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Everyone knows "The A" as living in Atlanta, but pretty soon we might have to differentiate. Alabama is coming up trying to get on the map. So far Mobile's Rich Boy, who's down with producer Polow, is making the most noise with records like "Throw Some D's" and "D. Dude." You also have 'Bama-born P Stones, who's signed to Mr. Collipark's eponymous Interscope imprint; the teenage MC has been living Atlanta for years and making a name for himself on that city's underground circuit. Meanwhile, Trillville's Don P is trying to secure a deal for his artist from Birmingham, Gunnz. Jimmy Henchman (The Game, Big Gipp, Too Short) has already been brought on as his manager.

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

Artist: Lil' Flip

Representing: Houston

Mixtape: Ballin'

411: Jim Jones isn't the only one yelling about baaaalllllin' these days. Lil' Flip, who recently left Sony Music to take it back to his independent roots (his Clover G label will go through Asylum), just put out a street single called "Ballin'." He's so high on the record that he's dropping a mixtape by the same name in just about a week or so. We'll have Flipper giving you the exclusive scoop in just a sec, but let's dive a little deeper into his November release, I Need Mine. Besides "Ballin'," he's pushing another single called "Ghetto Mindstate" (featuring Lyfe Jennings).

" 'Ghetto Mindstate' is just explaining to people — a lot of black people don't understand why they stuck in the 'hood," Flip said. "If you don't get out the 'hood, you not gonna know what's out in the world. If you're stuck in the 'hood mentally, you're not gonna get out physically."

Flip also said he wants to diversify his sound a bit. " 'Ballin' ' is putting a lot of rappers in they place, talking about my paper game, the grill game. It's catchy. I made sure I rapped three different styles on that record."

You can also catch Flip on the Rap-A-Lot 20th anniversary LP. He rhymes on remakes of Scarface's "Goin' Down" and the Geto Boys' "Mind Playing Tricks on Me."

"On 'Goin' Down,' first I did one verse and J. Prince was like, 'Do that [record] by yourself,' " he recalled. "On 'Mind's Playing Tricks,' I went with the whole concept of me riding in the car smoking weed, getting pulled over and thinking it's a cop — then I look back and it's a cab. I'm thinking if I get pulled over, it's the end of my career."

The Clover Leaf G also said he might be touring with his good friend Rick Ross once Ross returns from his European tour.

Joints To Check For:

  • "I Do" (featuring Crime Boss). "It's more of a dope-boy anthem," Flip said. "We're talking about the way we do it in Texas, how we have pride in ourselves. You'll hear a little harmony on there. One thing about me, I'm not afraid to try new sh--. I ain't afraid to get my little sing on. I'll be in the studio and have an idea, I'll try it. If it don't sound right, I'll erase or I won't use it. But I liked the way this came out."

  • "You Ain't Talking to Me." "This one is basically for the critics, the haters, the rappers," Flip said. "Just one of those 'I'm-the-sh--' records, explaining why. I got on there like, 'While y'all was talking about vote or die, I was chilling in my mansion smoking lie ... I'm still classy, but I'm a street n---a, don't put it past me."

  • "Ladies and Gentlemen." "It's a club record," Flip explained. "I recorded this one at the crib. I've been recording all my stuff at home for a while. It's nothing like being able to drop [rhymes] when you feel it. I like to write out a lot of my choruses first, when I don't want to forget the melody. If I hear a beat, I like to do it when I first feel it."

    Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
    • "All Access Vol. 13" DVD
    • Brandi Garcia/ Wiz Hoffa - I'm Dat Bitch 2
    • Cutmaster C - Hood News: 50 Cent vs. Diddy (I Run Hip-Hop)
    • DJ 007 - Reggaeton vs. Hip Hop #4
    • DJ Chuck T - Down South Slangin' Vol. 29
    • DJ Warrior/ DJ Nutty - Death Before Dishonor
    • Love Dinero + DJ Explicit - We Dew This Sh--
    • State Property 2K6 - Cut for Respect
    • Street Pharmacy - Southern Flows Vol. 4

    Click here for more of Mixtape Monday ...

    'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
    • Hi-Tek (featuring Talib Kweli, Papoose, Jadakiss and Raekwon) - "Where It Started"
    • Lupe Fiasco (featuring Jay-Z) - "Pressure"
    • LeToya (featuring Nas) - "She Don't" (remix)
    • N.O.R.E. (featuring Big Mato and Tru-Life) - "Soy Un Gangsta"

    Celebrity Faves

      Patti LaBelle
    The legendary Patti LaBelle is still singing at sold-out shows across the country, has appeared on Fox's "Celebrity Duets" and is getting ready to release her first-ever inspirational album, The Gospel According to Patti LaBelle. All the proceeds are going to cancer research and the R&B icon called on friends such as Mary Mary, Wynonna Judd, CeCe Winans, Consequence and one of her favorites: Kanye West.

    "Kanye is somebody who I really love," she glowed. "He says things people should listen to. Rap does not have to be what some people perceive it's about. They think it's gonna be nasty, lowdown and dirty when it's just telling the truth about life itself. You heard what Kanye said about the president — you know the boy tells nothing but the truth."

