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Fire Starter: Remo Da Rapstar
For years Remo has been a conduit for mixtape DJs trying to get their product out. Let's say he's been their middle man to the streets. Remo, though, has always had loftier goals, like blowin' big as an MC himself. It's been a long sustained grind, but mixtape efforts such as his own One Hit Away are starting to garner him notice as an artist.


Mixtape Monday: Ghostface Mad Over Owed Money, Drop-Date Duel With Wu-Tang; Jay-Z Talks 'Dead Presidents 3' Leak

— by Shaheem Reid and Jayson Rodriguez, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes, Brennan Williams, Yasmine Richard and Josh Horowitz

Artist: The G-Unit

Representing: Queens, New York

Mixtape: Sabrina's Baby Boy

411: Whoo Kid gave us a little primer of what was going to come on this mixtape a few weeks ago, but we have to admit that 50 and company really put it down. "So Serious," on which Fif freaks a British accent, is an office fave, and the beat for "Coke Life" is musical blue magic.

Joints To Check For:

  • "Family Matters." "That song is where you finally hear about the personal life of 50 Cent. He gets into his family situation," Whoo Kid said. "This is probably the first freestyle where he talks about family. A lot of people don't know he has cousins, aunts, uncles. He does have family problems. When you hear this song, you'll see he's relating to all of us who are human. This record right here proves it. All his CDs, you get to know him, but this CD ... the cover alone, it brings out another world. I was surprised he did this song because only a few people really know who he is."

  • "I'm on Some Sh--." "The first time I played this song was on Hot 97," Whoo said. "The reaction from everybody was crazy. It brings back the old G-Unit ways. Even though it feels like they are separated, they are not. He tried to make them step up to his caliber. They're doing the G-Unit album now, and nobody is taking shorts. Muthaf---as is really working. They're not out partying, they're working. ... 50 was just trying to create the individuality because everybody piggybacks on their success. He wants everybody to prove it on their own. And 'Me I'm on Some Sh--,' you hear [Tony] Yayo and [Lloyd] Banks spazzin' out. They have their personal stories and they're spazzin', you hear the anger, the pain."

  • "Don't Wanna Talk About It." "Probably my favorite record on there," the Haitian Barry White said. "It was supposed to be on Curtis; I don't know why it didn't make it. People love it, the beat is ill. It's one of the hottest records on the mixtape. Then, even the skits on the CD are crazy. 'Hood Newz'!"

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
  • Kidz in the Hall & Mick Boogie - Detention
  • Suge White - American Gangster (Jay-Z Video Edition)
  • DJ 1Mic - I'm a Star
  • Various artists - DJ Chuck T Presents Down South Slangin Volume 44
  • DJ Rhude - Block Muzik Vol. 6

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • Jay-Z - "Roc Boys"
  • Ja Rule (featuring Game) "Sunset"
  • The LOX - "U Don't Want It"
  • Dame Grease (featuring Styles P and N.O.R.E.) - "Sour Diesel"
  • Stat Quo - "G.R.I.T.S."
  • Nas - "Surviving the Times"
  • Jay-Z (featuring Andre 3000 and Ice Cube) - "30 Something" unofficial remix
  • Young Jeezy (featuring Rick Ross) - "Straight Out the Rarri"
  • The-Dream - "I Love Your Girl"
  • Playaz Circle - "#1 Trap Pick"

Celebrity Faves

Perks! Perks! Yeah, yeah, we always come across the big-name superstars of today, but it feels good when the legends walk through our hallways. Last week, Rakim stopped by on the humble (look for that story very soon), and even Action Jackson himself was walking around up here, cracking jokes and taking pictures. Yup, Carl "Apollo Creed" Weathers was hanging out at MTV. He has a new movie called "The Comebacks" coming out. Obviously, we had to ask him about the "Rocky" series, and which movie is his favorite out of the franchise.

