice League. One producer B.G. wants to link with again is Mannie Fresh, but the rapper said Fresh needs to holler soon before he starts to lose it.

"I was just in the studio with Fresh and Tip the night they did 'Big Things Poppin',' " B.G. explained. "And me and Fresh got a funny relationship, but it's all love at the end of the day. He knows I just get emotional when I see him working with other artists and he ain't been to work with me yet. I gets mad. [He laughs.] But I'm doing what I'm doing, staying focused." Fresh, give him a ring! ...

  Shop Boyz
Jim Jones and Lil Wayne may have ushered in the rock vibe into hip-hop lately, but the Shop Boyz have taken it to new heights. The Atlanta trio's hit "Party Like a Rockstar" has been making people lose it in the club. And now the group plans to take it even higher with a pair of remixes for the track that they have on deck. "The official remix is coming," group member Fat said. "All the other remixes out there are just mixes, they not real. Look out for Jim Jones, Lil Wayne, we got a verse from Juelz [Santana], Young Jeezy, T-Painthat's going to be the official remix."

And following that one, they said they've got a wish-list of actual rock stars — including Kid Rock and Travis Barker — that the group is trying to get to out-rock the original.

The fellas admitted they aren't the biggest rock fans, as far as the groups and music go, but they like the vibe and ran with it. "It's like a lifestyle, a religion, just living free," the Boyz's Sheed said. "It's just not being scared to do nothing, don't hold back, jump around, act stupid."

The Boyz said their next single, "Flexin'," is less rock-like, but by the time their third single comes around, look for the guitar licks to come back and get the crowd to lose it again, they said. "I seen somebody skydive from the left side of the club when our music comes on," Shop boy Meany said.

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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