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Fire Starter: Max B
Max B hasn't been home from his seven-year jail stint for more than a year and a half, and he's already living the life of a "Superstar." As the leading prospect from Jim Jones' Byrd Gang, Max has gotten big looks on Cam'ron's anti-Jay-Z anthem "You Gotta Love It" and Jones' "G's Up." If you cop the new Byrd Gang mixtape M.O.B., the young Harlem native is all over it, and Jim said to expect Max's debut, Reaping the Benefits, sometime next year via a joint deal with Asylum. Max's Public Domain mixtape is coming soon.

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— Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes, Corey Moss and Bridget Bland

Artists: Boot Camp Clik

Representing: Vintage '90s hip-hop

Independent Album: The Last Stand

411: Buckshot has finally restored order in his camp. Rock from Heltah Skeltah has found his way home after several years away from the crew — just in time for the family's third album, The Last Stand. Da Beatminerz, the production team that's worked with the family since 1993, gave up beats for the LP, as did Pete Rock, Large Professor and 9th Wonder. Buck and 9th are actually working on their second LP, The Formula, which will drop in '07. Meanwhile, Rock and Sean Price are working on the next Heltah Skeltah LP, D.I.R.T. (Da Incredible Rap Team). Some members of the camp hit Mixtape Monday up all the way from their European tour to explain the project.

Joints To Check For:

  • "Don't You Cross the Line." "The session was beautiful," remembers Tek, who has a new tattoo on his left cheek, which he says is a symbol for the word "warrior." "My man Sean Price picked the beat, and Buckshot came up with the hook. [Our current tour] is going pretty good. I whipped Sean Price with a mic cord last night while he was performing and then threw water on him to cool him off. He almost stopped the show to whoop my ass, but we kept it going."

  • "Here We Come." "It feels great, feels like I'm back in college," Rock said of his return to the Heltah Skeltah crew. In the few years he was gone, he recorded a solo LP called Monstah Musik and plans to start a clothing line. "[Recording 'Here We Come'] was like a sleepover at your favorite aunt's crib with all your brothers and cousins. I picked that beat because it felt like the beginning of the movement all over, an opener ... revisiting what it was, what it is and what it's going to be from here on."

  • "Yeah." " 'Yeah', produced by my man Marco Polo, it's an impactful single," Buckshot said. "We had all the members represented, and the chorus sums it up best: 'Is Boot Camp the best to do it?' The answer to us is, 'Yeah.' The recording sessions are a family affair. We definitely weren't on some, 'You come in and lay down eight bars and then I do it the next day.' We managed to have everyone in the studio together vibing off one another, smoking, drinking, just hanging out and having a good time."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week

  • Ali Vegas' The Best Of Ali Vegas
  • Big Mike's Cruel Summer 2K6 Pt. 2
  • D-Block's D-Block: The CD/DVD Mixtape
  • Dexterity's Beenie Man: The Official Best Of Mix CD
  • DJ Cipha Sounds' Happy Land Social Club: Introducing Daytona
  • DJ Juice's The Best of DJ Juice
  • DJ Warrior's God Bless Mixtape 2006
  • Killah Priest's A Prelude to the Offering
  • Raekwon's The DaVinci Code: The Vatican Mixtape Vol. 2

Click here for more of Mixtape Monday ...

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • Fat Joe - "Clap and Revolve"
  • Freeway (featuring Jay-Z) - "World War III"
  • Lupe Fiasco - "I Gotcha"
  • Rick Ross - "Push It"
  • Trick Daddy - "I Pop"

Celebrity Faves

  Marlon Wayans in "Little Man"
"Little Man" stars Marlon and Shawn Wayans give praise to Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Benny Hill, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck as their comedy favorites, and when it comes to musical families who hold it down like their clan, they name a few as well. "Of course the Jacksons," Shawn said. "The Jacksons inspired us to do what we do." "The Osmonds," Marlon interrupted. "They are so wholesome. I gotta give the Winans some love. I gotta give DeBarge some love too. They were light-skinned with pretty hair."

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

A chorus that goes, "Chicken Noodle Soup, with a soda on the side," might sound like straight gibberish to you, but DJ Webstar and Young B's "Chicken Noodle Soup" has the kids in uptown New York dancing harder than when the Harlem Shake was en vogue. The two new dances? The Chicken Noodle Soup and the Toe Wop.

