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— by Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes

Artist : Sheek Louch

Representing: D-Block

Album: After Taxes

411: Sheek Louch is on the road promoting his new LP, After Taxes, but in between, he and the rest of D-Block have been doing shows with Jay-Z.

"What's so dope about it is, he said 'Y'all got y'all own segment," Sheek said about performing in New Jersey and Philadelphia with Jay and company last week. They performed again in Philadelphia on Friday. "[Jay] is a LOX fan himself."

Sheek had yet another huge smile on his face when talking about doing "It's All About the Benjamins" with Diddy. "Diddy is crazy," he said. "[Jadakiss] said Diddy still got the same moves. He ain't lose one step. His whole sh-- is energetic. The crowd went crazy."

Sheek says he can't get specific, but to look for "bigger things" between his crew and Jay-Z. In the meantime, Sheek is dropping his second solo LP on November 8.

Joints To Check For:
  • "Movie N---as" (featuring Ghostface). "I tried to pick a totally different Alchemist [type of] track," said Sheek, referring to the song's producer. "I wanted some real hip-hop sh--. I'm a real Ghost fan. I think he's a real bugged-out dude. Me and him came together — me just sitting around and pollying and having conversations with him made me wanna do the record. When I do songs with artists, I let them do their own thing. The hook can be offbeat or on-beat, I don't care."

  • "Album Intro." "It's real dramatic," Louch said. "Buckwild did the beat. It's not a single, though it could be: In New York, [Funkmaster] Flex is dropping bombs like crazy to it. I'm just rapping gritty on there. It's crazy."

  • "She's All Fed Up." "That's that baby's mama drama," he said. "Artists being on the road and chicks trying to mess your thing up at home — having a family, your baby's mama is all fed up. As soon as you leave the club, your picture is all over the Internet with a chick — you probably talked to her for about three seconds, don't even know her. But the picture looks like something else."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week

  • Juelz Santana's Back Like Cooked Crack 3: Fiend Out
  • DJ Whoo Kid & G-Unit's G-Unit Radio, Part 15: Are You a Window Shopper?
  • Consequence's The Cons, Vol. 3: Da Comeback Kid
  • DJ Drama's The Aphilliates Present West Coastra Nostra
  • DJ Fur. E's Da Firestarter Vol. 3
  • Abstract Mindstate's Chicago's Hardest Working, Vol. 2 (Project Soul)
  • DJ Finesse and DJ Gully's Future Hitz, Vol. 8

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
  • "Get 'Em Daddy" remix by Cam'ron (featuring Hell Rell, J.R. Writer and Jim Jones)
  • "Early" by M-1 (featuring Sticman)
  • "Can't Hide From Love" by Mary J. Blige (featuring Jay-Z)
  • "When Death Becomes You" by M.O.P. (featuring 50 Cent)
  • "I Dont Know Officer" by 50 Cent (featuring Prodigy, Spider Loc, Lloyd Banks and Mase)

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

  L.A. Reid
The biggest question in hip-hop after Nas got onstage with Jay-Z last week (see "Jay-Z And Nas Put Beef To Sleep In Onstage Show Of Unity") is: Will their apparent friendship turn into a business relationship? Is Nas officially signed to Def Jam? Island/ Def Jam chairman L.A. Reid seems very open to having the legend on his team, but would not say for sure.

"I don't know if I have a comment for that," Reid said last week in New Jersey about Nas' possible signing. "I'll tell you what, I absolutely love him. He's an amazing artist. I have loved him and supported him for years. He's been a great supporter of mine. And obviously he and Jay-Z have a mutual respect and love and admiration for each other. So let's just see. I really don't know. Let's see what happens."

As the first anniversary of the Shawn Carter administration at Def Jam approaches, Reid applauds the job the Jiggaman is doing.

"I liken him to Michael Jordan in that winning is just an innate part of his personality," Reid said. "But he also knows what to do and what not to do: A part of winning is knowing what you can win at. Being blessed, talented and all of the above doesn't hurt either."

When asked the best thing about working with Jay, Reid said, "The wisdom. At such a young age, he's amassed an amazing amount of wisdom — a lot more than you should expect from someone of his age."

And although Jay hasn't said whether or not he's working on a new album, Timbaland said last week that he's going to make some beats so crazy that Jay will have no choice but to rap on them and put them out.

"We working on that one now," Tim said. "We're magic together. Jay brings a lot of stuff out of me; I bring a lot of stuff out of him. I feel like I work under Jay and he's Keyser Soze [from "The Usual Suspects"]. He's a mastermind."

We just might see a minor N.W.A reunion soon. Eazy-E's son (who sounds very similar to his pops if you ever talk to him), Lil Eazy-E, has already been working with Ice Cube and wants to round up Dr. Dre, MC Ren and maybe even DJ Yella for a song on his debut, Prince of Compton. The album doesn't come out until 2006, so he still has time to get it together. E currently has a record out, "Gangsta Sh--," that was produced by Cool & Dre.

  Lil' Flip
Ed O.G. couldn't have said it better: Lil' Flip's got-ta have it! Flip's titled his new double-LP I Need Mine. He renegotiated his deal with Columbia Records earlier this year and is ready to release his new project on December 6. He says with all he does, he deserves everything he gets.

"When you get grown, everything that's rightfully yours — whether it's publishing, endorsements deals, advances — I Need Mine," he said by way of explaining the album's title. "I'm one of the few artists that, I produce, I draw my own album covers, all the videos you see — from 'Game Over' to 'Sunshine' to the new 'What it Do' — I write the treatments, I direct my own videos. Some artists, they feel they too big to give stuff back to the fans. I still do the same thing I did when I came in the game. I feel I should be appreciated for the work I put in."

Flipper is getting ready to go into full-overdrive mode. Before the end of the year he's putting out a DVD with eight videos from his new album and eight ones from his last double album, U Gotta Feel Me. He's also working on a myriad of mixtapes with the likes of DJs Whoo Kid and Ideal.

Slim Thug lashed out at him on a mixtape last summer, but Flip says he's shrugging it off.

"When you on top, everybody is trying to get your spot," he said. "When I came in the game, I was taught no matter how much money you give a person, how much exposure you give a person, everybody ain't gonna like you. I'm here to try to bring Houston up, not down. For me to try to step down and battle somebody that's, like, in the CBA [Continental Basketball Association] and I'm in the NBA Hall of Fame right now, it wouldn't help me. As far as that whole situation [with Slim], SoundScan tells all the truth."

For more on the role of mixtapes in the music industry, check out the feature "Mixtapes: The Other Music Industry."

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Photo: MTV News

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