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Fire Starter: J. Holiday
Before you start beefing about how R&B'ed-out Fire Starter has been the past couple of weeks, just listen up, brutes: You'll be singing this cat J. Holiday's "Bed" (written by last week's Fire Starter pick, the Dream) to your girl before you know it. The ladies are living for this record — on which he smoothly woos them into some mattress gymnastics — and the radio stations are having a field day playing it. The singer (born Nahum Grymes) uses Holiday as the last name in his moniker because the producers he worked with in his early days said it was such a pleasure to be in the studio with him, every session felt like a holiday. J. is short for James, which was the name of his late uncle. The 23-year-old also has the distinction of being one of the few artists from Washington, D.C., who is poppin' nationally. His debut, Back of My Lac, comes out October 2 and features collabos with Rodney Jerkins, Sean Garrett, Tricky Stewart and the Justice League. He has a mixtape out now called Chocolate City Volume 1: They Don't Sing Anymore, and Holiday is also the opening act for Keyshia Cole's current tour.


Mixtape Monday: Beanie Sigel Talks Friction With Kanye West; Swizz Beatz Says Cassidy Won't Battle Papoose

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

Artist: Boot Camp Clik

Representing: Brooklyn all day!

Independent Album: Casualties of War

411: The Boot Camp Clik continue their resurgence as arguably the strongest musical family roaming the halls in the underground/ independent-music circuit right now. Sean Price has emerged as the camp's most popular soldier, releasing his solo LP Jesus Price Supastar in January and building up anticipation for his forthcoming mixtape Master P. While Buckshot and Smif-N-Wessun (a.k.a. Tek and Steele) prepare new albums as well, the camp has come with another compilation LP that showcases not only the now-favorites, but some of the newbies and extended Clik members too.

Joints To Check For:
  • "Casualties of War." "On this track, instead of putting myself in the usual 'kill somebody in the 'hood studio gangsta type sh--,' I'm really analyzing what it must be like for a soldier to be forced to make a real kill in a real war," Tek explained. "What's going through his mind at that moment? I mean, with the situation in Iraq, amongst others, we got soldiers, actual people, who have to kill other people and vice versa — risk losing their lives every day. That's a lot of weight to carry."

  • "Yesterday." "On my verse, I just wanted to pay respect to some that have influenced me through my years growing up and coming through the game: Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Chuck D, KRS-One, G Rap," Steele said. "I know it gets repetitive, but the chorus says, 'I keep holding onto yesterday.' It's my job to make sure we never forget where we have come from. Rest in peace to Justo [Faison], 'cause we worked closely with him as well and respected his movement."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
  • DJ Drama and DJ Benja - Welcome to the City of Realadelphia
  • DJ Dub and Furious Styles - I Get Money
  • DJ Nik Bean and G. Malone - Streets of L.A. 3
  • Long Island Sound - Microphone Fiend: The Best of Rakim
  • Mr. Reck and Gutta Muzic - "395 Hudson Outside of Hot 97"

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • G-Unit - "We on Some Sh--"
  • Nas (featuring Cee-Lo) - "Less Than a Hour"
  • Quan - "Might Be the Day (I Ride)"
  • Small World (featuring Ludacris) - "Mr. Magnificent"
  • WC (featuring Ice Cube) - "80's Babies"
  • Young Dro - "I'm Sick of It"

Celebrity Faves

  Big Daddy Kane
Mr. Magnificent himself, Big Daddy Kane, stars in the upcoming straight-to-DVD sci-fi zombie flick "Dead Heist" with Bone Crusher and E-40. He plays a government agent who comes to town to lay down the undead one more time. Kane is also an avid movie follower — not of zombie flicks ("I don't really like that flesh-eating"), but the slasher genre ("Friday the 13th, I'mma play Jason!") and even the latest crop of summer box-office bangers. " 'Transformers' was hard," he said. "Most of the joints I saw was hard. 'Transformers,' 'Fantastic Four' with the Silver Surfer and 'Spider-Man 3.' Especially 'Spider-Man 3.' In part two, I don't like when you take what's supposed to be the superhero sh-- and turn it into a love movie. In part two, they started going into the love thing, and in part three they went into the action and web-slinging stuff I remembered when I was a kid."

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

  Beanie Sigel
Last week, Smack DVD announced a 13th edition coming out in September by leaking a snippet of an interview with Kanye West. In the clip, West said he interpreted Beanie Sigel calling him gay as a sign of disrespect, but that he wasn't going to beef with Sig. "I'm not gangster, but I'm not gay either," West said. "Don't disrespect me."