    The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

      The LOX
    Peace to Jadakiss. We ran into him at Nas' birthday party last week (see "Usher, Kanye, Diddy, Nick Cannon, Kelis Kick It Old-School At Nas' Big Birthday Bash") and he told us he has some real fire coming — and that the LOX are about to make a major power move. Meanwhile, Styles P. finally has a release date for Time Is Money. It's coming on November 14 and he's about to shoot a video for the remix of "Who Want a Problem."

    "I got my partners on the remix," Styles said. "So I'm gonna go with that one. I probably added a couple of more songs to the album [from the version that was supposed to come out last year] and took some songs off. I been working on the album for years. When I found a big, big song, I put it on there. I got, like, three albums done. Most likely I'm going to let some songs go [to the underground] and keep some in the stash.

    "I just want to get it out, man," the Ghost added. "I'll push the album from there. I just want the opportunity. I know it's a lot of loyal and dedicated fans who have been waiting."

      Styles P.
    SP also has two mixtapes coming before the LP drops. "I'mma put one out, 'cause I need some love in the South, so I'm gonna do a DJ Drama Gangsta Grillz, then I'm gonna do one with DJ Clue."

    The LOX's label, D-Block, is continuing to build up as well. J-Hood is going to finally deliver his solo LP soon and the LOX have also added a pop/R&B singer to the fold as well as a reggae artist and, of course, a string of new MCs.

    "We're just working," he says. "Hood is coming soon. We just want to get our sh-- right with the radio. We just made four to six new songs, but we need that radio buzz to be extreme." ...

      Slim Thug
    Slim Thug said he wasn't feeling that his major-label debut, Already Platinum, only sold gold. He knows exactly what to do on his next album, Boss of the Bosses, which is dropping early next year.

    "I thought it should have went way farther," he said. "I was an independent artist that did all the work myself. Once I signed a major deal, I kind of felt like, 'I'm signed to a major label, oh, they gonna do all the work now.' But this album I'm gonna work it myself first, I'm gonna do all the work as if they don't exist and whatever they bring to the table, cool."

    Another switch to his approach for Bosses will be the production. "It's gonna be different," he promised. "You gonna hear a lot more Houston records. The feedback I got from my fans [about the] last album was that they wanted to hear a lot more Houston records. So I worked with people out of Houston, a bunch of producers I came up with. I did like 30 songs with these cats, so I really got the album done. I'm gonna get, like, two from Pharrell and maybe work with a few other big producers, but keep it Houston."

    Thugger is eyeing a February or March release for the album, but first, he'll go back to his independent roots. He said he wants to put out the Boss Hog Outlawz album, Serve and Protect, next month. ...

      G. Luger
    G. Luger is handling his B.I. and it might be any minute now that he signs a recording contract. Lugs, who you might have seen last week on MTV's "Sucker Free," says the labels have been calling nonstop and he actually has a song on the Warner Music compilation The Buzz, Vol. 2. The Brooklyn MC is featured with his reggaetón track "Prendelo" (translated in English to mean "Light It Up").

    "It's looking real good right now," Luger said of the song. "This joint has been generating a lot of buzz. A lot of major media channels have chosen to play the single, it's going to be featured on ESPN's And1 Mixtape Tour and the official And1 mixtape in October."

      The Buzz, Vol. 2.
    Luger also said that just because you hear him making more reggaetón records, that doesn't mean he's abandoning hip-hop. He's just exploring his Puerto Rican musical heritage and trying not to limit himself. ...

    "Wamp, Wamp" is officially a go. The Clipse and Foxy Brown settled their differences over the controversial Neptunes beat. Fox appeared on Angie Martinez's Hot 97 radio show in New York and said that she's decided to jump on a remix of the song instead of suing Pharrell for the track. The Clipse have confirmed.

    Brown also appears on Roc-A-Fella's official remix of Beyoncé's "Ring the Alarm" and has hooked up with Beanie Sigel for another track.


    And finally, DJ Green Lantern is on tour with Jay-Z, and throughout the tour he'll be writing in to tell us what it's like to trot the globe with Hova. Starting now!

      Jay-Z on tour (Green Lantern in the background)
    September 9: Krakow, Poland
    It's an outdoor venue, actually a festival with a gang of other performers. Jay is headlining. I wasn't sure how the show was gonna go beforehand, 'cause the people in Poland don't really rock with English too tough out there. But sure enough, they were singing most of the songs. CRAZY! 15,000 people in brick-ass Poland ... We were seeing our breath onstage. It's COLD! LOL! Anyway, the show was good. This was my first show DJing for Jay and he said, "That's the best first show of a tour I ever had." Good — 'cause first impressions are lasting ones.

    We skip to the afterparty and Shaggy (he was on the bill that night too) had got this underground little sweatbox in Krakow rockin' rude-boy style! Whoever the DJ was that night, his selection was on point. It felt like NY for a minute. Next stop: Bratislava, Slovakia, where the U.S. dollar is like gold and the women "are strong like American wrestler." LOL! Wheels up — I'm out.


    Click here to follow Jay-Z on his Water for Life Tour, as he travels the world and addresses the global water crisis.

    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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