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Fire Starter: Duo Live
You might not know their names, but you definitely have seen this Brooklyn tag team if you been to Miami's famous Ocean Drive. The two have been selling their mixtapes and albums hand to hand on the strip for years, caking crazy. Duo Live actually started selling their music independently in New York — they're from Brooklyn — then decided to move their operation down South, and they've been profiting there ever since. The group consists of MC Fre and producer DJ Sid V, and their sound takes you back to the blissful feel of the mid-'90s. They just released their LP The Color of Money, which is distributed by Mediaworld/ Lightyear/ Warner Music Group and features Talib Kweli and Princess (on "Caught Up"), as well as guest appearances by Fabolous and Al B. Sure.


Mixtape Monday: Jay-Z Explains Jadakiss' Roc Deal; Lil Wayne Has The 'Craziest Song' For Eminem

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

Artist: Freeway

Representing: North Philly

Mixtape: Don Cannon Presents: Freeway - Live Free, Die Hard 2

411: It ain't quite Roctober, but with new bangers in the streets this month from Jay-Z, Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek and Freeway, it's looking like the Roc is up to its old tricks again. "We're slowly getting our legs to make another run," El Presidente Hov told us last week.

First up was Kanye West, and next month Jay makes his grand return with American Gangster. After those two album drop, the Philly Roc Boys will be in the building next. Beans already has a video on the way, and now Free is gearing up for his November 20 studio album, Free at Last, with the second installment in his Don Cannon-helmed Live Free, Die Hard mixtape series.

And according to Freeway, the State P/ Aphilliates collabo extends beyond the mixtape — Cannon produced three songs on the bearded MC's LP as well. "He gave me a couple of tracks for the album," Free said. "This joint called 'Walk With Me,' that's real crazy, it [will feature a] crazy special guest on that joint, too. He did a joint with me and Wayne called 'Steps Back.' And he got another joint that's crazy for the album. You got to look out for that."

While Free is still putting the final touches onFree at Last, trying to secure Jadakiss and possibly Busta Rhymes as the "crazy" special guests, he did have some time to holler at us about his new mixtape. So we traveled down to the City of Brotherly Love to get the scoop from the man himself, eaaarrrly!

Joints To Check For:

  • "Lights Get Low" (featuring Rick Ross and Dre). "It's on the [Free at Last] album, too, it's really crazy," Free said. "I got my man Ross on there; I got my man Dre from Cool & Dre on the hook. It's got that Miami feel with that Philly gutter that y'all love. Holler at ya boy."

  • "Can't Tell Me Nothing" remix (with Kanye West and Beanie Sigel). "[Making this song] was like that old Roc-A-Fella feeling that you know and love," Free explained. "It felt good. When they called me for it, I was real excited. I went in [and] gave them my perspective of the situation [between Jay-Z and Dame Dash]."

  • "Champions" freestyle. "I rapped [over] stuff that [Kanye] just put out [on Graduation]. I touched on a couple of them joints," Free said. "I got to rap over beats that I feel, and I was feeling a couple of them joints. I like beats that challenge me, that make me wanna flow and just do different patterns and different stuff that's exciting for the fans. That's what I got out of them joints, and that's what I did."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
  • Various artists - "Cocaine City 9" DVD
  • DJ Scoob Doo - Mob 2
  • Mick Boogie, Terry Urban & 9th Wonder - The Graduate - Hosted by Kanye West
  • DJ Envy and G-Unit - Bad Guys 18
  • DJ Coolbreeze - Grand Hustle Mafia

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • Jim Jones (featuring Max and Stack Bundles) - "Bury Me in My Guccis"
  • Jay-Z (featuring Nas) - "Success"
  • Jay-Z - "Party Life"
  • Freeway - "It's Over"
  • Cam'ron - "Glitter"
  • Wu-Tang Clan - "Take It Back"

Celebrity Faves

  Russell Crowe
"Such and such and such, with a face full of mucus, amigos on the run trying to catch Frank Lucas." During the press junket for "American Gangster," Russell Crowe recited some lyrics RZA dropped on him in between takes during a late-night shoot on the cold NYC streets.

"It was a pretty good moment," Crowe added about his time with the Wu-Tang's head Clansman during filming. "RZA [and me], we played in the trailer, played a little guitar, but we talked a lot about music ... RZA jams everywhere he goes."

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

  Lil Wayne
Let's get right down to the heart of it: Is Lil Wayne dissing 50 Cent on his new Tha Carter III song "Gossip," when he says, "Stop hating on a n---a. That is a weak emotion/ The lady of a n---a," and, "Put a body bag and an apron on a n---a"?