Meanwhile, Diddy is giving his own ode to the dance craze that's sweeping Harlem with "Get Off." Puff said "getting off" simply means to dance uninhibitedly.

"I was inspired by the hyphy movement and the crunk movement," Diddy said. "I was like, 'Yo, New York has a movement that's been going on here for a long time that maybe people don't know.' It's like the sista of that. Like how crunk is the brother to hyphy, we got a movement. ... When kids hear something, they gotta release and get off and do their thing. This right here is that next-level, high-octane, that uncut, raw [version] of that. So what you seeing, that Chicken Noodle Soup, you seeing all that. This is something that's been going on in Harlem for a long time. This is the uptempo version of that. Get your sweat on, get off." ...

When you hang around Diddy long enough, his hustle ethic is going to rub off on you. Cassie sings and dances in her video for "Me & U," and in her follow-up clip, she rocks the mic in another fashion.

"My next single is 'Long Way to Go,' " the beautiful Bad Boy princess recently said in L.A. "I'm rappin' on the record, so look out for that one. We're probably doing the video in the next two or three weeks, so look out for it. The song is about a guy that's trying to get with me, but he's got a long way to go." ...

  Lil Scrappy
Honorary G-Unit member Lil Scrappy is putting out a sequel to 50 Cent's "How to Rob" — and he's holding up the music industry.

"I'm jacking everybody," Scrappy said. "Even 50 and [Lil] Jon — they getting it too.

"At first I wasn't into talking about anybody," Scrap added later, "but I remember back in the day when a n---a ain't had nothing. He would do anything to get a little paper. I want to be where real hip-hop is. A lot of people say hip-hop is dead. Well, I'mma kill it for 'em. You gotta think: I'm a dude who can get crunk and spit."

Coincidentally, Scrap is getting ready to film a movie with Mekhi Phifer and Stacey Dash that centers on a crime mob that robs rappers and basketball players. They begin filming in late August in L.A.

Scrappy's Bred 2 Die, Born 2 Live comes out in late September, and he has two mixtapes, G 69 and Keepin it G, coming soon. Also, expect a Scrappy mixtape tour this summer. ...

  Baby Cham
After 10 years in the game, Cham is a baby no longer. The Kingston, Jamaica-born reggae star is actually starting to get recognition in the U.S. with "Ghetto Story," an underground smash that gives a snippet of his life's hardships. Cham's struggles have resonated with the people, and he's getting spins on MTV, BET and radio.

"It's my biggest hit ever," Cham, who smoked the clubs three years ago with the dancehall classic "Vitamin S," said from Jamaica. (Click here for photos from the video)

Even some of the biggest names in the music industry have become Cham fans. Alicia Keys recently laid down vocals for a remix of "Ghetto Story," as did Akon on a separate version.

Cham said working with Akon was meant to be because the two struck up a friendship years ago when A was supposed to be on the "Vitamin S" remix. At one point, Cham was even considering signing to Akon's Konvict Music imprint. But for the Grammy Award-winning Keys to get on his record was a welcome shock.

"Yo, that's like a giant," Cham marveled. "That link, I was on the road with Dave Kelly, my producer and close friend. He told me, 'Yo, you're going to get Alicia Keys on the "Ghetto Story" remix.' I was like, 'Are you sure?' Because she doesn't get on any and every project." Keys obviously kept her promise and sang on the record.

"What she's singing about surprised me," he said. "That's real respect, 100 percent. I think she loved the record for real. You can hear it in her voice and what she went through as a kid. If you came through struggles, you're gonna feel it. You can hear the punch, the pain. It's a beautiful thing. She's saying she ate white rice and honey. I never heard of that before, but I'm going to try it. In Jamaica, when we had no meat to eat with the rice, we ate white rice and butter."

Cham's LP, Ghetto Story, comes out August 15 and also features a guest appearance from Rihanna. Cham and Keys just finished the video for the remix in Jamaica. ...

Lastly, look for Pharoahe Monch to be coming back this year. He worked on Diddy's upcoming LP, Press Play, and has Puff spitting like never before. Monch also just signed a deal with SRC/ Universal to release his next LP, Desire.

For other artists featured in Mixtape Mondays, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines

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Photo: MTV News

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