Fire Starter: Polow Da Don
This former member of the trio Jim Crow has certainly found more success as a producer than as an MC. 'Low the producer has the #1 song in the country right now, Fergie's "London Bridge," and he also produced the Pussycat Dolls' "Buttons" and Ludacris' "Pimpin' All Over the World." His next single is "Blindfold Me" by Kelis and Nas, while Young Jeezy, Ciara, Gwen Stefani and Jamie Foxx have also solicited beats from him.
— Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes and Bridget Bland
Artist: Young Buck
Mixtape: Chronic 2006
411: Besides his run-ins with the law and an appearance on Three 6 Mafia's "Stay Fly," Young Buck hasn't exactly been a chatterbox the past couple of years. His next LP, Buck the World, is supposed to be coming out before the year is over, and he has released the first single, the Jazze Pha-produced "If You Want Some." Buck's mixtape is hosted by Jamie Foxx, and DJ Whoo Kid helped put it together. It has 25 tracks, a lot of which are album caliber. If the lyrics are any indication, Buck Marley has a bunch of frustration he needed to get off his chest.
Joints To Check For:
"Doin My Thing." The beat has a laid-back Cali vibe, but Buck's words are so cocky, so barefaced, so G-Unit. "You can catch me with the top dropped, bitch/ Police know they can't stop this/ I been out here trapping out the house/ I am what they call Dirty South."
"Thug Til Your Death Day." You can almost see the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other as Buck raps about conflict between right and wrong. "Ain't nobody rich, even if you working with some millions/ You need more money to support your cost of living," he raps before asking all the gangsters in the world to pray.
"On the Corner." Y.B. says he feels like he's all by himself as he stands on the corner and hustles. He keeps his money wrapped in rubber bands, thanks a parole office who lets him smoke weed and wonders out loud what the Lord thinks about his escapades. Buck produced the track, which sounds like something out of Dr. Dre's bag of tricks.
Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
DJ Cool Kev - The Purple Movement '06
DJ Denox - This Is Sum '06
DJ Dutty Laundry - Leaders of the New South 5
DJ Exclusive - The Game: The Face of L.A.
DJ Famous - R&B Pt. 54: Summer Breeze
DJ Smallz & Plies - The Calm Before the Storm
DJ Snake Eyes - Trill Talk Vol. 2
Papa Screw - "DJ Screw: The Untold Story" (street DVD)
DJ Strong and DJ Warrior - Cali Untouchable Radio 12
DJ Wally Sparks and 8Ball & MJG - Tennessee Pimpin
E-40 (featuring Juelz Santana and Snoop Dogg) - "U and Dat" remix
Too Short (featuring Snoop Dogg and Will I. Am) - "Keep Bouncing"
Akon (featuring Eminem) - "Shake That"
Tru Life (featuring Memphis Bleek) - "You Already Know"
"Y'all are gonna love your man this season," Flavor Flav said about the second go-round of his "Flavor of Love" series on VH1. It debuted a few weeks ago and has truly defined girls gone wild. When it comes to the women, the self-proclaimed "King of Reality TV" is obviously number one, but what about onstage? Who does Flav think is the greatest hype man of all-time? "Honestly, my most favorite hype man of all time is Flavor Flav," he said. "Why? Because he was the first. He's still the one and only. He's a trendsetter. He started the trend of hype man."
The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground
A couple of weeks ago, DJ Drama said he was having a tough time getting Andre 3000 in the studio to record an OutkastGangsta Grillz mixtape. Now Dramatic might try asking none other than Q-Tip. It seems like the members of A Tribe Called Quest and 'Kast want to do a super-collaboration.
"I was talking to Q-Tip the other day, and he said, 'Come to the studio,' " Andre said. "I was going to ask him if it would be all right to do me and Big Boi and Tip and Phife [Dawg] on one record."
And the Tribe MCs seem game.
"I was just in L.A., and we went to Big Boi's [video] shoot for 'Morris Brown,' " said Tribe's Phife Dawg, who definitely wants Outkast to appear on his upcoming solo LP, Songs in the Key of Phife. "I view them as one of the most amazing groups ever. They never were followers. They set their own path, they made their own lane in this game, and you always have to appreciate that. That's what makes true artistry to me, when you take risks."