"I'll tell you about the moments," he said. "In the first one, there are so many great moments. You cannot not say the first one. It's like having a child. But in the fourth movie, [I had] the chance to be on the stage with James Brown. I grew up [listening to] James Brown. Wow! He was a sweet man. I was doing my thing; he's on the stage, dancing and singing, 'Livin' in Amer-i-ca.' He was very generous and sweet about it all. How many people could say they've been on the stage with James Brown?"

Carl is up-to-date with his taste as well. "Kanye West, I think, is really brilliant," he said. "I really like Gnarls Barkley. That's a strange group. You hear that music and you're like, 'These guys do some weird stuff, but it works.' R&B, I have my favorites — the old school. I think of the voices and guys I admire: Teddy Pendergrass, I don't think there will ever be a voice like that. I had the good fortune to see that guy live onstage. The women were just stripping and throwing it up there. Today, Alicia Keys is a special talent. Justin Timberlake is an R&B store; even [if] you don't know it, he is."

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

You'd think all would be well in the land of the Wu-Tang Clan right now. The Shaolin set finally settled on a date for their long-delayed The 8 Diagrams comeback. But if you ask Ghostface Killah, things actually aren't that sweet with the Wu. Ghost is fuming that the group's album is set to drop on the same date as his next solo album, The Big Dough Rehab. According to him, he had that date already secured, but setbacks with the Wu project planted The 8 Diagrams on the same day. And now he's not budging, he said. At all.

"I had December 4 for the longest," he explained. "But the Wu album, brothers was kinda late on doing whatever they were doing and pushed it back ... on my date. You can put this in there, I'm not [mad at] all the members. It's not based on the members, but the hierarchy at Wu-Tang Clan is on some bullsh--. They trying to f--- around and make me push my album back and doing all this. But n---as ain't f---ing around or give us money when we did them Wu-Tang tours. The first one, they paid us after a while, but this last one, n---as is holding onto a lot of money. And [they're] upset based on that. It's a battle right now." Ghost did not specify exactly which Wu members are the "hierarchy."

"The Big Dough Rehab is my album," he continued. "8 Diagrams is their album. But it ain't got nothing to do with the regular members. 'Cause I love Raekwon, Masta Killa, U-God, Genius, all them. But it's on right now."

Ghost said he's frustrated because his album would have been finished by now had he not chosen to be loyal and go on tour with the Clan over the summer as part of the Rock the Bells ticket with Rage Against the Machine. He even claimed Steve Rifkin, who signed the group to Loud and is releasing their latest album, put calls in to execs in hopes of stopping Ghost's album from seeing the light of day. (Inquiries made to Rifkin's office had not been returned as of press time.) In the meantime, Ghost is moving ahead with his album. The first single, "Celebrate" — featuring Kid Capri and produced by Sean C. — should be leaking soon, he said. Others set to contribute to The Big Dough Rehab are Scram Jones, Raekwon and Method Man.

Ghost is also set to drop a book, "The World According to Pretty Toney," on December 4. The book — based on skits from MTV2 — will feature Ghost dishing out his particular brand of advice on a number of topics, from gambling to education. As far as Ghost's participation on The 8 Diagrams, though, so far he's only jumped on a handful of tracks.

"I got on some of them," he said. "A few of them. ... N---as better pay my f---ing money. Matter of fact, they can keep the money — just get me out of their life right now. They can keep that money, it's all good now. I don't even wanna talk about it no more." ...

Last week, not only did Jay-Z release the video for "Blue Magic," but he also dropped the record "Roc Boys" from his November 6 release, American Gangster. Although the album is still some weeks from its in-store date, Jigga has revealed that more records from the album will be out very soon.

"I don't want any single to live out there on its own, because the record plays like a movie; it has a beginning, middle and an end," Hov said last week during a phone conference with DJs around the country.

One record that got out that Jay wasn't exactly ecstatic about leaking was "Dead Presidents 3." Portions of the record have made their way to the Internet and mixtapes, and you know it's only a matter of time before the entire track is out there.