50, of course, has openly been trying to bait Wayne in interviews and in songs with jabs here and there. So is Wayne addressing Fif? "Of course not," the Uptown Hollygrove Fireman scoffed. Wayne says if he has a problem with someone, they won't have to hear a song to know it.

"I recorded that song in 2006," he explained about "Gossip." "I don't make records or say anything about people. I don't beef with people. Everybody knows that. ... My words are more important than you. I got kids listening to me. I got grown folk listening to me. I got intelligent people listening to me. I want the words I say to come across [as] important. I want you to relate those words to me, not some guy or some girl. If you hear about me beefing with somebody, you gonna hear about it when I'm in jail."

The conversation took a 180-degree turn when Wayne started talking about the Hot Boys. Yes, the reunion in is full swing, and he promises an album from himself, Turk, B.G. and Juvenile sometime in 2008. Some of them have already been working together.

"You are gonna get it. It ain't no new members," Wayne explained. "We done matured and grown into our own situations.

"Capability," he added about how they were able put their differences aside. "Everybody is capable of doing. Everybody is down with it. We're all good. 2008! We started working on some things right now. We got something coming on Juvie's album [the yet-unscheduled Diary of a Soulja] though."

Last week Wayne told MTV News that on December 18 he'll release Tha Carter III: The Leak. That collection will consist of four new songs as well as bootlegged material, such as "Prostitute Flang" and "I Feel Like Dying." His next proper studio album, Tha Carter III, has a tentative date of February 12.

"I got a big album, man," he said. "I'm afraid. I ain't never do nothing like this ... Justin Timberlake and Timberland is on there. Eminem, I got the craziest song for him. I haven't sent it over yet though."

Another track Weezy is considering is his own version of Playaz Circle's "Duffle Bag Boyz." He sings the hook on the first version of the track and raps on the remix.

Meanwhile, his own guest-appearance card remains filled to the brim. He appears on Jay-Z's American Gangster LP on a song called "Hello Brooklyn," then there's Fat Joe's just-released "The Crack House" and, of course, Kanye West's "Barry Bonds."

"That's not my choice, man," he laughed when asked whether there will be a video for "Barry Bonds." "Somebody else gotta make that call. I'm ready. I'm ready whenever, wherever."

As for "The Crack House," Wayne said, "Joe called me and was like, 'Weezy, I need another one. We did it on "Make It Rain." I need one better, harder, and I need the hook to be stupid.' I said, 'I'mma try my hardest. That [hook] was my first submission. Anybody I do a song for, I let them know, "If you don't like this one, I got another one. If you don't like that one, I got another one." ' We did it." ...

If Jay-Z gets his wish, Jadakiss will be a part of the Roc very soon. Hov has been in negotiations with Ruff Ryders to get the black Babe Ruth on his label through Def Jam. It's almost a done deal.

"Well, I've been actually trying to get Jadakiss to come to Roc-A-Fella/ Ruff Ryders for a minute," he said. "It's not done. It's in the final stages, though. I spoke to [co-CEO] Dee [Dean] and all of them about doing something really special with a Roc-A-Fella/ Ruff Ryders collaboration."

Jay drops his American Gangster LP on November 6 and the next video from the album will be "Roc Boys." A movie for his album — not to be confused with the November 2 Denzel Washington movie that inspired the album — is also coming down the line.

"I'mma shoot a video but try to shoot it [so that] I can add scenes from it into the movie," Hov told us a couple of days before "Roc Boys" went into production. "It's gonna take a minute to get this movie together; writing it and getting the right people to do it." ...

DJ Khaled isn't one to toot his own horn — he's more likely to huff and puff and blow the whole brass section down. So, when he spoke to Mixtape Monday about his new video — the clip for the remix to "I'm So Hood" that features Ludacris, Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, T-Pain, Rick Ross, Big Boi from OutKast, Birdman and Busta Rhymes — the Miami jock was definitely enthusiastic about his latest product.

"It's hip-hop history," Khaled said. "It's historical, phenomenal, amazing. The lineup alone is nothing but star-studded superstars that are big in the game. And [for] the video shoot, the whole hip-hop game came out."