So what's up with that Gangsta Grillz mixtape?
"When I was talking to Drama, he was going to get a lot of the underground stuff, like what people don't know," Big explained, with Andre 3000 sitting next to him. "The songs that we've done, songs like 'Tough Guy,' that we did with [UGK]. Or songs that we've done that nobody's heard, like the Gwen Stefani song that might not have gotten out to everybody. Kind of put a big mega-mix on it, just really giving people a taste of music they have never heard before but that's already out that you could get." ...
The numbers for Obie Trice's sophomore LP, Second Round's on Me, come out this week, but he said he already has a successful return on his current mixtape, Bar Shots.
"Some people say the mixtape is better than the album," Obie said of his street CD, which Eminem hosted. "But you gotta [go extra hard on mixtapes]. I don't really hit mixtapes that much, so when I do, I try to give them a great mixtape. Set it up for the album."
Obie said that the long-talked-about Shady Records mixtape is really coming — very soon, in fact.
"That should be coming out in a week or two," he forecasted. "It was called The Re-Up, but the last I talked to Em, he said he didn't want to name it The Re-Up anymore. You got Stat Quo on there, Cashis on there, G-Unit on there, Bobby Creekwater. It's all over the place."
Obie said when recording the mixtape, he and Em held it down in the studio in Detroit, then other members of their family would fly in.
"[Stat Quo and Bobby Creekwater would] fly in from Atlanta," Obie said. "Cashis will fly in from L.A. You might catch some G-Unit cats in the D."
Obie also said D12 are recording now in L.A. and he wouldn't be surprised if, in addition to the Shady Records mixtape, we get an official album from Eminem and his artists ("Most likely that's gonna happen in the future," he said).
"He just lost his mans," Trice said about Eminem's best friend, Proof (see "D12's Proof Shot And Killed At Detroit Club"). "He's really just regrouping on that. Trying to get back right. He's in the studio making beats. But Em is going to bring heat regardless. We're trying to get this dark cloud from over our heads and do what we gotta do." ...
You thought you had to wait a long time for Dr. Dre's next album to drop? Pharoahe Monch might have him beat.
He hasn't released an LP since his 1999 debut, Internal Affairs. The Queens homie said he's been held back because his label, Rawkus, folded into MCA and subsequently into Geffen. He wasn't feeling Geffen and almost moved over to Shady Records, which is under the Geffen/Interscope umbrella.
"That was real," he said about almost signing with Eminem. "But I was still contracted to Geffen and Rawkus. It wasn't like I was a free agent trying to sign to Shady. It was so much red tape, you wouldn't believe. At the end of the day, everybody is figuring if I sign to Shady, it would pop off and they were looking to get paid. So [Geffen] pretty much blocked the deal."
Eventually Monch, whose biggest hit is 1999's "Simon Says," was set free and was courted by several companies. Former Loud Records head Steve Rifkind's SRC won and is putting out Monch's Desire in mid-November.
"There are no rappers, but we have a couple of vocalists on the album," he said of the LP. "One is a female. She rhymes as well as sings. She killed it. Everybody knows who she is," Monch said, without giving any more details. "The other is Aretha Franklin. We're trying to get her. She heard the record and loves it."
In Monch's first single, "Push," he displays his own crooning ability as well as rapping skills.
"I caught a loop off this live soul gospel record, and I caught a feeling that was basically what they was trying to convey at the concert," Monch said of "Push." "I just came up with the notes that followed the horn and did what I was vibing. That's really how the album is. I really didn't sit down and science it out. If it's mad complicated, that's how I was vibing it. If it was simple, I was vibing that. But 'Push,' people was getting at me saying how they liked the 'My Life' record and how I was singing on the chorus."
Monch shot the video for the record last week in Brooklyn, New York.
"The video is harder than the song," he said. "The video is New York during the 1977 blackout. It's showing the looting and police and perseverance through that night."
Monch has been wearing the ghostwriter cap as well. He penned three songs for Diddy's Press Play LP over beats by Mobb Deep's Havoc and D12's Kon Artis.
"Puff called and was like, 'I'm working on an album. I'm hiring the best writers. I like your style,' " Monch said about how he got attached to the Diddy project.