Sigel said there's no real bad blood between him and West that he knows of, especially since he was recently asked by the Roc to get on a remix of 'Ye's "Can't Tell Me Nothing."

"I don't really dwell on that sh--, man," Beanie said of the possible friction. "He called me for songs, so I guess [there are no problems]. For the record, Beanie said he would be willing to do the remix but wasn't sure of the status because a remix of "Can't Tell Me Nothing" featuring Young Jeezy is already out. Beans did say he's been waiting to work with Kanye on his upcoming The Solution LP, to no avail.

"I been trying to get beats from that n---a since before I went to jail," he explained. Well, there's still time. Beans is currently recording while he locks down the right promotion scheme for the record with his label. The Broad Street Bully has already collaborated with Cool & Dre, Scarface, R. Kelly and Raheem DeVaughn, and has his sights set on a major posse cut with Eminem and Kid Rock called "Rock Out With Your Co-- Out."

"Jay-Z was on a vacation," Sigel said about getting the collabo off the ground. "That's what I needed him for. I need him to get those features done. He's got the relationship to make that sh-- happen."

Look for Sigel's mixtape The Halfway House soon. ...

Cassidy has been eating MCs for years. His lyrical pedigree is one of the best in the game. But out of the new dudes — new meaning they never released an album — Papoose is looked at as one of the greats. Well, what if the two battled? Wow. Apparently a showdown was being talked about at the battle breeding ground, New York's Fight Klub, where MCs' freestyling skills are tested and the results are released on DVD. But don't count on it ever happening.

  Swizz Beatz
"That's not going down," Swizz Beatz said. "I'm not gonna let Cassidy get pressured into doing that. He's at a point in his career where he feels comfortable and he's focusing on taking it to the next level. Unless it's something he's doing that's benefiting himself — getting a check? He's getting checks. Battling a person who don't have an album out, what is that? It has to be like something me and Kanye did onstage. Make it an event. Papoose is doing his thing, let him focus on his album, we don't want to interfere with that.

"That battle thing is a sport, it don't sell albums," he continued. "Cassidy's been doing that sport since he was 12 years old. He went from the sport to the business side of it, to making albums. But he's on his freestyle thing. He'll bite a head off if he has to. But it has to be an event." ...

Swizz has been on the road, promoting his One Man Band Man LP, which drops on August 21, and he says he wants the next thing we hear from that project to be an event as well.

"I'm listening to the album right now on the road, trying to figure out what's the next move," said Swizz, who currently has a split video for "Money in the Bank" and "Top Down." "A lot of people like the 'Top Down' real heavy, so I might skip the 'Money in the Bank' remix and go right to the 'Top Down' remix. I'm strategic, so I'm traveling around to other cities and getting feedback. ... I love being on the road, 'cause I get to study."

Swizz says Common wanted to be on the "Money in the Bank" remix, and he's already got verses from Eve and Elephant Man, among others. As far as "Top Down," he already has some rhymes from Nas.

"The record was originally for Nas," he explained. "I got Nas' vocals already. But I can't do Nas, and his energy is not right on there. It would be dead weight. No disrespect, but it can't be dead weight if I can't make it feel like reality. I need the sh-- crazy. I need to shoot a video! It's gotta be another 'It's Me B---hes,' but bigger. I could easily pull a Nas card and have people be like, 'Nas is spazzing on the verse.' But it has to be a movie. I got it. It just gotta make sense. I can get Nas, [Jay-Z] and [Jadakiss] on that. I can do that. It's light work, but it's gotta make sense."

  50 Cent
It might not make sense to you, but Swizz Beatz and 50 Cent have been in the studio together making music. (Go here for the full story on the collaboration and how Swizzy deaded beef with the G-Unit"). ...

Missy Elliott and Timbaland have an award-winning, multiplatinum history of making albums together, so why does Timbo the King have reservations about going back in the lab with Missy now? The climate of rap. He doesn't know if in the age of the ringtone rapper (those are the acts who have just one hit to offer from their albums and that's it) that fans are ready to digest another Elliott album yet.

"Missy's too over-the-top for this hip-hop," he said last week in New York about the woman he referred to as his sister. "It's a different era, it's not the same. Some of these songs that are out right now [are] songs that I know if we played two, three years ago, people would have laughed at us."

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

Hungry for more hip-hop coverage? Sink your teeth into our spankin'-new "Hottest MCs in the Game" feature. 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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