The shoot — for which artists were filmed in front of green screens, with images of their 'hoods being added behind them later — happened just over two weeks ago in Atlanta, during the same weekend the BET Hip-Hop Awards took place. Dayo and Ruch, protégés of Khaled's longtime director Gil Green, helmed the video, and Khaled got his casting director on with everyone in town. He put in some calls, and word spread quickly, spurring Swizz Beats, KRS-One, Doug E. Fresh, Webbie, E-40, Diamond D, Cassidy, Bushwick Bill, Jim Jones and Juelz Santana to also show up for the shoot.

"These are all the people besides the people rapping on the record! The cameos alone are like a movie. It just shows that everybody can come together to have a good time. And that's what DJ Khaled brings to the table. DJ Khaled the brand, we the best, and you know, it's just music and love."

Although Khaled's love movement was in full effect, it's not exactly all-encompassing, particularly when it comes to G-Unit's Young Buck. The Tennessee titan has been railing against Khaled in various interviews recently, claiming the DJ has blackballed his music in Miami.

"He's a liar," Khaled countered. "Tell him to make a hit record. Tell him to do me the biggest favor — tell him I said this, tell him I said it in big letters — stop making excuses and make a hit record. Tell him he's garbage. I don't have time for the negative stuff. That's not even my style. I hate when somebody makes an excuse when their music doesn't get played. You think I'm not playing it? The whole country isn't playing it. Put that in the interview. Tell me: Is he on 'TRL'? Is he on the MTV countdown? OK, so that's one other [outlet] that's not playing him. Radio stations aren't playing him right now because he doesn't have a hit record. You can't stop a hit record. If I don't make a hit record, I'm not gonna get played. 50 Cent don't make a hit record, he's not gonna get played. Same for Nas; it's just the game. I'll pray for [Young Buck], but tell him to stop worrying about me. And tell him this: You can't stop a brother that's loved, and I'm loved."

Get used to seeing this in the near future: Re-Up Gang/ Sony Music — the Clipse's Malice and Pusha T have a new home. "The deal is done, the ink is dry," Malice said last week. "We're very happy. Everything is going according to plan. [We've had] discussions with [Columbia co-head] Rick Rubin and [our manager] Tony Draper. I haven't met [Rubin] myself. [Kyambo] Hip Hop [Joshua] and Draper been ironing things out. I'm sure were gonna meet, shake hands and make it all official. We're pleased with the sense of urgency them dudes is moving with. I can say that we are a welcomed addition. They feel that way. The vibe is right. That says a lot, for me to say that, because I'm skeptical of all labels. I don't believe it till I see it. The game made me this way."

"We're looking forward to '08 and putting out consecutive good music," Pusha added, alluding to the fact that the Re-Up Gang's yet-untitled LP will be followed by a new Clipse effort. "Sony has that energy, that new blood that wants to win. It's [also] where the Clipse are right now. We've just never been in the position to put out music consistently. Every album [there's] always been something to stand in the way of us getting the music out in a timely manner. Sony has structured a deal that honestly gives me the free right to put out music anytime I want.

"This go-round, my brother and myself, we're CEOs [of our label], and we also got equity in the group," he added. "I think it will be all good."

After a long tumultuous relationship, their marriage with Jive ended in a divorce. Mal says his mangers did their jobs.

"Great management has been an asset to mending relationships and being able to move on," he said. "Tony Draper had a good rapport with Jive and a good rapport with [Jive President] Barry [Weiss]. He went and smoothed things out. We were left in a bad situation — it didn't have nothing to do with us, we were there. The tensions were between [our former label] Star Trak and Jive initially. We were left there to deal with hard feelings. Draper came along, and I can say he's been really effective. He and Tony Gonzales, our other manager."

Malice also shed some light on the Re-Up Gang family album, saying, "It's coming out so crazy, I don't know what to say about it. The gloves are off, it's time to rock. We're eight songs in. Mentally, I'm where I wanna be. The content is street."

The Gang have been working with a lot of up-and-coming artists so far but plan to bring in Danjahandz too. The Clipse album should follow shortly after the Gang disc, and now that they are on Sony, the door is definitely open to work with Rubin. They might also work with Kanye West and Lil Wayne ("I have no problem with Wayne," Malice said).

"I have never recorded in this manner," Pusha said. "I've never had to record and go through beats and pick joints. The whole tedious process of listening to a CD full of 30 beats. I'm used to having nine hot joints sitting in front of me and telling somebody, 'That color ain't it, put that record to the side.' This process has been harder in finding the music, but the songs are coming out amazing. It's real aggressive street hip-hop."

The Clipse say the Neptunes will definitely be contributing to the duo's album too — "I just got the call yesterday, we got three new joints from Skateboard P," Pusha said — as will Timbaland.

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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