"I had that for a minute," Jay said. "I think I got an idea how it got out there. I ain't gonna overreact or nothing. But I had that record a minute ago. I don't know, I might have to let that one go too. I think we might have to do that. Early!"

Jay says he plans to put out a movie based on his American Gangster album, which he will star in as well ... but don't look for him to get behind the camera.

"Maybe there's a plan to do some executive producing, but I think it's too late for me to start as a director," he explained. "Anything I do, I wanna be the best at. I think it might take me too long to really get into it and learn the nuances, film treatment and other stuff. I would want to be on Martin Scorsese's level."

Jay has just about wrapped up American Gangster, but as of late last week, he was still trying to find one more song to put on the project. So far his producers include Diddy, No ID, Jermaine Dupri, the Neptunes, DJ Toomp and the production team of Sean C. and LV. When asked if he was open to working with DJ Premier again, he replied, "If the time is right and the vibe is right, of course. We was just together for the taping of the making of Reasonable Doubt for VH1. [The show is called] 'Classic Albums.' We chopped it up, so I guess [another collaboration] is not out of the realm of possibilities." ...

  DJ Drama
DJ Drama, like everyone in T.I.'s camp, is still stunned by the King of the South's arrest over the weekend. But on Friday, before the turmoil, Dram was celebrating. He finally had a release date for his official Gangsta Grillz LP: December 4.

"It's time to go," Drama said Friday from Atlanta via cell. "I feel like I owe it to the people now. I had more album release dates than I don't know what. Realistically, it's right around Thanksgiving; so the movement is still the truth, the album is still crazy. I got a new single I'm about to drop called '5,000 Ones.' " The record features T.I., Nelly, Diddy, Yung Joc, Young Jeezy, Willie the Kid and Twista.

"It's a movie," Drama boasted. "Big record. 'Five thousand ones for the hottest chick in the club. It doesn't have to be the strip club, it can be any club. Five thousand ones to the chick who's doing it for real. The video is gonna be fly. It's like a runway fashion-type joint. Everybody is coming through looking for the baddest one. Seeing who we can find."

Over the weekend, Drama shot the video for the single and dropped his Gangsta Grillz 17: The Album B4 the Album mixtape. "It's a mini setup for the streets," Dram described. "You got Willie the Kid's 'Ching Ching' on there, which is a movie in itself. Katt Williams is on there. We got a couple skits on there. Andre 3000's '3,000 Something.' That's Andre on Jay-Z's '30 Something' beat. Big, big lyrics, tough lyrics. You guys may have to rewrite that [Hottest MCs] list, man. [Number four] wasn't high enough. I think his verse was supposed to be on the official remix, but they ran out of time." ...

Look for Drama to also be involved with Fabolous' next street project. "It's done, Gangsta Grillz with DJ Drama," Fab said. "It's nuts. It's coming later on in the year. I'mma also have Loso's Way 2 coming. In the Gangsta Grillz, it's a bunch of my Street Fam affiliates; Freck Billionaire, Red Cafe, Paul Caine. That's what we're using it for, introducing a bunch of new guys we have on Street Family."

Loso is also about to shoot the next video from his From Nothin' to Somethin' LP, for "Gangstas Don't Play."

"It's street but not too hard, where people won't get it," he said. "All the singles I have put out have been intended for the ladies, except 'Diamonds'; that was just a fun record. So we're gonna change it up, let people see me on a different route."

Fab is hoping to go on tour later this year and says Def Jam wants him to drop another album sometime in the spring. ...

  Big Moe
We would like to send out a "rest in peace" shout out to Houston's Big Moe (real name: Kenneth Moore), who as you know was an original member of the Screwed Up Clique. He passed away on Sunday. According to reports, he died in Houston of a heart attack after being in the hospital for over a week.

Swisha House's Mike "5000" Watts is helping organize a fundraiser on Tuesday night and the proceeds will be going to Moe's mother and family. The event will take place Houston's club Venue.

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

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

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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