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— By Shaheem Reid

DJ: Warrior

Representing: L.A.

Mixtape: Got Mixtapes III

411: Don't look for too many exclusives on Warrior's track list. The self-proclaimed king of L.A. stays in the lane of some of the original mixtapes, giving the listener about 76 minutes of familiar songs you can play straight through.

Joints To Check For:

  • "Sex, Love and Money" by Mos Def. Although the verdict is still out on his album, The New Danger, it seems like the Emmy-nominated Mos really hasn't lost that itch to be an MC. We heard him rip the stage apart by rapping in English and Spanish in Puerto Rico last week, and on the first single from his upcoming LP, your boy really shows that Brooklyn swagger we loved from him in the late 1990s. The live drums, flutes and horns blend together like they were meant to be part of the score from classic '70s pimp flick "Willie Dynamite," and Mos slides across the track like a young James Brown dancing on the Apollo Theater stage.

  • "Oh" by Ciara featuring Ludacris. Recognize it now, Ci is that next chick. It's so slow it sounds like a made-to-ride track fresh out of the late DJ Screw's Texas shop, but that bounce makes it another instant A-Town club blockbuster. Baby girl bigs up herself, the rest of the ladies and her hometown ("Ciara got that fire like 'Oh!' round here we ridin' spokes") and Cris continues to display his incessant ingenuity as a hip-hop artist. Peep how he repeats his words in his few bars.

  • "Turn the Lights Off" by Tweet featuring Missy Elliott. It's OK to smile at Missy yelling to the track's producer, Kwame, that "we gonna take it back like polka dots." That was a fly era. The song sounds like it was made in an even earlier era, however, with songbird's circa '70s soulful sound and Kwam's dirty violins to complement her. M.E. comes back later on in the song rapping, "Get me hyper feel horny and trife/ So polite you might make your wife." Hmmmm.

    Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
  • Game with DJ Ray & the Black Wallstreet's You Know What It Is Vol.2: Thowin Rocks at the Throne
  • Syncity's Vote or Die mixtape
  • Full Surface's Full Surface Heat
  • DJ Buddha and La Favela's Caribbean Connection
  • Midi Mafia's Off the Books (King magazine insert)
    'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • "OK" - Nivea featuring Young Bloodz and Lil Jon
  • "Twista" - Twista
  • "Keepin' It Gangsta" - Fabolous
  • "Hey Now (Mean Muggin')" - Xzibit
  • "Yes, Yes Y'all" - The Geto Boys
  • "Only U" - Ashanti
  • "S.A.N.T.A.N.A." - Juelz Santana
  • "Let Me Love You" - Mario
  • "Hot 2Nite" remix - New Edition featuring Game and P. Diddy

Celebrity Favs

New Edition: If you don't know who these guys are, shame on you. The G.G.-Unit (that's G.G. as in Getting Girls) are into mixtapes. "I enjoy mixtapes because albums today are kinda processed," Ralph Tresvant said. "There's no real emotion or soul or feelings these days. I'm a big fan of mixtapes for that reason. There's so many carbon copies out there that I have to put together mixtapes of my own just so I can have all the music I want on one CD."

"I like Kay Slay and I like the young guy [Absolute] on Hot 97," Michael Bivins added.

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

So you've heard about New Edition's love of mixtapes, but any second now you'll also be hearing them on mixtapes. The fellas just completed three new remixes of their "Hot 2Nite" single. There's a dirty South version with Lil' Scrappy and MJG, an East Coast incarnation of the song with Black Rob and Fat Joe, and a West Coast mix with Game.

"I think it's necessary," Mike Bivins said about choosing the G-Unit young gun to help them with their appeal to the left coast. "He's a lyrically visual n---a with a unit that's winning. It adds an element of surprise to see N.E. and Game make a hot collabo."

"The East Coast version is incredible," boasted Ron DeVoe. "[Rob and Joe's] style and flow is definitely 2007. Fat Joe comes towards end of the song and solidifies the fact that N.E. is back. Just to have two MCs that are relevant right now sanctioning and supporting N.E. is a beautiful thing."

"I'm really diggin' the down South version with Lil' Scrappy and MJG," added Ralph Tresvant. "I even spoke to Lil Jon and Ludacris and they told me they were feeling it. They felt that having those two gave the song the extra spark to keep the momentum on the record going. The dirty South is going to relate to ['Hot 2Nite'] even more."

Props to them Texas boys. Their mixtape hustle is meaner than George "The Animal" Steel chewing on a turnbuckle. Lil' Flip flipped his mixtape dealings into a major deal with Sony, Slim Thug signed with the Neptunes' Star Trak, Play-N-Skillz got scooped up by Universal, and Paul Wall and Mike Jones' recording home, Swisha House, just inked a partnership with the Warner Bros.-distributed Asylum. Now you can add one more MC to those whose independent musical movement is being backed by the proverbial machine.

"I just signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Universal records," TX's Chamillionaire boasted last weekend in Puerto Rico. "Texas has another hero that's about to stand on that big screen."

Milli's found out that being a heavyweight down South is a whole different ball game from being a universal superstar (no pun intended).

"In Texas we drop 'em big and sell big units," he said. "We live off of mixtapes in Texas. We was making money before in Texas doing the mixtapes, but it really wasn't nothing because it was under the radar. The industry didn't know about it. This year we're coming to the forefront. Everybody is getting deals. It's a beautiful thing that everybody is starting to embrace it."

Cham's The Mixtape Messiah street disc is certified 'hood platinum, and he says that after fielding offers, he felt Universal offered the best of both worlds: money and ownership.

"Somebody can give you a give big check, but at the end of the day, it's all about who really has their faith in you," Chamillionaire explained about his deal. "Then it's so many things [Universal] was budging on. I got a joint venture with them. They didn't give me a regular artist deal. My imprint, Chamilitary, is going to be showing on everything. They gave me a big budget, and I feel they believe in me. They're not gonna be in there telling me how to make my record, I'mma keep it Southern."

Chamillionaire doesn't have a set date for his Universal-assisted release, but he's settled on the title Controversy Sells.

Look for Cham to be talking the talk on his next mixtape, The Mixtape Messiah 2.

"It's only nice that we do it twice," he said. "Now I got a little bit more to talk about. My deal is looking real nice, and I'mma let the world know about it."

Speaking of Texans putting out mixtapes, Slim Thug is about to start beasting again.

The "boss hog" promises to keep dropping mixtapes "every month." His next offering is titled Outlaw Season and will be out soon. Then he's teaming up DJs Smallz, Whoo Kid and Drama for three separate mixtapes down the line.

Slim, who is far from gaunt, does have a timetable for his official big-label release. His Already Platinum is dropping at the beginning of 2005. His official first single is "I Ain't Heard of That" and features Pharrell Williams.

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

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Photo: MTV News

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